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Visiting Fuengirola in 2019

Fuengirola is a wonderful town to take a holiday. It has miles of Blue Flag beaches, a lovely marina, a reputation for excellent restaurants, a vibrant nightlife and great shopping. Over the past few years, it has also established a fantastic event calendar, with outstanding events which are a brilliant focus for a trip.

Here are just a few dates for your diary, to help you plan your Fuengirola holiday this year:

30th April-5th May – Feria de los Pueblos

Highly recommended for foodies and those interested in learning more about different countries through their cuisine, music and culture, the Feria de los Pueblos is a real feast for the senses. Held in the massive fairground area in Fuengirola, this food fair is a celebration of the many different nationalities that call Fuengirola home. There are around 35 stands, each representing a country or region, and sharing their iconic dishes with the crowds. You can see the country’s national dress, sample some of their drinks, listen to their music and join in with typical dances. You really can travel the world at this food festival!

Marenostrum Festival

This music festival has been running for many years and brings some fabulous artists to perform in the castle park in Fuengirola. There are many more acts to be announced, but here are a few you won’t want to miss.

4th May – Bob Dylan and his band perform

14th and 15th June – Rock the Coast – a two day festival for rock fans, featuring German rock legends Scorpions and Europe, with many more to still be announced

3rd July – Rod Stewart

October 6th – 12th – Fuengirola Feria

One of the last big parties of the year, Fuengirola Feria is at a great time if you’re looking for cheaper accommodation and flights, and cooler temperatures. One week of fun, flamenco, food and fairground rides, the feria is a great time to see Fuengirola come to life.

If you like the sound of these events, but want to learn more about the town, then read our Fuengirola guide and browse our selection of Fuengirola holiday rentals.

We have a wide range of beachside properties close to the centre of the action, like this two bedroom apartment close to Castillo Sohail, which is just a short walk of the beach and the concert venue. To be even closer to the centre of town and just two streets back from the beach, this one bedroom Fuengirola apartment is perfect.

Please don’t hesitate to contact us to enquire about the right holiday rental properties for you and where in or around Fuengirola would best suit you. We look forward to hearing from you!

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.

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.

Walking in the Malaga hills

Walking in the Malaga hills

One of our favourite autumn activities here on the Costa del Sol is to explore the area’s stunning countryside on foot. Autumn is an ideal time as it’s cooler and the countryside looks pretty after the first rains of the new season.

There are great walks to be had in almost all our favourite holiday rental destinations. Highlights include the well signposted walking routes at the back of Mijas Pueblo, the hiking route which runs parallel to the Guadalmina River near to Benahavis and of course Marbella’s iconic La Concha mountain. The base of La Concha has some lovely long hikes in beautiful countryside, which are suitable for all ages and levels, but you need to be well prepared to actually take on the La Concha trek, as it is high and demanding.

Some of the most beautiful countryside is inland from Malaga city. They have three beautiful areas with large reservoirs, where you can swim, do watersports or simply hike into the hills. Up here is the famous Caminito del Rey a vertiginous walking route which is becoming hugely popular since it was reopened a few years ago. Anyone who loves walking, beautiful scenery and has a head for heights will love this route. However, it’s very popular and tickets are required, so make sure you book in advance.

Another amazing place to visit in this region is El Torcal, near Antequera. This national park is full of weird and wonderful rock formations, plus the ancient dolmens burial mounds which date back 5,000 years and are a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Find out more about exploring Malaga’s countryside on our blog.

Cycling is also another great way to explore the countryside and coastal areas around the Costa del Sol. The most popular areas for cycling include the long seafront promenade, or exploring the tracks and parks inland from Marbella and Estepona. By renting bikes and a car, you can reach stunning countryside easily and cover a lot of distance. Find out more about cycling on the Costa del Sol and routes we’d recommend on our blog.

You don’t even need to leave the towns and cities to stretch your legs. There are excellent walking routes in Marbella, Malaga city has a number of great themed walks and in Estepona you can do a walking route around nearly 30 huge murals.

The Costa del Sol is a great place to be active, walking, riding a bike, jogging or even horse riding and there’s so much beautiful countryside to enjoy. We can match you and the activities you want to do, with holiday rental properties in the ideal area to make it easy and cut down on travel time. Contact us with what you’re planning and we’ll send you a list of ideal home-from-home properties which are perfect throughout the year.

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.

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.

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!

Start your countdown to your summer holidays

Start your countdown to your summer holidays

Spring has most definitely sprung here on the Costa del Sol, the weather is stunning, the beaches are ready and waiting and the restaurants, bars and beach clubs have been spruced up ready for the season.

We’re ready, how about you?

If you’re dreaming of fun in the sun this year, there’s no time like the present to get booking and start your countdown. Our most popular properties book up early and flights for the busy summer holiday period are also in high demand. If you need to travel during the school holidays particularly, we’d recommend getting booked up now. It ensures you the best prices, best properties and plenty of time to get ready for your holidays.

What’s On?

This summer there’s loads to look forward to!

Cirque de Soleil is in Malaga for the whole month of June with their show Totem. This is always a fantastic show, perfect for the whole family. We’d recommend you book your tickets early for this, as it sells out fast.

From June, the beach clubs really start going with regular events and parties throughout the summer. There’s almost always something going on, so check the beach clubs close to your holiday rental when you arrive, or browse online.

Summer also brings the start of the feria season, with Marbella’s week long festival starting on the 5th of June. From there on, there are ferias all along the coast, which gives a wonderful glimpse into the culture and passion of the Spanish, plus a great excuse for a party.

Later in the summer we’re looking forward to seeing the Pet Shop Boys, Sting, Jamiroquai, James Blunt, Texas and many more playing at Starlite during July and August.

This is just the tip of the iceberg in terms of great things to do this summer on the Costa del Sol. You make the arrangements, leave us to provide the best accommodation!

Where to stay?

We have a great selection of quality holiday rental properties all along the Costa del Sol. If you’re not sure where to holiday, check out our Costa del Sol area guides with an overview of the best areas from Malaga to Sotogrande.

The most popular areas with our clients are Mijas, Marbella, Calahonda and Estepona. These areas appeal to different holiday makers, here’s why people love them –

Mijas is very popular because of its busy coastal area with lots of things to do and see and its charming village. There’s something for everyone! Families love the beaches, waterpark, zoo and shopping around Fuengirola. Golfers are in heaven up in the Mijas hills and everyone falls in love with the picturesque Mijas Pueblo. View our Mijas holiday rentals here.

Marbella is popular with people who want to be in the centre of the action and have stunning restaurants, bars and great nightlife on every corner. If this sounds like the perfect holiday for you, then you can’t go wrong with this centrally located 3 bedroom apartment, just 650 meters from the beach. You are walking distance from everything and can really make the most of this fabulous town.

Calahonda is a favourite with British tourists due to its proximity to the airport, good selection of rental properties, excellent restaurants and shops, all within easy reach. It is near to the stunning beach and marina at Cabopino, a lovely stroll along the paseo, and well placed to visit Fuengirola and Elviria. View our Calahonda holiday rentals here.

Estepona is another very popular area. It is more traditionally Spanish in feel, yet has lots to do and stunning beaches. There is a great safari park nearby and play centres for the kids, so families like to visit. The restaurants are also excellent, with a wide range of options along Calle Real, and also lining the seafront promenade. Browse our Estepona rentals.

These are just a few of the great areas to visit along the Costa del Sol. The area really does have it all, from bustling cities to quiet, traditional villages. If you’re struggling to decide where to go, consult our experts. Just tell us what you’re looking for and your price range and we’ll make some recommendations for you and help you to choose the perfect place for your next holiday in the sun.

Cycling holidays on the Costa del Sol

Cycling holidays on the Costa del Sol

We were pleased to see Marbella getting behind the cycling trend by implementing a new scheme in the city with the company OFO, who are pioneering the station-free bike sharing. With OFO, you can pick up a bike anywhere and leave it where you need to go. There is an app that helps you find your nearest bike, then you have to scan it and use the app to unlock it. You then ride it wherever you need and then park it and lock it to end the trip. It is a really easy and cheap way to hire a bike, costing just 50 cents for half an hour. Find out more about the concept and download the app here

They are now running a pilot in Marbella with 200 bikes and an introductory price of 35 cents per half an hour and 5€ for the whole day and after the first phase they hope to expand it to include more bikes too!

This is not the only way to enjoy cycling in Marbella or the Costa del Sol. There are many bike hire companies who can rent out bikes for half days, full days, or your whole holiday, so you can really explore the stunning scenery that this area has to offer. There are also tours around the main towns on the Costa del Sol by bike, which can give you a different perspective of these beautiful places and get you moving!

Where to cycle on the Costa del Sol?

One of the easiest and most scenic ways to cycle along the Costa del Sol is to head down to the sea and ride along the seafront promenade. There are long stretches of “paseo” all along the coast and the Town Halls are working hard to join up the routes. In the end, the plan is to have one path joining Nerja with Manilva and stretching 180 kilometers.

The path is 80% complete and there are fantastic stretches where you can cycle or walk. The longest is a 22.6km stretch from Rincon de la Victoria through Malaga and to the River Guadalhorce. Marbella also has an excellent 11.8km stretch starting from the Bajadilla fishing port taking you through Marbella, to Puerto Banus and along to San Pedro – this is a lovely ride. Find out more about the coastal path near your holiday rental here.

Once you’ve explored the coastal path, then it’s time to head into the hills to explore the beautiful countryside and there are some excellent routes for mountain biking and road biking enthusiasts, as well as companies which organise tours.

A lovely route, if you are a strong cyclist looking for a challenge, is to climb the hill up from Marbella’s bus station on a winding road with great views up towards Ojen. This is a steep climb, but will take you up to the Refugio El Juanar and the stunning park which leads up to La Concha. Once in the park you cycle through trees and along paths and it’s a really beautiful setting. This is just one of many routes which you can find on wikiloc

Riding is a great way to explore inland Costa del Sol, enjoy stunning scenery and visit the picturesque white villages. However, be warned that it’s all up hill from the coast and the climbs are pretty intense, so you might want to consider driving to a convenient point and then cycling from there if you are with a family or have inexperienced cyclists in your group.

Alternatively, choose a holiday rental in a great area for cycling, so you can have a base to explore the beautiful countryside and towns and just do short stints each day. We have already mentioned that Marbella and Malaga are great for cyclists, but there are many more, such as Estepona, which in addition to a lovely long seafront promenade, has some lovely parks and excellent cycling routes nearby. Mijas is another good destination for cyclists, with a very long seafront promenade in Fuengirola and a challenging but stunning hill climb up to the village. Behind the village is beautiful countryside, hikes and routes for mountain bikers as well. Finally, basing yourself up in Casares village removes the punishing climbs and allows you to enjoy the beautiful natural park and winding paths around this gorgeous white village.

For more advice on holidaying on the Costa del Sol and to find your perfect holiday rental property, please get in touch. You can browse on our website, or send through your requirements and we will send you a list of properties that fit the bill!

The best Autumnal activities on the Costa del Sol

The best Autumnal activities on the Costa del Sol

We love autumn on the Costa del Sol, the weather is still warm – but not too hot, there’s plenty to do, but the crowds have gone and so you can park, get a table in a great restaurant and enjoy the area to the full without the queues!

Get active

October to December are the perfect months to get active, with cooler temperatures but plenty of sunshine. If you’re sporty, you could play a round of golf at one of the 70 golf courses on the Costa del Sol, go and play tennis at the club of Wimbledon legend Manolo Santana, jog along the seafront promenade each day, or take place in a race. Find out more about Golf on the Costa del Sol here.

Alternatively, why not take to your bike, and explore on two wheels? The Costa del Sol is a great place for cycling, with miles of seafront promenades to enjoy, plus lots of great routes for mountain biking.

Another great option is to hike some of the beautiful routes into the countryside, which is so close to the hustle and bustle of the coast. There are wonderful walks behind Mijas Pueblo, around Casares, Estepona, Ronda and Istan to explore, with easy to follow paths and Town Hall organised guided walks too. If you are staying in Marbella, you must go to the Refugio de Juanar, just up from the La Cañada shopping centre. The countryside is beautiful, and you can walk for miles along marked trails, or just wander amongst the trees and find a perfect picnic spot. From there you can do the ultimate challenge, which is to climb up the iconic La Concha mountain, which dominates the Marbella skyline. This is a challenging hike, not to be underestimated, as it takes around 6 hours to climb to the top and back and there are some treacherous sections. There are people who organise group hikes, with experienced leaders and we’d recommend going with them if it’s your first time up. Find out more about climbing La Concha

Get some culture

Andalucia is full of amazing history and culture and the Costa del Sol is a real treat for culture lovers. Take a day trip to Malaga to enjoy some of their amazing art galleries, we’d recommend the Picasso Museum in the beautiful Old Town, the CAC for contemporary art and the Pompidou gallery in the new marina is just out of this world. Marbella also has some lovely galleries to visit, check out the Engraving Museum in a lovely old house in the Old Town and the Museo Ralli on the Golden Mile.

If you like history, visit the Roman villa Rio Verde in Marbella, to see some wonderful remains which date back from the 1st and 2nd century AD. Estepona also has a number of historical and archaeological sites such as the Cunjunto Archeológico Dolmenes de Estepona which is a museum dedicated to dolmens (standing stones) dating back to 3,000BC, artefacts and skeletons, which is an amazing place to visit. There is also the remains of a Roman Mausoleum and an archeological museum in Estepona.

An essential part of the culture of Andalucia is Flamenco, so try and catch a show while you’re here, we recommend Tablao Flamenco Ana Maria in Marbella for a very authentic experience, or ask at your local tourist office for the one nearest to you.

If you love books and literature and you can visit in November, you should go to the Gibraltar Literary Festival a three day event with talks, readings and events taking place in lovely venues around the city. A highlight for any Radio 4 listeners is Just a Minute with Nicolas Parsons, there will also be An Audience with Kate Adie and Ann Widdecombe will be discussing her new book. This year it takes place from the 16th to the 19th of November and tickets are available to buy online.

Did you know, that we’re also just a day trip away from the cultural and historical highlights of the Alhambra in Granada, Seville and Jerez? So a trip to the Costa del Sol can be much more than a beach holiday!

Try a tapas tour

Ask at your local tourist office if they have a tapas tour they can recommend, or where the best tapas restaurants are located and hop from bar to bar, trying one or two dishes in each place. This is a great way to explore the area, try some delicious food and have a great evening. If you’re in Marbella explore Calle Ancho, walking down towards the sea from Marbella café, or if you’re in Estepona explore Calle Real and Calle Mar which runs parallel to it, as they are packed with great tapas bars.

These are just some of the great activities that you can enjoy over the autumn and winter on the Costa del Sol and we have some perfect holiday rental properties for you. Browse our website to find your ideal holiday rental property and follow our top tips for visiting the Costa del Sol off peak to make sure you enjoy your winter sun getaway to the full.