Marbella: the perfect spot for a lazy, sun-soaked break in southern Spain. But what is there to do should the pull of the pool begin to wear thin? From beautiful beaches and natural parks to…
Perhaps one of the best things about taking a villa break in the Summer is the chance to indulge in a couple of good books in a way that we rarely have time for during the rest of the year.
Our good friend Molly has kindly shared a couple of her top recommendations for this year’s Spanish summer reading list. We would love to hear what you think of these books so please do leave us a comment if you have read them.
Three Novels set in Spain
1. Voices of Angels by Hannah M Davies
The main character of this novel, Lizzie is an English schoolgirl, misunderstood by her classmates. Having a bit of a schoolgirl crisis she flies out to Spain to spend the summer holidays away from it all. Her stay is with her Expat grandmother who lives in the countryside of Andalusia.
As I live in Andalusia I was curious to read this debut novel written by Hannah M Davis. It is quite a while since I was hooked on a book. After the first ten pages I couldn’t put it down. I already wanted to know what was going to happen next.
This story has a great balance of romance, mystery and drama. Soon after the opening page of the novel we discover that Lizzie has a unique gift. She can see when people are going to die. We experience the emotions that she goes through as we witness what this psychic power has in store for her.
As different plots in the story unfold, the tale becomes quicker moving and intense. The main characters of Lizzie, Rafa and Ariadne are well developed and you feel an involvement as a reader. I was satisfied with the description of Andalusia that the author depicts. The hills around Malaga, the beaches of Cabo de Gata and the characters in Andalusia really are true to life. I could even relate to some of the situations in the story. Even the hot summer sun and dust thrown up along the olive grove dirt tracks can almost be felt as you are turning the pages.
If you want a short intriguing novel and love Spain this is for you.
2. The Seamstress by Maria Dueñas (Spanish title Tiempo entre Costuras)
This novel is about a young woman, who is swept off her feet by a handsome man.
Set in Madrid, the main character´s hometown, it turns out that he is not as wonderful as she first thought. Although the tale begins in Madrid, it has many twists and turns and soon leads us to Tetuan, Morocco.
She ends up in Morocco alone and penniless. The war is raging in Madrid preventing her return. In the novel there are many interesting characters, providing depth and richness to the story.
As well as the trials and tribulations the protagonist experiences, the political situation in Spain at the time provides a dramatic backdrop to this captivating novel. (We are taken through streets of Tangiers, Tetuan, Lisbon and Madrid with wonderful descriptions, the destroyed and desolate city of Madrid is also a feature towards the end of the book.
The novel has romance, mystery and intrigue as well as historic references to some of the key characters in Spain at the time.
3. The City of Sorrows by Susan Nadathur
This recently released novel had me intrigued from the first page. How could a young Indian student, a wealthy Andalusian business man and a local gypsy who works as horse trainer be connected? The story begins in India but swiftly moves to Spain and is set in beautiful Seville.
The story begins with Rajiv a young Indian who defies his father when trying to set up an arranged marriage in his local village and leaves for other opportunities in Spain. Initially his adjustment to Andalusia is difficult but he soon fits into the lifestyle and makes friends.
Andres, a more complex character seems to have it all, from a wealthy family, he works with his father and is often aggressive towards his family and colleagues. As the novel moves forward his rage intensifies at the same time as we learn more of his past.
Diego, a gypsy living in a neighbourhood on the edge of Seville seems to have the world against him. Nothing seems to be going his way. We see a happy family man distraught with grief give into a darker life that he previously led at the stables.
The three stories are carefully intertwined by the author and will have you turning the pages quickly to discover each characters path. With the descriptions of Triana and the traditional Easter processions in Seville it really makes a captivating and intense read.
Reviews by Molly Sears-Piccavey
Molly Sears-Piccavey has lived in Spain since 1998, initially in Barcelona, but now lives in Granada. Working in Communication and PR, she uses her spare time to read books, she is a also a busy Blogger and a frenetic twitterer. Molly speaks fluent Spanish and English as well as some French and Catalan.
Have you read any of these books, or have a recommendation of your own to share? Leave a comment below
Array (  => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 37138 [post_author] => 5 [post_date] => 2019-03-12 12:50:30 [post_date_gmt] => 2019-03-12 12:50:30 [post_content] => Marbella: the perfect spot for a lazy, sun-soaked break in southern Spain. But what is there to do should the pull of the pool begin to wear thin? From beautiful beaches and natural parks to dazzling white villages and grand, historic cities, there are plenty of great day trips from Marbella to keep you busy.
1. Caminito del ReyThis incredible gorge-clinging walk offers some light exercise, incredible views and is a great day out for the whole family. Tickets need to be bought beforehand - book here. Distance from Marbella by car: 1 hour 15 minutes
2. RondaHead inland to the north west of Marbella and you come to a beautiful town perched on a gorge. This is Ronda. See the oldest bull ring, Moorish baths, a lovely old palace or two and, if you have time, whip round a quick wine tour. Distance from Marbella by car: 1 hour 5 minutes
3. GibraltarCrossing the border from Spain to the UK at Gibraltar is certainly a novelty. This slice of Britain in Spain is interesting enough, but scratch a little deeper and there's a fascinating history to uncover, too. Don't miss the caves or the wild apes while you're on what locals fondly call 'The Rock'. Distance from Marbella by car: 1 hour 5 minutes
4. AntequeraKnown as the 'Town of Churches', Antequera has more places of worship than any other town in Andalucia. The fortress at the top of the town (pictured) and cathedral are the highlights, but don’t miss the ancient dolmens on the edge of town, either. Eat at Arte de Cozina (Artedecozina.com) and you'll have a thoroughly Andalucian day out. Distance from Marbella by car: 1 hour 10 minutes
5. Sierra de las Nieves Natural ParkWith a mix of jaw-dropping 2000-metre peaks and labyrinths of caves, this natural park near Ronda is truly spectacular. There are plenty of opportunities to go trekking, caving, 4x4 touring, mountaineering, mountain biking or horse riding. Nearby villages El Burgo, Istán, Monda, Parauta, Tolox and Yunquera are all worth a visit, too. Distance from Marbella by car: 1 hour 15 minutes
6. Los Alcornocales Natural ParkSpanning Cadiz and Malaga provinces, Los Alcornocales is very different to the Sierra de las Nieves. Famed for its cork oak trees and humid conditions, it’s actually the rainiest place in southern Spain and so has a large network of rivers and streams. Organise a hike through this park with lunch in one of the area's pretty, remote villages. Distance from Marbella by car: 1 hour 25 minutes
7. TangierYes, Africa is a realistic day out from Marbella! You can charter a boat and travel to Tangier in Morocco for a day. On top of the fantastic boat ride across the Mediterranean, it's wonderful for lunch and a spot of souk shopping. (Or see our trusted partner Toma & Coe's Tangier trip, here.) Distance from Marbella by car and boat: 3 hours
8. Rio GuadalminaIf you like a bit of adventure, walk the Guadalmina river and jump into rock pools, shower under waterfalls and hike through the gorgeous countryside. A guide can be arranged. Distance from Marbella by car: 25 minutes
9. CasaresThis picture-perfect whitewashed village makes for a lovely day out. Stroll about, take in the views and have a spot of traditional villagers’ lunch. A great contrast to the more sophisticated and cosmopolitan Marbella. Distance from Marbella by car: 40 minutes
10. Setenil de las bodegasA trip to Andalucia is as much about hanging out in small towns and villages as ticking off the big historic sights in cities. Setenil de las Bodegas has an incredible street where the houses are built into and under an overhanging rock face (pictured above). An utterly unique place. Distance from Marbella by car: 1 hour 20 minutes
nearby citiesFive of Andalucia's finest cities are within easy reach of Marbella. Each has their own allure...
11. MalagaMalaga is a city with A LOT going on. With plenty of great restaurants, historic sights and art galleries to pop in and out of, there's more than enough to keep you busy all day long. (For more information on Malaga, see our guide.) Distance from Marbella by car: 55 minutes
12. GranadaIf there's one thing you have to see above and beyond all others in Andalucia, it's the Alhambra Palace. A breathtakingly romantic 12th-century Moorish palace, it’s beautiful whether you're inside, outside or looking onto it from the pretty Albayzin area of town (pictured). Make sure you buy tickets before you go. (See our guide to Granada here.) Distance from Marbella by car: 2 hours
13. Jerez de la FronteraA great day trip from Marbella is Jerez de la Frontera. A relativity small city, it's perfect for strolling old streets lined with handsome palaces or lingering in lovely, historic squares. Don’t miss the Spanish Riding School (Realescuela.org) or one of the Sherry bodegas for a tour and a tasting. Distance from Marbella by car: 1 hour 50 minutes
14. CadizSouthern Spain's longest continually inhabited city, Cadiz has great beaches and a lively but laidback vibe. Visit the cathedral, eat in the market and see the city from above via the 'Camera Oscura' (Torretavira.com). Distance from Marbella by car: 2 hours
15. CordobaAs the Alhambra is to Granada, so the Mezquita is to Cordoba. A cathedral inside a mosque, it's a mesmerising building. There’s also a Roman Bridge, a beautiful 17th-century main square, the Plaza de la Corredera, and a network of narrow old streets to explore, too. Distance from Marbella by car: 2 hours 10 minutes So, that's our pick of the best day trips from Marbella. You can plan your day yourself or get in touch with us and we can organise it all for you. One way or the other, though - happy exploring! Alternatively, if you're looking for a beautiful villa in Marbella to rent, check out our selection. [post_title] => Perfect Day Trips from Marbella [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => marbella-day-trips [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2019-03-19 04:48:03 [post_modified_gmt] => 2019-03-19 04:48:03 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://theluxuryvillacollection.com/?p=37138 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw )  => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 30086 [post_author] => 5 [post_date] => 2019-02-07 11:33:54 [post_date_gmt] => 2019-02-07 11:33:54 [post_content] => Spring, summer, autumn or winter - there’s always a school holiday just around the corner. If you’re determined to spend it in a sun-soaked holiday hurrah then there’s nowhere better than the southern Spanish coast. It's simply got the the whole package of great weather, gorgeous food and plenty of things with which to keep the whole brood occupied. So if you’re looking for a stylish getaway that’s also fun for all the family, check out our guide to the best things to do in and around Marbella with kids…
1.Adventura AmazoniaWith rope bridges, zipwires, tree climbing and swing bridges this treetop rope adventure circuit challenge is not for you if you're a vertigo-sufferer. (The highest safety standards are adhered to, though, with harnesses and introductory training.) There’s a mini kids' course for 4 -7 year-olds and from 7 years, and up there are 83 challenges in the trees and 20 ziplines in total. You can challenge your family for up to 3 hours in Adventura Amazonia. Address: C/ Valeriano Rodríguez, 2, 29604, Marbella; Aventura-amazonia.com.
2. Mundo ManiaHaving indoor and outdoor play areas, catering for all ages and holding workshops, too, Mundo Mania is straight up kiddie nirvana. The outdoor facilities have a water park area, trampolines, multi-sports pitches, while indoors there are pool tables and the small matter of the biggest soft play area on the Costa del Sol. There’s a restaurant and bar for children’s snacks and adult meals. With plenty of events planned for all ages it’s always worth checking out their website for specific dates. Mundo Mania is located within walking distance of some of our Los Flamingos villas, so for a family fun getaway please do ask us for availability! Address: Camino de Brijan, 53-75, 29688 Estepona, Malaga; Mundo-mania.com.
3. Wakeboarding in Parque de Las MedranasThis park and lake in San Pedro Alcantara is the place to take the teens to hang out and hit the water for a wakeboarding lesson or two. It’s a cable pully lap system so it’s great for continuous riding and there are plenty of obstacles. In Summer there’s also live music, DJ sets, a swimming pool and snack bar and it’s open 6 days a week (closed on Mondays). Address: Parque de Las Medranas s/n, 29670, San Pedro de Alcantara, Marbella; Cableskimarbella.es.
4. Marbella BuggysFeel the need for speed? If you've got an adrenaline junkie in your family then a buggy tour will be right up their street. Head for the mountains just outside Marbella and hit the dirt tracks on a tour with a pro tour buggy leader. Anyone with a valid driving licence can get behind the wheel, while children can be co-pilots. You can choose from a 2 hour, 3 hour or day tour (which includes lunch). Address: Camino de Montesol S/N, Rio Padron, 29680 Estepona; Marbellabuggys.com.
5. Hire a CatamaranHire a catamaran for the day and head out onto the Mediterranean to experience the coast from the sea. While the kids are looking out for dolphins or enjoying the thrills and spills of a banana boat ride, you can lie back on the nets and soak up the sun. Ask our Concierge for details. Address: Puerto Deportivo de Marbella, C/ Duque de Ahumado s/n, 29600, Marbella.
6. Children's Playground – Bulevar, San Pedro AlcantaraThere are plenty of playgrounds dotted around Marbella but we think this is the best. There’s a 3km well-marked rollerblading, skating or bicycle track around the park as well as several great play areas and an amphitheatre where you can enjoy live music and shows during the summer, Feria week and school holidays. Address: Av. Luis Braille, 29670 San Pedro Alcantara, Malaga.
7. Kid’s SpaThis is a beauty, modelling and craft hub for children where you can pre-book experiences at the spa or in your villa. Whether it’s a t-shirt design workshop, kid’s cinema or mother and daughter manicures, there are loads of opportunities for family fun. They can organise birthday parties and events in their salon or in your own villa, so check out their website for what’s happening when you’re on holiday. More information: Calle Arturo Rubinstein, 3, 29602 Marbella, Málaga. Kidspamilkandroses.com.
8. Food Room MarbellaNurture your mini-foodies with a kid-friendly live cookery experience at the Food Room. They run regular cookery classes and school holiday clubs in English and Spanish for children ages 6 years and over, or can organise a private class just for you. Discover the secrets of great Spanish cooking during your stay in Marbella and take home much more than just the photos! More information: Urb. Guadalmina Alta, San Pedro de Alcantara, 29670 Marbella, Málaga. Foodroom.es
9. Beach – Dunas de Artola at CabopinoWhy this particular stretch of sand over the other beaches in Marbella? Well, the maze of sand dunes and historic tower, the Torre de los Ladrones, make it just that bit more fun for children. It’s also next to Cabopino port with its small marina and family-friendly restaurants. Address: Cabopino Beach, 29604 Marbella, Málaga.
10. Segway TourHire a Segway and go for a ride along the coast or have a guided tour around Marbella. With special Segways just for children, even the littlest members of the clan can hit the road. Address: Avenida de las Naciones Unidas, CC Cristamar, Local 2, 29660, Marbella; Marbellasegwaytours.com.
11. Marbella Historic CentreMarbella has a charming old quarter with cascading plant-filled streets, cobbled squares, shops and restaurants that's great for a day when the appeal of the pool (eventually...) starts to tire. Have a meander around with an ice cream and visit the very beautiful Museum of Contemporary Spanish Engravings (Museo del Grabado Espanol Contemporaneo). More information: Calle Hospital Bazán, s/n, 29601 Marbella; MGEC.es.
Things To Do with the family Around Marbella
12. KartfunIn Estepona there’s 1.9km of outdoor track where you can race go-karts to your heart's delight. Children from 6 years old can drive, while younger children can be a passenger with a parent. Address: Salida 155 A-7. Junto a gasolinera GALP. 29680, Estepona; Kartfun.es.
13. Horse RidingSome say the best way to see a country is on horseback. At Los Caireles, you can take a ride into the countryside around Marbella no matter what your level. Address: Urbanización Hacienda Cortes, C/ El Almendral S/N, 29603, Marbella; Loscaireles.es.
Theme Parks & Water Parks NEAr marbellaGiven its popularity as a family holiday destination, the Costa del Sol inevitably has more than its fair share of amusement parks. And while they can be busy places, they also guarantee a fun day out for the family, particularly in shoulder season when queues are shorter.
14. BioparcThis zoo in Fuengirola has gorillas, crocodiles, lemurs, giant tortoises, hippopotamus, tigers and much more. The park is divided into territories: the island of Madagascar, Equatorial Africa, Southeast Asia and islands of the Indo Pacific. Great care has gone into the rain forest feel of the park. The path leads you through the different territories under tunnels, over bridges and around enclosures. There’s quite a lot of shade and it’s very friendly to small children. Opening times: Open every day from 10 – 18hrs, July and August 10 – 23hrs More information: Calle Camilo José Cela, 6, 29640 Fuengirola, Málaga. Bioparcfuengirola.es
15. SelwoThis safari park is much bigger than Bioparc. It also offers more than animals, too, it has a huge zipwire, 65 metres of hanging bridges, archery and trampolines. Animal-wise there are white rhinoceros, elephants, cheetahs, giraffes, pythons, waterbucks, lions, wallabies and more. The Central Village - where the big African animals are - is the show-stopper. Be sure to book the Serengeti Safari where you get taken inside the enclosures in a customised jeep. Opening times: 14th Feb – Oct 10 – 18hrs, Jul and Aug 10 – 20hrs, Nov – Feb varied opening times, please check the website. Address: Selwo Adventura, Avenue Parque Selwo s/n, A7 highway km 162,5, 29680, Estepona; Selwo.es.
16. Tivoli WorldTivoli World in Benalmadena is a compact theme park, but with its many attractions and regular live shows it's undoubtedly one of the best things to do on the Costa del Sol with kids. For the smallest members of the family, ‘Tivoliandia’ offers rides better suited for little ones. To make your trip even more fun, take a ride on the Cable Car which runs from right outside Tivoli and takes you up the mountain to enjoy spectacular views of the coast. At the top you can enjoy a Birds of Prey display and grab a snack at the restaurant. More information: Av. del Tivoli, 29631 Benalmádena, Málaga. Tivoli.es or Cable Car 'Teleferico' Benalmadena
17. Sea LifeStill in Benalmadena, this small aquarium in the award-winning Puerto Marina has sharks, stingrays, jellyfish and more. Be sure to be around for feeding times. Opening times: Open daily from Monday to Sunday from 10 – 17:30hrs More information: Puerto deportivo, s/n, 29630 Benalmadena Costa, Málaga. Visitsealife.com
18. AqualandThe biggest water park near Marbella is Aqualand in Torremolinos. It has 18 slides and attractions including the dare-devil Kamikaze, Rapids, Boomerang, speed racers and Black Hole among others. It’s a great day out for all the family and has an area dedicated to toddlers and non-swimmers. Opening times: 20th May 2019 Address: C/ Cuba, 10, Torremolinos, 29620; Aqualand.es.
19. Costa Water ParkCosta Water Park can be found in various locations along the coast – Benalmadena, Fuengirola, Mijas Costa, Elviria, Marbella and Sotogrande. An inflatable assault course in the sea, it's a lot of fun and one of the absolute best things to do with kids when the mercury starts to rise. Life jackets are given out as part of the ticket so there's peace of mind. Open during the summer months only. More information: Costawaterpark.com.
Inland family Adventures from Marbella
20. LoboparkThis is a guided wolf tour - which is exactly as cool as it sounds. The wolves in Lobopark aren’t domesticated, so you get the unique experience of watching these amazing creatures 'in the wild'. For families with older children there are Wolf Howl Nights tours, where on full moons the park does special tours to see (and hear) the wolves when they're at their most active. More information: Ctra. Antequera-Álora, km 16, 29200 Antequera, Málaga. Lobopark.com
21. El Torcal Natural ReserveAt the prehistoric El Torcal Natural Reserve kids go wild for the bizarre rock formations and the possibility – however small – of actually discovering a dinosaur fossil. There are three routes that you can follow – red, yellow or green – though the red route is restricted in order to protect flora and fauna. The green route is the easiest but the yellow, which is only slightly steeper/rockier, is more dramatic. More information: El Torcal, Ctra. A-7075, 29200 Antequera, Málaga. Torcaldeantequera.com
22. el Caminito del ReyThere aren’t many walks in the world quite like the gravity-defying - and incredibly beautiful - Caminito del Rey in El Chorro. With a large part of the route clinging to the cliff edge above a gorge, it's a spectacular way to spend a morning or afternoon... for those who aren’t afraid of heights, that is. Tickets must be booked in advance, please contact us for more information. More information: 29550 Ardales, Málaga. Caminitodelrey.info.
Malaga city with kidsMalaga city has it all, beach, museums, shopping, art and great restaurants. If you’re planning some time in Malaga city while on holiday there are lots of things to do with children that are both educational and fun.
23. The Pompidou CentreWhile most of Malaga's art galleries hold fun classes on the weekends for over 5 year olds, the Pompidou Centre in particular is very good at catering for children. Not only is it generally very child-friendly with a cafe, shop, toilet and changing facilities, but it has a room dedicated to pre-teens with all sorts of interactive activities built around learning about artists. The Pompidou Centre is on the pedestrianised Muello Uno which is perfect for families with its electric car rental, bikes, play areas and boat trips as well as shops, markets, restaurants and bars. More information: Pasaje Doctor Carrillo Casaux, s/n, 29016 Málaga. Centrepompidou-malaga.eu.
24. Ferris WheelJust a short, enjoyable walk from the Pompidou Centre is the giant Ferris Wheel on Malaga’s port. If you’d like to see Malaga, the coast and, if you’re lucky, Morocco, from an air-conditioned pod 70 metres in the air then this is a good way to spend just under an hour. It opens at 11am and closes at midnight. More information: Puerto de Málaga, Muelle de Heredia, s/n, 29001 Málaga. Noriamiradorprincess.com.
25. Castle & FortIf you’d like to be outside, then the Alcazaba and Gibralfaro are a fun attraction for the family. Not far from the Wheel, situated in the centre of Malaga, this 10th-century fort-palace complex allows for imaginations to run wild and little legs to get tired. Opening times: 9.00 hrs – 20.00 hrs in the summer and 9.00 hrs – 18.00 hrs in the winter. More information: Calle Alcazabilla, 2, 29012 Málaga.
26. Interactive Music Museum – MIMAIdeal for budding rock stars, visitors are taken through the history of musical instruments with plenty of opportunities to try them out, too. Look out for activities for children during the school holidays and weekends. More information: Av. de José Ortega y Gasset, 201, 29006 Málaga. Musicaenaccion.com.
27. Automobile MuseumIn an old tobacco factory, this museum has a large collection of vintage and unusual cars, as well as fashion and art. Great for all ages, it's a good option to please the whole family and break up the day. It's not very big and can be visited easily in a couple of hours. Opening times: Monday to Sunday from 10.00 – 19.00hrs Address: Museo Automóvil Malaga, Edificio de La Tabacalera, Avenida Sor Teresa Prat 15, Malaga; Museoautomovilmalaga.com. Like our pick of things to do in Marbella with kids and thinking of a special family break? Check out our selection of Marbella villas. [post_title] => Things to Do in Marbella with Kids [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => things-to-do-with-kids-in-marbella [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2019-03-10 21:25:23 [post_modified_gmt] => 2019-03-10 21:25:23 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://theluxuryvillacollection.com/?p=30086 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) ) 1