Celebrations to look out for in December
Alicante Alicante holds its Feast of the Immaculate Concepción on 8th December, a popular Spanish fiesta. A spectacular parade is the highlight of the celebrations with marching bands, colourful costumes and delicious traditional Spanish cuisine on offer from various stalls set up in and around the centre of the city. There is plenty of parking available in municipal car parks but it is recommended to park your Drivalia hire car well away from the parade route. Famous for its party spirit, the town is festooned with Christmas lights and decorations – well worth seeing. Alicante takes Christmas seriously and in the run up to Christmas and “The Kings” on 6th January there are loads of little street markets to see plus plenty of street entertainment on offer, most of which is free.
In Murcia’s San Javier area there is the “Fiesta Patronales” celebrated between 22nd November and 14th December with most of the parties taking place around the Saint’s Day on 3rd December. There is loads of musical entertainment and plenty to see, do – and of course eat and drink!
All the entertainment is free of charge and takes place at the Parque Almansa’s outdoor auditorium in central San Javier. There is loads of parking inside the park for your Drivalia rental car and even when there is a major event being held there is plenty of overflow parking outside. Naturally you are strongly advised not to drink alcohol when driving.
Virgen del Castillo Fiesta This 17th Century Fiesta includes a sparkling procession. Held in Yecla, Murcia, from 5th to 8th December, the Fiesta features a Blessing on 5th December followed by speeches, flag waving, parades and floral tributes. Take some earplugs – the blast from the arquebuses, also known as a “hand cannon” – and if you stand near enough you will discover why – is deafening! In 1642 some soldiers gave thanks to the virgin for their safe return from combat and the guns commemorate this event…
To find Yecla, head South from Murcia on the N-340, then merge onto the A-30: take Junction 763B towards Andalucia/Madrid and Exit 112 for the A-33 going to Jumilla, Tecla and Valencia. Continue on the A-33, taking the 2nd exit at the next roundabout to the N-344 and proceed to the C-3223 for Yecla and Pinoso. The 103km journey should take just under an hour and a quarter.
Mallorca revels in all things Christmas and around the first week in December Palma plays host to a number of specialist markets selling all manner of religious memorabilia and Christmas gifts – sort of a “Kris Kringle” season of little pop-up stalls offering Christmas goodies to eat and drink along with toys and cards, sparkly wrapping paper and seasonal novelties. Most of the little shops are set up in the main square.
During the first weekend of December there is also an “Agricultural Fair” in Montuiri, an increasingly popular Spanish fiesta with special emphasis on partridges and “all things shooting” – popular with hunting enthusiasts, farmers and country pursuit fanatics, anglers and fishing experts in general.
Montuiri is just over 30km from Palma, 27 minutes on the MA-15. Park your Drivalia hire car outside the centre to avoid jams.