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Why a romantic mini break to the Costa del Sol is the best Valentine’s gift

Don’t panic if you haven’t made plans for Valentine’s Day yet. There’s still time to plan something epic which will blow that special someone away! A romantic mini break and some winter sun is the perfect way to show your partner how much you care and we have availability at great value low season prices for some stunning holiday rental properties on the Costa del Sol.

There’s a couple of ways to do this to get maximum brownie points with your other half –

Arrange a surprise trip

    1. Check with their work, family and friends and let them know that you’re planning a romantic mini-break and make sure they don’t have any plans and can get a few days off work.
    2. Tell that special someone to take the day off work on Valentine’s as you want to do something special together – it’s a Friday this year, so perfect for a getaway.
    3. Then book the flights and accommodation and ask them to meet you for your Valentine’s Day surprise on the morning of the day itself – but don’t give the game away by meeting at the airport, meet somewhere for breakfast and have one of their friends or family pack a bag and put in the passports ahead of time so you have everything ready to go.
    4. Ask us to have a luxury welcome pack at the villa or apartment, so everything is ready for you when you arrive.
    5. Ask us to recommend a great place for dinner near to your holiday rental and book a special meal in advance
    6. Plan some activities you know they’d love, whether it’s a game of golf, a picnic on the beach or a trip to a spa, there are so many special things to enjoy here on the Costa del Sol.
    7. Enjoy the perfect getaway with the one you love!

Present them with a wonderful gift

    1. Make a booking for dinner at a local Spanish restaurant and when you’re there, present him or her with a card, with a voucher for a romantic trip away to the Costa del Sol. The Spanish setting will make it so much more special.
    2. Take a look at prices and options, or discuss it with our helpful team, but don’t book it until your other half has told you when they can get away from work, or when they have a free slot in their calendar.
    3. This is less to organize and also let’s you both choose where you stay and when you go together, perfect for busy couples or partners who like to stay in control.

Whatever option you choose, our experienced team are here to help you get everything sorted. We’ve all lived and worked here for years, so we can make recommendations on the best property, places to go and things to do to make it a wonderful getaway.

With our holiday favourites collections you can choose from Beachside, Luxury, Villas with Pools, Budget Holiday Homes, properties with great views, or golfing homes. There’s something perfect out there to suit you both, no matter what you love to do. Contact us today and let’s get started planning the perfect Valentine’s romantic getaway here on the Costa del Sol.

Five great places to visit on the Costa del Sol in 2020

Following on from our last post about making travel your 2020 New Year’s Resolution , we wanted to highlight a few of our favourite places to visit on the Costa del Sol. We hope this will help you to choose the right base for your holiday and make a plan for what you want to do when you’re here.

Malaga – The capital of the region, Malaga is a beautiful, buzzing city. It is packed with culture and history, with beautiful architecture, as well as a wealth of art galleries and museums. It’s brilliant for shopping and the nightlife and food culture will blow you away. We would definitely recommend a visit to Malaga during your next visit to the Costa del Sol. However, holiday rental options are limited and expensive, so a good option is to stay in a more affordable and more relaxed town nearby and then use the trains and buses to get into Malaga as and when you wish. Good bases which are close to the airport and the city and have a lot to offer in their own right are Benalmadena, Torremolinos and Fuengirola.

Mijas – Mijas is a diverse region, with lots of great things to do and see. It includes the cosmopolitan town of Fuengirola, with its beautiful castle, wide sandy beaches and family friendly activities. It also includes the pretty white village of Mijas Pueblo, up in the hills, which is charming and has great shopping, a thriving art scene and good hikes. Also in Mijas is the seaside town of La Cala de Mijas, with its weekly market and some great golf courses.

Marbella – We couldn’t talk about the Costa del Sol without mentioning Marbella, the most well known town in the region. Made famous by the jet-set in the 1960s, this town has boomed and is full of fantastic restaurants, shops and nightlife. It also maintains its pretty Old Town, long seafront promenade and marinas. The Marbella district includes the glamourous Puerto Banus and the charming San Pedro and is an area with a lot to offer tourists.

Estepona – Estepona is a very charming town, which is growing in popularity for holiday makers. Following sustained investment, it has been cleaned-up and beautified, with colourful pots lining the winding streets of the Old Town, and has a lot to offer. The restaurants and gourmet market and annual tapas tour are big draws for foodies. The Orquidario holds the largest collection of orchids in Europe and 30 meter high waterfall, within a glass dome. There is a packed calendar of events throughout the year and while it is accessible for tourists, it maintains its Spanish identity and charm.

Sotogrande – Sotogrande is on the western Costa del Sol, close to Gibraltar and is a luxurious resort with a reputation for exclusivity. It has a lovely marina with good shopping and restaurants, and thriving sailing scene, with regattas and events and a great sailing school. Sotogrande is also known as the home of polo, and has a number of polo grounds, which hold regular events which are open to the public throughout spring and summer. It is also home to some of the region’s best golf courses, including Valdaramma, Real Club de Sotogrande and La Reserva, and up at La Reserva there’s also a purpose-built beach and lagoon, which is stunning in the summer. Due to its exclusivity, Sotogrande can be expensive, so we’d recommend looking at nearby Manilva and Duquesa for good value holiday rentals. They are just a 10-minute drive from the delights of Sotogrande on one side and Estepona on the other.

We have a good range of quality holiday rental properties from Malaga to Sotogrande and can advise you on the best areas and the best rentals for you. Take a look on the map to see the locations of our properties, or get in touch with us for recommendations. We look forward to welcoming you to the Costa del Sol this year.

Why make travel your New Year’s Resolution for 2020

Happy New Year from all of us at HolidayRentalontheWeb! We hope you had a wonderful Christmas and that 2020 will be a fantastic year for you all.

What were your New Year’s Resolutions this year? The most common tend to be based around improving health and how we look, such as exercising more, losing weight or quitting smoking. Others involve self-improvement such as learning something new, taking up a new hobby, reading more, or getting organized. Others are based around finances, such as saving more, paying off loans, or budgeting better. Last but not least is our favourite – travel more. This is an achievable goal and something you can set in motion in January by choosing your bucket list destinations and making a plan for when and where you’ll travel in 2020.

Travel is good for you and there are many benefits to yourself, your health, your family and the destinations you visit. Here are the top benefits to travel and why we think more travel should be your top resolution this year.

Travel is good for your health

When we travel, we disconnect and slow down, reducing stress and breaking negative patterns and behaviours. Stress can be very damaging to our mental and physical health, so by regularly travelling, we can reduce stress over the year, reducing the negative effects to our health and putting the problems we struggle with at home into perspective.

According to Dr Oz in Forbes Travel Guide, the health benefits can be huge. “Taking vacations can lower men’s risk of death by 21 percent and mortality from cardiovascular disease by 32 percent. Among women, a lack of vacation is associated with a higher risk of heart disease and death from heart disease.”

Travel encourages learning and self-development

When you travel you are constantly learning about new cultures, trying new foods and understanding how things work in a new place. Travel widens your horizons and deepens your knowledge of the world around you. It also encourages you to learn a new language, which enhances listening skills and memory and can help you get ahead in your career. Challenge yourself to prepare for trips with an online course, audio course, or by studying a phrase book. Get the whole family involved, everyone will learn and if you can speak some of the language you will enjoy the trip even more.

Travel improves relationships

Whether you travel as a couple, as friends, or as a family, it improves and strengthens bonds between you. The shared experiences and memories deepens friendships and relationships and will give you something to remember and talk about for years to come. For families it gives you precious  time to spend together, without the constraints of work and school. Parents and children can share incredible experiences and learn more about each other, giving everyone the chance to speak, reconnect and enjoy quality time together.

So now you’ve seen why travel is beneficial for us, now’s the time to decide where to visit. Short haul destinations are easier, cheaper and quicker to get to and by travelling to them off-peak you can save a huge amount.

We’d recommend at least one trip to Andalucia this year, there are so many things to see and do – here are a few ideas. Fly into Malaga airport and stay close to this fantastic city, for easy access to the Costa del Sol and the stunning places to the east of Malaga such as Nerja and Granada. If you’re interested in somewhere with easy access to the airport and these great places, we’d recommend a destination such as Benalmadena. To explore the western Costa del Sol, the Costa de la Luz and places such as Tarifa and Jerez, fly into Gibraltar airport and consider staying in the areas of Sotogrande or Manilva.

There is so much diversity on the Costa del Sol and it offers you easy access to so many fascinating destinations. It is a great place to visit year-round, with a sunny and warm climate, there are many interesting events and it’s a great place to be active. Find out more about where to visit on the Costa del Sol on our website, or ask us for recommendations.

Three reasons to spend Christmas on the Costa del Sol

You don’t have to fly long haul to experience a magical and sunny Christmas this year. The Costa del Sol makes an ideal place for a Christmas or New Year getaway for families, couples or groups of friends looking to do something a bit different over the festive period.

Many people only think of the Costa del Sol as a summer destination, but it’s great all year round and Christmas is extra special. Here are three reasons we think you’ll love to spend Christmas on the Costa del Sol.

To make it even more attractive for you, we’re offering a 10% discount on all our properties for Christmas and New Year bookings from the 15th of December to the 15th of January. To claim your discount, browse our Costa del Sol holiday rentals online, choose your favourite and email  matthew@holidayrentalontheweb.com with your accommodation choice and your dates.

Here’s why we love Christmas on the Costa del Sol and think you will too –

  1. The festive magic and events

The Christmas lights have been turned on across the Costa del Sol and all the towns and villages are looking fantastic. As well as the lights, you’ll find the traditional nativity scenes or “belen” gracing squares, churches and even the airport. These are incredible depictions of the Christmas story, which add a traditional Spanish touch to the season. Many towns on the Costa del Sol have routes around the different nativity scenes, which can be a very festive way to explore a new place, just ask at the closest tourist office to your holiday rental.

If you’re travelling with the family, you’ll be pleased to know that there are lots of special activities for the children. You can visit one of the grottos in town centres and in the main shopping centres on the Costa del Sol.  The Town Halls organize lots of excellent family friendly activities such as musical performances, outdoor ice rinks and kids’ parties. For example, in Marbella there is a children’s party on the 14th of December, an outdoor ice rink from the 21st to the 26th of December, Christmas themed activities including a Christmas train from the 28th of December to the 6th of January and a New Year’s Eve Christmas party for kids at midday. Check the programme of activities in your local tourist office for times and places when you arrive, but be assured there’s lots going on.

Restaurants and bars put on special Christmas events with live music in the run up to Christmas. There are special Christmas Eve events and meals and of course there are lots of brilliant options for the day itself if you don’t fancy cooking. You will still be able to find a traditional British Christmas dinner if you want to go the traditional route, or you can try something international, there are options to suit all palates. Check out this list of Christmas events to inspire and excite you.

There are lots of great things to do for New Year’s Eve as well. Take the traditional Spanish option and head to the main Town Square for midnight, to enjoy the fireworks and entertainment late into the night. Not much happens before midnight, so find a cosy bar or restaurant near the square to enjoy some tapas and few drinks a little earlier. You can pick up party packs from Spanish supermarkets with the traditional 12 grapes, party poppers etc to do it like the locals. Alternatively, there are loads of New Year’s Eve parties and events, from super swanky gala dinners, to more informal meals and drinks which last late into the night. You’re sure to find an option that’s right for you. Ask us for recommendations near to your holiday rental.

  1. The great weather and outdoor activities you can enjoy

When it’s dark and cold at home it stays warm and bright here on the Costa del Sol. Average temperatures for December are 12⁰C, with highs of around 16⁰C most days. While it’s not bikini weather, it is perfect for an active holiday. Get out onto the golf course, hike in the hills, stroll along the seafront promenade or simply enjoy dining al fresco – in December it’s a real treat.

This is a great time of year to enjoy the stunning countryside inland from the Costa del Sol as well. Explore the beautiful white villages or walk the Caminito del Rey, as well as seeing the incredible Christmas light shows in Malaga. There are so many options under sunny skies. You could even take a day trip to the mountains and ski!

  1. You can enjoy Christmas for longer

Another reason to love Christmas in Spain? It keeps going!

If you’re one of those people that never wants Christmas to end, Spain is for you – you get a whole extra week and a fabulous traditional Spanish experience.

After the New Year’s Eve celebrations comes Three Kings, the time when Spanish children receive their Christmas presents. The Three Kings visit kids on the night of the 5th of January and all the towns and villages along the Costa del Sol hold a special parade to welcome them. These parades feature marching bands, floats with kids’ favourite characters, sweets being thrown into the crowds and the three kings themselves waving and throwing sweets to the children. In Marbella, the Kings even arrive by speed boat into Marbella port, for an extra touch of Marbella glamour!

If this sounds like heaven, get your booking in and enjoy 10% off your holiday rental property between the 15th of December and the 15th of January. Browse online for your ideal property, or send your requirements and dates over to matthew@holidayrentalontheweb.com and he will send you a list of suitable properties and apply your special Christmas booking discount.

We look forward to hearing from you.

A day trip to the mountains from the Costa del Sol

It may seem crazy, but if you holiday on the Costa del Sol over winter, you could easily fit in a day trip to the mountains. We’ve been sipping coffee at a beach bar in the morning and skiing by lunchtime!

The journey from the popular town of Benalmadena up to the Sierra Nevada ski resort is just over two hours by car and coming from Torremolinos it’s under two hours, so it’s a very easy day trip from the Malaga end of the coast.

The resort is open from November or December to April, snow conditions allowing. It is a small but perfectly formed ski resort, with excellent runs for beginners and intermediate skiers, although it is a little limited for advanced skiers. There is also a ski park for those that want to do tricks and a play area with a fun toboggan ride for those that don’t fancy skiing.

Tips for making the most of your mountain day trip

If you are going up for just the one day, we’d recommend avoiding weekends and school holidays. If you do, you can feel like you have the resort to yourself and you’ll avoid queues for lift passes or ski hire.

Head into the main square and there you will find the lift pass station, as well as places to hire ski equipment. Lift passes are between 40€ and 50€ per day and ski hire is around 25€ per day.

If you book a skiing lesson or a guide, they will take care of the passes and lead you to the best areas for your ability, so you don’t have to search around and will be able to maximise your time on the slopes.

Check out the official website of the Sierra Nevada and the British Ski Center for more information and to arrange ski lessons or guides.

Best places to stay if you are taking a day trip to the slopes

To minimise journey time and maximise your winter break, you want to be close to Malaga, in an area which is vibrant all year round, and so our recommendations are Benalmadena and Torremolinos. Both are on the train line into Malaga, so you can go and visit this beautiful city very easily and enjoy all its culture and charm during your holiday.

Torremolinos is slightly closer to Malaga city and is well known for its nightlife and well-kept sandy beaches. We have an excellent holiday rental property in Torremolinos that we would recommend as a base for your winter getaway. It is a beautifully refurbished two bedroom townhouse in Torremolinos  which is just 140 meters from the beach and the famous seaside promenade and there’s even a lift nearby to take you up to the main shopping area in Torremolinos, so it makes getting around really easy. The townhouse itself is comfortable and homely and there’s a smart TV and internet so you can cosy up in the evenings if you don’t want to be out on the town.

Benalmadena has a lot to offer holiday makers on a winter getaway, including a beautiful park, an award-winning port with an aquarium and many bars and restaurants. There’s even the chance to take a cable car to the top of the mountain and watch a bird of prey show. Benalmadena is a very popular holiday destination for families and also for those looking for great nightlife and we have a large selection of holiday rentals there.

For lovers of sea views, we’d recommend this apartment overlooking Torremuelle beach. It is a lovely two-bedroom apartment and is within walking distance of local bars, restaurants and a supermarket and there are some fantastic terraces to enjoy the winter sun and these breath-taking views.

We hope this advice and information helps you to plan your next getaway. Contact us for more recommendations on a winter break to the Costa del Sol.

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.

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.

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.

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.