NEWS FROM D&P YOUR DMC FOR SPAIN AND MORE…
If you have chosen the winter to travel to Spain, we want to give you some ideas to inspire you and make you live unforgettable experiences. Winter, which officially starts around 22 December and ends around 21 March, is a great time to travel to Spain for many reasons. For one thing, you can enjoy everything you love about winter, but it’s usually sunny, with milder temperatures than most of Europe and not much rain. In many places cold weather means snow and winter sports, and everywhere there are traditional seasonal dishes to warm you up. Spain has famous resorts such as Baqueira Beret, Formigal (in the Pyrenees) or Sierra Nevada, which is the southernmost part of Europe and just over an hour’s drive from the beach.
And if you would really rather skip winter and go straight to spring, you can visit the Canary Islands to enjoy a perpetual gentle 24 degrees centigrade and spend some pleasant days on the beach.
This season is also full of traditions you will love, from the fun of Carnival to Christmas or Easter, which is often celebrated in late winter or early spring. We are going to tell you about some of the travel plans that make Spain a fantastic winter destination !!!
Highlights of the season in Spain
Experiencing our Merry Christmas
From the end of November, you can already feel the Christmas atmosphere in Spain. The streets are adorned with lots of lights and decorated Christmas trees, and the squares in many cities are full of markets selling all types of traditional foods and crafts, fairs and ice-skating rinks. If you decide to spend Christmas here, you can have some truly Spanish experiences: seeing enormous nativity scenes, running the famous San Silvestre Vallecana race, eating 12 grapes during the 12 strokes of midnight on 31 December to see out the year (we call New Year’s Eve “Nochevieja”), receiving gifts from the Three Kings on 6 January…and why do we call it “sweet Christmas”? Because sweet treats, such as “turrón”, “polvorones” and marzipan, are an essential part of the festivities.
Urban tourism in large cities
The calendar of big cities like Madrid, Barcelona, Bilbao, Valencia, Seville and Malaga overflow with options. Escape to one or more of them this winter, and as well as sightseeing you’ll find infinite possibilities for entertainment, such as a musical at one of the theatres on Madrid’s Gran Vía, a Barça football match in Barcelona, the latest exhibition at the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, an opera at the Palau des Arts in Valencia, a flamenco show at a “tablao” in Seville, or rediscover the works of Picasso in his birthplace of Malaga with temporary exhibitions at the Picasso Museum. All these cities have international airports and most of them have high-speed train connections.
Fly to the Canary Islands: An average of 24°C in winter
These islands off the south-eastern cost of the Iberian Peninsula (less than three hours by plane from Madrid) boast what many describe as one of the best climates in the world. The average temperature is around 24 degrees centigrade, so even in winter most people wear summer clothes. Thanks to the mild climate, winter is as good a time as any to explore the landscapes of their four National Parks or to have special experiences like seeing out the year with a swim and sunbathing on 31 December on one of their beautiful beaches.
Enjoy nature in winter
“Spring: is the season of flowers” – that’s what we have always heard since we were little… But this is not entirely true, as two of the most beautiful floral spectacles in Spain take place in winter. The first features hundreds of varieties of camellias in Galicia, filling with colour the gardens of “pazos” or country houses such as the Pazo de Rubiáns (Vilagarcía de Arousa, Pontevedra) and the Pazo de San Lourenzo (Santiago de Compostela, A Coruña). The second is the flowering of thousands of almond trees on the island of Mallorca in early February. This is also a great time to enjoy the Balearic Islands in peace and quiet. Meanwhile, winter still lingers among the snowy peaks of the Pyrenees (in Aragon, Catalonia and Navarre) and Sierra Nevada (in Granada, Andalusia), and in many other places. There are also major ski resorts here where you can enjoy winter sports.
Enjoy two of the most traditional fiestas
These traditional events are as old as they are fascinating. In February, the whole country celebrates Carnival. This is a time for fancy dress costumes and partying in the streets. The most popular Carnivals are in Santa Cruz de Tenerife (on the island of Tenerife in the Canary Islands), Cádiz (in Andalusia), Águilas (in the Murcia region) and Xinzo de Limia (in Ourense, Galicia). After Carnival, in late March or April, Holy Week, is one of the most traditional and deeply felt events on Spain’s calendar, filling the streets with passion, religious processions and the sound of drums. The Easter traditions in Andalusia, Aragon, Castilla y Leon, Castilla-La Mancha, Cantabria, the Community of Valencia and the Region of Murcia are especially well-known.
INDUSTRY FLASH NEWS
Madrid, best meeting destination in the world for the fifth consecutive year
The city of Madrid has been proclaimed the world’s leading destination for meetings and congresses tourism (World’s Leading Meetings & Conference Destination) in the final of the World Travel Awards 2023, the most prestigious international awards in the tourism industry that were presented yesterday in Dubai. A milestone for the capital that achieves this award for the fifth consecutive time, confirming itself as a world benchmark for hosting professional meetings.
Madrid competed with 15 other winning and nominated cities in the different regional editions of the awards, including destinations such as Abu Dhabi, Las Vegas, Paris, Seoul and Singapore. The capital has once again reawakened the confidence of professionals in the sector, who select directly with their votes the winners in the different categories, adding a new recognition after being chosen as the best meeting tourism destination in the European edition of the World Travel Awards, for the sixth consecutive time, last September.
Torre Melina, a Gran Meliá Hotel will open its doors in Barcelona in January 2024
Torre Melina, the former Rey Juan Carlos I hotel, will open its doors in January 2024 under the luxury brand Gran Meliá, and will do so with 391 rooms and suites. Its location next to the Palau de Congressos de Catalunya, which is now fully operational, complements its MICE offer.
Gran Meliá, the luxury brand of Meliá Hotels International, is finalising all the details of its upcoming opening in Barcelona, where its latest project will see the light of day at the beginning of 2024: Torre Melina, a Gran Meliá Hotel. The company, which announced at the beginning of the year the incorporation of this emblematic establishment (formerly the Hotel Rey Juan Carlos I), next to the Palau de Congressos de Catalunya, has decided to pay tribute to the historical and heritage heritage of the complex, baptizing the hotel as Torre Melina, in honor of the old farmhouse of the same name, which dates back to the twelfth century. and on whose grounds the hotel is located.
In this new stage, Meliá seeks to recover the splendour of the hotel and its centuries-old gardens, and turn it into an oasis of tranquillity and urban luxury in the upper area of Diagonal; the ideal option for demanding travellers looking to disconnect from the frenetic pace of Barcelona. Thus, after a thorough renovation, the hotel will reopen its doors in January 2024 with luxury accommodation in its 391 rooms and suites, as well as a wide range of services and facilities, including 18 rooms for indoor and outdoor events, several swimming pools and the best wellness experiences, among others.
One of the main contributions will be its gastronomic proposal. Thus, the company has just released its first two agreements, which will be complemented by other projects announced soon. These are two high-level partners who will contribute their creativity and innovation to define a unique culinary experience, such as ERRE by Errechu and a jazz club led by Erik Lorincz. Directed by Íñigo Urrechu, ERRE is a steakhouse that takes the utmost care in the choice of raw materials, giving priority to seasonal organic vegetables, wild fish and the most outstanding national and international meats. The restaurant will be located in the lobby of the hotel and will also enjoy an extensive menu with more than 200 wines.
Finally, Erik Lorincz, one of the most talented and renowned mixologists in the industry – winner of the Best Bartender of the Year Award and creator of the Kwänt Restaurant in London – will be in charge of putting the note of creativity in the hotel’s cocktails. With more than 20 years of experience, he now brings his flavours and creations to Barcelona, without losing an iota of British savoir-faire.
The 2024 Michelin Guide for Spain has been revealed and Madrid has once again done itself proud. The city now boasts a total of 26 restaurants with Michelin stars: DiverXO, which holds three stars; Deessa, Smoked Room, Paco Roncero, Ramón Freixa Madrid, DSTAgE and Coque, all with two; and Ricardo Sanz Wellington, A’Barra, Gaytán, Yugo The Bunker, La Tasquería, Clos Madrid, El Corral de la Morería Gastronómico, El Invernadero, Saddle, Quimbaya, RavioXO (Dabiz Muñoz), Ugo Chan and Zuara Sushi, with one star, who’ve been joined this year by six new additions: Desde 1911, Cebo, OSA, Club Allard, Santerra and Toki.
Coque and El Invernadero have retained their Green Star, which highlights the efforts of those operating at the forefront of their field with sustainable gastronomy practices. Outside the capital, but in the Madrid area, Chirón and Montia also bear Green Stars.
Additionally, the guide has also awarded 20 establishments a Bib Gourmand, which is given to restaurants deemed friendly establishments that serve good food at moderate prices. Last, but by no means least, the guide includes 114 eateries in the Spanish capital that are recognised for their quality.
Iberia will increase its offer to the American continent in the summer of 2024
The airline will increase its flights to Latin America and the Caribbean by 17.2% between April and October 2024. Iberia customers will have more than 3.1 million seats available between Europe and that region during the summer season. On the other hand, it will launch a route to Tirana (Albania).
Iberia will increase its offer of long-haul flights for the next summer season, with special attention to Latin America, where the airline’s biggest bet will be concentrated, offering up to 328 weekly flights, a figure that once again exceeds all previous records.
The summer season begins on March 25 and runs through October 28, 2024. Six months in which the airline will also expand its flights to the United States. Specifically, Iberia will operate two daily flights to New York and another two to Miami, and one daily flight to Chicago, Boston and Dallas. The airline will also expand its frequencies with Los Angeles during the months of June, July, August and September, with seven weekly flights, compared to the current five, all of them operated by Airbus A350s, the largest aircraft in its fleet.
Iberia has scheduled a further increase in its operations in Latin America for the summer months of next year, expanding the number of weekly flights to most of the 18 destinations to which it flies in 16 Latin American countries. In total, more than 3.1 million seats will be offered during these months between the two regions.
ART: Madrid and more
From 31 October to 4 February, the temporary exhibition hall of the Thyssen-Bornemisza National Museum is hosting a group exhibition that presents a journey from the end of the 16th century to the first decades of the 20th century through eight relevant scenes in the path of women towards their emancipation, showing how the artists participating in this exhibition tackled burning issues of their time, took a stance and contributed new iconographies and alternative viewpoints.
This exhibition project consists of almost a hundred pieces, including paintings, sculptures, works on paper and textiles, created by the artists Artemisia Gentileschi, Angelica Kauffman, Clara Peeters, Rosa Bonheur, Mary Cassatt, Berthe Morisot, María Blanchard, Natalia Goncharova, Sonia Delaunay and Maruja Mallo, Natalia Goncharova, Sonia Delaunay and Maruja Mallo, famous artists of their time who today are once again recognised as masters, in response to the erasure in the history of art that they suffered alongside others who broke the mould with works of unquestionable excellence.
The conjunction of historical periods, artistic genres and themes is the main axis around which the exhibition is structured, highlighting the struggle of these women artists.
When: until 4th February 2024
Where: Thyssen Bornemisza Museum, Madrid
On the Reverse
Curated by Miguel Ángel Blanco, this new exhibition turns around works of art to reveal their hidden side, the reverse. It runs from 7 November to 3 March 2024, in Rooms A and B of the Prado’s Edificio Jerónimos building.
Research on the museum collections, which include the complete photographic documentation, and the restoration tasks carried out to recover the original media have also contributed to unveiling representations, messages, evidence, data… contained on the back of art works, to which hardly any attention had been paid.
This exhibition shows the secrets hidden on the B-side of the pictorial medium, whether it is on board, canvas, metal or stone. The vast majority of paintings have always been displayed hanging on a wall, so only the artist and possibly the collector would know the secrets hidden on the reverse, that intimate and private space that is forbidden to the public.
Miguel Ángel Blanco, who has for decades merged the fields of Art and Nature and is accustomed to investigating the mysteries of matter and observing reality from different angles, has devised this original proposal with his open and inquisitive perspective. An exhibition that turns works of art around to promote a new and more complete relationship between members of the public and the artists who created the selected works, through the surprises and revelations hidden on the back.
When: until March 3rd, 2024
Where: Prado Museum, Madrid
SHOWS: music, theatre, dance, gastronomy, fashion…
Naturaleza Encendida. INSECTS
The event of the season is back in Madrid from 21 November to 21 January at a new location, the Enrique Tierno Galván Park. Visitors will have the opportunity to become immersed in a magical world full of bees, butterflies, dragonflies and a dazzling light in a new show, INSECTS.
In this edition, visitors will be able to experience the metamorphosis and take a dreamlike stroll surrounded by bees, butterflies, dragonflies and lots of light. It is a dreamlike experience to discover a fantasy world populated by majestic butterflies, light tunnels of tireless bees, giant dragonflies, dazzling flowers and beetles of a thousand colours.
The installation is one of the most eagerly awaited events in Madrid’s winter season. Its relocation seeks to improve the experience: more spacious, comfortable and accessible to all visitors. The park is a third larger, with easy access by public and private transport and ample parking areas.
Since its creation, the Naturaleza Encendida project has been present in various cities around Spain, bringing together more than 1 million national and international visitors. A stroll full of fun and magic with millions of light sources that illuminate the Garden in a concept created by the LETSGO production company.
When: until 21st January 2024
Where: Enrique Tierno Galván Park, Madrid
The Phantom of the Opera, the Musical
UMusic Hotel Teatro Albéniz is hosting the performance of one of the most successful musicals of all time: The Phantom of the Opera from 20 September to 10 December, with performances from Tuesday to Sunday. The musical that has captivated generations of spectators all over the world is finally coming to Madrid.
The musical based on the novel of the same name by Gaston Leroux, includes music by the British composer, Andrew Lloyd Webber, who is behind some of the most acclaimed musicals. They include Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat (1969), Bad Cinderella (2022), Jesus Christ Superstar (1972), Evita (1976) or Cats (1981), which have been performed uninterruptedly for 50 years in the West End and for 43 years on Broadway.
Leading artists feature in this emblematic musical with the presence of the star of Spanish musical theatre, Gerónimo Rauch (Les Miserables, The Physician) who will play the enigmatic Phantom, a role he has already performed on London’s West End. Talía del Val (Les Miserables, West Side Story), a well-known singer and actress of great Spanish musicals, will play the young diva, Christine Daeé. The role of Viscount Raoul Chagny will be played by Guido Balzaretti and the main cast is rounded off with Carlotta, the prima donna and star of the city’s opera house, who will be played by the soprano Marta Pineda.
The Phantom of the Opera is a musical full of intrigue, passion and incredible melodies that tell the story of a dark and passionate romance full of mystery. It portrays the love, death and disaster of a music genius who lives hidden away from the rest of the world inside a theatre, and Christine, a young girl with a heavenly voice who soon discovers the terror that hides beneath his mask.
When: until 8th April 2024
Where: UMusic Hotel Teatro Albéniz, Madrid
TRADE SHOWS & CONGRESSES
The new edition of the International Tourism Trade Fair, better known as FITUR, will take place from 18 to 23 January 2023 (18 to 20 for the professional public) at the IFEMA MADRID fairgrounds, a five-day event that brings together in the same space both professionals from the tourism sector and those interested in the latest trends in the sector, as well as the general public interested in learning about the destinations on offer, who can visit the fair during the weekend. In 2022 the slogan was “We embrace the world. We are tourism” and had the Dominican Republic as a partner country.
The latest edition of the International Tourism Trade Fair, better known as FITUR, will be held from 24 to 28 January 2024 at IFEMA, MADRID. It will take place over five days and will host professionals from the tourism sector and those interested in the sector’s latest tendencies, as well as the general public wishing to discover the range of destinations that can be visited at the fair over the weekend. The 2024 edition includes Ecuador as its Partner Country and the tourist offer of more than 130 countries.
FITUR is the global meeting point for tourism professionals and the leading trade fair for incoming and outbound markets in Ibero-America. It is a global reference in the tourist sector including great diversity and talent, enabling areas that are totally specialised to be at this event.
The latest edition of FITUR will include Ecuador as the Partner Country FITUR 2024. The country will be the feature of the trade fair in order to strengthen commercial ties with the Spanish market.
The trade fair continues to advance in its line of specialisation, helping to promote the different industrial sectors that have an impact on tourism, and which have developed an entire tourism strategy around their activity.
When: from 24 to 28 January 2024
Where: IFEMA, Madrid
Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Madrid (February Edition)
Twice a year, Hall 14.1 at IFEMA – Feria de Madrid (and different venues around the city) becomes a major catwalk on which the most sought-after creations by established and promising cutting edge fashion designers and visionaries from all over the world are paraded.
Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Madrid (MBFWM), the big fashion event in Spain, presents its 79th edition, showcasing important new trends in the sector, in order to secure its position as a major platform of the Spanish fashion industry and as one of the leading international events.
MBFWM is the perfect showcase for those designers who wish to raise the visibility of their brands and be associated with fashion and the latest trends. The programme includes the presence of new and promising young creators who will present their collections, along with parades by established designers. The last edition, included the presence of important names, such as Ágatha Ruiz de la Prada, Hannibal Laguna, Pedro del Hierro and Custo Barcelona.
As usual, MBFW Madrid has an interesting Off Programme for each day of the event, in which prestigious Spanish designers will participate.
Like in previous editions, the final day will be devoted to emerging Samsung EGO designers, revealing what is going on in the renewal of Spanish fashion. The L’Oréal Paris Prize for the Best Collection by a designer and the L’Oréal Paris Prize for the Best Model will also be awarded These prizes recognise the work behind each garment and each look as well as the talent of all the teams.
When: from 14 to 18 February 2024
Where: IFEMA, Madrid
SPORTS OF THE SEASON !!!
Sailing: Christmas Race Regatta 2023
Once again, this year sees the year’s most seasonal regatta, the Christmas Race, in waters off the Costa Brava.
Olympic medallists as well as World and European champions have taken part in this event, which has also served as training for the Olympic Games on eight occasions. It is considered the season’s first regatta after the ISAF (International Sailing Federation) annual meeting, where all the novelties in the sport are put into place.
When: from 18 to 22 December 2023
Where: Palamós, Girona
San Silvestre Vallecana 2023
Every year since 1964, on the last day of the year Madrid has played host to the largest athletics event in Spain. One of the only four 10K races in the world to boast the IAAF Gold Race Running Label, the festive competition consists of two races, the fun run and the international race. The 2022 edition was, once again, a great success with over 41 thousand people taking part in the fun run. The international race, which featured some of the world’s best long-distance runners, was won by Ugandan athletes Joshua Cheptegei and Bresca Chesang.
The event consists of two parts, the fun run (which anyone over 16 can take part in) and the international race, and is regarded as a fairly easy competition since 8 out of the 10 kilometres are slightly downhill. Although the fun run officially kicks off at 5pm from Calle Concha Espina it has a wave start, meaning runners start at different intervals (check times). The professional race, which is run by top international athletes, commences at 8pm and finishes in the Vallecas Stadium. The finishing line for the fun run is near the football stadium.
When: 31st December 2023
Madrid will host the Formula 1 Grand Prix from 2026
Madrid will be the new home of the Formula 1 Grand Prix from 2026, returning to host this competition after 40 years since the last time it took place in the city, at the Jarama circuit. The reason? The great situation that Madrid is experiencing as a destination.
In two years’ time, the Spanish capital will become the new home for one of the world’s biggest motorsport competitions: the Formula 1 Grand Prix. Barcelona will bid farewell to competition with its withdrawal from Montmeló in 2026, when Madrid will have a 5 km long street circuit located at IFEMA and Valdebebas. More specifically, “this route will revolve around the pavilions of the fairgrounds, with the starting line in front of the façade of the main building. It will then cross the M-11 towards Valdebebas, running parallel to the Real Madrid Sports City and then through the land where the Mad Cool festival has been located for several years, to return again to the pavilions.
Madrid will host this grand prix for motor enthusiasts for 10 years (until 2036), which will be organised by IFEMA itself (which in mid-2023 already hosted an exhibition on F1). The investment to build the track, which will have permanent and temporary sections, is expected to reach 100 million euros. But, if the forecasts are confirmed, the benefits will more than compensate for this investment. It is estimated that, for each year that it is held, Madrid will achieve an economic benefit of 500 million euros per year; taking into account that this great event will be accompanied by different experiences that will be prepared during its celebration in the city.
D&P is at your disposal to offer you an attractive program together with your attendance at the events and activities mentioned for your guests and team, just inform us of your objectives and needs, we will design a proposal that matches your expectations and budgets.