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Marbella’s new gourmet market

Marbella’s new gourmet market

The Costa del Sol has always been a fantastic destination for gastro tourism, but now it has even more to offer, with the opening of a new gourmet market in the heart of Marbella last month.

This indoor market is open from midday to midnight from Sunday to Thursday and until 1am on Fridays and Saturdays. It is located on Marbella’s high street Avenida Ricardo Soriano number 19, is 470m2 in total and has been designed to resemble a town square, with stalls around the outside and a mix of modern and traditional design elements. There are 14 stalls serving a range of delicious food and produce to buy including sushi, cured Iberian meats, cheeses, traditional Spanish food, fine wines, fresh fruit and vegetables, meat and fish.

You can go and shop for great local produce to cook back at your holiday rental, you can take away freshly prepared food, or you can eat on the premises. It is proving very popular with locals and holiday makers alike and has been buzzing ever since it opened. There is seating outside and inside so you can relax and enjoy a coffee, good wine, a beer and delicious food.

There is sushi available from 4€, and a good variety of dishes, but early feedback shows that it’s best experienced in a group so you can share and try a good selection. Look for stalls offering “medio raciones” or half portions if you’re in a smaller group but want to try different options.

It is great to see yet another addition to a thriving restaurant scene and excellent weekly markets which take place in every town along the Costa del Sol. There are also a number of food festivals  which are a must for every foodie traveller. The first one of the year is Fuengirola’s Feria de Los Pueblos at the end of April, where you can try food from all over the world, which is highly recommended.

There are also a range of excellent fine dining restaurants, including four Michelin starred restaurants in Marbella alone, so if you like to travel and eat, come down to the Costa del Sol for a spot of gastro tourism.

If you want to be close to the new gourmet market and the stunning restaurants in Marbella, this central Marbella holiday apartment is a great choice. With stylish, modern interiors, plenty of light and space, 3 bedrooms and 3 bathrooms, it’s a stunning property, but the location is what really sells it! It’s just 650 meters from the beach and a short walk into the centre of town, with a shared pool and secure parking. A real find!

The Costa del Sol – the perfect spring holiday destination

The Costa del Sol – the perfect spring holiday destination

Spring is officially here, with the clocks going back to give us longer evenings and the weather treating us to lots of spring sunshine, it is a great time to visit the Costa del Sol.

If you ask the locals, they will tell you that spring is one of their favourite times of year, when the warmth of the sun reappears, the beach restaurants and clubs open their doors once more and excitement is in the air for the beginning of the new season. There’s a great atmosphere, everyone is enjoying the warmer weather and more events and activities are popping up all along the Costa del Sol.

As we mentioned last month, Easter is just around the corner and this means a week of processions, pomp and ceremony and bank holidays a plenty, which makes getting away even easier. If you haven’t booked an Easter break yet, there is still some last minute availability, but things are booking up fast, so give us a call to find out what we have left in your chosen area.

However, spring is a lot more than just visiting at Easter. If you aren’t restricted by the school holidays, we’d recommend coming at the end of April and the beginning of May, when the temperatures are rising, but flights are still relatively cheap and the peak period of rentals hasn’t yet begun. This is a brilliant time to visit and your money goes a lot further!

Here are three great holiday rental properties in three different areas, which are perfect for a spring getaway.

3 bedroom apartment Marbella Town – This luxury apartment is situated in the prestigious complex of Jardines de Principe in Marbella, within walking distance of the beach and the heart of this fabulous town. The complex includes a communal pool and parking and the apartment itself is stylish, light and spacious.

2 bedroom apartment Riviera – This lovely 2 bedroom top floor apartment is situated in the complex of Monte B in the area of Miraflores. The complex is only 850m from the sandy beaches of Torrenueva and Riviera del Sol and is a few minutes’ drive/walk to the local shops and restaurants. On the complex itself there is a communal pool and bar restaurant just for the use of the residents and guests of this complex.

2 bedroom apartment Estepona – This modern 1st floor 2 bedroom apartment is situated in the beach side complex of Playa del Angel in Estepona, only a few minute’s walk from the centre of town. Within the complex there is a large pool area with a snack bar within mature, landscaped gardens with fountains throughout and a children’s play area and guests benefit from the use of the full gym and sauna.

HolidayRentalontheWeb offers a great range of Costa del Sol holiday rentals and can advise you on the best areas and the best properties to fit your needs and budgets. Check out our list of the most popular Costa del Sol holiday destinations or contact us today.

Looking ahead to Easter on the Costa del Sol

We have just over a month before Easter is upon us, with Semana Santa or Holy Week starting on the 9th of April with Palm Sunday and then going through to Easter Sunday, or Resurrection Sunday, on the 16th of April.

Easter is a great time of year to take a short break, with several bank holidays so you won’t have to use so many precious holiday days. Good Friday is on April 14th and Easter Monday is on April 17th, both of these are bank holidays, so you can have a wonderful long weekend break. Have you decided where you’re going yet?

Why don’t you consider Spain? Semana Santa is a really important time of year for this catholic country, and rather than just have an Easter egg hunt and stuff yourself on chocolate, you can immerse yourself into the culture of catholic Spain by watching the amazing parades. They may look a little sinister with the Klu Klux Klan style headdresses, but there’s nothing to be afraid of, these parades are simply a way of telling the Easter story and worshipping. For the onlooker, they are full of pomp and ceremony and display the most wonderful statues on heavy floats depicting different scenes from the Easter story. These enormous “tronos” are carried through the streets by bands of devotees and followed by hundreds of worshippers and are really spectacular.

Some of the processions are joyous, but most are solemn and powerful. Many are held at night and lit by candles for added drama. As well as the hooded figures, you may also see women in black holding candles, these are known as the widows of Christ and are very striking.

If you want to experience the happy ones, check out Palm Sunday and Easter Sunday, which are always great fun and are suitable for all the family. The most dramatic, sombre ones are on Thursday and Friday and are a must for anyone who wants to experience the power, emotion and devotion that these processions inspire.

Malaga is very famous for their huge religious and military parades, but all towns in Andalucia are excellent to visit during this time and will have their own processions to enjoy. Fuengirola, Marbella and Estepona are lovely places to combine sightseeing, great food and culture with the parades and we have a wide range of holiday rental properties available in these areas.

However, please be aware that this is when the high season starts on the Costa del Sol and we’ve already had a lot of interest in Easter holiday rentals, so please don’t leave it too late. View click and book Costa del Sol holiday rentals on our website, or contact us if you have special requirements so we can advise you on the best holiday rental for you.

Why holiday in Cabopino?

As part of our regular feature on recommended holiday destinations, we wanted to look at the charming area of Cabopino on the Costa del Sol. Literally translated as Pine Cape, this is a stunning area with some of the best beaches on the Costa del Sol, a lovely marina and some great restaurants.

It is in an excellent location, a 30-minute drive from Malaga airport and very close to Calahonda and Elviria, which both have excellent restaurants, shops and supermarkets. It’s roughly equidistant between Marbella and Fuengirola, so if you have a car and want to explore it’s an excellent base.

Families and sun worshippers will love the sandy cove which slopes gently into the sea, providing the perfect place for kids to play. Right on the sand, there are some great beach restaurants and cafes, to munch on fresh fish, have a cold beer or cool down with an ice cream, so it’s a great place to enjoy a sunny day. There’s also an 18-hole golf course nearby, if you want a more active holiday.

We have lots of great holiday rentals in Cabopino, here are just 2 of our favourites:

Cabopino beachfront villa – If you love the beach, don’t want to drive and want a stylish holiday rental, this is a great choice. It has 4 bedrooms and is just 30 meters from the beach and within a short walk of Cabopino port. It has a private garden and pool, plus many terraces to soak up the sun.

Cabopino holiday apartment – Here’s another really well located holiday rental, this time an apartment on the lovely complex of Las Mimosas. This stylish apartment has 2 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms and is ground floor, for direct access to the fantastic shared garden and pool.   It is right opposite the golf course, close to restaurants, bars and shops and an easy 10 minute walk down to the marina and beach, in a very peaceful area, so it offers the best of both worlds.

Please browse our site, for descriptions of all of the most popular Costa del Sol destinations, or get in touch for our advice on the best place for you.

Top Tips for Visiting the Costa del Sol off-peak

Off-peak Costa del Sol Holidays

They say that a dog isn’t just for Christmas, well in the same way, the Costa del Sol is not just for summer! It is a wonderful destination for an off-peak break, whether it’s to enjoy the lovely autumn or spring time, or to bask in some winter sun.

We are pleased to see that more people are visiting in September and October, with many hotels reporting 100% occupancy throughout September, and much higher occupancy rates for October too. It’s a wonderful time to visit, with glorious sunshine and lots still going on. Check out our list of autumn events on the Costa del Sol.

Hotels, restaurants and airlines are responding to the increased interest in off-peak tourism, staying open longer and offering more attractive packages for off-peak travel. Budget airline Ryanair has announced that they are increasing their flights by 43% over the winter into Malaga, so there will be even more affordable travel options for off-peak visitors.

Travelling off-peak is a great budget option, with flights and accommodation costs coming down drastically and so you can stay for longer, or choose a more luxurious option for the same amount, or simply enjoy the amazing savings.

Here are four tips for making the most of an off-peak holiday on the Costa del Sol –

  1. Choose a location with lots of amenities which are open year round – Being more central, or within easy access of things to do is more important in the winter, when some resorts and urbanisations can become very quiet. Larger towns such as Benalmadena, Fuengirola, Marbella and Estepona are always busy throughout the year, so you can still enjoy the buzz if you’re located nearby.
  2. Pack for cooler evenings – Day time temperatures are usually lovely and bright sunshine is the norm throughout the year, but make sure you pack some layers to make sure you’re comfortable in the evening as well. We’d suggest having a light jacket or jumper with you or a shawl so that as the sun goes down you can adjust and enjoy the al fresco lifestyle, whilst staying warm.
  3. Select accommodation fit for the winter – It really doesn’t get cold here in the winter, but properties designed for the summer can feel chilly, so we’d recommend that you choose a property with a fireplace and heating so that you feel cozy in the evenings, as well as being able to take advantage of the lovely temperatures and sunshine during the day. A holiday rental is a good option over a hotel, as even if the weather is cool or there’s a spot of rain, you can have the space and flexibility to relax and enjoy.
  4. Try an active holiday – The Costa del Sol has an amazing selection of sports and outdoor activities and autumn and winter is the best time to do it. Look into hiking routes, or try climbing the iconic mountain La Concha, book to walk the Caminito del Rey, take to the fairways for a spot of golf, or try out padel tennis, one of the national sports. Check out our golf discount card for amazing discounts and competitions.

Enjoy our guide to holidaying on the Costa del Sol and browse our great selection of holiday rental properties on our website and see the amazing deals for off-peak visits. Please ask us for any advice, or our favourite holiday rentals for the autumn and winter, to make sure you have an amazing holiday.

How to beat Post holiday blues

How to beat Post holiday blues

As the nights draw in and the weather gets colder, many people start to feel blue. October offers little distraction and Christmas is still far away, so you can be left with little to look forward to and a feeling of longing for the next holiday.

Our advice for beating these post-holiday blues? Book your next one!

Just the process of browsing holiday rental properties and researching sunshine destinations like the Costa del Sol will cheer you up. Looking at those pictures of sun, sea and sand and imagining yourself on that sun lounger will be sure to make you smile. Booking some winter sun, even just for a short break, can give you a boost and some much needed Vitamin D and off peak trips are very good value for money, so have a look what you can afford. Even if you’re planning for next spring or summer, booking early will give you something to look forward to, give you access to the best properties and get you out of that rut.

Some other great ways to beat the post-holiday blues are –

  • Look through your holiday photos, they are sure to make you smile
  • Do some exercise, it will release endorphins which make you feel happier, plus your body will stay beach ready J
  • Head outside – even on a cloudy day you can get some vitamin D and a nice walk will boost your mood too (as long as it’s not raining)
  • Phone a friend and make some plans – a good natter and some dates in the diary will make you feel happier in minutes

To brighten up your day, here are four outstanding holiday rental properties that you could book for summer 2017.

 

 

Marbella Villa

This impressive villa is situated in the prestigious estate of Cascadas de Camojan, Sierra Blanca, Marbella. Located at the foothills of the La Concha mountain, this prestigious residence offers outstanding luxury living surrounded by sensational views to the mountains and the Marbella coastline.  Facilities: 5 Bedrooms / Private pool / gym / games room / extensive terraces / full security / WiFi.

 

 

Elviria Apartment

This stylish apartment is situated in the peaceful residential complex of Santa Maria Green Hills. The terrace offers views across the well-maintained complex gardens and pool to the mountains beyond. Secure and gated complex with lift access. Facilities: 3 Bedrooms / Terrace / Communal pool and gardens.

 

Benahavis Townhouse

This light and spacious townhouse is ideally situated in the complex of Paraiso Park, Benahavis. The complex offers a large swimming pool and leisure area, including a kids’ pool and playground and a poolside BBQ area. Within the communal area there are palm trees, water features and plenty of space to enjoy the outdoors. Facilities: 3 Bedrooms / Communal pool / Communal leisure area / Terrace / Garden / Communal WiFi

 

Benalmadena Villa

This modern and stylish villa is situated in Arroyo de la Miel, just 5 minutes from the centre of town and close to many attractions and amenities including Tivoli World, the cable car and Selwo Marina. The villa is arranged over 2 floors and is very secure and offers parking, a large south-east facing terrace and garden area and an infinity pool. Facilities: 3 Bedrooms / Private Infinity pool / BBQ / Terraces / WiFi

 

Want to see more? View our full selection of Costa del Sol self-catering holiday rentals including apartments, townhouses and private villas and get rid of those post-holiday blues!

Golfing Holidays on the Costa del Sol

Golf-In-Marbella-1674712The Costa del Sol is a dream golf destination with over 70 superb courses in just a small area. Many are located around Nueva Andalucia, Mijas and Estepona, so you can base yourself within easy reach of several courses and lots of great night life for a brilliant golf holiday.

It was recently reported that German golfers have just discovered the area and love the warmer weather, variety of courses and lifestyle and as a result their numbers has increased by 10%. The president of the Council of Tourism Costa del Sol, Elias Bendodo explained why another country of golf aficionados are falling for the area, “The Costa del Sol offers unique conditions for playing golf and has all the necessary resources for the fans of this sport looking for a place where they also play the coldest months.”

If you’re looking for a great golf location which is close to the nightlife of Marbella and Puerto Banus, we’d recommend Nueva Andalucia. Known as golf valley, as it has five great courses in just a small area, it’s only a few minutes by taxi from Puerto Banus, so has a brilliant mix of golf and options for relaxation.

This spacious three bedroom Nueva Andalucia apartment sleeps 6 and is located right in the heart of the golf valley, in a complex know aptly as Puerto Golf. It is stylish and modern, with communal gardens and pool and walking distance to shops and restaurants. It would be an excellent choice for a golf holiday.

Another good golf location is the area of Mijas Costa, just 20 minutes from Malaga airport, with the busy town of Fuengirola offering loads of options for relaxing after a round. In this area you have an astounding nine 18-hole courses and three 9-hole courses in just a small area!

If this sounds like the place for you, then we have lots of holiday rental apartments and villas in Mijas Costa. This stylish and modern 2 bedroom apartment is situated in a prestigious development above La Cala de Mijas, with views over the Calanova Golf Course. The development has excellent facilities and the apartment is beautifully furnished and spacious, sleeping 4 people. La Cala is also a popular town, with a large weekly market, great beaches and lots of shops and restaurants, so you are very close to everything. It is just five minutes’ drive from the hustle and bustle of Fuengirola too.

Find out more about golfing holidays on the Costa del Sol on our website and browse some of our great golf rental villas and apartments, many of which are right on the Fairway.

Area Focus – Western Costa del Sol

Western Costa del Sol Holiday RentalMany people are unaware of the many charms of the western part of the Costa del Sol and because of that you will find the beaches are less crowded, there’s parking even during peak season and although restaurants and bars are busy, you won’t struggle to get a table like you may do in the most popular area.

There’s a lot to love about the Western Costa del Sol; beaches are great, with many lovely Spanish communities which still follow a very traditional way of life and the cost of accommodation, food and particularly drinks are much cheaper. You can fly into Gibraltar to cut down on travel time and there are some great things to see and do.

Highlights include

Castellar Zoo, which is a rescue centre and zoo where you can learn about the animals and even pet and feed them!

Sotogrande Port is a great place to see the beautiful boats and enjoy a coffee, a few drinks or a bite to eat in a lovely environment. There’s live music in the evenings most weekends, as well as a market during the summer.

Duquesa Port is a great place to eat out if you fancy something other than Spanish food, as there are Chinese, Mexican, Thai, Indian, American and even Moroccan restaurants all next to each other, as well as lots of great bars.

Sabinillas has a couple of brilliant festivals on the beach which are well worth a visit. The San Juan celebration on the 23rd of June where enormous bonfire sculptures are lit at midnight and there’s live music and a wonderful atmosphere is the best in the coast. Plus there’s the Full Moon Festival in August where everyone dresses in white and heads to the beach for a festival of music and lights, it’s really magical.

Manilva village is famous for its sweet wine and there’s a small wine museum where you can learn about wine making and also arrange wine tasting sessions. There’s also a place making artisan beer which you can visit and do a tasting session, so you can enjoy artisan beer and wine in one place.

Casares is a stunning white village gathered precariously around a hill, with a fort on the top. As well as the stunning views it has a reputation for excellent gastronomy and a large selection of great restaurants.

Estepona is a vibrant and pretty Spanish town, with wide beaches, a long seaside promenade, sweet old town and an amazing Orchid House, not to mention a lovely Spanish atmosphere. There are lots of events through the year and many people really fall in love with its charms.

We have a wide range of holiday rental properties in the western Costa del Sol, here are just a few –

3 Bedroom Townhouse in CasaresThis delightful townhouse is situated in the complex Pueblo Andaluz, in the village of Casares. The Andalusian village style complex blends into its surroundings perfectly and has wonderful rustic features.

1 Bed Apartment Estepona – This distinctive 1 bedroom, 2nd floor apartment is front line beach, situated in the complex of Buenas Noches in Estepona. The apartment offers stunning views over the sparkling Mediterranean sea to Gibraltar and over to Africa and is perfect for beach lovers looking for a great value apartment. More information or Book Now

Duquesa Port Apartment – This delightful two bedroom holiday apartment in the gated complex of Arenal Duquesa is situated between Puerto de la Duquesa and Sabinillas. This modern apartment complex offers beautifully maintained tropical gardens and is within walking distance of Duquesa port. 

If you’d like to have a holiday on the Western Costa del Sol, please don’t hesitate to contact us for advice on where to stay and a list of properties which best meet your requirements.

Gastro Tourism on the Costa del Sol

Gourmet market MarbellaSpain has always been a foodie’s paradise and since the meteoric rise of El Bulli, the country has been on the gastronomic map for ground breaking modern cuisine, as well as tapas, paella and cured ham. In the 2016 Michelin guide, Malaga province has been recognised as a hub for amazing food, with seven restaurants being awarded the coveted Michelin star and so there’s never been a better time to have a gastronomic getaway on the Costa del Sol.

There are four Michelin starred restaurants in Marbella, including celebrity chef Dani Garcia’s spectacular 2 starred restaurant in the Hotel Puente Romano. The Puente Romano has firmly put itself on the culinary map with the development of their Plaza Village. This is a foodie’s paradise around a beautiful square with 5 amazing restaurants featuring food from around the world. It’s not a cheap night out, but it is a wonderful experience for any foodie traveller.

More exciting still for the general level of cuisine in the area is that three new restaurants have been awarded their very first star in the 2016 guide. There’s Sollo’ in Fuengirola, Messina in Marbella and Kabuki Raw in Casares, great news for these chefs and their towns.

Last month we were telling you why we love Malaga and The Guardian has featured it, not only for its art galleries and culture, but also for its amazing food. Chef José Carlos García has gained another star for his restaurant in the wonderful Muelle Uno in the newly developed Malaga Port and Malaga as a whole is a mecca for tapas with stalwarts such as El Pimpi producing delicious food with an amazing atmosphere. Now there’s a new kid on the block – a recently unveiled food market in the heart of the city. There are 22 stalls with Spanish and international cuisine and you can browse the stalls, buy great produce and sit and have a drink and a delicious bite to eat, so there’s something for all budgets.

If you like gourmet markets, but don’t fancy a trip to Malaga, check out Ambrosia Market in Puerto Banus which opened in summer 2015. It hosts regular events and you can shop, eat and drink in the market. Due to its location close to the Antonio Banderas square and the amazing shopping in the port, it’s a good place to visit over the Christmas period.

Marbella has also recently pedestrianized one of the main streets from the centre down to the sea, with great effect. Always full of restaurants, now that the street is pedestrianised it’s got a wonderful atmosphere with all the restaurants spilling out onto the street and a wide range of cuisines including traditional Spanish, Italian and American diner style.

The Costa del Sol is a wonderful choice for a foodie holiday, any time of year and by using a holiday rental property rather than a hotel, you can enjoy the delicious produce in your home from home for breakfast and then save yourself for a gastronomic treat for lunch or dinner. Let us know if you need restaurant recommendations around your holiday rental property or any advice on the best places to stay for a foodie getaway.

Top Tips for choosing a holiday rental property for Christmas

Christmas Rental PropertyIt’s Christmas time and amongst all the mistletoe and wine, we’re also enjoying some great winter weather here on the Costa del Sol and it’s not too late to escape the dark, cold and crazy crowds of Christmas shoppers and disconnect from it all for a special Spanish Christmas.

Check out our last post for the low down on Christmas on the Costa del Sol and visit Marbella Family Fun and My Destination Marbella for news on Christmas events and parties to enjoy.

If you’re now feeling inspired and want a last minute trip, there are loads of great holiday rental properties to choose for a Christmas getaway on the Costa del Sol. To help you choose the right one for a winter break, we’ve put together a few tips and things to look out for which will make sure you have the best time –

  1. Make sure you choose a location which is busy all year round or close to a vibrant town – During winter it can be very quiet on a holiday development or in a small residential area which has really been designed for summer time and you can feel a bit isolated. You’re better off choosing somewhere within one of the busier towns such as; Estepona, Marbella, Fuengirola, Benalmadena and Torremolinos which are busy and have lots to offer all year round.
  2. Select a property with heating or an open fire as Spanish homes can be chilly in the winter.
  3. Think about whether you want to hire a car or not – This will influence where you decide to stay, as if you don’t want to drive we’d suggest being on the train line from Malaga, or being in an urban area where you can walk around and there’s enough to keep you busy. For the maximum flexibility and to make the most of everything that’s going on we would definitely recommend hiring a car.
  4. Make sure your property has an oven – This sounds strange, but many Spanish homes don’t have an oven in the kitchen and if you want to cook a traditional Christmas dinner then this is obviously a big problem, so don’t leave it to chance, make sure that you ask.
  5. Prepare for all weathers – Christmas on the Costa del Sol is usually dry and warm, but of course it is the winter and so it can rain and it is chilly in the evenings. So pack clothes which are easy to layer, check whether the property has DVDs or board games and bring along your family favourite games so that if you do have a rainy day you can enjoy being in your holiday rental property. Even if it’s wet you can visit the amazing museums in Malaga, shop ‘til you drop at shopping centre La Cañada, go and see a movie (look for VO – which means it’s in the original language) or take the kids to one of the many indoor play centres. You know the sun will be out again soon!

We are Costa del Sol holiday rental experts, so please don’t hesitate to ask for our shortlist of the best properties for a Christmas getaway. Just send us your requirements and your dates or give us a call and we’ll find you a cozy, well located property where you can spend an amazing alternative Christmas in Spain.

Feliz Navidad and have a wonderful Christmas wherever you choose to spend it!