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Valentine’s Day in Southern Spain

If you are lucky enough to be spending Valentine’s Day on the Costa del Sol you are in for a treat as it is a very romantic place to be especially this time of year. In fact, many marriage proposals are made on Valentine’s Day in Spain.

Traditional gifts for Valentine’s Day in Spain are red roses, chocolates and cards but if you are looking for something extra special there are lots of great shops, jewellery stores and boutiques in Marbella and nearby Puerto Banus so you are bound to find the perfect gift.

Make your valentine feel a million dollars with a pampering beauty treatment at one of the local spas, or use Valentine’s Day as the perfect excuse for a relaxing couple’s massage! You can even find holiday homes with their own Jacuzzis’ and saunas if you are looking for a touch of luxury.

The beaches are not crowded so you can take a relaxing stroll along the promenade, stopping by a chiringuito or two for a drink and bite to eat with the blissful sound of the Mediterranean  in the background. When the sun sets on the Costa del Sol it’s a breath taking view from the beach or mountains and a perfect setting for this romantic day. It’s no wonder so many couples get engaged and married here! If you want something more active to do, you could spend the day horse riding together or go skiing for the day at Sierra Nevada ski resort which is only a few hours’ drive from Marbella.

Many of the top restaurants book up quickly but don’t worry if you haven’t reserved as there is a large selection of great restaurants to choose from or you could even whip up a romantic meal for two at your holiday home! You can stock up the fridge with all your favourite foods which you will be able to find at local supermarkets such as Iceland, Supersol, Carrefour and El Cort Ingles and have dinner and drinks under the moonlight in the privacy of your holiday home. All our holiday homes come fully equipped with everything you need to wine and dine, but if you have any special requirements, just let us know.

HolidayRentalontheWeb can also arrange for you to have chocolates, roses and chilled champagne on arrival so you can spoil your loved one with first class, hotel style service. Visit our website for more details and to view holiday homes on the Costa del Sol or call 952 839 595.

Day trip from the Costa del Sol – Colourful Jerez

Tio Pepe JerezJerez is the birthplace of sherry and is also famous for horses and flamenco. This ancient and fascinating city is a fantastic place to visit if you’re staying in a holiday rental on the Costa del Sol as it’s just 2 hours drive from the Coast. It can be easily seen on a day-trip – unless you want to stay over to experience more. 

 

Top 3 things to do in Jerez:

 

Take a Tour – Get your bearings and see the city by following the sign-posted sherry and brandy route around the city. Pick up your map from the tourist office and follow the signs around the most important sites. This is a great way to start your Jerez trip and will probably take two hours, depending how fast you walk.

Visit a Bodega – There are over 20 to choose from and are prominent features throughout the city. The most famous and popular would be the Gonzalez Byass tour, the bodega which manufactures both Tio Pepe and Crofts sherry as well as a host of brandies. You travel on a cute little train around the vast grounds, visit some of the cellars and are given a few informative guidelines to the process and history behind sherry production. You also get a tasting of Tio Pepe and Crofts at the end. This tour comes highly recommended and will probably take about two hours. English tours take place about every hour and you don’t need to book. 

Watch the Equestrian Show – The dancing horses are one of the highlights of Jerez and the one to see is at the The Royal Andalusian School of Equestrian Art. They have displays on Tuesdays and Thursdays at 12noon throughout the year, so make sure you build this into your itinerary.

If you stay overnight then you can watch one of the passionate flamenco shows in the many restaurants and bars around the city. For more information on any of these, and other, great things to do in Jerez visit the tourist board’s website www.turismojerez.com. Visit our website for a fantastic range of self-catering accommodation in Spain.

Take a day trip to Nerja!

The Costa del Sol isn’t just about the stretch of coastline to the west of Malaga. It also covers the coastline east of Malaga, where the beautiful beachside town of Nerja on the eastern-most tip of the Costa del Sol is a firm favorite with visitors for many reasons…

Hola,

The Costa del Sol isn’t just about the stretch of coastline to the west of Malaga. It also covers the coastline east of Malaga, where the beautiful beachside town of Nerja on the eastern-most tip of the Costa del Sol is a firm favorite with visitors for many reasons.

The gorgeous town of Nerja, Spain
The gorgeous town of Nerja, Spain

Nerja is much like Marbella in that it was once a sleepy fishing village, but has now been transformed into a modern beach town with a large and thriving population, many of them foreigners.

Despite the changes, the town has still managed to avoid the kind of over-development that has turned other coastal resorts around Spain into veritable concrete jungles.

The Old Town in particular remains relatively unchanged and as charming as it’s ever been.

The main reason why most people visit Nerja, though, is undoubtedly to take a look around its famous caves, which are located inland approximately 3 kilometres from the centre of town.

The caves boast many archaeological treasures, including cave paintings estimated to be over 20,000 years old, as well as other pre-historic relics, plus an enormous natural cavern which has been transformed into a concert hall hosting musical performances during the summer.

Back in Nerja itself, the view from the spectacular Balcón de Europa or ‘Balcony of Europe’ is definitely not one to be missed, preferably in the late afternoon when the sun is gently saying goodbye to the day.

The Balcón de Europa is basically a pedestrianised walkway along the edge of a towering cliff, once the site of a Moorish castle. There are stunning views out across the Mediterranean and the small coves and beaches below, and if you need to rest your weary bones, there are numerous restaurants and cafes nearby to choose from. You can even jump aboard a horse-drawn carriage for a quick spin round the town.

Other places to visit in Nerja include the 17th century Church of El Salvador, a charming clash of Baroque and Moorish architectural styles, and the Gardens of Capistrano Playa, which lead down to Burriana Beach.

Hasta luego for now folks!

Cádiz – one of the true cultural treasures of Andalucia

Hola people!

Andalucia has so much to offer those seeking a little more than the traditional sun, sand and sangria holiday. Cultural tourism is expanding and one of the main attractions is the ancient and very charming city of of Cádiz.

The charming port city of Cádiz
The charming port city of Cádiz

Cádiz is surrounded by the sea on three sides, and it comes as no surprise the sea has played a significant role in its chequered history.

Believed to be at least 3,000 years old, Cádiz was originally founded by the Phoenicians as a trading post, and later served as a major Roman port.

In the 16th century, of course, it became key to the Spanish as the ideal setting off point for crossing the Atlantic, both on voyages to first discover then settle the Americas.

Around that period, Cádiz also had the distinction of being raided by Francis Drake in an attempt to gain control of this New World, was held siege by the Napoleonic armies, and finally, as a refuge for anti-Monarchists, it became the seat of the original Spanish constitution.

Today, a wander around the beautifully preserved old town is worth the 3 hour drive from the Costa del Sol alone, as is the seafood to be sampled in the local restaurants.

Cádiz has Spain’s oldest fish market, with each day’s catch literally being brought straight from the fishing boats to the market and then served on the tables of the local restaurants, sometimes within less than an hour.

The famous cathedral is also worth a visit. An unusual pathway winds its way up inside the main belltower, providing an incredible view across the city rooftops in all directions to the sea.

The cultural treasures of Andalucia – glorious Granada!

Think of Granada, and one image immediately springs to mind, the famous Alhambra Palace, one of the true wonders of the world…

Buenos dias,

Think of Granada, and one image immediately springs to mind –  the famous Alhambra Palace, one of the true wonders of the world…

The Alhambra Palace in Granada, just 2 hours from the Costa del Sol by car
The Alhambra Palace in Granada, just 2 hours from the Costa del Sol by car

If you’re planning on coming to the Costa del Sol for your summer holiday this year, and are wondering what cultural delights this region of Spain has to offer that are worth checking out, the Alhambra Palace in Granada, just 2 hours away from the Coast by car should be top of your must-see list.

Of course, Granada has other attractions to make any trip up from the Coast worthwhile:

  • the cathedral
  • the Sierra Nevada mountain range (location of Europe’s most southerly ski resort)
  • the picturesque Berber villages in the nearby Alpujarras mountain region

But it’s the UNESCO World Heritage-listed Alhambra Palace and gardens which always draws huge crowds of inquisitive visitors to this historic city time and time again.

And no wonder, with its Moorish palaces, gardens and water systems and pink-silvery-gold toned walls (depending on the sunlight and the time of day), the Alhambra is quite simply spectacular to behold.

The fortress was originally built in the 9th century by the Moors, but in centuries to come would be further developed to incorporate palaces and a walled city.

In 1492 re-conquering Christian monarchs Ferdinand and Isabel took over the Alhambra as the occupying Moors fled into the local countryside before being driven out of Spain.

A visit to the Palace will not only take your breath away at the sheer beauty of it all, it will also enrich your understanding of the diverse cultural heritage of what is a unique part of the world.

And if you need somewhere to stay while you’re on the Coast, don’t forget to speak to us first!