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Go Green! Where to celebrate St Patrick’s Day in Spain

Fans of the Emerald Isle will be planning their green and orange costumes and getting in the Guinness ahead of St. Patrick’s Day on March 17th - a time of celebration in Ireland and for those of Irish descent around the world.

Go Green! Where to celebrate St Patrick's Day in Spain
Photo: AFP

Spain is no exception, with events celebrating Irish culture taking place across the country starting this weekend and continuing until the next.

The Irish Embassy, along with Irish community groups across Spain, participates in and organizes many events, using the opportunity to promote Ireland.

Here are some of the best:

Alicante

The traditional St. Patrick’s Day parade in Cabo Roig takes place on March 17th at 17.00. The parade will be preceded by a host of activities and entertainment, kicking off at 12.00 with face painting, bouncy castles and more for all the family. A live show also takes place at 14.30 with dancers, singers and cartoon characters.


Photo: AFP

Barcelona

Tourism Ireland’s St. Patrick’s Day Masterclass event in Hospitalet de Llobregat will take place on March 12th  in conjunction with the sports administration of the town council, Ajuntament de L'Hospitalet and will feature an organised “flashmob” of Irish danccers. The event takes place at noon at Plaça Lluis Companys, Rambla Marina / Av. Carrilet.

Irish music group Los Stompers will be performing on March 17th at 7.30pm in Dunnes Irish Bar. 

Flaherty’s Irish Bar Barcelona, Plaza Joaquim Xirau, will also be celebrating St. Patrick’s Day.

Bilbao

Join the St. Patrick’s Day lunch on March 20th at 2pm, Batzoki Abando, Bilbao, and check out all the activities taking place in Bilbao and across the Basque Country on the website of the Irish-Basque Friendship Association – Lagun Cara Asociación Vasco-Irlandesa.


Photo: AFP

Llanes

This year will see Llanes celebrate once again with the Capilla de San Patricio in Pancar illuminated in green in honour of St. Patrick. The medieval tower in Llanes will also “go green” for the occasion. There will be a special mass in the chapel in Pancar on Thursday March 17th at 11am.  

Madrid

The second ever family-friendly Ireland Day in Madrid will take place on Sunday March13th  at the Parque Deportivo Puerta de Hierro, from 1pm to 6pm. Everyone is welcome to join for an afternoon filled with the best of Irish sport, music and dance.

A historical seminar on the “Irish Diaspora in Madrid (1601-1660)” takes place on March 16th at 6pm in the Pangea Travel Store, Calle Principe Vergara, 26, Madrid.

This year’s SIBN St. Patrick’s Day Charity Ball in aid of Asociación Sindrome Williams España and Williams Syndrome Association Ireland will take place on March 18th at the Hotel Westin Palace. The last tickets are still available by e-mailing [email protected]

An historical walking tour on “la comunidad Irlandesa en el Madrid de los Austrias” takes place on March 19th at 11.30am. The meeting point is at Plaza de Isabel II, Metro Opera. It is necessary to book your place, so don’t miss out!

If you fancy learning a few steps of traditional Irish and English set dancing, feel free to sign up to this special workshop on Saturday March 12th at the Centro Cultural Antonio Machado.


Madrid's Puerta del Alcala will be lit up green to celebrate. Photo: Madrid City Hall

Málaga

The Stolen Gnomes, a six piece Celtic fusión band, will be playing various gigs around the Málaga/Marbella region. For more information please see this link.

Mallorca

The St Patrick’s Festival in Santa Ponsa will take place on March 20th. Plans for the day include market stalls, marching bands, as well as a cavalcade of classic cars and Harley Davison motorbikes, commercial cars and vans. Colourful dancers from around the world will also join the parade.

Murcia

The Terra Natura Water Park will be celebrating St. Patrick’s Day from March 17th -20th, See here for more details.

Tenerife

On March 17th at 18.00 a ceremony takes place at the Convento de San Francisco, in the main street of Adeje. A statue of Saint Patrick will be carried to the Santa Úrsula Church to the strains of the Irish National Anthem, where there will be a mass in English and Spanish. The ceremony and mass will be followed by a fun buffet dinner, music and dance in the Costa Adeje Centre for Tourism Development. For more information email [email protected].

For the second year in a row the award-winning Plaza de España in Adeje town will ‘go green’, joining the international “Greening” of monuments in honour of St. Patrick.

In Santa Cruz de la Palma there will be a street party with a “pregón” organised by the Ayuntamiento and live music for entertainment on Saturday March 19th.

Zaragoza

Ireland will be the “país invitado” for the 2016 Festival de Cine de Zaragoza and they have put together a special programme entitled the Jornadas de Cultura Irlandesa Feb 19th – March 18th.

Why not share your photos of St Patrick's Day celebrations in your part of Spain? Send pics to [email protected] or tag #TheLocalSpain on Instagram or Twitter.

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TRAVEL

When can Irish holidaymakers and second home owners travel to Spain?

Irish holidaymakers and second home owners are currently not allowed to travel to Spain due to Irish government restrictions, but when might this be possible again?

When will Irish travellers be able to return to Spain?
Photo: Josep LAGO / AFP

Spain is one of the top holiday destinations for Irish tourists, being the most popular country for travellers from Ireland for the four years prior to the start of the pandemic in 2020.

In 2019, Spain welcomed almost two million Irish holidaymakers to its shores.

So, when will Irish travellers and second home owners be able to holiday in Spain again?

There is currently an Irish Government Advisory in operation against all non-essential international travel, which means that travel to Spain is not allowed right now, but will this change in time for the summer season?

Taoiseach (Irish Prime Minister) Micheál Martin has suggested that there may be a possibility of holiday travel within Europe starting from late July or August, if the risks associated with Covid-19 are low enough to allow it.

When asked on Morning Ireland RTÉ Radio, whether this will mean that holidaymakers will be able to fly to Spain in late July and August, he replied that the advice was certain that people should avoid all non-essential travel for May and June.  

However, he confirmed that the situation would open up more in July, if transmission rates continued to decline.

“We cannot stay disconnected forever. Ireland is a globalised country,” he said.

“We have to assess all the risks as we move forward. Travel resuming towards the latter half of July is a possibility,” he continued.

Tánaiste (Ireland’s Deputy Prime Minister) Leo Varadkar echoed these sentiments when on April 29th, he told the Irish Independent: “It is, I think just too soon for that return to international travel”, promising the Government would study the issue next month.

“We may be able to allow international travel among countries where the population is substantially vaccinated, but we’re not there yet,” he said.

However, Spain’s Tourism Minister Fernando Valdés has said that Spain will welcome visitors from June.

He outlined the plans at the World Travel & Tourism Council summit in Mexico last week, saying that Spain would participate in a pilot digital certificate scheme in May and would be “ready to receive visitors in June”.

The EU’s Covid-19 certificates, formerly known as Digital Green Certificates, will allow travel to resume across the bloc’s 27 member states by providing information on whether tourists have been vaccinated already, if they have a negative PCR test or if they’ve recently recovered from Covid-19.

READ ALSO: What’s the latest on the EU Covid passports and how will they work in practice?

Initially, Taoiseach Martin highlighted the difficulties in the domestic use of such a document and voiced concerns about how the Covid-19 passport could be discriminatory and limit the freedoms of members of the public who have not yet had a vaccine.

However, on May 1st, it was announced that Ireland is among a group of EU countries that have signed up to a pilot to test the certificate.

A target date of June 1st has been set for the technical launch of the certificates with an actual start date of June 30th. 

It is not yet clear, however, how the millions of people who have already been vaccinated will get hold of one.

So, when the EU’s Digital Green Certificates are finally issued and the Irish government agrees that its citizens can travel once more, it’s likely that travel to Spain can resume. For Irish travellers, it’s looking like a Spanish vacation may be on the cards for late summer.  

READ ALSO: Spain will allow EU travellers with vaccine passports to sidestep covid tests and quarantines

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