Seven glorious ways to celebrate Spring in Spain:
An effigy of the Christ is carried during an Easter procession in Sevilla Photo: AFP
Spain is famous for its Holy Week traditions, from the elaborate processions in Seville to the religious ceremonies in the Castilla-Leon region. Some regions of the country, like Murcia, can’t get enough of the celebrations, and extend the festivals with the arrival of spring as their excuse. Murcia’s “festival of spring” is celebrated in the week immediately following holy week and features live music parades, dance performances, and a even a whole day dedicated to meat pies. If spring isn’t enough of a reason to celebrate, meat pies definitely are.
2. Dance, dance, dance!
Spring sees the start of music festivals all across Spain. The Primavera Sound Music Festival in Barcelona brings together hundreds of international artists,for a week of performances beginning the end of May.
3. Watch the season change at a botanical garden.
Photo: Pierre-Philippe Marcou / AFP
The Museo del Prado in Madrid houses some of Europe’s most important masterpieces, including Velazquez’s Las Meninas and Rubens’ The Three Graces. The only thing that could rival these artworks is nature’s own masterpieces, including the Botanical Gardens and Paseo del Prado, which are at their peak in the Spring. Walk along the Paseo on your way to the Museum and explore the gardens, which are right next the Prado’s Murillo gate, on your way out.
4. Outdoor Yoga Classes
Photo: Eugene Gologursky/ AFP
There are two types of people in the world: the year round yogis who always feel ~zen~ and look fit, and those of us who feel the beach days approaching and need to replace hibernation body with summer body immediately. Regardless of which one you are, Madrid’s Retiro Park is at peak beauty during the spring and outdoor exercise classes are in full swing. To reward yourself after a good workout, head to the lake to sunbathe or catch a ride on one of the rowing boats.
5.Sip a sunset cocktail on a rooftop terrace
Atop the Bellas Artes, one of the best views in Madrid. Photo: Azoteca
In case you have not picked up on this yet, Spanish social life revolves around food and drink. Whether you’re meeting up for an aperitivo before lunch, or a copa of tinto de verano and tapas as the sun sets, rooftop terraces are the best place to meet. As the days start to get warmer and longer,head for the skies, with a drink in hand.
6. Gaze in wonder at spring blossoms
In Spain you can have it all—including am entire región of mountains covered in a blanket of white without the freezing temperatures of winter snow. Head to the Jerte Valley in Spain’s Extremadura región to see more than two million cherry trees blossom and cover the mountainsides in a sea of white flowers. This flowering period only lasts around 10 days in March, and is followed by a Cherry Blossom Fiesta in the region. If you can’t make it out to the Jerte Valley, Madrid has it’s own cherry blossoms, especially in the Quinta de los Molinos park.
7. Take a hike
Sure, you could hike the route of the Almoravids and Almohads during the dead of winter, or walk the famous Camino de Santiago under Spain’s sweltering summer sun. But Spain’s spring season is undeniably the best time to embark on the hundreds of sightseeing and heart pumpingroutes around the country. Check out the Silver route that dates back to the first century and links the valleys and plains of northern Spain with the lush country of the south. If you’re short on time or looking to explore a more urban area, try a two day hike through Santander’s historic quarter and famous rocky beaches.