Our daughter will be spending fall semester in Sevilla, and we are planning a family trip to meet her at the end of her program and spend Christmas in the area (sibs are older teen/young adult). Any recommendation for a town that would be enjoyable for the Christmas holidays? We will likely do some travel in other parts of Spain first, then plan to spend 3-4 days with her in Sevilla, then looking for somewhere to spend another 3-5 days. Open to small town with holiday charm and/or a rental house outside a small town.
Not sure what Granada is like during the holiday season, but it sure is a fantastic place to explore. I prefer it over most places in ES. I would also purchase RSs ES guidebook to ensure you don’t miss any of its incredible sights and neighborhoods.
I'd prefer a place with a lot of local attractions, so my top choices would be Cordoba, Granada or (a clear third choice for me) Malaga. Granada is at higher elevation and would probably be chillier than the other two. You can take a look at actual, historical, day-by-day weather statistics on the website timeanddate.com. Weather varies a lot from year to year, so I recommend checking 3 to 5 years' worth of data.
However, at this point I'd just make tentative plans. See what your daughter thinks after she's been in Seville for a while. It would be nice to go somewhere that she hasn't fully explored.
I your family happens to be fond of art, Madrid would be a possibility as long as you don't want the best-possible weather. There's fast train service from Seville to Madrid, taking less than 3 hours. You might even save some money on your airfare by flying home from Madrid rather than Seville.
I imagine we have at least a few people who can comment on smaller towns in southern Spain that would be nice for the holidays.
Cordoba, Ronda, Cadiz, or Jerez de la Frontera come to mind. Out of curiosity, are you also referring to the equally celebrated 3 Kings day on January 6th?
In Spain our holiday season extends into January, with the main celebration being Dia de los Reyes Magos (three kings day) on January 6th. Know that on the night of Jan 5th most cities in Spain have a big parade of the Three Kings (Cabalgata De Los Reyes Magos), it will be a great festive experience in our local culture. There are really big Three Kings parades in Barcelona and Madrid.
FYI most restaurants 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 as well.
Also, be sure not to miss our Christmas markets in Spain! Our Christmas market tradition is a little know part of our culture (It's not just the Germans lol). Since we mainly celebrate the Three Kings Day (Jan 6), you will find most of our Christmas Markets are still up into early Jan. For example, in Barcelona I'd recommend the Saint Lucia Christmas Market and in Madrid the Plaza Mayor Christmas Market.
If wanting to stay in Andalucía during the holiday time, I would not discount Sevilla, you could also opt for Málaga which has a nice Three Kings parade. If you are more open to traveling further, I would spend Christmas time in Barcelona, really magical time of year!
FYI here is a English language article about some of our amazing Christmas Markets in Spain:
Carlos, thank you for that information!
We have a trip currently planned for Germany/Czech Republic over Christmas 2021, then flying to Spain (my happy place) for New Year’s. We are keeping everything very flexible, and, given the current state of the pandemic in the Czech Republic, we may very well wind up spending the full two weeks in Spain, including Christmas. I appreciate the Spanish Christmas market link and will do some further research!
Thank you all for the helpful input!
Our kids skied nearby when they visited Granada so that may be an option too.