Let’s face it, heading to southern Spain for winter sun and then spending a day or two skiing is a real novelty. Granada province and the east of Malaga province are within easy reach of the slopes…
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] => 232954 [post_author] => 5 [post_date] => 2022-02-21 13:22:20 [post_date_gmt] => 2022-02-21 13:22:20 [post_content] => Let’s face it, heading to southern Spain for winter sun and then spending a day or two skiing is a real novelty. Granada province and the east of Malaga province are within easy reach of the slopes in the Sierra Nevada mountain range. So, if you're visiting the area for some winter sun why not take advantage of the opportunity to ski?
Where is Sierra Nevada?The Sierra Nevada in Granada is the southernmost ski resort in Europe. It sits within Andalucia in southern Spain – an area that is known for its mild climate yet the Sierra Nevada is a mountainous area in Granada and has a ski season from mid-December to mid-April. This mountain range spans three Spanish provinces, Malaga, Granada and Almeria. Yep, that’s the same Almeria which is famed for its desert! The ski resort and highest peak are in Granada so during the ski season locals head up to the well-kept slopes for a dose of fresh mountain air and snowy adrenaline fun. The ski village is called Pradollano; it’s divided into bajo, medio y alto. This is where you’ll find all amenities including accommodation. Two gondola lifts from the village take you up to the main ski zone, Borreguiles.
What is there to do in the Sierra Nevada mountains?During the winter season you can ski, snow walk and cross-country ski across the mountains admiring the view across Granada and onto Jaen as you go. The ski village, Pradollano, has shops, bars, restaurants, hotels with spas and a great children’s play area. If you’re skiing, there’s plenty of choice to eat on the mountain from poke to pizza as well as a champagne bar and traditional canteen style restaurant.
For Non-Skiers…If you’re not a skier, take in the sun in the ski village (Pradollano) and don’t miss the spa at Meliá Sol y Nieve with the added bonus of a fantastic kids club. The Meliá Sierra Nevada also has a smaller spa with views over the slopes. If you want to get active and head higher into the mountains, take a guide and do a snow hike. We recommend Al Andalus Activa for all things active in this region, from cross-country skiing to hiking the highest peaks to short mountaineering courses and snow hiking. It’s worth mentioning in the spring and autumn that if you’re a keen hiker there’s some tough but rewarding hikes over this mountain range, particularly when tackling Veleta (3,396 metres) or El Mulhacén (3,479 metres).
Is Sierra Nevada Spain worth visiting in the winter?Absolutely. The Sierra Nevada offers hikers, snow walkers and skiers big blue skies and good conditions. The major concern for many is its southerly location and the relative warm weather. However, the highest peak in the Spanish peninsula, Mulhacén, at 3,479 metres above sea level is part of this mountain range and there are 200 snow cannons allowing the resort to open even when there's little snowfall throughout the season. The skiing in the Sierra Nevada is on the northern side of Pico del Veleta (3,396 metres). Although high, it does not replace your annual trip to St Moritz, Trysil or Chamonix - we have to be clear on that one. But with more than 110 km of pistes, 21 ski lifts, family area, snowpark with half pipe and music pumping from most bars it holds its own for a family day or two out.
What is the skiing like in Sierra Nevada?There are 110km of pistes with a variety of lifts. For beginner skiing and children it’s great. Some routes are specially for children: Pista del Bosque (woodland slope) and Pista del Mar (Sealife slope) have animals and sea creatures encourage little ones along the way. For intermediate skiers it ticks many boxes, too, with red runs aplenty to keep you in form during a day or two's skiing. For those who love off-piste though the options are more limited, although this does depend on snowfall during the season.
RunsThere are 19 green (beginner), 41 blue (intermediate), 50 red (advanced) and 8 black (expert) runs in total in the Sierra Nevada. The main ski zone, Borreguiles, is the gondola drop off from Pradollano. At Borreguiles you’ll find the ski schools, a couple of bars, restaurant, childcare, toilets and a shop. This area is ideal for beginners and non-skiers can also spend time here – there’s lots of seating. This is where you’ll meet your ski instructor if you choose to have a lesson. If you're a beginner there are magic carpet lifts, shallow gradients and there’s 19 green runs from here. From Borreguiles there are two chair lifts that take you to the top of the blue runs at this side which are worth exploring. Taking the lift higher again is for the next level of skier wanting a little more of a challenge. There are 50 red runs here, a lot are quite narrow and well used like El Rio. Don't miss the t-bar lift that takes you to the top of Veleta – the views are fantastic and there's a very rewarding run from here.
Where to Eat & Drink?In Granada province you get complementary tapas with a drink and spending any time in the area means you quickly become aware of which places offer less generous crisps or olives to those who go a little extra and offer delicious bite sized portions.
El BodeguitaWith a smart dining room and terrace El Bodeguita is a great option for lunch or dinner. It looks over the main square and onto the mountain. The tapas here are excellent with mini stews and paella accompanying your drink. Plaza de Pradollano Meliá Sierra Nevada, 18196, Sierra Nevada National Park España
VivacThis is the fine dining option in the resort with an open fire in a cosy dining room. It does have an outdoor terrace but this isn’t the most attractive corners of Pradollano. The food most definitely makes up for the humdrum approach and lack of views. Pl. Pradollano, 4, Edif. Genciana, Bajo 1, 18196 Sierra Nevada, Granada
El LodgeLunch time at El Lodge should be on the to do list while skiing. This is a five star hotel, restaurant and spa. It's located quite high in the resort so best to ski to it on the Maribel run. Walking up to it from Plaza Andalucia in the village is a bit of a task, especially in ski gear. There’s usually a DJ on the sundeck and reservations are necessary.C. Maribel, 8, 18196 Sierra Nevada, Granada
Surfin RestaurantGreat option for a hungry family, expect pizza, steak and burgers. There’s an indoor dining room as well as a huge terrace with heaters. Plaza Andalucia edificio, local 4, 18196 Sierra Nevada
Restaurante Badia Gastro ChillWith a great location next to the gondola, huge terrace and a DJ, Badia is a good option for a drink. The food isn’t great on our visit nor is the service but it has fun atmosphere, is always busy and has a view of the slopes. Plaza Andalucía Edificio Montebajo n12, 18196 Sierra Nevada, Granada
What is There to Do WITH Children?There’s a day care area at Borreguiles where the gondolas take you. Dreamland and the Snow Garden are for children ages of 3 - 12 years (out of nappies), opening from 9.30 – 16.30, seven days a week. In Pradollano, Mirlo Blanco is the children’s excellent play area. It has toboggans, ski-bike, chair-bike, mini-ski, mini-snowboard, donuts and roller-sled. But the most popular ride is the Russian Sleigh (trineo ruso), this is a kind of roller-coaster bobsled and fun for all ages. There are lots of ski schools that offer private and non-private lessons in all languages. The British Ski School is excellent as well as Rio Sport, Surfin is another option.
Top TipsDo a lunch and spa package at El Lodge where you get a 50-minute massage, lunch on their sun deck, access to the gym, indoor pool, outdoor pool and a locker. It’s ski in and out so ideal as a spot to meet for skiers and non-skiers. The second tip is the first lift from Pradollano is at 10.00hrs and last at 16.45hrs.
What’s the Weather like?Winter in the Sierra Nevada has recorded average temperatures of between -10°C and 5°C. In real terms though your heavy-duty warm ski wear is rarely needed. Hitting the slopes at the start of the season is chiller than March or April. Factor 50 is a must, great eyewear and light to medium weight jacket will serve you well with layers. For non-skiers in Andalucía Plaza, Pradollano you’ll likely have lunch in a t-shirt. That all being said, the weather can of course turn...
How to Buy Ski PassesThe best way to approach buying ski passes is via the resorts main website. You collect the passes from the ticket office with your credit card and QR code on arrival to the resort. During the weekends and holidays the ticket office can be busy so allow 20 minutes but at other times there is no wait at all. Ski pass cost: A day pass is 45 euros. There’s a half day pass from 13.00hrs and nocturnal skiing from 19.00 a 21.30hrs. Buy parking for the main car park in the centre of Pradollano just a short stroll to the gondola and ticket office in Plaza Andalucia. It’s just 18.00 euros per day. Sierra Nevada Parking.
Where to Hire SkisWhen it comes to hiring ski equipment convenience is key. The ski schools mentioned offer links with ski hire so by all means this is a great place to start. If you just need ski or board hire then two places stand out for ski/snowboarding equipment hire in the Sierra Nevada: the heavily snowboarding leaning Surfin. And Rio Sports offering quality and style, not far away from the gondolas with a fast turn around.
Ski ShoppingThere are plenty of shops in Pradollano selling ski wear and equipment. Burton, Goldbergh, Rossignol and all the major brands are available. There’s also a pharmacy, mini markets for any other essentials too.
Where to Stay?Pradollano is an easy day trip from the whole of Granada province including the Lecrin Valley and La Herradura but it is also an easy drive from the Axarquia too (around 2 - 2.5hrs). If you would like to do an extra day skiing and stay in the resort we’d recommend El Lodge or Melia Sierra Nevada.
Distances from the coast and Granada cityPradollano is just under an hour from Granada city centre and 1.15hrs to Salobrena the nearest coast. Would you like to incorporate skiing in the Sierra Nevada into your winter sun holiday? Take a look at our villas within easy reach of the slopes, Granada city, the beach and only an hour from Malaga airport - Luxury villas in Granada. [post_title] => The LVC Insider’s Guide To: Skiing in the Sierra Nevada [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => a-luxury-guide-to-skiing-in-the-sierra-nevada [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2022-03-16 15:35:47 [post_modified_gmt] => 2022-03-16 15:35:47 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://theluxuryvillacollection.com/?p=232954 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw )  => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 215494 [post_author] => 5 [post_date] => 2021-12-14 11:29:53 [post_date_gmt] => 2021-12-14 11:29:53 [post_content] => Marbella is a historic town and much more. The broader area of Marbella covers well beyond the town itself, extending from between Estepona and San Pedro de Alcantara in the west, inland up to Benahavis, and along the coast to Cabopino in the east. Here we look at Marbella's best neighbourhoods including Benahavis (this is it's own district but it's so close to Marbella we wanted to include it too). There is so much to see and do in Marbella and all within easy reach but depending on your priorities, it can be a minefield knowing where to stay. So, hopefully this will help you distinguish one area from another when choosing your next luxury private villa holiday on the southern Mediterranean coast.
BenahavisBenahavis is a pretty and historic town of whitewashed houses, situated inland from the coast on the southern slopes of the spectacular Sierra Blanca, part of the Serrania de Ronda (Ronda Mountains). At 400m above sea level, the town is just 7km from the Mediterranean, between Marbella, Estepona and Ronda. This area is the ideal destination for golf lovers, with 12 golf courses (including those of the estates mentioned below) within its terrain, which is traversed by three rivers: the Guadalmina, Guadaiza and Guadalmanza. Benahavis also offers excellent dining options, and the coast with its beach clubs and shops is within easy reach. Where is it? Benahavis is located to the north-west of Marbella, on the A7175 – take the San Pedro turning (exit 172) off the AP7 motorway. From the A7, turn off at Guadalmina, between Estepona and San Pedro de Alcantara. Proximity to shops and restaurants? Benahavis has restaurants and shops, including a Mercadona supermarket. See our Benahavis restaurant guide here. The three prestigious private estates we list below are part of Benahavis district, but form part of the perceived greater Marbella area:
Marbella’s most desirable yet discreet gated communityThis secluded development, one of southern Europe’s most exclusive, is set within large private grounds in the foothills of the Sierra Blanca mountains at 400m. Its almost 900-hectare estate consists of 250 extensive plots (at least 4,000m² each) built with exceptionally well-appointed properties, mostly southwest oriented. Several of the world’s rich and famous have homes here, though they keep a low profile. The villas at La Zagaleta are the most expensive villas in the region, with facilities as impressive as you’d expect for this top cachet. To the owners of these mansions the development offers two 18-hole golf courses, a clubhouse, racquet club (tennis and paddle) and an equestrian centre. La Zagaleta is sometimes referred to as the ultimate country club. As well as these sporting facilities, there is also a private heliport. Where is it? North-east of Benahavis, just off the A397, to the west of this road linking San Pedro de Alcantara on the coast with Ronda. It is on the opposite site of the road from El Madroñal, which lies to the east of the A397, and north of Los Arqueros. La Zagaleta is 14km from Puerto Banus and Marbella is 23km away. Proximity to shops and restaurants? Benahavis has restaurants and shops, including a Mercadona supermarket, but a more luxurious selection can be found in Marbella and Puerto Banus. You can also order food using La Zagaleta’s services.
A quiet mountainside retreat with PRESTIGIOUS villasThis gated country estate in the mountains above Marbella, with pine and oak forests, wildflowers (madroño is a madrone tree which is a sweet fruit) and the river Guadaiza, dates from the 1950s. El Madroñal is a blissfully peaceful place, yet just a few minutes’ drive from the buzz of Banus. All properties enjoy spectacular views of the Mediterranean, across to the Rif mountains of Morocco. The villas in El Madroñal are as sumptuous as you would expect in such a high-end development, magnificent and spacious, with well-tended gardens and plenty of parking. Where is it? North-east of Benahavis, just off the A397, to the east of this road linking the coast with Ronda. It is on the opposite site of the road from La Zagaleta, which lies to the west of the road, and north of Los Arqueros. El Madroñal is 10km from Puerto Banus, 17km from Marbella. Proximity to shops and restaurants? The nearest shops and restaurants are in either Benahavis, or for a wider selection, Nueva Andalucia, including El Corte Ingles, or Marbella itself.
Backed by mountains and overlooking the sea, with varied types of propertyThis estate is situated further down the mountain, on the lower slopes of the Sierra Blanca. Stretched in a narrow estate that sprawls down the hill, Los Arqueros is made up of 17 separate “communities” of spacious apartments and townhouses, varying in size, each with its own character. The oldest is El Alto, enjoying an elevated position, while the newest are contemporary Unico and sustainable Botanic. All have beautiful, landscaped gardens and swimming pools (some of which are heated), and parking for each property. The Golf Club boasts a championship course designed by legendary Spanish player Seve Ballesteros. In addition to golfers, other sports lovers are well catered for, with tennis, paddle and squash courts, and a gym, while families will love the bowling alley, plus a club house restaurant and bar. Where is it? South-east of Benahavis, close to the AP7 coastal motorway (exit 172). Los Arqueros is 8km from Puerto Banus and 18km from Marbella. Proximity to shops and restaurants? At Los Arqueros Shopping Village you will find shops, restaurants and bars.
New Golden MileThis is the stretch of the Autovia del Mediterraneo (AP7 coastal road) between San Pedro de Alcantara and the eastern part of Estepona. So not the whole of the New Golden Mile is in Marbella. It has excellent beaches, such as Playa Gualdamina, and the long Playa del Saladillo, and top-end hotels such as the Ikos Andalucia and Kempinski Hotel Bahia. You can follow a new coastal path, Senda Litoral Estepona, which runs parallel to the road. Ok, ok, the area below is in Estepona district not Marbella but it's only 9.9km from San Pedro de Alcantara, Marbella which is closer than Estepona at 12km away. We've included it as it's so close to Marbella and certainly has a Marbella neighbourhood feel.
Two championship golf courses on your doorstep and often sea viewsSituated in a secluded private valley, overlooking a lake fed by the Arroyo Taraje stream, this development (named after the Flamingos Golf Course) is part of the luxurious Anantara Villa Padierna Palace Benahavis Marbella Resort. The five-star GL hotel, designed in Italianate style, with opulent interiors, gleaming marble and elegant tree-lined walks, hosted Michelle Obama on her visit to Andalucia back in 2010. The Golf Club features three courses (Flamingos and Alferini are both championship courses, while Tramores is a par-64 executive course, which features a golf academy). As well as sports facilities, there are restaurants, spa, and beach club. The resort is located just a few km from San Pedro de Alcantara. Where is it? Just off the A7 coast road, between San Pedro de Alcantara and Estepona. 12km to Puerto Banus and 21km to Marbella. Strictly part of Benahavis in Estepona but close to Marbella beaches. Proximity to shops and restaurants? The nearest shops and restaurants are in San Pedro de Alcantara and Estepona – this development is equidistant between the two coastal towns. Playa Saladillo is the nearest beach.
Nueva AndaluciaThis sprawling residential development, one of the largest in Marbella, is known locally as “Golf Valley”, as it is home to numerous courses: Aloha, Los Naranjos, Las Brisas and La Quinta Golf Clubs. Where is it? Nueva Andalucia sits to the north of Puerto Banús, starting from the A7 coast road and stretching north to the AP-7 toll highway, and bordered on the west by the Rio Verde. Proximity to shops and restaurants? As you’d expect from such an extensive residential area, on-site amenities are good. You’ll find an excellent range of shops at Centro Plaza shopping centre, close to the A7, plus others at La Campana. There are numerous restaurants in the neighbourhood, covering many international cuisines and catering to all tastes.
Quiet residences close to Puerto BanusSituated in the heart of Golf Valley, and backed by La Concha mountain, this development is well-located for both Las Brisas and Aloha golf courses, with properties lining the fairways – the latter is one of the best-established golf clubs in the area. Aloha Pueblo is a pretty village with traditional style townhouses covered in bougainvillea, as well as bars and restaurants. Where is it? Leave the A7 at the Puerto Banus exit (175). Aloha Golf is just 3km from Puerto Banus, while Marbella is 8km away. Proximity to shops and restaurants? There are many shops and restaurants in Nueva Andalucia, as mentioned above, but Puerto Banus is very nearby too, with its designer boutiques and beach clubs.
Golf in the shade of La ConchaAlso enjoying a prime location sitting in Nueva Andalucia’s renowned golfing area, and bordered to the west by the Guadaiza river, Los Naranjos is a delightful residential development. Named after an orange grove, the golf course whose name it bears was designed by the highly respected Robert Trent Jones Sr. The development consists of white apartment blocks and villas, surrounded by lush lawns and shaded by tall palm trees. Where is it? Located to the west of Aloha Golf, close to the AP7 toll motorway (exit 172). Leave the A7 at the exit 174. Los Naranjos is just 5km from Puerto Banus, while Marbella is 10km away. Proximity to shops and restaurants? Nueva Andalucia has a good selection of food shops, bars and restaurants, while Puerto Banus with its smart restaurants and international brand names and designer fashion boutiques is nearby. The nearest beach is Playa de Cortijo Blanco.
Glitzy playground for the international jetsetBuilt in 1970 by Jose Banus, this renowned development in Nueva Andalucia is centred around a 900-plus-mooring marina full of super-yachts and high-performance sports cars. Its reputation as the favoured destination for the rich and famous draws the glamorous crowd. The most celebrated area after Marbella, Puerto Banus has buzzing nightlife, good beaches (Playa Nueva Andalucia, Playa de Levante and Playa del Rio) and beach clubs, such as Nikki Beach, Ocean Club and Sala by the Sea; and enough designer boutiques (think Louis Vuitton, Gucci, Hermes), both in the marina itself and in shopping malls nearby, to keep even the most dedicated retail maven happy. For foodies, there are plenty of gourmet restaurants offering varied cuisines, as well as elegant bars. Where is it? 6km west of Marbella, close to Nueva Andalucia. Proximity to shops and restaurants? There are plenty of shops within the development itself and in nearby malls, as well as a branch of the department store El Corte Ingles, and you can buy food supplies in Nueva Andalucia.
Golden MileThis elegant avenue runs parallel to the coast, connecting Puerto Banus and the western part of Marbella town. The two iconic hotels, Hotel Marbella Club and Puente Romano are located here. The refined boulevard is lined with leafy green areas and flanked by exclusive properties on both sides. To the south lie beachfront villas and apartments while to the north, palatial mansions lie hidden in large private grounds. The beaches along this stretch of coast are some of Marbella's best.
Las Lomas De Marbella Club
Classic charm near the iconic hotelAs its name suggests, this development is set on the hills behind Marbella Club, the iconic hotel that originated the town’s fame back in the 1960s. The 35-hectare private estate next to the Golden Mile consists of plots for independent villas, and 11 complexes of apartments and townhouses with an Andalucian village feel, including features such as cobbled streets, plazas with fountains, and wrought-iron balconies. The largest residential estate, measuring 200,000m2, belongs to the Saudi Royal family. You can play golf and tennis, and Puente Romano has superb restaurants including Dani Garcia’s Bibo and Leña. Where is it? Close to the A7 coast road - take the Puente Romano exit. Marbella old town is 7 km away. Proximity to shops and restaurants? Nueva Andalucia, with its shopping centres, is within easy reach (3km), as well as El Corte Ingles department store, and the designer stores and gourmet restaurants of Puerto Banus (4km).
Well-established villas near Marbella’s Golden MileThis residential area of Marbella has an unbeatable location, on the Golden Mile. Its villas and apartment complexes are built on gently sloping roads, lined with mature trees. The more long-standing villas are built on large plots. Nagüeles is located between the A7 and AP7 roads, in the area to the east of the Arroyo de las Piedras stream. The Nagüeles Quarry is famous as the venue for the Starlite festival, where international pop stars play in a season of open-air concerts every summer. Where is it? North of Marbella Club hotel, on the other side of the A7. Next to Las Lomas de Marbella Club. Proximity to shops and restaurants? Marbella old centre is 5km away. The nearest beaches are Playa Casablanca and Playa de la Fontilla. North from Marbella historic town centre there are two neighbourhoods that are very established and have great proximity to the beach, nightlife and the countryside: -
Marbella Sierra Blanca
Very desirable, above the Golden Mile, with fabulous viewsNamed after mountains behind Marbella, this highly prestigious and sought-after gated community enjoys an elevated position at 300m, with spectacular views of both the Golden Mile, and across the Mediterranean to Morocco. This area is also known as the hillside Golden Mile and has opulent, high-end properties – large villas with extensive grounds in contemporary, Andalucian and Moorish styles. Protected by the mountains from cold winds, the area has a subtropical micro-climate which means that the temperature is always pleasant – never too hot or too cold. Where is it? North of the AP7 inland toll road (exit 182). Sierra Blanca is just south of Cascada de Camojan. Proximity to shops and restaurants?Easy access to Marbella town centre (4km) via the AP7 and A7 highways for shops and restaurants; La Cañada shopping centre on the AP7 (exit 186) is 5km away. Fontanilla beach is 3 km.
Cascada de Camojan
EXCLUSIVE mountainside estate, close to natureSituated right next to Sierra Blanca, this development is considerably smaller but even more sought-after. It is at the limit of the built-up area, so you have access to mountain trails for hiking and enjoying nature, surrounded by the scent of wild thyme and rosemary. This estate is named after a waterfall, and is bordered to the east by Arroyo de Guadalpin stream. Villas in Cascadas de Camoján are large and luxurious, enjoying secluded spots nestled within pine woodland, yet offering fabulous sea views. This is the location for ultra-luxurious mansions with owners desiring privacy. Where is it? Directly bordering Sierra Blanca, lying to the north-east, off exit 182 of the AP7. Proximity to shops and restaurants? Marbella centre is 5km away via the AP7 and A7 highways for shops and restaurants; La Cañada shopping centre on the AP7 exit 186 is 6km away. Playa de la Fontanilla is the nearest beach (4km).
East MarbellaThis part of Marbella town runs along the coast from the casco historico (old centre) to La Cala de Mijas, the next town to the east.
Near a beautiful beach and pretty marinaThis development lies just to the north of the A7 road, at the far eastern end of Marbella, where neighbouring Calahonda starts. The gold course is extremely scenic, with pine-covered hills and sea views. Cabopino Golf is within easy reach of Cabopino family-friendly beach (3km), which is quieter than the beaches near Marbella old town, with shallow waters ideal for little ones to paddle safely. The next beach along to the west is Playa de Artola, backed by sand dunes covered with vegetation, and reached by a wooden walkway which crosses the dunes – look out for Torre Ladrones Moorish watchtower. This part is more secluded, a perfect setting for a naturist beach. Another attraction of this part of Marbella is the picturesque Cabopino marina with boats and yachts of all sizes, less glitzy than Puerto Banus. You can find small bars and restaurants here. Those who prefer a more adult scene will enjoy the celebrated Nikki Beach bar at the Don Carlos Hotel, 6km from Cabopino Golf. Where is it? The development is located just off the A7, at the Cabopino exit. Proximity to shops and restaurants? Sitio de Calahonda and La Cala de Mijas (7km), just along the A7 to the east, have shops and supermarkets. Marbella centre is 13km away.
Stay right on the beachfront, and enjoy five-star facilitiesThis development is all about the prime location – right on the beachfront, one of the few to enjoy this distinction. Part of the five-star GL Los Monteros Spa and Golf Resort, this leafy development has frontline beach villas on good-sized plots, as well as high-end apartments and townhouses. The hotel was originally built in 1962, making it one of the most long-standing, and its restaurant was the first hotel restaurant to receive a Michelin star in Spain. Another first – its golf course, Rio Real, was the first to be created in Marbella, in 1965. Famous guests have included Julio Iglesias, Sean Connery and Melanie Griffith. This development comprises various estates and complexes, including Los Monteros Playa and Las Brisas. Los Monteros is bounded to the east by Arroyo Siete Revueltas stream, and on the west by Rio Real golf course. Where is it? Between the A7 coast road and the beach, 6km east of Marbella old town. Proximity to shops and restaurants? Sleek beach club, La Cabane, at the eastern end of Playa Los Monteros, was the first such establishment to open in the world. You can find several restaurants on this beach, where Antonio Banderas’s house is located. The nearest shops are in Marbella old town centre and La Cañada shopping centre (6km).
Golf Rio Real
Marbella’s first golf course, close to the beachLocated close to the AP7 toll motorway, this estate is name after the river that passes through it, the Rio Real. The properties are grouped around the west, north and north-eastern borders of the golf course, Marbella’s oldest, which opened in 1965 as part of the Los Monteros estate. The course right down to Los Monteros beach. The course has plenty of mature trees, offering much-needed shade, and the Rio Real Golf Hotel offers tennis courts, a clubhouse and a restaurant. Where is it? Between the A7 (exit 184) and AP7 (exit 186), across the coast road from Los Monteros – Rio Real is to the north of the coast road, whereas Los Monteros lies to the south. Marbella old town is 5km away. Proximity to shops and restaurants? Marbella old town is an easy drive away, with La Cañada shopping centre 6km away on the AP7 (exit 182). All in all each of these neighbourhoods are luxury locations with beaches, mountains, nightlife and golf plus a fantastic climate. As a jumping off point Marbella is a convenient place to do day trip into Andalucia or even Morocco. [post_title] => Marbella's Finest Neighbourhoods [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => marbella-neighbourhoods [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2021-12-17 09:03:44 [post_modified_gmt] => 2021-12-17 09:03:44 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://theluxuryvillacollection.com/?p=215494 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) ) 1