December in Spain? Nice idea, especially with the handball in the background! The Women’s World Handball Championship is held every two years in December, alternating with the European Championship. December 2021 is one of the world competitions, and their finals will take place close to a very popular tourist city.

Dates, tickets, groups, match schedule, host cities, halls. You can read about all this in this article. The information will help you organize your trip.

Women’s European Handball Championship 2021, basic information

When?

The tournament will take place between 1-19 December 2021.

It will be the 25th edition of this competition.

Where?

The tournament will take place in Spain, in four cities: Granollers, Torrevieja, Castello, and Lliria.

Championship schedule

As many as 32 teams will participate in the tournament (the number will be increased from 24). First there will be an introductory group stage, then the main stage (also groups). Then the quarterfinals and only the final weekend. Parallel matches for the so-called Presidential Cup in which teams that were eliminated in the preliminary round play.

Introductory group phase

It is scheduled for December 1-7, matches will be held in all host cities.

It will be eight groups of four teams.

The exact schedule of matches is available at this link.

Main round

3 teams from each group will qualify for the main round (24 in total).

They will be divided into four groups of 6 teams:

Group I will play games in Granollers and they will be teams from groups A and B.

Group II will play their games in Castello and they will be teams from groups C and D.

Group III will play their games in Granollers and these will be teams from groups E and F.

Group IV will play their matches in Torrevieja and they will be teams from groups G and H.

The round is scheduled for December 8-13.

Quarterfinals

Two teams from each group will qualify for the quarter-finals. 1I merges with 2II, 1III with 2IV etc.

The matches will take place on December 14th and 15th at Grannolers.

Finals

December 17-19

On Friday, the semi-finals (probably at 5.30 PM and 8.30 PM), on Sunday matches for bronze and gold (2.30 PM and 5.30 PM). Granollers will host all four matches.

Spanish team B during friendly tournament in Gdańsk (and me as their Team Guide)

Handball World Cup tickets

You can buy tickets on the website leading from the official website of the championship, here.

For each hall, tickets can be purchased as either a day ticket or a pass for all matches in a given arena. The price of daily tickets for group matches is EUR 25-35, for the main round it is EUR 40-60.

The day of the quarter-final or semi-final (two games) is 80-110 EUR and one final day is 100-130 EUR, so quite expensive.

The semi-finals and finals cost EUR 100-150, depending on the category, the price for one day, i.e. two matches.

Tickets for all matches are still available (checked at the beginning of November), even for the final, as well as for group matches of Polish and Spanish teams.

Polish team matches

Polish handball players were drawn to group B and will play their matches in Lliria:

Serbia – Poland, 03/12/2021, 20:30

Poland – Russia, 05/12/2021, 18:00

Cameroon – Poland, 07/12/2021, 18:00

In the event of promotion, the main round matches will be played in Granollers, and potential opponents will be teams from group A: France, Montenegro, Angola and Slovenia.

Halls

The championships will be held in 4 halls.

The Sports Center Ciudad de Castello is a hall with a capacity of 6,000 spectators. Lliria Pavilion is a whole complex with offices as well as outdoor basketball courts.

Torrevieja Sports Palace is a hall with a capacity of up to 3,300 fans, renovated especially for the upcoming championships.

The arena in Granollers (Palau d’Esports de Granollers) is the most famous arena of these. Opened in 1991, built for the 1992 Barcelona Olympic Games, where it hosted handball matches. Its capacity is almost 6,000 fans.

How to get

When you look at the map, you will immediately notice that all the locations where the matches will be played are located in two regions of Spain:

Granollers is Catalonia (located 30 minutes from Barcelona), Lliria, Castello and Torrevieja are the Valencia Region.

The Granollers finals are easy to get to by flying to one of Barcelona’s airports. There are many such flights, even in winter.

The easiest way to visit Lliria and Castello is to fly to Valencia or directly to the Valancia-Castellon airport.

Torrevieja is located about 50 km from Alicante, which can also be reached from several airports.

Travel time between the host cities on site depends on the mode of transport. The journey from Torrevieja to Granollers can take up to 9 hours, and from other cities it is shorter.

What to see before the matches?

Host cities are not exceptionally well-known tourist destinations, but each one has something to offer.

Lliria, called (officially by UNESCO) ‘the City of Music’, has as many as four institutions offering music studies. Lliria also has archaeological sites, Arab Baths, medieval old town and churches.

In Castello it is worth seeing the squares, the cathedral, the town hall, the market, but also the beaches and the marina. And gardens and parks with over 10,000 trees. You can find a lot of information about what to do and see in the city on this page.

Torrevieja used to be a small fishing village in the past. Currently, it is an increasingly popular tourist destination due to its beautiful beaches and a special microclimate created by salt deposits. Torrevieja is known for its production of salt. There are also two defensive towers and a park in the city.

Granollers is a city of fairs and markets, you can find the full list here. There are also monuments such as the town hall, clock tower and defensive walls.

The Barcelona and Valencia that you can visit during your stay certainly need no introduction. I will just mention that in both of them there are Christmas markets planned in December. It can be an interesting addition to a handball trip.