For many, Christmas shopping is one of the pleasures of the run-up to the big day itself and Marbella does not disappoint. El Corte Ingles dons its finery for the festivities and is the perfect place to seek out the ideal gift, as well as the ideal Christmas party outfit, with a wide range of exclusive brands for young and old alike. Or take a walk into nearby Puerto Banús marina to browse the designer boutiques that overlook the luxury yachts berthed here and enjoy a festive harbour atmosphere.
Marbella Old Town puts on a wonderful show, bedecked with twinkling fairy lights and the traditional Belén, or Nativity Scene, in the Plaza de la Alameda. It’s also a good place to look for unique presents, with a wide range of chic boutiques and quirky gift shops arranged along its cobbled streets.
As with most cultures, Spain has its own Christmas sweet treats, one of the most popular being turrón. A type of nougat, it can be found in a mouth-watering range of flavours to tempt the tastebuds, while small round polvorones are a type of heavier shortbread made with nuts, predominantly almonds. The name for the biscuits is derived from the Spanish for dust or powder, and its crumbly texture on eating explains why.
Christmas Eve is an important day in Spain, with Father Christmas on the 25th December a relatively recent arrival. The 24th December is a day usually spent feasting with family, with traditional dishes including prawns and seafood as well as roast lamb and pork.