February 2018 - Vacation Marbella

7 Fabulous Things to do in Marbella

Your visit to Costa del Sol remains incomplete without stepping foot on Marbella, in spite of so many of them mistakenly branding the place as expensive or as the “concrete nightmare of Costa del Sol”. We will tell you – on the contrary— that this place remains one of the most stunning additions to your itinerary. Documented below are the 7 fabulous things that you can do while you are in Marbella.

 

  1. Paseo Maritimo deserves your time and attention

 Head straight away, to Paseo Maritimo in a bid to immerse yourself in the quintessential hang-up free coastal ambience. Paseo Maritimo remains a beachside promenade which offers you the stunning views of the beach sunsets. Today this particular promenade has been entirely joined up by means of a wonderful wooden boardwalk. So your time at Marbella is basically largely about soaking up its frill-free ambience, watching the spectacular sunset and the overall view and enjoying a stroll right from Marbella to Puerto Banus or a few miles farther to San Pedro. An efficient way to know the Spanish crowd better would be to visit a paseo on a Sunday when all the Spanish people come out to revel in togetherness!

  1. Time to respond to the beach call

 Explore the beach. But of course! Irrespective of what time of the year it is, your trip to Marbella is incomplete if you are not exactly heading to the beach. If you are willing to get intimate with the quintessential beach vibes then you must be ready to explore the Costa de Sol beaches that can be found just at 10-minute drive to the east of Marbella in the Cabopina area.

  1. La Almeda Park: For some

 It’s time to explore the antique! It’s time to explore Marbella’s Old Town down south! Parque la Alameda is your access to a splendid central fountain adorned in traditional Andalucian tiles, happening beaches and the interesting tropical plants. This particular park is a rage among locals and tourists alike. They accommodate great photo clicking opportunities.

  1. The Bonsai Museum

 If you are in Marbella the Bonsai Museum is definitely the place to be! It presents a stark contrast to the general hurly and burly that Marbella is so commonly associated with. This is one is your access to the treasure trove of a valuable species of plant. Located in Parque de la Represa, The Bonsai Museum is often touted as one of the finest of its kind found in Europe. It makes for a great relaxation spot for your family as well.

  1. Old Town Glory

 Marbella’s Old town is once again your access to picturesque access to antique architecture, boutique shops, maze of narrow cobbled streets, bars and eateries and art galleries. It has been largely opined that Old Town is more of a separate village in Marbella. Go on to discover Orange Square brimming with Nature’s wonders like trees and tropical plants. With the intimate cafes, gourmet and interesting nooks and crannies around, you do know that you will have plenty to explore!

  1. A pulsating shopping scene awaits your presence!

 Shop till you drop. Yes! Marbella is not only about cozying up in cafeterias or discovering cobbled streets and watching sunsets at the beach. You have plenty of opportunities to explore its shopping scene as well. When in Marbella, look out for the revered brands like Mango, Desigual, Versace, Dior, Chopard and Dolce & Gabbana. For more casual shopping experience explore nearby cities like Fuengirola and Malaga and you are sorted! Make sure that if you are a shopaholic you are making an effort to unravel its shopping scene without fail. You do have a lot to explore – so do not miss out any cost.

  1. Explore Morocco: Find out how!

How about planning a day trip to Morocco via Gibraltar? You know that Morocco is a vastly different world for you if you are an European! If you are in Marbella you can easily book a day trip and literally fly your way to another continent. Transcending the crystal clear Mediterranean Seas, you know that you have got your passport to a whole new world of traditions, tastes, sounds and faiths. Marbella’s strategic position actually allows you to experience this entirely different milieu. It may not be that easy if you are placed in a different part of Europe in that case.

Wrapping up…

 

Let us tell you that there is actually a lot to do in this fun place. There is no end to exploring its vibrant Spanish scene. Thanks to the endless avenues that it presents to its tourists, Marbella has actually gone to assume the shape of a hidden gem which is well on its way to gain unprecedented popularity in the years to come!

What are you waiting for? If Marbella is still not in your bucket list, make sure you are including it right away! Those Instagram-worthy pictures of this gem will tell you that we are not exaggerating when we are actually pitting this one against the most popular tourist destinations in Europe or in the entire world.

Travel far and wide! Travel to your heart’s content!

Sarah is a creative writer in www.holidayfactors.com, a leading holiday & travel portal in Dubai, UAE. Thank you Sarah for that great article.

 

Five courses to play near Marbella

The golf market is a multi-billion-pound industry, attracting wannabe John Rahms’ to destinations across the globe all-year round, and with so many courses and resorts available, competition for custom is fierce.

And here at Vacation Marbella we believe we can offer as good as, if not better than anyone else in Europe with so much quality choice in every area – whether that’s the incredible luxury accommodation options we provide, array of guest services, host of excursions, or the 60-plus golf courses in the region.

We are very fortunate to be where we are in Andalucia as the area boasts everything visitors could wish for and more – sun, sea, golden beaches, fantastic restaurants, fabulous nightlife, stunning scenery, picturesque villages and thrilling excursions – and that’s before we even think about hitting the lush, green fairways.

So, we will take you through some of our favourites. And with 15 courses on the doorstep of Marbella alone – in a region that has been aptly dubbed “Golf Valley” – you will find a course to suit every taste and every ability.

VACATION MARBELLA’S GOLF PICKS

  • Los Naranjos

Situated just 10.5km from Marbella and 5km from Puerto Banus, this friendly course is one of the favourites among visitors from all nations and was often used by film star and golf fanatic Sean Connery.

While it certainly is not the hardest course in the area, it is still very challenging with some memorable holes, particularly on the front nine.

It is a typical Robert Trent Jones Sr design with forgiving fairways and strategically placed bunkers and water hazards that will catch out careless or wayward shots. Renowned for being in excellent condition, the course is set among fragrant orange trees and boasts undulating greens that use Penn A4 grass.

Opened in 1977, Los Naranjos has hosted several major competitions, including the Spanish Open. Its reputation was also enhanced by winning the Costa Del Sol Course of the Year in 2005 and 2008.

Another huge plus for Los Naranjos is its stunning club house that offers incredible views of the course and serves some excellent cuisine in a laid-back friendly environment.

 

  • Rio Real

Rio Real has been a favourite with golfers to the Marbella region thanks to many key factors. Located just five minutes outside the centre of Marbella town, the impressive course takes its name from the Rio Real River, which runs alongside it.

This impressive parkland layout was designed by the legendary Javier Arana, one of the most respected Spanish designers of all time, and boasts varied yet breath-taking views, including glimpses of the shimmering Mediterranean Sea.

With elevated holes, the course is extremely challenging yet hugely enjoyable and the Royal Spanish Golf Federation considers it to be a prestigious course and one of the best in Spain – both in terms of its course and scenery.

Rio Real benefits from being in a wonderful setting, and as well as being close to the sea, it also benefits from panoramic views of the Sierra Blanca mountain range as well as a host of varied species of trees such as Pine, Palm, Casuarinas, Olive and Cypress.

There are many unforgettable holes here, but one that stands out is the par-four eighth that slopes down towards the sea, while also boasting amazing views of the mountain range. There is also the daunting 13th par-five over water that contains a slight dogleg left that is certain to test even the most accomplished golfer.

 

  • Marbella Golf and Country Club

 

Marbella Golf and Country Club is another course designed by Robert Trent Jones Senior in 1989 and is situated just outside the bright lights of Marbella.

The facilities here are truly first-class with a stylish restaurant, three tennis courts, modern pro shop and golf academy.

And as the name suggests, it is more than just a golf club as there is also a Wellness Centre offering yoga, pilates and a range of treatments.

Like the vast majority of the courses in this region the views are wonderful with the surrounding hills, olive groves and shimmering sea, while occupying one of the largest remaining green areas on the Costa del Sol.

This tricky, undulating course makes the most of its natural terrain within the Andalusian hillside that is scattered with olive trees, but stray off the fairways then the rough is a golfer’s nightmare.

Accuracy is the name of the game on the front nine as wayward shots will only find the aforementioned rough. There are some really breath-taking holes here, and seven to 15 are widely regarded to be the best.

 

  • Los Flamingos

Los Flamingos has long been popular with visitors to the Costa del Sol thanks largely to the fact this resort offers top-class golf with a choice of three equally stunning, yet totally different courses, as well as a cracking club house and sun-kissed terrace.

The lush green fairways predictably deliver amazing views of the Mediterranean and each course delivers a challenging and varied test of golf. The original course here is, not surprisingly, named Los Flamingos, designed by the renowned architect Antonio Garrido.

By no means the longest course, this par-71 is relatively modest at 5,714 metres off the back tees, but has wide variety and meticulous landscaping. The greens are generous in size, but the fairways, sewn with both Bermuda and Ray grass, are very tight on the front nine, while the Arroyo de Taraje stream, which passes through and ends in a lake, acts as a natural border

The second course, the 73-par Alferini, set in a lush green peaceful valley away from noise and distractions, is monstrous in length, and playing 6,641 metres off the back tees, errant shots are punished.

Set in a valley, the course has been described as technical with long fairways, fast greens and walking it can be tough due to the steady climbs. Strategic bunkers make the sizeable greens pretty daunting, but good driving is essential due to its length.

Last but by no means least is Tramores, an Antonio Garcia Garrido-designed course that is the shortest of the trio, a par-63 measuring just 3,468 metres off the white tees. It is nestled between two valleys, and like its sisters, boasts cracking views of the surrounding terrain and the Med.

Tramores is the latest edition to Los Flamingos and includes the Villa Padierna Michael Campbell Golf Academy – the only one in Europe and is the perfect choice for those who wish to enjoy a relatively quick round.

  • La Quinta

This wonderful course was designed by Spanish Ryder Cup stars Manuel Pinero and Antonio Garrido, the former pro who won nine titles on the European Tour – the most prestigious of which was the 1977 British PGA Championship.

Known for its lightning quick greens, La Quinta golf complex has 27 holes divided into three nine-hole loops that are carefully integrated into the natural landscape in an area known as Benahvis golf valley. Like many of its peers, it boasts some stunning views in every direction.

San Pedro Course A is the more open of the three loops thanks to its wide fairways, while Ronda Course B is quite the opposite – tight and tricky albeit the shortest of the trio.

The Guadaiza is the C loop and the longest and host of the Benahavis Senior Masters, which has been held at La Quinta Golf and Country Club since 2009. It is a real test with plenty of doglegged holes.

Ski and sunshine breaks in Marbella

Marbella and skiing are not two concepts that you’d usually see together, but in fact you can incorporate skiing into your winter holiday in Marbella pretty easily. This is because we are only two hour’s drive from the slopes of the Sierra Nevada mountain range and it makes an easy day trip. It is amazing to wake up by the beach and drive up to the snow and we’d highly recommend it!

What you need to know about the Sierra Nevada

  • It is Europe’s Southernmost ski resort, but its high altitude (3,481 meters at its highest point) means that you can enjoy some great snow conditions and warm sun too
  • There is a total of 106.8 kilometres of slopes, with 125 runs
  • It is a good resort for beginners and intermediate skiers with 19 greens, 42 blues and 50 reds. There are only 7 black runs, so very advanced skiers may find it limited.
  • There is plenty of parking so you can drive up and back in one day, or you can stay overnight in an apartment or hotel
  • It gets very busy at weekends and on Bank Holidays, so try and avoid those times if you can
  • The season runs from December to April
  • It is a good family resort, with a crèche for younger kids and ski schools offering classes for both children and adults
  • The village has some great bars, cafes and restaurants

 

Snow conditions

Obviously, snow conditions can change quickly, but at the time of writing, the resort is in great shape. Marbella has seen some rain in January and what falls as rain down in Marbella, usually falls as snow up in the mountains. There’s lots of snow, with nearly all the runs open and more snow and low temperatures forecast, so it’s a great time to come and visit. Check out the snow conditions and look at the conditions right now on the webcams.

In the past few years there has also been good snow right until the end of the season, with April often seeing a large amount of snowfall, so it’s not too late to get in a last minute ski and sun holiday.

 

How to combine your sun and ski holiday

Book yourself a holiday rental in Marbella and a rental car before the end of April and book your flights. If you plan just to visit the mountains for the day, we’d recommend you wait until shortly before you arrive, or when you’re here to decide when you visit.

We normally check the snow report and the weather forecast and then choose a day in the week that looks the best, that way you get the best conditions and haven’t committed on a day which will be windy or foggy for example. Remember to check if there are any Bank Holidays in the Granada area during your stay and rule out the weekends when queues can be big, the rest of the time it’s wonderfully quiet and a real pleasure to ski.

Decide whether you’re happy to drive, or would rather get a transfer. It is around a two-hour drive and pretty straight forward, although the road up to the resort is a twisting mountain road. If that sounds like hard work, we can arrange a transfer for your group so you don’t have to worry about the drive and can relax to and from the slopes.

 

Top Tips for enjoying your day in the mountains

  • When you’ve chosen the right day to visit, set your alarm for early and try and get on the road by 8am latest – you want to get as much skiing as you can!
  • If you leave Marbella around 7am, you can be on the slopes by 10am and have an amazing day skiing or boarding, before heading back down at around 5pm and you’ll be home for dinner!
  • Buy your ski pass online, or go to the automatic machines in the village if there is a queue at the main ticket office
  • There are lots of ski hire places around the village so have a quick look around to look at prices and queues. We have found that the ones slightly further away from the cable car are better value and tend to have less of a wait than the ones closer by, so it’s worth having a quick check.
  • For lunch there are several self service cafes up on the slopes which are fine for a quick bite if you are keen to get back on the slopes as soon as possible. If you want something a bit nicer, the restaurants down in the village are great, or you can try the Sun Deck restaurant at El Lodge which has a great ski in, ski out location, delicious food and a great atmosphere
  • Before heading home stop for a luxurious hot chocolate or a vino caliente to warm yourselves up before you get into the car

 

We hope this article has been helpful to get you inspired for your next holiday. Browse our website for the perfect holiday rental, or ask us what you are looking for and we’ll send you a list of perfect properties for you.

If you want to try a ski and sunshine break ask our guest experience manager who can help you sort everything out. Contact us to find out how we can help.

Marbella is a great place for a winter break! Read our article and find out how to enjoy Marbella in the winter to make sure you have the best time.