Where To Stay In Spain In December

If you are feeling the effects of winter and seek some sun, or maybe you want to take your family on an unforgettable skiing holiday, one of the most special times to holiday in Spain is December. With the festive period in full swing, find out which cities have the best Christmas markets and festive celebrations as well as where to ski and beach resorts for some winter sun. 


If you are lacking some serious vitamin D, Fuerteventura has some of the warmest weather in Europe during winter, where temperatures rarely dip below 20 degrees. Fuerteventura is one of the lesser-known islands in the Canaries but has some of the most stunning beaches in Spain. It is fast becoming a cool destination due to its surfing, windsurfing and kiteboarding culture. Rent a beach villa in Fuerteventura in December to relax, enjoy the tranquillity that winter brings to the island and explore its rugged nature. 


This ancient city is located in the north of the Catalonia region with many ruins from its time as a Roman colony, including the impressive Theatre of Tarraco. Stay in Tarragona in the winter and see its impressive attractions, avoiding the hordes of summer crowds. For couples, wander around the historic centre with architecture dating back over 2000 years, get lost in the charming streets and narrow alleys and dine under the vaults of the Roman circus.  

Throughout December the city is awash with deep-rooted cultural traditions and lots of festive entertainment for children such as el Tió - a log that gives presents - and the theatre show Els Pastorets - The Little Shepherds. If you are around for new years eve, the Catalan tradition of a jumping jack - L'Home dels Nassos, meaning the man with many noses parades the streets giving sweets to children. 


Rent an apartment in Madrid in December to feel the romanticism and Christmas spirit throughout the city. Whilst the weather is crisp and cold, the city hosts many Christmassy events throughout the month, take the 'navibus' (a Christmas bus) tour of the city's sparkling light displays. Get your skates on and visit one of the ice rinks in the city,  afterwards warm up in a cosy cafe serving churros with hot chocolate, head to the centre of  San Ginés where they serve this delicacy 24/7. 

There are an abundance of Christmas markets that pop up in neighbourhoods all around the city. Some of the bigger ones are in Plaza Mayor, Plaza de España, Plaza Opera and Plaza Jacinto Benavente where you can shop for Christmas gifts, everything from handmade items to traditional food. 

If you fancy hitting the slopes, Madrid is close to the Sierra de Guadarrama mountain range and the ski resort of Puerta de Navacerrada. It can easily be accessed for a day trip from Madrid using public transport that will take you to the slopes within a couple of hours.


Granada is a magical destination for a holiday in December. Not only do you have the palpable Christmas spirit of the city, but you have the snow-capped Sierra Nevada mountains beautifully set in the backdrop. These mountains are home to Europe’s most southerly ski resort that offers one of Europes longest ski seasons as well as the sunniest. As one of the lesser known resorts, skiing in the Sierra Nevada is perfect for a family holiday to Spain in December and nothing is more festive than Christmas in the snow. 

Adding to the special atmosphere of Granada in December is the Christmas market in Plaza Bib-Rambla with a variety of different stalls selling handcrafted toys to traditional festive food. The best time to browse these stalls is in the evening along with the locals. The square comes alive, under the hue of tasteful Christmas lights and the cafes are full of people dipping churros in hot chocolate. A big tradition in Spain at Christmas are the 'Belens' - beautifully crafted nativity scenes with movement and lights that appear all around the town and the majority are free to enter. 


Escape to the sunny beaches of Lanzarote in December, where the temperatures still reach a pleasant 21 degrees. One of the most beautiful resorts on the island is Playa Dorada, perfect for couples looking for a romantic winter holiday to Spain. Take a day trip to Teguise - a small quaint village and wander around the cobbled streets and white-washed houses.

Composed of golden sandy beaches, an unspoilt shoreline and the Atlantic still holding onto some of the warmth from the summer sun, Lanzarote is a popular holiday destination for a family holiday in December. Throughout the month there is various festive entertainment for children as well as Christmas markets in towns such as Playa Blanca and Puerto del Carmen. 


As Spain's fifth largest city and the capital of the beautiful region of Aragón, its surprising that Zaragoza is not more popular. Located south of the Pyrenees you will find famous ski resorts such as Formigal and Baqueira-Beret where you can easily take a day trip to from the city. 

Stroll through the picturesque streets in the old town and admire the various architectural structures left by the Roman and Moorish occupancy of the city. A must visit is the Aljafería Palace - one of the most important Islamic palaces in Spain which nowadays is used as Aragóns regional parliament. One structure you will not fail to spot is the Basílica de Nuestra Señora del Pilar, the striking domes and colourful tuffets resemble those of a Disney palace. Take a romantic stroll along the river at night to see its true beauty. This region is famous for its hearty cuisine and no one visits Zaragoza without dining at Casa Lac, one of the oldest restaurants in the whole of Spain. 


Visit Bilbao for a city break in December full of art and culture. Located in the Basque Country, it is known for its lush green scenery and culinary expertise. This cosmopolitan city is at the heart of modern art in Spain, particularly due to Frank Gehry's Guggenheim Museum an impressive structure that can be seen from many parts of the city displaying contemporary pieces from the likes of Andy Warhol.

Explore the colourful architecture and narrow streets in the Old Town, dipping in and out of cosy pintxo bars serving traditional Basque-style tapas like those in Plaza Nueva. Cross the river and head to the 'hip' neighbourhood - Bilbao la Vieja - Bilbao's answer to Soho, and find urban art, independent boutiques and fashionable bars and restaurants. 


Most people consider a holiday to Málaga for sun, sea and sand, but in December it is just as special. The Christmas spirit can be felt all around town and contributing to this are the blanket of Christmas lights over Calle Larios. Every evening from 06:00 pm people flock to Calle Larios to secure their position for the 'light show,' where the canopy of lights 'dance' to traditional Christmas music. 

Wander around the Christmas markets in Málaga for inspiration and to get you in the festive mood. One of the best is 'Garage,' a pop-up market held over the long weekend in December. Taking place in car park in the cool neighbourhood of Soho, find beautifully handcrafted products, antiques, fashion, vintage items amongst other unique gifts. The handicraft fair 'Parque de Málaga' takes place on the Paseo de Parque. Throughout the Christmas period, the market is open daily until 10.00 pm where you can peruse everything from books to traditional Christmas sweets. 


Barcelona has a special atmosphere in December, with Christmas lights strung far as the eye can see, adorning some of the most iconic buildings such as Gaudí's Casa Batlló. For Christmas gifts and inspiration it doesn't get much better than Barcelona. One of Europe's most traditional and biggest Christmas markets can be found in the gothic quarter - La Fira de Santa Llúcia, spend a couple of hours browsing the stools surrounded by a stunning array of lights. Up and down famous shopping streets like Passeig de Gràcia and in Rambla de Catalunya, admire the shop window displays where shop owners go all out for the festive period. Look out for the 'caganer' - the 'crapper,' who you will spot squatting in every nativity scene ensuring good luck for the coming year. 

Stay in Barcelona for new years and join the locals in their celebrations. The best locations to ring in the new year for free are Plaça Catalunya, Montjuic's magic fountain and Plaça d'Espanya with electric atmospheres, firework displays and the tradition of attempting to eat a grape at each chime of the clock on the 12-second to midnight.