October 2017 - Vacation Marbella

5 Tips for doing a wine tour in Ronda

Ronda is just an hour’s drive from the vibrant town of Marbella, up a fabulous mountain road with breath-taking scenery. Ronda is well known for it’s natural beauty, so don’t forget your camera – there are stunning views wherever you turn and the dramatic iconic gorge and bridge is incredible. It is the home of modern bullfighting and has an interesting bullfighting museum which is very well worth a visit. Although it’s not far from the coast, Ronda feels like a world away, so if you’re spending a holiday in Marbella, this is the perfect day trip!

Ronda is also a mecca for gastrotourism, due to the Serranía de Ronda Wine Route. This route includes 18 wineries in the districts of Ronda and Arriate which you can visit, take tours, enjoy tastings and more. The area has a long and rich winemaking history and a visit to these bodegas gives you a real insight into this part of Spain, not to mention the chance to try some amazing wines.

To help you to enjoy the amazing wines and vineyards of Ronda, here are five tips from the Vacation Marbella team.

1. Do your research:
If you want to experience the wine route yourself and plan your route without a guide, here are a few good resources for you.
· Spain.Info – Has a page all about the route with the names and contact details of all the wineries in English and you can click through and learn about each one and visit their websites
· Website www.ruta-vinos-ronda.com is also an excellent resource. As well as listing all the vineyards, there are also a number of wine experiences which you can buy online. This is in Spanish, but Google translate should help you to navigate around.
· TripAdvisor also has a good section on all the wineries and vineyards in Ronda, with them ranked in order of preference from their reviewers, which could help you make your choice where to go.

2. Start with a visit the Ronda Wine Information Centre:
To start your trip right, we recommend a visit to this wine museum which is in one of the most beautiful houses in Ronda’s Old Town. There are 12 rooms explaining different aspects of wine making, the history, the process of growing the grapes, making and bottling the wine. They also do tastings and guided visits of the museum from 5€ per person. Find out more on the website. Another great place to visit while you are in Ronda is the Tourist Office on Paseo de Blas Infante, where you can get maps, further information about tours and even assistance with bookings.

3. Limit yourself to 2-3 bodegas in a day:
The vineyards and wine cellars are stunning and visiting a few different ones is a great way to explore the countryside, see some different places and of course try the different wines. However, don’t try and pack in too many in one day, or you will get tired and it can seem repetitive. So when you’re doing your research, look at bodegas that are doing different things, or producing different kinds of wine, check the distance between them and how long any tour or experience so you can plan the perfect day.

4. Stop to enjoy some traditional food:
Ronda has great food, which is very different to the food you get down in Marbella. This is rich, hearty, mountain food, with big portions and strong flavours. Look out for stews, braised oxtail (rabo de toro) wild boar (jabali) and partridge stew (perdiz). A three course menu del día (set lunch) will line your stomach ready for the next vineyard.

5. Take an organised tour:
It is almost impossible to get around the vineyards in Ronda without a car, but you do not want to drink and drive, so how can you do it? With an organised tour of course! There are plenty of companies who will pick you up from your holiday rental in Marbella, take you up to the best bodegas and give you a chance to sightsee too.

We can help you book a great wine tour, with transport, a winery visit, wine tasting and lunch, so you don’t have to worry about the planning, finding the place or driving, and you can just enjoy the experience. Contact us to organise your wine tour and book your perfect vacation rental in Marbella.

Where to stay in Marbella in Autumn

Do you think of Marbella only as a summer holiday destination? Think again! Autumn is one of the best times to visit Marbella, as the weather is glorious, the place is still buzzing, yet the crowds have gone, so you don’t have to fight for a parking space or a table at the best restaurants.

However, when you choose your holiday rental for an autumn, rather than summer break, you do need to make sure that the property fits the bill. As there are cooler nights and shorter days, you need to make sure that the property is warm and comfortable, with sunny terraces to soak up the rays. Also, think about the location to ensure you make the most of your holiday.

Autumn is a great time of year for golf. So if you are on a golf holiday, choose a vacation rental in an area with good access to multiple courses and close enough to all the amenities to give you flexibility if you just want to walk to get a bite to eat or go to the shops.

We have chosen three great properties here in the golfer’s paradise of Nueva Andalucia, which would be perfect for an autumn getaway, we hope you like them!

Duplex Penthouse with a great terrace:
This newly refurbished property is perfect for golfers, who want to be close to the many courses in Nueva Andalucia’s Golf Valley, or for couples and families who want a modern, cool apartment, with great inside and outside space. It works perfectly for an autumn visit, as the inside is cozy and comfortable and the apartment is just 500 meters away from a tennis club, supermarket and a few restaurants. The duplex apartment has three bedrooms and two bathrooms and sleeps six people. Find out more

Contemporary and comfortable Townhouse:
This modern, spacious Townhouse is in a family friendly community in Nueva Andalucia, famous for its golf courses, stunning scenery, relaxed ambience and proximity to Puerto Banus. The property has been recently renovated and is a beautiful mix of contemporary design, open plan living and really great inside and outside space. There are three bedrooms, including a king master bedroom with ensuite bathroom including a giant Jacuzzi and a great terrace area. Find out more

Spacious, modern apartment:
Renovated to a very high standard in April this year, this is a stunning golf retreat with contemporary furnishings and a great terrace. There are three bedrooms and two bathrooms, plus a bright living room and large terrace with beautiful views. The location is excellent, surrounded by restaurants with a supermarket just below and close to several fantastic golf courses. Find out more

We have a large selection of great holiday rental properties in Nueva Andalucia, Puerto Banus and Marbella, so if you don’t see anything you like here, please feel free to browse our website, or contact us. As well as great vacation rentals, we also offer holiday extras such as golf club hire, car hire, excursions and more. If you are a golfer, you’ll also love our accommodation and discounted green fee packages and online booking system. We are here to make your holiday unforgettable, so if there’s something you need please don’t hesitate to ask. We hope to see you in Marbella this autumn!

Andalucia Valderrama Master

The Marbella region is well known for being a golfing paradise – and that reputation is set to blossom even further this weekend with the welcome return of the Andalucia Masters at the Valderrama Golf Club.

The Andalucia Masters, the last stop on the European Tour, was first played in 2010 at the famous Spanish course in Sotogrande, effectively taking over from the Volvo Masters, but folded just one month ahead of the 2012 competition due to government costs.

The prestigious event, though, hosted by the 2011 Andaluciaa Masters champion and 2017 Masters winner Sergio Garcia, through his Sergio Garcia Foundation, is back by popular demand to stake its claim as the most important golfing event in Spain.

And there is a strong field of top international players looking to take Garcia’s title with four other Major champions lining up – José Maria Olazábal (1994 and 1999 Masters), Padraig Harrington (2007 and 2008 Open Championship and 2008 US PGA Championship), Danny Willet (2016 Masters) and Martin Kaymer (2010 US PGA Championship and 2014 US Open) all set to feature at Valderrama.

And fans’ favourite, England’s Andrew “Beef” Johnston, winner of last year’s Open de España, also held at Valderrama, will look to challenge again after recovering from a shoulder injury, while the likes of Robert Karslsson, John Rahm – making his Spanish debut as a professional player, Shane Lowry and Soren Kjeldsen will also by vying for the coveted trophy.

The Andalucia Masters takes place between Thursday, October 19 and Sunday, October 22 ahead of two practice days and a Pro-Am on October 19. In total there are 130 entrants, with 65 going through to the second round of the four-day event.

Valderrama, which was constructed in 1974 as “Sotogrande New” to the designs of Robert Trent Jones, is regarded as the best golf course in Spain and by 1999 was rated top course in mainland Europe by Golf World magazine. Dubbed the “Augusta of Europe”, Valderrama became the first golf course in continental Europe to host the Ryder Cup in 1997.

Its signature hole is the par-five fourth hole called “La Cascada”, which is easily recognisable by its rocky waterfall cascading off the tiny, elevated green.

Valderrama is just one of a host of top courses in the Marbella region, known as Golf Valley, and Vacation Marbella can organise green fees and get the cheapest quotation for the likes of Los Naranjos, La Quinta, Valle Romano, Santa Clara and Los Flamingos.

To find out more about our luxury apartments or for more information about playing golf please click here.

Best places to visit in Malaga

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Malaga is the capital city of the Costa del Sol and offers so much more than just an airport. This is an essential day trip from Marbella, as it’s easy to reach and is full of history, culture, art galleries and wonderful bars and restaurants.

Malaga’s Highlights

We love Malaga! Over the last decade it has seen a lot of investment and been transformed into one of the must visit destinations on the Costa del Sol, yet sadly many of the tourists to Marbella miss out, so we hope you’ll take our advice and fit a day trip to Malaga into your next Marbella holiday.

If you do, here are our recommendations on what to do and where to go –

  1. Shop til you drop on Calle Larios – Calle Larios is Malaga’s central artery and is a paradise for shoppers, with international brands and independent boutiques. It is pedestrianised and has benches to rest weary feet, as well as great coffee shops and wine bars nearby. This is the perfect place for some retail therapy!
  2. Explore the Old Town and visit the Cathedral – Malaga Old Town is stunning, with winding streets, pretty plazas, historic buildings and a great atmosphere. The Cathedral dominates the skyline and is wonderful to visit, as well as making for some great photo opportunities.
  3. Walk the walls and explore the Alcazaba – The impressive Alcazaba fortress sits in the old part of Malaga and is a great way to understand the history of Malaga, as you can see Roman ruins and Moorish architecture dating back to 780AD. Walk the walls for great views of Malaga and enjoy the beautiful gardens, towers and palaces – it’s a fascinating place to visit.
  4. Get to know Picasso – Malaga is Picasso’s birthplace and you can understand him better by visiting the museum in the house where he was born and spent his early years. Go from there to the stunning Picasso Museum in the Old Town to enjoy his work. It has a great collection from some of his earliest works, to excellent pieces from throughout his life and it is housed in a beautiful old building tucked away in the Old Town.
  5. Admire the artworks at the amazing art galleries and museums – There’s something for everyone here, with highlights including the Carmen Thyssen for Spanish art through the ages, the CAC for contemporary art (and free admission) and the Malaga Pompidou Centre for modern art from the Pompidou collection.
  6. Visit the stunning port – Muelle Uno is the newly developed port area of Malaga, which must be visited. Strolling along the waterfront you will find sculptures, parks and playgrounds for the kids, museums, great bars, restaurants and shops. There’s always lots going on and it has a wonderful atmosphere, plus you get to ogle the amazing superyachts!
  7. Enjoy some wonderful food – Malaga is full of great restaurants and tapas bars which are buzzing from lunchtime, late into the night – the trouble is choosing where to go. The standard of the food is very high and service is normally good, so choose your favorite looking place, or if you can’t decide, do a tapas crawl to visit five or six different places and try a dish in each.

 

There is so much to love about the buzzing, beautiful town of Malaga. It is the perfect excursion from Marbella, so make sure you don’t miss it on your next trip to the Costa del Sol!

 

Getting to Malaga from Marbella

There are regular public buses which run from Marbella bus station to central Malaga and take around an hour. The buses cost from 5€ to 9€ depending on whether they are direct, express or stopping, check the Portillo Bus website for times and prices.

You can drive there in under an hour, but parking can be an issue and beware of trusting the sat nav too much, as the roadworks in the centre really throws it off! Many people choose to drive to the shopping centre Plaza Mayor on the outskirts of Malaga, park in the free parking and then take the train into the centre to avoid the traffic and roadworks.

Alternatively, choose a guided private tour which will pick you up from your holiday rental in Marbella and take you into Malaga, guiding you around all the best sites and bringing you back without any stress.

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