Why visit Istán?

By Gilmar 

| 4th Feb

Most visitors to the Costa del Sol and Marbella, in particular, tend to think only of the coast, the beach and the lively nightlife to be found in the town centre as well as in the marina of Puerto Banús. However, there is so much more to this exciting corner of Andalucía. Just step back a few kilometres from the coast and there is wild, open countryside offering fantastic hikes with breath-taking views of the whole coast.

Istan

Image source Ayuntamiento Istán

Following a winding hillside road, just 15 kilometres from cosmopolitan Puerto Banús takes you to charming Istán, a white village, known locally as a ‘pueblo blanco’, which has been in existence since before Moorish times and is characterised by whitewashed walls and terracotta tiles between narrow winding streets. This lovely village retains the sleepy atmosphere associated with an Andalusian country village, yet is still expanding and welcoming visitors. In fact, the best way to explore Istán is on foot, so leave your car and walk. Even in the summer the streets are shady and fringed by running streams, a relic from the Moorish occupation, with the pure water direct from the mountain.

Just outside the village is a pretty oasis surrounded by flowering oleander trees where the spring water is channelled upon leaving the mountain. It is frequented by locals who come to fill water bottles, and it’s not unusual to see queues of people happily catching up with each other as they wait for their bottles to fill.

Should you get peckish after exploring Istán, there are four à la carte restaurants along with several bars that serve typical tapas menus. One of the best-known of these is Entresierras, famous for the terrace that overhangs a deep gorge with spectacular views to the sea beyond.

Heading back down to Marbella, enjoy the fabulous views on the way! Passing the Embalse de la Concepcíon lake and looking over to the sea with Gibraltar and Africa in the distance, you could hardly believe you were only ten minutes from Marbella!

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