Marbella guide to Days Out
| 3rd Mar
Marbella has much to keep visitors and residents from wanting to ever leave – sun, sea, beach clubs, fine dining, designer shopping, spas, golf, racquet clubs and lots of beautiful scenery – but if you’re thinking of taking a day trip out to explore its surroundings there are many excellent options too.
Take to the sea
There is a lot that you can do in Marbella, but also in its immediate environs. You could take an excursion on a sailing boat, a catamaran, a powerboat, party boat or even (if your budget allows) a large luxurious yacht. Follow the coast and see the Costa del Sol from a fresh perspective, putting in at one of the different marinas for a bite of lunch or heading for a pretty cove in which to set up a barbecue on the beach. You can even head over to Gibraltar or to Marina Smir in Morocco, or take a ferry across the Mediterranean for a daytrip to Ceuta, Spain’s enclave on the North African shoreline. Along the way you’re likely to spot whales and dolphins, so get ready for an unforgettable experience.
Culture in Málaga
The city of Málaga has become one of the must-see jewels of the Mediterranean region, with a fantastic array of architecture, history, culture, top quality museums, castles, archaeological findings, shopping and fine dining. Scale the hillside park of the Alcazar fortress and look back across the panoramic view of Málaga and its shoreline unfolding before you. Or, for something completely different, watch Malaga’s very own football team against the giants of La Liga in what is one of the top football leagues in Europe. If you’re more into indoor sports there is also Unicaja, one of Spain’s best basketball clubs, just to give a twist to your Costa del Sol daytrip.
Head into the mountains
Just inland from Marbella, behind a coastal curtain of mountain ranges, lies a world of beautiful natural scenery including waterfalls, fast-flowing mountain streams, gorgeous green valleys, wooden hills and mountain ranges rich in natural fauna that includes eagles, vultures, otters, rabbits, mongoose, squirrels, deer, wild boar and many other species. In spring it’s a beautiful landscape dotted with flowers, and if you take an organised 4×4 trip up here, mountain-bike or trek into the hills you will be rewarded with fantastic picnic spots and magical views – especially at sunset.
You may prefer to stay in the valleys or visit the charming white-plastered Andalusian mountain villages, where the atmosphere is still typically rustic and the country fare flavoursome. The local jewel of the Serranía de Ronda mountain range is the elegant country town of the same name, just an hour away from Marbella but far removed in terms of its classic ambience and majestic mountain views. You could also head off to larger cities a little further afield, with the historic gems of Seville, Córdoba, Granada, Cádiz and Jerez de la Frontera – the city of sherry and flamenco – all within a range of two and half hours. Enjoy the cuisine, the sites and the ambience of these typically Spanish cities and you’ll realise just how rich and varied this region is in its offer. To top it off, why not see the cities and landscapes of Andalucía from the air, skydiving, in a helicopter or a hot air balloon, glass of champagne in hand.
Ski and Surf
Not a lot of places can match the boast of the Costa del Sol that you can ski in the morning and be on the beach by lunchtime. The winter season here is one of the longest in Europe, and the ski pistes and alpine style resorts of the Sierra Nevada offer the snowboarding, skiing and après-ski, complete with excellent restaurants, bars and spa hotels, of the Alps – yet you’re just two hours from Marbella and its sunny beaches. Head one hour and a half in the opposite direction and you come to the European surfer’s capital that is Tarifa. Set in the beautiful Costa de la Luz region, it is part of a largely untamed coastal wilderness on the Atlantic, just beyond Gibraltar. Tarifa is not only a surfing, windsurfing and above all kite-surfing mecca, its charming historic centre and unique hippie chic feel give it a truly cool, laid-back atmosphere at a short distance from Marbella.