A Guide to Easter in Andalucia – 2014

 A Guide to Easter in Andalucia

Holy Week in Andalucia is one of the most extraordinary events in the cultural calendar. Deep-rooted in tradition, both social and religious, the processions that take place throughout the region are well worth including on your holiday to Spain.

The largest and most spectacular processions take place in Seville and Malaga. Seville is most famous for its ‘Madrugá’ procession with the Macarena and Triana virgins who appear in the small hours of the morning. In Malaga, it’s the procession led by the Legionnaire soldiers (complete with their goat mascot) who take centre stage.

But all towns and villages, whatever their size, celebrate Easter with processions. You’ll often find that these smaller, less elaborate events give you the chance to soak up the atmosphere without the crowds in the larger cities.  Probably the best place to see all this in the Axarquia region is in Nerja where the pretty, narrow streets add even more mystique to the occasion.

An Easter Procession Guide

For the uninitiated a Spanish Easter procession can be a confusing affair raising plenty of questions.  It’s always better to know a little about what you will see prior to the event so this guide will help give you a general idea of who is who and what is what in a typical Andalucian Easter procession:

  • Brass band: The local band accompanies the procession and plays most of the time. The music is usually slow and solemn except on Palm Sunday and Easter Sunday when it’s more upbeat to match the happier occasion.
  • Brotherhoods: Local religious associations who own and look after the statues and floats that make up the main part of the procession. It’s considered a great honour to belong to one of the brotherhoods (most towns have several) and membership is traditionally passed down the family.
  • Floats: Called tronos or pasos in Spanish (literally thrones), there are usually two floats in each procession (one with a statue of Christ and the other of his mother in mourning, the Virgin Mary). The floats are decorated with hundreds of flowers and candles that surround the statue centrepiece.
    Each float is massive and weighs several tonnes. Members of the brotherhood (known as costaleros) stand at each side of the float and walk along supporting it on their shoulders. The weight and effort involved in this means they can usually walk no more than a few paces before having to rest, the reason why processions last hours. Some bearers walk blindfold and/or barefoot.
  • Nazarenos: Men, women and children dressed in dark robes (usually black or purple) parade in front of the floats and they usually carry a candle or lantern. They also wear a long pointed hat that covers their face and has just two slits for their eyes. (It’s believed that the Ku Klux Klan adopted this outfit after seeing it during Easter in Spain.) On Easter Sunday, nazarenos dress in green, red or white.
  • Penitents: Men and women dressed in black (the women usually wear a black lace mantilla) and carrying lighted candles and rosaries, walk in front of or behind the float. Those doing actual penitence walk barefoot or even crawl along on their knees.
  • Saeta: This is an improvised song, part of the flamenco cante hondo (deep song) genre, in honour of the statues. It’s sung by an onlooker when the floats get to certain points in the itinerary and forms one of the most moving parts of the procession.

Easter Dates

This year Easter week falls between 11th and 20st April. The key processions include:

Palm Sunday (13th April): A joyful celebration involving floats with statues of Christ on a donkey, this procession is joined by children and families who carry typical palm decorations.

Easter Monday-Thursday (14th-17th April): Mournful processions that increase in solemnity as they approach the small hours of Good Friday. Many that take place on the Thursday evening are silent except for the occasional saeta.

Easter Sunday (20th April): In stark contrast, this is a happy event with upbeat music and church bells. Floats depict the Resurrection of Christ.

Reproduced with kind permission of Explore Nerja.


Trivago votes Nerja as 3rd best beach holiday destination in Spain

Nerja continues to appear in the top rankings for holiday and tourist destinations in Spain.

Trivago, the online hotel booking website, has just published their latest ranking for the best 50 beach destinations in Spain. Nerja has come third with 78.29 points, only behind Conil (Cadiz) 79.34 points, and Marbella with 78.62 points.

Trivago is present in 28 countries, has a database of 500.000 hotels, and 28.000.000 user opinions to draw their results from.


Nerja receives the “Q” for Quality Tourism Award for best beaches in Spain.

Nerja is the fourth most popular Internet searched destination for holidays in Spain.


New Property Portal for Costa del Sol, Axarquia & Costa Tropical


A new property portal website has been created for a specific region of Spain, the Costa del Sol east of Málaga, the inland region known as Axarquia, and the Costa Tropical on the coast of Granada.

The LPG – Leading Property Group – Spain, has been formed by a select number of professional estate agents to create closer working relationships between member agencies and to provide a single platform for customers seeking a property purchase, a property rental, or holiday accommodation, in one place.

The LPG provides comprehensive information and videos regarding the towns and villages of the region, a blog for news, views and articles relevant to the local lifestyle, the latest offers, guides to buying, selling, renting, and a wide range of help and advice tools relating to purchasing and investing in their part of Spain.

Jointly founded by three estate agents with long established reputations in Nerja, Edwards Estates, Eurosur and Lual, the LPG is not another advertising portal, but a professional association of estate agents, working to an agreed Code of Practice. New members are selected from strategic towns and villages and are asked to join by invitation only. The aim is to offer customers the best possible selection of property throughout their area. At present their are six members, providing property from in and around Vélez-Málaga and Torre del Mar along the coast to Torrox and Nerja, Frigiliana, La Herradura and Almuñecar. New members from other towns will be joining the Group soon, providing a complete network within their geographical zone. Each member’s portfolio is updated automatically on a daily basis by LPG’s central database.

The website provides full search facilities for property sales, long term rentals and self-catering properties and puts the client in touch directly with the estate agent concerned. It also provides a complete cross reference of available property through one channel as each member is known to one another and can quickly and efficiently recommend a client or a property to another member, saving valuable time and potential cost for the customer.

Unlike property portals in general that are driven by advertising revenue, the LPG offers many other advantages such as closer co-operation between members, years of combined experience in real estate, and a common code of practice, ensuring the best possible service to their clients.

Visit their website:


Elections of the Andalucian Parliament take place on 25 March 2012

The elections for the Andalusian Government take place on the 25th of March.

For the fifth time, Javier Arenas, the president of the PP party in Andalusia, has been presented as the candidate to confront the ruling PSOE party. The polls currently show a possible change in favour of the PP after 34 years. If the PP conquests Andalusia, they will be governing in 12 of the 17 autonomous regions in Spain. The PSOE would only be governing in the Basque Country. Andalucia is the only autonomous region of Spain that has never changed hands politically since democracy was introduced to Spain in 1975 and since Andalucia was decreed an autonomous region in 1981.

The high unemployment & the corruption are once again, the main theme in the electoral propaganda, which is only the fault of the PSOE. With this theme, Rajoy conquested the country in November 2011. This will become the first time since 1996 that an Andalusian parliamentary election is not held concurrently with a Spanish general election.

Recent polls show that the PP party will win the elections but an overall majority is not clear yet as the PSOE party could merge with Izquierda Unida (IU) and form a coalition government.

If the PP wins and obtains the majority needed to make changes in Andalucia, many years of dead-lock between PP local councils and the Junta de Andalucia could be over. One such example from a local level is the future location of the Nerja port, under discussion for over thirty years, its location still to be finally decided between the municiplaties of Torrox or Nerja.

ERE Scandal in Andalucia

EX-Employment Minister Javier Guerrero has been sent to prison by the judge Alaya after months of investigation into a scandal effecting the PSOE party of an alledged “slush fund” within the Employment Department designed for retirement pay offs and to aid companies struggling in the crisis. But numerous people, many of whom were in fact related to PSOE, received money despite not meeting the requirements and in fact often without ever having a relationship to the companies in question. In recent weeks Javier Guerrero’s chauffeur Juan Francisco Trujillo told a court that they often went out together using these funds for visiting nighs clubs and taking cocaine.

There are further allegations that Iván Chaves, the son of the previous President of the Junta, the current Minister for Territorial Policy, Manuel Chaves, acted as a mediator between several companies and the Junta de Andalucía.

Whilst the investigation continues and at the worst possible time for the PSOE party just 2 weeks away from the Andalucian elections, rumours circulate as to who is really responsible for these payments within the PSOE party.


Día de Andalucía – February 28

The date is a fiesta across the region of Andalucía

Today, February 28, is the Día de Andalucía, and is a fiesta in the region.

It marks the date in 1980 when a referendum was held on the Statute of Autonomy for the region, in which the people of Andalucía voted to become an autonomous community in Spain.

Many balconies will see the Andalucía flag on show today, and there are several annual competitions and fiestas held in towns and villages across the region. Many museums, such as the Granada Science Park, offer free entry today.

Source: Día de Andalucía – February 28.


Foreign tourists bring Andalucía more than 730 million euros every month

Spending by international visitors registered a record increase in October, up 4.3 per cent

Foreign tourism provides a cash injection of an average of 732 million euros a month for Andalusian holiday destinations, says the latest tourist spending survey compiled by the central government. Up to October this year the sum spent by international visitors on holiday in Andalucía was more than 7.3 billion euros, an increase of 4.3 per cent. The report points out that this figure represents half of the growth in tourist spending in Spain as a whole, where international tourists spent almost 47 billion euros between January and October.

Andalucía is ahead of all of Spain’s seaside holiday destinations and in general terms is behind only the region of Madrid for tourist spending. In the first ten months of the year each tourist spent an average of 1,016 euros on their holiday, while the average daily spend was 90 euros.

The increase can be put down to an especially good October when spending in Andalusian holiday destinations was up by more than 12 per cent on the previous year, four per cent more than the national rise. In fact in October foreign tourists spent 711 million euros in Andalucía, just over 15 per cent of the total for Spain. That month the average spent per tourist was 956 euros (up 2 per cent) and daily spend was up to almost 100 euros, almost ten per cent more than the previous year. The central government has put these results down to the spending of British tourists.

British market soars

The regional councillor for Tourism, Commerce and Sport, Luciano Alonso, stressed last week that “the region has recorded the best increase in income from international tourists ever for the January to October period, greater even that the increase in 2007, before the crisis set in”.

Alonso highlighted that so far this year foreign tourism had brought Andalucía some 300 million euros more than in the same period of 2010, and only Andalucía and Madrid had passed the 1,000 euros per tourist milestone.

Alonso added that these results confirmed the positive trend reflected by the recent Frontur survey that indicates a 9.9 per cent increase in the arrival of international tourists in Andalucía in October, with an especially positive response from the British market, with an extra 57,000 tourists.


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