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Spa breaks on the Costa del Sol

As we head into the winter months, one of our favourite activities is visiting a beautiful spa and letting all the tension and stress melt away. There are a number of fantastic spas along the Costa del Sol and you can choose between circuits or treatment spas, or other spas which do both. There are also some great deals to be had, especially if you like spa circuits.

Our suggestion for a winter break is to try a selection of spas over your holiday, as they all have their different charms. This is also a good excuse to visit different parts of the Costa del Sol and explore. Here are four popular spas between Estepona and Benalmadena and holiday rental properties close to them.

Estepona

Villa Padierna – One of the most spectacular spas in this area has to be Villa Padierna, between Marbella and Estepona. Imagine columns, statues and marble, not to mention a Roman inspired aromatic spa circuit.

We have a number of great holiday rental properties within easy reach of this spa, such as this 2 bedroom holiday rental apartment in Acosta Los Flamingos Benahavis. This spacious, luxurious holiday rental apartment boasts stunning views, communal gardens and a beautiful pool area and is well located to explore the white village of Benahavis, and the vibrant towns of Marbella and Estepona.

Marbella

Six Sense Spa Marbella – Located on the Golden Mile of Marbella is the spectacular Six Senses Spa. They offer wonderful treatments, herbal steam room, dry sauna, hammam, indoor pool and a nail bar.

To be within easy reach of this spa and all that Marbella and Puerto Banus have to offer, we’d recommend this Puerto Banus holiday rental apartment close to the beach which boasts two bedrooms and two bathrooms. Best of all is its fantastic location within walking distance of central Puerto Banus and just a five-minute drive to the Six Senses Spa.  Another great option is this really central one bedroom holiday rental in Marbella right by the port, within walking distance of all the sights and nightlife that Marbella has to offer. This is also a short drive from the spa, so they are both excellent options for a winter break.

Mijas

La Cala Spa – This light, bright spa offers a hydrotherapy circuit, an aesthetic medicine area, hairdresser, gym and wellness activities. They offer affordable packages allowing full access to the pool, hydrotherapy pools and thermal suite, and run regular treatment offers too.

La Cala de Mijas is a great place to holiday, with wide sandy beaches, a popular town centre with restaurants, shops and a weekly market and great golf courses nearby. It is also within easy reach of Fuengirola, with loads of great things to see and do. Our office is based here in La Cala and we have a large selection of great properties such as this stylish and modern two bedroom holiday rental apartment in La Cala Hill Club. On an exclusive community and with great views, this would be a fantastic base for a spa break.

 City centre spa

For a sensational city centre spa and a flavour of the Moorish heritage and history in Andalucía, try the Hammam Al Andalus in Malaga’s stunning Old Town. The beautiful interiors and traditional rituals will really transport you back in time and it’s perfectly placed to explore the Old Town and see the Christmas lights if you’re here in December.

Please feel free to ask our helpful team for recommendations on what to do and where to go on your next winter getaway to the Costa del Sol. We look forward to welcoming you for a bit of pampering. It’s impossible not to de-stress and relax in the warmth and beauty here in Southern Spain!

How to holiday on a budget on the Costa del Sol

We love holidays, but we know that they can be expensive and difficult to afford when you’re on a budget. However, the good news is that the cost of living here on the Costa del Sol is significantly cheaper than in the UK and most parts of Europe and there are loads of great things to do which are completely free! If you look out for deals and follow a few simple tips, you can have an amazing holiday on the Costa del Sol on a budget.

Here are some of our top tips

  1. Travel as a group and book a villa

If you’re travelling with a large group, you can get an incredible deal per person per night and have a stunning villa too. While they look expensive, splitting them between three families for example makes them much more affordable than staying in a hotel. Plus, because you have the space to relax, cook and enjoy the facilities, you spend a lot less money on eating out and it is much more relaxing too.  Check out our villas with pools

  1. Eat, drink and be merry like the Spanish do

The Spanish locals are price sensitive and so cafes, bars and restaurants catering to locals are significantly cheaper than tourist places and offer a more authentic experience. They don’t tend to be the most beautiful places – expect plastic chairs and strip lighting, but the atmosphere and food tend to be great and you can still get a small beer or a coffee for 1€, or a three course meal for 10€ in some places, so follow the Spanish to the busiest places and you’ll definitely get a bargain.

  1. Pack a picnic

When you’re staying in a holiday rental you can save a fortune by stocking up at the supermarket, making up a delicious picnic, or some snacks and drinks and taking it with you. We love a picnic on the beach for lunch, or a few beers as the sun goes down and it’s cheap as chips if you take it with you. Be prepared on a day out with a reusable water bottle and snacks too so you avoid having to spend money when you’re thirsty and hot. There are water fountains everywhere so you can keep topping up and you’re minimising plastic use too!

  1. Enjoy the free activities

Over the summer there are hundreds of free activities going on along the Costa del Sol, from concerts to ferias, magic shows, talks, dance classes and activities for the kids. Ask at the tourist office, or check out one of the local area guides online, then head along and enjoy the fun totally free! For families with kids, the many playgrounds are a godsend and of course a stroll by the sea and a trip to the beach is perfect family fun. Many holiday rentals even have toys and games to take out with you, or enjoy at your apartment or villa, so you don’t need to buy things to keep them entertained.

  1. Book online and look out for money saving coupons or special days
  • If you are going to one of the summer ferias and want to take the kids on the rides look out for the “Día del Niño” every fair has one and rides are often 1€, or half price, which really saves you a lot.
  • Pick up any coupons you see around for the attractions like water parks and theme parks, but then check online before you buy, as it’s often a lot cheaper booking online ahead of time and you can also skip the queues.
  • Look for later entry tickets to waterparks, which can result in a massive discount but still give you quite enough time to enjoy the experience
  • Look out for packs of offers for different activities such as the ones from Selwo which offers a combined price for a number of different activities, but then check online to ensure that it adds up compared to buying them individually online

There are lots of other fantastic money saving tips from Money Saving Expert on their website which could save you a fortune.

We have recently dropped the price on this great one bedroom penthouse in La Cala by 20%. It is a great centrally located property, just 400 meters from the beach and a five-minute walk into town. It sleeps four people and costs from just 66€ per day, so is an excellent base for a great value holiday on the Costa del Sol. Check out more budget holiday homes on our website, or contact us for more information on great value holiday rentals.

Start planning your 2019 getaways

Start planning your 2019 getaways

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

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

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

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

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

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

Books and films to inspire your next trip to Spain

Books and films to inspire your next trip to Spain

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

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

How can these books inspire your next trip?

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

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

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

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

Last chance to experience a Spanish feria in 2018

Last chance to experience a Spanish feria in 2018

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Visit Marbella this October for film, fashion and culture

Costa del Sol Events - Autumn 2016

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

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

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

Marbella Fashion Week

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

Marbella Film Festival

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

Marbella Art Exhibitions in October

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

Marbella holiday rentals

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

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

Autumn in Spain

Autumn in Spain

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Costa del Sol Beach Clean-Ups

Costa del Sol Beach Clean-Ups

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

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

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

Cabopino Beach Clean

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

 

Manilva Beach Clean-Up

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

Hope to see some of you there!

Our Pick of Holiday Properties with Sea Views

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

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

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

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

 

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

 

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

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

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

Why holiday in Cabopino?

As part of our regular feature on recommended holiday destinations, we wanted to look at the charming area of Cabopino on the Costa del Sol. Literally translated as Pine Cape, this is a stunning area with some of the best beaches on the Costa del Sol, a lovely marina and some great restaurants.

It is in an excellent location, a 30-minute drive from Malaga airport and very close to Calahonda and Elviria, which both have excellent restaurants, shops and supermarkets. It’s roughly equidistant between Marbella and Fuengirola, so if you have a car and want to explore it’s an excellent base.

Families and sun worshippers will love the sandy cove which slopes gently into the sea, providing the perfect place for kids to play. Right on the sand, there are some great beach restaurants and cafes, to munch on fresh fish, have a cold beer or cool down with an ice cream, so it’s a great place to enjoy a sunny day. There’s also an 18-hole golf course nearby, if you want a more active holiday.

We have lots of great holiday rentals in Cabopino, here are just 2 of our favourites:

Cabopino beachfront villa – If you love the beach, don’t want to drive and want a stylish holiday rental, this is a great choice. It has 4 bedrooms and is just 30 meters from the beach and within a short walk of Cabopino port. It has a private garden and pool, plus many terraces to soak up the sun.

Cabopino holiday apartment – Here’s another really well located holiday rental, this time an apartment on the lovely complex of Las Mimosas. This stylish apartment has 2 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms and is ground floor, for direct access to the fantastic shared garden and pool.   It is right opposite the golf course, close to restaurants, bars and shops and an easy 10 minute walk down to the marina and beach, in a very peaceful area, so it offers the best of both worlds.

Please browse our site, for descriptions of all of the most popular Costa del Sol destinations, or get in touch for our advice on the best place for you.