There's an awful lot of Andalucia. Stretched out over 87,000km² it's made up of eight separate provinces - each with its own historic cities, landscapes and sights to see. But after many hours…
With more than 50 courses in just a shade over 100km, not for nothing is the coastline west of Malaga known as the ‘Costa del Golf’.
A golf holiday here offers something for all abilities, too, from gentle municipal hacks to tournament courses for seasoned scratch handicappers.
So without any further ado, here’s the LVC pick of a few of the best Costa del Sol golf courses…
Marbella Golf & Country Club, Benahavis
We begin appropriately enough, at the beginning, with the grande dame of Costa del Sol golf courses: Marbella Golf & Country Club. It may not be the oldest course in the region (that honour goes to the Malaga Parador which dates back to the 20s), but founded in 1954 and part of the resort of the same name, it very definitely leads the way in the old-fashioned glamour stakes.
And the course? Designed by Dave Thomas, set back a little from the coast to the north of Benahavis, its gently undulating fairways wind their way between well-placed water features upwards towards the mountains.
Stunning setting aside, the course is both in consistently great nick and challenging, with a mix of elevated tees keeping even low-handicap players guessing for distance and club selection. A major selling point of Marbella Club is the gap between tee times (a generous 12 minutes minimum) which means that the tension when you shank one into the rough is slightly reduced. A class act.
The 19th hole: Tie in tee times to coincide with an evening table booked at Juan Galvez’s The Grill, the hotel’s fabulous (and heavily meat-centric) restaurant.
Address: Carretera Benahavis, Km 3.7, 29679, Malaga; Tel: +34 952 88 06 08; Marbellaclubgolf.com.
La Quinta Golf & Country Club, Nueva Andalucia
La Quinta ticks a lot of boxes. A mature and well-kept course that was designed by Spanish pros Antonio Garrido and Manuel Piñero, it perhaps plays a little easier than some of the others on this list. That’s not to say it’s not a high quality course – nor that it doesn’t have its challenges in the form of some tricky fairways and cavernous bunkers – merely that it’s suitable for mid-handicappers.
The course is made of three nine-hole loops – San Pedro, Ronda and Guadaiza – which can be mixed and matched as you see fit. As a result, along with a scenic driving range, it makes for a good warm-up round at the start of your golf holiday.
The 19th hole: Soothe stiff backs with a post-round soak, steam and massage in the hammam-inspired La Quinta Spa.
Address: Avenida Tomas Pascual, s/n, 29660 Marbella, Malaga; Tel: +34 952 76 23 90; Laquintagolf.com.
San Roque Club, San Roque
When Perry Dye launched his ‘New Course’ back in 2003 it had many critics and in-the-know local golfers licking their lips and comparing it to the stellar likes of Valderrama. Which is high praise indeed.
Layered on top of an original Trent Jones course, it’s small by modern standards, but also perfectly formed. And not just technically, either. Aesthetically, it’s an absolute joy to behold: flanked on one side by a nature reserve and dotted with mature trees, waving grasses and fabulous views of the sea and the rolling hills, it’s one of the more stirring places to play golf on the Costa del Sol.
The 19th hole: In true Cadiz country club style, in addition to the golf there’s also a renowned equestrian centre. So if some of your group are not golf-lovers, they can head off for a lesson or a hack on the beach instead.
Address: The San Roque Club C.N. 340 KM 127 11360 San Roque, Cadiz. Sanroqueclub.com.
Finca Cortesin, Casares
A fairly new addition towards the western end of the Costa del Sol in Casares, Finca Cortesin is a sophisticated luxury resort that mixes indulgence with style and taste throughout.
Two things stand out about the golfing here, though: first of all, despite only having been built in 2006, it’s a mature course with fairways lined with lots of old cork and olive trees and some spectacular scenery; secondly, at nearly 7,000m it’s an absolutely monster. Weak drivers need not apply.
The 19th hole: play an early morning’s round and spend the afternoon stretched out by the pool, before heading down to their beach club for sundowners.
Address: Carretera de Casares, s/n, 29690 Casares, Malaga; Tel: +34 952 93 78 00; Fincacortesin.com.
La Zagaleta, Benahavis
Winding its way up into hills and woodland above Marbella, La Zagaleta country club has two courses, La Zagaleta and Los Barrancos. Both are amongst the very prettiest of this very pretty bunch, with many holes snaking their way through tree-lined valleys criss-crossed with occasional streams. This is the real joy of playing here: not only does nature start as soon as the fairway stops on many holes, but at almost no point do fairways run alongside one another. They feel like golf courses that are integrated into the surrounding natural landscapes rather than imposed on it.
There’s just one potential hitch: it’s a members’ only affair. So unless you’re fortunate enough to have friend who’s in the club you won’t be getting in.
The 19th hole: forget about that disappointing scorecard by heading for the clubhouse’s bowling alley, exclusive for residents of La Zagaleta with prior arrangement (check out our villas in La Zagaleta).
Address: Carretera Ronda Km 38.5, Benahavis, Malaga, 29679; Tel: +34 952 85 54 50; Lazagaleta.com.
Real Club Valderrama, Sotogrande
Valderrama Golf Course has in the past picked up the accolade of the best golf course in mainland Europe. The list of competitions it’s held over the years is a long one taking in the Andalucia Masters, the Volvo Masters and the first Ryder Cup to be played on European soil. Suffice to say that, whichever way you come at it, it’s one of the best places to play golf in Spain for the serious golfer.
And the emphasis here is very much on Serious with a capital ‘S’. The greens are lightning fast, the fairways at times breathtakingly tight, and the rough unforgiving. But the thing that sets Valderrama apart is the fact that there’s not a single dull hole – whether they’re winding their way through the cork woods, both visually and in terms of the challenge they throw up, each offers something slightly different, right up to the famous 17th with its death or glory tee-off.
The 19th hole: start by booking an afternoon tee time. Then, at the end of your round, step off the 18th green, walk to the clubhouse, order yourself a glass of fine champagne and watch as the shadows lengthen over the fairways. Drink it all in. You’re surrounded by a piece of golfing heritage.
Address: Avenida de los Cortijos, s/n, 11310 Sotogrande, Cadiz; +34 956 79 12 00; Valderrama.com.
For accommodation that’s equally refined, choose Villa El Chorrito Sotogrande neighbouring Valderrama golf club.
Los Flamingos, Benahavis
Los Flamingos is Malaga golf ground zero. Right in the heart of the action, and part of the exclusive Villa Padierna resort complex, there are three courses sitting side by side: Alferini, Tramores and Los Flamingos.
Of the three, Alferini is the trickiest – long with punitive rough and countless challenging approach shots. Tramores is a short, friendly warm-up course (an extended pitch and putt, if you like) that’s ideal for grooving your swing. Los Flamingos, though, is probably the most inviting for the average golfer. Designed by Antonio Garcia Garrido, it’s a mix of gently rolling parkland and hillier holes. After a tight front nine, the back nine opens up a bit making for a very pleasant day of golf in the Andalucian sunshine.
The 19th hole: while it’s nowhere near as relaxing as a cold beer or two back in the clubhouse, the Michael Campbell Golf Academy is a great place to hit the driving range, take a lesson (private and group tuition is available) and iron out any kinks in your swing.
Address: Villa Padierna Golf Club, Urbanizacion Los Flamingos Golf, Carretera de Cadiz, Km. 166. 29679 Marbella, Malaga; Tel. +34 952 889 157; Villapadiernagolfclub.com.
Choose one of our Los Flamingos Golf villas for a convenient stay that’s also within easy reach of the coast’s restaurants and bars.
Los Naranjos, Marbella
This Robert Trent Jones Sr-designed course celebrated its 40th anniversary in 2017. Like the other courses he turned his expert hand to on the Costa del Sol, Valderrama, Sotogrande and Las Brisas, it’s as pleasant to play as it is to look at. Aesthetically, the 9th is a particular highlight: having successfully navigated a lovely right to left dogleg, you can lean on your putter and admire beautiful views of La Concha.
In terms of difficulty, it’s something of a course of two halves, with the back nine a more leisurely walk in the park(land) after the challenging terrain – plus tricksy water features and bunkers – of the front nine. It sits firmly in the mid-range end of the spectrum, though, and for higher handicappers is nowhere near such a daunting day out as some of the championship courses on this list.
The 19th hole: the club is Swedish-owned and there’s been great excitement about the appointment of a Scandinavian chef to head up the recently refurbished restaurant in the clubhouse. Locals have been booking the morning tee times to align their rounds with a spot of lunch.
Address: Plaza de Cibeles, s/n, 29660 Marbella, Malaga; Tel. +34 952 81 24 28; Losnaranjos.com.
La Cala Golf, Mijas
Why settle for one course when you can have three? Variety, after all, is the spice of life. Beyond the fact that La Cala Golf takes in 54 holes, each course offers a very different set of challenges to keep your golfing holiday from getting samey.
Campo Asia is the oldest of the three and, with its tight approaches punishing any lapses in accuracy, is not to be entered into lightly for all but the lowest handicappers. Campo America is a long course offering stunning views to the Sierra de Ojen and down to the sea – and slightly more forgiving fairways if you’ve allowed yourself to get distracted by them. A gentler, more leisurely round can be had at Campo Europa. While it’s on the long side, the fairways are broader and flatter and the greens are bigger than handkerchiefs.
Away from the three main courses themselves, there’s even a six-hole par three to warm up – perfect if you’ve just stepped off the plane and need to get your game in order.
Address: Urb. La Cala Golf s/n, Mijas Costa, 29649 Malaga; Tel. +34 952 669 016; Lacala.com.
The 19th hole: The clubhouse is one of the most attractive parts of La Cala. The Laurel Restaurant is a great start to an evening out, with a nice line in drinks and snacks as you watch those coming in struggle with the difficult 18th. You’re part of a luxury resort here, though, so you can also nip off for a quick ‘Back Into Balance’ massage if your back’s starting to creak after all the golf.
Real Club de Golf Sotogrande
This grand old course, inaugurated in 1964, was the first on the Costa del Sol to be designed by Robert Trent Junior. Totally reformed in 2016, it now offers one of the finest rounds of golf in southern Spain.
It’s very easy on the eye, too, with lush, rolling fairways winding their way through cork, eucalyptus and pine woods with regular glimpses of the glittering Mediterranean. Standout holes include two on the front nine – 4, a long par three, and 12, a fiendishly tricky par 4 – but the back nine is also dotted with challenging holes typified by water features and bunker-encircled greens.
Visitors aren’t allowed on the course on weekends, or at one or two peak times of year like Easter week and high summer (mid-July to the end of August) so it’s one for spring or autumn. The history, prestige and impeccable maintenance comes with a hefty green fee making it, all in all, one for the serious golfer rather than the low-handicapper out for a relaxed few holes.
Address: Paseo del Parque, 11310, Sotogrande, Cadiz; Tel. +34 956 78 50 14; Golfsotogrande.com.
The 19th hole: The seafront is just a short saunter from the clubhouse. Here the Trocadero beach club is a great place for a bite to eat and a cooling swim after a long round.
Real Club de Golf Las Brisas
After a tricky few years of remodelling, it’s fair to say that Las Brisas is back where it belongs – right up there amongst Spanish golf royalty. The only snag is: if you’re not friends with a member, you’re not getting on.
You kick things off with a long par 4 where both your drive and approach have to be inch-perfect if you don’t want to see your ball disappear into a lake. And it barely lets up for a minute from there. The 5th is a monster, while with water lining the left-hand side of the fairway all the way down to the green, the 12th punishes even a hint of waywardness. The 7th and 16th are a pair of pretty-as-picture par threes that lull you into a false sense of security and as a result can see you shedding shots in the green-side bunkers.
Address: Calle Londres, 1, 29660 Marbella, Malaga; Tel: 952 81 30 21; Realclubdegolflasbrisas.com.
The 19th hole: The course may be private, but the restaurant’s open to the public – and is excellent. It makes for a great place to meet non-golfing friends for lunch after a round.
Aloha Golf Club
With its rolling parkland fairways running between water features, whispering eucalyptus and bright purple jacaranda trees or stretching away to stunning views of La Concha, Aloha’s certainly something of a looker. It may be one of the more expensive golf courses in Marbella, but it’s also one of the best having been selected to host the Andalucia Open (PGA European Tour) on three occasions in recent years, as well as 2016’s Andalucia Women’s Open.
It’s a tough course, and at over 6,200m, a long one, too, with some of the par 3s – like the 12th – playing very long. There are doglegs aplenty where a decent fade or draw is a requirement to have a sniff of a chance at par, and quite a few blind shots. The greens, invariably ringed by large bunkers and two-tiered on a few occasions, play like lightning. Leave your putting game at home here and your scorecard will certainly feel it.
Address: Urbanizacion los Olivos I, 6B, 29660 Marbella, Malaga; Tel: 952 90 70 85; Clubdegolfaloha.com.
The 19th hole: During the summer months, golf in southern Spain can be something of an endurance feat. Which is why Aloha’s large swimming pool, complete with loungers and parasols, can look like a shimmering oasis in the desert at the end of a round.
Real Club de Golf Guadalmina – Sur
While not perhaps quite as regal as Valderrama, another course on the Costa to bear the royal seal of approval, Guadalmina Sur is still very much a round that’s fit for a king or queen.
Guadalmina Sur became just the Costa’s second course when the first drive was hit back in 1959. These days, beautifully maintained, with lush fairways and pristine greens, it’s very much a course of international standards.
There are several standout holes. Aesthetically, though, the finest has to be the 11th, whose sea views are literally the picture-postcard view of golf in southern Spain.
The 19th hole: In addition to the top-class golf, the Guadalmina resort is also home to tennis and padel courses if you’re looking for somewhere to play a set or two. And if that sounds rather too much like hard work, there’s also a large pool are to kick back in.
Address: Urbanizacion Guadalmina Alta, Club de Golf Guadalmina, s/n, 29670 San Pedro Alcantara, Malaga; Tel: 952 88 33 75; Guadalminagolf.com.
Costa del Sol Golf Holiday Need-to-Knows
When’s the best time of year to play? With over +300 days of sunshine per year, it’s never exactly a bad time for a Costa del Sol golf holiday. Autumn and Spring, though, are perhaps the most popular seasons as the temperatures are pleasant, without ever hitting the scorching summer highs.
How much are green fees on the Costa del Sol? It very much depends. At the upper end, the green fees at Valderrama won’t leave you with much change from €400, whereas a round of golf at Los Flamingos or Los Naranjos might set you back somewhere in the region of €70-80 in low season.
How do I find the best Costa del Sol golf deals? Whether it’s making sure you get the most favourable tee times or booking you the best caddy, the LVC concierge team are on hand. Ask and you shall receive.
Like our pick of the best golf courses on the Costa del Sol, and now looking for a suitably indulgent place to stay? Check out our collection of luxury golf villas.
After something a little less energetic from your holiday? Stretch out on one of our pick of the best Marbella beaches instead.
Array (  => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 102656 [post_author] => 5 [post_date] => 2020-03-12 10:30:02 [post_date_gmt] => 2020-03-12 10:30:02 [post_content] => There's an awful lot of Andalucia. Stretched out over 87,000km² it's made up of eight separate provinces - each with its own historic cities, landscapes and sights to see. But after many hours discussing everything it has to offer, we've come up with what we think is the definitive guide to the best things to do in Andalucia. Here goes...
1. Visit the Alcazar & its enchanting GardensThis UNESCO World Heritage site is one of the most outstanding examples of Mudéjar architecture in the whole of Spain. An active royal palace, it's swathed in gorgeous, sprawling gardens full of swaying palms and tinkling fountains. Address: Patio de Banderas, s/n, 41004 Sevilla. Alcazarsevilla.org
2. Climb La Giralda & Get a Bird's-eye View of sevilleThis iconic minaret turned bell tower has changed with the city over the course of its eight century-long life. Ramps rather than steps lead most of the way up (so that the muezzin could ride his horse up to call the faithful to prayer). From the top, you're rewarded with a view out over beautiful Seville. Address: Av. de la Constitución, s/n, 41004 Sevilla
3. See Columbus's Tomb in Seville CathedralSheer enormity aside, there's so much to see inside the world's largest Gothic cathedral. There are artworks by Murillo and Goya, the largest and richest altarpiece in the world, a beautiful orange tree-filled courtyard, a stuffed crocodile (really!) and the tomb of Christopher Columbus. The legend goes that its original planners said: “Let’s build a church so beautiful and so majestic that those who see it finished will think us mad”. We wonder if you'll agree. Address: Av. de la Constitución, s/n, 41004 Sevilla. Catedraldesevilla.es
4. Go Boating in Plaza de EspañaBuilt in the 1920s, this highly decorative, Renaissance/Baroque Revivalist plaza makes for the perfect photo opportunity in Seville. Putting the camera aside for a moment, between it, an ornamental boating lake and the surrounding leafy Maria Luisa Park, it's a lovely way to spend an afternoon.
5. get lost in Santa CruzThe most attractive quarter of Seville - making it quite possibly Andalucia's most beautiful neighbourhood - the barrio of Santa Cruz is the history-packed old Jewish quarter of the city. It obviously gets more than its fair share of tourists, so head there at daybreak. Then you can have it all to yourself, and see the sunrise wake each of its squares and fountains. Magical.
6. experience Flamenco at Tablao El ArenalOpened over 40 years ago by the dancer Curro Vélez, Tablao El Arenal is one of the best places to experience flamenco in Seville. To get the most out of flamenco we always recommend hiring a guide: this UNESCO protected art form is incredibly complex, and newcomers always benefit from a little bit of explanation. Address: Calle Rodo, 7, 41001 Sevilla. +34 954 21 64 92. Tablaoelarenal.com
7. taste the finest Spanish Cuisine at AbantalThe interiors and the food compete with each other for attention at this chic and contemporary Michelin star restaurant. In terms of choice, you can opt for the 'Daily Chef' or 'Grand Daily Chef' tasting menus. Just make sure you book first. Address: Calle Alcalde José de la Bandera, 7, y 9, 41003 Sevilla. +34 954 54 00 00. Abantalrestaurante.es
8. Relax in Arabic BathsAn entire building given over to the concept of sheer relaxation through water, this is another level entirely of spa experience. There are whole rooms of pools of different temperatures, along with massages and treatments. Don't miss the rooftop pool: sip Cava, nibble fresh fruit and take in the views of the Cathedral. Stunning. Address: Calle Aire, 15, 41004 Sevilla. +34 955 01 00 24. Beaire.com
9. Visit Roman Spain at ItalicaThis dramatic ruined Roman city just outside Seville was the birthplace of the emperors Trajan and Hadrian. With its huge amphitheatre, extensive temple and remarkable mosaic floors, it's one of the most fascinating historic sites in southern Spain. Address: Av. Extremadura, 2, 41970 Santiponce, Sevilla. +34 955 62 22 66.
10. Travel back through time - Alcazaba & GibralfaroIt's a journey through Spanish history. Start at the Roman amphitheatre ruins, then make your way through the Moorish Alcazaba fortress, and finish at the Gibralfaro castle overlooking the sea. Address: Calle Alcazabilla, 29015 Málaga. Malagaturismo.com
11. Drink Like an Andalucian at Antigua Casa de GuardiaStand at the bar and sample some of the most delicious sweet and dry fortified wines from the barrels at Malaga's oldest tavern. Address: Alameda Principal, 18, 29005 Málaga. +34 952 21 46 80. Antiguacasadeguardia.com
12. Admire Ronda from the Bottom of the GorgeThis town of Ronda is all about its dramatic position, and the vantage point it provides to the surrounding landscapes. Take the walk from Mirador de María Auxiliadora to the bottom of the gorge. Here you get some of the best views of the mind-blowing bridge (pictured above), which took more than three decades to build and has a small prison cell at its heart.
13. See the (second)Oldest Bullring in SpainAndalucia's oldest bullring might be in Seville, but if you're a Hemingway fan, the Plaza de Toros is a must. Ronda’s matadors inspired many of his stories, including Death in the Afternoon. Address: Calle Virgen de la Paz, 15, 29400 Ronda, Málaga. Rmcr.org
14. Pay Homage to Pablo Picasso at The Picasso MuseumMalaga was, famously, the birthplace of Pablo Picasso, and this museum holds a very personal collection of works by the artist. If you've got more than a passing interest in modern art, it's simply a must-do while in the city. Address: Palacio de Buenavista, Calle San Agustín, 8, 29015 Málaga. Museopicassomalaga.org
15. Stargazing at El Torcal Astronomical ObservatoryHaving watched the sunset among the weird and wonderful natural rock formations of El Torcal, head to the observatory to enjoy one of its frequent evening explorations of our galaxy. Check the website for up-and-coming events. Address: Carretera de acceso MA-9016, km 3,5 desde la A-7075, Junto al Centro de Visitantes "Torcal Alto", 29200 Antequera, Málaga. +34 600 70 37 00. Astrotorcal.es
16. Eat like a Local – Beach-side Espeto de SardinasAny self-respecting malagueño chiringuito – or typical beach bar – will serve you up a plate of espeto de sardinas. This simple dish consists of freshly caught sardines, normally cooked over a fire on a spit, in a large, sand-filled fishing boat. Crusted in salt, they're delicious with a squeeze of lemon and a cold beer.
17. Walk the Caminito del ReyWhile it may not be the death-defying scramble it once was, the Caminito del Rey still has plenty to recommend it. This award-winning 8km hike includes a cliff-face clinging walkway, pinned 100m above the gorge of El Chorro. Address: Barriada Conde de Guadalhorce, s/n, 29550 Ardales, Málaga. +34 902 78 73 25. Caminitodelrey.info
18. Be awe-struck by The AlhambraTake a trip back to Spain’s Moorish past marvelling at the splendours of the Alhambra Palace and see why it has had such an impact on architecture, art, music and literature, through the ages. A joint UNESCO World Heritage site with the Generalife gardens and the Albayzin, it's Andalucia's most captivating monument. Address: Calle Real de la Alhambra, s/n, 18009 Granada. Alhambra-patronato.es
19. sit & Reflect in the GeneralifeWander through these gorgeous Moorish gardens with fountains and fantastic views of the Albayzin area of Granada, find a shady spot and take in the peace. Address: Calle Real de la Alhambra, s/n, 18009 Granada. Alhambra-patronato.es
20. Watch a sierra Sunset from the mirador de san nicolásHead to the Albayzin’s Mirador de San Nicolás to watch the sunset over the Alhambra and the Sierra Nevada. Then take a walk through the labyrinth of the old town to stop at tapas bars, sip on some cervezas and enjoy your (free) tapas. Address: Calle Mirador de San Nicolás, 18010, Granada.
21. Visit Carmen de la Fundación Rodríguez-AcostaMost carmens (a house surrounded by walled gardens that's typical of the Albayzin neighbourhood of Granada) are private residences and only accessible only through guided tours (if at all). However, one is open to the public - Carmen de la Fundación Rodríguez-Acosta. The dream-like strangeness in the architecture of the house and gardens of the once private house of the artist Rodríguez-Acosta - now a museum - are only surpassed by the medieval Alhambran escape tunnels he converted into a labyrinth; eccentric beauty at its best. Address: Callejón Niño del Royo, 8, 18009 Granada. +34 958 22 74 97. Fundacionrodriguezacosta.com
22. Ski in the Sierra Nevada National ParkDuring winter and early spring months you could be skiing down the mountain in the morning and having sundowners on the beach in the evening at Europe’s southernmost ski resort. Address: Andalucía Plaza, 18196 Pradollano, Granada. Sierranevada.es
23. spot the WATCHTOWERS OF CADIZThe skyline of the ancient port city of Cadiz is dotted with watchtowers. Used by merchants and traders to watch as their boats came in after long and risky Atlantic crossings, there are 126 in total that come in five different shapes. Torre Tavira is one of these watch towers, and the 360-degree views from the top can be experienced in fascinating detail via a camera obscura. Address: Calle Marqués del Real Tesoro, 10, 11001 Cádiz. +34 956 21 29 10. Torretavira.com
24. Bolonia Beach & Baelo ClaudiaStretching 4km along the gorgeous Cadiz coastline, the golden-sanded beach of Bolonia rises up dramatically to a huge sand dune - great to climb up and roll down - at its western end. Gazing out to sea, just a short distance back from the beach is Baelo Claudia, one of Andalucia’s best preserved Roman sites. Address: Ensenada de Bolonia, s/n, 11380 Cádiz. +34 956 10 67 97.
25. go Kite Surfing in TarifaWhether you're an experienced kitesurfer or a rank beginner, head to one of the many schools offering lessons and make use of Tarifa’s famous combination of fabulous beaches and strong winds. Surf’s up!
26. Get a taste of Village lifeThere are countless white-washed villages in Andalucia, and many of them are utterly picturesque and charming. Cadiz, though, has two particularly good examples: Vejer de la Frontera and Setenil de las Bodegas. While the former is lovely, the latter is... unusual. After marvelling at the jaw-dropping houses, directly built into the rock walls and caves of its gorge, make sure you stop and try some of its famous chorizo at one of the village bars.
27. Los Alcornocales Natural ParkGrab a picnic, jump in the car and wind your way through this national park. After taking in the spectacular scenery, find your spot in the shade of Spain’s largest cork forest. Address: Carretera A-2228 Alcalá de los Gazules - Benalup Casas Viejas, Alcalá de los Gazules, km. 1, 11180
28. Whale Watching in the straits of gibraltarThe Gibraltar Straits are a famous migration route for many dolphins and whales, so hop on one of many tour boats operating and scan the horizon for those arching fins. Visit the town of Tarifa and there are a few whale watching boats that head out daily from the port.
29.watch the sunset over Playa La CaletaThe fact that Cadiz is one of the oldest cities in Europe is probably reason enough for a visit. Watching from the Playa La Caleta as the sun sinks slowly into the Atlantic in a blaze of reds and oranges definitely seals the deal.
30. Restaurante El Faro de CadizAfter listening to the applause as the sun drops into the ocean at Caleta Beach, it’s a three-minute walk to Restaurante El Faro de Cadiz. If you can’t get a seat in the formal restaurant, politely push your way through the crowds to the standing tapas bar and order some seafood. Address: Calle San Félix, 15, 11002 Cádiz. +34 956 21 10 68. Elfarodecadiz.com
31. Beach Horse Racing at sanlucarThis rather unusual event takes place every year in August in the lovely town of Sanlucar de Barrameda. A horse race where riders hurtle along a 1,800m stretch of beach, it's a wonderful cultural experience. More information: Sanlucar-de-barrameda.com/beach-horse-racing
32. The Royal Andalusian School of Equestrian ArtBook a show at one of the world’s most respected classical riding academies and watch Andalusian horses dance an equestrian ballet. Address: Av. Duque de Abrantes, 11407 Jerez de la Frontera, Cádiz. +34 956 92 25 80. Realescuela.org
33. understand sherry aT Bodegas TradicionMake your way to the beautiful city of Jerez de la Frontera. Literally translated, Jerez means sherry. So when in Jerez, and all that... Having rescued some of the oldest ageing and bottling methods, Bodegas Tradicion tours combine the wine tasting with a viewing of their excellent collection of art. Address: Calle Cordobeses, 3, 11408 Jerez de la Frontera, Cádiz. +34 956 16 86 28. Bodegastradicion.es
34. Wonder at a Church inside a Mosque - The MezquitaA UNESCO World Heritage Site, this Catholic cathedral was built within a pre-existing mosque. It's home to several gems of Moorish architecture including a prayer room containing more than 850 arched columns and the portal of the Mihrab, to name just a couple. Address: Calle Cardenal Herrero, 1, 14003 Córdoba. Monday – Saturday: 10:00 – 19:00 & Sunday: 08:30 – 11:30, 15:30 – 19:00. Mezquita-catedraldecordoba.es
35. See Cordoba at NightStart at the Roman Bridge of Cordoba - for views of the Mezquita lit up against the night sky - before heading in to explore the city, its food and architecture under cover of darkness. Address: Av. del Alcázar, s/n, 14003 Córdoba
36. Fiesta of the Patios in CordobaEvery May for two weeks the private courtyards of Cordoba are thrown open to the public and visitors are delighted by dazzling displays of flowers. Cordoba was given the award for Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO back in 2012 for this heart-warming fiesta. More information: Turismodecordoba.org
37. Fall of MOORISH Spain - Medina AzaharaBack in the 10th century Medina Azahara was built to be the administrative centre of Andalucia. Unfortunately in the early 11th century, it got burnt to the ground during a period of civil unrest. Just outside Cordoba, the romantic ruins of the palace and mosque still remain today, a dusty memory of a once great civilisation. Address: Ctra. Palma del Río, km 5.5, 14005 Córdoba. 957 10 36 37. Museosdeandalucia.es
38. explore ubeda & BaezaA long way from the well-worn tourist trail, the neighbouring towns of Ubeda and Baeza share joint UNESCO World Heritage Site status. They're home to countless fine examples of Renaissance architecture, including the Vázquez de Molina Square, the Palace of Marqués de Mancera, the Hospital of Santiago and the Plaza del Pópulo. Addresses: Palace of Marqués de Mancera: Calle María Soledad Torres Acosta, 1, 23400 Úbeda, Jaén; Hospital of Santiago: Calle Obispo Cobos, 28, 23400 Úbeda, Jaén; Plaza del Pópulo: Plaza de los Leones, 4, 23440 Baeza, Jaén
39. hike the Cerrada de ElíasStretching 22km in total, this walk runs through lush green valleys and shady canyons full of babbling rapids and waterfalls. In the Sierras de Cazorla, Segura y Las Villas Natural Park, it takes in some of the most stunning countryside in Andalucia. Address: 23476 La Iruela, Jaén
40. Wonder at the 11th-Century AlcazabaFrom perfectly preserved citadels in the towns and cities to lonely piles of crumbling rocks in the middle of nowhere, southern Spain isn’t short of a Moorish castle or two. Almeria’s 11th-century Alcazaba, though, is the biggest of the bunch and, rising above the city in a series of impressive battlements and towers, one of the very best. Address: Calle Almanzor, s/n, 04002 Almería. +34 600 14 29 82.
41. see some ancient geological features at Níjar Natural ParkTucked away in the region's southeasternmost corner, the largest protected coastal area in Andalucia is part of UNESCO's Global Geoparks Network. The spectacular Playa de Mónsul and Isleta del Moro (above) are home to vast volcanic rock formations, wide sandy beaches, salt marshes, sea grass beds and coral reefs. Address: 04118 Níjar, Almería.
42. get your cowboy on at Mini HollywoodThis immersive American Western theme park was originally a set built for Sergio Leone’s For a Few Dollars More and used again for the Clint Eastwood classic The Good, The Bad and the Ugly. A great family day out, it's ideal for kids (of the small and not so small variety) to get their cowboy on and yee-haw their way through the Western-themed saloon, shops and scenarios. Address: Carretera Nacional 340A, km 464, 04200 Tabernas, Almería. +34 950 335 335. Oasysparquetematico.com
43. Tabernas DesertWhether by foot or by horseback, a trek through Europe’s only true desert - an amazing arid and lunar nature reserve - is breathtaking.
44. hit the columbus trailDiscover key historical sites linked to Christopher Columbus as he planned his epic voyage to the Americas – including life-size replicas of his ships. Addresses: Paraje de La Rábida, s/n, 21819 Palos de la Frontera, Huelva; Diseminado de la Rábida, s/n, 21819 Palos de la Frontera, Huelva. Monasteriodelarabida.com
45. go wild in Doñana National ParkCovering a whopping 530-odd kilometres, this UNESCO World Heritage Site - and the largest nature reserve in Europe - is one of Spain’s great wildernesses. Explore the marshy wetlands in this birdwatchers' paradise - by foot, by horse or by 4x4 - and seek out endangered species such the Iberian Lynx and the Spanish Imperial Eagle. Address: A-483, Km.38,7, 21760, Almonte, Huelva. +34 959439629.
46. Gruta de las MaravillasMore great hiking and walking but underground this time. Escape the heat in Spain’s oldest public cave system including sights such as the Emerald Lake. Address: Calle Pozo de la Nieve, s/n, 21200 Aracena, Huelva. 34 663 93 78 76. Open daily: 10:00 - 13:30, 15:00 - 18:00
47. dine at AzabacheAn award-winning restaurant with a very simple philosophy: let the seasonal produce speak for itself. This one-time tapas bar serves up a range of classic Andalucian dishes - but done very, very well. Expect lots of fresh seafood hauled straight off the dock that morning. Address: Calle Vázquez López, 22, 21001 Huelva. +34 959 25 75 28. Restauranteazabache.com
48. Experience a FeriaNothing says 'Andalucia' quite like a feria. And if you're in the region during the height of summer, then the chances are there'll be one on somewhere. These local fairs are a colourful explosion of partying, flamenco dresses, horses, dancing, music and fun fairs. Find out the best time to visit, and see our list of ferias.
49. just... Sit in a squareA Spanish plaza is all about soaking up the atmosphere - people-watching, sun-taking, reading and chatting. Order a glass or two of wine and linger; let the buskers come and go, and just enjoy being in the moment. Some of our favourite squares in Andalucia include: Plaza Duquesa de Parcent in Ronda; Plaza la Candelaria in Cadiz; Plaza de los Naranjos in Marbella; Plaza de la Corredera in Cordoba; Plaza de Doña Elvira in Seville; Plaza de la Merced in Malaga; and Plaza de Bib-Rambla in Granada.
50. Learn about Spanish ham & OLIVE OILNo matter where you are in Andalucia you can sign up to a culinary day that specialises in two of the region's greatest gastronomic achievements: ham and olive oil. Here you'll learn all about jamon from Huelva, and taste your way through Spain’s largest olive oil producing region, Jaen. (Of the 100 extra virgin olive oils included in EVOOLEUM’s official 2020 guide, no fewer than 81 were from Spain - with the winner hailing from the Jaén region.) Like our pick of the best things to do in Andalucia? If you book a villa with The Luxury Villa Collection, we'd be delighted to help you plan your trip around them. [post_title] => 50 Things to Do in Andalucia [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => best-things-to-do-in-andalucia [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2020-04-15 10:02:36 [post_modified_gmt] => 2020-04-15 10:02:36 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://theluxuryvillacollection.com/?p=102656 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw )  => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 99694 [post_author] => 5 [post_date] => 2020-02-19 12:42:37 [post_date_gmt] => 2020-02-19 12:42:37 [post_content] => There was a time when visiting Spain as a vegetarian was tricky and to eat out as a vegan, well forget it. Ah, those ever common charming conversations about whether Jamon is vegetarian or not. Those days of travelling the Iberian Peninsula for vegetarians and vegans was akin to going on some crazy fasting diet are now gone. There are now often vegetarian and vegan options on menus as well as a choice of vegetarian and vegan restaurants. So, if you're staying around Marbella or Puerto Banus and have a love of all things plant-based here are our selection of the best vegetarian and vegan restaurants in Marbella: -
Organic Market & Food MarbellaThe people behind Organic Market and Food say, “From organic garden to your table with minimal environmental impact and maximum quality of products”. The dining room is light, earthy and comfortable. It is only open until 20.00hrs so breakfasts, brunches, lunches and very early dinners are the call of the day. We love their nutritious bowls, they are packed full of tasty delicious ingredients. Address: Centro Comercial Expo 14, Av. Bulevar Príncipe Alfonso de Hohenlohe, s/n, 29602 Marbella, Málaga. Phone: 952 92 52 76
ManukaThis is a health food restaurant with a strong leaning towards vegetarian and vegan cuisine. Quinoa bowls, interesting salads, pad Thai, pasta and burgers are the emphasis, all enzyme and protein rich. It has a huge selection of pressed juices, smoothies and shots too. Closes at 21.00hrs so early suppers or pop in during the day time. Address: CC Plaza del Mar, Calle Camilo José Cela, Local 9, 29602 Marbella, Málaga. Phone: 952 77 26 86 https://www.manukamarbella.com/
Gioia Plant-Based CuisineConveniently next to the Hotel Guadalpin in Marbella this lovely vegan restaurant serves up organic, gluten-free, plant-based and raw food. There’s a great selection of smoothies and fresh juices too. Open for lunch and dinner. Address: Calle Velázquez, 1, 29602 Marbella, Málaga. Phone: 630 44 18 34
The FarmacyMore a relaxed brunch/lunch/coffee shop than restaurant but the food is great. Fresh, tasty, all allergies catered for as well as a yoga shop, studio, massages and nutrition expert. Opens at 7am too. Address: Boulevard Alfonso Von Hohenlohe Centro Comercial El Caprichio local 11, 29602 Marbella, Málaga. Phone: 952 77 14 11 farmacymarbella.com
Hustle n FlowHustle n Flow isn’t solely veggie or vegan but it offers so many options that we thought we’d include it. It’s a great brunch or lunch spot in San Pedro and it closes at 16.30 so it’s more a café than restaurant. We love the beyond meat options and the additional toppings you can add to any dish. Calle Andalucía, Calle Lagasca, Esquina, 29670 San Pedro Alcántara, Málaga. Phone: 663 86 09 91 [post_title] => Best Vegetarian & Vegan Restaurants in Marbella [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => vegetarian-vegan-restaurants-marbella [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2020-03-03 14:02:46 [post_modified_gmt] => 2020-03-03 14:02:46 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://theluxuryvillacollection.com/?p=99694 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) ) 1