Travel Ideas for Christmas and New Year's Eve in Spain

by - October 28, 2017

Anyone on Instagram or Facebook may have got some insights to travel in Spain. I travel this time on campers for 12 days and see what life is like on wheels. We drove down from Barcelona to Granada. This article is for those who are looking for a virtual trip through Spain. And those looking for inspiration for their own travel planning.

It was not clear to us until before the trip where we wanted to go for a long time. There was too much to do and my mind was buzzing so I could not prepare for the trip. And I actually love travel planning. For me, there is nothing better than to get inspired by travel blogs, get tips and plan my route.

Most of the travel planning is then thrown back during the trip. Not because I did everything wrong or the tips were a whitewash, but because you can not plan everything. On the ground, other ideas and opportunities arise. Because we did not plan much before, our route was spontaneous and well done.

What was important to us during the itinerary? We do not prefer long distances at the beginning or cities, but rather rural areas. We prefer beaches, mountains to see different landscapes. Since we were traveling with the dog, we wanted as much sea and nature. After the city trips of recent times, for example, to London or Prague, this trip was also very convenient.

Every country in the world has its own customs, traditions, and rituals for that special night. We want to present you a typical Christmas and New Year's Eve in Spain. The big Spanish spectacle begins, in which almost every Spaniard takes part. It is the Christmas lottery, the so-called Loteria de Navidad.

In the early evening, they eat cheese and ham. There is also fish and seafood, roast lamb or other roasts. People prepare turkey stuffed with chestnuts, apples, and plums. For dessert, there are either grapes, marzipan, Brandy de Jerez or the typical turron. It is a sweet pastry made from roasted almonds, honey sugar, and eggs.

The most widespread tradition of Nochevieja in Spain is that of the 12 grapes. People eat a grape with each stroke of the clock at the Puerta del Sol in Madrid, at 12 midnight on 31 December. The person who does not manage to eat all the grapes will be unlucky next year.

There is also a tradition to wear red underwear, to double the happiness for the New Year. After welcoming the new year, pubs and clubs celebrate with Cotillones de Nochevieja. These are party accessories that include confetti, balloons, and hats.

The celebrations usually last until the next morning. It ends with the traditional New Year's breakfast of hot chocolate and churros. Another New Year's Eve tradition in Spain is to greet the New Year with a saying. If life gives you a thousand reasons to mourn, you show a thousand and one reasons to dream. Make your life a dream, and your dream a reality.

Road trip through Spain - our itinerary for 2 weeks

Barcelona to Manresa

We went by taxi to Manresa, about an hour's drive from the airport.

Berga on the edge of the Pyrenees

Since we had landed late in the afternoon in Barcelona, we looked for a campsite close so as not to be in the dark for long. Unfortunately, the plan did not work out that way. When we arrived in Berga, it was already dark. Berga is on the edge of the Pyrenees, the route is very nice and above all easy to drive. We drive towards the mountains until we arrive at the foot of the Catalan Pyrenees.

We choose a campsite on the mountainside with pitches on terraces. It has a nice view of the valley and the surrounding mountains. Indoor pool and spa offers are not suitable for me for camping. In the offseason and during the week it is very quiet and you are almost alone on the pitch.

Girona in Catalonia

The next day we left for Girona. As a small stopover to the beaches of Catalonia. Since we had spent the afternoon with a friend, we could not get to know much of the old town of Girona in the short time. But it is good to have friends around the world, so you can come back anytime and discover more.

Platja d'Aro on the Costa Brava

The same day we drove on to Platja d'Aro, where we wanted to spend the night waking up in the morning on the beach. In storm and thunderstorm, we arrived again in the dark. We stayed in a parking lot in front of a campsite, which had already closed due to low season. The next morning we drove further to the sea.

The tip for Platja d'Aro came from our friend from Peru, who often drives there from Girona over the weekend. It was not my taste and too typical for me was the Costa Brava sight of the beach and huge bed castles. We cook in the camper with sea view and get the weather forecast for the next days.

The (untracked) Avinguda de Verona Terol street is right on the beach of Platja d'Aro, next to the marina. Here you can spend days without any problems with sea view. Unfortunately, we did not know that before, so we slept in a parking lot about 10 minutes away. The weather here was too bad for us, but after a short break, we continue.

Playa de Oliva on the Costa Azahar

Looking back, the place that was most relaxing and beautiful for us on the journey. Here you will find endless sandy beaches and natural dunes. We see the blue-turquoise, clear water with amazing sunrises on the beach. Here we have a few days to unwind. We play a lot with the dog on the beach, cook, eat, drink wine and fell asleep with the sound of the sea and wake up.

Here there are pitches on the sand dunes without fences or boundaries. So you stumble from the camper door into the beach. There is a small supermarket for fresh, warm baguette in the morning.

Oriental bazaars and hippie flair in Granada

Another 450 km south we reach Granada, on the edge of the Sierra Nevada, the first and only city we will visit on this trip. Although I already know Granada from a previous trip, Granada inspires me again. This city has something special with its small streets and historic houses.

Anyway, Andalusia is a great part of Spain. On one day we see the wonderful sea. And a few hours later a few thousand meters high with white peaks in the Sierra Nevada, this is only in Andalusia. There is a Moorish influence, Arab street signs, and oriental tea girls with hookahs. The small colorful bazaar and streets remind here more of Morocco than Spain. Until you turn the corner again and see a typical Spanish flamenco show on the street.

Granada somehow reminded me of Cusco, its street musicians, and hippie jewelry vendors. And it's definitely a place that I need to get to know in more detail. If you are in Granada, then you should definitely plan time for the Alhambra, an old Moorish fortress. I already knew the Alhambra but unfortunately, the tickets got booked for the next 2 days. But that's a good reason to come back again.

At 2750 meters above the clouds in the Sierra Nevada

Although the sky was cloudy, we decided to drive 50 km from Granada to the Pico del Veleta (3384 m). The A-395 road winds its way from Granada around the mountains, with a gradient of about 6%. It is a good and quite new road that you can boot up. The weather was still gray and cloudy down in the valley. It became clearer with each altitude and the sky becomes blue.

There is a kind of information center where you can inquire about the flora and fauna of the Sierra Nevada. Here you can ask for caution again if there is already snow up there if you want high. There were still cuddly 11 ° C up there and no trace of snow. From there, the path goes up again for about 30 kilometers, until you cannot come up further by car. Here we are already at 2750 meters. We get a beautiful view of the mountains of the Sierra Nevada and down into the valley.

Playa de la Mora, Tarragona

From Andalusia, we drove 850 km across Spain to Tarragona within 20 hours. The last few days we wanted to enjoy the sun. The Playa de la Mora is a beautiful beach in a bay, surrounded by rocks. It reminded me a little of the Algarve in Portugal. In the main season it is terrible here, but in the offseason, was empty and relaxed. The water was still warm enough to swim for the last time in the Mediterranean this year. Our pitch was again right on the sea, this time only in the second row.

It's crazy how you can get used to living in such a camper. I have always been a camping kid. I spent many vacations on campsites, in converted Mercedes buses and 60s caravans. But now to be at the wheel and to cruising around the area was amazing. My vagabond heart could get used to this nomadic condition.

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