Inexperienced tourists who come to Spain for the first time, in the period from 14:00 to 17:00, may experience unexpected disappointment. At home, they are used to the fact that at such a time there is a revival in the streets, the shops are not overcrowded, and buyers busily scurry about in the market and sellers praise their goods. Meanwhile, it was at this time in Spain, Italy and Greece that the afternoon rest became a centuries-old tradition and part of the lifestyle. What caused it? What’s the point of a siesta?
Since the Middle Ages
Despite the misconceptions that usually say that the Spaniards invented the siesta in order to sleep well filling the stomachs, the roots of this tradition date back to the 11th century. It was then that the rule was introduced into the daily routine of the Order of St. Benedict, according to which the pious brothers had to rest and gain strength for further accomplishments, starting from noon and until 15:00 in the afternoon. Gradually, this innovative approach was borrowed by other orders, subsequently spreading to the flock. The name itself comes from the sixth hour from dawn. It sounds like a chorus sixth. The natural distortion of this phrase gave rise to the word siesta.
In fact, before the siesta meant a short afternoon nap – for half an hour or a little more. However, it is during this period that the midday heat rages in such countries, turning any activity into real torture and creating a health hazard. As a result, the hours of the siesta “shifted on the dial” a little, and the rest itself was extended to 3 hours.
The already rooted custom later spread to other Spanish-speaking countries – along with the conquistadors. Even in countries such as Chile, Argentina or the highlands of Ecuador, where the local population does not suffer from too intense heat, the siesta is considered something mandatory and indestructible. For many families, this is not even a period of relaxation, but an opportunity to sit together at the dinner table and chat with loved ones.
What activities are allowed during a siesta?
First of all, you need to have a good rest. You can also take advantage of this pause in work and spend time with your loved one, family or relatives. Some go to the beach at this time.
Well, travelers who come to Spain very quickly realize that most public places are closed at such a time and try to use the resulting pause to explore the sights and take long walks.
Like any other phenomenon, siesta has its drawbacks. On the one hand, local residents are relieved of the need to work under the scorching sun at the peak of its daytime activity. On the other hand, no one is going to reduce the number of working hours. And this means that you can get home no earlier than 20:00. There is even a heated debate in Parliament about canceling the siesta, despite the dissatisfaction of the citizens.
“Floating schedule” siesta
Despite the fact that the standard hours, during which the siesta traditionally takes place throughout the country, is considered to be the interval between 14:00 and 17:00, in practice, all this is a little different. The mentioned mode is relevant most often for offices and shops.
In turn, cafes and restaurants are open during this period and earn the maximum daily revenue, closing for a siesta from 16:00 to 20:00. But even such a work schedule cannot be called mandatory for everyone. It is necessary to take into account the specifics of the area and the specific region of the country.
Costa Dorada or the golden coast of Spain
The main wealth of the Costa Dorada is golden beaches sparkling under the bright Mediterranean sun. In honor of them, the southernmost coast of Catalonia began to be called the golden coast. The beach there is more than 200 km long, with fine golden sand against the backdrop of olive groves. So, a short guide to the beaches, entertainment and resorts on the Costa Dorada.
What is the attraction of the Costa Dorada resort?
Original resort towns attract with Roman ruins, medieval quarters and colorful holidays, delight with excellent tourist infrastructure. Young people are in a hurry to have fun in the bars and nightclubs of the towns of La Pineda and Sitges. Moms and dads bring the kids to splash in the warm sea on the clean beaches of Miami Playa and drive on the rides of the huge amusement park of the noisy and groovy resort of Salou. A measured rest on the picturesque shores of the historic town of Cambrils. Inquisitive travelers are delighted with a rich excursion in the capital of the region – Tarragona. And everyone likes moderate prices on the Costa Dorada.
The beaches of the Costa Dorada
Long wide beaches strewn with fine golden sand are the pride of the Costa Dorada. Crystal clear water. “Blue flag” in these places – not uncommon. The gently sloping shores are the best for families with children.
Sunbeds and umbrellas on the beaches, as a rule, are paid. The cost of a sunbed on the beaches of the Costa Dorada is from 3 €, an umbrella will also cost from 3 €.
The beaches of the resort of Salou are framed by a beautiful palm alley and stretch for 7 km along the coast. The best of them is Playa de Europa, which occupies half of the coast of the town and offers opportunities for water activities. Good Platja de Llevant, like many others, marked with a “blue flag”.