Picture a winter wonderland and you’ll no doubt conjure up images of carrot-nosed snowmen, snow-topped pines, and red-breasted robins. On Gran Canaria, snow is restricted to the oddest of flurries in the mountains. So, our winter wonderland, Belén de Arena 2016, is altogether different to the conventional one.
It’s December, guys. Although given the Indian-summer quality of the weather on Gran Canaria, winter doesn’t feel like it’s coming. But, with the Belén de Arena 2016 up and running, Christmas most certainly does.
1. Belén de Arena 2016: what
The Belén de Arena 2016 is a winter wonderland you never imagined existed. Gran Canaria’s often described as more Southern Hemisphere than Northern. And as the sun shines bright as a star in a sultry sky, you’ll be forgiven for thinking you’re Down Under, taking in an Australian summer rather than a European winter.
Think Belén de Arena 2016 and picture a sand nativity display, a beach Bethlehem if you like. Taking up 1,500 square metres of space, the sculptures of Baby Jesus, Joseph, Mary, and the Three Wise Men reach up to four metres tall and are fashioned from more than 2,000 tonnes of sand. This is the 11th Belén de Arena and more than 1.5 million people have visited this event since the very first one back in 2006.
2. Belén de Arena 2016: where
You’ll find the Bélen de Arena 2016 walking along the promenade above Las Palmas de Gran Canaria’s Las Canteras beach. It’s at the easterly La Puntilla end of this perfect playa. Enter opposite the Plaza Saulo Torón, descending the steps to the beach next to Las Canteras’ Christmas tree.
3. Belén de Arena 2016: when
We went along to the Bélen de Arena 2016’s opening day, on the 2nd December. You’ll be able to get up close and personal with the beach sculptures until the 9th January. For this free show ends just after Epiphany.
The Belén de Arena 2016’s open every day from 9:00am to 10:00pm, with the exception of the 24th and 31st of December, along with the 5th January. Here, the attraction closes at the earlier time of 8:00pm. Whilst you don’t have to pay to enter, there’s a donation box at the exit.