It often seems as though the Costa del Sol almost skips spring and goes directly to summer. Temperatures this week, for example, have reached 27ºC in some areas of Málaga city, the coast and inland, and even higher in Sevilla and Córdoba. And it’s still winter – at least officially, as spring starts in the early morning of Friday 20 March.
With a certain virus currently dominating headlines, and people’s justified concerns, the un-seasonally hot weather has provided an added benefit. If the risks of coronavirus afflicting the general population are reduced in warmer climes, as scientific experts believe, the Costa del Sol will, hopefully, be better placed than some other areas to combat any spreading contagion.
Always bearing in mind, of course, that health officials’ warnings about maintaining adequate hygiene habits and social precautions are strictly adhered to by all – no matter their address.
For now, the Costa del Sol (and Andalucía as a whole) have not been affected as seriously as other parts of Spain such as Madrid. Some public events have been cancelled immediately, including the Festival de Málaga (due to start on Friday 13 March), while others such as the City of Málaga Half-Marathon (22 March) were still going ahead, according to the City Hall, until the national government declared a “state of alarm”.
This would have been the 30th edition of the race, coinciding in 2020 with Málaga being the European Capital of Sport, so council authorities were understandably keen for it to be held, but in the end heightened public health concerns meant they had no option but to postpone it, to an unconfirmed date.
One other annual festivity, celebrated nationally, that definitely won’t be cancelled is Día del Padre.
As with other Catholic countries in Europe, Father’s Day has been held in Spain on 19 March, St Joseph’s Day, since the Middle Ages.
Even though this day honouring fatherhood is celebrated on several different dates elsewhere (in the UK and Ireland, on the third Sunday of June), foreigners who are resident in Spain tend to enjoy dual celebrations, also marking the occasion with their Spanish friends.
So, if you are travelling to the Costa del Sol next week, you can show how well you are attuned to the local culture by congratulating any fathers you meet socially. It might even earn you an appreciative glass of celebratory wine or beer.
If you are a son or daughter yourself, and you would like to give Dad a special treat, there is no shortage of offers being promoted by restaurants, commercial outlets and hotels.
One that caught our eye was from the Barceló hotel group: several options around Spain for all kinds of fathers, from adventurers to foodies.
On the Costa del Sol, Barceló Málaga is catering for the “modern man”. Apparently, if your father is always aware of latest trends, has an Instagram account and likes Rosalia’s music, he is in the modern category.
The giant chute in the hotel lobby – known as the “Estructura Deslizante para Humanos Atrevidos” (“Sliding Structure for Daring Humans”) – will be “the ideal setting to update the family album or his Instagram feed”.
If your father isn’t so modern he would like to toboggan into oblivion, there are many other ways you can celebrate Father’s Day on the Costa del Sol.