THE restrictions on mobility and large gatherings for New Year’s Eve have dampened plans and expectations for many – but not for the owners and customers of country holiday homes in Castellon.

Eight out of every 10 casas rurales throughout the province are fully booked for tomorrow, with revellers taking advantage of the four-day weekend to enjoy a longer stay.

A 'casa rural'
A casa rural

With 76% of rural retreats reserved, Castellon is the fourth Spanish province with the highest demand for this type of holiday let over the festive bank holiday, way above the national and regional average reservation figures.

Even so, nationwide statistics show a drop of 20 percentage points compared to 2019, proving that the health crisis and general uncertainty have also had an effect to some extent.

Rural tourism in general has enjoyed a boost this year, as travel restrictions have prompted many holidaymakers to explore their own regions instead of going abroad or even to other parts of Spain.

Spokespeople for a leading travel website reveal that countryside tourism is considered by far the safest form of holiday at the moment, as it can be enjoyed within one’s own support bubble, in a remote area and without mingling with other travellers.   

On a regional scale, Madrid heads the ranking of occupation for rural holiday homes over New Year’s Eve with 85% of properties booked up, displacing 2019 leader Catalunya (76%) followed by the Valencian Community (70%), Murcia (65%) and the Basque Country (47%).

With regards to individual provinces, Madrid and Barcelona (both with 85%) and Zaragoza (81%) come just before Castellon on the booking scoreboard.

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