Christmas Holiday in Spain– Why You Should Go To Andalucia

Christmas in Andalucia Spain- featured image

It’s a wonderful life. Winter in Europe is wonderful. Christmas Markets alight, festivals delight, and the general slow-down in the daily grind is just… right. However, not surprisingly, the temperature drops around the world. So we are in search of warmth and sunshine and we are heading south. We’re flying to Andalucia in southern Spain for Christmas this winter.

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Christmas-in-Spain-Baumholder-to-Malaga Christmas Holiday in Spain-- Why You Should Go To Andalucia

Christmas in Spain– Why Andalucia?

The Weather

First of all, our first stop is Malaga where we picked up our rental car. The temperature is still warm in December hovering around 65-66°F degrees. Secondly, its history and architecture are fascinating. Because it’s inspired by a culture and religion very different from what prevails there now.

Andalucia is on the Iberian Peninsula just north of the Strait of Gibraltar. An enviable position straddling a nine-mile wide stretch of water that separates Europe from North Africa. And this narrow waterway has facilitated the influx of people, spices, language, and religion. And it’s this influx that makes Andalucia different from any other region of Spain.

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Andalucia’s History

The Moors of Northern Africa

Seven thousand Moroccan Berbers can’t be wrong. They crossed the narrow strait 711 AD in search of the fertile lands of Medieval Europe. They marched north and without much conflict, well into modern day France. It took less than 4 years for the invaders to colonize most of Spain and Portugal and Al Andalus, or the land of the vandals was born. The campaign against the Moors began almost immediately but would take centuries to complete.

Welcomed in many places, the new inhabitants began transforming the landscape with modern agriculture and cities like Cordoba, Seville and Granada were built— out rivaling all other cities in Europe in education, modern achievements, and population.

By all accounts, more than 5.6 Million Muslims resided in Cordoba alone. Sophisticated irrigation, modern medicine, and institutions of higher learning were the rule and not the exception. The Moors brought palm trees, saffron, sugar, lemons, rice, pomegranates, paper, cotton and silk and much, much more to the continent. While inhabitants of London still lived in wooden barns, the Cordobans traveled on lighted streets, pedestrians walked on elevated sidewalks to their cosmopolitan homes equipped with running water.

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10th Century Spain

In the 10th century, the Moors’ rule over Spain lacked strong leadership due to infighting, and its control over Al Andalus began a slow, but steady decline. Twenty mini-kingdoms were defeated one-by-one until only Granada remained.

It’s 2023 now but in 1492

Christopher Columbus stops in Granada on his way to the New World. He is there to celebrate King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella’s victory over the Moors. The re-conquest has been successful and Granada, the last city to fall, has been restored to the Spanish after 800 years of Muslim rule.

The vanquished North Africans left an indelible mark on the region’s landscape as well as its’ people. And it’s for this reason, even more so than the pleasant weather, we both found ourselves dreaming about traipsing around Southern Spain. But that almost didn’t happen.

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Foods to Try

During Christmas in Andalucia, Spain, you can indulge in a few delicious traditions. One iconic dish is “Pavo Trufado,” a succulent truffle-stuffed turkey that takes center stage on many festive tables. Another popular treat is “Polvorones,” crumbly almond cookies dusted with powdered sugar. Additionally, “Roscón de Reyes,” a sweet, ring-shaped bread adorned with candied fruits, is a must-have during the holiday season. These festive foods not only satisfy the palate but also reflect the rich culinary heritage of Andalucia.

Traditions

Christmas in Andalucia, Spain, is like stepping into a festive fairy tale. Families get together for a big feast on Christmas Eve, aka “Nochebuena.” The Christmas markets, or “Mercadillos Navideños,” are a lively explosion of colors and goodies. And come January 5th, there’s this awesome parade called “Cabalgata de Reyes,” where the Three Wise Men roll in, bringing gifts that have kids jumping with excitement. And let’s not forget the awesome nativity scenes, or “Belenes,” that pop up everywhere – it’s like a craft lover’s dream! These traditions make Christmas in Andalucia a magical experience you won’t forget.

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Where We Stayed in Cordoba

Eurostars Maimonides
C. Torrijos, 4, Centro, 14003 Córdoba, Spain

The hotel was an economical stay smack dab in the heart of Cordoba near the Mezquito (cathedral mosque) and all the other major historical sites, including the stunning bridge. The breakfast was delicious and there were several tapas restaurants within walking distance. The staff were friendly and helpful. Highly recommended for families.

https://maps.app.goo.gl/Fbdpq3nMWNNGKpHo8

Conclusion

There isn’t a bad time to visit Andalucia Spain. However, the holiday season in Andalucia, Spain, becomes a captivating mix of age-old customs and joyful allure. The historical streets, decked out with sparkling lights, craft a spellbinding ambiance, urging guests to dive head-first into the deep cultural legacy of the Moors.

Whether it’s the traditional festive markets or captivating nativity scenes, each spot echoes with the coziness of seasonal festivities. It’s a distinctive opportunity to soak up the lively essence of Andalucia while relishing the enduring traditions that render this destination genuinely extraordinary.

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