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…
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 Gardens
This 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 seville
This 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 Cathedral
Sheer 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 España
Built 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 Cruz
The 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 Arenal
Opened 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 Abantal
The 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 Baths
An 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 Italica
This 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 & Gibralfaro
It’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 Guardia
Stand 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 Gorge
This 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 Spain
Andalucia’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 Museum
Malaga 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 Observatory
Having 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 Sardinas
Any 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 Rey
While 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 Alhambra
Take 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 Generalife
Wander 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 nicolás
Head 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-Acosta
Most 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 Park
During 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 CADIZ
The 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 Claudia
Stretching 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 Tarifa
Whether 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 life
There 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 Park
Grab 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 gibraltar
The 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 Caleta
The 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 Cadiz
After 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 sanlucar
This 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 Art
Book 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 Tradicion
Make 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 Mezquita
A 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 Night
Start 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 Cordoba
Every 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 Azahara
Back 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 & Baeza
A 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 Elías
Stretching 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 Alcazaba
From 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 Park
Tucked 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 Hollywood
This 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 Desert
Whether 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 trail
Discover 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 Park
Covering 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 4×4 – 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 Maravillas
More 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 Azabache
An 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 Feria
Nothing 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 square
A 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 OIL
No 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.
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