Only 10 minutes drive along the coast road, glitzy Marbella is crammed with exclusive restaurants, trendy bars and up-to-date clubs filled with the 'local jet set'. Hidden away behind Marbellas’ glamorous exterior is an authentic old quarter full of Andalusian charm and Moorish influences. Make time to visit and stroll around the lovely café lined Plaza de los Naranjos, ‘Orange Square’. It has a maze of narrow streets, rows of whitewashed houses with flower-filled balconies and offers plenty of charming local craft shops and traditional tapas bars, yummy!
Firstly 'do not forget your passports'! and at around a 90 minute drive from Calahonda, The Rock of Gibraltar dominates the entrance to the Mediterranean between the southern tip of Spain and the continent of Africa. Both famous and enigmatic, Gibraltar contains some of the most extensive military fortifications in Europe, spanning over 1200 years of Moorish, Spanish and British history. Tourists can enjoy some of the finest caves in Europe.
Stand on top of The Rock and you feel as if you are on top of the world. Europe is at your feet, Africa fills one horizon, while the gates to the Mediterranean and the Atlantic are on either side. Be sure to take the cable car from alongside the Alameda Gardens. Once at the top, you will find three terraces, each offering a unique viewpoint over the stunning surroundings. Beneath you will see two continents, two bodies of water and three countries!
Wildlife! In a den high on the Rock, live Gibraltar's most famous residents, the Barbary Macaques, the only wild primates in Europe. Friendly, charming and inquisitive, the Macaques have lived on the Rock for centuries. In the seas' around Gibraltar, the diversity of life is just as great, with flying fish and pods of leaping dolphins so why not enjoy a boat trip here!
Duty free and a shoppers paradise, Gibralter can fill your shopping bags, do enjoy but remember you cannot take as much tobacco as you like back over to Spain, check before you buy, not so much a bargain when excess is confiscated at the border on your exit!
*Click on the photo of the rock and then click on the link on the bottom right for more info on Gibralter*
5 minutes drive in the opposite direction of Cabopino, brings you to the typically Spanish resort of La Cala, which also boasts a lovely clean sandy beach with wonderful beach bars and water sports. There are lovely beach restaurants offering 'scrumptious' local speciality dishes and an arrray of fresh fish to include the mouth watering and hugely popular fresh sardines smoked over an open fire! Away from the beach, you can wander around the white washed backstreets of this charming resort seeking out further charasmatic and gastronomic delights in the local bars and restaurants!
Puerto Banus is a further 5 minute drive from Marbella and no stay on the Costa del Sol would be complete without a visit to its astonishingly plush marina to ogle at its display of extraordinary and somewhat opulent yachts. Combined with a fabulous backdrop of mountains, it really makes this marina a 'picture perfect' setting. As a resort associated with the rich and famous, Puerto Banus has more than it's fair share of bars, clubs, restaurants, world-class shopping and casino facilities. Indulge yourself at one of the many lovely quayside bars and as you sip your drink, enjoy doing a bit of real 'star spotting'....watch out for those racy sports cars!
Driving 15 minutes along the coast road back towards Malaga is Benalmedena, a lively resort with beautiful sandy beaches and a fantastic 2km long promenade to stretch your legs along whilst browsing the many shops, bars and restaurants along the way. Benalmedena Pueblo is the original heart of Benalmadena and remains a typical Andalucian village in the foothills of the mountains and well worth making the time for a short visit to enjoy a quick lunch and enjoy the view down to the shores. Benalmedena has a beautiful man made marina created using artificial islands and has its own special ambience. Voted "Best Marina in the World" it also boasts some particularly attractive architecture, with a wide variety of shops and wonderful quayside restaurants. Enjoy one of the many different types of boat trips offered along the quaysides!
Fuengirola and Torremolinos
Both these resorts are reached in 10 and 15 minutes respectively along the coast road and are very well known by the British tourist maker! Fuengirola has the longest beach on this coast stretching for 7km, divided only by an attractive marina where you’ll find a variety of water sports including sailing, water skiing and windsurfing. Behind the beach there’s a pleasant promenade, the Paseo Maritimo that sweeps the length of the beach and is lined with open-air cafes and bars. Torremolinos is the liveliest resort on this upbeat stretch of coast. If you can drag yourself away from the sandy beach, there’s a wealth of enjoyment just waiting for you. The town’s old El Cavario quarter is well worth a tour if you want a taste of real Spain. Elsewhere, the town is jam packed with gift shops, outdoor restaurants and bars, as well as excellent leisure amenities to include tennis, ten-pin bowling or splash out at its brilliant water park. Naturally, both these resorts are jumping at night, with lively discos, nightspots and British pubs galore though other 'eateries' are available!!
Highly recommended local Resorts to see and enjoy!
Click on each photo to enlarge
Calahonda has its own marina called Cabopino a 7 minute drive from the complex, which has the reputation for being the most secluded and picturesque marina on the Costa del Sol. It has a superb sandy beach with bars and restaurants that have barbecue areas and where freshly caught fish are cooked as a speciality. The marina is host to many lovely and well known reputable restaurants, Albert’s is highly recommended for a special night out!
Only 15 minutes drive from the apartment complex, you will find the beautiful whitewashed mountain village of Mijas. Nestling in pine forested hills, this little town is undeniably picturesque, with its maze of steep little streets and gleaming sugar-cube villas and buildings dripping with colourful flowers. Virtually every street is crammed with craft shops and tiny galleries and there's a delightful central plaza lined with cafés and welcoming bars where you can sit out and soak up the Costa del Sol sunshine. Why not explore the village on a donkey - courtesy of what's known as the 'Mijas Burro' service - but beware; it's a bumpy experience! or sit back in comfort and enjoy the same experience in a horse drawn carriage! The evenings here are beautiful and quiet and the shops handily stay open until sunset, which will give you time to soak in the spectacular views the village commands down the hills to the coastline and enjoy the vista of the sunsetting! Mijas is a great place for enjoying a 'Menu del Dia' - set price, 3 course lunch or dinner and as there is such an abundance of places offering such menu's, the competition is high so you will be amazed at what 7 - 9€ will get you!
Welcome to Penthouse "La Vista"
At around a 90 minute drive from Calahonda and well worth the journey you will reach Ronda where three bridges span the ravine measuring more than 100 metres in depth and lead to the other side of the city. The Arab bridge was built in the 14th century and gave access to the old outskirts. The so-called old bridge is comprised of a single arch measuring some 10 metres across. But most emblematic of all is the New Bridge, a colossal feat of engineering which joins the neighbourhoods of Mercadillo and Ciudad. It dates from the 18th century and its foundations sit on the bottom of the ravine, at some points reaching 98 metres in height and 70 in length.The old City Hall, now the Parador de Turismo, stands on top of the cliff and is an exceptional place to relax and take in the views. Its chef prepares tasty local recipes such as stewed partridge, roast kid and almond soup. Among the desserts, Ronda's "yemas", honey pancakes and almond cheese are some of the suggestions.The Paseo de Blas Infante walk and the Viewpoint of the Catholic Monarchs, near the bullring (considered to be the oldest in Spain), are excellent spots to take in the landscape formed by the river Guadalevín. Outstanding in the most modern part of town is the church of Nuestro Padre Jesús and the Virgen de los Dolores Pavilion. The church is built in the Gothic style, with a prominent Renaissance belltower. The chapel of the Virgin, meanwhile, has an attractive series of mannerist sculptures which decorate its pillars. Ronda is a majestic and true taste of Spain!
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