Although sunshine and beach days are the first things you may think of when Marbella is mentioned, it is also a vibrant spot during the festive season. It may not be quite as hot as in July, but there are dry, sunny days as well as all the seasonal entertainments expected in other countries across Europe.
First of all, Christmas shopping in Marbella is lots of fun. Whether you explore the specialist boutiques in the picturesque Old Town or on Avenida Ricardo Soriano, Marbella’s main thoroughfare, you will find an array of luxury brands and artisan gifts.
There are also excellent department stores and shopping malls to explore. Christmas wouldn’t be Christmas in Marbella without a visit to El Corte Inglés, Spain’s premier department store, which is located in Puerto Banús. Here you’ll find an assortment of ideas for gifts to suit every taste and age, plus the staff at the store are experts in the art of gift wrapping – which is a real bonus if you’re not so good at that yourself, or don’t have the time.
La Cañada is Marbella’s main shopping mall and during the festive season its decorations, as well as its activities for children, make it an ideal place to shop when you want all the stores under one roof. Here you’ll find brands such as L’Occitâne en Provence, Game and FNAC, as well as a fantastic selection of fashion boutiques ranging from big name brands to the smaller labels. Plus, there are plenty of food outlets so that you can recharge your batteries during a shopping marathon.
Christmas markets are another popular feature of Christmas in Marbella. They specialise in handmade products, especially jewellery, knitwear, pottery and candles. La Virginia is one of the most popular Christmas markets in the area, and the gifts on sale here are aimed at the discerning shopper, while Marbella’s Puerto Deportivo also hosts a lively Christmas market on Sundays during December.
Christmas lights and other festive celebrations
Other Christmas attractions in the area include the decorative streetlights, and while they are always lovely in Marbella, many people make the journey to Málaga because the lights there are nothing short of spectacular. Every small town and urbanisation has its own Christmas lights, and most even boast a public ‘belen’ or nativity scene as well – occasionally even with live animals.
Restaurants join in the festivities too, mulled wine is served at a number of places and altogether Marbella is truly Christmassy – even if you might find that it’s sunny enough to sunbathe on Christmas day.