Black Friday Private Dining Offer

Villa Kenia Estepona luxury villa with chef

Looking for a great deal on Black Friday travel? We’ve got just the thing: if you make a reservation of one of our luxury villas in Spain between the Friday 10th November and Wednesday 20th December 2017 we’ll include a complimentary private chef service for one evening or lunchtime during your stay.

Our expertly trained villa chefs will prepare a meal from a range of menus in the luxury and privacy of your villa. You can choose from delicious Spanish or international menus with wine pairings, or a laidback poolside barbecue, while our team take care of the shopping, cooking, service and even clear away afterwards!

This Black Friday offer covers the chef service for up to 8 adults (12 adults in Platinum Collection villas), and to be eligible bookings must be confirmed with a cleared deposit payment by 20th December*. The cost of any food and drink is to be reimbursed to your chef or concierge manager at the villa and menu choice must be finalised 2 weeks before arrival.

Like the sound of our Black Friday private dining offer? Browse our destinations and book your villa.

(*Offer is only valid for 2018 bookings.)

Best Restaurants for Christmas & New Year’s Eve on the Costa del Sol

Are you dreaming of a white Christmas this winter? No? Then you’re in the right place.

While Costa del Sol temperatures during winter may not reach the heady levels of summer, they’re certainly a whole lot more agreeable than the freezing conditions felt in the UK or anywhere else north of the Iberian peninsular at this time of year. You can typically expect delightful December highs of 24°C and unspeakable lows of 12°C. Not too shabby at all, in other words.

What’s more, from traditional and expertly prepared roast dinners to more exciting and innovative takes on the notion of ‘Christmas lunch’, many of the area’s finest restaurants go all out with their Christmas menus to ensure that the most important part of the festive season remains intact.

To help you make your decision about where to eat on the Costa del Sol over the festive period, here’s our roundup of a few of the best restaurants offering mouth-watering Christmas and New Year’s Eve menus.

Christmas Eve / Christmas Day

Lively Vibe & Great Food at Bibo Marbella

Hanging Plants at Bibo Marbella

Hanging Plants at Bibo Marbella

Bibo’s long been one of our favourite restaurants in Marbella. The interiors are stylish but relaxed, the vibe’s lively and fun, and the food’s superb – as you’d expect from Dani Garcia – without being challenging or overly ‘haute’.

This Christmas there are two lunch menus and three dinner menus from which to choose. These include suitably high-end takes on the humble croqueta along with creamy rice dishes, choice Iberian pork cuts, salmorejo, oxtail brioche, grilled hake on a bed of risotto and slow-cooked beef with wild mushrooms – to name but a few things that had us salivating.

To see the full 2017 Christmas menus at Bibo Marbella, go here.

Details: +34 951 60 70 11; reservas@grupodanigarcia.com; Grupodanigarcia.com.

Spectacular Seafood at Sea Grill – Marbella

sea grill outdoor dining

Outdoor Dining at Sea Grill

Just across the road – well the plaza, technically – from Bibo is Sea Grill. Their 2017 set Christmas Eve menu is a thing of beauty: given the name of the place it’s hardly a surprise that seafood features, with oysters and corvina making up two of the courses. But there’s also something for meat-lovers in the shape of a rather tempting sounding char-grilled wagyu beef dish. (You can see the full menu here.)

Perhaps even more temptingly, though, they’ve got a Christmas brunch menu (from 1pm on Christmas Day) on this year. So you can sit back on their outdoor decking with a glass of Champagne and enjoy a range of traditional festive dishes, from turkey to lobster through to delicious desserts, while you soak up a bit of December sunshine.

Details: tel: +34 952 82 09 00; email: restaurantes@puenteromano.com; Puenteromano.com.

Luxury Dining at Finca Cortesin – Casares

open kitchen finca cortesin

Open Kitchen at Finca Cortesin

If you’re looking to push the boat out this Christmas then look no further than Finca Cortesin. This hotel, complete with its own golf course, is regarded as one of the most luxurious in Spain and often hosts celebrities and royal family members. There are three separate restaurants: El Jardin de Lutz (Spanish/traditional), Kabuki Raw (Japanese) and Don Giovanni (Italian). Each is run by a top, distinguished chef and offers cuisine of the highest standard.

Details: tel: + 34 952 93 78 00; email: reservas@hotelcortesin.com; Fincacortesin.com.

Socialites’ Favourite at El Grill, Marbella Club – Marbella

el grill marbella club

Garden Views at El Grill, Marbella Club

For a very special treat you could take advantage of El Grill’s exquisite Christmas menu options at the incredibly chic Marbella Club. Diners can choose between the restaurant’s beautiful terrace or the tastefully decorated dining room where the grill takes centre stage. Juan Gálvez is El Grill’s award-winning chef, who ensures that all ingredients used are seasonal and locally sourced and that only the very best cuts make the grade.

Details: tel: +34 952 822 211; email: hotel@marbellaclub.com; Marbellaclub.com.

Marbella Club’s full 2017 Christmas Eve and Christmas Day menus can be seen here.

Louche & Laidback at The Playwright – Elviria

the playright elviria

Bar at The Playright

Sleekly decorated and dimly lit, this popular bar and live music venue in Elviria looks, upon arrival, for all the world like a place to order a couple of dirty martinis and settle in for the night at one of the banquettes.

But it also does a very nice line in food, too – as their Christmas menu more than proves. There are quite a few dishes on offer this festive season that caught our fish-loving eye: Ceviche of tuna and seabass? Seafood chowder? Tempura of lemon sole? Salmon gravadlax rolls? Yep. That’ll do nicely.

Details: tel. +34 952 83 08 68; email: info@theplaywrightmarbella.com; Theplaywrightmarbella.com.

To see The Playwright’s full Christmas menu, go here.

New Year’s Eve

Party the Night Away at La Sala – Puerto Banus

Dining Space at La Sala

Dining Space at La Sala

La Sala in Puerto Banus brings you the ultimate buzzy dining experience on the Costa whatever the time of year. Their rear terrace is the ideal place from which to kick off festive proceedings in style, before moving on to one of their Christmas or New Year’s Eve menus featuring a range of international and Spanish classics. This year two different live music acts will be performing to ring in 2018.

You can see this year’s full Christmas and NYE menus here.

Details: tel: +34 952 81 41 45; email: reservations@lasalabanus.com; Lasalabanus.com.

Friendly & Relaxed at Sloanes Bistro – Elviria

A Festively Decorated Sloanes Bistro

A Festively Decorated Sloanes Bistro

As well as their set Christmas Eve/Day menus, Sloanes have a very inviting New Year’s Eve gala dinner planned for this year. The five-course menu features the rather indulgent likes of cod au gratin, veal and foie gras with canapes to start, accompanied by the dulcet tones of owner-cum-resident singer, Alex, and a glass of Cava to toast the new year.

You can see their full Christmas and New Year’s Eve menus for 2017 here.

Details: tel: +34 952 835 560; email: sloanesbistro@gmail.com; Sloanesbistro.com.

Dinner & Dancing at El Gran Gatsby – Puerto Banus

gran gatsby view

View of the Port from El Gran Gatsby

El Gran Gatsby is one of those places that’s set up to cater for a proper ‘nose to tail’ night out. You start with cocktails and views of the boats bobbing in the harbour, before moving onto dinner, and a food offering that’s really strong without being too fussy or fancy; then, afterwards you can sidle through to the terrace-lounge bar for well-mixed cocktails and decent DJ sets.

And never more is that the case than during the festive season. This year they’ve really got things sorted for New Year. You’re welcomed with a glass of Champagne on arrival, before being treated to a luxurious set menu of caviar, black cod, prawns, crayfish and Wagyu beef, all of which is paired with wines from their very fine list, followed by entry to the bar and a long night of partying. All in all, it’s all set to make for a very happy New Year.

To see here El Gran Gatsby’s full NYE menu, click here.

Details: tel: +34 951 77 87 97; email: reservations@elgrangatsby.com; Elgrangatsby.com.

To take the hassle out of making your festive restaurant reservations, our expert local concierge team will be happy to assist when you stay in one of our villas. Find out more about our concierge.

Private Chef & Christmas Menu 2017

Chef Curro at Villa El Chorrito

Chef Curro at Villa El Chorrito

Alternatively, if you just fancy a Christmas holed up in your luxury getaway, we would be thrilled to provide you and your family with a private chef. They will take care of the shopping, cooking and the clearing away, leaving you to enjoy family time together. Take a look at the excellent Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and NYE menus that our chefs have created for this season, which can be downloaded here.

Can’t face another year of endless cooking and washing up for the whole family? Thinking of an indulgent Christmas 2017 in southern Spain instead? Have a look at a few of our available Christmas break villas.

Seven of the Best Ronda Restaurants & Tapas Bars

While Ronda may not a big town, it’s certainly a town that’s big on flavours. From fine dining to neighbourhood tapas bars, some of the finest eating and drinking in Andalucia can be found in amongst our pick of the best restaurants in Ronda.

Tragata

Interiors of Restaurante Tragata

Tragata’s been one of Ronda’s top restaurants since it opened what seems like yonks ago – which is hardly surprising given that owner/chef Benito Gomez cut his teeth in Ferran Adria’s La Alqueria at Hacienda Benazuza, as well as the kitchens of Jean Luc Figueras and Dani Garcia.

And the food? Asia meets Andalucia in a nutshell, with squid sandwiches, Russian salad and eggs ‘a la flamenca’, all making an appearance alongside the likes of prawn tempura, beef tataki and noodles and Thai-style seabass. Not only is it high quality fare, but it also makes for a nice change from the more traditional dishes you tend to find on your average southern Spanish menu.

(We’ve been hearing great things about his newer, fine dining restaurant, Bardal – and as soon as we’ve had a chance to eat there, we’ll let you know what it’s like.)

Address: Calle Nueva 4, 29400 Ronda; Tel. 952 87 72 09; Tragata.com.

Restaurante Azahar

Terrace at Azahar Restaurant

One of the best fine dining options in town, Azahar is the Andalucian outpost of Eboca Restaurants, an extensive network of top-class eateries that stretches from Barcelona to Ibiza via the Dominican Republic. The restaurant of the Hotel Catalonia Reina Victoria, as you’d expect from such a serious set-up – and the fairly elevated price tag – the emphasis is on high-end ingredients beautifully put together into dishes that are as elegant as they are delicious.

Mouth-watering meat dishes include bull’s tail, kid slowly oven-cooked to crispy perfection and served with a cherry jus and vegetable tempura, and a suckling pig that can even (just about) vie with the jaw-dropping views as the most inviting part of the restaurant.

Address: Calle Jerez 25, Ronda 29400; Tel. 952 87 12 40; Restauranteazahar.com.

Restaurante Bodega San Francisco

Bodega San Francisco terrace

No matter what your gastronomic ambitions are, you can’t spend more than a few days in Andalucia and not set foot in a typical spit and sawdust joint. While there are undoubtedly rougher round the edges places to eat where you’d still expect an excellent bite to eat, Bodega San Francisco more than fulfils this brief.

All of the basic ingredients are in place, from the beams and polished terracotta floors to the legs of ham hanging above the lovely gleaming wooden bar. Fancy the food is not, but whether it’s green peppers ‘al padron’ (fried, salted and blistered to within an inch of their greasy lives) to fried fish, spicy prawns, or snails when they’re in season, it’s a quintessentially Andalucian experience.

In the evenings, the terrace area – out on a square dotted with noisy, bird-filled plane trees (pictured) – is one of the most inviting spots in town for a drink and a light bite.

Address: Plaza Ruedo Alameda 32, 29400 Ronda; Tel. 952 87 81 62; Bodegasanfrancisco.com.

Abades Ronda Restaurante

Abades Restaurant in Ronda

Another restaurant that falls firmly into the category marked ‘special’ is Abades Ronda. Standout dishes range from the sublime – think foie with local goat’s cheese and caramelised apple and delightfully delicate turbot on a bed of baby vegetables – to the frankly ridiculously delicious, a sirloin of Iberico pork that, in our opinion, would be worth trying to scale the gorge for.

And speaking of the gorge… it’s right there, like an extra dining companion, opening out on to views that stretch away across the sun-dappled fields and olive groves to the misty Serrania de Ronda in the distance. Mesmerising.

Address: Paseo Blas Infante, 1, 29400 Ronda; Tel. 952 87 13 67; Abadesronda.com.

Entre Vinos

Entrevinos Restaurant in Ronda

First the downsides: Entre Vinos is on a rather humdrum residential street out to the far north of the old town. The positives more than outweigh its slightly uninspiring location, however: it’s an inviting little neighbourhood wine bar with a lively atmosphere and a cracking selection of local Ronda wines.

Elsewhere in the positives column, food-wise all the classics are here from jamon, morcilla, presa and garlicky mushrooms to some fine cheeses and pates. Our top tip, though, has to be the squid cooked in its own ink and served with noodles.

Address: Calle Pozo 2, 29400 Ronda; Tel. 658 58 29 76; Facebook page.

Restaurante Almocabar

Tucked away at the southernmost end of Ronda’s historic centre, this charming little neighbourhood tapas bar and restaurant is very much one for all seasons. On chilly winter nights, great hearty plates of oven-cooked lamb and partridge stew are served up in the cosy interior.

In the summer, by contrast, the terrace is a great spot for sitting out in the square over a cool gazpacho or one of their fine salads and admiring the swooping swallows against a backdrop of the Moorish Puerta de Almocabar gate.

Address: Plaza Ruedo Alameda, 5, 29400 Ronda; Tel. 952 87 59 77; Facebook page.

Taberna Tropicana

Tropicana Restaurant in Ronda

There’s much more to Tropicana than meets the eye. A modern looking tapas joint on the corner of a typically Spanish block of flats way off the tourist trail to the north of the town, as seriously good dish after dish comes out of the kitchen you soon realise that you’ve stumbled into one of the best tapas bars in Ronda.

What’s good? On a fairly extensive and varied menu, it’s the meat that really stands out. The crisped oxtail tapas is a great way to kick things off, while the house speciality gourmet burgers are vast towers of juicy meat. It’s the barbecued entrecote and T-bone steaks that claim the prize, though – they’re things of rare beauty, crisscrossed with marbling, lightly charred on the outside and succulent and tender within.

Oh, and they serve a very mean gin and tonic, too.

Address: Avenida Malaga & Calle Acinipo, s/n, 29400 Ronda; Tel. 952 87 89 85; Tabernatropicana.com.

Appetite whetted by our pick of the best Ronda restaurants? For more things to do in this stunning town, check out our guide to Ronda in a day.

Late Summer Sun Villas

Summer, sadly, is fast coming to an end. And whether it’s been a long, sun-kissed affair or something of a damp squib (yes, UK – we’re looking at you), one last blast of sun is almost certainly needed.

In our (not completely humble) opinion, Spain is hands down the best place for a holiday in September. Which is precisely why we’ve put this pick of late summer sun villas together – to help you stretch out in the September and October sun before the long, cold winter sets in.

Villa Malibu

Villa Malibu pool area

Number of bedrooms: 6

Autumn availability:

02/09/2017 to 09/09/2017 price: £10,350

07/10/2017 to 14/10/2017 price: £7,475

21/10/2017 to 28/10/2017 Half-term week: £7,475

Villa Malibu is a spacious designer villa in one of Marbella’s most privileged beachside suburbs, with a cinema room, kids’ playground, outdoor kitchen and whirlpool. Located 600m from the beach in Los Monteros to the east of Marbella, this 6 bedroom villa is perfect for families and sleeps 12 (with staff quarters on request). For more information, see here.

Villa Solise

Lap pool at Villa Solise, Marbella

Number of bedrooms: 4

Autumn availability:

02/09/2017 to 09/09/2017 price: £4,950

07/10/2017 to 14/10/2017 price: £4,950

14/10/2017 to 21/10/2017 price: £4,950

Designed by its Norwegian owners and having been featured on TV and in various design magazines, Villa Solise, in Nagueles/Sierra Blanca near the Golden Mile, is a sleek contemporary villa with a very hip feel. Its 4 bedrooms sleep 8, although it can also accommodate 2 more people. Find out more about Villa Solise.

Villa El Chorrito

Beautiful pool and gardens in Marbella

Number of bedrooms: 5

Autumn availability:

02/09/2017 to 09/09/2017 price: £7,250

14/10/2017 to 21/10/2017 price: £5,400

21/10/2017 to 28/10/2017 Half-term week: £5,400

Villa El Chorrito is a luxury 5/6 bedroom Spanish ‘cortijo’ located in an exclusive private setting in Sotogrande. Built around a terracotta-floored orange tree-filled courtyard with stylish classical interiors, it’s a wonderful setting for a taste of real Spain. Its 5 bedrooms sleep 10-12 people, plus a staff apartment on request. More on Villa El Chorrito.

Hacienda de Madroñal 2

Andalucian Patio in Luxury Villa

Number of bedrooms: 7

Autumn availability:

02/09/2017 to 09/09/2017 price: £9,400

07/10/2017 to 14/10/2017 price: £4,350

21/10/2017 to 28/10/2017 Half-term week: £4,350

Hacienda Madroñal 2 is a fine luxury estate once owned by a Hollywood actress and a rock star, located in the beautiful El Madroñal. Located to the north of Puerto Banus with stunning views of the coast, it has 7 bedrooms sleeping 13 and is fully staffed. See more information on Hacienda Madroñal 2.

The Madroñal Collection, Villa 1

Luxury villa in Marbella with lagoon pool

Number of bedrooms: 7

Autumn availability:

02/09/2017 to 09/09/2017 price: £12,289

Madroñal Collection Villa 1 is one of three spacious sister properties in a stunning multi-million pound setting. Located to the north of Puerto Banus and San Pedro, this villa has 7 bedrooms sleeping 14+ and is a staffed property. Find out more.

Madroñal Collection Villa 2

Views and lagoon pool in Marbella

Number of bedrooms: 7

Autumn availability:

07/10/2017 to 14/10/2017 price: £13,121

Madroñal Collection Villa 2 is one of three spacious sister properties in the stunning multi-million pound Madroñal Collection located to the north of Puerto Banus. Villa 2 has 7 bedrooms sleeping 18, and comes complete with a heated indoor pool, Jacuzzi and sauna, as well as staff. Visit Madroñal Villa 2 page.

Madroñal Collection Villa 3

Madronal Villa 3 - Luxury Villa in Marbella

Number of bedrooms: 7

Autumn availability:

07/10/2017 to 14/10/2017 price: £12,004

Madroñal Collection Villa 3 is one of three spacious sister properties in this stunning multi-million pound Madroñal Collection, located to the north of Puerto Banus. It comes complete with Hollywood cinema, sauna, Jacuzzi and nightclub. It has 6/7 bedrooms sleeping 16+ and is a staffed property. Find out more.

Villa Roma

Villa Roma - Luxury Villa in Los Flamingos

Number of bedrooms: 5

Autumn availability:

02/09/2017 to 09/09/2017 price: £7,500

07/10/2017 to 14/10/2017 price: £5,000

14/10/2017 to 21/10/2017 price: £5,000

Villa Roma is a luxurious family villa with elegant interiors and home cinema. It is surrounded by a rolling green landscape close to a golf course and luxury hotel offering restaurant, spa and shop. Located in Los Flamingos to the west of Puerto Banus/San Pedro it sleeps 10 adults and 2 children. Book Villa Roma.

Los Flamingos Villa 1

Los-Flamingos-1

Number of bedrooms: 10

Autumn availability:

02/09/2017 to 09/09/2017 price: £14,000

Los Flamingos Villa 1 is a spacious 10 bedroom villa with magnificent sea views and a luxurious contemporary finish. This modern villa overlooks the prestigious Los Flamingos resort, just west of Puerto Banus and San Pedro, and offers the ideal setting for small celebrations and family holidays with its 10 bedrooms sleeping 20+. For more information, click here.

Casita Bahia

Villa in Marbella pool area

Number of bedrooms: 4

Autumn availability:

02/09/2017 to 09/09/2017 price: £3,250

07/10/2017 to 14/10/2017 price: £2,500

14/10/2017 to 21/10/2017 price: £2,500

Casita Bahia is a perfectly presented beachside pad just east of Marbella. Light and airy, it has free Wifi, a private whirlpool, and is both ideal for a small family or a cosy couples getaway. It comfortably sleeps 6 adults and 2 children. Book Casita Bahia now.

Villa DaVinci

Luxury villa in Marbella Da Vinci's grounds

Number of bedrooms: 6

Autumn availability:

02/09/2017 to 09/09/2017 price: £7,000

Villa DaVinci is a classical luxury family villa with private pool, maid service and concierge, located in the heart of the Golden Mile near the Marbella Club and Puente Romano hotels. It has 6 bedrooms sleeping 12+ and can accommodate a staff bedroom on request. Reserve Villa DaVinci now.

Villa Monterey

Beautiful Marbella Villa for Rent

Number of bedrooms: 6

Autumn availability:

02/09/2017 to 09/09/2017 price: £18,000

07/10/2017 to 14/10/2017 price: £8,970

14/10/2017 to 21/10/2017 price: £8,970

21/10/2017 to 28/10/2017 Half-term week: £8,970

Villa Monterey is a spectacular contemporary-style 6 bedroom villa, with light-filled interiors and expansive outdoor living space. Up to 14 people can enjoy the 3 lounges, 2 kitchens, a cinema-lounge, summer dining room, and heated pool. It’s located in La Cerquilla, Nueva Andalucia, near Puerto Banus. Book your family autumn sun break in this villa, here.

Villa Las Artes

Beach side Villa in Marbella with Pool

Number of bedrooms: 5

Autumn availability:

02/09/2017 to 09/09/2017 price: £40,000 (this is a 20% discount during September for The Luxury Villa Collection guests)

14/10/2017 to 21/10/2017 price: £34,000

Villa Las Artes is one of the most impeccable beachside villas in Spain, with a private indoor pool, home spa, gym, cinema, maid service and concierge, located right on the beach in Los Monteros. Its 5 bedrooms sleep 10, although there’s also a staff room on request. Click here for more information on Villa Las Artes.

Villa Vivaldi

Villa with Pool and Views in Marbella

Number of bedrooms: 8

Autumn availability:

02/09/2017 to 09/09/2017 price: £23,500

14/10/2017 to 21/10/2017 price: £18,000

Serenely removed from the hustle of Puerto Banus in exclusive La Zagaleta, this classical villa blends fine art, elegant style and refined luxuries with incomparable Mediterranean vistas. With 7 bedrooms in the main villa plus a guest apartment, it sleeps 15 in total. Book Villa Vivaldi here.

Villa Kynthia

Marbella Villa with Pool Area

Number of bedrooms: 6

Autumn availability:

02/09/2017 to 09/09/2017 price: £6,900

07/10/2017 to 14/10/2017 price: £6,900

14/10/2017 to 21/10/2017 price: £6,900

Villa Kynthia is a spacious and welcoming luxury family villa with games room, full time housekeeper and infinity pool. Located in El Paraiso between San Pedro and Estepona, it boasts magnificent views towards the mountains, the Mediterranean sea, Gibraltar and the coast of North Africa. Perfect for families, this villa has 6 bedrooms, sleeps 14 and is staffed. Find out more.

Villa Cezanne

Infinity Pool at Villa Cezanne

Number of bedrooms: 4

Autumn availability:

02/09/2017 to 09/09/2017 price: £8,000

14/10/2017 to 21/10/2017 price: £7,000

An impeccable, brand new designer villa in the most stunning setting above Marbella, it’s been lovingly designed by the owners to capture the very best of the views with vast picture windows and no-expense-spared interiors. It’s ideal for families and comes complete with 4 bedrooms, 3 living rooms, a games room, Hammam and infinity pool. It comfortably sleeps 8 adults and 3 children. For more information on Villa Cezanne, see here.

Villa Blanco

Contemporary Villa with Pool

Number of bedrooms: 4

Autumn availability:

02/09/2017 to 09/09/2017 price: £4,500

07/10/2017 to 14/10/2017 price: £2,700

14/10/2017 to 21/10/2017 price: £2,700

Villa Blanco is a cool contemporary family villa with a delightfully modern finish within easy walking distance of the beach, shops and restaurants. Located in Atalaya Isdabe near San Pedro de Alcantara, its 4 bedrooms sleep a total of 10 people. For more information on Villa Blanco, see our page.

Villa Anja

Villa Anja - Luxury Villa in Marbella

Number of bedrooms: 7

Autumn availability:

02/09/2017 to 09/09/2017 price: £9,560

14/10/2017 to 21/10/2017 price: £6,573

Villa Anja is a fresh and modern Scandinavian-styled family villa close to the beaches of East Marbella. With 7 bedrooms, a family games lounge and a complete indoor spa (heated pool, Jacuzzi, sauna), there’s ample space for 14 adults and 2 children. For more details see here.

Villa Amrita

Modern Infinity Pool at Villa Amrita in Marbella

Number of bedrooms: 7

Autumn availability:

02/09/2017 to 09/09/2017 price: £30,000

Villa Amrita is an opulent and spacious luxury villa with spectacular views across the whole of Marbella and out to Africa. This one-of-a-kind-property offers vast living spaces, an infinity pool, garden bar, plush cinema and a gentleman’s lounge. It sleeps 10 (excluding staff) with additional children’s beds on request. Book Villa Amrita now.

Villa Azure

Villa Azure - Luxury Villa in La Zagaleta

Number of bedrooms: 6

Autumn availability:

14/10/2017 to 21/10/2017 price: £17,500

Villa Azure is a stylish contemporary 5/6 bedroom luxury villa to rent in La Zagaleta with private concierge, indoor spa, cinema and panoramic views above Marbella. Book this incredible villa here.

Villa Kalinda

Villa Kalinda - Luxury Villa in Las Chapas, Marbella

Number of bedrooms: 5

Autumn availability:

07/10/2017 to 14/10/2017 price: £3,750

14/10/2017 to 21/10/2017 price: £3,750

Villa Kalinda is an architectural gem with a blend of Andalusian style and Moroccan flair. A 5 bedroom fun-packed villa with ample space for a family of 10 located in upmarket Hacienda Las Chapas, you can enjoy sea views, a sauna and hot tub, games room and TV lounge. Book this stunning villa here.

Villa Picasso

Villa Picasso - Luxury Villa in West Marbella

Number of bedrooms: 5

Autumn availability:

07/10/2017 to 14/10/2017 price: £4,000

14/10/2017 to 21/10/2017 price: £4,000

From the Japanese garden to the infinity pool, magnificent sea views and countless chic, contemporary touches, this 5-bedroom designer villa has it all. Located in luxurious Los Flamingos, West Marbella, its 5 bedrooms sleep a maximum of 8 adults plus 2 older children. Secure your dates at Villa Picasso here.

The Retreat

The Retreat - Luxury Villa in Ronda

Number of bedrooms: 8

Autumn availability:

14/10/2017 to 21/10/2017 price: £6,400

A stylish Spanish cortijo where even endless panoramas and scenic countryside cannot eclipse the  luxury amenities, character antiques and five-star service. Its 6 bedrooms – plus a casita – sleep a total of 16. Feel like escaping here? Book The Retreat.

Cortijo El Mirador

Cortijo El MIirador - Luxury Villa in Malaga

Number of bedrooms: 4

Autumn availability:

07/10/2017 to 14/10/2017 price: £8,500

14/10/2017 to 21/10/2017 price: £8,500

21/10/2017 to 28/10/2017 Half-term week: £8,500

Located in La Axarquia near Lake Vinuela, east of Malaga, Cortijo el Mirador is one of Malaga’s finest rural luxury villas with personal hotel service, including concierge and a Michelin-grade chef. Its 4 bedrooms sleep 8 with additional accommodation at El Mirador Lodge next door. See here for more details.

El Mirador Lodge

El Mirador Lodge - Luxury Villa in Malaga

Number of bedrooms: 3

Autumn availability:

07/10/2017 to 14/10/2017 price: £6,200

14/10/2017 to 21/10/2017 price: £6,200

21/10/2017 to 28/10/2017 Half-term week: £6,200

Featured in The Telegraph’s 10 Best European Villas for 2016, El Mirador Lodge is an old-world Spanish hunting lodge with a modern contemporary finish. Rented as a fully catered private hotel with chef and concierge, the 3 bedrooms sleep 6, plus extra accommodation in sister villa Cortijo Mirador. Click here for more information.

El Mirador Estate

El Mirador Estate - Luxury Villa in Malaga

Number of bedrooms: 7

Autumn availability:

14/10/2017 to 21/10/2017 price: £14,700

21/10/2017 to 28/10/2017 half-term week: £14,700

El Mirador Estate is one of Malaga’s finest luxury retreats in a beautiful hilltop setting, with 7 bedrooms and personal hotel service, including a concierge and a Michelin-grade chef. Find out more here.

Villa Bali

Villa Bali - Luxury Villa in Marbella

Number of bedrooms: 10

Autumn availability:

21/10/2017 to 28/10/2017 price: £18,700

14/10/2017 to 21/10/2017 price: £18,700

Villa Bali Marbella is a luxury 10 bedroom property for exclusive use as a personal boutique hotel, with breakfast service, private concierge and daily maid. Located in the Sierra Blanca area close to the Golden Mile, 10 bedrooms/suites sleep up to 20 adults plus 8 children. Book Villa Bali here.

Villa Marco

Villa Marco - Luxury Villa in Marbella

Number of bedrooms: 6

Autumn availability:

07/10/2017 to 14/10/2017 price: £3,900

14/10/2017 to 21/10/2017 price: £3,900

21/10/2017 to 28/10/2017 Half-term week: £3,900

Villa Marco is a classically designed family villa with an exotic touch and fabulous view, from the mountains to the sea and beyond. Located in Los Flamingos to the west of Puerto Banus and San Pedro, it has 6 bedrooms sleeping 10-12 with housekeeping and a games room. For more information click here.

Hacienda El Madroñal

Luxury Villa in San Pedro

Number of bedrooms: 10

Autumn availability:

14/10/2017 to 21/10/2017 price: £6,000

21/10/2017 to 28/10/2017 Half-term week: £6,000

Hacienda El Madroñal is a spacious country property located in the exclusive and beautiful Madroñal Estate, surrounded by natural landscapes. Located in El Madroñal, 10 minutes north of Puerto Banus and San Pedro this gorgeous property has 10 bedrooms sleeping 20 and is fully staffed. Find out more.

Villa Artea

Villa Artea - Luxury Villa in Sotogrande

Number of bedrooms: 7

Autumn availability:

07/10/2017 to 14/10/2017 price: £2,850

A 6/7 bedroom Ibiza-style home of high design and sophisticated style, Villa Artea in Sotogrande has enough space for a large family of 14 and can accommodate special events with up to 80 guests. For more information and availability, click here.

Villa Verdi

Villa Verdi - Luxury Villa in La Zagaleta

Number of bedrooms: 5

Autumn availability:

07/10/2017 to 14/10/2017 price: £12,850

14/10/2017 to 21/10/2017 price: £12,850

Villa Verdi is a pristine and modern family home within a spectacular natural setting in La Zagaleta, one of the most privileged private estates in Spain. This contemporary villa blends top of the range conveniences with incomparable design, and its 5 bedrooms sleep 10 plus 2 children. Book Villa Verdi.

Autumn Temperatures in Southern Spain

September and October are some of our favourite months in Spain as everything breathes a sigh of relief that the punishing heat of August is over. During autumn the September and October sun is bright and warm, making it comfortable for sightseeing, playing sport or sunbathing all day. It really is one of the best times to holiday in Spain with sea temperatures during autumn around 21°C – perfect to cool the blood slightly during an afternoon of lazing out in the sun.

September Sun

Temperatures during September in southern Spain average 22°C with clear blue skies. The start of the month often sees somewhere in the region of 29°C, and for the end of September 26°C is more the norm.

October Sun

When October hits the blanket blue skies are still present. October in southern Spain sees highs at midday of 22°C and lows of 14°C during the night.

If you like the idea of extending your summer or getting some autumn sun there are few better places than Malaga province in Spain. We hope this list of the luxury villas we have available for September and October helps you decide where you’d like to spend your autumn sunny break. If there’s anything you need to know, though, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.

The Ultimate Guide To Marbella Parties

Want to tick off all the best parties around the globe? Serious clubbers know to hit Las Vegas, Miami, Ibiza and the legendary club nights in Marbella. This glamorous town is the last word in sophisticated clubbing, an adult playground where party boats steam off into blazing sunshine, beautiful people drink cocktails on day beds and world-class artists pump music into the small hours.

Think miles of silky sand dotted with buzzing bars and beach clubs, where cocktail quaffing is actively encouraged, comperes dare you to spray as much Champagne as you drink, and raucous closing parties round off the clubbing season. There’s no party like a Marbella party – it’s just a matter of knowing where to go and when. Going out in Marbella is about relaxing and let your hair down, so we’ve done the hard work for you – read up, dress to impress and head out into the sunshine…

Champagne in ice bucket Marbella


Unmissable Club Nights and Parties

There’s so much to do, it can be hard to choose where to party in Marbella. Allow us to give you an overview of the huge events you’d be devastated to miss, from artist residencies to weekly ladies days via the biggest celebrity appearances.


Aqwa Mist

Aqwa Mist Marbella Nightclub Booths

One of the best clubs in Marbella, Aqwa Mist sits directly under La Sala bar. It’s open daily from 1am until dawn, with an unrivalled sound system and 30ft waterfall. Book ahead if you can – it has a large VIP area, complete with a private hot tub.

DON’T MISS:

  • Charlie Sloth – Friday 4th August 2017

Pirate radio DJ turned BBC Radio1Extra producer jets over from North London to spin grime, dancehall and R ‘n’ B.

  • Kid Ink – Friday 14th August

Brian Todd Collin AKA Kid Ink brings his unique brand of hip hop all the way from LA.

  • Craig David presents TS5 – Friday 25th August 2017

The beloved multi-platinum rapper has enjoyed the most talked about chart resurgence of the year. Hear his latest tunes and old school classics for one night only at Aqwa Mist.


Mirage

Mirage Nightclub Marbella

Complete with a Funktion One audio system, cutting edge laser show and floor to ceiling video screens, Marbella’s newest club goes all out on the tech decor – and the celeb bookings.

DON’T MISS:

  • Lil’ Wayne – Saturday 5th August 2017

The world-renowned rapper will no doubt perform hits like ‘Lollipop’ to the biggest crowd Mirage has ever seen.

  • Paris Hilton DJ set – Saturday 12th August

The reality star turned disc jockey brings her Gold Rush tour to Marbella – That’s hot!

  • Jason Derulo – Thursday 24th August

Following an immense Marbella show in 2015, the ‘Ridin Solo’ singer performs all his biggest hits.


Tibu

Nightclub Bar at Tibu in Puerto Banus

Tibu is sleek and upmarket, with a spacious open-air terrace if you need a breather. Start the week with Tropicana Mondays, Marbella’s biggest industry night, or head to Cirque Marbella on Wednesdays – prepare to get glitter bombed.

DON’T MISS:

  • Y Not Ladies Night – every Thursday

The only ladies night in Marbella offers a free cocktail on arrival, live music and nostalgic 90s garage. Don’t forget your heels.

  • Sintillate VIP Terrace Party – every Saturday

Celebrate the weekend with a VIP table – pop bottles from 11pm.


Pangea

Pangea Nightclub Marbella

Sintillate parties run from Thursday to Sunday night at Pangea, with amazing views of the harbour bursting with chic super yachts.

DON’T MISS:

  • OC Champagne Party Afterparty – Sunday 27th August 2017

Expect eye-popping entertainment and the most extravagant Champagne sprays.


Olivia Valere

Olivia Valere Cabaret Performer

Open every night of the week from 9pm to 7am, OV is housed in a Moorish castle, and the setting is nothing short of breath-taking. The newly attached pool club Nao promises to keep things wet ’n’ wild.

DON’T MISS:

  • Bob Sinclair – Sunday 6th August 2017

Put simply: We’re gonna rock this party, dance everybody!

DJ performing at Olivia Valere in Marbella


Boat Parties

Marbella boat parties are nothing short of wild. Turn up the tempo on dreamy summer days with beautiful people, flowing drinks, glittering waters and a gentle breeze, then party into the night back on dry land. The world’s best DJs provide the soundtrack to a day of debauchery, where you’ll find a fully stocked bar and an electric atmosphere. The best parties in Marbella happen on water, and they’re perfect for special occasions – we recommend planning one for a birthday, hen party and stag do you’ll never forget (but struggle to remember).

DON’T MISS:

  • Candypants – every Saturday until 9th September 2017

Simply the best boat parties Marbella has to offer, Candypants’ legendary booze cruises are unrivalled. Let the Candygirls host you for a daytime drinking session like no other, checking in at Babilonia at Puerto Banus from 1.30pm and coming in to shore at 4.30pm. Making waves in destinations across Europe and now Dubai, the home of Candypants will always be Marbella. Finishing up this early leaves you plenty of time to get polished for round two that evening – going out in Marbella doesn’t stop until you want it to.


Pool Parties

For the full experience, you can’t head home without hitting a Marbella pool party. Pack your glitziest swimsuit and highest wedges because this is your moment to get noticed (‘no carbs before Marbs’ suddenly makes a lot of sense – there’s a lot of skin on show). A sea of bronzed bodies and brunch platters, days start off pretty chilled as party-goers snooze off hangovers on squidgy beds in the sun. As the heat turns up, so does the bass – the weather forecast says Champagne showers – and when it rains, it pours.

nikki beach marbella aerial

Nikki Beach

Open every day from 10am, head straight here for the ultimate pool party Marbella style. Every Tuesday is Ladies Day, so get in touch to secure your free day bed.

DON’T MISS:

  •  H2Oh! – 19th August 2017

Think bright swimsuits in tropical prints – this is THE place to get that snap of you lounging in a flamingo pool float, drink in hand.

  • Anchors & Sailors – 23rd August 2017

Anchors away! Don your captain’s hat for an adventure on the high seas. 


Sisu Boutique Hotel

Sisu Boutique Hotel Pool Party Marbella

Sisu’s intimate, must-book pool parties start at 11.30am right through to sunset at 7.30pm. Events vary from Black Diamond to Laurent Perrier, and the music is soulful house with live accompaniment.

DON’T MISS:

  • Disturbing Marbella With Giggs – Saturday 5th August 2017

A live performance from London rapper Giggs, whose career hit new levels in 2017.

  • Disturbing Marbella With Tinie Tempah & DJ Charlesy – Saturday 19th August

Following hugely successful stints at Ushuaia Hotel and Disturbing Dubai at White Nightclub, Tinie’s coming to party – and he’s bringing friends.


The Secret Villa

As the name might suggest, this super exclusive party takes place in a secret location revealed when the time is right.

DON’T MISS:

  • Super Brunch & Secret Pool Party – every Saturday until 23rd September 2017

From 12-3pm enjoy an open bar and canapés, before DJs turn up the heat for a scorching party until sunset.


Ocean Club

Ocean Club Marbella DJ pool party

The most (in)famous party in Marbella for a reason, this is where Champagne parties were born – the original hub of poolside excess. Order a platter of sushi to line your stomach before cocktails, cocktails and more cocktails.

 DON’T MISS:

  • Tom Novu – Tube & Berger – 10th August 2017

Ocean Club Marbs celebrates its 10th anniversary the only way it knows how – you don’t want to miss this.

  • Bank Holiday Champagne Party – 27th August 2017

Get ready to get soaked.


Closing Parties

Read on for the hottest Marbella closing parties 2017 has to offer. Watch an incredible season come to climax at one of these outrageous celebrations, where dancers, flame throwers, acrobats and fireworks will compete for your attention – not to mention thumping beats and beautiful people throwing themselves into one last Marbella fiesta.

DON’T MISS:

Ocean Club

  • Black & Gold Closing Party – 30th September 2017

Closing parties in Marbella are a big deal, and Ocean Club’s firework display is seriously impressive. Don your slickest black outfit with accents of gold (or vice versa, if you really want to turn heads) and get ready to shine until sunset. As darkness falls, the venue goes from laid-back daytime hangout to a downright decadent evening joint.


Nikki Beach

Nikki Beach Marbella Red closing party

  • Red Party – Party 1st October 2017

One of the biggest closing parties Marbella can offer, expect glamorous guests as far as the eye can see (and a few famous faces, too) – all dressed strictly in red, of course.

To get yourself on the guestlist, book the best table and receive VIP treatment on arrival, contact our concierge

Need some retail therapy after all that partying? See our guide to the best shopping spots in Marbella.

The Definitive Gourmet Foodie’s Guide to Malaga

It wasn’t so long ago that eating out in Malaga consisted of little more than a plate of olives, a slice of Spanish tortilla and a skewer of grilled sardines. While a lot of bars did (and do) this very well, you would hardly describe it as gourmet or any different from the rest of Spain.

But roll in some major refurbs in the city centre and big-name arrivals on the art scene, and the Malaga foodie scene ups its game. And we’re talking several notches here – the city now competes with Barcelona and Madrid when it comes to gourmet experiences.

From the historic central market and traditional corner shops to high-end wineries and restaurants, Malaga offers fine local produce to try and buy. And of course, take home with you to savour long after your holiday (and tide you over until your next one). Read our definitive gourmet guide to Malaga to discover where to go to find your foodie heaven.

Everything under the Malaga sun

Atarazanas Market

Atarazanas Food Market in Malaga

Feast your senses (and that’s all five) with a visit to Atarazanas Market in the centre of Malaga. The dozens of stalls literally groan with local produce, harvested from the fertile valleys and hills in the province or caught the night before in the Mediterranean. Expect sensory overload as you wander through the aisles taking in one of the best foodie sights in southern Spain.

Food Market in Malaga - Atarazanas

Seasonal is key to the best foodie experiences and the choice at Atarazanas Market moves in time with nature’s calendar. Strawberries and asparagus come into their own in the spring, while the summer gives way to cherries and myriad varieties of tomatoes. Autumn welcomes a great selection of tropical fruit, grown in the Axarquía region of Malaga – custard apples, mangos and of course, grapes, that essential ingredient for Malaga wine. Winter’s just as colourful as it’s the season for Malaga carrots (don’t let the bright purple put you off for one second) and citrus fruits – in this case, just the colours you’d expect!

Year-round appearances include cold cuts and cheeses (try the Payayo goat’s cheese); olives galore – don’t miss the olives from Álora, fat, juicy bites laced with thyme, fennel and garlic, and the only olives in Spain with a guarantee of origin label; dried fruits and nuts to satisfy even the most discerning nibblers; plus several stalls selling Spanish store cupboard staples such as saffron for that Sunday paella and sugar cane honey for dribbling on slices of fried aubergine.

Fish Monger at Food Market in Malaga

Yes, our mouths are watering too but the good news is that you can try before you buy at many stalls. Some do a plate of local cheeses and cold cuts with a glass of Malaga wine. If you fancy trying the fish and seafood, head for one of the bars at the entrances for a tapa or ten.

Address: Calle Atarazanas. Open: Mon to Sat 9am to 3pm.

Gourmet shopping

Goats Cheese from Malaga

Despite the huge changes in Malaga, the city still has a traditional feel and has kept several of small specialist shops. A trip to one of these grocer’s shops not only opens the door to the best quality at often competitive prices, but takes you back to the days when your mother used to ask you to pop out to the corner shop.

La Mallorquina

Established in 1943, this gourmet gem is one of the best shops in Malaga for local produce. They stock a particularly good selection of wine (Spanish as well as Malaga), cheeses, condiments and jams. The in-house bakery next door is a new addition and handy for the bread to accompany your cheeseboard. Buy in store to take home or online La-mallorquina.es (in Spanish only) for home delivery.

Address: Plaza Feliz Saenz 1. Open: Mon to Fri 9.15am to 2.15pm and 5.15 to 8.45pm. Weekends 9.15am to 2.30pm.

Ultramarinos Juan de Dios Barba

It’s the window that catches your eye here. Nowhere else in Malaga displays large rolls of air-dried cod (an essential ingredient in many typical local dishes such as ensalada malagueña) and baskets of dried herrings with quite the same panache. They’re had years of practice too because this gourmet corner has been selling cod to locals since 1932. Make this your go-to shop for Malaga raisins and dried figs.

Address: Calle Martínez 10. Open: Monday to Friday 9.30am to 2.30pm and 5 to 9pm. Saturday 9.30am to 2pm.

Ultramarinos Zoilo

Tiny on size – blink and you could miss it – but big on taste, this foodie haven has been around since 1956. They sell all types of Malaga produce but specialise in jamón serrano and Iberian cold cuts. Wash them down with a bottle of Malaga wine – Zoido do a good line in wines from Ronda.

Address: Calle Granada 65. Open: Mon to Sat 9am to 2.30pm and 5pm to 9.30pm.

Gourmet Experience

Malaga's Gourmet Experience in El Corte Ingles

If you’re looking for gourmet shopping on a much bigger scale and fancy incorporating the rest of Spain to your foodie trip, head for the Gourmet Experience on the top floor of El Corte Inglés department store. The choice of Spanish food and wine plus a wide range of international fare on sale is second to none in Malaga. Quality with a capital Q does come at a premium price and you don’t get the local touch here, but your taste buds will be just as grateful.

Address: Avenida de Andalucía 4-6. Open: Mon to Sat 10am to midnight. Sunday noon to midnight.

Gourmet Tastes

While you can try before you buy at Atarazanas Market and local grocer’s shops, you won’t get more than a sliver of cheese or small slice of chorizo making it difficult to get a good overview or a real idea of what you like. Bring in a tasting, however, and we’re talking a whole new culinary experience. Here’s where to go:

El Almacén del Indiano

Based on a traditional grocer’s shop, this ‘Indian warehouse’ offers the perfect combination of tastings and the chance to try typical Spanish dishes. They specialise in jamón serrano – just watching them cut the ham makes the visit worthwhile – and organise tasting sessions for cold cuts, cheeses and wine. Book via their website Almacendelindiano.com or ask for a spontaneous tasting while you’re there.

Address: Calle Cisneros 7. Open: Mon to Fri 11am to 3pm and 6 to 9pm. Sat 11am to 4pm.

Los Patios de Beatas

Wine shop on Calle Beatas, Malaga

When it comes to wine, it doesn’t get better than at Los Patios de Beatas Catasenmalaga.com, whose wine list runs to over 500 entries. And counting. Owner Julián Sanjuán knows his bottles inside out and offers customised wine tastings. He also runs olive oil tastings and pairing sessions where the delicious house tapas perfectly complement the wine. And while you’re treating your taste buds, feast your eyes on the historic interior complete with 17th century wine vats and stunning stain-glass cupola.

Address: Calle Beatas 43. Open: Monday to Saturday 1pm to 4pm and 8pm to midnight. Sun 1pm to 4pm.

Maroleum

A newbie on the Malaga restaurant scene, Maroleum Facebook Page Maroleum takes olive oil culture to a whole new level. You can’t actually buy EVOO here, but you can taste it in every single dish on the menu. You also live and breathe olive oil in the decoration, video installations and wall displays – where else can you watch the olive harvest as you savour the liquid gold at breakfast, lunch and dinner? As well as concocting unique EVOO creations, chef Dani Peinado offers olive oil tasting experiences.

Address: Calle Pacífico 49. Open: Daily 8am to midnight.

Like food? Have you been to the vineyards in Ronda?

Seven Spanish Music Festivals that You Just Can’t Miss

Heady summers, long nights and time off from work allow us to indulge in all sorts of fun. No matter your age, life stage or persuasion there’s a music festival to suit everyone.

Souvenirs don’t always have to be physical things. Music is the soundtrack to our lives, so they say, and everyone takes home that special ‘holiday song’ as a lasting memory. Much easier to carry home than a straw donkey!

What better way to create a whole music memory album of your holiday, than by attending one of the upcoming festivals? There might be one close to your planned holiday destination, so browse our list of some of the hottest Spanish (and Gibraltar) music festivals for 2017.

Mad Cool Festival – Madrid

madrid festival

When? 6th – 8th July 2017

A newbie on the summer Spanish festival scene, Mad Cool Festival is only in its second year. It means business, though, with big indie acts like Green Day, Kings of Leon, and the Foo Fighters headlining as well as Neil Young, The Who, The Prodigy, Die Antwoord, Biffy Clyro, Jane’s Addiction, Editors and Two Door Cinema Club. This rock/pop festival in Madrid with four stages is going from strength to strength, promising to be one of the best urban music festivals in Spain.

More information: Madcoolfestival.es.

Bilbao BBK Live

bbk festival

When? 6th – 8th July 2017

When it comes to festivals there aren’t many in Europe that beat the location of Bilbao BBK Live – the Arriaz Mountains as a backdrop, views over Bilbao city, nearby beaches and stunning sunsets at the end of the day. It’s simply stunning. The music starts late so it’s ideal for visitors as you can sunbathe during the afternoon or even see some sights in the city. If this year’s line-up – featuring the likes of Muse, Mumford & Sons, alt-J or Disclosure, Depeche Mode, Die Antwoord and Fleet Foxes – doesn’t tempt you, then we’re not sure what will.

More information: Bilbaobbklive.com.

Festival Internacional de Benicassim – Castellon

benicassim festival

When? 13th – 16th July 2017

FIB to its friends, with four days of non-stop rock, alternative, indie and electronic music in a beach setting, Benicassim has become a permanent fixture on the Spain festival circuit. Running for 23 years, tickets are quickly sold out, so if you still want one you’ll have to start hunting.

The most successful music festivals now offer more than just music and FIB, being something of a veteran now, is no different. We want more from our festival experience, and FIB delivers – expect to see a short film festival, fashion shows, art exhibition, and a festival of dance and choreography, with educational arts courses provided by a local university, too. If you’re bored by all of that there’s even a water park just down the road for a cooling respite. Headliners this year are The Red Hot Chili Peppers and Kasabian.

More information: Fiberfib.com.

Marbella Starlite

marbella festival

When? 13th July – 26th August 2017

This eagerly awaited annual event has celebrities, pop stars, and Marbella’s elite reaching for their Louboutins at the chance to see Anastacia, Juan Magán, Art Garfunkel, Elton John, and more over the course of an event that runs well over a month in total. In true Marbella style, the Starlite’s a glamorous affair – no dust or porter loos here. Instead it’s very much a case of see and be seen, with the chance to rub shoulders with the rich and famous at an important annual social event for the town.

More information: Starlitemarbella.com or contact our Concierge to book your tickets or VIP entrance

DGTL Barcelona

djing at a festival

When? 11th & 12th August 2017

If you like electronic music and house is on your playlists then DGTL is for you. The Spanish spin-off of the Dutch festival is celebrating all things in digital arts. World-class DJs provide the sound while visual arts play a huge part in the ambience, too. This is no one-dimensional concert: sculpture, futuristic design, boundary-pushing experimental visual arts and around 60 DJs all make for one of the best examples of clubbing in 2017. Big names like Jackmaster, B.Traits, Seth Troxler and Tale Of Us will all be stepping up to the decks to play to an artsy, hipster-heavy crowd.

More information: Bcn.dgtl.nl.

Arenal Sound – Arenal de Burriana

guitarist fiery background

When? 1st – 6th August 2017

The first beach-side Arenal Sound was in 2010, and with its location on the Costa del Azahar about 60km outside Valencia it’s proved very popular with a younger crowd, camping and hanging out on the beach. You’ll require energy for this one – it lasts for six days. Into its eighth year, and proving more and more popular with each passing year, it attracts fans of pop, indie, electronic, and rock with headliners of the calibre of Clean Bandit, Jake Bugg, Bastille and Martin Garrix.

More information: Arenalsound.com.

MTV Calling Gibraltar Music Festival – Victoria Stadium, Gibraltar

mtv gibraltar poster

When? 2nd & 3rd September 2017

It may not be the first time this festival has taken place, but it is the first year it’s been produced by MTV – a guarantee that the music-filled weekend will be a roaring success. Ok, so technically its not Spain, but its the best musical event by far that’s close enough to be enjoyed by anyone staying on the Costa del Sol and Costa de la Luz.

A stellar line-up is on the cards in the shadow of the Rock, with Craig David, Fatboy Slim, Jonas Blue, The Kaiser Chiefs, Tinie Tempah and The Vaccines all confirmed and various other acts still to be announced.

It’s the perfect family weekend with the added bonus of superb acts, food stalls, and of course, warm September sunshine. For more information and tickets, go to: Gibraltarcalling.com.

Like our pick of the best summer music festivals in Spain? For more after dark activities, check out our guides to the best Marbella nightlife and beach clubs.

A Guide to Ronda in a Day

From poets to presidents, visitors to southern Spain have been making a beeline for Ronda since before Roman times.

The wandering Romantic writers of the 19th century waxed lyrical about the virtues of ‘La Ciudad Soñada’, the enchanted city; in the 20th century, Orson Welles and Ernest Hemingway came, saw and drank the bar dry.

The town is set on a rocky outcrop surrounded by lush, fertile plains that give way to sun-dappled cork forests and craggy mountains. Exposed and windswept in winter, broiling under a never-ending azure sky in summer, it has a wonderfully romantic, if slightly lonely, feel.

On a practical level, in spite of its rather isolated feeling location it’s actually easily reachable from Marbella or Malaga for a day trip. Here’s our guide to things to do in Ronda in a day to help you enjoy it…

Exploring on Foot

Ronda isn’t a large town, by any means, so the best way to get around is on foot. Take your time and try to explore without too much of a fixed agenda – even if time is ticking on a day trip. One of the most special things about Ronda is the myriad of little historic touches you can stumble across over the course of a day’s wandering – with an elaborate ironwork balcony or heavy studded wooden door here, and a tinkling fountain or a shady bougainvillea-filled square there, it all adds up to a marvellously photogenic sort of place.

Things to See & Do

Puente Nuevo

Puente Nuevo in Ronda

The most iconic monument in Ronda, the bridge that joins the spectacular gorge was reconstructed in 1759 to replace the previous bridge that fell down in 1749. The bridge took 42 years to complete and many workers died during the construction. In the centre of the bridge there’s a room which used to be the town’s prison and now holds a small exhibition on the bridge.

There are two ways to enjoy Ronda’s gorge: from above and from below. Try and see Puente Nuevo from as many different vantage points as possible, from the bottom of the gorge 120 metres down, from a restaurant (see below for a few great picks) and on the drive into Ronda.

Top tip: Take in the sunsets at the Mirador de Ronda or while walking through the Alameda del Tajo park – it faces west, so the views of the sun melting into the horizon are truly stunning.

La Casa del Rey Moro & La Mina

La Casa del Rey and La Mina in Ronda

One of our favourite Ronda sights – as it’s just so romantic – is the Casa del Rey Moro. While the name suggests it was the house of a Moorish King, the house which stands (only just) today was built in the 18th century with Moorish-style gardens being added by the renowned French landscape gardener Jean Claude Forestier in 1912.

Its real draw is a ‘water mine’ carved out of the bare rock in the 1300s as a way of getting water to the town when under siege by invading Christian armies. After winding your way down through 300 steps and a couple of interesting caverns, you finally emerge at the foot of the gorge on the banks of the babbling river. It’s a beautiful spot.

Opening times: Open every day from 10am-8pm.

Address: Calle Cuesta de Santo Domingo, 9, 29400 Ronda; Telephone: +34 952 18 71 19.

Plaza de Toros

Plaza de Toros, Ronda

Whether you approve of its purpose or not, Ronda’s bullring is well worth a visit. Bullfighting is synonymous with Andalucia. It’s inarguable. And to really get under the skin of the culture of the region, at least a moment should be spent studying it. There are few better places to do so than in Ronda.

Built in the 18th century and founded by the Royal Cavalry of Ronda it’s the home of modern bullfighting. The iconic – and very lovely – bullring has a museum full of interesting and insightful exhibits on the history of bullfighting.

Carrying on with the bullfighting theme, just outside Ronda is the Reserva Tauro Ronda farm where you can learn more about how the bulls are bred and raised. If you would like to have a personal visit with the Torero who owns the farm please do contact our Concierge who can arrange this with our private guides.

Top tip: If this is your first time experiencing bullfighting we would also recommend picking up ‘Death in the Afternoon’ by Ernest Hemingway as a holiday read.

Opening times: Open every day from 10am-8pm.

Address: Calle Virgen de la Paz, 15, 29400 Ronda; Telephone: +34 952 87 41 32; Rmcr.org.

Palaces & Gardens

Palacio de Mondragón

Ronda, Palacio de Mondragon

Once again, this palace is a mishmash of the Moorish and the Christian. While only part of the original Moorish architecture remains as the palace was remodelled in 1491, you can still expect arches, exposed decorative carvings and tiles, courtyards and a water garden at the rear of the palace that’s a miniature replica of one in the Alhambra.

Opening times: Monday to Friday from 10am till 7pm (6pm winter); Saturdays, Sundays and Holidays 10am till 3pm.

Entrance fee: 3.50€ individual; 2.75€ for a group of 10 or more, OAP or student under 26; children under 14 enter free.

Address: Plaza Mondragón, s/n, 29400 Ronda; Telephone: +34 952 87 08 18.

Arab Baths

There are a few places to see intact Moorish baths in Andalucia but Ronda is, in our opinion, possibly the best. Because the whole complex is so well preserved you can visit them from above and within as well as get a real sense of the working parts of a Moorish bath in the 11th century.

The word ‘baths’ is somewhat of a misnomer as the Moors used steam for cleansing and purifying, before entering the mosque which was almost invariably next door. There were however two small cold pools for cooling the blood – and catching up on the latest gossip as much as anything else – before heading back into the hot rooms.

Opening times: autumn and winter: Monday to Friday 10am till 6pm; Saturdays, Sundays and public holidays 10am till 3pm. Spring and summer: Monday to Friday 10am till 7pm; Saturdays, Sundays and public holidays 10am till 3pm.

Entrance fee: 3€ per individual; 1.50€ if part of a group of 10 or more, and children; free on Sunday.

Address: Calle Molino de Alarcon, s/n, 29400 Ronda.

Museo Lara

Museo Lara, Ronda

The Museo Lara contains an ambitiously broad collection ranging from the Spanish Inquisition to film and pottery via pretty much every other type of historical objet you could imagine. It’s ideal for a fun family visit, too, with gory torture weapons, swords and weird and wonderful witchcraft pieces scattered amongst the varied assortment of other bits and bobs. The museum takes about an hour to visit and is also housed in a handsome traditional townhouse with central patio.

Opening times: 11am – 8pm (7pm winter).

Entrance fee: 4€ standard; 2€ for students, pensioners and groups of 10 or more.

Address: Calle Armiñán, 29400 Ronda; Telephone: +34 952 87 12 63; Museolara.org.

Churches

Iglesia de Santa Maria La Mayor

As is so often the case in Andalucia, the roots of this church run deep: the Christians built on a mosque; the Moors built on Visigoth foundations; and the Visigoths erected their church on the remains of a Roman temple which probably stretched back to around 45BC.

Little is left to show from that ancient past, as the building that stands today was largely built in the wake of an earthquake in the late 16th century. These days, though, with its mishmash of Gothic and Renaissance styles it’s still a very pleasant place to nip into and escape the heat of the day.

Opening times: Mon-Sat 10am-8pm; Sundays closed.

Address: Plaza Duquesa de Parcent, 0, 29400 Ronda.

Iglesia del Espiritu Santo

Building work on this church began shortly after the town fell to the Catholic Kings in 1485. And if on first inspection it appears rather plain and austere-looking it’s because, joined to the city walls, its architects had to bear in mind a possible military function.

Look a little closer, and there’s plenty to enjoy inside and out, too: the main entrance is surrounded by a Mudejar-style alfiz, the typical panel that wrapped around the top of mosque doorways, while the ceilings are soaring vaulted affairs.

Tucked into the far southernmost corner of the old town, the location means you can also check out the impressive Almocabar gate, another dramatic relic from Ronda’s Moorish past.

Opening times: Monday-Saturday 10am-2pm; Sundays closed.

Address: Calle Espíritu Santo, 15, 29400 Ronda.

Restaurants & Places to Eat

Busy tapas bar

Restaurante Bodega San Francisco

Bodega San Francisco is a typical-in-every-way Andalucian tapas bar. As soon as you cross the threshold you couldn’t be anywhere other than southern Spain. It’s traditional in all the right ways – namely décor, service, food and drink. Order tapas from the bar or a plate of cold cuts and wash it down with a bottle from an extensive list of local Ronda wines. This is a local haunt, and while there’s seating outside, it’s inside where the charm and atmosphere lies (not to mention the air-conditioning!)

Address: Plaza Ruedo de Alameda, 27, Ronda; Telephone: +34 952 87 81 62; Bodegasanfrancisco.com.

Tragata

With its mismatched seating, industrial-style metal tables, quirky basket lights and bare bulbs hanging over the bar, Tragata has a pronouncedly modern look and feel compared to most other more traditional Ronda restaurants. The food follows suit, too, with Asian and Moroccan flavours rubbing shoulders on the menu with imaginative takes on classic Spanish dishes. It has an invitingly lively vibe inside, whether you choose to sit at the bar or high tables, and outside on long summer evenings it’s very pleasant indeed.

Address: Calle Nueva, 4, 29400 Ronda; Telephone: +34 952 87 72 09; Tragata.com.

Abades Ronda Restaurante

Adades-Restaurant-Ronda

Set on the gorge with a huge terrace, this restaurant has some of the best views in town. The service is pleasingly formal, while the food is excellent and elegantly presented (with mouth-watering tenderloin of acorn-fed Iberian pork being a particular favourite on LVC’s last visit). An extensive wine list with a good choice of cavas caps off an inviting all-round offering.

Address: Paseo Blas Infante, 1, 29400 Ronda; Telephone: +34 952 87 13 67. Abadesronda.com.

Like our guide to things to do in Ronda and tempted by the idea of spending a day (or more) in the town? Check out our selection of nearby villas.

Polo – Sotogrande’s Summer Sport

The European polo season has begun and the 10 goal world-class players are looking forward to play and to chalking up some serious goals. As spectators, on the other hand, we can’t wait to see the fast-paced, warrior-like tournaments and talented, agile ponies – not to mention, of course, dressing up to the nines, getting the fizz in, and everything else that goes on at a day at the polo.

Where is the Polo in Sotogrande?

Polo match in Sotogrande, Spain

The Santa Maria Polo Club in Sotogrande – which is just over the border of Malaga province into Cadiz province in southern Spain – is a famed location on the polo high goal tournament circuit.

Holding 20 tournaments this year, Sotogrande is the location in Spain. Santa Maria Polo Club with its magnificent manicured grounds is perfect for the big games of the summer. The Gold Cup and Silver cups, which attract the best polo teams in the world, are the major dates in Spain’s polo diary.

Address: Sotogrande, A-7, 11310 San Roque, Cadiz; telephone: 956 61 00 12. Santamariapoloclub.com.

Other Polo Clubs in Sotogrande

Dos Lunas Polo Club Match, Spain

Dos Lunas Polo Club has two polo fields; address: 11349 San Martín del Tesorillo, Cadiz; telephone: 956 61 80 52. Doslunas.es.

Polo Valley Polo Club for polo tuition; 29692 Casares, Malaga; telephone: 951 97 95 58. Polovalley.co.uk.

Ayala Polo Club has three fields; Hacienda de San Enrique, Km 1, 11312 San Enrique de Guadiaro, Cadiz; Telephone: 670 96 18 41.

When to Go to the Polo in Sotogrande?

2-4th June – XVIII Andrés Paradé Memorial Tournament

9-11th June – IV Doña Maria de la Mercedes Memorial Tournament

16-25th June – II Patrick G. Hermés Cup and XIV Conde de la Maza Memorial Tournament

30th June – 2nd July – XIII Copa de Jerez Tournament

7-9th July – XXIV Enrique Zobel Memorial Tournament

14-16th July – IV Manuel Prado Tournament

26th July – 27th August – 46th International Polo Tournament (the main event)

What to Expect?

An exciting day out for everyone, it’s great for families, couples or groups of friends. There’s plenty to do at Santa Maria Polo Club during the tournament – a shopping village, bars, lots of socialising and after parties with live music and DJs. Friday and Saturday nights are the busiest during the month long tournament.

Santa Maria Polo Club In Sotogrande, Spain

What to Wear?

If you’re a guy you can’t go too far wrong with adopting the Nacho Figueras look, basically. Ladies keep it comfortable, classic and elegant. By all means go casual with linen but a touch of formality wouldn’t be out of place, either. This isn’t Ascot, though, so keep the hats at home.

Polo Elsewhere in Europe

Since its heyday in the 20s and 30s polo is having a major resurgence. Urban polo clubs are popping up across the continent, and more and more variations of the game are becoming popular (snow polo is even played in St Moritz, Courcheval, Kitzbuhel, Klosters, Megeve and Val D’Isere during the winter months).

In Europe, England, France and Spain are the main players for polo. For the biggest tournaments the season starts in early May in England, then France and Spain in July and August. The high goal season in England includes the Cartier Queen’s Cup at Guards Polo Club, and the Veuve Cliquot Gold Cup at Cowdray Park. Once the Gold Cup is won the focus is on mainland Europe until the end of August.

Polo match close up

Haven’t Experienced a Polo Match? The Need-to-Know Polo Guide for Newbies

A polo field is 15 acres – so pretty large – but given that there are 8 horses per game sometimes topping 35mph the space soon gets eaten up. Teams are of four: player 1 is offence, 2 is defence (they really cover the ground and is the hard worker in the team), 3 is often the captain (and chief strategist) and 4 is defence, the person who can hit the ball the hardest.

Polo is incredibly fast-paced and the ball can reach speeds of 100 miles per hour. A polo chukker (or period of play) is seven minutes and most are played to six chukkers. After the first seven minutes horses can be changed for fresh legs as many times as a team wishes and are ready waiting for players throughout the game.

Fast, exciting and fun, there’s quite nothing like a polo game.

It’s free entrance to see the polo in Sotogrande and it’s a fun thing to do while visiting this part of southern Spain. If you fancy experiencing it for yourself, check out our handpicked selection of luxury villas in Sotogrande. Our concierge can help with any aspect of planning a day and night at the polo – just get in touch.

Eight of the Most Jaw-Dropping Beaches on the Costa de la Luz

horse-riding-valdevaqueros1

Psst… want to know where the savvy, sand-loving traveller heads for their European beach fix? Four little words: the Costa de la Luz.

It’s long been a jealously guarded secret amongst in-the-know Spanish visitors that the beaches on Cadiz’s Costa de la Luz are some of the best in Spain. These days, though, the definitely secret’s out, and barely a year goes by without one magazine or another stating this fact.

Where is the Costa de la Luz? 

Good question. It’s the coast that faces the Atlantic Ocean stretching from the Portuguese border to Tarifa (just west of the Gibraltar and the Costa del Sol) where the Mediterranean sea and the Atlantic meet – as the Flamenco guitarist Paco de Lucia said, entre dos aguas, or ‘between two waters’.

The Costa de la Luz stretches over two provinces in Andalucia, Cadiz and Huelva. Now, these beaches have a different feel altogether to those of the neighbouring Costa del Sol. Wilder, and yes occasionally windswept, but also in many places almost completely lacking in development. The glamorous beach clubs are swapped for boho-chic beach-side bars, and raucous champagne spray parties traded in for chilled sun-downers. In a word: bliss.

Our Pick of the Best Beaches on the Costa de la Luz

Valdevaqueros Beach

dunes at valdevaqueros beach

Along from the lovely little port town of Tarifa is the epicentre of the kitesurfing scene on the Costa de la Luz, Playa Valdevaqueros. This huge beach, which rises to an enormous sand dune at its westernmost end, is where you go if you want to get active or at least be seen with the surfer types. The few beach bars that flank the edge of Valdevaqueros beach are cooler-than-cool chill out affairs with plenty of facilities for your boards and low-slung seating to kick back in.

El Palmar – Near Vejer de la Frontera

sunset at el palmar beach

Our absolute favourite Costa de la Luz beach for, well, everyone really is El Palmar. Crashing Atlantic waves and surf hire shacks keep the most energetic entertained. The pristine huge white sand beach is ideal for sunbathing and sandcastle-making for little ones.

The small but perfectly formed selection of beach bars and restaurants keep hunger pangs away and allow for easy afternoon beverage runs. Then, as the evening sets in, the livelier beach bars with live DJs and music keep the young (and young at heart) happy with beach beds and a place to be seen. El Palmar beach has it all.

LVC recommended place to grab a bite: Restaurante La Torre; Latorredelpalmar.com.

Bolonia Beach

bolonia-beach1

Next on our list of go-to Cadiz beaches is in the hamlet of Bolonia. As with El Palmar, the coastline is protected so there are only a few buildings around. The few that make up the hamlet and a handful towards the dunes are there to make your time more convenient. A handful of low-key bars and restaurants sell mainly seafood to visitors who want a respite from the midday sun.

Eating and sun-bathing aside, there’s also horse riding on offer, a summer craft market and the extensive Roman ruins of Baelo Claudia to explore. A wooden path winds its way up from the edge of the village to the waving fringes of a pine forest that skirts the dunes towards the west of the beach. As well as being a beautiful spot, it’s ideal for a run or leisurely saunter. Stay for sunset and take the hike up to the top of the dunes: the view of the sun melting in to the horizon is the stuff that holiday memories are made of.

LVC recommended place to grab a bite: Off the beach – Las Rejas (Lasrejasrestaurante.com); on the beach – Sirocco (Siroccobolonia.es).

Playa La Fontanilla in Conil de la Frontera

Convenient – with a capital ‘C’ for Conil. From little boutiques, supermarkets and banks to restaurants, tourist information and bars, Conil de la Frontera is a whitewashed town beside the sea with every amenity you could possibly ask for. It has a lovely old centre and is very popular with Spanish visitors from the interior towns when the mercury starts to climb and the heat becomes just too much to bear.

Just to the west of Conil de la Frontera is Playa La Fontanilla. This huge, golden sandy beach with surf is really family-friendly. While there are restaurants that spill onto the sand, don’t fret, the skyline isn’t spoilt by high-rises or congested eateries.

LVC recommended place to grab a bite: Restaurante La Fontanilla – it’s open all afternoon and is a popular local haunt (Lafontanilla.com).

Calas de Poniente – Near Conil de la Frontera

 calas de poniente cove

Another beach near Conil de la Frontera is Calas de Poniente. A cala is an area enclosed by cliffs, so unsurprisingly these beaches, which number seven in total, are like hidden coves. They aren’t the easiest to access (but aren’t prohibitively difficult by the same token) so just pack light and expect to have plenty of space to yourself. If you want to get back to nature these beaches with clear sea and clean sand are nudist, but we’d describe them as more ‘clothing optional’ as beach-goers don’t have to completely disrobe. However, if you fancy banishing all tan lines then these are the beaches to visit.

LVC recommended place to grab a bite: Lunch options in the immediate vicinity are next to non-existent, so take a cooler box with Jamon Iberico, melon, anchovies, tomatoes, avocado and fresh bread.

Los Caños de Meca

canos de meca beach

Just up the coast from the rugged fishing town of Barbate and fringed with dramatic cliffs, Caños de Meca is everything you’d hope for from a wild Cadiz beach. On the main street (Avenida Trafalgar) right by the beach there are a few scruffy bars where everyone gathers to drink cocktails and watch the sunset. Once the sun’s melted into the ocean, the party gets started – and the night is a long one.

LVC recommended place to grab a bite: La Laja (La-laja.com); or in Barbate, the superb El Campero (Restauranteelcampero.es).

Playa del Carmen / Playa Zahara de los Atunes

playa del carmen cadiz

Smaller and with a slightly sleepier feel than Conil, Zahara de los Atunes sits between Cape Trafalgar and the Costa’s nightlife hub, Tarifa. The town beach (although there are many beaches either side to choose from) is Playa del Carmen. This beautiful beach caters for families with sunbeds, upbeat chiringuitos (beach-side restaurants), surf board hire, paddle boarding, longboarding, kite surfing and everything you’d need in between.

Zahara de los Atunes is foodie to its core, and eating seems to be the first thing on everyone’s agenda when they get here. And with good reason, too: if you like Red Tuna, a town with ‘tuna’ in its name is likely to be the place for you. You can expect a lot better than average fare in the restaurants in Zahara de los Atunes – it’s a town that prides itself on its cuisine.

LVC recommended place to grab a bite: In town – 21 Restaurante (21restaurante.com); on the beach – La Luna which gets lively as the sun sets.

Fancy spending the summer on one of Cadiz’s best beaches? Match the stunning surroundings with a stay at one of our luxury Costa de la Luz villas.