Estepona is a beautiful Mediterranean coastal town which holds a wonderful place in history. Once a small fishing town, today it is recognized as a major tourist hotspot and one of the most unspoiled traditional towns on the Costa del Sol. Although more sedate than its more famous glitzy neighbour, Marbella, Estepona is recognized for its high quality properties and many cultural and social events. One such event is Semana Santa, which means “Holy Week” or as we know it, Easter.
This year Easter in Spain and of course in Estepona begins on Sunday April 9th and ends on Saturday April 15th. In some areas, such as Malaga city, celebrations are already getting underway several weeks before the main event. If you are planning on spending your first Easter holiday in Spain, prepare to be pleasantly surprised. Unlike the UK, Easter is less about chocolate eggs and more about the pomp, ceremony and religious aspects of the Easter processions. Andalucia is particularly famous for its lavish celebrations. The Spanish Semana Santa processions are the result of long and painstaking preparations throughout the year, and they are definitely worth turning out to see and can be very moving.
So what is Semana Santa in Estepona?
Holy Week or Semana Santa commemorates the death and resurrection of Jesus and the Passion of Christ – the sacrifice made to cleanse humanity of all sins. Unlike the UK where there is a bank holiday on Good Friday and Easter Monday, in Spain holidays are Thursday and Friday.
Rows of penitents wearing black robes and pointed hats accompany the men who carry the backbreaking statues of Jesus and the Virgin Mary through the streets of Estepona. Music, singing and clapping along the route make the processions extremely emotional events. Each brotherhood has its own costumes and colours and the type of monument they carry will depend upon which day of the Holy Week it is.
2017 Sun Apr 9 - Sat Apr 15
The Easter processions during Holy Week in Estepona are very slow, as the men taking part are reenacting the suffering and humility of Jesus on his last walk to the cross. It is a great honour for the men to be part of the procession and amazing is the only way to describe it. You have to see for yourself what elicits such strong emotions from those visiting or taking part in the Easter processions in Estepona.
You will soon discover that from Holy Thursday to Easter Sunday traffic is closed off in city centres across the Costa del Sol. This includes Estepona, Marbella and of course Malaga. The very solemn processions usually start up in the afternoon, so make sure to get your shopping done in Estepona early in the morning before it starts.
Once you are right in the middle of the action, you are immediately transported to another time and place – at least that is what it feels like. You smell the sweet aroma of burning candles and hear the mournful trumpets wailing behind images of Christ and the Virgin Mary. Estepona during Holy Week or Semana Santa really does present an other-worldly ambience.
Needless to say, the events attract massive crowds and hotels are booked well in advance. Many holiday makers decide against visiting Andalucia at this time of year but we feel that would be a missed opportunity to experience something so quintessentially Spanish and moving first-hand. We promise you will never see anything like it again.
Here is everything you need to know about the 2017 Easter Procession in Estepona.