Christmas Day in Gibraltar is a family day where everyone enjoys the festivities with their most loved ones at home. Gibraltar recognises the same Public Holidays as the UK and the main tourist attractions are closed on Christmas Day.
Christmas in Gibraltar is a joyous occasion with a number of events planned throughout the festive season in the build up to Christmas Day. You can count down to the big day with SRGEurope’s Advent Calendar.
Gibraltar is a truly magical place to be in December because you get to experience the wonderful atmosphere of festive lights while you shop tax-free, all in a warm climate by the coast.
It’s a shopper’s paradise when it comes to Christmas shopping for family and friends. You’re able to buy quality international brands for a fraction of the cost in Gibraltar, as perfumes, electronics and watches are considerably cheaper than in the UK and the British pound is also accepted here, so you don’t have to worry about any currency conversions.
Gibraltar’s Christmas Light Ceremony & Artisan Market
Every year in Gibraltar, the Gibraltar Cultural Services organise the Christmas Festival of Lights in John Mackintosh Square. The ceremony is a live show that features live singers, dancers, local choirs and not to forget Santa Claus and his helpful little elves! Children are able to take part in the nostalgic event with a visit to Santa’s Grotto. Everyone is welcome to attend this truly remarkable event.
Following the light ceremony, the Gibraltar Artisans Market is declared officially open in the Boulevard next to the British Wall Museum. The market is open from 12pm to 8pm every Wednesday and Thursday, and 10am-10pm every Friday and Saturday. Local artisans sell their festive ware, including mulled wine and mince pies.
Santa’s Grotto with Afternoon Tea
That’s not the only place where you can meet Santa in his grotto. The Bayview Bistro in the Caleta Hotel is also hosting an afternoon tea event from the 6th December (2pm) to the 7th December (6pm) which allows children to visit Santa in his Grotto. Pre-booking for the afternoon tea and grotto is required and prices are 14.95 for adults and 12.50 for children.
The GHS Christmas Show (6th December, 10am-7pm)
This year’s GHS show at John Mackintosh Hall will showcase some of the best homemade Christmas decorations and festive flower arrangements. A wonderful show for anyone who would like to display their masterpiece or just looking for some creative inspiration.
The show is not just for talented and experienced entrants, but also offers an opportunity for the more novice and shy artists to exhibit their creations too. You don’t have to be a member to take part either.
To find out more information on how to enter, contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Gibraltar Christmas Stamps & Coins
Stamp collectors will be overwhelmed to get their hands on the 2018 Gibraltar Christmas stamps. Designed by Stephen Perera, a local graphics artist, the stamps have been issued by the Government of Gibraltar.
In total, there are seven stamps in the collection, all featuring historical paintings from Italian artists of the renaissance era, of the birth of Jesus Christ. They are available to purchase from the Philatelic Shop outside the Main Post Office and also at the Royal Gibraltar Post office counters.
That’s not all …
The government and treasury of Gibraltar have also issued 50-pence silver Proof collector coins featuring an image of Raymond Briggs’ Father Christmas on one side. A beautiful coin that any child would appreciate in their advent calendar.
What we adore about these coins, is the Father Christmas featured in the stories by Raymond Briggs is a twist on the traditional St Nicholas we all know. Raymond’s version is a grumpy old man who wears a red suit and works from a normal house with normal domestic duties and no elves to help him. He lives with his cat, dog and two reindeers.
The detail on these coins is commendable, with Father Christmas and his sack of presents over his shoulder, a satchel and his flask on the other side. It’s thirty work delivering to all those children!
Christmas in Sotogrande
There are lots of festivities happening in Sotogrande too. The Christmas street market is a key feature in the marina during December and food is an important theme as always.
Sotogrande International School’s Christmas Fair will be hosted at the market with live music on December 15th; an important date for the diary if you want to visit Santa in his grotto.
L’Olive at La Reserva Club and other restaurants in the Blue Marina Zone have a number of appetising festive menus. Don Diego goes the extra mile in offering a series of Christmas menus for everyone.
Christmas in Sierra Nevada
Nothing beats a white Christmas around snow and to make your Christmas feel that extra bit special, you could consider a 3 hour drive to Sierra Nevada Ski Resort in Granada.
A week of snowy landscapes, tapas feasts and exciting ski trips sounds like the perfect Christmas. Father Christmas is always close by and makes a regular appearance each day.
Accommodation is half board or B&B. There are also local restaurants nearby, such as Ruta del Veleta.
The city of Granada is 32km away and filled with Christmas markets for anyone looking to do a bit of Christmas shopping. There’s also a traditional Nativity scene on display for all to admire.
Three Kings Procession
The Spanish Christmas tradition sees gifts exchanged for the three kings in the first week of January. In many towns, you can see a procession of three kings giving out sweets to childeren, whilst they sit on floats.
New Years Celebration
The celebrations start all over again once Christmas Day and Boxing Day are over. If you are looking for somewhere to go for the countdown to midnight and the New Year, then Casemates in Gibraltar host a fabulous annual fireworks display, which is guaranteed to attract many visitors.
All over Spain, the New Year is celebrated with fireworks and lots of activities across the southern coast of Spain. The Spanish tradition is to a eat a grape for every chime of the bell at midnight!