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Four fabulous Andalucian pueblos worth exploring

Four fabulous Andalucian pueblos worth exploring

Andalucía offers a virtually endless scenic route for cultural and historical explorations and picture postcard white villages are an integral part of that. It’s no wonder that many of these pueblos have maze-like clusters of narrow, irregular streets, given that they were founded thousands of years ago and it is these characteristics that make for some splendid exploring routes where the fun lies in getting lost and finding your way back again. Perfect for a balmy autumn afternoon.

Casares

just 15 km from the coast sits the picture perfect little village of Casares. With a historic church and Medieval Arab castle rising from a craggy hilltop, the village itself seems to cling to the slopes, rising to meet these monuments at the top. The traditional white-washed buildings are stacked higher and higher on top of one another like some impressionist painting. For a village of only about 3,000 inhabitants it has an incredible wealth of historical sites, all easily discovered whilst meandering through the streets en-route to the castle above.

Frigliana

The Axarquian village of Frigliana is a real maze of narrow pedestrian streets that can open unexpectedly onto a plaza suddenly teaming with life, or lead you into an apparent dead end only to reveal a cluster of shops and tapas bars. With a strong Moorish influence marvel at the intricately designed stone pavements and the plethora of floral colour hanging from proudly adorned balconies, window ledges and doorways. Exploring this pueblo can take a whole day, but rest assured there are plenty of restaurants and bars to stop and enjoy a little tapa.

Comares

Less than 25km from the coast, perfectly perched atop a hilltop at almost 740 metres high, Comares boasts amazing views to the Mediterranean sea and the surrounding mountains. It is easy to get lost in this labyrinthine village so ceramic footprints have been placed along the narrow-cobbled streets to help visitors find their way. A wander around will reveal various plaques graphically explaining Comares’ rich history, dating to at least the 3rd century B.C. and including the handover of the village from the Moors to the Catholic Kings in 1487.

Mijas

One of the most well-known and local pueblos you will find Mijas at the end of long and meandering road perched up in the mountains. A labyrinth of cobbled streets are perfect for losing yourself on an autumn afternoon. Stop for tapas or an ice cream and enjoy some fabulous sea views. There are plenty of historic buildings including the bullring and lift allows those that are less mobile access to the higher village area. With its own Made in Mijas brand you can find locally made goods including chocolate.

Hello September

Hello September

When you live here in Spain September is one of the all hailed and most looked forward to months in the year. Gone are the crazily busy beaches, you can get a parking space in your favourite resort and the chiringuitos are still open serving fine fayre to their patrons.

The weather is balmy and has moved from the sweltering 40-degree heat of long summer days into a wonderful 25/28 degree range. Swimming pools in urbanisations empty out as the children head back to school and many of the Spanish who have holiday homes on the coast go back to the city.

Night times become cooler and sleeping without the aircon is a pleasure. You can enjoy long evenings on the terrace in the warmth of early Autumn in Spain. This is the perfect time to visit some of the many awe-inspiring spots here.

Walking the streets of Malaga is a heady mix of culture and history with a dash of gastronomical delight thrown in. A few days in this magnificent city is perfect at this time of year as it is less crowded and enjoying all it has to offer is achievable without melting. Malaga Botanical Garden is the ideal spot for a balmy afternoon walk.

This is the perfect time to head inland too after the blistering summer temperatures have dropped a little. A few days in historic Granada at the foothills of the Sierra Nevada and you will be spoilt for historical and architectural choice. The Alhambra is one of Spain’s must sees as are the gardens of Generalife.

Ronda is another gem in the Spanish crown. Again, great historical and architectural value here with so much to see over a few days. Of course, you could always opt to take a wine tour in the area to appreciate its delicious fayre.

September is a fabulous month in Spain so go out and explore some of its many delights.

New Miami-Style Port planned for Malaga

New Miami-Style Port planned for Malaga

Far from being a transport hub Malaga over the years has become a cultural city with so many attractions. Its port area has become a thriving tourist attraction as it is surrounded by fantastic restaurants, shops and leisure facilities.

With this popularity the number of yachts and luxury yachts mooring in the area has increased too and it is with this in mind, that the Junta de Andalucia are considering plans for expansion of the port into a glitzy Miami-style port for luxury moorings. There have been several mega yachts, including some of the most famous in the world mooring at the port to restock.

The port authority recently announced early plans for the new marina that would provide space for 40 luxury yachts from 40 to 100 metres in length, the length of a full-sized football pitch in fact.

The new facility would be on the Marqués de Guadiaro quay, the stretch of the port next to the dockside shopping centre that runs towards the city centre. It would resemble the huge private yacht marinas of Miami with a gardened protective outer wall.

The Melilla ferry terminal would move to the other side of its current dock to allow more space.

With data showing there are over 100,000 private yachts over 40 metres long with another 755 under construction having the facilities available for them to moor safely in Malaga would increase tourism and spending in the area.

Malaga is seen as an ideal stop over and resupply point before mega yachts sail to the Caribbean and with the proximity of Malaga airport this also opens up travel options.

There is talk of building a heliport so people could transfer quickly to the airport and onwards to Marbella or Puerto Banus.

No detailed plans have been produced to date but this kind of Miami-style marina would appeal to those who have property in the luxury regions of the Costa del Sol, perhaps drawing in further demand for high end property.

Why Spain has it all, sun, sea and so much more

Why Spain has it all, sun, sea and so much more

Most overseas homeowners in Spain opt for a place near the beach and who can blame them, but it’s a big country, and look a bit closer and you’ll find just about every style of home and setting you could wish for even within the Costa del Sol.

A beachside apartment, a villa on a golf course, a traditional finca or village house, or even a pied-a-terre in a bustling city like Malaga – whatever type of home you’re looking for, Spain and particularly the Costa del Sol will tick the box.

Most people’s first impressions see the Costa del Sol as a beach destination but the more time you spend here, you will discover some wonderful alternatives to a typical Spanish beach apartment. We have the ski resorts of the Sierra Nevada, the cultural city of Malaga, the historical delights of Granada and the rich fertile Ronda Valley.

Luxury seaside penthouses, duplexes, comfortable two bedroom apartments and studios – different styles of apartment are aplenty in the region. You could opt for a sleek urban city apartment in Malaga or a frontline golf villa in Estepona, an apartment in Marbella East or a luxury residence in La Zagaleta.
There are benefits to new builds and off plan developments – they often have energy efficient heating and insulation, and come with up to date technology and modern kitchens and bathrooms, quite often offering an open plan layout to make the most of the space. These type of developments are excellent if you are looking to lock up and leave just visiting at times throughout the year as there is an added security.
In most towns on the Costa del Sol, there are elegant apartments built around the turn of the 20th Century, with high ceilings, double doors and attractive cornicing and plasterwork. These are usually located in the most sought-after areas.

Villas on urbanisations in popular tourist resorts are popular as both second homes and main homes with resorts such as Marbella and Puerto Banus offering international schools to tempt families. The outdoor lifestyle and climate is really what beckons people here but you really do get so much more property for your money.

Venture inland and you’ll find fincas aplenty for example in the Axarquia area. These will be old properties, many of which have been well renovated and are full of character. Village houses may have a small garden or terrace.

Living here though you become used to the amenities being within easy reach so dining out in the great resorts of La Cala, Mijas Pueblo, Marbella and Estepona become the norm. Watching or playing polo in upmarket Sotogrande or joining a yacht club out of Marbella. Being a member of an exclusive golf course or just playing your way around the region. You can create the lifestyle you want here, so whatever you are looking for you’re sure to find it in Spain.

Magical Marbella

Magical Marbella

This well-loved Costa del Sol region in southern Spain is home to one of Europe’s ultimate hotspots. Get out and explore this summer and you’ll discover why visitors keep coming back to this iconic destination.

Marbella, and the nearby upmarket marina town of Puerto Banus, are two of the most high-profile holiday locations in Spain. The area is packed with classy clubs, bars and restaurants and celeb spotting is the norm during the balmy summer season.

Visitors flock to this sunny hideaway by the Mediterranean, and living here it’s not hard to see why. Marbella has more than 20 small, sandy beaches along its pretty coastline. You’ll discover the popular Playa de Fontanilla beach, right by the city centre perfect for spending long lazy days relaxing.

When you’ve had enough of the beach you can meander the paved promenade that offers plenty of cafes and shops to spend hours looking through. La Venus and La Bajadilla beaches will also give you reasons to relax and enjoy the weather.

Make sure you tour the tiny, cobbled streets of Marbella Old Town. Its plazas and harbour areas will give you the chance to take in the real beauty of this region. Your summer trip to Marbella will let you experience the high-end nightclubs too, like Sleek, Funky Buddha, Kube and Tibu and the relaxing beach clubs like Nikki Beach, Sala Beach and the classy Marbella Club Hotel you can find your sun lounger and chill out all day with a cheeky cocktail or two.

And don’t forget to try the top-class golf courses here, which include Los Naranjos, La Quinta, Marbella Club and El Paraiso. The outdoors lifestyle continues with plenty of places to walk, hike and cycle and if all that is too much, perhaps relaxing in a world class spa would be just the ticket.

Magical Marbella really does have it all! It is no wonder property in this area is high in demand. There is so much choice whatever your budget. You can find a lovely lock up and leave holiday home or a fantastic family home, an apartment on a golf course or a luxury villa.

Great Andalucian summer foodie festivals

Great Andalucian summer foodie festivals

Living in Spain you become accustomed to some of the great fiestas and festivals the country holds. Here in Andalucia is no exception and whether you are joining in with parades, eating fabulous food or joining in with tradition there are plenty to choose from.

Los Boliches Feast, Fuengirola July 16

The festivities here are in honour of Our Lady the Virgen del Carmen, Patron of Los Boliches, and are based on a strong maritime tradition and on the devotion expressed by the inhabitants. Festivities take place on the beach.

Fiesta de la Urta, Rota, August 3 to 6

Smells of locally-produced delicacies traverse through the air in Rota, whose event celebrates the wealth of culinary talent in the area. Check out the dishes on sale from the many casetas and watch judges put budding chefs to the test in various food challenges.

Fiesta del Gazpacho, Alfarnatejo, August 5

In this Axarquian pueblo raise a glass to this simple but delicious Andalucian staple. Residents come together to cook up huge pots of the soup, which are then doled out to hungry fiesta goers. The night will feature flamenco shows and live artists too.

Night of Wine, Competa August 15th

Cómpeta, in the Axarquía region celebrates “La Noche del Vino” each year. This traditional festival has its roots in the farewell that used to be given to those who left the town to go to the farmhouses for the harvest and did not return home until October, after the grapes and raisins had been trodden or packed. Keeping the tradition, every 15 August the party begins with the traditional treading of the grapes in the Plaza de la Vendimia, accompanied by the music of the fandangos of Cómpeta and the verdiales (folk dancing) groups from other localities.

Feria de Malaga, August 12 to 19

This is the biggest party in Malaga province and people travel miles to attend. Crowds flock to the week-long feria in August to taste wines and tapas in the historic centre, while live music and performances take place throughout the streets. The feria dates back to 1491 as a commemoration event of the incorporation of Malaga with the crown of Castilla and begins with some awe-inspiring fireworks.