Residents and tourists on the Costa del Sol headed for the beaches to enjoy the public holiday on November 1st. It was even warm enough for a swim in the sea and a traditional summertime lunch of fish cooked on skewers over an open fire – the famous ‘espetos’ – or plates of mixed fried fish, for those lucky enough to find a free table at one of the chiringuito restaurants.
Despite it being All Saints Day many shops were open and the streets were busy, to the delight of business owners who had not been expecting so many customers.
“November has got off to a fantastic start. People didn’t just go out for lunch, they spent the day on the beach as well. All our tables were booked,” Manuel Villafaina, the president of the Beach Businesses Association, told SUR. He said the restaurants had been expecting more Spanish customers but the number of foreign visitors had made up for it.
“A lot of people from Catalonia came for the long weekend. It is much cooler there and they couldn’t believe they could spend the morning sunbathing and swimming. There were not as many British customers as there used to be, but more Norwegians, Dutch, Belgian and French are here this year,” he said.
Not only that, but despite the threats of a recession to come, rising inflation and soaring energy costs, many people are still determined to enjoy themselves and are happy to spend their money.
“Everyone just wanted to have a good time this weekend. They didn’t want to talk about a crisis or problems. Tourism is what is saving the economy of this country and we can only hope it continues to be positive,” Villafaina said
Hotel owners also reported higher than expected occupancy levels over the All Saints weekend, with 70% of rooms occupied on the coast and some rural establishments fully booked.
Another sign of the Costa del Sol’s popularity as October came to a close and November began was that it was impossible to book a seat on a train to Malaga from Seville or Madrid. Autumn may be heading into winter, but in southern Spain the summer has not yet ended.