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White Villages – So Many Hidden Gems

Spain’s Costas are renowned for the stunning coastline: fabulous sun-drenched beaches generously dotted with an abundance of beach bars designed to tempt you with their promise of sun tans and amazing fresh food. But Andalucía has so much more to offer its visitors. Take a trip away from the coast, head inland for no more than a few kilometres and it won’t be long until you reach one of the many picturesque towns and villages. You can even follow a tourist route of these white villages, which spreads from la Sierra, in the province of Cadiz to the Serrania de Ronda, in the province of Málaga. These delightful little enclaves are impressive historical monuments in their own right and are the hidden jewels of Andalucía.

Many of the inhabitants of these whitewashed villages still live according to age-old traditions inherited from their forefathers of Iberian, Roman and Moorish times. Some villages near the coast have become quite fashionable resorts, whilst others a little further away, have held on to their ancient appeal and tempt visitors with their local produce such olive oil, fruit and vegetables and goat’s milk.

There is a strong Muslim influence in the architecture of steep, narrow, winding streets, alleyways allowing access into the houses and patios. Many of the villages include ‘…de la Frontera’ (of the frontier) after their name which was due to the ever-moving frontiers brought about by constant clashes between the Moorish and Christian faiths. However, their status as a ‘fortress’ no longer a requirement, has seen many of the towns dropping the ‘de la Frontera’ to be known simply as Vejer or Arcos for example.

If spending some time away from the coast is for you, then have a look at some of our stunning mountain properties. I’m sure we can find you the perfect mountain retreat hidden amongst one of these little white villages.

One of the prettiest villages, in our view, is Casares which is only 15km from the coast. Nestled within the winding streets you can stay in fabulous 2-bed townhouse. If you park at the top of the village you get the best view of its medieval fortress which sits proudly on the top of the hill. This view is best in the afternoon sun and is an ideal spot to climb down one of the steep, but well maintained, footpaths that lead into the village square called Plaza de España.

If you are looking for a larger property, this stunning 7-bed villa could be just what you are looking for. Situated in Ojen, just 10 minutes’ drive from the town and beaches of Marbella. Visitors can stroll through the town centre to view the Fountain of Chorros, a drinking water fountain which dates back to 1905. Also worth a visit are the Oil Mill Museum, Wine Museum and the Caves of Ojen.

Another of our popular rural property rentals features two adjacent properties situated on the mountainside just outside Coin, near Malaga. The first is a 2-bed villa ‘Casa Maria’ and the second, a 4-bed villa ‘Finca Tropical’. Both properties offer spectacular mountain views, abundant orchards, BBQ areas and private pools (which can be heated if required).

We have many more holiday rental properties with beautiful views across the province. Please do not hesitate to contact us for advice, our holiday rental experts are on hand to help you find the perfect property for your next vacation.

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.

Combine amazing live music with a Costa del Sol holiday

Live-ConcertIf you love live music and want great weather and a holiday too, then look no further than the Costa del Sol. Over the last few years its earned a stellar reputation for amazing concerts in spectacular surroundings and so more and more top artists are coming over to perform.

From now until the end of the summer there is live music to enjoy in almost every beach club and restaurant on the Costa del Sol and here are some highlights for the next few months. (If you want to fly over to see any of these great artists, it’s not too late, but please contact us by phone or email to discuss your requirements and we can send you our list of our Costa del Sol holiday rentals with last minute availability, as they are booking up fast.)

18th July – Seal in Concert in Marbella in the stunning and intimate venue of the Puente Romano Hotel’s Tennis Club. Tickets can be purchased online from 45€ for restricted view tickets, and from 65€ up for the rest. Buy tickets for Seal

24th July – Guitar legend Carlos Santana will be rocking Starlite Marbella, an impressive venue in an old quarry above Marbella with great places to eat, drink and party. Tickets are selling fast for this hotly anticipated concert. Tickets start at 92.40€ Buy tickets

1st August – Also making a very welcome return to Marbella is the legend that is Tom Jones! He’ll also be at Starlite Marbella and you can expect to hear all your favourite tracks. Tickets from 80€-145€ for general tickets, more for stalls and boxes. Buy tickets

16th August – The Corrs are back after ten years and are presenting their brand new album at Starlite this August and it will be great to see them back together again! Tickets start from 52.25€ Buy tickets

18th August – Simply Red will be performing in the grounds of the stunning Sohail Castle in Fuengirola. There are general entrance tickets from 40€ and then tickets with numbered seats from 95€. Buy tickets for Simply Red

3-4 September – The Gibraltar Music Festival is back and promises a packed line up of artists including; The Stereophonics, Jess Glynne, Rosario, All Saints, KT Tunstall, Los Secretos, Foxes and 99 Souls. Doors open at 2pm and the festival ends at midnight both nights. Bring a picnic blanket and settle in for loads of great acts and an excellent atmosphere. Single day tickets cost £73 and weekend passes and VIP tickets are available. There are coaches coming over from Spain, so you can have a holiday in Estepona or Sotogrande and travel over the boarder for the festival. More information and buy tickets

These are just some of the amazing concerts and festivals taking place on the Costa del Sol this year. If you want to centre an amazing holiday around one or more of these events, please contact us now and we’ll find you a great holiday rental within easy reach of these venues. But don’t delay, we’ve got more demand than ever for our self-catering properties, and there are lots of people travelling to see these stars!

Area Focus – Western Costa del Sol

Western Costa del Sol Holiday RentalMany people are unaware of the many charms of the western part of the Costa del Sol and because of that you will find the beaches are less crowded, there’s parking even during peak season and although restaurants and bars are busy, you won’t struggle to get a table like you may do in the most popular area.

There’s a lot to love about the Western Costa del Sol; beaches are great, with many lovely Spanish communities which still follow a very traditional way of life and the cost of accommodation, food and particularly drinks are much cheaper. You can fly into Gibraltar to cut down on travel time and there are some great things to see and do.

Highlights include

Castellar Zoo, which is a rescue centre and zoo where you can learn about the animals and even pet and feed them!

Sotogrande Port is a great place to see the beautiful boats and enjoy a coffee, a few drinks or a bite to eat in a lovely environment. There’s live music in the evenings most weekends, as well as a market during the summer.

Duquesa Port is a great place to eat out if you fancy something other than Spanish food, as there are Chinese, Mexican, Thai, Indian, American and even Moroccan restaurants all next to each other, as well as lots of great bars.

Sabinillas has a couple of brilliant festivals on the beach which are well worth a visit. The San Juan celebration on the 23rd of June where enormous bonfire sculptures are lit at midnight and there’s live music and a wonderful atmosphere is the best in the coast. Plus there’s the Full Moon Festival in August where everyone dresses in white and heads to the beach for a festival of music and lights, it’s really magical.

Manilva village is famous for its sweet wine and there’s a small wine museum where you can learn about wine making and also arrange wine tasting sessions. There’s also a place making artisan beer which you can visit and do a tasting session, so you can enjoy artisan beer and wine in one place.

Casares is a stunning white village gathered precariously around a hill, with a fort on the top. As well as the stunning views it has a reputation for excellent gastronomy and a large selection of great restaurants.

Estepona is a vibrant and pretty Spanish town, with wide beaches, a long seaside promenade, sweet old town and an amazing Orchid House, not to mention a lovely Spanish atmosphere. There are lots of events through the year and many people really fall in love with its charms.

We have a wide range of holiday rental properties in the western Costa del Sol, here are just a few –

3 Bedroom Townhouse in CasaresThis delightful townhouse is situated in the complex Pueblo Andaluz, in the village of Casares. The Andalusian village style complex blends into its surroundings perfectly and has wonderful rustic features.

1 Bed Apartment Estepona – This distinctive 1 bedroom, 2nd floor apartment is front line beach, situated in the complex of Buenas Noches in Estepona. The apartment offers stunning views over the sparkling Mediterranean sea to Gibraltar and over to Africa and is perfect for beach lovers looking for a great value apartment. More information or Book Now

Duquesa Port Apartment – This delightful two bedroom holiday apartment in the gated complex of Arenal Duquesa is situated between Puerto de la Duquesa and Sabinillas. This modern apartment complex offers beautifully maintained tropical gardens and is within walking distance of Duquesa port. 

If you’d like to have a holiday on the Western Costa del Sol, please don’t hesitate to contact us for advice on where to stay and a list of properties which best meet your requirements.

Recommended Holiday Destination – Puerto de la Duquesa

Recommended holiday destination – Puerto de la DuquesaI am sure that everyone has heard about Puerto Banus, but how many of you know about Puerto de la Duquesa? On the western Costa del Sol, between Estepona and Sotogrande, Duquesa is a stunning little marina, lined with bars and restaurants, and a lot to offer holiday makers.

Whatever food you fancy from the old favourites of Indian, Chinese and Italian, through to Argentinian steak, Thai and Moroccan can be found here. Plus, because there’s so much competition the standard of food and service is actually very high. Popular with English tourists, everyone speaks English and you can get fry ups and watch sport to your hearts’ content. At night there’s a pretty market and the lively bars have live music. If you’re looking to party into the early hours you can find that too!

The great thing about the area is that just a ten minute stroll along the promenade to the west is the charming village of Castillo de la Duquesa, famous for its fish restaurants with a traditional Spanish vibe, plus events in the medieval castle.  Ten minutes stroll to the east is the bustling town of Sabinillas, with shops, bars, restaurants and beautiful beaches, as well as a massive Sunday market. You can also hop on a bus to the large town of Estepona with its great shopping, packed programme of events, excellent nightlife and new botanical gardens, so there’s plenty to do without needing to hire a car.

We have a number of great holiday rentals in Duquesa and the surrounding areas, so please contact us to request the full list. But if you like to be in the middle of the action, we can recommend this 2 bedroom apartment Duquesa which is located in a lovely gated complex with tropical gardens between Sabinillas and Duquesa Port and within walking distance of both.

The complex includes several swimming pools, including a kids’ pool and two padel courts to try out this great game. The apartment itself is bright, modern and spacious, with two bedrooms and two bathrooms. It is furnished to a very high standard and includes free Wi-Fi and air conditioning throughout.

Where will you spend your holiday this year and where would you recommend? Let us know.

Discover Inland Costa del Sol

Discover Inland Costa del SolWhat do you think of when you picture the Costa del Sol? A modern, developed coastline with loads going on, beautiful beaches and international population? You’re right, and yet venture just 10 minutes’ drive away from the famous beaches and you’ll discover a very different world of rolling countryside, quaint white villages, hiking trails and a very relaxed, sleepy way of life.

Choosing an inland location for your Costa del Sol summer holiday can be a smart move, as you’re away from the crowds, and able to relax and unwind in peace and quiet, and yet, you’re just a short drive away from the action – when you want it!

Top Inland Costa del Sol Holiday Destinations

Best White Village
We recommend Casares to the west of the Costa del Sol, the most picturesque white village in the area. The white houses are perched high on a hillside surrounding an old fort and church, it’s breath-taking. As well as being beautiful, it has developed a reputation as a gastronomic hotspot, with lots of great restaurants to enjoy. It is brilliant for birdwatchers with many birds of prey in the area, plus golfers will be spoilt with several great courses in the area. Casares has a good selection of modern holiday apartments and town houses on the outskirts of the village, so you can enjoy comfort and great facilities yet also be close to the village itself. Check out this Casares 2 bedroom holiday apartment located on the Casares golf course, in a lovely complex with several pools and shared garden, plus a discount on green fees for the golf course.

Best Inland Luxury Urbanization
Pueblo Los Monteros, 6 minutes’ drive inland from Los Monteros on the beach, near to Marbella. This luxury urbanization has wonderful facilities such as communal pool with Jacuzzi and an infinity pool with stunning views, an indoor pool including sauna and steam room, gym and playroom for the kids. It is perfectly located to access Santa Clara and Marbella Golf and Country Club and offers a real retreat, within easy reach of the coast. We have a number of holiday rentals on this complex, including a stunning Marbella 3 bed duplex apartment including a large terrace for dining, sunbathing and relaxing, whilst taking in the beautiful views. Everything is stylishly decorated and finished to the highest of standards, for a really special holiday rental apartment in a peaceful, luxurious environment.

Best Inland Activities
Hiking, horse riding, quad biking and canyoning are all exciting activities which are organized around the Costa del Sol and are a great way to explore the inland areas and get away from it all. If that sounds a bit too strenuous, we recommend bird watching, golf or even wine tasting from one of the local wine producers in Ronda, Gaucin or Manilva.

Let us know your favourite places and things to do in inland Costa del Sol, by commenting on the post.

Discovering Malaga

discover-malagaNext time you’re on holiday on the Costa del Sol don’t miss out on the charms of Malaga – a really fantastic city right on the sea which really has so much to offer. There’s been a lot of investment in the city lately with a totally revamped marina area which is absolutely stunning and is the perfect place for a stroll, a drink, some dinner, shopping and fantastic people-watching.

There’s also a beautiful old town with a massive cathedral and an enormous pedestrianized shopping area where you can indulge in some retail therapy. Around this area are some brilliant bars, restaurants and cafes and it’s buzzing at lunch time (2pm for the Spanish) and late into the night.

There are a number of art galleries and museums, such as the relatively new Thyssen Museum, the fantastic Picasso Museum (Malaga is Picasso’s birthplace), a contemporary art gallery and even museums dedicated to cars, flamenco and bullfighting.

With so much to choose from, if you have limited time in the city it can be difficult to pick, but a local Malaga business has just made it easier with the launch of the Malaga City Card. This new card offers three different routes around the city, special rates for five museums, a tourist bus and a gastronomic experience for just 39.95€. Their website is available in four languages and you can buy online,  from  their office in Malaga or via travel agents. What an excellent way to discover Malaga!

Cabopino – Perfect for a special family holiday

No doubt, the most exciting part of booking your family holiday to Spain is choosing some where to stay! Browsing pictures of holiday homes with amazing views and inviting swimming pools, imagining all the fun to be had! Getting the accommodation right is a big part of the trip, especially when traveling with children as you will want to make sure everyone is happy and comfortable. It certainly helps to know as much as possible about the property and what’s on offer in the local area.

The Costa del Sol is one of the most popular family destinations in Spain as there are so many lovely areas to choose from. You could come every year and still have plenty more to see! Cabopino is a great place for families and one that is often overlooked. Described as the Costa del Sol’s best kept secret, Cabopino is the only part of the coast which has not been urbanised with local development being strictly controlled. Located just 10 minutes from Marbella this relatively small town boasts some of the best beaches on the coast and is brimming with things to do for the whole family.

The beaches in Cabopino are clean and maintained with fine sand, perfect for children to play in. Lifeguards are on duty during the summer and a number of Chiringuitos line the beach so you can stop for a refreshing drink and bite to eat. Take a stroll to the port and you will find a selection of bars and restaurants where you can relax with an exquisite view of the yachts bobbing away in the harbour.

For local family activities there is golf, water sports, go-karting, sailing, tennis and loads more. There are also plenty of events and activities held every week in Marbella throughout the summer, so you have the best of both worlds being just 10 minutes away!

There are some great holiday rental homes in Cabopino such as this fabulous 3 bedroom penthouse apartment. Set in a secure complex, opposite Cabopino golf and just 10 minutes’ walk from the local beaches and amenities, this property is perfect for family holidays! The apartment sleeps up to six people and comes fully equipped with everything you need to feel comfortable.

The penthouse is finished to a very high standard and offers spectacular views of the sea, mountains and golf course from the alfresco dining area on the terrace. The gardens are very well kept and the community pool is clean and monitored. This apartment even comes with free wifi!

Check out a recent review for this property;

“Great service, excellent apartment – Well organised letting company .Everything arranged without fuss and easy to deal with .This is an outstanding penthouse in great location if you like to be just off the main drag (we do) .Cabopino is a superb family destination and this apartment is a beautiful quiet place to relax .”

You can view full details of this holiday home in Cabopino on our website or call us on 0034 952 839 595 for more information.



Spanish women are the most flirtatious in the world

Spanish News reports that Spain tops the list for having the most flirtatious women, who are not afraid to make the first move.

Dating site Badoo, conducted the survey and asked women how many times a month they would initiate contact with a man they fancied. Spanish women topped the poll with 1.33 contacts per month, with the UK at number 14 and the US at number 19.

It’s great to see that the Spanish women are taking the initiative and no wonder that Spain is such a popular destination for lads’ holidays!

To read the full story, click here. To search for self-catering accommodation in Spain visit our website.

Benalmadena Area Guide

Continuing with our monthly guides to different parts of the Costa del Sol, here’s an overview of the popular area of Benalmadena.

Firstly, the name has an accent on the second a, which means you hit the “mad” of Benalmádena rather than the common British mistake of hitting the last syllable and pronouncing it Benalmadeena. 

Now that you can pronounce it correctly, here’s what you need to know. Benalmádena has lots of things going of it as a holiday destination, both for families and party animals. It is a town of two halves, with an old, picturesque old town and a modern coastal area with a pretty marina which is buzzing day and night. 

Key Benalmadena Information:

Location – Just 10 minutes from Malaga airport and 30 minutes to Marbella

Attractions – 

The Costa del Sol’s only ice-skating rink

Benalmádena Cable Car up to Monte Calamorro

Benalmádena Pueblo (old town) with picturesque whitewashed homes and narrow cobblestone streets

The award-winning Puerto Marina with moorings for over 100 boats, as well as the famous 24 hour square packed with bars and restaurants and Costa del Sol’s only ice bar

A range of services and amenities including supermarkets, shops, commercial centres and banks and a post office

Easy links to Fuengirola, Málaga city centre and Málaga’s Pablo Ruíz Picasso International airport by train, bus or by car.

Family fun – Benalmadena boast a hoast of family friendly activities including Tivoli World, El Ranchito Equestrian Centre and Selwo Marina and Sea Life centre

Fantastic nightlife – There are many bars, restaurants and clubs to choose from concentrated around the marina. This is a great place for a party holiday!

Torrequebrada Hotel with a casino, bars and restaurants and a popular flamenco show 

Sports facilities – water sports on the beaches, golf at Torrequebrada Golf Club, the ice rink and sports complex.

As you can see this area has loads to offer for all kinds of holiday-makers. Visit our website to see our wide range of Benalmadena holiday rentals or email us to find out more