As Europe descends into winter many people are looking for some winter warmth.
Each year thousands of tourists flock to the Costa del Sol to grab a bit of guaranteed sun. With average winter temperatures around 18° C you are far more likely to get a Christmas tan on the Mediterranean coast than in most other European destinations.
Right now the weather is good – dry and sunny. During the day the sun shines warm through the clear blue skies. There is a chilly wind gently blowing but you only really feel it when you step out of the sun.
The beaches around Marbella are busy but not crowded. The soft sand of Marbella’s coast is always attractive to both tourists and residents alike and at this time of year, after a short lull, start to fill up with winter travellers.
Over the weekend I went for a bike ride along the beach front from San Pedro de Alcantara to Marbella and it was perfect. The sun kept me warm while the sea breeze gently blew in. The waves lapped at the rocks and the sand and the sun glistened on the surface. I saw many occupied sun-loungers on the sand and even a few daring swimmers. I’m not going to pretend the sea is warm at this time of year, it certainly is not, but it’s tolerable for the hardy (or is that foolhardy?). The “paseo” (promenade) is very popular with walkers, cyclists and runners. It’s wide enough for two-way traffic and is good enough for older folk who enjoy a walk but need a level surface.
Life on the coast doesn’t stop just because it gets dark early (around 7:30pm) and Marbella and Puerto Banus continue to bubble throughout the winter. Some bars and restaurants close a little earlier but the majority do not. There is a huge amount of trade to be had over Christmas as the queues of planes deposit their sun-seeking cargo.
There is always a chance of rain during the winter months. We have already had some. Last week we had a months rain in one day (probably an exaggerated estimate) causing flooding, and mess. When the rain comes it comes hard and fast and this often has an affect on everyone. The Spanish roads are not very good at coping with the sudden flow (even though it happens every year and is no surprise) and underpasses flood and many become impassable. If it rains while you’re here and you don’t have to go out then I suggest staying inside.
So choose – stay home, scrape the ice of your car before work, wear a scarf and gloves and trudge through the snow OR pack a bag, book a budget flight and come to Marbella. Spend your Christmas warm and relaxed. Enjoy your turkey on the beach front and start the new year relaxed and tanned.