Marbella. There aren't many places offering year-round sunshine in Europe that, from beaches and golf to shopping and fine dining, tick as many of the luxury holiday boxes. Sounds tempting?…
Santander city on the Northern coast of Spain is home to 13 beaches – and that’s just the tip of the iceberg as the region of Cantabria boasts another 80 and each is prettier than the last. We’ve shortlisted 14 beaches to whet your appetite for the golden sand and refreshing waves amidst the green countryside that is so sought after by Spanish holidaymakers!
1. Los Peligros Beach in Santander
The closest Santander beach to city centre makes for a great stroll from Puertochico’s bars and restaurants. Take the Maritime Walkway beside Centro Botin and walk past Gamazo’s viewing platform to the beach. This stretch of water is wave-free and there’s a safe swim area protected by a floating platform and barrier which is perfect for young swimmers. Views of the bay and the Puntal sand bank are wonderful. You’ll also find a Stand-Up Paddle (SUP) activity centre nearby. Ample parking. Retire for a drink and food to the modern Caseta de Bombas Bar & Restaurant at Gamazo.
Caseta de Bombas Restaurant, Calle Gamazo, 39004 Santander, Cantabria. Tel: 942 74 26 68. Lacasetadebombas.es
2. Magdalena Beach in Santander
Fabulous white sandy Santander beach that’s reached from Los Peligros beach or a slip-road by the Royal Tennis Club. Excellent views of the bay and the modernist sailing school on Isla de la Torre. Parking nearby.
3. Los Bikinis Beach in Santander
Inside the grounds of Magdalena Palace – the former Spanish royal summer residence – you’ll find a charming beach with wonderful views of the mountains and the bay, plus extensive parkland for picnics and strolls. There’s an excellent playground with a slide down onto the beach. Handy snacks and drinks at the Caballerizas Café which was the stables for the Royal Palace. Ample parking at the entrance to the Palace.
4. Camello Beach in Santander
Named after a rock formation in the shape of a camel which has been partially eroded over time, this stretch of Santander’s coastline is very popular with families who enjoy exploring rock-pools. Views here are of the open sea and the Magdalena mini-zoo. Here is where you’ll get to see and hear a traditional game of ‘palas’ being played by 2-3 players using wooden racquets. Parking by the beach.
5. La Concha Beach in Santander
Right alongside the Sardinero Beach, the Concha is popular with swimmers all year long. You’ll find great views of the Sardinero beaches and the open sea. After your swim, retreat to the BNS bar with its year-round outdoor terrace for tapas and adjoining Balneario restaurant for more substantial meals and amazing panoramic views behind glass. Use the carparking by Playa del Camello.
Balneario de la Concha Restaurant, Av de la Reina Victoria, 46, 39004 Santander, Cantabria. Tel: 942 29 09 19. Balneariodelaconcha.es
6. The First Sardinero Beach in Santander
The most fashionable Santander beach during the 19th and 20th centuries as evidenced by the grandeur of the Casino and many belle-epoque buildings. Great views of the bay and the elegant Piquio Gardens. Dozens of bars and cafes in this area and long lines of people waiting for the eternally popular Regma ice-cream kiosk. You’ll find lockers, deck chairs, parasols and surf gear for hire. Parking in the area. After your swim, try a vermouth with local squid at the outdoor terrace run by Atalaya de Mayte behind the Gran Hotel Sardinero. For something more formal, jump in a cab or walk uphill along Calle Duque Santo Mauro to Restaurante Deluz.
Atalaya de Mayte Restaurant, Av. los Infantes, 95, 39005 Santander, Cantabria. Tel:942 50 39 06. Laatalayademayte.es
Deluz Restaurant, Calle Ramón y Cajal, 18, 39005 Santander, Cantabria. Tel:942 29 06 06. Deluz.es
7. The Second Sardinero Beach in Santander
The choppier of the two Sardinero beaches – you’ll find plenty of teenagers with surfboards and body boards and on quieter days kite-surfers too. There’s a playground and you’ll find lots of beach volleyball on the go also. Great views of Mouro Lighthouse. On the other end of the beach, you can talk a cliffside walk around the peninsula with amazing views back down onto the Sardinero also. (Take the steps from behind Cafeteria Coronna on Calle Gregorio Maranon, 1.) Lots of bars and cafes service this Santander beach including a few informal restaurants built right on the edge of the beach – perfect for seafood platters served with garden-fresh salads and a refreshing beer or glass of red, white or rosé.
8. Molinucos Beach in Santander
A favourite for the best views of Mouro Island and lighthouse is the very charming Molinucos Beach. Park or walk to Mataleñas Park and take the steps down to this Santander beach. It’s a tiny cove so do go early to enjoy the place to yourself.
9. Mataleñas Beach in Santander
The jewel in the crown for many Santanderinos who rate this as their favourite Santander beach. You’ll need to walk down some steep steps so this isn’t for the faint-hearted. If you are driving, follow signs for Forestal Park (a zipline activity centre great for kids and teenagers) and park when you see the ice-cream van. Climb down to steps and dive into the secluded turquoise waters. If you’re looking for refreshments there are a few restaurants nearby and the views from the lighthouse café are wonderful, especially at sunset.
Ready to leave the city of Santander? Here are 5 more great beaches in the Ribamontan area closeby the Villa Bahia.
10. Somo Beach in Ribamontan al Mar
Huge long strand with high waves that are great for surfing and bodyboarding. You’ll find a real surfing vibe in the entire Ribamontan area but especially here in Somo with plenty surf shops and atmospheric bars, diners and restaurants. The Surf Café in Somo on the waterfront is great for drinks and light snacks. Drive to Magnolia in Suesa for meals and more.
Magnolia Suesa Restaurant, Calle Calabazas, 26, 39150 Suesa, Cantabria. Tel: 942 50 43 06
11. El Puntal Beach in Ribamontan al Mar
This sand bank offers wonderful views of the city, the Palace and the entire bay – without the crowds. You also have a wonderful vantage point of all the sailing action and get to witness the Brittany Ferries ferry navigate the very narrow channel beside the beach! Two open-air beach bars serve snacks, seafood, salads and lunches during the Summer months – El Puntal Tricio is the one nearest to the jetty. If you’re travelling by car, you can either drive into Santander and park at the Alfonso XIII carpark (by Centro Botin) before alighting on the passenger ferry or drive to Somo, park at the beach or by the pier and walk the 2km from Somo Beach out onto El Puntal itself.
El Puntal Tricio Beach Bar, Calle el Puntal, Tel: 619 109631. Chiringuitoelpuntal.tricio
12. Loredo Beach in Ribamontan al Mar
Wonderful views of the mountains and the city of Santander as well as the bay from this beach where a horse-racing derby has taken place on the sand every July since 1957. Surfing is very popular here also and you’ll find a few surf schools to hire boards or take a class. If you need a snack after catching a few waves (or a swim) you’ll find a few cafes in the town.
13. Langre Beach in Ribamontan al Mar
Great cliff walks and benches with views up over the beach where you’ll see many Camino de Santiago walkers take a break from their trek to admire the views. This is a quiet beach with very few facilities by the water – so drive onto Somo or Loredo for shops etc but the cliffside drama makes a visit here worthwhile. Make sure to walk to the viewing point on the western side of the beach. Parking at the top – which gets busy in high season so go early and avoid the crowds.
14. Galizano Beach in Ribamontan al Mar
More rustic and less built-up than many of its neighbouring beaches, Galizano is a charming cove with a beach bar operating in the Summer months. Choppy waves and open sea but lots of rock pools for the smaller members of the family to explore. Park in the nearby carpark and take the charming wooden platform bridges to the beach. The mini-market in Galizano village is handy for picnic essentials.
During the Summer season, Somo’s Curros&Co on Calle Isla de Mouro, 4 is a perfect place to pick up picnic treats for all the Ribamontan beaches. In Santander head for the delis such as Mantequerias Cantabras on Calle Joaquín Costa, 47 and Diferente on Calle Joaquín Costa, 28 (near the First Sardinero). Gastrobars in the city centre will also be able to organise tapas, wines and even Spanish paellas or tortillas to go with delivery options available.
Array (  => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 78708 [post_author] => 5 [post_date] => 2019-12-02 11:31:07 [post_date_gmt] => 2019-12-02 11:31:07 [post_content] => Marbella. There aren't many places offering year-round sunshine in Europe that, from beaches and golf to shopping and fine dining, tick as many of the luxury holiday boxes. Sounds tempting? Perhaps the best part of all is just how easy it is to get to...
Where is Marbella?First things first, though. Where is it? Marbella is in southern Spain - in the province of Malaga in the Andalucia region, to be exact - on a stretch of coast called the Costa del Sol. Here's a map of Marbella to help you get your bearings:
Where Do You Fly to?It depends on from where you're flying in. The nearest international airport to Marbella is Malaga. Málaga-Costa del Sol Airport (Aena.es) is 51km away and an easy 40-minute car/taxi ride. Virtually all the major airlines fly there direct from the UK and from across northern Europe. The next closest airport to Marbella is Gibraltar (Gibraltarairport.gi), which is just over an hour's drive away. British Airways, Easyjet and Monarch all fly direct from the UK to Gibraltar.
From the USIf you’re flying into Spain from the USA you'll probably have to travel to Madrid-Barajas Adolfo Suárez Airport (Aena.es). From there you'll have to either fly, take the fast speed AVE train (Renfe.com) or drive to Malaga and transfer from there to Marbella. The most convenient way to get to Marbella from Madrid is by the fast speed train taking just 2.5hrs or by flying taking only 1 hour and 15 mins.
how to get there from malaga airport
By CarThe best way to get from Malaga to Marbella is to drive. And if you're on holiday that probably means you're going to need to hire a car. As with almost all international airports, Malaga has a frankly baffling array of different car hire options to pick through. To avoid the scrum of the departures lounge, jump on the complimentary minibus to the offices of Niza, Helle Hollis or Enterprise situated a mere minute outside of the terminal. Inside the terminal you can find Sixt, Hertz and Europcar. If you're unsure of which company to use, click the following link. For a more luxury car hire service we'd recommend Sixt (Sixt.com). They're friendly, totally professional, trustworthy and have a range of high-end rental options, from BMWs, Audis and Porsches to Mercedes and Range Rovers - and even automatics. If you're travelling in a large group, they also have 8-12 seater self-drive minibuses available for hire. Of course if you're looking for ease, our Concierge can make the reservation for you to be dropped directly off at the villa. A car of your choice can be delivered to your villa. Once you've picked up your car/minibus hire, driving from Malaga airport to Marbella could hardly be easier. Directions from Malaga-Costa del Sol airport are as follows:
- Leave the airport and head southeast onto N-348
- At the roundabout, take the 2nd exit and stay on N-348
- Take the Torremolinos ramp to N-340/Cádiz
- Merge onto Avenida de Velázquez/N-340/MA-21
- Take the ramp to E-15/A-7/Benalmadena/Algeciras. Merge onto AP-7
- Pass Torremolinos, Benalmadena, Fuengirola
- Take exit 184 towards Marbella/Casco Antiguo/Avenida del Trapiche
By TaxiFor sheer ease, you can’t beat jumping in a taxi. A taxi rank is situated outside the arrivals sidewalk of Terminal T3, level 0. It's best to ask the driver, beforehand, how much a taxi is from Malaga to Marbella to ensure they don’t overcharge you. There are two transfer prices, and these are dependent on both times of the day and the day of the week. Transfer Price Band 1 is weekdays from 06.00 to 22.00 hrs. Transfer Price Band 2 is weekdays from 22.00 to 06.00 hrs, all day Saturdays, Sundays, public holidays, the August Feria and Holy Week. Band 2 transfer time is more expensive than Band 1. Alternatively, you can pre-order a taxi at Malaga Airport Taxi (Malagaairporttaxi.net) and get a price when booking. The transfer time from Malaga Airport to Marbella takes around an hour, in a taxi.
Other Ways to Get to Marbella
- By bus: It is possible to take a bus (Alsa.com) from Malaga airport to Marbella. But it's a whole lot less convenient than driving via hire car or private transfer.
- By train: There isn’t a train connection from Malaga airport to Marbella.
Distances - how far is marbella from...
- Malaga (city): 61km away and 46 minutes' drive.
- Granada: 187km and just over 2 hours' drive.
- Seville: 258km and 2 hours 45 minutes' drive.
- Gibraltar: 78km and 1 hour 2 minutes' drive.
- Madrid: 584 km and 5 hours 45 minutes' drive.
A Bit of HistoryThe land previously belonged to the Saudi businessman Adnan Khashoggi, who it is said, used the estate as his party house and hunting grounds. The property and land went up for sale and a group of Spanish property developers bought it and put plans together to create a playground for the rich and famous in Marbella. Each villa is unique, with their own styles depending on the specifications of the owner.
Location & Getting There
So where is La Zagaleta?The large estate sits in Malaga province in the south of Andalucia. It’s in the foothills of the Ronda Mountains just 25 minutes from Marbella, 18 minutes from Nuevo Andalucia and the nearest beach. It's 20 minutes from the village of Benahavis, 40 minutes from Sotogrande port, 50 minutes from Ronda, 55 minutes from Malaga airport and just over an hour from Gibraltar airport. La Zagaleta is very easily accessed by car or helicopter. There's heavy security surrounding the estate and entrance is on prior permission only.
What Else is in La Zagaleta?It’s worth noting that all the facilities in La Zagaleta are for exclusive use to villa owners only; they pay an enormous service charge to be allowed to use the facilities.
Golf CourseLa Zagaleta golf club is only open to villa owners and their guests. They have exclusive access to two of the Costa del Sol's best private golf courses, La Zagaleta and Los Barrancos. La Zagaleta golf course - known as the Old Course - is to championship standard with 18 holes, Par 72 over a distance of 4800 - 6000 yards. Designed by renowned golf architect Brad Benz in 1991 and redesigned by Marc Westenborg in 2016, it’s a rewarding course with fantastic views to the coast and flanked by mountains. The New Course, Los Barrancos, is very different to the Old Course. It’s a challenging 18-hole, Par 70 with lots of obstacles over a distance of 4356 – 5381 yards.
The ClubhousesThe hub of the estate is the spectacular Old Clubhouse, or La Zagaleta country club. Measuring 5,100m² it has an indoor/outdoor swimming pool, billiards, bowling alley, tennis courts, gourmet food supermarket, pro-golf shop and restaurants (see below). There's also a nightclub, bars and events space where there’s a full schedule of experiences and parties planned. The New Clubhouse is a thatched lakeside venue. A lot smaller than the Old Clubhouse, it's still just as popular with La Zagaleta residents for events or having a quick drink in the bar.
Horse RidingLa Zagaleta is home to some beautiful stables with indoor and outdoor schooling arenas. Horses can either be kept on a full livery basis, or horses and ponies can be hired for lessons or hacks. ‘The Riding Club’ equestrian centre has a team of instructors and well-schooled horses for all levels of rider including Arab, PRE and, for the children, Farabella horses and Welsh ponies.
RestaurantsWhy leave the comfort of a beautiful villa when you can enjoy a top-quality meal at home? At La Zagaleta there are Michelin starred chefs available for in-house dining throughout the estate. However, for owners the clubhouse has two restaurants: the formal dining Old Course Restaurant; and a terrace bar restaurant that's ideal for light bites and brunches.
Famous ResidentsThere is private security throughout the whole of La Zagaleta - so know one really know who lives or owns houses there. It’s a place where the super-rich and famous go to be away from the limelight. However, it is said that Hugh Grant, Rod Stewart and Vladimir Putin all have house in La Zagaleta.
What to Do NearbyWhen staying in La Zagaleta, the houses are so special that it’s sometimes difficult to tear yourself away from the estate. However, if you do want to see more of the area, here's our pick of easily accessible and great day trips:
- Ronda: historic, boutique wineries and ab-so-lutely beautiful.
- Benahavis village: a great option for restaurants; have a lunch or dinner in this pretty village.
- Granada: a romantic inland city and home to the Alhambra Palace, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
- Malaga: the birthplace of Picasso with a fort, palace and Roman amphitheatre.
- Cordoba: historic city with a stunning mosque-church at its centre.
- Sevilla: one of the most beautiful cities in Europe.
- Sotogrande: a lovely port, wake boarding lake and polo hub.