Looking to get off the beaten track in Andalucia? We’ve scratched beneath the surface of this exciting, historic area of Spain, asked local experts and come up with a list of little-known things to…
From high-class Asian fusion to simple Andalucian classics, we’ve picked out a few of the very best Estepona restaurants.
Baltazar Bar & Grill
Set in the Kempinski Hotel this steakhouse and grill has positioned itself nicely: it’s both a laid-back alternative to the coast’s fine dining restaurants and a step up from the more rustic and lively tapas bars. The spacious dining room is like a breath of fresh air with forest greens, natural materials and a touch of North Africa, while tables spill out onto a terrace next to the hotel pool for alfresco dining during the summer.
Start with one of their signature cocktails – our favourite: Germano Papito. Food-wise, it’s a question of plate after plate of perfectly grilled meats, fish and vegetables. There are tapas to share as well as the main menu and plenty of sauces and sides to compile your perfect plate. The whole seabass cooked in the tandoor oven is an absolute must-order as well as the tuna belly with watermelon, macadamia nuts and mint.
Address: Carretera de Cadiz km 159, Playa El Padron, Estepona. Telephone: 952 80 95 58; Baltazarmarbella.es.
Simply the best Asian food in Malaga province. Kabuki Raw is in Finca Cortesin, and as you’d expect from a five-star hotel the service is just sublime. The dining room strikes that perfect balance between welcoming comfort and refined elegance: first and foremost, it’s just a very pleasant place to be – but it’s also, of course, ultra-stylish and smartly formal.
Take the tasting menu and chef Luis Olarra will lead you on a gastronomic journey by skillfully pairing Mediterranean and Japanese cultures – try to reserve the table opposite the kitchen to get the full experience. Balanced, tasteful, never showy and always delicious, this is Asian fusion food at its very best.
Another lovely touch is the valet parking – always a welcome way to start and end any meal.
Address: Hotel Finca Cortesin, Casares. Telephone: 952 93 78 00; Restaurantekabuki.com.
Chef Manuel Camisuli creates Mediterranean food with a firm nod to Asia. You really feel that every little thing has been considered when you dine at Felix: the dining room (within the Healthouse Las Dunas Hotel) is a triumph of peacock blues and greens; the lighting is perfect, and there’s plenty of space and comfortable seats.
On the food front, every dish that comes out of the kitchen is as good to look at as it is to eat. There’s a commitment to local Mediterranean cuisine and an excellent wine list (the hotel’s restaurant conforms to the ethos of the hotel’s wellness regime and no alcohol is served) and attentive service.
Address: Urbanización Boladilla Baja, Crta. Cadiz km 163,500, 29689 Estepona.
La Alcaria de Ramos
On the edge of El Paraíso golf course this traditionally styled townhouse is a real mainstay of the Estepona restaurant scene. Haute it may not be, but if you’re looking for hearty, homely cooking then you’re in the right place.
In terms of standouts on the menu, on our last visit we swooned over the stuffed mussels with cream of mushroom sauce and the turbot in the clam sauce. It feels (and is) a family-owned restaurant where everyone you deal with is fully invested in delivering good food and a great atmosphere.
Address: Calle Vista al Mar Diseminado 1, 29680, Estepona. Telephone: 952 88 61 78; Laalcariaderamos.es.
Restaurante Taberna Miguel
In the centre of Estepona town, Taberna Miguel is a long-standing favourite with locals and visitors. With a huge terrace and courtyard as well as an indoor dining room it’s a good option for a large group at any time of the year.
Traditional Andaluz food – from plates of Jamon Iberico to revuelto (scrambled eggs) – is very much the order of the day here, but it’s done with a fair amount of finesse. During the summer months it gets full to bursting as the cool courtyard and terrace seating are filled with in-the-know regulars.
Address: Calle Caridad 30, 29680, Estepona. Telephone: 952 79 25 38; Restaurantetabernamiguel.com.
La Bulla Gastrobar
Opposite the beach this is less fine dining and more casual eating. The food is good, though, and the service and atmosphere follows suit. The reason La Bulla Gastobar made our Estepona restaurants list is because it’s open all day – an important point if you’re visiting the area in summer.
Inside, plants hang from the ceiling and it has a lovely, healthy breakfast offering as well as a cocktail list for evening drinks. Aside from the breakfasts, it’s ideal for a quick, relaxed bite, with the beef churrasco with BBQ sauce and scallops with spinach pesto the pick of the bunch on our last visit.
Address: Avenida Espana 38, Plazoleta Ortiz, 29680, Estepona. Telephone: 952 80 65 75; Facebook Page.
Claro! Restaurant & Beach Club
Another decent casual place to eat in Estepona is Claro! Leaving aside the superfluous punctuation points in the name, it makes for a very agreeable summer lunch or dinner with its mix of high and low tables and soft and hard seating, all under a Balinese hut-style cover on the beach.
Their traditional Malagueño BBQ cooked fish is the absolute highlight of the menu – particularly the espeto de sardinas (sardines cooked on a BBQ). The ‘beach club’ bit refers to the sunbeds and parasols next to the restaurant on the beach – they’re absolutely perfect for after lunch lazing and there’s a great cocktail list from which to enjoy a sundowner or two, should afternoon wind its way into evening…
Address: Laguna Village, Carret. Cadiz, Km 159, Exit 160 – “Cambio de sentido”, 29680 Estepona. Telephone: 952 800 873; Clarobeachclub.com.
Like our pick of Estepona restaurants and looking for more local dining recommendations? Check out a few of our favourite places to eat in Benahavis.
And if you’d like to stay as close to the action as possible on your next trip, have a look at our collection of nearby luxury villas.
Array (  => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 139603 [post_author] => 5 [post_date] => 2020-12-11 09:50:40 [post_date_gmt] => 2020-12-11 09:50:40 [post_content] => Looking to get off the beaten track in Andalucia? We’ve scratched beneath the surface of this exciting, historic area of Spain, asked local experts and come up with a list of little-known things to see and do for our guide to hidden Andalucia...
If the bird's eye view of the inside of the cathedral looks spectacular, then to cap it off you emerge outside with 360-degree rooftop views of Malaga. [email protected]
Visit Malaga Cathedral's Roof
The top tip of Lindsay Gregory, Director of The Luxury Villa Collection: “Stroll around Malaga historic centre, take a hammam at Mammam Al Andalus and finish with cocktails at a rooftop bar.” https://malaga.hammamalandalus.com/en/
RELAX IN A HAMMAM
A rather lovely town with a Moorish fortress complex and no fewer than 30 churches. Don’t miss having tapas in the impressive Plaza de los Escribanos.
Meander in Antequera
Just outside Antequera, these are some of the largest and most complete megalithic structures in Europe. Museosdeandalucia.es
Visit Three 5000-year-old Dolmens
The ruins of a 9th-century church carved out of rock are the highlights of a larger fortified town complex. Anything 9th century and still standing is incredible in our books.
Wonder at a 9TH Century Church – Bobastro
A house with a garden in the Albayzin (the oldest part of Granada city) is known as a Carmen. These Carmens look out towards the Alhambra Palace, often have wooden balconies, plant-filled patios, babbling water features and decorative tiles.
Nose Around the Carmens of Granada's Albayzin
This 17th-century abbey and college comes complete with holy caves/ancient catacombs. The view of Granada alone is worth the walk.
Visit the Abbey of Sacromonte, Granada
This village has stately houses gripping onto the edge of a gorge, cobbled streets and spa credentials. Our top tip is to escape the summer heat in Granada and visit Alhama – it has a unique microclimate where summer nights cool to a comfortable level.
Take a day trip to Alhama de Granada and its Natural Hot Springs
Once part of several fortifications, the castle that sits on this tiny island dates back to the 13th century.
Find Out the Mysteries of the Island of Sancti Petri, San Fernando, Cadiz
This pristine white village, sitting high on a rocky hilltop, really comes into its own at sunrise and dusk. Aside from the dramatic light, there are lovely boutique shops, great restaurants and, during the summer, look out for their candlelight festival.
Experience the Beautiful Light in Vejer de la Frontera
While it's got a great beach with some decent Atlantic surf, it’s the laidback-hip bar vibe in El Palmar that makes it stand out from other stretches of southern Spain's coast.
Surf and Sip in El Palmar
David, chef at De Tako's top tip is, “One of the best ways to experience a country is through its food and an even better way is to enjoy perfectly cooked food is in an incredible setting surrounded by friends". We entirely agree – hire a private chef at your villa for the ultimate in convenience.
HIRE A Private Chef
One of our top hidden foodie treats in Andalucia is delicious Retinto beef from Cadiz. Much is spoken about fried fish, olives and olive oil, jamón ibérico and Sherry but this meaty option is also a real gastro-standout.
Taste Riotinto Beef
Hire a boat and hit the sea - you’ll almost inevitably come across a pod of dolphins in the Mediterranean.
Take to the Sea – Dolphin Watch
This forgotten about 12th-century arched gateway and wall was the main entrance into Seville, and is certainly off the beaten path.
Puerta de Macarena/Walls of Seville
You'll never have experienced a bar like Garlochí, a homage to Easter in Spain. All year round there's incense burning and procession music playing – they call it the cathedral of bars. Don’t miss their signature cocktail: Grenadine, whisky and Cava.
Drink at a Bar Dedicated to Easter in Sevilla
There’s a succession of beautiful waterfalls running over some interesting limestone formations in Sierra Norte de Sevilla Nature Park.
Wild Swimming at Cascadas de Hueznar in Seville Province
Fiona Flores Watson, Telegraph Travel Writer and Seville resident recommends: “The summer outdoor concerts held in the Alcazar Palace… a magical setting for live jazz, flamenco or classical music by moonlight.” Alcazarsevilla.org
SEE LIVE MUSIC IN THE ALCAZAR PALACE
The castle of Castillo de Almodovar del Rio was built in 740. You can join theatrical tours, do some medieval combat training or spooky storytelling. Castillodealmodovar.com
Visit Highgarden, the Tyrell’s House in Game of Thrones
Manni Coe of Toma & Coe Tours' top tip is: “One of the most consistently excellent restaurants I know in Andalucia is located on a little-known street, in the little-known town of Lucena. It's called Tres Culturas and it's also a handy stop off en-route to Cordoba." Tresculturasrestaurante.com
TRAVEL TO EAT AT TRES CULTURAS
In the Sierra de Cazorla natural park this castle was built at the start of the 16th century. A beautiful monument in an even more beautiful part of the world.
Marvel at the Castle of Iruela, Jaen
The colours of autumn over the vast landscape of rural Huelva is the perfect way to disconnect. Local people flock here to experience the change of the season.
Reconnect with Nature and See Autumn in Aracena
This breath-taking beach near the charming village of San Jose feels like another world.
Genoveses beacH in Cabo de Gata, Almeria
A bit of a cheat but do a tour…
Our top 5 are: Most unusual is in Segura de la Sierra in Jaen province: this square bullring is the old courtyard of a castle and was built in the 18th century. Ronda bullring is the second oldest and the biggest. Seville bullring is the oldest; Antequera's is famed for appearing in Madonna’s Take a Bow video; Mijas has spectacular views and is simply charming. Archidona usually erects a bullring inside its eight-sided main square during the summer season. Like this and want to know more about visiting southern Spain? Check out our 50 things to do in Andalucia and our guide to the five best cities to visit in Andalucia [post_title] => Hidden Andalucia [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => hidden-andalucia [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2021-01-31 15:25:18 [post_modified_gmt] => 2021-01-31 15:25:18 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://theluxuryvillacollection.com/?p=139603 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw )  => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 133379 [post_author] => 5 [post_date] => 2020-10-03 15:27:14 [post_date_gmt] => 2020-10-03 15:27:14 [post_content] =>
See Andalucia through its Bullrings
(As of Nov 2020)Since the global pandemic reached our countries in early 2020 there has been restrictions in one way or another on the way we live our lives. With the sheer amount of press on Covid-19 it’s difficult to see the wood from the trees. So we wanted to reach out to our guests and give you a clear idea of what it’s really like to be in southern Spain in 2020. As we become used to Covid-19 not going away we’re getting better at carrying on with our lives but with safety measures in place. Obviously, those who are at high risk may adopt a more stringent approach to their activities but for the rest of us we’re getting out and about responsibly. While we at The Luxury Villa Collection welcomed guests during 2020 we realise that clarity on what it's like in southern Spain is needed.
What restrictions are there in southern Spain?Shops, restaurants, bars, coffee shops, events, museums and art galleries all have capacity limits to ensure social distancing can be adhered to safely. Businesses all have hand sanitizer at the door so customers can clean their hands upon entering and leaving an establishment. As of 25th October there is a curfew between 22.00hrs and 07.00hrs. Further restrictions have been put in place to limit the movement of people outside their municipalities. Face coverings must be worn at all times if over 6 years old, other than:
- People playing sports do not have to wear a mask whilst engaged in the sporting activity.
- Masks do not need to be worn by customers who are eating, drinking, or smoking.
- In the sea or swimming pool.
- In a designated household sunbathing area on the beach.
Do I have to wear a face covering?The use of face coverings is mandatory for anyone over the age of 6 years old at all times unless during one of the points stated above. This includes in all forms of indoor and outdoor public spaces even if social distancing can be applied. For countries that haven’t adopted this measure, face coverings seem a huge inconvenience but what they have allowed people to do is enjoy their holiday as normal with face coverings and social distancing being the only restrictions.
Are restaurants open?Yes, restaurants and cafes are open with limitations place upon their capacity to ensure tables are spaced out enough so customers can remove their face coverings while drinking or eating. Serving staff and chefs must wear masks at all times.
Are Beaches open in Andalucia?Yes. Once on a beach in your own sunbathing area and in the sea you may remove face coverings. The sunbathing areas must be 2 metres apart and social distancing must be adhered to in the sea. Some beaches have allocated sunbathing areas others are flexible but there are personnel checking that people adhere to social distancing rules while enjoying the beach. No distancing is necessary within your family unit. The norms that local governments put in place over summer 2020 worked to great effect and people could enjoy the beaches of the Costa del Sol, Costa de la Luz and Costa Tropical.
Are tourist sights open?Yes. Restrictions on numbers being allowed into famous landmarks, tourist attractions and galleries has meant some sights have never been so quiet. Achieving the perfect photo of the Alhambra Palace or Real Alcazar de Sevilla without other sightseers is actually possible.
Does a face covering need to be worn while driving?When driving alone or with your household no face covering needs to be worn, but if there are passengers or a driver from a different household then everyone must wear a face covering.
What’s the general mood in southern Spain?Summer 2020 saw fewer parties for sure: the dancing all night in a club and watching the sunrise from a buzzing rooftop bar was and is not on the cards at the moment. However, long lunches beside the sea, visiting theme parks, historic sights, galleries and museums, beach days and outdoor activities are all there being enjoyed. It's really business as usual with the some sensible parameters in place. Some of our guests used our villas with entertainment rooms, cinemas, spas and abundance of space to organise private experiences from chefs to talks to spa treatments and live music. Bringing the wonderful Spanish culture into the safety of their private villa.
What is State of Alarm and What Does it Mean?The phrase state of alarm sounds very official and, well, alarming however, it is really just an administration step for the government and helps regional governments put in place restrictions. This phase allows the government (if necessary) to limit the movement of people at specific locations and times, temporary use private industries (such as private hospitals), limit the use of services and ensure the supply of necessary goods and services. In 2020 during Covid19, the state of alarm has meant limiting the movement of people between different provinces and curfews been implemented (from 23.00-06.00hrs). In no circumstances does state of alarm mean visitors aren't permitted to travel back to their home country.
Air travel – Is it safe?So far there has been little evidence of in-flight transmission of coronavirus, but there have been a couple of examples of transmission early on in the pandemic before more stringent controls were in place. Shaun Fitzgerald, Royal Academy of Engineering visiting professor at the University of Cambridge said, aircraft ventilation systems are unique, the “replacement rate” - the number of times a volume of air equivalent to the volume of the cabin is removed each hour - can be four minutes in a aircraft. Compare this to 20 or 30 minutes in an indoor environment on the ground and it’s very brisk. The air filters themselves on aeroplanes are sophisticated and much more effective than filters found in indoor venues on the ground. Most airlines say face coverings are mandatory, limit food and drink services and don’t allow queuing for the toilet. The airports themselves are being diligent ensuring social distancing is in place as well as temperature controls in some. As from October 2020 if traveling from Europe or the UK:
- You must complete a health control form - which includes a HCF - a negative PCR test within 72hrs of your arrival to Spain.