If you’re planning your summer holiday and looking for a very special festival to work your dates around then we would highly recommend San Juan on the Costa del Sol on the night of the 23rd of June.
This celebrates the summer solstice and the longest night of the year in a very special way here in Marbella. The tradition is based around fire, water and purifying your sins and in classic Spanish style they have incorporated this pagan ritual into a really great party.
It is celebrated in different ways depending where along the Costa del Sol you are staying. As we’re just a short drive away from Marbella, which is always great for eating, drinking and having fun, so of course they really celebrate San Juan in style.
We’d recommend you head down to Playa La Fontanilla and join the party there. This is a great place for a party because they build a huge bonfire on the beach right by a long line of excellent restaurants. These beach restaurants, and also the restaurants up on the sea side promenade just above, hold special San Juan events, with delicious food and live music which always have a great atmosphere. The most popular are the restaurants La Red and Europa right on the sand and The Boardwalk and Garum up on the paseo, but they are all really good along that stretch. Booking is absolutely essential as it’s one of the most popular nights of the calendar for residents and tourists alike.
After enjoying a delicious meal, the bonfire is lit at midnight and there are a number of strange rituals which you’ll see people doing. Some people will jump over a smaller bonfire a certain number of times and then run into the sea. Other people will wash their face in the sea at midnight to keep them healthy or good looking, others run around the bonfire and then into the sea. Another variation is to write down three desires for the coming year and throw it into the fire while you jump over it – take care with this one! Depending on what you read, you’ll see a few different reasons for doing these things. They say that the fire burns away your sins and the water purifies you, or the fire will protect you and the sea water will give you good health and it can help your wishes come true for the coming year.
Whether you believe this or think it’s mumbo jumbo, there’s no doubt that it’s great fun and a wonderful way to enjoy a warm summer evening in the company of friends. You don’t need to be in a big crowd to celebrate this night though. If you prefer to do your own thing, then take a disposable barbeque down to the beach, some beer and wine and take advantage of the special night to light a fire and enjoy San Juan on your own terms.
This is a busy time of year for tourism, so if you want to base yourself at the Urban Villa for San Juan this year, then please book your room as soon as possible, as availability is limited. We look forward to welcoming you here to Marbella very soon!