For the moment, life continues to be fairly “normal” but with some mandatory rules such as wearing of masks both inside and outside, vaccine passports to enter certain events and in some regions, to enjoy a meal inside a restaurant or a drink inside a bar.
Around 90% of the population has been vaccinated and the campaign to vaccinate the booster/3rd vaccine is well underway. School children under 12 will be offered the vaccine early next year.
Assuming no new restrictions are brought in within the next few days, many people will be travelling within Spain and others internationally. What can you do once you are here with your loved ones?
The temperatures are perfect for taking a leisurely walk along a coastal path or in an inland village, perhaps stepping on cobbles that have seen much of Spanish history. A visit to a natural park in the winter sunshine is another option – nature is still fascinating even if the leaves have fallen from the trees and some birds have flown south to Africa.
Wetlands offer a closer look at many types of birds and small animals, or maybe a cycle ride with friends to a pretty village where you can stop for refreshments or lunch.
The mountains have snow, the Pyrenees have been open for skiing for a couple weeks already, as have the Sierra Nevada. It can get very busy during the Christmas holidays but a trip to the snowy summits is great fun for all the family. If you’re spending Christmas in Barcelona, you can take an early train to popular ski resorts and be back in the city for a latish dinner.
Similarly, if you will be near Granada, you can take a bus and 60 minutes later, you could be skiing.
It might be too cold to swim, but you’ll be able to enjoy other watersports like wind surfing and diving. The sun is warmest between midday and 3 pm, so a little sunbathing is on the cards, though maybe with a t-shirt and shorts rather than a swimsuit.
Unlikely this year, but nevertheless, a shower or two is always possible. All the Spanish TV platforms have an excellent choice of films and series to keep everyone amused, many in English or with English subtitles. Netflix.es, AmazonPrime.es and HBO.es are available for a monthly fee.
Spanish drama and music
There are some excellent Spanish programmes and films available. “Money Heist”, known as “Casa de Papel” in Spanish is an international success and well worth watching. “Mar de Plástico” is a good thriller and “Cable Girls”, “Chicas de Cables” is another very popular series. There are a wide range of children’s films and series too, with many being familiar to children coming to Spain from the UK.
If you have Amazon Music or Spotify, why not listen to some Spanish music? There is something for everyone but have a go at finding popular Spanish artists – Pablo Alborán, Shakira, Maluma, Ricky Martin and Rosalía are all top singers, and for those who love Latin music there’s a world of choice.
Andrea Motis is really worth listening to if you are a jazz fan and for the classically minded, there are several excellent playlists featuring the Spanish guitar.
Eating good food
A trip to the local supermarket will reveal an array of Spanish Christmas fayre which people of all ages will enjoy. Don’t forget your local food shops too as they will offer specialities that aren’t found in the big commercial centres.
Turrón, is the classic Christmas treat – a nougat confection, typically made of honey, sugar, and egg white, with toasted almonds or other nuts – and usually is shaped into either a rectangular tablet or a round cake.
Then there are almond biscuits which melt in your mouth called polvorones, various types of marzipan and of course, churros with chocolate, not forgetting pestiños, which are just fried pastry dough with anise and sesame seeds and topped with a honey glaze.