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Visiting Ronda

Ronda is a historic, beautiful town, surrounded by stunning countryside. Most famous for it’s extraordinary gorge and being the home of bullfighting, Ronda is developing new attractions for tourists, with a wine route and a new organic olive oil experience.

Ronda is easy to visit if you are holidaying in and around Marbella. There is a bus which goes from Marbella bus station and takes you up there. If you’ve hired a car, it’s also a stunning drive, but be warned the road is steep and twisty, so not advised for nervous drivers. The journey is approximately an hour, inland from Marbella and takes you though some really incredible countryside.

Ronda is growing as a wine producing region and now has a wine route. This comprises of 16 wineries that you can visit and a wine museum and interpretation center, where you can learn all about it. A visit to a bodega is a lovely thing to do on your holiday, where you can see them making the wine, understand the process and of course sample some of the produce. Find out more about wine tourism on the Costa del Sol on our blog, or discover the Ronda Wine Route here.

Design guru Philippe Starck has recently launched an olive oil experience on the outskirts of Ronda which is a great place to visit. It is being called an immersive cultural centre and is surrounded by vines, olive trees and an organic vegetable garden. Visitors are taken around the centre on a 45 minute guided tour to learn about the region’s olive oil, see some interesting exhibits and sculptures by Philippe Starck, enjoy the beautiful setting and of course taste the oils. Tours cost 20€ per person  and can be reserved on the LA Experience website.

If you like the pretty Andalusian countryside, a village feel and easy access up to Ronda, Benahavis is a good choice as a base. Inland from San Pedro, Benahavis is a beautiful village famous for gastronomy and surrounded by excellent golf courses and countryside with excellent walks and trails. We have a number of holiday rental properties in this area, such as this lovely penthouse in Las Terrazas at Los Arqueros. With two bedrooms, stylish décor, spacious living area and incredible views this is a beautiful apartment. It’s perfect for golfers as well, right by the golf course and with a 30% discount on green fees. From there, you can go straight up to Ronda in less than an hour.

For more information on visiting the Costa del Sol and making the most of your stay, download our free Costa del Sol Holiday Guide or ask one of our helpful team.

Watch Davis Cup Tennis in Marbella

Watch Davis Cup Tennis in Marbella

Marbella has been chosen to host the Davis Cup World Group matches between Great Britain and Spain from the 2nd to the 4th of February 2018. This means that some of the UK and Spain’s best players will be competing on the courts at the Puente Romano tennis club over three days. There will be singles and doubles games over five “rubbers”, with the winning team needing to win three or more of the five games.

This is the first time since 2013 that Spain has hosted a Davis Cup tie and the matchup between Great Britain and Spain hasn’t been seen since the 1980s. The UK has been seeded third in the World Group, but Spain are fearsome opponents, having won the title four times. Spain boasts an excellent pool of quality players to choose from, including world number one Rafael Nadal. With Andy Murray suffering a hip injury at Wimbledon, it remains to be seen whether he will be fit to play in the team.  However, this year both teams got knocked out in the quarter finals, so they have a point to prove.

Marbella was competing against other destinations for this great sporting event, but the great clay court at the Puente Romano, the lovely climate in the south of Spain and good transport links made it the winning choice. It will be very popular with holiday makers too for a bit of winter sun, golf, great restaurants and of course some great holiday rentals!

Davis Cup ties are always very popular with spectators, so there have been recommendations to extend the Puente Romano grandstands to accommodate around 9,000 fans. British Tennis team members will get a priority ticket sale for their allocation and then there will be a general sale for the remaining tickets. Look out for tickets going on sale soon!

The Davis Cup will be played on Marbella’s Golden Mile, between Marbella centre and Puerto Banus. If you’re looking for a holiday rental property to stay in so you can watch the match, we’d recommend Marbella if you want a town with plenty of life and amenities, Nueva Andalucia if you’d like to combine tennis with a few rounds of golf and Puerto Banus if you want designer shops and a taste of luxurious lifestyle. We have a great selection of apartments and villas between Marbella and San Pedro, all within easy reach of Puente Romano’s tennis club. Although it is out of high season, there will be a lot of players, coaches and spectators travelling to the area for the matches, so we expect demand to be high. Book as soon as you have secured your ticket to avoid disappointment.

If you don’t manage to get a ticket, Marbella is a great destination for tennis players and fans all year round, with great tennis clubs and courts on many of the area’s urbanisations and included in the grounds of many luxury holiday homes. It is home to tennis legend Manolo Santana’s club, where you can bump into the great man himself, take a lesson, or join a tournament. There are also great Town Hall run tennis courts in many of the public parks, so pack your racquet and find yourself a court near you on your next holiday.

Another date for your diary should be the Senior Masters Tournament, which takes place each September, also at the Puente Romano. This is a great opportunity to see some of the legends of the game. Players change regularly of course, but this year we got to see John McEnroe, Yannick Noah, Pat Cash and Carlos Moya who won the tournament.  It’s always a great event and is an excellent excuse for an autumn getaway. For more information about travelling to the Costa del Sol download our free holiday guide.

Planning for a Christmas Getaway

 Christmas Getaways Spain

We’ve had a very busy summer, with thousands of tourists visiting the Costa del Sol and having a great holiday. But remember, this area is not simply a summer destination, it’s a brilliant place for winter sun as well and a very interesting option for Christmas and New Year.

It’s such a treat being able to enjoy Christmas under sunny skies and to get away from all the stress and commercialism back home. There are plenty of activities happening, from visiting Santa in his grotto, to carol concerts in some of the area’s churches, but you can also escape from it all and stroll along the beach, play a round of golf or hike in the countryside. The different nationalities which live on the Costa del Sol put on their own traditional activities, such as Christmas markets from the German and British communities and the Saint Lucia celebrations from the Swedish community which are really lovely if you want a taste of home.

Of course, you can also embrace the Spanish traditions. One way of doing that is to enjoy the food which is traditionally eaten at that time. The most emblematic is turron, a kind of nougat which comes in many different guises – soft, hard, covered in chocolate and much more.

There are also things called Polverones, which you will see wrapped in paper on platters in supermarkets and shops. These are a sort of biscuit or cake which are very crumbly in texture and are somewhat of an acquired taste, but very popular here. Give them a go, but don’t breathe in while you’re eating them, they often explode in your mouth into a dusty, crumbly texture which can make you choke – you have been warned! You should also pick up a cone of roasted chestnuts from the street sellers when you’re out exploring, they are delicious and perfect for a stroll on a winter’s evening.

One of our favourite Christmas activities is to explore Marbella by visiting all the different nativity scenes which are placed around the town at this time of year. We’d also recommend seeing the turning on of the lights if you come at the beginning of December, as there’s always lots going on and the atmosphere is great.

Marbella Old Town looks stunning under the Christmas lights, and so does San Pedro, which has an impressive display all along its new Boulevard. The kids will love playing in the playgrounds there under the twinkling lights. We recommend a walk up into the town, exploring the lovely pedestrianised streets lined with cafes, up to the large town square with its imposing church, Santa’s Grotto and impressive nativity scene.

The Costa del Sol really is a lovely place to visit at Christmas time. We would recommend staying centrally, so you can stroll around the town and just experience the atmosphere without needing a car. Being close to Marbella Old Town is a good idea, as a lot of the activities are focussed around there. This Marbella Holiday Rental  has 1 bedroom and is just above Marbella’s buzzing port with its market, bars and restaurants and only a five minute walk to the Old Town. It is tastefully decorated with amazing views over the harbour from a dining area surrounded by glass curtains, so you can enjoy the view even if the weather isn’t the best. It is very comfortably furnished with all home comforts, so is an excellent winter base.

Let us know if we can find you a perfect base to spend Christmas on the Costa del Sol, just send us all your requirements and we’ll recommend some great options for the whole family.