If you’re planning to spend the winter in Fuengirola, this article will show you the best things to do in Fuengirola at Christmas!
Fuengirola has been my hometown since 2020, so I’ve seen a fair share of what the Christmas season has to offer, and one thing is guaranteed: you certainly won’t get bored!
Here’s my round-up of can’t-miss activities to make your festive season merrier and brighter!
Best Things To Do in Fuengirola at Christmas
Here are some of the best festive activities and the most important part – finally added the official program for this year’s Christmas activities.
Fuengirola Christmas 2023 Program
The town council finally updated some details about the festivities in Fuengirola.
Here are the highlights, and the official program PDF from the town hall is available here.
Fuengirola Christmas Lights 2023 – the official date for the event is 1st December 2023 at 7.30 pm and the ceremony will be held at the Plaza de España, where you can watch a new light show. The city will have more than 2 million LED lights installed this year (source)
What times are the lights on? The official schedule is as follows: from 6:00 p.m. to 12:00 a.m., from Monday to Thursday, and from 6:00 p.m. to 2:00 a.m. on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays. and holidays.
Opening of Nativity Scene 2023 – on the same day, 1st of December 2023, the official nativity scene of Fuengirola will be revealed and blessed at 6.30 pm located in the city museum (source).
Fuengirola Christmas Markets 2023 – on 24th November 2023, the Christmas Market at the Plaza de España opens up with a snow show, starting at 7pm with an Elf Parade. The markets will be open until 17th December 2023. Every Saturday at 7.30 pm you can also watch the snow fall until the markets close in December. (source)
Further details of the festive program are yet to be announced and I will update this page when the details come through.
Three Wise Men Arriving in Fuengirola – 5 January 2024 – this does stretch beyond December, but if you’re staying in Fuengirola longer it’s well worth checking this event. The three wise men arrive in style, by a helicopter, to the Elola Social and Sports complex at 4pm. From 5pm, there will be a parade with 25 different floats throughout the city, with this route: Calle Mallorca, avenida de Mijas, avenida Juan Gómez Juanito, camino de Coín, avenida Condes de San Isidro, avenida Matías Sáenz de Tejada, avenida Ramón y Cajal and avenida de Los Boliches (ending at the monument to the Victims of Terrorism).
1. Plaza de la Constitución: The Heart of Christmas
This square is like the living room of Fuengirola, and come Christmas, it’s decked out in its finest holiday attire. We’re talking twinkling lights, a massive Christmas tree, and a nativity scene that’ll give Grandma’s living room a run for its money.
Get yourself a warm chocolate or mulled wine, take a stroll, and let the Christmas vibes sink in.
2. Christmas Markets: Mercado Navideno
Who doesn’t love a good Christmas market, right?
Fuengirola offers a plethora of markets where you can snag unique gifts and artisan goodies.
My favorite has to be the one in the main town square at Plaza de la Constitution. It may be small, but it comes with merry festive music, and even fake snow!
3. Check Out the Christmas Lights
Every year, Fuengirola gets bigger and bolder with the Christmas lights display!
It’s one of my favourite things to do in the darker evenings – simply stroll through the beautifully lit-up streets and soak in the festive atmosphere.
Check out the program at the beginning of the post for the official light show!
4. The Three Kings Parade
Christmas celebrations in Spain stretch into the New Year, peaking on January 6th with the Feast of the Epiphany. The night before, Fuengirola hosts a Three Kings Parade featuring floats, costumes, and, of course, the Three Kings tossing candies into the crowd.
You don’t want to miss this one!
5. Light Show at the Town Hall
The town hall puts up a massive display of festive lights, with a giant Christmas bauble at the center of it. They have a light and music show playing every night, and crowds gather to share the festive cheer (and a bit of dance!)
You can see one from last year on the video below (credits: Kriel Jan)
6. Christmas Day Swim
For the adventurous souls, take part in the annual Christmas Day Swim. It’s a Fuengirola tradition where locals and tourists alike dive into the chilly Mediterranean waters. It’s invigorating and earns you bragging rights for the rest of the year!
If that’s not a thing for you, you can opt for a Christmas picnic instead – I certainly prefer to stay dry and with a full belly at Christmas!
7. Midnight Mass
If you’re up for some spiritual reflection, Fuengirola’s beautiful churches offer Midnight Mass services.
Even if you’re not religious, the experience—complete with traditional hymns and candlelight—is moving and peaceful.
READ ALSO >
Christmas Food in Andalusia
No Christmas is complete without a proper feast! If you wonder what are the traditional festive foods of Andalusia, in this section you will find a few of the local favourites.
Seafood is a hit during Christmas in Spain. Whether it’s grilled, baked, or fried, dishes like shrimp, lobster, and other shellfish dominate the Christmas Eve dinner table.
One popular pick is “Gambas al Ajillo,” which is basically shrimp sautéed in garlic and chili, or you might find it as ‘Gambas Pil Pil’.
Now, let’s talk about the show-stoppers, the meat dishes!
You’ve got options ranging from lamb to turkey, but the king of all is the “Jamón Serrano” or Serrano ham. This isn’t just any ham; it’s a dry-cured Spanish ham, often served in thin slices. Another star on the Spanish Christmas table is “Cochinillo Asado,” which is a suckling pig roasted to perfection.
You can’t have a Spanish Christmas feast without a bowl of warm, comforting soup. “Sopa de Mariscos” (seafood soup) is a hearty favorite, loaded with different types of shellfish and fish. Another one to look out for is “Sopa de Galets,” a meaty broth featuring large pasta shells, often served in Catalonia during Christmas.
In Spain, Christmas desserts are not just an afterthought; they’re practically an art form.
“Turrón” is a traditional sweet made from almonds, honey, and egg whites. It comes in various textures and flavors, but the classic version is a must-try. “Polvorones” and “Mantecados” are crumbly, buttery cookies that melt in your mouth, and they’re so addictive, you can’t stop at one.
Let’s not forget about the libations! “Cava,” a Spanish sparkling wine, is a holiday favorite. For something non-alcoholic, you might encounter “Horchata,” a sweet, creamy drink made from tiger nuts. Either way, there’s something for everyone to toast with.
Christmas Traditions in Andalusia
1. Zambomba Flamenca – The Flamenco Carol Party
Picture this: Flamenco dancers and musicians gather in a plaza, decked out in festive colors. But they’re not performing the usual Flamenco you’re thinking of; they’re singing Christmas carols, Flamenco-style! Known as “Zambomba Flamenca,” this tradition is exclusive to Andalusia and gives the holiday season a unique, lively flair.
2. The Belén – Nativity Scenes Everywhere!
In Andalusia, Christmas isn’t just about the tree; it’s also about the “Belén,” a detailed nativity scene that families set up in their homes. We’re talking miniature figures, tiny animals, and even little rivers made of foil. Some Belénes can be pretty elaborate, almost like an art installation.
Public Belénes are also a thing, and many towns hold contests to see who can create the most jaw-dropping nativity scene.
3. Seafood Feasts and Turron Galore
When it comes to Christmas Eve dinner, Andalusians don’t hold back. Seafood is the star of the show. Think shrimp, prawns, and whatever else you can fish out of the Mediterranean.
But that’s not all. No Andalusian Christmas meal is complete without “Turron,” a kind of almond nougat that’s the Spanish answer to Christmas candy. You can’t leave Andalusia without trying some!
4. The Day of the Innocents
Heard of April Fools’ Day? Andalusians have their own version on December 28th, known as “El Día de los Santos Inocentes.” Pranks are the order of the day, and if you’re gullible, well, good luck! Even the local media gets in on the action, publishing fake stories just for laughs.
5. Three Kings Parade – A Grand Finale
You might think Christmas ends on the 25th of December, but not in Andalusia.
The festivities stretch until January 6th, celebrated as Epiphany or the Day of the Three Kings. The night before, towns come alive with parades featuring the Three Kings tossing candies and small gifts to excited children lining the streets. It’s a magical way to wrap up the holiday season, Andalusian-style.