Sun and sand: the two things for which Nerja is most famous. And many visitors to the area don't get beyond them. Which is a shame, really, as there's much more to the area than just a great flop…
Madrid is an eclectic, cosmopolitan city where tradition meets modernity. From bars and cafés where abuelitas make croquetasby hand, to some of the finest gastronomic delicacies in the world; underground art exhibits to renowned European collections; incredible green spaces to awe-inspiring architecture… So, where to start? Madrid in a day is a challenge—there’s so much to see. But we’ve compiled the best of the best to take you on one of our favourite routes through the city. Take a look at the most essential things to see, do, and eat in Madrid in a day.
In the morning…
Start your day off in the warm glow of the Spanish sun with the Royal Palace smiling down on you. Have a traditional Spanish breakfast at Café de Oriente like a real madrileño with a café con leche, freshly squeezed orange juice, and toast with tomato purée and Iberian ham. On nice days sit out on the terrace for spectacular views of the palace.
Address: Plaza de Oriente, 2, 28013 Madrid; Telephone: +34 91 541 39 74; Cafedeoriente.es
Start strolling, take in the sights
After a tasty breakfast, stroll through the Plaza de Oriente to arrive at the gates of the Royal Palace. Gaze up at the incredible Baroque architecture, or take a peek inside. Although the Spanish royal family no longer live here, the palace offers an insight into Spain’s royal history.
Open every day October-March 10am-6pm (tickets on sale until 5pm); April-September 10am-8pm (tickets on sale until 7pm)
Address: Calle de Bailén, Madrid 28071, Spain; Telephone: +34 902 044 454; Patrimonionacional.es
After you’ve marvelled up at where the royals live, wander through the streets to get a taste of old Madrid. Take Calle Mayor straight from the Palace to Plaza Mayor (walk there in about 10 minutes). Enter the large square through one of its beautiful arches. Sit for a cup of coffee or a glass of wine (it’s never too early for a glass of wine in Madrid) on one of the terrace bars and take in the stunning architecture that surrounds you. Then stroll through the plaza’s traditional shops, which offer authentic Spanish products like mantoncillos.
Address: Plaza Mayor, 28012 Madrid
A bite to eat, and a little art
If you’re looking for a little snack to hold you over until lunch (Spanish lunchtime is traditionally from about 2.00-3.00pm), wander over to Mercado de San Miguel for a little Madrid-style showmanship and some tasty treats. This pretty, iron-and-glass market originally built in 1916 offers fresh products and tasty tapas everywhere you look. Its central location—right next to Plaza Mayor—makes it a great place to stop for a quick bite between sightseeing.
Address: Plaza de San Miguel, s/n, 28005 Madrid; Telephone: +34 915 42 49 36; Mercadodesanmiguel.es
After refuelling at the market, take a walk through Madrid’s old town toward the world-famous Prado—don’t miss a stop in Puerta de Sol, the heart of the city, to watch the masses flood by on your way. No trip to Madrid would be complete without a visit to the Prado. You could easily spend an entire day exploring what is known as the best collection of European art in the world. But if you feel like popping in just to see the big names, don’t miss Velázquez—especially Las Meninas—and Goya’s Black Paintings.
Open Monday-Saturday 10am-8pm; Sundays and bank holidays 10am-7 pm
Address: Paseo del Prado, s/n, 28014 Madrid; Telephone: +34 913 30 28 00; Museodelprado.es
Lunch and siesta
Lunch is the biggest meal of the day in Spain. Book your table at Michelin-star restaurant Ramón Freixa Madrid for a taste of innovative cuisine with Mediterranean roots from Catalan chef Ramón Freixa. Grab a car or taxi from the Prado, and arrive in 10 minutes. Make sure to order by 2.45pm to be able to enjoy the tasting menus (otherwise order á la carte). You’ll find yourself right in Madrid’s “Golden Mile” in the ritzy district of Salamanca; so after enjoying the chef’s deftly crafted plates mixing Spanish tradition and innovation, head out for a little shopping on Calle de Serrano.
Address: C/ Claudio Coello, 67, 28001 Madrid; Telephone: +34 91 781 82 62; Ramonfreixamadrid.com
Not many Spaniards still take a siesta, but it is true that after an indulgent lunch, it’s nice to take a little rest. Retiro Park, a beautifully manicured oasis in the middle of the thumping metropolis, is the perfect place to lounge after lunch. Stroll down Calle de Serrano from restaurant Ramón Freixa and stop to smell the roses in Madrid’s most spectacular green space (about a 10-15 minute walk). Find the statue of the fallen angel, rest by the Crystal Palace (or see an exhibit there) or row a boat in the park’s lake while gazing up at the Monument to Alfonso XII.
In the late afternoon…
A drink and a culture trip
After a rest in the Retiro, stroll down Paseo del Prado toward Plaza de Cibeles to marvel up at the city hall, neoclassical sculptures and fountains in marble. Then continue on to Tartán Roof for the best views of the city and a glass of wine or a simple cocktail on a lovely rooftop terrace.
Address: Calle del Marqués de Casa Riera, 2, 28014 Madrid. Azoteadelcirculo.com
Come down from up above and you’ll be in the perfect place to wander through Madrid’s hippest districts, Chueca and Alonso Martínez. Head through Chueca toward Calle de Fernando VI and the small streets in the area for boutique shopping in clothes, jewellery and design. If you’re feeling like something sweet for Spanish-style merienda (late afternoon snack) pop into Mamá Framboise or La Duquesita for a treat.
Address: Mamá Framboise. Calle de Fernando VI, 23, 28004 Madrid. Telephone: +34 913 91 43 64; Mamaframboise.com
Address: La Duquesita, Calle de Fernando VI, 2, 28004 Madrid. Telephone: +34 913 08 02 31; Laduquesita.es
Dinner and a show
When it’s time for dinner make sure you’ve booked well in advance to participate in the extravagant world of “Dabiz” Muñoz at DiverXO (especially for dinner). Dining here is more than just eating a meal at a restaurant—it’s a comprehensive gastronomic experience. As one of the world’s 50 best restaurants, DiverXO is a stop in Madrid well worth making.
Address: Calle Padre Damián, 23, 28036 Madrid; Telephone: +34 915 70 07 66; Diverxo.com
If you can’t make it to DiverXO, or want a top chef experience with a little less planning, try StreetXO for a casual taste of what Muñoz has to offer. Make sure to arrive early (before opening) or late (after 9.30pm) if you don’t want to wait in line to get in; they don’t take reservations.
Address: Calle de Serrano, 52, 28001 Madrid; Telephone: +34 915 31 98 84; Streetxo.com
Madrid is a city that doesn’t sleep. If you wanted, you could easily stay out until 7 o’clock in the morning. For a more relaxing experience, seeing a flamenco show is a great way to end your night. There are plenty of shows to catch in the capital, but sometimes the best way to go is to see Spain’s most famous art form at a tablao. Cardamomo and the rest of the tablaos in Madrid mainly cater to tourists, but you’re guaranteed a fantastic show any day of the week. You’ll find multiple sessions at Cardamomo, with the last starting at 11.30pm.
Address: Calle Echegaray, 15, 28014 Madrid; Telephone: +34 691 022 117 or +34 918 05 10 38; Cardamomo.com
Before you pack your bags, keep these top tips in mind:
- Get ready to walk. You’re in sunny Spain! If you’re here in spring or autumn, it will be the most comfortable time for walking, so put on those trainers and get ready to discover hidden treasures around every corner.
- Madrid is an incredibly safe city, but while in touristic areas (Puerta de Sol or Plaza Mayor, for example) or the metro, be sure to watch out for pickpockets and keep track of your valuables.
- Keep in mind that gratuity is not customary in most situations in Spain, although at higher-end restaurants it wouldn’t be out of line to show your appreciation with a 10-15% tip.
Still looking for other places to visit while in central Spain? Have a look at the best towns to see around Madrid and if you need accommodation and want something very special, then Hacienda Sofia is ideal.
Array (  => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 42015 [post_author] => 5 [post_date] => 2019-04-11 15:08:18 [post_date_gmt] => 2019-04-11 15:08:18 [post_content] => Sun and sand: the two things for which Nerja is most famous. And many visitors to the area don't get beyond them. Which is a shame, really, as there's much more to the area than just a great flop and drop break. From wonderful walks to fabulous fiestas and, yes, some of the most beautiful beaches around, we've picked out just a few of the very best things to do in Nerja. Happy exploring.
1. Laze on the BeachThere's a pretty solid chance that if you're after tips for what to do in in the vicinity of Nerja, then a beach day is going to be fairly high on your checklist. Thankfully, there are no fewer than 12 beaches to choose from in and around Nerja. Three of our favourites in town are Playa de Calahonda, Playa de Burriana and Playa El Chorrillo.
2. catch the sunset from the Balcon de EuropaAfter a long, lazy afternoon on the beach, there's only one place to head: the Balcon de Europa. Grab an ice-cream, saunter down to the end of the promenade and watch the sun slowly melt into the Mediterranean. Altogether now... WOW.
3. Be amazed by the caves of NerjaFunnily enough, the sun doesn't even shine in Nerja's biggest attraction. But that doesn't make it any less spectacular. The Caves of Nerja is a 5km complex of caverns that includes the largest stalagtite in the world, some Bronze Age remains and, it's thought, mankind's oldest artwork - which dates back some 42,000 years. Remarkable. (Carretera de Bajada a Playa de Maro, s/n, 29787 Nerja, open 0930/1000-1530.)
4. Go Snorkelling from One Cove to AnotherJust a mile or two to the east of Nerja the sparkling coves of the Acantilados de Maro-Cerro Gordo Natural park stretch away. Snorkeling, sea kayaking or paddle boarding (see below) trips set off from Playa Burriana or Playa Carabeo for you to enjoy the crystal-clear sea teeming with sea life.
5. explore the coast by paddle BoardThe beaches of Nerja itself are urban, which comes with the distinct plus side of there being plenty of bars and restaurants on hand to choose from. But running away to the east is a stunningly wild, cove-lined coast that's great for exploring via paddle board. Rental and guided tours are available from Playa Burriana and Playa de Maro.
6. get out to a nearby villageVenture from Nerja and the idyllic whitewashed mountain villages of the Axarquia are within easy reach. Competa, Maro and the lovely Frigiliana (pictured) are some of the most inviting.
7. Eat Fresh Fish Cooked on a BBQ on the BeachEspetos de sardinas - sardines skewered and cooked on a BBQ until they're deliciously tender - are a local delicacy. One of the best spots to try them in Nerja is at the far westernmost end of town in Chiringuito Mauri (Playo Playazo, 29780 Nerja). Best washed down with an icy beer or two, of course.
8. walk the rio chillarEven by southern Spanish standards Nerja is surrounded by some pretty top-notch walking. Soaring above the town are the jagged peaks of the Sierras de Tejeda, Almijara and Alhama Mountains. For something just a little less adventurous, the most famous walk around Nerja is up the Rio Chillar. You follow a beautiful, ankle-cooling river as it babbles its way down from the hills, discovering narrow ravines, waterfalls and rock pools along the way.
9. Devour Baby squid at El PulguillaOK, so you don’t have to have baby squid - although we highly recommend you do - but you definitely should grab a quick tapas and a beer/wine in this stalwart of a restaurant in Nerja. Elegant fine dining it ain't, but it is a great way to experience a typical Malaga fish restaurant. (Calle Almte. Ferrándiz, 26, 29780 Nerja; 952 52 13 84)
10. View the AqueductThis 19th century aqueduct was built to supply the surrounding sugar cane factories with water. During the summer it's a sweaty 10-minute walk from the centre of Nerja, but (as you can see in the image above) it makes for a spectacular photo opportunity when you get there.
11. Pause for Thought in Ermita de las AngustiasBuilt in 1790 this church is the home of Nerja’s patron saint, Our Lady of Anguish (Plaza de la Ermita, 11, 29780 Nerja). It might not be the grandest of churches, but it is a lovely, cool little spot to catch your breath in for five minutes or so on a hot summer's afternoon.
12. Plan a Trip Around a FiestaNerja is in Andalucia. Which means, inevitably, it's a place that's serious about letting its hair down every once in a while. The five festivals that Nerja goes for in a big way are Easter, Carnival (February), San Isidro (May), Virgen del Carmen (July 16th) and the Epiphany (5th January). Nominally religious they may be, but trust us, they're also really just a good excuse to P-A-R-T-Y.
13. See Authentic FlamencoNearby Velez-Malaga has one of the most vibrant flamenco scenes in Malaga province, thanks to the efforts of local flamenco-cultural initiative, Flamenco Abierto (Flamencoabierto.com). So if you want to catch some real flamenco, as opposed to the tourist nonsense that's so often served up, the Peña Flamenca Niño de Vélez on a Friday evening is the place to head.
14. Eat at SollunBefore opening this lovely little restaurant in Nerja chef Juan Quintanilla helped put Skina in Marbella on the Michelin-starred map. As soon as you sit down, though, it's clear that Sollun is an even more personal project. If you choose to work from the short menu, the chef himself will come out of the kitchen and recommend what's particularly good that day. The tasting menu is a thing of beauty: it features a selection of dishes with a heavy local focus, each paired with a suitable wine. (Calle Pintada, 9, 29780 Nerja; 653 68 94 52) Like our pick of things to do in Nerja and looking for more recommendations on the Costa del Sol? Have a browse through a few of our favourite Marbella day trips. Alternatively, if you're after a beautiful country villa nearby, check out our Axarquia luxury villas collection, here. [post_title] => Things to Do in Nerja that You Just Can't Miss [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => things-to-do-in-nerja [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2019-05-01 08:13:09 [post_modified_gmt] => 2019-05-01 08:13:09 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://theluxuryvillacollection.com/?p=42015 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw )  => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 37138 [post_author] => 5 [post_date] => 2019-03-12 12:50:30 [post_date_gmt] => 2019-03-12 12:50:30 [post_content] => Marbella: the perfect spot for a lazy, sun-soaked break in southern Spain. But what is there to do should the pull of the pool begin to wear thin? From beautiful beaches and natural parks to dazzling white villages and grand, historic cities, there are plenty of great day trips from Marbella to keep you busy.
1. Caminito del ReyThis incredible gorge-clinging walk offers some light exercise, incredible views and is a great day out for the whole family. Tickets need to be bought beforehand - book here. Distance from Marbella by car: 1 hour 15 minutes
2. RondaHead inland to the north west of Marbella and you come to a beautiful town perched on a gorge. This is Ronda. See the oldest bull ring, Moorish baths, a lovely old palace or two and, if you have time, whip round a quick wine tour. Distance from Marbella by car: 1 hour 5 minutes
3. GibraltarCrossing the border from Spain to the UK at Gibraltar is certainly a novelty. This slice of Britain in Spain is interesting enough, but scratch a little deeper and there's a fascinating history to uncover, too. Don't miss the caves or the wild apes while you're on what locals fondly call 'The Rock'. Distance from Marbella by car: 1 hour 5 minutes
4. AntequeraKnown as the 'Town of Churches', Antequera has more places of worship than any other town in Andalucia. The fortress at the top of the town (pictured) and cathedral are the highlights, but don’t miss the ancient dolmens on the edge of town, either. Eat at Arte de Cozina (Artedecozina.com) and you'll have a thoroughly Andalucian day out. Distance from Marbella by car: 1 hour 10 minutes
5. Sierra de las Nieves Natural ParkWith a mix of jaw-dropping 2000-metre peaks and labyrinths of caves, this natural park near Ronda is truly spectacular. There are plenty of opportunities to go trekking, caving, 4x4 touring, mountaineering, mountain biking or horse riding. Nearby villages El Burgo, Istán, Monda, Parauta, Tolox and Yunquera are all worth a visit, too. Distance from Marbella by car: 1 hour 15 minutes
6. Los Alcornocales Natural ParkSpanning Cadiz and Malaga provinces, Los Alcornocales is very different to the Sierra de las Nieves. Famed for its cork oak trees and humid conditions, it’s actually the rainiest place in southern Spain and so has a large network of rivers and streams. Organise a hike through this park with lunch in one of the area's pretty, remote villages. Distance from Marbella by car: 1 hour 25 minutes
7. TangierYes, Africa is a realistic day out from Marbella! You can charter a boat and travel to Tangier in Morocco for a day. On top of the fantastic boat ride across the Mediterranean, it's wonderful for lunch and a spot of souk shopping. (Or see our trusted partner Toma & Coe's Tangier trip, here.) Distance from Marbella by car and boat: 3 hours
8. Rio GuadalminaIf you like a bit of adventure, walk the Guadalmina river and jump into rock pools, shower under waterfalls and hike through the gorgeous countryside. A guide can be arranged. Distance from Marbella by car: 25 minutes
9. CasaresThis picture-perfect whitewashed village makes for a lovely day out. Stroll about, take in the views and have a spot of traditional villagers’ lunch. A great contrast to the more sophisticated and cosmopolitan Marbella. Distance from Marbella by car: 40 minutes
10. Setenil de las bodegasA trip to Andalucia is as much about hanging out in small towns and villages as ticking off the big historic sights in cities. Setenil de las Bodegas has an incredible street where the houses are built into and under an overhanging rock face (pictured above). An utterly unique place. Distance from Marbella by car: 1 hour 20 minutes
nearby citiesFive of Andalucia's finest cities are within easy reach of Marbella. Each has their own allure...
11. MalagaMalaga is a city with A LOT going on. With plenty of great restaurants, historic sights and art galleries to pop in and out of, there's more than enough to keep you busy all day long. (For more information on Malaga, see our guide.) Distance from Marbella by car: 55 minutes
12. GranadaIf there's one thing you have to see above and beyond all others in Andalucia, it's the Alhambra Palace. A breathtakingly romantic 12th-century Moorish palace, it’s beautiful whether you're inside, outside or looking onto it from the pretty Albayzin area of town (pictured). Make sure you buy tickets before you go. (See our guide to Granada here.) Distance from Marbella by car: 2 hours
13. Jerez de la FronteraA great day trip from Marbella is Jerez de la Frontera. A relativity small city, it's perfect for strolling old streets lined with handsome palaces or lingering in lovely, historic squares. Don’t miss the Spanish Riding School (Realescuela.org) or one of the Sherry bodegas for a tour and a tasting. Distance from Marbella by car: 1 hour 50 minutes
14. CadizSouthern Spain's longest continually inhabited city, Cadiz has great beaches and a lively but laidback vibe. Visit the cathedral, eat in the market and see the city from above via the 'Camera Oscura' (Torretavira.com). Distance from Marbella by car: 2 hours
15. CordobaAs the Alhambra is to Granada, so the Mezquita is to Cordoba. A cathedral inside a mosque, it's a mesmerising building. There’s also a Roman Bridge, a beautiful 17th-century main square, the Plaza de la Corredera, and a network of narrow old streets to explore, too. Distance from Marbella by car: 2 hours 10 minutes So, that's our pick of the best day trips from Marbella. You can plan your day yourself or get in touch with us and we can organise it all for you. One way or the other, though - happy exploring! Alternatively, if you're looking for a beautiful villa in Marbella to rent, check out our selection. [post_title] => Perfect Day Trips from Marbella [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => marbella-day-trips [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2019-05-01 07:56:23 [post_modified_gmt] => 2019-05-01 07:56:23 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://theluxuryvillacollection.com/?p=37138 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) ) 1