Home News Spain Today – Friday 22 March 2024

Spain Today – Friday 22 March 2024

by Mark Nolan
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Spain Today - From Mark Nolan's Podcast

Heading to the weekend, Friday’s Spanish news includes Barcelona Beer Festival starting today, almost 8 percent more airline seats for summer 2024, and Royal Caribbean International launches Eurovision-themed cruise in Spain.

Plus, hotel figures in Spain will lead the Friday business news.

Contents (click to jump ahead)

Spanish News Headlines

The doors open today on Barcelona Beer Festival for its twelfth edition, which will be held this weekend in the Hall2 Pavilion of the Fira de Barcelona, ​​a larger and more open space than the previous edition. Thanks to its history and magnitude, the festival has become the benchmark event for the craft beer industry not only in Spain, but also in southern Europe.

Liquid gastronomy is the mainstay of the Barcelona Beer Festival. You can taste about 400 local craft beers and beers from around the world, of which approximately 40% will be of Catalan origin, 30% from the rest of Spain and 30% from around the world. In addition, there will be fifty that will premiere exclusively at the festival. All of them can be consulted via mobile phone with the Untappd application and there will also be a team of waiters who will guide everyone who needs it to find the beer that best suits them.

Airlines have scheduled 243 million seats (departures and arrivals) and nearly 1.4 million commercial operations (landings and take-offs) at the airports in the Aena network for the summer season, which will begin on Sunday, March 31. and will end on October 26.

This implies 7.9% more seats than those scheduled in the same 2023 season, when figures are adjusted to account for the different length of the season, and a 7.7% increase in scheduled operations.

The airports from which the most seats are offered are Adolfo Suárez Madrid-Barajas, with 48.2 million (6.8% more than in 2023), and Josep Tarradellas Barcelona-El Prat, with 42.2 million (11% further). They are followed by the airports of Palma de Mallorca, with 33.2 million (+8.3%); Málaga-Costa del Sol, with 20 million (+10.9%); Alicante-Elche Miguel Hernández, with 14.2 million (+13.1%); Gran Canaria, with 9.8 million (+11.6%) and Ibiza, with 9.8 million (+4%).

The Eurovision Song Contest will star in the start of the Royal Caribbean International season in Spain this spring. Oasis of the Seas, one of the cruise line’s four Eurovision-themed cruises, will depart from Barcelona on May 5. Fans of the world’s largest live music event will be able to experience the festival’s grand final weekend in a whole new way, with special experiences across entertainment, dining and more.

Oasis of the Seas will join three other ships, Odyssey of the Seas and Explorer of the Seas, from Civitavecchia and Ravenna in Italy, and Anthem of the Seas, from Southampton. All of them will also offer Eurovision themed cruises.

Beyond the first thematic week dedicated to Eurovision, Oasis of the Seas will continue offering trips through the Western Mediterranean for seven nights until October, departing from Barcelona, ​​visiting such desired destinations as Palma de Mallorca, Florence (La Spezia) in Italy and Provence (Marseille) in France.

To read these articles in full, visit SpainToday.news

Business, Markets and Statistics

The week ends with the publication of a battery of macro data in Spain. Among them, data on deposits, loans and doubtful accounts stand out, as well as the balance of payments and the hotel tourism situation.

Meanwhile, at the business level, Santander and Caixabank hold their respective general shareholders meetings. In the euro area, the European Council meeting and the Euro Summit will take place.

In Spain, the day starts with the INE publishing the hotel tourism situation (occupancy, prices and profitability) for February, followed by the service sector activity indicators for January, and the index of business figures in the industry for January.

The Bank of Spain publishes credit and deposit data for the fourth quarter, data on doubtful loans for January, and the balance of payments for the fourth quarter.

In the Eurozone, the big events of the day are the European Council Meeting and Euro Summit.

GfK consumer confidence barometer is released and results from J D Wetherspoon in the UK, which will be an interesting read for critics who highlight the boss supported Brexit and damaged his own business in doing so.

Things to Do Today

There will be lots taking place for Easter, some of which we will look at next week, as Easter is earlier this year, Good Friday is 29 March.

Holiday wise, Friday next week, Good Friday (some regions celebrate Thursday), then Easter Monday in others, and the following week is San Vicente, a local holiday in many places.

For more local events, pick up The Leader newspaper every Monday, and This is Torrevieja for Torrevieja events.

Local Markets

On Friday there’s are weekly market in Dolores, Jacarilla, Los Montesinos, Pilar de la Horadada, Torrellano (Elche), and Torrevieja.

On Saturday, you can get your bargains at the markets in Alicante, Almoradi, Catral, Elche, Moncayo (Guardamar), Orihuela, Playa Flamenca (Orihuela Costa), San Anton (Elche), San Fulgencio (La Marina), and Santa Pola.

And on Sunday, Algorfa (Zoco), Campoverde (Pilar de la Horadada), Corvera (Murcia), Guardamar El Limonero (Lemon Tree Road), Guardamar (N-332), Elche Mercadillo del Martínez Valero, La Aparecida (Orihuela), La Murada (Orihuela), and Pilar de la Horadada (El Toro).

The roads will of course be busy around those locations.

Traffic and Travel

The traffic forecasts prepared contemplate that from the early afternoon of Friday the 22nd (from 3 p.m. to 10 p.m. and, especially, between 6 p.m. and 9 p.m.) there may be traffic problems and delays at the exits of the large cities, as well as in access to coastal tourist areas, as long-distance trips at the beginning of the holiday period coincide with the usual short weekend trips.

On Saturday the 23rd in the morning, the intense traffic leaving the large urban centres will continue (between 9 a.m. and 2 p.m.) and will be added to the circulation of vehicles whose destination is the recreation and leisure areas near them.

On Sunday the 24th, this first phase of the special operation will close with the return of those who have enjoyed the weekend, so there will be delays in the evening (especially between 6 and 10 p.m.) at the entrances to the cities, although less intense than other Sundays.

Winter Traffic

On the roads of Spain, coinciding with the weekends of the winter months, an increase in traffic is expected on the main routes, national roads, and motorways towards rest areas, second homes and mountain areas for practicing winter sports.


Movements out of large urban centres and increased circulation on the main communication routes towards rest areas, second homes and mountain areas, the least favourable time being between 7 and 9 p.m.


Travel out of large urban centres, many of which will be short trips to recreation and leisure areas close to large towns, as well as increased circulation on the main communication routes to rest areas, second homes and mountain areas, the busiest times being between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m.


Movements in the entrance direction to the large urban centres along the main communication road axes that channel the entire return movement, in particular on motorways, as well as along the access roads to areas of mountain with winter sports practice, at an unfavourable time between 6 and 10 p.m.

If you are going to the mountains, remember to take snow chains (click this link to browse snow chains on Amazon). Winter tyres are also permitted. If you come across a blue circular sign showing snow chains, it is obligatory to have them fitted on your wheels before passing the sign. In accordance with Spanish Traffic Law, you are not permitted further without having them installed. It is both dangerous, and illegal.

For information and updates about driving in Spain, visit N332.es

Official Websites for Travel Information


Always check the weather where you are before embarking on a trip. Here are the official sources for alerts and warnings.

On This Day

2014, the Marches of Dignity or 22M take place in Madrid, one of the most massive demonstrations in the history of Spain and the last mass mobilisation of the cycle of protests in Spain from 2011-2015.

2006, the terrorist group ETA declares a permanent ceasefire.

2004, Spanish police arrest four new suspects for their alleged involvement in the 11-M attacks.

Video of the Day

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The post Spain Today – Friday 22 March 2024 first appeared on Mark Nolan´s Podcast.


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