What’s On in December
The year in the Axarquia ends pretty much as it started: with a big bang. And from markets and winter food festivals to local carol concerts and festive flamenco, it’s beginning to feel a lot like Christmas. Here’s our pick of a few of the best things to do in December.
Viñuela Tapas Route – 3rd December
December certainly starts promisingly: with a food and drink-fuelled night out in Viñuela. It’s €2 for a drink and a tapa at all participating bars – absolutely perfect for getting in the festive spirit, in other words.
Race of the Colours, Almachar – 3rd December
Back for a second instalment after its success last year, this charity event involves a quick dash round the village while being showered in colourful dye. Setting off from the football ground at 10am it takes in a short, 1.3km route before finishing up at the Parque Maria Zambrano where a bar will be open to thirsty runners and spectators.
Christmas Markets, Throughout the Month
The Christmas markets at Periana (3rd December), Algarrobo-Costa (8-10th) and Canillas de Albaida (10th) make for a great excuse to visit one of the area’s lovely villages while getting some Christmas shopping done.
Switching on of the Christmas Lights, Velez-Malaga – 5th December
It may not quite have the drama of Malaga’s Calle Larios, but the festive season in the Axarquia officially gets underway with the switching on of Velez’s Christmas lights. The evening starts in the Plaza Carmelitas at 1700hrs (with children’s entertainers) before the switch is flicked at 1830hrs.
Zambombá in Velez-Malaga – 9th December
Nothing says Christmas in Andalucia like a zambombá. Originating in Jerez, it’s a night of flamenco-style ‘carols’ with plenty of dancing and light-heartedness thrown in, and is just an all-round great experience. This year it’s held in the Plaza Carmelitas with the performance starting at 1800hrs.
Fiesta of Mosto & Chacina, Colmenar – 10th December
Another day, another food festival in the Axarquia. This time, high up in the north-west of the region, it’s the turn of Colmenar to celebrate its gastronomic roots. The day kicks off at 1130, and you can expect dancing, children’s workshops and lots of grape juice and the delicious cold cuts for which the town is famous.
Living Nativity Scene, Nerja – 10th December
This is another lovely Christmas tradition for families. Put on by the residents of the Barriada de Las Protegidas, this ‘living’ nativity scene – stable, sheep, shepherds and all – can be seen in Nerja’s Plaza de Andalucia from 1630hrs.
Festival Juan Breva, Velez-Malaga – 16th December
As a climax to an amazing year for the art form in Velez-Malaga, the Axarquia’s most important flamenco event comes to the Teatro del Carmen for a 40th time. This year, the remarkable Sevilla-born dancer Manuela Carrasco is headlining. Not to be missed.
Children’s Entertainment at Bahia de Tanit, Torre del Mar – Every Saturday
Every Saturday from 1600hrs, Bahia de Tanit in Torre del Mar puts on children’s entertainment on the beach. For families, it’s a great chance to go together and watch the kids play on the sand while the adults can grab a moment to chat over a drink.
Migas Festival, Torrox – 17th December
A cold winter’s night plus a warming plate of migas – it’s a winning combination. And there’ll be plenty of it to go around at Torrox’s Migas Festival. In addition to lots of yummy fried breadcrumbs and Arriera salad (cod, olives and oranges), Spanish pop acts David Demaria and Manu Tenorio will be performing.
Carol of the Bells Concert, Velez-Malaga – 28th December
Just as Christmas for many non-Spanish people is starting to wind down, the festive season in Spain is only really getting started – building up to the climax of ‘Noche Buena’ and the coming of the Reyes Magos (Three Kings) on 5th January.
So if you don’t want Christmas to end on the 25th, this concert of violin, piano and voice at the beautiful Museo de Velez-Malaga (from 2015hrs) should help keep you in the festive spirit.