Football and Festivities – Chaos on the Costa del Sol

The Costa del Sol has had a remarkably busy bank holiday weekend, with the airport the busiest I have seen in nearly 8 years of living in Spain!

Saturday was a huge day in the Spanish Calendar, with the start of the Benalmadena feria in Arroyo de la Miel, Spain meeting France in the European Cup Quarter-finals and of course the festival of San Juan.

San Juan is a festival that takes place predominantly in the Benalmadena resort of the Costa del Sol and also in various other regions of Spain, including Barcelona. The festival is based around Catholic Baptism and tradition is that jumping over fire and running into the sea at midnight on June 23rd will cleanse all sins. Of course sitting around and waiting until midnight on a beach could become a little tedious, so over the years the festival has developed into an all night beach party. The local beaches of Benalmadena and neighbouring Fuengirola and Marbella become swamped from early evening with Spanish, English, Irish and a variety of other nationalities joining in the spirit and partying the night away.

Of course this year, June 23rd also saw the Spanish quarter-final match meaning even more than the usual Spanish tourists travelled down to the coast. Spain´s 2-0 victory over France gave everyone a great headstart to the night of celebrations.

Unfortunately England’s weekend didn’t go as well with us sadly losing our Quarter final match on Sunday against Italy on penalties. Why oh why will we never be capable of scoring, surely the wages the team get is more than enough to compensate the 5 minutes of stress they have to endure in a penalty shootout?!

Nevertheless, the Costa del Sol has seen a boom in tourism figures this weekend. To give you an idea of just how busy it’s been, here is the Monday morning queue to one of the 3 passport controls of Malaga International  Airport!…

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