It’s once again that magical time of the year! Christmas jingles are jingling, store displays are transformed into winter wonderlands, and Santa’s boisterous HO-HO-HOs are echoed throughout the mall halls.

Sick and tired of that same “jolly” annual routine? We get it! If you ask us, a Christmas getaway is much needed. And where else, but year-round jovial Spain! So, if a winter escape is exactly the Christmas medicine you need, we’re here to give you the first dose! Trade in snow for sun, eggnog for fine wine from Spain, and gingerbread cookies for turrón. Ready? HO, HO HOla!

Go to a Christmas Market!

Whether you want to spend your getaway coastal or in the bustling capital, there’s a Christmas market for you. Head to Madrid’s Plaza Mayor, and see one of Spain’s most famous and traditional Christmas markets. Packed with endless little booths of Christmas goodies, from mini nativity characters to roasted nuts and handmade ornaments, you’re sure to get your Christmas fix. Some other notable markets to explore around Spain are the Fira de Santa Llúcia next to the Cathedral of Barcelona, La Plaza Nueva market in Seville, and the Central Market in Valencia (to just name a few!).

Eat Lots of Sweets:

If you’ve got a sweet tooth, then you’re in for a real “treat”! Spain’s most famous Christmas goodie is called turrón, kind of like a super-sized all natural candy bar made of egg whites, honey and toasted almonds. It’s either hard like a hard nougat (turrón duro) or soft like creamy melt-in-your-mouth fudge (turrón blando). There’s even a Turrón Museum in Jijona (Alicante)! But wait…there’s more! Make sure you save some room to try polvorones and mantecados, the oh-so-rich traditional assorted Christmas biscuits. Then, there’s the Roscón de Reyes! This oversized-doughnut-shaped white cake is baked with candied fruit and stuffed with cream. It’s eaten for Día de Reyes (King’s Day) on January 6th, which is actually the day that children receive presents! Read more about Spain’s Christmas Sweets here.

Admire “Belenes”:

You’ll notice “Belenes”, or elaborate nativity scenes, planted throughout every city in Spain. Spain loves its Belenes so much, it’s no surprise that the biggest nativity scene in Europe is in Tarragona!

Gamble your luck

One of the biggest Christmas traditions in Spain? The “fat” lottery! Known as “El Gordo,” block out a chunk of time to wait on a Christmas lottery line. When in Spain during Christmas, thy must participate in the world’s biggest lottery! Considering the high number of winners, luck just might be in your favor!

Or, just ditch it all and go to the beach.

If you’re the kind of person that can’t look at another Christmas tree…seek out the palm trees! Get that “real” getaway, and spend your Christmas in the Canary Islands, soaking up the sun on the beach. Warning: you might not be able to escape Christmas all together; keep a look out for nativity scenes made of sand! So, who’s ready to pack up those stocking stuffers and give yourself the gift of Spain?! Written by: Casie Tennin November 22, 2016

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