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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!

Top Tips for Enjoying the Costa del Sol Waterparks

Costa del Sol Waterparks

August is the time when most families come and enjoy the Costa del Sol and take a well-earned break during the summer holidays. It is a wonderful family destination, with so many things to do and a great selection of holiday rental properties, which are perfect when you’re travelling with children. If you’re planning to visit a waterpark during your next holiday, there are three along the Costa del Sol to try:

Aqualand Torremolinos – The biggest along the coast is in Torremolinos, within easy reach of the airport. There’s loads to do there, with 19 different attractions to enjoy. Buying a fast pass is recommended, as queues can be long.

AquaMijas – Located in Fuengirola this is a smaller park, but good for a mix of ages. It has 12 attractions, as well as a nice area for younger kids and this year they opened a new Jacuzzi and slides.

Bahia Park Algeciras – If you’re staying on the western Costa del Sol, between Estepona and Gibraltar, this is a very good option and is actually getting the best reviews on TripAdvisor. Although it isn’t the biggest, it is cheaper and less busy than the other parks, so might be worth a look, even if you’re further afield. It has 17 different attractions to enjoy and this year expanded its area for younger children. We found this was a good option for young children, as if you’re 1.20 meters or more, you can pretty much go on everything.

Here are a few insider tips to help you enjoy a trip to the waterpark to the full.

  1. Book your tickets online – you will get the best deals and you can often skip the queues
  2. Wear waterproof shoes – The floors get very hot and can be slippery and it’s quite easy to bash your feet when you’re walking around or zooming down the slides. Beach or swim shoes are great to protect your feet.
  3. Get there early – Parking can be tricky and queues long, so get there early and choose a weekday to avoid the stress and make the most of the entry fee.
  4. Pack drinks and snacks – You are able to bring in your own food and drinks as long as it’s not in glass bottles and this can save you a lot of money throughout the day and avoid wasting time queuing.
  5. Budget for a sunbed and rings – You have to pay extra to have a sunbed, which can come as a surprise for a lot of visitors. They are not very expensive, but make sure you have cash so you can get a few. It’s well worth the investment if you’re going to be there for a whole day. We tend to just get a couple for the adults, as the kids are more than happy running around and then sharing yours when they want a rest or a bite to eat. To cut down on queuing it can be a good idea to hire some extra rings, this does add to the cost, but the kids will thank you for it.

A day at the waterpark is not a cheap day out, but it is a lot of fun!

However don’t worry if this is out of budget, there is a cheaper option which can keep the whole family happy. Head to the beach and look for one of the large inflatable play areas in the sea. These are really challenging, but loads of fun, trying to climb the obstacles and get round the course. This can keep older kids (and the young at heart) happy for hours. They charge either by the hour, or for a whole day for those who have the energy.

While the older kids are burning energy there, the younger ones will be happy if you provide them with a bucket and spade. Other things we always have in the beach bag are a bat and ball, a football and some activity books and colours. Pack snacks, drinks and sandwiches and enjoy your day!!

We are experts on the Costa del Sol, with an experienced team of professionals who know the area inside out. Our selection of holiday rental properties are ideal for families, offering flexibility, space and a home-from-home where everyone can relax. For more great tips on holidaying on the Costa del Sol, download our free Costa del Sol holiday guide.

Don’t miss Malaga province’s beautiful countryside

Malaga province beautiful countryside

Most people think only of beaches when they think about the Costa del Sol, but just inland from this stunning stretch of coastline is miles and miles of beautiful countryside. We recommend combining time in the country, with time on the beach and in the towns, for a well-rounded view of this wonderful area.

It is amazing how quickly the modern, cosmopolitan coastal areas turn into sleepy rural villages, national parks, and beautiful wilderness. We love the area’s typical white villages, which are easily accessible from the coast and even have some lovely holiday rentals in them.

Close to Marbella, are the pretty villages of Ojen, Istan and Benahavis. Istan has a stunning lake and beautiful countryside around it and is a very traditional Spanish village. Benahavis by contrast is very international, but beautifully preserved and really picturesque. It is famous for its restaurants and known as “The Frying Pan of Andalucia” due to the huge number in such a small place. Foodies should definitely make their way here to get a bit of village charm and a wonderful meal too.

Casares is probably the prettiest white village, seeming to defy gravity with its houses clinging to the hillside below the hilltop church. It is like time has stood still when you walk into the centre of the village, with its winding streets and leisurely pace of life. Yet Casares also offers some great restaurants and even a new zipline for adrenaline junkies, so it’s a great holiday destination. Check out our blog to find out why to visit Casares and ask us about our Casares holiday rental properties if this sounds like the destination for you.

Inland from Fuengirola is the beautiful village of Mijas. This is pretty as a picture and is a vibrant place to visit, with lots of little shops, cafes and even a tiny wine museum and excellent art gallery. All around the village is stunning countryside, with great walking routes from the top of the village out into nature. For the best of both worlds Mijas Costa is a great base for a holiday. This is in the coastal zone, within easy reach of Fuengirola and its many attractions and the area’s many beaches, yet still close to the natural beauty of the village and the surrounding countryside.

There’s more than just the white villages to visit if you want to come into contact with the great outdoors. Estepona is known as the garden of the Costa del Sol due to its many parks and green spaces, plus its amazing botanical gardens with a great orchid collection. A little inland is the natural park of the Sierra Bermeja, with excellent hiking and mountain biking trails.

Last but not least, is the stunning countryside around Malaga. There are the Malaga Lakes, El Chorro gorge and of course the famous Caminito del Rey trail, which are very much worth a visit. Within an hour of the capital city of the province you have the amazing El Torcal natural park, with its weird and wonderful rock formations and excellent bird spotting. There’s also the pretty town of Antequera, miles of countryside dotted with olive trees and incredible historical sites such as the Dolmens which date back to 2500 BC.

To explore this area you can’t rely on public transport, so you either need to hire a car or take a guided tour. We were pleased to see that a new tour company launched recently called Tour de Malaga, who are specifically focusing on rural Malaga and helping visitors to enjoy this stunning countryside. This is definitely an aspect of the area which isn’t being explored as much as it should!

If you like the idea of holidaying away from the hustle and bustle and would like a holiday rental property surrounded by beautiful countryside, we can help you find it. Contact us with your requirements and any areas you particularly like and we’d be happy to provide you with a list of peaceful getaways, which are still within easy reach of everything the coast has to offer.

Gastronomy on the Costa del Sol

Gastronomy on the Costa del Sol

Spain is flying high in the culinary stakes at the moment, with seven Spanish restaurants making it into the coveted World’s 50 Best Restaurants List. Three of those seven made it into the top 10, which is an amazing feat. However, it’s not really a surprise, given the rich food culture in Spain, the excellent quality local produce and passion for eating out which runs through the whole society.

Andalucia has a fabulous food heritage. It is famous for its fish dishes, hams and produces wonderful wines and sherries. The locally grown fruit and vegetables and the fresh fish available on its coastline means that delicious food awaits you at even the most humble restaurant.

There are an enormous array of restaurants to choose from. They start with the cheap and cheerful “ventas” which specialise in Menu del Dia set menus which can be under 10€ and offer a great way to enjoy local favourites at an excellent price.

However, it’s not just simple fare on offer! The Costa del Sol has a number of amazing Michelin starred restaurants too. These are a foodie’s dream, with the finest ingredients prepared in the most elaborate ways. Most offer taster menus to allow you to really experience the best dishes on the menu and recommend you go for the wine pairing for the full monty. They are not cheap of course, but they are wonderful if you want something very special.

Marbella has the most Michelin star restaurants, with Skina, Messina and Restaurant Dani Garcia all having one Michelin star. If you’re staying in a holiday rental in Elviria you’re very close to the amazing El Lago, which also boasts a star. Visitors to Fuengirola have a huge number of great restaurants to choose from, with El Sollo showcasing the very best local fresh water fish and caviar.

Please ask us for our recommendations for great places to eat near your holiday rental. There are restaurants to suit all budgets and tastes in all the areas where we have properties, but it can be hard to know which ones to choose.

But of course it’s not all about the restaurants! If you’re staying in a holiday rental, a trip to the local market is a must. Juicy ripe tomatoes and local artisan cheese, Jabugo ham, fresh bread and olives makes for a perfect light lunch. You could even try making your own gazpacho, a classic Andalusian dish – it’s very easy to make. If you want a barbeque, the locally produced beef from Cadiz has a stellar reputation and the tuna down the coast in Barbate is some of the best. With ingredients this good, plus a fully equipped kitchen and barbeque, you’re sure to make a feast.

Another treat for foodies is the increasing number of gourmet markets opening up around the Costa del Sol. Last year Marbella’s gourmet market opened, with its stalls, bars and lovely atmosphere and it has become a firm favourite with tourists and locals alike. Estepona is following the trend and opened their gourmet market last month, with the difference being that they offer table service from all the different stalls, for a more relaxing experience.

By booking a holiday rental on the Costa del Sol you have the flexibility to enjoy browsing the local shops and markets and cooking when you want to, or popping out to restaurants, knowing you have a home from home to return to. We know whatever you do, you’ll love the food and the restaurants on the Costa del Sol and if you’re like us, then it will be one of the highlights of your holiday!

Summer events on the Costa del Sol

Summer events on the Costa del Sol

There have been some exciting events announced over the last few months, so we wanted to share the highlights with you to make sure you don’t miss a thing on your next holiday.

Marbella Feria 5-11th June

Many Costa del Sol residents feel that the summer season really begins with this week-long festival in Marbella. Expect parades, music, dancing, great food, concerts and plenty of fun. It begins with an amazing firework display on the beach Playa Faro at 11pm on the 5th which is definitely one to watch. The day feria will be held in the Parque Alameda and Avenida del Mar right in the centre of town and then the night feria will go up to the fairground area by La Cañada shopping centre.

James Rhodes Concert 29th June Fuengirola

One of the best classical musicians around at the moment, James Rhodes will be playing at the Fuengirola castle at the end of June as part of his Fire on all Sides tour. This is one of the many great concerts and music events taking place at Sohail Castle over the summer, so if you’re staying in Fuengirola, make sure you check out the events programme.

Ojeando Festival 13 & 14th July Ojen

For something completely different, head up to the normally quiet white village of Ojen for this two-day independent music festival. Showcasing excellent Spanish pop and rock bands and new talent right in the centre of the village, across three stages, this is a lot of fun and great value, with a 2 day pass costing just 25€. It’s within easy access of Marbella and you can even camp up there if you want the full festival experience.

Pet Shop Boys 18th July Marbella

The Pet Shop Boys are performing in Marbella as part of the amazing Starlite line up. They are well known for their impressive stage shows, combining music, art and spectacle and this should be amazing in the old quarry in the hills of Marbella. The following day, sees an intriguing combination take to the stage – Sting and Shaggy! We can’t quite imagine how these two will perform together, but the mix will be fascinating to see.

Jamiroquai 22nd July Marbella

Also at Starlite, we’re looking forward to see the legendary Jay Kay bringing his future funk style to the auditorium in Marbella.

James Blunt 3rd August Marbella

Our final pick from the great concerts at Starlite this year is the singer songwriter James Blunt who is coming to Marbella as part of his “Afterlove Tour”.

Carlos Santana concert 9th August Fuengirola

This amazing musician is bringing his signature fusion style to the beautiful setting of Fuengirola’s Sohail Castle on the 9th of August.

UB40 Concert 16th August Estepona

If you’re holidaying in Estepona, there are lots of great events taking place in the town and at the bullring throughout the summer. Our top pick has to be UB40 in concert, where original members Ali Campbell, Astro, and Mickey Virtue, will be performing as part of their ‘A Real labour of Love’ 40th Anniversary Tour.

Kool & the Gang Concert 19th August Marbella

This great soul and funk band are performing live at the Puente Romano Tennis Club in August. This is a really nice venue for concerts in Marbella, as wherever you sit you are close to the action and have a great view.

If you don’t happen to be visiting the Costa del Sol when these great events are taking place, don’t despair, this is just the tip of the iceberg! We recommend consulting the events calendars on Marbella Azul and My Guide Marbella to see what’s going on during your stay – you won’t be disappointed.

Alternatively, if you like the look of any of these events but haven’t sorted out your accommodation yet, then we’re here to help! We have an excellent selection of holiday rental properties along the Costa del Sol. Tell us what event you want to go to and we’ll recommend the best accommodation close to the action, which has availability. Contact us now.

Wine tourism on the Costa del Sol

Wine tourism on the Costa del Sol

Did you know that as well as the glorious sunshine and beaches, the Costa del Sol is a great place to discover wine? It may not be as well known as the more traditional wine producing areas of the world, but Andalucia is growing in reputation for producing great quality wines and increasingly opening up their bodegas and vineyards to visitors. Wine is excellent value for money here in Spain and there are many specialist wine shops and bars where you can try some of the best and most interesting wines in Spain.

If you want wine to play a role in your next Costa del Sol holiday, here are four things to do and places to go –

  1. Take a day trip to Ronda

Ronda has been making wines since the Roman times and has a wonderful climate and soil conditions. In recent years, it has been making a name for itself for producing some excellent wines and recently launched an official wine tourism route where you can visit bodegas, sample wines and find out how they are made. While you’re there, marvel at the gorge and enormous bridge and visit the home of modern bullfighting. Ronda is an easy day trip from Marbella.

  1. Visit Manilva and learn about their sweet wines

Manilva is in the western Costa del Sol and is famous for its sweet wines and white village surrounded by vines. There is a wine museum where you can learn about the making of the wines and do a tasting. This is where Nilva wine is being produced, a new breed of Manilva wine which is winning many awards at the moment and you can meet the maker and even visit the vineyards as part of a tour. Nearby Puerto de la Duquesa is a popular holiday spot, with great restaurants, bars and nightlife. We have a selection of Manilva holiday rentals, such as this two bedroom apartment in Sabinillas, ask our team for recommendations.

  1. Head to Mijas Pueblo

Mijas Pueblo is one of the Costa del Sol’s most charming villages, with winding streets, white washed houses and lots of lovely shops and restaurants. For wine buffs, a visit to the wine museum is a must. You can pop in and sample wines and learn about them from their well trained staff, or if you have a group of 8 or more you can book a special wine tasting course which is an excellent experience. If this sounds like a good base for your holiday, browse our Mijas holiday rentals.

  1. Try sherry and do a bodega tour in Jerez

A little further afield is the birthplace of sherry Jerez, approximately two hours drive from Marbella. It makes a good day trip, but if you want to sample the sherry it may be wise to stay overnight. There are massive bodegas such as Tio Pepe which you can visit, learn about the production and try the sherries. There are also more interesting places such as the Bodega Tradición which specialises in very old and rare sherries and has a wonderful collection of Spanish art.

Foodies and wine buffs are really spoilt for choice here on the Costa del Sol with many Michelin starred restaurants offering wonderful food with wine pairings and many great gourmet markets to visit. Enjoy your visit!