As thousands of revellers take to the streets tonight to celebrate St Patrick’s Day all across the Costa del Sol, the real party will start this weekend as Semana Santa, one of Spain’s greatest holidays, will see millions out in force.
It will be a magnificent, record breaking week for the tourist industry, with hotels already reporting a startling 98 per cent occupancy rate. Meanwhile for seasoned expatriates and sun seeking tourists alike it will be a chaotic yet invigorating experience.
From this coming Sunday March 20 until Easter Sunday on the 27 the streets will swell with colour, pride and processions. Shops will be shut and the evenings will echo with the beat of drums.
The Spanish take Semana Santa extremely seriously with every group in each village, town and city fiercely rehearsing their Easter moment, when time truly stands still and the community unite behind faith and tradition.
The jubilant celebrations are a far cry from the more morose rainy affair, that sees Brits fleeing blighty for a short stint in the sun and offer a fantastic insight into Spanish culture that must be seen to be believed.
Hotels, restaurants, bars and beaches from Benalmadena to Marbella are expected to be overflowing as Spanish families descend upon the coast to visit relatives and huge numbers of Brits and Germans cram through Malaga’s busy airport.
Naturally traffic will be a huge concern with upwards of half a million car journeys expected across the region in only one week. Readers can find updates on the traffic situation in this paper and through the Euro Weekly News website.
In true Spanish style, however, the real question on everyone’s lips is what will the weather have in store? With one week to go until the Easter weekend there’s still plenty time to place your wagers but, as The Fast Show might say, the safest bet is Scorchio!