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Start planning your 2019 getaways

Start planning your 2019 getaways

We love January, as we can start planning our next trip and dream of sunny skies and holidays. If your thoughts are turning to this year’s trips too, here are a few great times to visit the Costa del Sol.

Easter – This is a fabulous time to visit the Costa del Sol, with so much more than the Easter bunny! It’s a time of processions and parades and an incredible display of religious devotion. Andalucia really does it in style, parading wonderful sculptures and art works through the streets and often accompanying it with music. Málaga is the most famous place to go for Easter in this region, but all towns and villages put on a great show and it’s a wonderful time to visit.

Summer – It will not surprise you that the most popular time to visit is the summer, when the hot weather, beautiful beaches and great “ferias” (week-long celebrations) draw thousands of tourists to the Costa del Sol. However, this doesn’t just mean July and August. If you aren’t restricted by school holidays, wonderful times to visit are June and September, where the temperatures aren’t as high and the area isn’t as crowded, but you can still enjoy the full summer experience.

Halloween – If you’re not a fan of the over commercialised Halloween celebrations in the UK, come over and see how it’s done here. The 1st of November is the Day of the Dead, when families honour their relatives by visiting the cemetery. Also, at the end of October is the Saints Festival in Ojen and Istan near Marbella, and the Chestnut festival in Alcaucín. These traditional celebrations are really interesting and a great way to see another side of Halloween.

Christmas and Three Kings – I know we’ve just taken down the decorations, but we have to mention Christmas as part of this run down of wonderful times to visit, as it’s such a gorgeous time to come. The weather is mild, the decorations are beautiful, there’s lots of lovely activities for the family to enjoy and it’s so nice to get away from the chaos of family responsibilities and have a special Christmas your way. Read our article to Christmas on the Costa del Sol and get inspired for this year’s festivities.

Whenever you choose to come, make sure you browse our site for the best Costa del Sol holiday rentals. We have an excellent selection of properties all along the coast and can send you a shortlist of the ones which best suit your needs. Don’t hesitate to contact us for advice on where to stay and what sorts of properties are best, depending on your group and the time of year you are visiting. Our holiday rental experts are here to help you make the best choice and have an amazing holiday.

Books and films to inspire your next trip to Spain

Books and films to inspire your next trip to Spain

Now that the clocks have gone back and the chill is setting in, it’s normal to be dreaming of Spanish sunshine and the laidback Andalusian way of life. To get your fix, you could come and visit us here on the Costa del Sol of course, and stay in one of our great holiday rentals. But if you can’t get away yet, then we’d recommend these wonderful books, which will remind you of happy holidays and may even inspire you to do something different on your next trip away.

  1. Driving Over Lemons – This book is by Chris Stewart, who was the original drummer in Genesis, and tells the tale of his experiences living in a rural mountain farm in the Alpujarras mountains, near Granada. Chris falls in love with the area and the people and takes the reader along with him, through his trials and tribulations. It’s a charming and funny read that will transport you to the sun.
  2. Under the Sun – Recommended by Belinda Beckitt in the Olive Press’ must read summer books, this is set on the Costa del Sol and tells the story of an expat escaping to live the dream in Andalucia. Things don’t quite go to plan however and she uncovers a people smuggling ring and gets sucked into the drama. The Sunday Times called it “a compulsive page turner” and it’s a very good read.
  3. Ghosts of Spain – This one is good if you like a bit of history and want to understand the civil war and how it influences modern Spain. Written by an expat journalist who adores his adopted home, he brings the history to life by meeting survivors and their families and hearing their stories.
  4. A Romantic in Spain – You will be immersed in this travelogue by French adventurer Théophile Gautier which was written to tell the story of his journey through Spain in 1840. Reading his experiences of lasting monuments and culture such as the Alhambra and Bull Fighting, will give you a fresh perspective on the past and present of this fantastic country before your next trip to Spain.

How can these books inspire your next trip?

Get the Driving Over Lemons experience by travelling slightly inland from the Costa del Sol and exploring the beautiful white villages in the hills. Villages such as Casares, Benahavis, Istan and Ojen are very close to the hustle and bustle of the coast, but give you the feeling of rural tranquillity and a close community. If you want to actually visit the Alpujarras, it’s only a few hours drive from Malaga, yet feels like a world away.

To learn more about Spain’s history and the bloodshed of the civil war, that you will read about in Ghost of Spain, take a trip from Marbella up to Ronda. This stunning city perched on a gorge is rich with the history of bull fighting, and the civil war.

Channel your inner Théophile Gautier by taking a day trip to the Malaga countryside to explore the ancient olive groves and olive oil producers, which are little changed since his time. You can also soak up the ancient Roman, Moorish and Catholic architecture in all the historic centres of the towns and villages on the Costa del Sol, as well as taking day trips to Seville, Jerez and Granada.

However you want to experience the Costa del Sol, we have a holiday rental property to suit you. We have traditional properties in rural areas, such as this enchanting 2 bedroom townhouse in the beautiful white village of Casares. To explore the historic city of Malaga and be within easier reach of Granada and the Alpujarras, while also being well connected to the rest of the Costa del Sol, Benalmadena is a good base, with rental properties down by the beach, further back in the town and in the pretty white village. The good news is that the area is relatively small and the roads are excellent, so look for a base roughly in the middle of the areas you want to visit, or ask our holiday rental experts for our insider’s knowledge.

Last chance to experience a Spanish feria in 2018

Last chance to experience a Spanish feria in 2018

San Pedro Feria holds the last Feria of the year and it’s a great excuse for a short break to the Costa del Sol. Taking place between the 16th and the 21st of October in the town’s feria ground, this is always an excellent party. There will be a week of flamenco, music and delicious Spanish food during the day feria and then great fairground rides, music and dancing until dawn for the young (and young at heart) as part of the night feria.

The festivities begin on Tuesday 16th of October with a parade of “Gigantes y Cabezudos” through the streets. From 7pm, huge figures and people in large masks will be parading from Plaza Pueblo de Istan and doing a circuit of San Pedro. Stick around for the fireworks at 9.30, which announce the official start of the feria and are always great to watch.

There is a kids’ “caseta” or little house, which is open every day of the feria, with activities for the smallest members of the family. The big day for the kids is Wednesday 17th of October, with a kids’ party in the Municipal Tent from 5pm, a show for them to watch and then special prices for children on the rides from 6pm.

Thursday is when the day feria begins at 1pm and there is a parade through the streets at 5pm. Friday, Saturday and Sunday is much the same, with the day feria from 1pm, masses and religious parades to honour the Patron Saint and rides and music in the evening.

There is also a great programme of concerts during the feria. On the 18th of October the group Efecto Pasillo will be playing, David DeMaría takes to the stage on the 19th and Niña Pastori on Saturday. Sunday is the big day and there will be three great concerts from Furia Falconeti, Rockinger z and Devils in the Sky.

We would recommend San Pedro de Alcantara as an ideal winter destination and the feria is a great way to discover it. It is an interesting place to explore, as there are three zones, with very different identities.

You have the traditional Old Town area, which is very Spanish in character, with its small streets, church squares and plenty of charm. This is perfect for shopping and people watching sitting outside one of the great cafes. Then you have the Boulevard, a stretch of playgrounds, cafes and parks, which was completed a few years ago and is very modern, appealing particularly to families with young children. Finally, you have the beachfront area, with its very long promenade, great beaches, cafes and restaurants. This gives you a lot of variety within a small area, without needing to drive. You can even walk to Puerto Banus in under an hour, to see a very different side of the Costa del Sol, and Marbella is just a short taxi ride away.

If San Pedro sounds like somewhere you’d like to visit, we’d recommend this fantastic three bedroom beachfront apartment. It’s in a wonderful complex with manicured gardens and a communal pool, which is just 50 meters from the beach. It is a spacious apartment with three bedrooms and two bathrooms and its wraparound terrace has amazing sea views.

Visit Marbella this October for film, fashion and culture

Costa del Sol Events - Autumn 2016

There is lots going on in Marbella this October and it’s a perfect time for an autumn short break. The weather has been hotter at the end of September than in August and it’s looking set to last well into October, with bright sunshine and temperatures in the mid 20s throughout the month.

There are two big events this month – The Marbella Fashion Week is taking place on the 4th to the 7th of October and the Marbella International Film Festival is from the 10th to the 14th. They overlap, so you can combine both great events into a week’s holiday. Over that same period are some excellent art exhibitions at galleries around Marbella, so you can have a wonderful cultural vacation and some sunshine too.

Here are the key things you need to know about these great events –

Marbella Fashion Week

From the 4th to the 7th of October, national and international designers will be showcasing their 2019 spring/summer collections at the Hotel Gran Melía Don Pepe Hotel right in the heart of Marbella. On the 5th and 6th of October at 7pm there are two wonderful shows where you can enjoy fine fashion and a fantastic atmosphere amongst Marbella’s fashionistas.

Marbella Film Festival

Now in its 13th year the Marbella Film Festival screens short films, documentaries and international feature films at the Teatro Goya in Puerto Banus. They also have workshops and talks for budding filmmakers to take part in. This year it is from the 10th to the 14th of October, with 6 films being shown per day between 11th and 13th of October. Check out the screening and events program and choose what you want to see. You can buy tickets for the screenings online from the Teatro Goya website and they are 6€ each.

Marbella Art Exhibitions in October

There are a number of art galleries in Marbella, and the exhibitions can be found on the Marbella Azul events calendar. At the Yusto Giner Gallery the artist Olam Haba is exhibiting until the 18th of October. The excellent Museo Ralli has an exhibition of 32 works by the Chilean artist Roberto Matta and another featuring artworks from the group of Argentinian artists which were part of the Spartacus Movement.

Marbella holiday rentals

We have a number of excellent Marbella holiday rental properties available to be your home from home while you enjoy these excellent events. One of our favourites is this stunning apartment in central Marbella, which is just 650 metres from the beach. The location is perfect, in the Jardines de Principe complex and unlike many properties in Marbella, this has underground parking, as well as a great communal pool. The apartment has three bedrooms and three bathrooms. It is stylish, spacious, light and airy and would make a perfect base for an autumn getaway.

Please contact us for more recommendations on Marbella holiday rental properties.

Autumn in Spain

Autumn in Spain

Summer just flew by, but if you’re thinking you’ve missed your chance to take a holiday to Spain before next year, think again! Autumn is an amazing time to visit the Costa del Sol. In fact, if you ask most local residents they will tell you that September and October are their favourite times of year.

We love autumn because the weather is still sunny and warm, but nights are cooler and more comfortable to sleep in. There’s still plenty of people around, but the hoards of tourists have left us for another year and you don’t need to worry about whether you’ll get into a restaurant or find a parking space. The sea is warm, after the summer spent heating it up and the beach bars and restaurants are still open, but without the crowds.

There are still some nice ferias and events going on this time of year too, if you know where to look. The Torremolinos Feria is a great one to visit on the last week of September and the San Pedro de Alcantara feria is usually held mid to late October, so you don’t need to miss out on any of the fun.

Film buffs will enjoy the Marbella International Film Festival from the 10th to the 14th of October. This festival screens short films, documentaries and international movies at the TeatroGoya cinema in Puerto Banus and offers events and workshops for budding filmmakers too.

If you’re committed to your fitness, there are some nice sports events this time of year. Serious runners could compete in Marbella’s half marathon on the 6th of October. If walking is more your style, you can join the thousands of people who take to the streets for Marbella 4 Days Walking from the 11th to the 14th of October. Alternatively, if you’d rather watch than play, why not check out some of the world’s best tennis players compete in the Senior Masters Cup in Marbella on the 29th of September.

Because it’s cooler, you can have a more active holiday, so hiking or mountain biking to explore the beautiful countryside just back from the coast is a great idea. It’s a lovely time for a round or two of golf as well, and the Costa del Sol is a true golfers’ paradise at this time of the year. We welcome a lot of people for golf holidays in September and October due to the weather, the amazing condition of the courses and the lower cost of flights and accommodation. Golfers can choose from self-catering apartments or villas right on the fairways, or down on the beach or in the town for the best of both worlds.

We think you’ll love autumn on the Costa del Sol as much as we do! Please feel free to browse our holiday rental properties and find your perfect home-from-home. If you have any questions please don’t hesitate to contact us.

Costa del Sol Beach Clean-Ups

Costa del Sol Beach Clean-Ups

Everyone knows there’s a big problem with plastic and rubbish in the ocean and thankfully there is a global movement to do something about it. This month is International Coastal Cleanup Day, on Saturday 15th of September. This is a day of awareness and action in coastal locations around the world, where people take to the beaches and to the seas to collect rubbish.

Although the Costa del Sol’s beaches are very well looked after by the local Town Halls, it’s something we’re passionate about. When we’re lucky enough to live in this beautiful place and help holidaymakers to enjoy it by providing lovely holiday rental properties, we think it’s important to do our bit to protect our beaches and the animals living in the sea and along the coastline.

We’ve seen that many holidaymakers who stay in our beachfront holiday rentals because of their love for the water and the setting, are also interested in getting involved. So if you want to make a difference during your holiday, meet people and spend a day at the beach too, why not join up with one of the organized beach cleans on September 15th.  Here are two options for you –

Cabopino Beach Clean

Cabopino has one of the most stunning beaches on the Costa del Sol, a beautiful sheltered bay, close to the pretty marina. It also has wide stretches of lovely sand dunes, with pine trees behind. Local organization Plastic Free Seas Worldwide has chosen this area for their Autumn Beach Clean. They are meeting at 9.30am and will be collecting until around 11am. They have set an ambitious goal of collecting 150 kilos of rubbish and are asking for help to reach their target. This would be a good event for anyone staying between Fuengirola and Marbella to take part in. Find out more

 

Manilva Beach Clean-Up

The Manilva Town Hall and Eco Passion collaborated to hold a Beach Clean Up in Manilva’s Nature Reserve back in August and have announced plans to repeat the event for International Coastal Clean Up Day. The exact location of the clean hasn’t been announced, but will be featured on the Eco Passion Facebook page. This clean up would be convenient for anyone holidaying between Estepona and Sotogrande on the Western Costa del Sol.

Hope to see some of you there!

Our Pick of Holiday Properties with Sea Views

We are so lucky here on the Costa del Sol to have 150km of coastline, with great beaches, long stretches of seafront promenades and lots of options for dining, or sipping a cold drink right on the sand. The Mediterranean is always nearby, normally calm and without big tides, it’s a great place to swim, paddle, or simply listen to the soothing sounds of the waves.

There’s something special about looking out over the vast blue expanses of the sea, so it’s no surprise that our beachside holiday homes and properties with sea views are some of the most popular.

Here, we’ve chosen three of our favourite properties with sea views to give you some inspiration. However, we have many more holiday homes with amazing views, so please browse our website to see the full list.

Stunning 2 Bedroom Beachfront Penthouse In Casares – This 2 bedroom penthouse is simply stunning. Set right on the beach in Casares this spacious penthouse has top of the range furnishings, an enormous terrace and additional roof terrace with double 4 poster sunbed. The lower terrace has Hot tub, amazing views up and down the coast and over to Africa and Gibraltar, beautiful terrace furniture including dining and seating area as well as sun loungers, all of which light up at night to give a unique feel to the property where you can enjoy a cocktail and coastal views. Find out more

 

3 Bedroom Duplex Penthouse Manilva – This is a superb 3 bedroom duplex penthouse apartment situated just 200 metres from the beach in Manilva. There is a covered terrace area to the side of the lounge with stunning views of the coastline towards Marbella, the Mediterranean Sea and the communal pool and gardens. There is also a huge roof terrace with dining table, chairs, a large sofa and coffee table, sun loungers and a gas barbecue. Find out more

 

4 Bed Villa In Benalmadena With Exceptional Views And Private Pool – This beautiful 4 bedroom villa with private pool is situated close to Arroyo de la Miel and is only 3km from the stunning Benalmadena beaches and vibrant coastal town. The location offers some of the most spectacular panoramic views across the Mediterranean to North Africa as well as almost 180′ views of the coast. This charming villa offers extensive, beautifully maintained gardens, pool and terraced areas and has many enchanting features and decorative touches including a large African style Gazebo, a shady seating area, statues and a covered BBQ area with seating and table for dining al fresco. Find out more

We hope you like our featured properties! If you’ve fallen in love, don’t delay before booking as the best properties are really booking up fast.

The Costa del Sol is an amazing place to take a holiday and no matter what you’re looking for, you’ll find something here. To help you make the most of your holiday we’ve produced a Costa del Sol holiday guide which you can download for free on our sister site. Enjoy the guide and have a great holiday, wherever you’re spending it.

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.

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.

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!