Unlike Bank Holidays in the UK, where the majority of bars, businesses and transport links stay open, Spanish Public Holidays are just that – a holiday that everyone can enjoy.
If you visit Spain during a Public Holiday, you may well find that even in the tourist centres along the Costas, everyday life comes grinding to a halt while people enjoy a well-earned break. If you live and work in Spain, they’re dates to look forward to, but if you’re a visitor you may well find it difficult to do any activities you may have planned.
There are a number of regional holidays that are enjoyed across the country – usually related to a Saint or other religious figure – however the National Public Holidays in Spain are as follows:
January 1 – New Year’s Day
January 6 – Epiphany (Celebrated in much the same way as the UK celebrates Christmas Day)
Easter Week – On Maundy Thursday, Good Friday and Easter Sunday things will definitely shutdown. Earlier in the week may also be affected, but Easter Monday is not a public holiday, except in Catalonia and Valencia.
May 1 – Labour Day.
August 15 – Assumption of the Virgin.
October 12 – National Day.
November 1 – All Saints’ Day
December 6 – Constitution Day
December 8 – Immaculate Conception
December 25 – A bit unusual in that some places may close early on Christmas Eve, though some will be open in the morning.
Obviously, hospitals and emergency services do not close over National holidays, but most banks, shops, museums and other attractions do. Furthermore, these rest days can be extended. If a public holiday falls on a Sunday, it is celebrated on Monday, however if the holiday falls on a Thursday or Tuesday, it is common practice to “make the bridge” (hacer puente) by taking off the Friday or Monday, creating a lovely long weekend.
Public transport services are often seriously disrupted, and while private hire taxis may still be available, they often double their fares over holiday periods. If you’re in Spain over a public holiday, then hiring a car offers some real advantages. Not only will you be able to get around quickly and conveniently, but as the roads will no doubt be much quieter, giving you a great opportunity to drive the highways and byways on a road trip or discover a secluded hidden cove somewhere. AurigaCrown Spain car hire partners operate across the country (even on public holidays) to ensure you can make the most of these special days.