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Treat your loved one to a romantic minibreak for Valentine’s Day

Treat your loved one to a romantic minibreak for Valentine’s Day

We’re romantics here at HolidayRentalontheWeb and adore making big gestures for the ones we love. There’s no better time to do that than Valentine’s Day and no better way than whisking them off for a minibreak.

You may not think of visiting the Costa del Sol this time of year, but it’s a great time to visit, as the great festival of “Carneval” is in full swing with parades, events and fun activities. Not only that, but there’s so much romance and passion here and some lovely things that you can do for that special someone. Here are a few ideas –

  1. Stroll down the seafront promenade hand in hand and sip Spanish champagne looking at the waves. Watch the sun set over Gibraltar and marvel at the outline of the Rift mountains of Africa visible in the distance.
  2. Treat yourselves to a gastronomic experience to remember in one of the Costa del Sol’s wonderful restaurants and gourmet markets. We have something to suit all budgets and tastes, from a delicious selection of tapas in a little bar, to a seven course taster menu in a Michelin starred restaurant.
  3. Visit the beautiful white villages inland from the coast, such as Casares, Ojen and Istan.
  4. Take in the culture at the incredible art galleries in Málaga, or simply enjoy shopping, eating and drinking in this incredible city.
  5. Discover the wines in Ronda by visiting the bodegas and enjoying wine tastings with the makers

If you are planning a romantic break, please let us know, so we can advise you on the best properties to choose. We can also arrange special treats for you, like champagne, chocolates and flowers on arrival, or get you a booking at the most romantic restaurants near your holiday rental.

Have a very happy and romantic Valentine’s and we hope to be able to make it even more special!

Art and culture holidays on the Costa del Sol

Art and culture holidays on the Costa del Sol

In the winter months, holidays to the Costa del Sol change from lying on the beach to being active, enjoying the bright sunny weather to play sports, be outdoors and experience another side of this beautiful place. Another thing we love to do in the autumn and winter is to experience the culture and art that we have on our doorstep and this is a great thing to incorporate into a winter break.

Enjoy art

Malaga is a hotspot for amazing art galleries including the Picasso Museum, the CAC, the Carmen Thyssen gallery and the Pompidou Centre. A day trip to Malaga is essential for any culture vulture and is particularly nice in the quieter winter period. Discover the 10 best galleries in Malaga

Marbella too has some really nice galleries to visit. One of the largest is the Ralli Museum, just off the beachfront in the Golden Mile, which has one of the best collections of Latin American Art in the world. Tucked away in Marbella Old Town in a beautiful old building is the “Engraving Museum” which houses a small but beautiful collection of engravings and graphic art including works by Picasso, Dalí and Miró. There are also some nice private galleries which you can visit and even pick up a piece to take home. Check out this list of the best Marbella art galleries  to make sure you don’t miss a thing.

Estepona is another great place to visit for a bit of art and culture. There are 45 beautiful murals on buildings around town which you can explore with the Murals Walking Route. You will also find lots of beautiful sculptures and pieces of poetry scattered around the town and this is a lovely way to explore the town, while also enjoying art. The Kempinski Hotel Bahía has regular art exhibitions in the hotel, which are open to the public and free to view. Until the 10th of January, you can see 20 works by the musicians Brian Travers from UB40 and John Illsely from Dire Straits in their gallery, and iron sculptures by Nimrod Messeg in the lobby.

Experience the Spanish Culture

This is a great time of year to take in a flamenco show, listen to traditional music, or see a performance. During the Christmas period, there are many great performances from the town bands and choirs, as well as a chance to try Spanish Christmas delicacies. Depending where you’re staying, check out the Town Hall’s website, or pop into the local tourist office and find out about these performances, as they aren’t always easy to find online, but are very special.

Roads are quieter this time of year, so hire a car and explore the amazing culture nearby. Learn about the history and spirit of bullfighting in Ronda, flamenco in Seville and sherry making in Jerez, all an easy day trip away from Marbella.

For a taste of Christmas in Spain, look out for “turron” a kind of nougat which comes in all shapes, sizes and forms over Christmas, “polvorones” round almond based biscuits with an unusual powdery texture and the “roscon”, a round cake in the shape of a donut, with a sweet bread exterior, filled with cream and candied fruits.

If you want to take a cultural holiday to the Costa del Sol, please contact us for advice. If you have a particular focus to your holiday, or a few key destinations in mind, we can recommend perfectly located holiday rental properties for you. Staying in a holiday rental, gives you the flexibility to come and go when you please, cook, make a packed lunch, and generally feel at home and give you a comfortable base to explore from. We hope to welcome you here very soon.

Celebrating Christmas on the Costa del Sol

Christmas on the Costa del Sol

December is upon us and so all thoughts turn to Christmas, decorations go up around town, shopping gets underway and plans are made for this very special time of year. Where will you be spending Christmas and New Year? If you’re not sure, why not try something a bit different and head to Spain’s sunshine coast for a Christmas to remember? You could switch cold temperatures, rampant commercialism and crazy schedules of parties and family visits, for bright sunshine, relaxed atmosphere and the chance to do Christmas your way.

If that sounds appealing, here are four reasons we think the Costa del Sol is a great place to celebrate Christmas –

  1. The Weather is Much Better

Taking a look at the average weather in December between London and Marbella tells a story. In London you’re looking at highs of 7°C, just 1 hour of sunshine per day and 17 days of rain in the month. In Marbella there are highs of 16°C, 6 hours of sunshine per day and 5 rainy days in the month. Now we’re not talking about sunbathing weather here, but it’s common to have bright sunny days, which allows you to enjoy the great outdoors! We love playing golf, going for long walks, mountain-biking or hiking at this time of the year and it’s so lovely to be able to do it after those big Christmas meals.

  1. The Costa del Sol looks beautiful

After some unusual wet weather, the countryside around the Costa del Sol is looking stunning, rivers are flowing, and everything is really looking its best. Plus, at Christmas the larger towns really pull out all the stops to make them sparkle, with wonderful lights and decorations. You can’t avoid getting into the Christmas spirit when you visit Malaga, with its incredible Christmas lights. The whole city looks beautiful, but for the main event, head to the main shopping street Calle Larios for the light and music shows which take place at 6.30pm, 8pm and 9.30pm every evening. Malaga is a must for a Christmas day trip and here’s a great guide to Christmas in Malaga to help you plan. Marbella is also looking stunning this year, with 120 streets being decorated, 8 nativity scenes and 4 Christmas trees. A trip to wander around the beautiful streets of the Old Town, lit up, and enjoy a little relaxed Christmas shopping is a lovely thing to do.

  1. There’s lots to do

We already mentioned the wonderful sports on offer over the winter period here on the Costa del Sol, but there are also lots of great events, parties and activities to enjoy this time of year, for a Christmas with a twist. Marbella Town Hall has organized a packed schedule of parades, performances, entertainment and concerts, with things happening on the 21st, 23rd, 27th, 28th, 29th and 31st of December, as well as the 4th and 5th of January – check out the Marbella Christmas events programme. There’s a Puerto Banus Christmas Market until January 6th right on the water’s edge, which is well worth a visit. Businesses and charities are also organizing events such as Christmas markets, cooking classes, live music, comedy and art. Pick up a copy of one of the English papers when you arrive, or consult the MyGuideMarbella and Marbella Azul event calendars to choose where you want to go and what you want to do.

New Year’s Eve is also a big deal here, with all the Town Halls celebrating the start of the New Year with fireworks and music in the Town Hall, and every bar and restaurant putting on special events, so you’re really spoilt for choice! As if that’s not enough, you could even escape to the snow for a day and ski up in the Sierra Nevada, an easy day trip away!!

  1. You can choose how you celebrate

Getting away from home over Christmas gives you the freedom to do things the way you want to. We often have groups of friends hire a villa over the Christmas period and start their own traditions, away from the pressures of the extended family group. We also have couples and families with young children that want to have quality time together, without distractions and where they can totally focus on each other. If you want to cook, then a holiday rental villa or apartment, plus supermarkets stocking all the holiday favourites makes it easy. Prefer to let someone do it for you? No problem! Almost all the restaurants in the area have Christmas events and meals, some serving the traditional turkey and trimmings, others offering a more gourmet menu, but all creating a magical atmosphere on this special day. Alternatively you can do it Spanish style and celebrate with a big dinner on Christmas Eve and the arrival of the Three Kings on the 5th of January. It’s really up to you!

If this sounds like your perfect Christmas this year, please contact us and let us help you choose the perfect holiday rental property. Send us your dates, number of guests, requirements and location preferences and we’ll send you through a list of great properties that will be a wonderful base for the Christmas holidays.

Happy Holidays!

On behalf of all of our team, we wish you a very Happy Holidays, and health and happiness in 2018! We hope you have a wonderful time, wherever you are spending the holidays, and that you can be with friends, family and loved ones.

At this special time of year we always like to give back to those less fortunate than ourselves, so we’re helping the homeless on the Costa del Sol. We collaborate with a local homeless charity and contribute savoury and sweet pies to their Christmas meal and presents so that everyone can get a little something this year. All our generous staff are making donations to this cause, and the company is doubling what they raise so we can help as many people as possible.

At the office, we are collecting warm coats, blankets, scarves and rucksacks, to give to the homeless. So if you have anything in the house which you don’t use anymore, please drop them in to the office and we’ll make sure they get to people in need. Where to find us

Christmas Opening Times

It has been a very busy year for our property management and property rentals team and we continue our hard work throughout the festive season. We will be closed on Monday 25th and Tuesday 26th of December and the 1st of January, but open as normal throughout the rest of the holidays.

Please let us know if we can help you with property management or renting out your property in 2018, or browse our great holiday rental properties and start planning your next holiday. We look forward to hearing from you!

Try an alternative New Year’s Eve on the Costa del Sol

alternative New Year’s Eve on the Costa del Sol

Where has this year gone? Christmas is nearly here and New Year’s Eve is hot on its heels. What are your plans for the most important party night of the year?

If you’re still deciding and are getting fed up with the crowds, hype and silly prices, then how about getting away from the New Year madness to celebrate in Spain?

We love New Year’s Eve on the Costa del Sol, as there’s something for everyone, whether you want a chilled out winter getaway or want to hit the dance floor. Here are four great ways to spend it, under our sunny skies.

Have a house party with a difference

There are many house parties going on over New Year, but what about getting your mates together in a luxury holiday home for a winter getaway? If you have a group of friends clubbing together off peak, you could afford an amazing luxury villa including bar area, games room, gym, tennis courts and even heated swimming pool. Now that’s what I call bringing in the New Year in style!

This five bedroom villa in Mijas Costa just 600 meters from the beach has amazing facilities including a private pool and hot tub, outdoor bar area, games room, games consoles and two kitchens! You could spend Christmas and New Year here for just 60€ per person, per night.

Try an active New Year Break

If all the New Year fuss leaves you cold, take advantage of the sunshine and warm winters here on the Costa del Sol to have an active break. Imagine hiking up La Concha mountain on New Year’s Eve and rewarding yourself with a delicious meal in the evening to welcome 2018. How about playing golf on New Year ’s Day under sunny skies, or hiring a bike and riding along the seafront promenade for lunch with a view? It’s all there for you! You can rent a great holiday home right on the fairways and choose from over 70 golf courses for a round, it’s a wonderful time of year for a golf holiday.

Hit the clubs!

It’s not all about rest and relaxation, there are also some awesome parties going on over the festive period, particularly in Puerto Banus and also in the funky beachside bars and restaurants along the coast. Nikki Beach’s new winter concept Nikki Privé is holding a great New Year’s Eve party from 8 to late in Elviria which offers glitz and glam in a stunning location. Claro in Estepona is offering a delicious five course menu followed by a great DJ so you can dance the night away right by the beach. La Sala in Banus promises the best live music acts and always has an awesome atmosphere and they are doing a selection of canapés and free bar between 8.30 and 11pm for 90€ per person. Many more parties will be announced in the coming weeks, so keep your eyes peeled!

Join the locals for grapes

Finally, if you want the true Spanish experience, eat late at your holiday home and head down to the main town square around 11.30pm. Loads of people descend down there just before midnight with 12 grapes in their hands and eat one grape per chime of the clock, enjoy the fireworks and then hit the bars and clubs. If you’re holidaying in Marbella, head to either Orange Square or down to the port area and you’ll be sure of a great atmosphere and fireworks at midnight.

The Costa del Sol is a great choice for Christmas and New Year getaways. If we can help you plan an unforgettable New Year in the sun, get in touch today and let us recommend the best places to stay and things to do. We have some properties which will offer short breaks over the winter, so if you want to visit over the New Year weekend please contact us and ask for our list of properties with availability in the area you love.

Plan your festive getaway

Plan your festive getaway

November is here and the countdown is well and truly on to the festive season. Where will you be spending the holidays this year? If you’re getting family together from around the country, why not bring them all over to Spain’s sunshine coast to celebrate?

The Costa del Sol has great weather all year round with temperatures rarely dropping below 10°C and regularly hitting highs of 16°C, you can still enjoy 6 hours of sunshine each day. As it only rains an average of 5 days in December, you should have lots of bright sunny days, but with cool evenings which make you feel festive.

Bringing the whole family, or a group of friends, together in a villa on the Costa del Sol is a great way to add excitement and novelty to the holidays. It also takes away from any one person having to shoulder all the responsibility for cooking or cleaning for example. By celebrating on neutral territory any jobs can be shared around and there’s no unnecessary stress on you.

There are spectacular villas on the Costa del Sol available for Christmas rentals at a fraction of the cost of the summer and we can arrange cleaning as well, so you can just relax. You won’t believe how far your budget will go when you split a large villa between a group and they offer so much space and facilities too.

Take this beautiful luxury 6 bed villa in Elviria for example. It would be just 61€ per person per night based on 12 people sharing in December. For that you have so many lovely features such as a gym, private pool, formal living room with a grand piano, perfect for singing carols, a comfortable den where you can cozy up and watch your favourite winter movies. You can take advantage of the sunny days in the spacious garden and enjoy a BBQ and drinks in the covered Cabana and bar area. There is a huge, fully equipped kitchen if you want to cook a big festive meal, or you can head down to one of the nearby restaurants for a traditional dinner, or something a bit different. A winter break here would be unforgettable!

To find out more about visiting the Costa del Sol at Christmas read our blog, or ask us for ideas and recommendations.

Fuengirola Events 2017

Fuengirola Events 2017

As we said in our last post about holidaying around Malaga, Fuengirola is an excellent holiday destination due to the amazing beaches, restaurants, shopping, eating out and activities for all the family. What we didn’t mention, was the great events programme that this vibrant town runs each year. There’s almost always something going on, but here are a few highlights that you should put into your diary, which are a great reason for a trip.

The first one of the year is the Feria Internacional de los Pueblos, which is being held from the 27th of April to the 1st of May in 2017. This is a celebration of the huge range of nationalities which call Fuengirola home, and showcases their music, dance, culture and most importantly their food! You can wander around the “casetas” or little houses which each represent a different place, listen to their music and try some of their most delicious and emblematic dishes. Make sure you come hungry though, last year there were more than 30 places represented including Italy, France, Argentina, the UK, Egypt, Greece, Venezuela, Senegal and India.  There are also parades, performances and a brilliant atmosphere. Stalls open from 1pm each day and close at 4am and it’s always an amazing party.

The next date for your diary is the Fiesta de San Juan on the 23rd of June, one of the best parties of the year here on the Costa del Sol. This festival is all about celebrating the longest night of the year by building a bonfire on the beach, eating, drinking and making merry. Check out our guide on how to celebrate San Juan Spanish style to find out more about this great festival.

They celebrate San Juan all along the Costa del Sol, but Fuengirola really makes the most of it with a street party in the Boquetillo area, with music, food, drinks and entertainment for the kids. This is a great way to try some of the delicious Spanish food, party like a local and start the summer in style and this continues for several nights after San Juan too, so you don’t have to miss out on the bonfires.

In July and August the emblematic Sohail Castle hosts regular concerts with Spanish and International acts flying in to perform in this amazing venue. They haven’t announced any acts for this year as yet, but keep your eye on the Fuengirola events calendar on the Fuengirola Town Hall website for upcoming performances. Also during this time there’s the Medieval Market and the Oktoberfest, dates for this year to be confirmed, but keep checking the calendar.

Finally, October 6th-12th is the Fuengirola Fair, a week of brilliant partying day and night, where the whole town comes out to celebrate. It’s a great time to visit the Costa del Sol, with cheaper flights, and cooler temperatures.

This is just the tip of the iceberg of all of the great events taking place in Fuengirola and whenever you’re coming we have some brilliant Fuengirola holiday rentals for you. Imagine sunning yourself in this exceptional 6 bed Mijas Costa Villa with private pool and sea and mountain views, just a few kilometres from Fuengirola.

If that’s a bit big, how about this lovely 3-bedroom apartment close to Fuengirola in the heart of a thriving residential area, with a shared garden and pool? There are lots of options to choose from, please contact us with your requirements and we’ll give you a handpicked list perfect for you.

A Guide to Holidaying Around Malaga

Holidaying Around Malaga

January is a popular time to plan your holidays and if you’re wondering where to jet off to this year, we’d recommend the coastal towns around Malaga on Spain’s sunny Costa del Sol.

As well as being beautiful beachside resorts, the towns of Torremolinos, Benalmadena and Fuengirola have plenty of good value holiday rental properties, lots to do and excellent access into Malaga city and to the airport. They are connected by a good train line, unlike everywhere else on the Costa del Sol, so you don’t need to have a car. This saves you money and stress and gives you much more flexibility for exploring.

Torremolinos is closest to the airport and has plenty to offer, with wide sandy beaches, brilliant nightlife, shopping and lots to do. There’s a new tourist office in the centre of town which can help you make the most of this great area and is open Monday to Friday 9-2.30.

Benalmadena is next down the coast and within easy reach of Torremolinos and the airport. This lovely town has something for everyone, a beautiful marina, amazing nightlife, lots of family friendly activities and of course some lovely beaches.

If both these places sound good to you, then we’d recommend this 3 bedroom apartment between Torremolinos and Benalmadena and within walking distance of supermarkets, bars, restaurants and shops. The apartment is arranged over one floor, with a south-east facing terrace, a comfortable living and dining area and three good sized bedrooms, one with bunk beds, and there’s a shared pool and gardens.

A little further along the coast towards Marbella is Fuengirola, the final town on the train from Malaga and the airport. Fuengirola has wonderful beaches, great restaurants, a large international community and plenty of things to do, including an excellent zoo and water park. It is great for families, couples and groups and there are lots of good value holiday rental properties to choose from.

This cosy 2 bedroom holiday apartment is located in Carvajal, between Benalmadena and Fuengirola. Carvajal has a train station, so you can easily pop to Fuengirola and Benalmadena and up to Malaga too. Or if you fancy some exercise, you can walk along the promenade to either Benalmadena or Fuengirola, or all the way to Torremolinos if you really want to stretch your legs. The apartment has amazing sea views and is just 5 minutes’ walk down to the beach. It is well maintained, has a stunning south facing terrace and roof terrace, a spacious lounge and dining area, a modern kitchen and two bedrooms.

Choosing a location close to Malaga, gives you easy access to the airport and the beautiful city of Malaga, with its gorgeous port, historic centre, amazing shopping and art galleries. Each town has its own character and plenty to offer, if you’re not sure which one to choose please contact us and we can discuss the perfect area and Costa del Sol holiday rental for you.

Partying on the Costa del Sol for New Year’s Eve

Costa del Sol New Year's Eve

The Costa del Sol’s legendary nightlife during the summer does slow a little over the winter months, but many places swing back into life again for the biggest party of the year – New Year’s Eve. It’s a great place to see in the New Year, with warmer temperatures, clear skies and interesting traditions to try. Plus, this year it falls on a Saturday, so why not take a long weekend break on the Costa del Sol to really start off the new year in style?!

There are hundreds of parties going on all over the coast, but here are a few highlights.

Great Gatsby New Year’s Eve party, with a glamourous 1920s theme and a full line up of entertainment, champagne, canapés and open bar in a secret location somewhere in Puerto Banus, it all sounds very exciting.

Masquerade Ball and Gala Dinner at the Kempinski Hotel Bahia Estepona – this is a very special place to spend New Year’s Eve, with amazing food, wines and plenty  of live entertainment including acrobats! The masquerade ball theme will be spectacular and there’s a kids’ party too, so the little ones will be entertained.

Bob Sinclair at Olivia ValereThe world famous DJ comes to Marbella to start 2017 in true party style on the last night of the year!

Marbella Old Town’s celebrations – If you fancy something more Spanish in style, head down to the Marbella’s beautiful Old Town, where there will be a party at 11pm in the main church square. It’s nice to have dinner on one of the beautiful restaurants and then go down to the square to see in the new year. Just make sure you bring 12 grapes, so you can take part in the Spanish tradition of trying to eat one grape for each chime of the clock.

Host your own party in a beautiful villa – Another great option is to book one of our outstanding luxury Costa del Sol villas and bring a group of friends over to create your very own party. Many villas have heated pools and outdoor or indoor bar areas and games rooms as well as spectacular kitchens and living rooms, so you can create an amazing party in a stunning setting.  For example, imagine bringing in the new year in this 5 bedroom Marbella villa, complete with bar, lounge, games room and heated swimming pool……

Come and celebrate the best night of the year here on the Costa del Sol – it will be a New Year’s Eve not to be forgotten!

Things to do with kids on the Costa del Sol in the winter

Things to do with kids on the Costa del Sol in the winter

 

We are very lucky here on the Costa del Sol and usually have bright sunny days, even in the winter, however it’s not always beach weather, so for those of you planning an off-peak break with kids, we’ve put together a list of recommendations for you.

Visit the zoo – We love the zoo in Fuengirola on a sunny winter’s day, as it’s quieter and all the walking around is much easier when it’s not too hot. Selwo Aventura near to Estepona is amazing as well, it’s a huge zoo with animals including lions, hippos, giraffes and zebras. You can pay extra to go on their safari tour, get up close to the animals, learn about them from the zoo keeper and even feed the zebras which is a great experience. If you’re staying around Sotogrande, then Castellar Zoo is a great choice too, where you can pet and feed many of the animals!

Take a Hike – The countryside just inland of the Costa del Sol is spectacular and perfect for exploring in autumn and winter. We’d recommend the foothills of La Concha near Marbella for a lovely stroll and a place to collect pine cones to burn on your log fire, or the hills behind Mijas Pueblo have some lovely trails to follow.

Make chocolate – Mijas Pueblo also has Mayan Monkey the world’s smallest chocolate factory, where you can do fun workshops to make your own chocolate!

Visit a play centre – There are several great play centres, including the newly opened Mundo Mania in Cancelada (between Marbella and Estepona), which is the biggest in the area, and has zones for babies and toddlers, 3-12 year olds and even a teen zone, so it’s one for all the family! There’s also Kidz Kingdom in Cancelada, Fantasy Land in La Cala and BosquiPark in Sabinillas.

Have a bite to eat – Almost all restaurants on the Costa del Sol welcome kids with open arms, but if it’s a nice day, then eating in one of the chiringuitos (beach restaurants) right on the sand is a great choice. If you want something with more for the kids to do, Funky Forest between Marbella and Estepona is a lovely café with a lawn, swings and a slide, a play house and even rabbits to feed and the food is great.

Head to the playground – Everywhere you go on the Costa del Sol you will find playgrounds and they are great fun at any time of year!

For more great tips on off-peak holidays on the Costa del Sol read last month’s blog post, where we shared some advice on choosing your location, accommodation and holiday type, to make the most of this very affordable time to get away. We have a selection of great holiday rentals on the Costa del Sol, which are the ideal home from home for a family holiday. Many are equipped with kids’ toys, cutlery and plates and high chairs, so you can travel a little lighter, and they are a great place to relax and enjoy a holiday with the little ones. Hope to see you here soon!