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Christmas - Costa Brava

Hello,
Is the Costa Brava region a good place to spend the Christmas holiday? I am heading to Barcelona for 4 days in the end of December (with my husband, three kids and sister in law) and would like to spend 4 days including the Christmas holiday in a more relaxing spot after seeing Barcelona. I tried to see if there are any beautiful villages with Christmas fairs and wasn't sure if things are closed during the 24-25th of December or not. I looked at Girona and Pals. It seems like they have Christmas Markets but I don't know if they are actually open this year. I also wonder if restaurants are open. A few years back we stayed in a little village close to Strasburg France and visited the Christmas markets there. We loved it and wondered if there is a similar experience in Spain. This is our first time visiting the region. Any tips appreciated.

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2283 posts

I would not recommend the Costa Brava during the winter months, it can get quite cold and miserable up there, with a nasty wind coming down from the north. Many shops and restaurants will be closed too as it will be the off season for the area.

For Christmas Markets, most are located in the cities, I don't know of many in the small villages, so I'd recommend Zaragoza, a few hours west on the AVE train, which has a festive smaller town feel and a great Christmas market + life size manger scenes you can walk through, you could spend a few nights there, see the sights including their Moorish Palace and Roman Ruins - https://www.renfe-sncf.com/rw-en/blog/destinations/zaragoza/christmas-markets

Know that most restaurants/shops will be closed on Christmas Eve (24) in Spain. Christmas Eve is a very familiar time for us, spent in one's house with the family. Even in big cities, it is almost impossible to find Spanish restaurants open on Christmas Eve. Try different cuisines, for example a Chinese restaurant or a Turkish restaurant. You will have a higher probability of finding those kinds of restaurants open on the 24th. Definitely reserve a table in advance for Christmas Eve and Day (25th) as well.

You could also consider skiing in the Pyrenees mountains, north of Barcelona, very typical thing locals do during this time. The Valle de Arán region has some top class ski resorts in the area, you could base yourselves in the alpine town of Vielha, and explore the area, but you may need a car for that - https://www.visitvaldaran.com/en/