Want to combine your Easter holiday with some quality time on the beach? Spain is the perfect place to give your beach break a cultural twist. Here are 5 sunny Easter city break ideas with some of the best beaches in Spain nearby. Here’s to a looooong Easter weekend!
The city of Granada will be good place to base yourself if the weather is not sunny everyday. Wake up, see if there are any clouds in the sky, then plan your day accordingly. Stick to the city on overcast days but if the weather is fine, hire a car and drive down to the coast – about 30 miles from Granada.
Also held between Palm Sunday and Easter Sunday, the streets of Granada retell the Passion of Christ. The brotherhoods, accompanied by penitents and Nazarenes, move to the rhythm played by the bands. Perhaps the two most impressive processions are on Holy Wednesday called the Cristo de los Gitanos (Christ of the Gypsies), and also on Holy Thursday known as the procession of Cristo del Silencio (Christ of the Silence). The first, is made up of a long line of bonfires with multiple stops en route with traditional songs dedicated to the Virgin Mary. In the second, the municipal street lights are turned off and a single trumpet rises above the touching silence of the crowds and the procession moves along undisturbed until the sound of drums begins to keep time. If you stay in youth hostels Granada Easter activities can be discussed with staff.
Try one of our top-rated hostels, a nice alternative to a Granada hotel. Dating back to the 16th century, El Granado is a charming house that attracts families, backpackers and couples and offers apartments, dorms and private rooms. From €14pppn with breakfast. An out-of-towner, Hostel Almora is equidistant to the sea and Granada city centre. It is a beautiful Andalucian village house sleeping 6 people in a dorm and 2 in a private double room. Here you can explore rural Spain, the Sierra Nevada range and the picturesque village of Nigüelas – a designated ‘slow city’. Dorms and private rooms from €14pppn.
A city by the sea, Cádiz is one of the most popular destinations for Easter thanks to its weather and the festivities held in the city. This year, temperatures during Holy Week are expected to reach a balmy maximum of 21° – your first swim of the year perhaps?
La Semana Santa de Cádiz is held from Palm Sunday to Easter Sunday and represents the Passion of Christ from his entry into Jerusalem until his death on the cross. The different brotherhoods parade through the city in a procession accompanied by music. The sculptures, which are called pasos and represent an event of the Passion of Christ, are carried on the shoulders of portadores, who take small, cautious steps. They are accompanied by penitents dressed in tunics, usually purple, called Nazarenes. This event attracts hundreds of visitors and will make a wonderful change of scene to your usual Easter activities.
Located in the charming Barrio La Viña, guests staying at the Melting Pot Hostel are just 5 minutes from the beach. The house feels traditionally Andalusian and you can enjoy a top mojito on the gorgeous roof terrace bar. Dorms from €20pppn including breakfast. If you would prefer to be on the beach try Emilios Bar. The apartments offer 1-4 bedrooms just 5 minutes from the beach at Puerto Sherry and 20 minutes from the centre of Cadiz. Many have sea views and some have balconies. Apartments from €30pppn. Or search for another hostel in Cádiz.
For fine weather, a stroll along the beach, delicious anchovies and wonderful history, Easter in Malaga is a good bet with easy access to tan-topping opportunities especially at Marbella beach.
With over 500 years of history, Holy Week in Malaga has become the biggest event held in the area. As in Cádiz, it takes place from Palm Sunday to Easter Sunday, during which the brotherhoods decorate the streets with light and colour. The majesty and size of the thrones amaze the crowds and religious sentiment is present in every corner. However, Malaga’s processions areal about joy, applause and general good cheer – not the usual sadness and silence often experienced during Easter celebrations in Spain. This makes Easter in Malaga a good choice for the less religiously inclined.
Offering lovely sea views the Melting Pot Backpackers Hostel really is city and beach break all rolled into one. 10m from the beach and 20-minutes walk to the city centre, here you can enjoy BBQs on the terrace, a free breakfast, plenty of hostel activities as well as nicely furnished rooms. Dorms from €8pppn. Or find other Malaga hostels.
Just 15 miles to the coast and experiencing some of Spain’s best weather forecasts – there’s a reason the 250km of coastline is named La Costa Cálida, Hot One. Murcia is surrounded by national parks and some beautiful stretches of coastline but avoid the tourist throng at Mar Menor and head south instead.
Murcia Holy Week is celebrated from Good Friday through to Easter Sunday and is one of the oldest celebrations in the country (the procession sticks to its traditional roots and has remained unchanged since the 18th century). Each brotherhood carries its own paso every year and each of them depicts an event from the Passion. Friday is the most important day when the largest number of brotherhoods participate in the procession. The most fascinating paso show is the Semana Santa de Murcia and is a must-see.
If you are looking for cheap accommodation in Murcia, check out the two-star Hotel Casa Emilio. Situated in the center of Murcia, in front of the Garden Floridablancao, this hotel has a beautiful garden and an on-site restaurant. From €13pppn.
Palma de Mallorca
A favourite among sun, sea and sand lovers, Palma de Mallorca is the charming main city of Mallorca, the largest of the Balearic Islands. Visitors can experience glowing sunsets over the bay area and there are still many beaches to explore on the south coast that are not overrun with tourists.
Although typically Palma Holy Week is celebrated from Palm Sunday to Easter Sunday, festivities last for a 3-week period. The week before, visitors can expect a special cultural program organised by the Association of Guilds of Easter. Between Palm Sunday and Good Friday the main events are the processions in the city which take place every day. The largest crowds gather around the steps of the Cathedral on Good Friday to watch the Via Crucis written by Llorenç Moya.
The following week, residents flock to the forests and mountains, an activity called “Pancaritats”, where they eat little cakes and shortbreads known as panades, crespells and rubiols. Angel Sunday follows Easter Sunday and celebrations are held at Bellver Castle.
Hostel Tierramar is located 14km from the centre of Palma in the Arenal area. Just 30m from the beach, most rooms have balconies and staff are on hand to show you favourite local spots in the area. Rooms from €13pppn including breakfast. Search for another Palma de Mallorca hostel.
Thanks to Alfonso Jiménez for the image off Flickr. Please note that all images were used under the Creative Commons license at the time of posting.