Places Of Interest In Andalucia


Those visitors who never leave the coastal strip will never appreciate that famous slogan ‘Spain is different’ run by the Spanish tourist office for many years.

For Andalucia in particular is such an exciting and diverse region steeped in history and rich in culture and tradition that it deserves to be explored and enjoyed.

By travelling a mere 10 miles inland to a rural village or town, even the casual visitor will begin to feel that he or she ‘is abroad’ and by going further afield to one of Andalucia's provincial capitals, the feeling will be stronger and the reward greater.

Granada Granada is best explored on foot and has its Moorish past evident at every turn.

Any visitor will be impressed with the breathtaking snow capped Sierra Nevada, the magnificent Alhambra, the old Moorish quarter of Albaicin with its maze of narrow steep cobbled streets and elegant villas and the famous Sacromonte Abbey, high up on the hill, its gypsy caves and flamenco sounds.

The centre is full of historical buildings of great interest and beauty and a visit to this hospitable city should be on your itinerary.

From Malaga take the N331 following signs to Granada and exit on to A92.

Malaga Compared to the hustle and bustle and cosmopolitan atmosphere of the Costa del Sol holiday resorts, Malaga is a very "Andalucian" city. The vast majority of holidaymakers pick up their hire car, venture no further than Malaga Airport and give the city itself a wide berth and in doing so they are missing a true opportunity to mix with the Andalucian people and see how life goes on.

Historically, Malaga dates back to the Phoenicians. It was then occupied by the Romans and afterwards the Moors occupied the city from the eighth century until 1487 when during the re-conquest, the Christians retook Malaga after a long and very bloody battle. The most recent fighting took place during the Spanish Civil War between 1936-1939 when the city, by supporting the Republican cause, was severely bombed by the Italians who had come to the aid of Franco's Nationalist side.

Anybody wishing to explore the city on their villa holiday, should do it on foot. Most of the sights are centred on Malaga's old quarter which is a maze of narrow cobbled streets and found around the cathedral, park and bullring areas. Most of the sights have a Moorish flavour but the discovery of a Roman theatre close to the Alcazaba has been very exciting.

Visit a traditional Spanish tapas bar. Visit the port and take a boat trip around the harbour. Shop at El Corte Ingles or better still in the little old fashioned shops in the old quarter. Hop on a bus up to the castle overlooking the city for fabulous views of the city and coast and finally spoil yourself with a drink at the adjacent Parador. Malaga Cathedral is also worth visiting on your holiday to Costa del Sol. It was built in the 16th century and is nicknamed 'La Manquita', the one-armed lady, due to one of the two towers never having been completed.

Malaga's beaches probably won't be of too much interest to the average holidaymaker who will be able to enjoy their own further along the coast. However, the beaches which are closer to the city get very busy at weekends but are fairly quiet during weekdays.

Malaga has several open spaces that have been planted offering shade with the palms and colour from the bedding plants and other Mediterranean species that survive the intense summer Spanish heat.

Paseo del Parque One of the most charming areas of the city is this wide tree lined avenue that was built at the end of the 19th century reclaimed land. In fact, the Palacio de Aduana was once on the water’s edge but the park now houses the city’s botanical garden which is one of the largest tropical and subtropical enclaves in Europe with around 160 different species of plants and trees. Take a stroll and enjoy some of the city’s interesting architecture such as the old post office, the art nouveau ayuntamiento (town hall) and the Italian Renaissance Genovese fountain at the eastern end.

Museo de Artes y Tradicones This is perhaps the most fascinating museum in Malaga, housed on two floors with an attractive central cobbled patio and fountain. It was originally a 17th century inn known as the ‘Meson de la Victoria’ and the stables and lodging rooms are nowadays used to house examples of furniture, arts and crafts, costumes, boats, carriages, winemaking and agricultural implements and replica rooms from different periods. The museum is found in Calle Pasillo Santa Isabel 10, behind the central market close to the river Guadalmedina.

The Alcazaba Alcazaba means Moorish Fortress and its original structure built on the site of a Roman fort dates back to the 8th century although much of what you see today belongs to the llth century. It is the most visited monument in Malaga and has been lovingly restored over the past few year. Look out for the Puerta del Cristo (Christ’s Door) where the first mass was held after the Reconquest. Enjoy attractive gardens with fountains, the small palace which now houses the Archeological Museum and wonderful panoramic views over the harbour and city.

The Roman Theatre Dating from Augustus and found by accident in the 1950’s during excavation to extend the Casa de la Cultura, the theatre took precedence and after many years it was well restored and is now used as an auditorium for outdoor events.

Located in Calle Alcazabilla close to the Paseo del Parque and next to the Alcazaba.

Castilla Gibralfaro High above the Alcazaba stands the Castillo de Gibralfaro. It was once a Phoenecian site with a lighthouse (gibralfaro) and the castle was built here in the 14th c. by Yusef 1 of Granada. This monument has been very much restored but some of the solid ramparts that you can walk along date from this period. Inside the Castle is an interesting museum of weaponry and costumes with models of the City of Malaga over the centuries. The views are absolutely stunning and close by is Malaga’s Parador with a fine restaurant and terrace bar.

Malaga Cathedral The cathedral in Malaga is worth visiting and although it is not one of the most beautiful buildings, it has character. It is fondly known as La Manquita, the one armed lady, because one of the towers has never been completed. Construction began in the 16th c and continued until the 18th c accounting for the interesting combination of architectural styles. Exceptional is the 17th c choir with the famous sculptor Pedro de Mena responsible for 40 of the 58 carved wooden figures. Noteworthy too are the magnificent organs dating from 1871.

Malaga market The Mercado Atarazanas is found in the busy centre of Malaga just north of the Alameda. It’s a fabulous indoor food market where the visitor can really soak up the atmosphere of the daily life of the Malagueño. Before you enter, however, look up at the 14thc Moorish arch located on the southern façade that was built for Yusuf 1 of Granada when Malaga was once part of the Nasrid kingdom. The building you see today was built in the 19thc in Mudejar style but In Moorish times an arsenal stood here.

Concepcion Gardens La Concepcion is considered the most beautiful and important tropical gardens in Spain and one of the best in Europe. It was created by Amalia Heredia Livermore in 1850 and a visit will prove unforgettable. While visiting, you will have the sensation of being deep inside a tropical forest even though all around are the parched hills of Andalucia. Populated by perennial tropical plants a visit at any time of the year is rewarding. Take the Malaga ring road, direction for Antequera and watch for signs on the right side near a petrol station and restaurant

Picasso Foundation The Casa Natal de Picasso is the celebrated artist’s birthplace in an imposing and elegant house in one corner of Malaga’s traditional Plaza de la Merced. The house was declared an historic monument in 1983 and has recently became the headquarters of the Picasso Foundation. It is not a gallery but more of a cultural centre, where visitors will be able to see memorabilia and documentation relating to the most famous son of Malaga. The Picasso museum has been opened in the Palacio Buenavista where many of the artists paintings and other works are housed.

Torremolinos Torremolinos in Costa del Sol has come a long way from the small Spanish fishing village it once was. To get the real flavour of Torremolinos, take a stroll along the Calle San Miguel. These days, the original and largest holiday resort on the Costa del Sol attracts thousands of holidaymakers each year, mainly British who come in search of the hot Spanish sun, beaches, booze and nightlife. They are not disappointed – Torremolinos is full of bars, restaurants, discos, shops and apartment blocks and during the summer months the streets never seem to be empty. However, Torremolinos has a lot of warmth and character and is certainly worthy of a visit on your holiday, if only to enjoy her paseos, tree line avenues, small plazas and narrow streets of whitewashed villas which are very attractive indeed.

Torremolinos has 6 beaches, all with blue flags and they are (from east to west) – Los Alamos, Playamar, Bajondillo, La Carihuela, Montemar and El Saltillo. They all have fine gritty sand, are clean, safe and have excellent facilities and water sports available.

There are many restaurants, to choose from in Torremolinos from Chinese to Italian and English to Spanish. There is also lots of good seafood and you will not be disappointed with a stroll along the paeso to take your choice from the many fish restaurants, there. Otherwise, the streets leading off from the Plaza Costa del Sol are full of eateries of all nationalities.

The main shopping street of Torremolinos is the bustling pedestrianised Calle San Miguel, which cuts down from the Plaza Costa del Sol and eventually leads down to the beach at Banjondillo. Gift shops, liquor stores, bars and cafes line each side. You can also buy some very good quality jewellery, clothing, perfumes and shoes. The main streets which pass through the centre of town are Avda Palma de Mallorca and C/Hoyo, both of these streets are lined with a variety of shops, some with better quality goods than others.

To entertain the children on holiday, Torremolinos Aquapark is located on the main N340 just behind Torremolinos with water slides, pools and restaurant.

If you enjoy walking on your villa holiday perhaps you would like to drive your hire car to the hills behind Torremolinos and then spend some time walking and enjoying the surrounding countryside.

All-in-all, Torremolinos has something for everyone on their villa holiday in Costa del Sol

La Carihuela From Torremolinos, its attractive Paseo Maritimo extends west to the traditional old fishing village of La Carihuela which is a charming area of whitewashed old houses in narrow cobbled streets that has managed to retain its ‘spanishness’ despite attracting thousands of visitors eager to savour its reputation for the excellent fish and seafood restaurants on the sea front. Once upon a time these restaurants were right on the beach and called ‘chiringuitos’ but these days a fine promenade separates them from a fine safe beach with good facilities. At weekends these restaurants are packed with Spanish people who flock from the city.

El Ranchito Horse Show If you don’t have the opportunity to see the dancing horses in Jerez, you can visit an impressive version in Torremolinos. The enjoyable weekly show includes displays of dressage, elegant exercises with the rider dismounted, groups of Spanish horses moving to the rhythm of traditional Andalucian music and riders wearing the colourful costumes normally seen at the famous Andalucian fairs. The Rhythm on Horse show is a real equestrian ballet and a recommended experience for all horse lovers.

Los Alcornacales Natural Park Los Alcornocales National Park extends over 170,000 hectars of land in the east of Cadiz and west of Malaga provinces. Alcornocales means cork oaks, and this is the most abundant form of vegetation growing in leafy thickets over this most extensive of Mediterranean woodlands. The flora and fauna is rich and varied with an important population of birds of prey including eagles and vultures. With a wide choice of outdoor activities, including water sports, fishing and mountain biking the park is enormously popular best reached via the A7, and N340 to Algeciras and the C440 Los Barrios.

Crocodile Park, Cartama Crocodiles are one of the most powerful and fierce predators on earth but the inmates at the fascinating Crocodile Park always appear to be relaxed! You can see hundreds of these unique creatures from those recently hatched to huge examples from the Nile measuring more than 5 metres. There is also a crocodile nursery, an African curio shop, a video show, bar and café. You can even hold a baby croc, its jaws taped closed of course! From Mijas take the A387 to Alhaurin, the MA422 to Cartama, then west on the MA402 to Aljaima.

Arroyo De la Miel Arroyo de la Miel is an attractive, holiday town with a real Spanish flavour, which has expanded over the past 10 years. This town in Costa del Sol lies about 1.5 km back from the coast and is the main residential and commercial centre for the area stretching from Banalmadena Costa up to the N340 inland.

Our Villa Nicole is a large villa with a heated private pool to rent at Torremuelle, on Banalmadena Costa. The beach and local facilities are a short stroll away from this villa rental. Also, Casa Mi Sueno, is a 3 bedroom villa to rent inland from Banalmadena Costa. For those who enjoy relaxing on holiday with a round of golf then Torrequebrada Golf Course is within driving distance of these two Costa del Sol villas, making these two private villas a perfect base for a Spanish golfing holiday. A car is essential for these two holiday villas and VillaPlus.com can also offer competitive rates for car hire which must be booked in the U.K. before your villa holiday in the Costa del Sol.

At Arroyo de la Miel you will find a busy town centre and a picturesque old quarter with a great variety of shops, bars and restaurants and supermarket and there are many pretty plazas where you can relax and watch the world go by. There are two weekly markets. Its busy and lively promenade overlooks a wide safe beach with many traditional fish restaurants and bars to choose from.

In the centre of the town you will find the railway station which connects Benalmadena with Fuengirola and Malaga. The train service is used by commuters, tourists and visitors to Tivoli Amusement Park and the Cable Car Station.

Tivoli Amusement Park is the largest family entertainment park on the Costa del Sol. It is a fun filled amusement park for all ages and worth a visit on your holiday, offering the usual rides and attractions.

Take a cable car ride from Tivoli up to the mountainside to Estacio de Calamorro. On clear days you will be able to see Morocco.

Visit La Paloma Park on your villa holiday where the gardens overlook the sea. Also in the park is Selino Marina where there are sealions, penguins and dolphins with daily shows for feeding times.

Overall, Arroyo de la Miel is a popular Spanish town and communication with other resorts in Costa del Sol is excellent by bus and train.

Selwo Marina The Selwo Marina is the latest of the Costa del Sol’s attractions and it promises to become a firm favourite as the first dolphinarium in Andalucia. Located in the lovely leafy Parque de la Paloma in Arroyo de la Miel and close to the promenade there are many sea creatures and exotic birds on display, including sea lions, penguins, dolphins, seals and toucans. Shows are put on at specific times during the day as are feeding times which are always a joy to watch. Further attractions and displays are planned for 2003 when many more animals will be in residence.

Benalmadena Pueblo Benalmadena in Costa del Sol is just 19 kms from Malaga airport and has the privileged position of overlooking the Mediterranean Sea.

The area is split into three distinct areas: Benalmadena Pueblo (the old village), Arroyo de la Miel (the town centre) and Benalmadena Costa (the coastal area with hotels, beaches, nightlife and the marina)

The picturesque 'white village' of Benalmadena located in the Sierra de Mijas is Benalmadena's original settlement long before the development of land near the coast. This Spanish village retains its white buildings which show vestiges of ancient civilisations that settled on this land over the centuries.

Benalmadena Pueblo (the Old Village) is always popular with visitors to Costa del Sol who come to stroll and enjoy the sights.

Our Villa Nicole is a large villa with private pool to rent at Torremuelle, a pleasant residential area 3¾ miles east of Fuengirola on Benalmadena Costa. The beach and local facilities are a short stroll away from this villa rental. Casa Mi Sueno, a 3 bedroom villa for rent at La Capellania is inland from Benalmadena Costa.Fuengirola 5 miles west of this Spanish villa and the beach and villages of Mijas and Benalmadena are a short drive away. For those who enjoy relaxing on holiday with a round of golf then Torrequebrada Golf Course is within driving distance of these two Costa del Sol villas. Also if you enjoy tennis on yourvilla holiday, several hotels have courts and equipment for hire.

A car is essential for these two private villas, and VillaPlus.com can offer competitive rates for car hire which must be booked in the U.K. before yourvilla holiday. Banalmadena Pueblo has a lot of interest for those on holiday in Costa del Sol.

Colmares Castle This unusual creation is located on the outskirts of the village on the twisting road that leads down to the N340 coast road. The fairy tale style castle is set in lovely grounds and was built by an eccentric back in the 70’s to commemorate the achievements of Christopher Columbus and has remained a firm attraction ever since. In the same area is the Jardin de las Aguilas, the eagle garden where under the supervision of expert handlers, these majestic creatures and other birds of prey perform with regular displays throughout the day – fascinating indeed.

Benalmadena Puerto Benalmadena in Costa del Sol is just 19 kms from Malaga airport and has the privileged position of overlooking the Mediterranean Sea.

The area is split into three distinct areas: Benalmadena Pueblo (the old village), Arroyo de la Miel (the town centre) and Benalmadena Costa(the coastal area with hotels, beaches, nightlife and the marina)

The picturesque 'white village' of Benalmadena located in the Sierra de Mijas is Benalmadena's original settlement long before the development of land near the coast. This Spanish village retains its white buildings which show vestiges of ancient civilisations that settled on this land over the centuries.

Benalmadena Pueblo (the Old Village) is always popular with visitors to Costa del Sol who come to stroll and enjoy the sights.

Our Villa Nicole is a large villa with private pool to rent at Torremuelle, a pleasant residential area 3¾ miles east of Fuengirola on Benalmadena Costa. The beach and local facilities are a short stroll away from this villa rental. Casa Mi Sueno, a 3 bedroom villa for rent at La Capellania is inland from Benalmadena Costa.Fuengirola is 5 miles west of this Spanish villa and the beach and villages of Mijas and Benalmadena are a short drive away.

For those who enjoy relaxing on holiday with a round of golf then Torrequebrada Golf Course is within driving distance of these two Costa del Sol villas. Also if you enjoy tennis on yourvilla holiday, several hotels have courts and equipment for hire.

A car is essential for these two private villas, and VillaPlus.com can offer competitive rates for car hire which must be booked in the U.K. before yourvilla holiday.

Banalmadena Pueblo has a lot of interest for those on holiday in Costa del Sol.

Sea Life Benalmadena For thousands of years the lost city of Atlantis has been one of the world’s great mysteries. Here at Sea Life in Benalmadena port you can join Plato to explore the fabulous Temple of Poseidon overlooking the legendary city itself. Now the home to sharks and many exotic and beautiful tropical fish you will be fascinated by the world of sea life. Boasting the biggest shark collection in Europe with over 20 species Sea Life campaigns hard for shark conservation. A thrilling and enjoyable day out for all the family.

Torrequebrada Casino Located on the N340 coast road on Benalmadena Costa between Fuengirola and Torremolinos, the Torrequebrada Casino is part of the 5* Hotel of the same name. Here, over 18’s can enjoy American Roulette, French Roulette, Black Jack, Punto Banco and Poker. There is also a Slot Machine hall and a classical grill room offering fine Mediterranean cuisine. With a table reservation there is free entrance to the Casino and under the same roof is the Sala Fortuna a popular venue for extravagant international floor shows, flamenco and dancing to live bands.

Benalmadena Costa Benalmadena in Costa del Sol is just 19 kms from Malaga airport and has the privileged position of overlooking the Mediterranean Sea.

The area is split into three distinct areas: Benalmadena Pueblo (the old village), Arroyo de la Miel (the town centre) and Benalmadena Costa (the coastal area with hotels, beaches and the marina)

Benalmadena Costa stretches for about 9 kms in the Costa del Sol and is the long stretch of coast between Fuengirola and Torremolinos with some beautiful beaches and a booming hotel industry.

Benalmadena Costa has beaches offering all manner of water sports and is lined with traditional beach restaurants and bars serving delicious charcoal grilled fresh sardines.

Since the early 1980's many improvements have been carried out to the beach area, including widening the beaches with imported sand from the Sahara and creating a very attractive paseao (a 2 km long promenade) which provides a lovely walk from Arroyo de la Miel to Benalmadena Port and then along to Torremolinos, passing the fascinating Castillo de Bil Bil, an Arab style building. This is a modern construction and is a restaurant, bar, conference exhibition and concert venue. The marina at Benalmadena Costa offers boat rides and fishing trips. Just inland from Benalmadena village is the popular Tivoli World Amusement Park and cable car which offers unforgettable views of the coast from the top of the Calamorra mountain.

Our Villa Nicole is a large villa with private pool to rent at Torremuelle, a pleasant residential area 3¾ miles east of Fuengirola onBenalmadena Costa. The beach and local facilities are a short stroll away from this villa rental. Casa Mi Sueno, a 3 bedroom villa for rent at La Capellania is inland from Benalmadena Costa. Fuengirola is 5 miles west of this Spanish villa and the beach and villages of Mijas and Benalmadena are a short drive away.

For those who enjoy relaxing on holiday with a round of golf then Torrequebrada Golf Course is within driving distance of these two Costa del Sol villas. A car is essential for these two private villas, and VillaPlus.com. can offer competitive rates for car hire which must be booked in the U.K. before your villa holiday.

The attraction of Benalmadena Costa lies in the safe beaches with a variety of water sports and is worth a visit whilst on your villa holiday.

Fuengirola Cosmopolitan Fuengirola is a big, busy, sophisticated Spanish seaside town that is hugely popular with visitors who are particularly keen on the resort’s whopping eight kilometres of sandy beach. There is a full range of water sports to choose from, plenty of sun loungers and parasols to add a degree of comfort, and some attractive little chiringuitos – beach shacks – serving fresh food and cold drinks to keep you going till the evening. The holiday resort offers great shopping and dining, the attractive yacht-filled marina is a great spot for both these activities as well as watching the Beautiful People at play. There are theme parks and water parks in the area, and one of the best of these is Tivoli World. Part show, part vast amusement park, this makes a big day out in a beautiful setting. It is a world within a world with its own currency, a train to help you get around, and more than forty rides as well as go-karts, bumper cars and Tiny Town for tots. There are three purpose-built theatres with mini discos, magic shows and very popular flamenco shows throughout the day – great when you need a rest!

Port Fishing and Boats Fuengirola’s large sporting marina is always an enjoyable place to stroll around and have a drink or meal at one of the many quayside restaurants and bars. There are opportunities for boat trips to see the dolphins, deep sea fishing and excursions to other resorts and from the fishing harbour alongside you can watch Fuengirola’s extensive fishing fleet come in, unload and auction the catch, much of which is taken away to the town’s many fish restaurants. Those in search of a bargain will also enjoy the popular Sunday tourist market held here.

Promenade Recently renovated and extended, Fuengirola’s Paseo Maritimo, stretching almost 4 ½ miles is the town’s main attraction. Now, with plenty of wrought iron benches, palms and rubber trees offering that essential shade, the promenade is a very pleasant place to stroll, people watch and enjoy the many restaurants and bars along the way. There is something for all the family, with several playgrounds and carousels around the port area, pony and trap rides around the town and fresh sardines cooked in the traditional way on charcoal fires on the beach.

Plaza de la Constitucion Fuengirola’s old town is centred around the Plaza de la Constitucion which houses the parochial church. A maze of narrow streets lead off in all directions and some are pedestrianised with pavement cafes and old fashioned shops. The Plaza is a traditional meeting place for the local people where mainly old men congregate on the benches around the fountain and chat while watching the world go by. Busy shoppers cross from one side to another, sometimes stopping at the colourful flower stall or one of the bars whose tables spill out and surround the church.

Market Fuengirola has several weekly markets but the biggest is held on a Tuesday morning at the fair ground heading east from the centre towards Los Boliches. This market is huge and exhausting during the hot summer months but you will always find a bargain. It is mainly a tourist market for clothes, leather goods, linen, tapes and cassettes, jewellery and the like. The only food products available are fruit, vegetables, sweets, nuts, pickled vegetables such as olives and gherkins and of course wonderful herbs and spices. Take care of your cash and enjoy!

Fuengirola Zoo This new zoo, called Bioparc Fuengirola has created different zones with tropical planting, waterfalls and a river to reflect the natural habitats of the animals you can view there. Watch the Nile crocodiles basking in the sun and chimpanzees playing in the trees as well as Sumatra tigers, leopards, hippos, turtles, kangaroos and much more. In July and August, the zoo stays open until 11PM so you can see the animals who are at their most active at dusk. Guided tours in English are available.

Cartujano Horse Show The Finca Cartujano puts on a weekly unique spectacle showing the visitor the dance and elegance of the pure blooded Spanish carthusian horse with examples of dressage and ballet with traditional Spanish costumes and Andalucian music. Conveniently found in Camino Campanales 71, by taking the Coin road opposite the Fuengirola Aquapark inland and turning right at the Venta La Morena.

Plaza de los Narinjos The Plaza de los Naranjos is in the centre of Marbella’s old town. A delightful spot, shaded by orange trees, it is a traditional meeting place and is architecturally interesting with the lovely Casa del Coregidor completed in 1552, a Renaissance fountain dating from 1504 and the 14th century Ermita de Santiago on the southwest corner. Collect a map at the tourist office in the 16th century Town Hall and enjoy a drink or a meal at one of the many bars and restaurants while wathing the world go by.

Parque Arroyo de la Repressa This pleasant park is quite close to the old town of Marbella and worth a visit after exploring the interesting streets that surround it. Made up of terraced gardens and lakes it offers plenty of shade and comfort during the heat of the day. The Bonsai museum is located in this park. Nearest parking would be Plaza de la Victoria in the old town.

Marbella old town The old town, known as the ‘casco antiguo’ is located within the perimeter set by Avenida Ramon y Cajal, and the smaller streets of Huerta Chica, Peral, Solano, Portada, Arte and Avenida Nabeul. It is a fascinating area, a maze of narrow cobbled streets lined with whitewashed houses, shops, bars and restaurants that are worth exploring. Several interesting museums are housed here as well as remains of the castle and town walls and the imposing church of Nuestra Señora de la Encarnacion, dating from the 16thc in the Plaza de la Iglesia.

Marbella Club Hotel This luxury hotel is situated on the famous Golden Mile, the stretch between Puerto Banus and Marbella. It was founded by Prince Alfonso von Hohenlohe of Liechtenstein, nephew of a Spanish aristocrat, who set up a small beach complex to attract the jet set to Marbella in its early days as a resort. This complex eventually became the Marbella Club Hotel, and with its elegance and wonderful sports facilities set in beautiful gardens leading down to the sea, it is no wonder that it boasts celebrities and royalty amongst its clientele.

Bonsai Museum If you are interested in these Japanese style miniature trees then head for the Bonsai museum located in the delightful Arroyo de la Represa Park close to Marbella’s old town. It is the only one in Spain and has a magnificent collection of trees, claimed to be one of the best in Europe. It is a private collection and tended lovingly by its owner Miguel Angel Garcia.

Hotel Andalucia Plaza An imposing and attractive 4* hotel located just of the N340 coast road in between Puerto Banus and San Pedro de Alcantara, set in the fashionable residential area known as Nueva Andalucia. It has spacious public rooms and a very attractive marble ground floor lounge and coffee shop area where snacks and afternoon tea are served to non residents. Set in lovely gardens with an underpass down to the beach, it has two pools and boasts a famous casino.

Nueva Andalucia Nueva Andalucia is a fashionable residential area lying l mile north of Puerto Banus and 3 miles west of the elegant resort of Marbella. The whole area is set in lush green surroundings with many wide tree lined avenues, manicured gardens and attractive properties. Three very fine golf courses, those of Aloha, Los Naranjos and Las Brisas are all located to the north of Nueva Andalucia as well as being convenient for all the facilities at Puerto Banus and Marbella. Nueva Andalucia itself has several small shopping complexes particularly at Central Plaza alongside the bullring where a popular weekly flea market is held..

San Pedro de Alcantara San Pedro’s new promenade runs through the town until it meets the sea, and then along the length of the beach. This where locals come to see and be seen. It is a place to stroll and relax, especially on Sunday. If you don’t fancy barbequing lunch at the villa, between the palms, there are a few chiringuitos where you can indulge in freshly caught seafood – try sardines straight off the grill. By day, you can choose between two beaches – Playa San Pedro and Playa Cortijo Blanco, both backed by the wide prom with its cafes and bars waiting to refresh you. If you need a break from the beach, head for the central plaza and surrounding narrow streets which are packed with intriguing small independent shops, pavement cafes and bars. Or head for nearby Puerto Banus and amuse yourself sipping a cocktail whilst watching Ferraris and Lamborghinis glide by, and be glad you don’t have the problems of the mega-rich on their luxury yachts!

Refugio de Juanar The Refugio was originally a parador built on the site of an old hunting lodge, nowadays it is a privately owned hostelry with a fine restaurant. After enjoying a meal or drink here, walk or drive the 1.5 miles to the mirador which is 1000 metres above sea level from where in a dramatic mountain setting there are some breathtaking views down to Marbella and the coast. From Marbella take the A355 to Ojen, drive through the village and take a left turn to the Refugio on the MA469.


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