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A quick guide to Easter in Spain

Helpful tips about traffic, the weather and what to do over this year’s Easter break

An Easter procession in Malasaña.
An Easter procession in Malasaña.

Whether you are traveling for the long weekend or staying at home, here is information that will help make your break a pleasant one.

Weather

After two days of sunshine and warm weather, Spain’s meteorology agency Aemet is warning that temperatures will drop by 8 to 10ºC across most of the country. Along the northeast and southeast coasts, temperatures are expected to remain more or less the same. But rain is forecast for the coastal regions in Galicia, and the rest of the country can expect cloudy weather and lower temperatures from Thursday onwards. The weather is expected to improve by late Saturday, when  Aemet is predicting higher temperatures and clearer skies.

Traffic jams on the A-3 road from Madrid to Valencia.
Traffic jams on the A-3 road from Madrid to Valencia.

Traffic

The Spanish traffic authority (DGT) predicts that nine million cars will flood the roads between Wednesday and Sunday for the Easter break holidays. According to the Interior Ministry, a total of 15.5 million cars will make road trips throughout Easter week – a two percent increase from last year’s figures. Most people are leaving on Thursday and heading for the south of Spain. On Friday and Saturday, the traffic is expected to ease everywhere but Catalonia, Valencia and Cantabria, where Thursday is not a holiday. According to the DGT, most travelers will return between noon and 11pm on Sunday night and during the same period on Monday – especially in provinces where April 2 is a holiday. The DGT has launched a special Easter week operation with 291 motorcycle patrols, to catch people speeding and driving under the influence.

Things to do

The night-time procession of La Madrugá in Seville in 2017.
The night-time procession of La Madrugá in Seville in 2017.

There are many ways to enjoy the Easter break in Spain. In Madrid, you can watch a procession in memory of the passion of Christ (see complete program), listen to religious music – including flamenco saetas on Holy Friday, or attend a hip-hop dance marathon in the Casa Encendida. Andalusia is a reference point for Easter processions, which are held across the region. Those in the city of Seville are particularly well known for their elaborate aesthetics and devout public.

Costa Brava.
Costa Brava. Getty Images

In Catalonia, consider taking a hot air balloon over orchards in Lleida, star-gazing at the observatory in Montsec, or discovering the trails that wind around Costa Brava. In Galicia, visitors can enjoy an international piano competition – the first in Spain without an age limit, as well as a fair dedicated to Queixo do Cebreiro, a local cheese made from cow’s milk, on March 30. If you are in Valencia, don’t miss the celebrations in honor of the saint of the sea, or Santa Marinera. Processions and parades will be held on Thursday, Friday and Sunday. In Basque Country, follow the wine train in Rioja Alavesa, pay a visit to the Guggenheim museum or try out the txotx cider tradition – where you get to pour cider direct from the barrel.

For more ideas, take a look at the best beaches to visit in Spain and the country’s most impressive lookout points.