Thursday, 29 September 2016

August Traffic in Southern Spain May be Ending But “Operación Retorno” is Just Beginning

August May have Ended But “Operación Retorno” is Just Beginning

At the end of August there is a definite busier flow
of traffic heading North 
With the end of August comes the annual migration of thousands of mammals (people) making their way back to their homes in the north after spending time getting suntanned in the south. Having headed down south to enjoy the sun, sea, and sand they are now headed back north to get back to their regular lives and routines after living it up for a few months. This whole process is commonly referred to as “Operación Retorno” and is when Spaniards from the north make their way back home after spending time living in the southern Spanish sunshine.

What started as a small trickle of traffic on the motorway quickly became a torrent of vehicles of biblical proportions as everyone heads back where north and returns where they came from. August has ended and it’s time for regular life to resume once more. 

August is traditionally the month when many Spaniards take time off to hit the seaside and shake off the city heat to enjoy the more forgiving and beautiful coastal climate. The result is packed beaches, supermarket queues and traffic jams a mile long, and almost no chance of reserving a table in a restaurant. It also means that everything is filled with life and activity, businesses boom, and even the staunchest of southerners can’t help but get lost in the atmosphere of fun. Summer along the Costa del Sol is always fun for everyone who stays there; whether permanently or temporarily. Things really come to a head when Operación Retorno starts up though.

The beaches in Spain are still busy but it’s more pleasant than before. It doesn’t take nearly as long to travel in the car. The weather is still good without being stifling. You have less trouble getting a parking space or a taxi. You might be able to go to a restaurant without booking in advance. The summer feeling is still there but there’s a lot less people. Prices become cheaper and kids go back to school and, overall, there’s just a lot less noise.

If you’re in the know then you know that May, June, September and October are the best times to take a trip to the Costas. With Spain currently seeing record numbers of tourists, even compared to previous records set just last year, it can be a little much to stay around during the summer months. Now though people can look forward to the peace and pleasantry that comes with less people being around.