In Granada a small plate of food is offered with every drink. After a hard day's sightseeing, this tapa is a very welcome tit-bit served with a refreshing wine, beer or tinto de verano. Not all…
Marbella is a historic town and much more. The broader area of Marbella covers well beyond the town itself, extending from between Estepona and San Pedro de Alcantara in the west, inland up to Benahavis, and along the coast to Cabopino in the east.
Here we look at Marbella’s best neighbourhoods including Benahavis (this is it’s own district but it’s so close to Marbella we wanted to include it too). There is so much to see and do in Marbella and all within easy reach but depending on your priorities, it can be a minefield knowing where to stay. So, hopefully this will help you distinguish one area from another when choosing your next luxury private villa holiday on the southern Mediterranean coast.
Benahavis is a pretty and historic town of whitewashed houses, situated inland from the coast on the southern slopes of the spectacular Sierra Blanca, part of the Serrania de Ronda (Ronda Mountains). At 400m above sea level, the town is just 7km from the Mediterranean, between Marbella, Estepona and Ronda.
This area is the ideal destination for golf lovers, with 12 golf courses (including those of the estates mentioned below) within its terrain, which is traversed by three rivers: the Guadalmina, Guadaiza and Guadalmanza. Benahavis also offers excellent dining options, and the coast with its beach clubs and shops is within easy reach.
Where is it? Benahavis is located to the north-west of Marbella, on the A7175 – take the San Pedro turning (exit 172) off the AP7 motorway. From the A7, turn off at Guadalmina, between Estepona and San Pedro de Alcantara.
Proximity to shops and restaurants? Benahavis has restaurants and shops, including a Mercadona supermarket. See our Benahavis restaurant guide here.
The three prestigious private estates we list below are part of Benahavis district, but form part of the perceived greater Marbella area:
Marbella’s most desirable yet discreet gated community
This secluded development, one of southern Europe’s most exclusive, is set within large private grounds in the foothills of the Sierra Blanca mountains at 400m. Its almost 900-hectare estate consists of 250 extensive plots (at least 4,000m² each) built with exceptionally well-appointed properties, mostly southwest oriented. Several of the world’s rich and famous have homes here, though they keep a low profile.
The villas at La Zagaleta are the most expensive villas in the region, with facilities as impressive as you’d expect for this top cachet. To the owners of these mansions the development offers two 18-hole golf courses, a clubhouse, racquet club (tennis and paddle) and an equestrian centre. La Zagaleta is sometimes referred to as the ultimate country club. As well as these sporting facilities, there is also a private heliport.
Where is it? North-east of Benahavis, just off the A397, to the west of this road linking San Pedro de Alcantara on the coast with Ronda. It is on the opposite site of the road from El Madroñal, which lies to the east of the A397, and north of Los Arqueros. La Zagaleta is 14km from Puerto Banus and Marbella is 23km away.
Proximity to shops and restaurants? Benahavis has restaurants and shops, including a Mercadona supermarket, but a more luxurious selection can be found in Marbella and Puerto Banus. You can also order food using La Zagaleta’s services.
A quiet mountainside retreat with PRESTIGIOUS villas
This gated country estate in the mountains above Marbella, with pine and oak forests, wildflowers (madroño is a madrone tree which is a sweet fruit) and the river Guadaiza, dates from the 1950s. El Madroñal is a blissfully peaceful place, yet just a few minutes’ drive from the buzz of Banus. All properties enjoy spectacular views of the Mediterranean, across to the Rif mountains of Morocco.
The villas in El Madroñal are as sumptuous as you would expect in such a high-end development, magnificent and spacious, with well-tended gardens and plenty of parking.
Where is it? North-east of Benahavis, just off the A397, to the east of this road linking the coast with Ronda. It is on the opposite site of the road from La Zagaleta, which lies to the west of the road, and north of Los Arqueros. El Madroñal is 10km from Puerto Banus, 17km from Marbella.
Proximity to shops and restaurants? The nearest shops and restaurants are in either Benahavis, or for a wider selection, Nueva Andalucia, including El Corte Ingles, or Marbella itself.
Backed by mountains and overlooking the sea, with varied types of property
This estate is situated further down the mountain, on the lower slopes of the Sierra Blanca. Stretched in a narrow estate that sprawls down the hill, Los Arqueros is made up of 17 separate “communities” of spacious apartments and townhouses, varying in size, each with its own character. The oldest is El Alto, enjoying an elevated position, while the newest are contemporary Unico and sustainable Botanic. All have beautiful, landscaped gardens and swimming pools (some of which are heated), and parking for each property.
The Golf Club boasts a championship course designed by legendary Spanish player Seve Ballesteros. In addition to golfers, other sports lovers are well catered for, with tennis, paddle and squash courts, and a gym, while families will love the bowling alley, plus a club house restaurant and bar.
Where is it? South-east of Benahavis, close to the AP7 coastal motorway (exit 172). Los Arqueros is 8km from Puerto Banus and 18km from Marbella.
Proximity to shops and restaurants? At Los Arqueros Shopping Village you will find shops, restaurants and bars.
New Golden Mile
This is the stretch of the Autovia del Mediterraneo (AP7 coastal road) between San Pedro de Alcantara and the eastern part of Estepona. So not the whole of the New Golden Mile is in Marbella. It has excellent beaches, such as Playa Gualdamina, and the long Playa del Saladillo, and top-end hotels such as the Ikos Andalucia and Kempinski Hotel Bahia. You can follow a new coastal path, Senda Litoral Estepona, which runs parallel to the road.
Ok, ok, the area below is in Estepona district not Marbella but it’s only 9.9km from San Pedro de Alcantara, Marbella which is closer than Estepona at 12km away. We’ve included it as it’s so close to Marbella and certainly has a Marbella neighbourhood feel.
Two championship golf courses on your doorstep and often sea views
Situated in a secluded private valley, overlooking a lake fed by the Arroyo Taraje stream, this development (named after the Flamingos Golf Course) is part of the luxurious Anantara Villa Padierna Palace Benahavis Marbella Resort. The five-star GL hotel, designed in Italianate style, with opulent interiors, gleaming marble and elegant tree-lined walks, hosted Michelle Obama on her visit to Andalucia back in 2010.
The Golf Club features three courses (Flamingos and Alferini are both championship courses, while Tramores is a par-64 executive course, which features a golf academy). As well as sports facilities, there are restaurants, spa, and beach club. The resort is located just a few km from San Pedro de Alcantara.
Where is it? Just off the A7 coast road, between San Pedro de Alcantara and Estepona. 12km to Puerto Banus and 21km to Marbella. Strictly part of Benahavis in Estepona but close to Marbella beaches.
Proximity to shops and restaurants? The nearest shops and restaurants are in San Pedro de Alcantara and Estepona – this development is equidistant between the two coastal towns. Playa Saladillo is the nearest beach.
This sprawling residential development, one of the largest in Marbella, is known locally as “Golf Valley”, as it is home to numerous courses: Aloha, Los Naranjos, Las Brisas and La Quinta Golf Clubs.
Where is it? Nueva Andalucia sits to the north of Puerto Banús, starting from the A7 coast road and stretching north to the AP-7 toll highway, and bordered on the west by the Rio Verde.
Proximity to shops and restaurants? As you’d expect from such an extensive residential area, on-site amenities are good. You’ll find an excellent range of shops at Centro Plaza shopping centre, close to the A7, plus others at La Campana. There are numerous restaurants in the neighbourhood, covering many international cuisines and catering to all tastes.
Quiet residences close to Puerto Banus
Situated in the heart of Golf Valley, and backed by La Concha mountain, this development is well-located for both Las Brisas and Aloha golf courses, with properties lining the fairways – the latter is one of the best-established golf clubs in the area. Aloha Pueblo is a pretty village with traditional style townhouses covered in bougainvillea, as well as bars and restaurants.
Where is it? Leave the A7 at the Puerto Banus exit (175). Aloha Golf is just 3km from Puerto Banus, while Marbella is 8km away.
Proximity to shops and restaurants? There are many shops and restaurants in Nueva Andalucia, as mentioned above, but Puerto Banus is very nearby too, with its designer boutiques and beach clubs.
Golf in the shade of La Concha
Also enjoying a prime location sitting in Nueva Andalucia’s renowned golfing area, and bordered to the west by the Guadaiza river, Los Naranjos is a delightful residential development. Named after an orange grove, the golf course whose name it bears was designed by the highly respected Robert Trent Jones Sr.
The development consists of white apartment blocks and villas, surrounded by lush lawns and shaded by tall palm trees.
Where is it? Located to the west of Aloha Golf, close to the AP7 toll motorway (exit 172). Leave the A7 at the exit 174. Los Naranjos is just 5km from Puerto Banus, while Marbella is 10km away.
Proximity to shops and restaurants? Nueva Andalucia has a good selection of food shops, bars and restaurants, while Puerto Banus with its smart restaurants and international brand names and designer fashion boutiques is nearby. The nearest beach is Playa de Cortijo Blanco.
Glitzy playground for the international jetset
Built in 1970 by Jose Banus, this renowned development in Nueva Andalucia is centred around a 900-plus-mooring marina full of super-yachts and high-performance sports cars. Its reputation as the favoured destination for the rich and famous draws the glamorous crowd.
The most celebrated area after Marbella, Puerto Banus has buzzing nightlife, good beaches (Playa Nueva Andalucia, Playa de Levante and Playa del Rio) and beach clubs, such as Nikki Beach, Ocean Club and Sala by the Sea; and enough designer boutiques (think Louis Vuitton, Gucci, Hermes), both in the marina itself and in shopping malls nearby, to keep even the most dedicated retail maven happy. For foodies, there are plenty of gourmet restaurants offering varied cuisines, as well as elegant bars.
Where is it? 6km west of Marbella, close to Nueva Andalucia.
Proximity to shops and restaurants? There are plenty of shops within the development itself and in nearby malls, as well as a branch of the department store El Corte Ingles, and you can buy food supplies in Nueva Andalucia.
This elegant avenue runs parallel to the coast, connecting Puerto Banus and the western part of Marbella town. The two iconic hotels, Hotel Marbella Club and Puente Romano are located here. The refined boulevard is lined with leafy green areas and flanked by exclusive properties on both sides. To the south lie beachfront villas and apartments while to the north, palatial mansions lie hidden in large private grounds. The beaches along this stretch of coast are some of Marbella’s best.
Las Lomas De Marbella Club
Classic charm near the iconic hotel
As its name suggests, this development is set on the hills behind Marbella Club, the iconic hotel that originated the town’s fame back in the 1960s.
The 35-hectare private estate next to the Golden Mile consists of plots for independent villas, and 11 complexes of apartments and townhouses with an Andalucian village feel, including features such as cobbled streets, plazas with fountains, and wrought-iron balconies. The largest residential estate, measuring 200,000m2, belongs to the Saudi Royal family.
You can play golf and tennis, and Puente Romano has superb restaurants including Dani Garcia’s Bibo and Leña.
Where is it? Close to the A7 coast road – take the Puente Romano exit. Marbella old town is 7 km away.
Proximity to shops and restaurants? Nueva Andalucia, with its shopping centres, is within easy reach (3km), as well as El Corte Ingles department store, and the designer stores and gourmet restaurants of Puerto Banus (4km).
Well-established villas near Marbella’s Golden Mile
This residential area of Marbella has an unbeatable location, on the Golden Mile. Its villas and apartment complexes are built on gently sloping roads, lined with mature trees. The more long-standing villas are built on large plots. Nagüeles is located between the A7 and AP7 roads, in the area to the east of the Arroyo de las Piedras stream.
The Nagüeles Quarry is famous as the venue for the Starlite festival, where international pop stars play in a season of open-air concerts every summer.
Where is it? North of Marbella Club hotel, on the other side of the A7. Next to Las Lomas de Marbella Club.
Proximity to shops and restaurants? Marbella old centre is 5km away. The nearest beaches are Playa Casablanca and Playa de la Fontilla.
North from Marbella historic town centre there are two neighbourhoods that are very established and have great proximity to the beach, nightlife and the countryside: –
Marbella Sierra Blanca
Very desirable, above the Golden Mile, with fabulous views
Named after mountains behind Marbella, this highly prestigious and sought-after gated community enjoys an elevated position at 300m, with spectacular views of both the Golden Mile, and across the Mediterranean to Morocco. This area is also known as the hillside Golden Mile and has opulent, high-end properties – large villas with extensive grounds in contemporary, Andalucian and Moorish styles. Protected by the mountains from cold winds, the area has a subtropical micro-climate which means that the temperature is always pleasant – never too hot or too cold.
Where is it? North of the AP7 inland toll road (exit 182). Sierra Blanca is just south of Cascada de Camojan.
Proximity to shops and restaurants?Easy access to Marbella town centre (4km) via the AP7 and A7 highways for shops and restaurants; La Cañada shopping centre on the AP7 (exit 186) is 5km away. Fontanilla beach is 3 km.
Cascada de Camojan
EXCLUSIVE mountainside estate, close to nature
Situated right next to Sierra Blanca, this development is considerably smaller but even more sought-after. It is at the limit of the built-up area, so you have access to mountain trails for hiking and enjoying nature, surrounded by the scent of wild thyme and rosemary. This estate is named after a waterfall, and is bordered to the east by Arroyo de Guadalpin stream.
Villas in Cascadas de Camoján are large and luxurious, enjoying secluded spots nestled within pine woodland, yet offering fabulous sea views. This is the location for ultra-luxurious mansions with owners desiring privacy.
Where is it? Directly bordering Sierra Blanca, lying to the north-east, off exit 182 of the AP7.
Proximity to shops and restaurants? Marbella centre is 5km away via the AP7 and A7 highways for shops and restaurants; La Cañada shopping centre on the AP7 exit 186 is 6km away. Playa de la Fontanilla is the nearest beach (4km).
This part of Marbella town runs along the coast from the casco historico (old centre) to La Cala de Mijas, the next town to the east.
Near a beautiful beach and pretty marina
This development lies just to the north of the A7 road, at the far eastern end of Marbella, where neighbouring Calahonda starts. The gold course is extremely scenic, with pine-covered hills and sea views.
Cabopino Golf is within easy reach of Cabopino family-friendly beach (3km), which is quieter than the beaches near Marbella old town, with shallow waters ideal for little ones to paddle safely. The next beach along to the west is Playa de Artola, backed by sand dunes covered with vegetation, and reached by a wooden walkway which crosses the dunes – look out for Torre Ladrones Moorish watchtower. This part is more secluded, a perfect setting for a naturist beach.
Another attraction of this part of Marbella is the picturesque Cabopino marina with boats and yachts of all sizes, less glitzy than Puerto Banus. You can find small bars and restaurants here. Those who prefer a more adult scene will enjoy the celebrated Nikki Beach bar at the Don Carlos Hotel, 6km from Cabopino Golf.
Where is it? The development is located just off the A7, at the Cabopino exit.
Proximity to shops and restaurants? Sitio de Calahonda and La Cala de Mijas (7km), just along the A7 to the east, have shops and supermarkets. Marbella centre is 13km away.
Stay right on the beachfront, and enjoy five-star facilities
This development is all about the prime location – right on the beachfront, one of the few to enjoy this distinction. Part of the five-star GL Los Monteros Spa and Golf Resort, this leafy development has frontline beach villas on good-sized plots, as well as high-end apartments and townhouses. The hotel was originally built in 1962, making it one of the most long-standing, and its restaurant was the first hotel restaurant to receive a Michelin star in Spain. Another first – its golf course, Rio Real, was the first to be created in Marbella, in 1965.
Famous guests have included Julio Iglesias, Sean Connery and Melanie Griffith. This development comprises various estates and complexes, including Los Monteros Playa and Las Brisas. Los Monteros is bounded to the east by Arroyo Siete Revueltas stream, and on the west by Rio Real golf course.
Where is it? Between the A7 coast road and the beach, 6km east of Marbella old town.
Proximity to shops and restaurants? Sleek beach club, La Cabane, at the eastern end of Playa Los Monteros, was the first such establishment to open in the world. You can find several restaurants on this beach, where Antonio Banderas’s house is located. The nearest shops are in Marbella old town centre and La Cañada shopping centre (6km).
Golf Rio Real
Marbella’s first golf course, close to the beach
Located close to the AP7 toll motorway, this estate is name after the river that passes through it, the Rio Real. The properties are grouped around the west, north and north-eastern borders of the golf course, Marbella’s oldest, which opened in 1965 as part of the Los Monteros estate. The course right down to Los Monteros beach. The course has plenty of mature trees, offering much-needed shade, and the Rio Real Golf Hotel offers tennis courts, a clubhouse and a restaurant.
Where is it? Between the A7 (exit 184) and AP7 (exit 186), across the coast road from Los Monteros – Rio Real is to the north of the coast road, whereas Los Monteros lies to the south. Marbella old town is 5km away.
Proximity to shops and restaurants? Marbella old town is an easy drive away, with La Cañada shopping centre 6km away on the AP7 (exit 182).
All in all each of these neighbourhoods are luxury locations with beaches, mountains, nightlife and golf plus a fantastic climate. As a jumping off point Marbella is a convenient place to do day trip into Andalucia or even Morocco.
Array (  => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 242072 [post_author] => 5 [post_date] => 2022-07-02 10:52:22 [post_date_gmt] => 2022-07-02 10:52:22 [post_content] => In Granada a small plate of food is offered with every drink. After a hard day's sightseeing, this tapa is a very welcome tit-bit served with a refreshing wine, beer or tinto de verano. Not all tapas are equal, though: some are generous, others are not. While winding your way from bar to bar tapas in the evening is a great way to explore the city, don’t overlook the restaurants in Granada as there are also some fantastic options for a long leisurely lunch. Here’s LVC’s guide to the best tapas bars and restaurants in Granada:
El RealejoThe old Jewish quarter of Granada has really become tapas central. Make your way to the end of Calle Varela and along Calle Virgen del Rosario and you'll find restaurant after restaurant with tables spilling out onto the streets. Two great options for tapas or sharing plates are:
1. Casa de Vinos La BrujideraIf we had to choose only one tapas bar in Granada, Casa de Vinos La Brujidera would be it. If you love wine, and yearn for a place where the music, lighting and wine by the glass is absolutely pitch-perfect, then Casa de Vinos is for you. There aren't too many places that can match it for real integrity and soul anywhere in Spain. Calle Monjas del Carmen, 2, 18009 Granada
2. Taberna La TanaOur second favourite wine bar in Granada is Taberna La Tana. This has suffered a little from its success over the years and this once tiny bar with only standing (bar leaning) room now has expanded next door and outside. Tapas tends to be high quality charcuterie. Placeta del Agua, 3, 18009 Granada
AlbayzinThe Albayzin neighbourhood of Granada has looked out onto the Alhambra Palace since Moorish times. The labyrinthine narrow streets, carved doors, intricate metal work and carmenes (houses with gardens) are still present today. Plaza Larga is the heart of this neighbourhood, but don’t miss Mirador San Nicolas and Placeta de San Miguel Bajo (pictured).
3. Bar Kiki, Vinos y Otras Cosas…While its location - sitting next to one of the most touristic spots in Granada - doesn’t initially inspire much confidence, Bar Kiki sits alongside our other selections as a stalwart Albayzin institution. The tapas is great, and if you want a full meal then the menu is inventive and inspiring. On our last visit tuna heart was on the menu! Plaza Cementerio de San Nicolas, 9, 18010 Granada
4. Café GabrielJust on the edge of the heart of the Albayzin, this restaurant is worth the taxi ride (or stroll up the hill). Meat is its speciality with seating indoors and out on a small square. Indoors there are tables with coolers in the middle for handy chilled beers or wine for dining. On the terrace you can order drinks and tapas. Calle Pagés, 29, 18010 Granada
5. Amazonia Fine FoodOK, so we’re very suspicious about restaurants that cross cuisines. But every time we visit Amazonia, plate after plate is served with love and care. So if you fancy something Greek to Hawaiian, from poke, to tacos and pad thai to kofta, then this is it. There are also lots of plant based options, too. Carrera del Darro, 37, 18010 Granada
6. Wild FoodPlant-based dishes and desserts are the main reason you visit this central eatery, but the chic decor, friendly service and buzzy vibe don’t hurt either. A great spot for a coffee and cake or a light bite. Plaza Isabel la Católica, 5, 18009 Granada
7. Casa MolCasa Mol can be found on an unassuming side street towards El Corte Ingles and the river. This small bar has great complimentary tapas, with a short selection of four or five to choose from all made to order. It gets very busy, so get there at 0800 sharp or make a reservation. Calle Duende, 11, 18005 Granada
8. Pescaderia 4If you’re fed up of crowded tapas bars and want a meal, then you can’t go far wrong with Pescaderia 4. On the corner of a famous street for fish restaurants in Granada, this bistro-esque restaurant is a great option for a romantic meal. Order off the specials board and you won’t be disappointed. The octopus with pistachio was a big hit. Plaza Pescadería, 4, 18001 Granada
9. Lemon RockA concept bar, music venue, restaurant and hostel, Lemon Rock is buzzing no matter what time of day (or night) you sidle in. The food is very much gastrobar, but the atmosphere is stellar with live music on every weekend. If you’re in a large party there are several private rooms to hire of varying sizes. Calle Montalbán, 6, 18002 Granada
10. Humo El OrigenBrunches and cocktails are the order of the day at Humo. This African-inspired cafe/bar sits alongside the botanical gardens of the University's Law Faculty. This area of Granada has a student feel with vintage shops, jazz bars and very reasonable lunch spots. We’ve diligently worked our way through their signature cocktail list - Recuerdos de Aden being a ‘moment’ in itself! Calle Escuelas, 2, 18001 Granada
11. La TelefonicaTucked away on a side street off Plaza Bib-Rambla, Telefonica is a relaxed restaurant that's great for sharing plates or a tapas pit-stop after some retail therapy. Calle Arco de las Orejas, 1, 18001 Granada
12. FaraláOffering international quality food, Faralá wipes the floor with many better known restaurants in Andalucia. High praise indeed, but genuinely fine dining of this calibre is rare in southern Spain… perhaps anywhere. You enter through a flamenco tablao on the ground floor. It's a slightly uninspiring first impression, but stick with it and you're welcomed by a light, comfortable formal dining room on the first floor. There are three tasting menus to choose from and an excellent sommelier on hand for pairings. Cuesta de Gomerez 11 (very close to Plaza Nueva), 18009 Granada Spain
13. Restaurante ArriagaArriaga is on the top floor of the Museo Memoria de Andalucia, next to the science park (a great outing for the children) on the outskirts of Granada centre. Is it worth the journey? Absolutely. The initial wow factor is provided by the modernist dining room's floor to ceiling windows, designed to maximise the views from 55 metres up. The food, though, is even better. Head chef Álvaro Arriaga lays out two tasting menus (one with nine courses the other with six) that are conversation points in themselves. Reservations are essential. Centro Cultural Avenida Ciencia No. 2, 18006 Granada Spain Tempted by a visit to Granada? Check out our villas in the area. [post_title] => The LVC Insider's Guide to: Granada Restaurants [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => best-restaurants-granada [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2022-07-02 14:35:43 [post_modified_gmt] => 2022-07-02 14:35:43 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://theluxuryvillacollection.com/?p=242072 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw )  => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 232954 [post_author] => 5 [post_date] => 2022-02-21 13:22:20 [post_date_gmt] => 2022-02-21 13:22:20 [post_content] => Let’s face it, heading to southern Spain for winter sun and then spending a day or two skiing is a real novelty. Granada province and the east of Malaga province are within easy reach of the slopes in the Sierra Nevada mountain range. So, if you're visiting the area for some winter sun why not take advantage of the opportunity to ski?
Where is Sierra Nevada?The Sierra Nevada in Granada is the southernmost ski resort in Europe. It sits within Andalucia in southern Spain – an area that is known for its mild climate yet the Sierra Nevada is a mountainous area in Granada and has a ski season from mid-December to mid-April. This mountain range spans three Spanish provinces, Malaga, Granada and Almeria. Yep, that’s the same Almeria which is famed for its desert! The ski resort and highest peak are in Granada so during the ski season locals head up to the well-kept slopes for a dose of fresh mountain air and snowy adrenaline fun. The ski village is called Pradollano; it’s divided into bajo, medio y alto. This is where you’ll find all amenities including accommodation. Two gondola lifts from the village take you up to the main ski zone, Borreguiles.
What is there to do in the Sierra Nevada mountains?During the winter season you can ski, snow walk and cross-country ski across the mountains admiring the view across Granada and onto Jaen as you go. The ski village, Pradollano, has shops, bars, restaurants, hotels with spas and a great children’s play area. If you’re skiing, there’s plenty of choice to eat on the mountain from poke to pizza as well as a champagne bar and traditional canteen style restaurant.
For Non-Skiers…If you’re not a skier, take in the sun in the ski village (Pradollano) and don’t miss the spa at Meliá Sol y Nieve with the added bonus of a fantastic kids club. The Meliá Sierra Nevada also has a smaller spa with views over the slopes. If you want to get active and head higher into the mountains, take a guide and do a snow hike. We recommend Al Andalus Activa for all things active in this region, from cross-country skiing to hiking the highest peaks to short mountaineering courses and snow hiking. It’s worth mentioning in the spring and autumn that if you’re a keen hiker there’s some tough but rewarding hikes over this mountain range, particularly when tackling Veleta (3,396 metres) or El Mulhacén (3,479 metres).
Is Sierra Nevada Spain worth visiting in the winter?Absolutely. The Sierra Nevada offers hikers, snow walkers and skiers big blue skies and good conditions. The major concern for many is its southerly location and the relative warm weather. However, the highest peak in the Spanish peninsula, Mulhacén, at 3,479 metres above sea level is part of this mountain range and there are 200 snow cannons allowing the resort to open even when there's little snowfall throughout the season. The skiing in the Sierra Nevada is on the northern side of Pico del Veleta (3,396 metres). Although high, it does not replace your annual trip to St Moritz, Trysil or Chamonix - we have to be clear on that one. But with more than 110 km of pistes, 21 ski lifts, family area, snowpark with half pipe and music pumping from most bars it holds its own for a family day or two out.
What is the skiing like in Sierra Nevada?There are 110km of pistes with a variety of lifts. For beginner skiing and children it’s great. Some routes are specially for children: Pista del Bosque (woodland slope) and Pista del Mar (Sealife slope) have animals and sea creatures encourage little ones along the way. For intermediate skiers it ticks many boxes, too, with red runs aplenty to keep you in form during a day or two's skiing. For those who love off-piste though the options are more limited, although this does depend on snowfall during the season.
RunsThere are 19 green (beginner), 41 blue (intermediate), 50 red (advanced) and 8 black (expert) runs in total in the Sierra Nevada. The main ski zone, Borreguiles, is the gondola drop off from Pradollano. At Borreguiles you’ll find the ski schools, a couple of bars, restaurant, childcare, toilets and a shop. This area is ideal for beginners and non-skiers can also spend time here – there’s lots of seating. This is where you’ll meet your ski instructor if you choose to have a lesson. If you're a beginner there are magic carpet lifts, shallow gradients and there’s 19 green runs from here. From Borreguiles there are two chair lifts that take you to the top of the blue runs at this side which are worth exploring. Taking the lift higher again is for the next level of skier wanting a little more of a challenge. There are 50 red runs here, a lot are quite narrow and well used like El Rio. Don't miss the t-bar lift that takes you to the top of Veleta – the views are fantastic and there's a very rewarding run from here.
Where to Eat & Drink?In Granada province you get complementary tapas with a drink and spending any time in the area means you quickly become aware of which places offer less generous crisps or olives to those who go a little extra and offer delicious bite sized portions.
El BodeguitaWith a smart dining room and terrace El Bodeguita is a great option for lunch or dinner. It looks over the main square and onto the mountain. The tapas here are excellent with mini stews and paella accompanying your drink. Plaza de Pradollano Meliá Sierra Nevada, 18196, Sierra Nevada National Park España
VivacThis is the fine dining option in the resort with an open fire in a cosy dining room. It does have an outdoor terrace but this isn’t the most attractive corners of Pradollano. The food most definitely makes up for the humdrum approach and lack of views. Pl. Pradollano, 4, Edif. Genciana, Bajo 1, 18196 Sierra Nevada, Granada
El LodgeLunch time at El Lodge should be on the to do list while skiing. This is a five star hotel, restaurant and spa. It's located quite high in the resort so best to ski to it on the Maribel run. Walking up to it from Plaza Andalucia in the village is a bit of a task, especially in ski gear. There’s usually a DJ on the sundeck and reservations are necessary.C. Maribel, 8, 18196 Sierra Nevada, Granada
Surfin RestaurantGreat option for a hungry family, expect pizza, steak and burgers. There’s an indoor dining room as well as a huge terrace with heaters. Plaza Andalucia edificio, local 4, 18196 Sierra Nevada
Restaurante Badia Gastro ChillWith a great location next to the gondola, huge terrace and a DJ, Badia is a good option for a drink. The food isn’t great on our visit nor is the service but it has fun atmosphere, is always busy and has a view of the slopes. Plaza Andalucía Edificio Montebajo n12, 18196 Sierra Nevada, Granada
What is There to Do WITH Children?There’s a day care area at Borreguiles where the gondolas take you. Dreamland and the Snow Garden are for children ages of 3 - 12 years (out of nappies), opening from 9.30 – 16.30, seven days a week. In Pradollano, Mirlo Blanco is the children’s excellent play area. It has toboggans, ski-bike, chair-bike, mini-ski, mini-snowboard, donuts and roller-sled. But the most popular ride is the Russian Sleigh (trineo ruso), this is a kind of roller-coaster bobsled and fun for all ages. There are lots of ski schools that offer private and non-private lessons in all languages. The British Ski School is excellent as well as Rio Sport, Surfin is another option.
Top TipsDo a lunch and spa package at El Lodge where you get a 50-minute massage, lunch on their sun deck, access to the gym, indoor pool, outdoor pool and a locker. It’s ski in and out so ideal as a spot to meet for skiers and non-skiers. The second tip is the first lift from Pradollano is at 10.00hrs and last at 16.45hrs.
What’s the Weather like?Winter in the Sierra Nevada has recorded average temperatures of between -10°C and 5°C. In real terms though your heavy-duty warm ski wear is rarely needed. Hitting the slopes at the start of the season is chiller than March or April. Factor 50 is a must, great eyewear and light to medium weight jacket will serve you well with layers. For non-skiers in Andalucía Plaza, Pradollano you’ll likely have lunch in a t-shirt. That all being said, the weather can of course turn...
How to Buy Ski PassesThe best way to approach buying ski passes is via the resorts main website. You collect the passes from the ticket office with your credit card and QR code on arrival to the resort. During the weekends and holidays the ticket office can be busy so allow 20 minutes but at other times there is no wait at all. Ski pass cost: A day pass is 45 euros. There’s a half day pass from 13.00hrs and nocturnal skiing from 19.00 a 21.30hrs. Buy parking for the main car park in the centre of Pradollano just a short stroll to the gondola and ticket office in Plaza Andalucia. It’s just 18.00 euros per day. Sierra Nevada Parking.
Where to Hire SkisWhen it comes to hiring ski equipment convenience is key. The ski schools mentioned offer links with ski hire so by all means this is a great place to start. If you just need ski or board hire then two places stand out for ski/snowboarding equipment hire in the Sierra Nevada: the heavily snowboarding leaning Surfin. And Rio Sports offering quality and style, not far away from the gondolas with a fast turn around.
Ski ShoppingThere are plenty of shops in Pradollano selling ski wear and equipment. Burton, Goldbergh, Rossignol and all the major brands are available. There’s also a pharmacy, mini markets for any other essentials too.
Where to Stay?Pradollano is an easy day trip from the whole of Granada province including the Lecrin Valley and La Herradura but it is also an easy drive from the Axarquia too (around 2 - 2.5hrs). If you would like to do an extra day skiing and stay in the resort we’d recommend El Lodge or Melia Sierra Nevada.
Distances from the coast and Granada cityPradollano is just under an hour from Granada city centre and 1.15hrs to Salobrena the nearest coast. Would you like to incorporate skiing in the Sierra Nevada into your winter sun holiday? Take a look at our villas within easy reach of the slopes, Granada city, the beach and only an hour from Malaga airport - Luxury villas in Granada. [post_title] => The LVC Insider’s Guide To: Skiing in the Sierra Nevada [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => a-luxury-guide-to-skiing-in-the-sierra-nevada [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2022-03-16 15:35:47 [post_modified_gmt] => 2022-03-16 15:35:47 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://theluxuryvillacollection.com/?p=232954 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) ) 1