Looking to get off the beaten track in Andalucia? We’ve scratched beneath the surface of this exciting, historic area of Spain, asked local experts and come up with a list of little-known things to…
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…
With 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 Mania
Having 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 Medranas
This 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 Buggys
Feel 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 Catamaran
Hire 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 Alcantara
There 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 Spa
This 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 Marbella
Nurture 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 Cabopino
Why 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 Tour
Hire 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 Centre
Marbella 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
In 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 Riding
Some 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 marbella
Given 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.
This 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
This 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 World
Tivoli 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.
17. Sea Life
Still 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
The 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 Park
Costa 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
This 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 Reserve
At 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 Rey
There 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 kids
Malaga 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 Centre
While 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. Castle & Fort
If 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.
25. Interactive Music Museum – MIMA
Ideal 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.
26. Automobile Museum
In 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.
Array (  => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 139603 [post_author] => 5 [post_date] => 2020-12-11 09:50:40 [post_date_gmt] => 2020-12-11 09:50:40 [post_content] => Looking to get off the beaten track in Andalucia? We’ve scratched beneath the surface of this exciting, historic area of Spain, asked local experts and come up with a list of little-known things to see and do for our guide to hidden Andalucia...
If the bird's eye view of the inside of the cathedral looks spectacular, then to cap it off you emerge outside with 360-degree rooftop views of Malaga. [email protected]
Visit Malaga Cathedral's Roof
The top tip of Lindsay Gregory, Director of The Luxury Villa Collection: “Stroll around Malaga historic centre, take a hammam at Aire Ancient Baths and finish with cocktails at a rooftop bar.” https://malaga.hammamalandalus.com/en/
RELAX IN A HAMMAM
A rather lovely town with a Moorish fortress complex and no fewer than 30 churches. Don’t miss having tapas in the impressive Plaza de los Escribanos.
Meander in Antequera
Just outside Antequera, these are some of the largest and most complete megalithic structures in Europe. Museosdeandalucia.es
Visit Three 5000-year-old Dolmens
The ruins of a 9th-century church carved out of rock are the highlights of a larger fortified town complex. Anything 9th century and still standing is incredible in our books.
Wonder at a 9TH Century Church – Bobastro
A house with a garden in the Albayzin (the oldest part of Granada city) is known as a Carmen. These Carmens look out towards the Alhambra Palace, often have wooden balconies, plant-filled patios, babbling water features and decorative tiles.
Nose Around the Carmens of Granada's Albayzin
This 17th-century abbey and college comes complete with holy caves/ancient catacombs. The view of Granada alone is worth the walk.
Visit the Abbey of Sacromonte, Granada
This village has stately houses gripping onto the edge of a gorge, cobbled streets and spa credentials. Our top tip is to escape the summer heat in Granada and visit Alhama – it has a unique microclimate where summer nights cool to a comfortable level.
Take a day trip to Alhama de Granada and its Natural Hot Springs
Once part of several fortifications, the castle that sits on this tiny island dates back to the 13th century.
Find Out the Mysteries of the Island of Sancti Petri, San Fernando, Cadiz
This pristine white village, sitting high on a rocky hilltop, really comes into its own at sunrise and dusk. Aside from the dramatic light, there are lovely boutique shops, great restaurants and, during the summer, look out for their candlelight festival.
Experience the Beautiful Light in Vejer de la Frontera
While it's got a great beach with some decent Atlantic surf, it’s the laidback-hip bar vibe in El Palmar that makes it stand out from other stretches of southern Spain's coast.
Surf and Sip in El Palmar
David, chef at De Tako's top tip is, “One of the best ways to experience a country is through its food and an even better way is to enjoy perfectly cooked food is in an incredible setting surrounded by friends". We entirely agree – hire a private chef at your villa for the ultimate in convenience.
HIRE A Private Chef
One of our top hidden foodie treats in Andalucia is delicious Retinto beef from Cadiz. Much is spoken about fried fish, olives and olive oil, jamón ibérico and Sherry but this meaty option is also a real gastro-standout.
Taste Riotinto Beef
Hire a boat and hit the sea - you’ll almost inevitably come across a pod of dolphins in the Mediterranean Sea.
Take to the Sea – Dolphin Watch
This forgotten about 12th-century arched gateway and wall was the main entrance into Seville, and is certainly off the beaten path.
Puerta de Macarena/Walls of Seville
You'll never have experienced a bar like Garlochí, a homage to Easter in Spain. All year round there's incense burning and procession music playing – they call it the cathedral of bars. Don’t miss their signature cocktail: Grenadine, whisky and Cava.
Drink at a Bar Dedicated to Easter in Sevilla
There’s a succession of beautiful waterfalls running over some interesting limestone formations in Sierra Norte de Sevilla Nature Park.
Wild Swimming at Cascadas de Hueznar in Seville Province
Fiona Flores Watson, Telegraph Travel Writer and Seville resident recommends: “The summer outdoor concerts held in the Alcazar Palace… a magical setting for live jazz, flamenco or classical music by moonlight.” Alcazarsevilla.org
SEE LIVE MUSIC IN THE ALCAZAR PALACE
The castle of Castillo de Almodovar del Rio was built in 740. You can join theatrical tours, do some medieval combat training or spooky storytelling. Castillodealmodovar.com
Visit Highgarden, the Tyrell’s House in Game of Thrones
Manni Coe of Toma & Coe's top tip is: “One of the most consistently excellent restaurants I know in Andalucia is located on a little-known street, in the little-known town of Lucena. It's called Tres Culturas and it's also a handy stop off en-route to Cordoba." Tresculturasrestaurante.com
TRAVEL TO EAT AT TRES CULTURAS
In the Sierra de Cazorla natural park this castle was built at the start of the 16th century. A beautiful monument in an even more beautiful part of the world.
Marvel at the Castle of Iruela, Jaen
The colours of autumn over the vast landscape of rural Huelva is the perfect way to disconnect. Local people flock here to experience the change of the season.
Reconnect with Nature and See Autumn in Aracena
This breath-taking beach near the charming village of San Jose feels like another world.
Genoveses beacH in Cabo de Gata, Almeria
A bit of a cheat but do a tour…
Our top 5 are: Most unusual is in Segura de la Sierra in Jaen province: this square bullring is the old courtyard of a castle and was built in the 18th century. Ronda bullring is the second oldest and the biggest. Seville bullring is the oldest; Antequera's is famed for appearing in Madonna’s Take a Bow video; Mijas has spectacular views and is simply charming. Archidona usually erects a bullring inside its eight-sided main square during the summer season. Like this and want to know more about visiting southern Spain? Check out our guide to the five best cities to visit in Andalucia. [post_title] => Hidden Andalucia [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => hidden-andalucia [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2020-12-24 11:48:52 [post_modified_gmt] => 2020-12-24 11:48:52 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://theluxuryvillacollection.com/?p=139603 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw )  => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 133379 [post_author] => 5 [post_date] => 2020-10-03 15:27:14 [post_date_gmt] => 2020-10-03 15:27:14 [post_content] =>
See Andalucia through its Bullrings
(As of Nov 2020)Since the global pandemic reached our countries in early 2020 there has been restrictions in one way or another on the way we live our lives. With the sheer amount of press on Covid-19 it’s difficult to see the wood from the trees. So we wanted to reach out to our guests and give you a clear idea of what it’s really like to be in southern Spain in 2020. As we become used to Covid-19 not going away we’re getting better at carrying on with our lives but with safety measures in place. Obviously, those who are at high risk may adopt a more stringent approach to their activities but for the rest of us we’re getting out and about responsibly. While we at The Luxury Villa Collection welcomed guests during 2020 we realise that clarity on what it's like in southern Spain is needed.
What restrictions are there in southern Spain?Shops, restaurants, bars, coffee shops, events, museums and art galleries all have capacity limits to ensure social distancing can be adhered to safely. Businesses all have hand sanitizer at the door so customers can clean their hands upon entering and leaving an establishment. As of 25th October there is a curfew between 22.00hrs and 07.00hrs. Further restrictions have been put in place to limit the movement of people outside their municipalities. Face coverings must be worn at all times if over 6 years old, other than:
- People playing sports do not have to wear a mask whilst engaged in the sporting activity.
- Masks do not need to be worn by customers who are eating, drinking, or smoking.
- In the sea or swimming pool.
- In a designated household sunbathing area on the beach.
Do I have to wear a face covering?The use of face coverings is mandatory for anyone over the age of 6 years old at all times unless during one of the points stated above. This includes in all forms of indoor and outdoor public spaces even if social distancing can be applied. For countries that haven’t adopted this measure, face coverings seem a huge inconvenience but what they have allowed people to do is enjoy their holiday as normal with face coverings and social distancing being the only restrictions.
Are restaurants open?Yes, restaurants and cafes are open with limitations place upon their capacity to ensure tables are spaced out enough so customers can remove their face coverings while drinking or eating. Serving staff and chefs must wear masks at all times.
Are Beaches open in Andalucia?Yes. Once on a beach in your own sunbathing area and in the sea you may remove face coverings. The sunbathing areas must be 2 metres apart and social distancing must be adhered to in the sea. Some beaches have allocated sunbathing areas others are flexible but there are personnel checking that people adhere to social distancing rules while enjoying the beach. No distancing is necessary within your family unit. The norms that local governments put in place over summer 2020 worked to great effect and people could enjoy the beaches of the Costa del Sol, Costa de la Luz and Costa Tropical.
Are tourist sights open?Yes. Restrictions on numbers being allowed into famous landmarks, tourist attractions and galleries has meant some sights have never been so quiet. Achieving the perfect photo of the Alhambra Palace or Real Alcazar de Sevilla without other sightseers is actually possible.
Does a face covering need to be worn while driving?When driving alone or with your household no face covering needs to be worn, but if there are passengers or a driver from a different household then everyone must wear a face covering.
What’s the general mood in southern Spain?Summer 2020 saw fewer parties for sure: the dancing all night in a club and watching the sunrise from a buzzing rooftop bar was and is not on the cards at the moment. However, long lunches beside the sea, visiting theme parks, historic sights, galleries and museums, beach days and outdoor activities are all there being enjoyed. It's really business as usual with the some sensible parameters in place. Some of our guests used our villas with entertainment rooms, cinemas, spas and abundance of space to organise private experiences from chefs to talks to spa treatments and live music. Bringing the wonderful Spanish culture into the safety of their private villa.
What is State of Alarm and What Does it Mean?The phrase state of alarm sounds very official and, well, alarming however, it is really just an administration step for the government and helps regional governments put in place restrictions. This phase allows the government (if necessary) to limit the movement of people at specific locations and times, temporary use private industries (such as private hospitals), limit the use of services and ensure the supply of necessary goods and services. In 2020 during Covid19, the state of alarm has meant limiting the movement of people between different provinces and curfews been implemented (from 23.00-06.00hrs). In no circumstances does state of alarm mean visitors aren't permitted to travel back to their home country.
Air travel – Is it safe?So far there has been little evidence of in-flight transmission of coronavirus, but there have been a couple of examples of transmission early on in the pandemic before more stringent controls were in place. Shaun Fitzgerald, Royal Academy of Engineering visiting professor at the University of Cambridge said, aircraft ventilation systems are unique, the “replacement rate” - the number of times a volume of air equivalent to the volume of the cabin is removed each hour - can be four minutes in a aircraft. Compare this to 20 or 30 minutes in an indoor environment on the ground and it’s very brisk. The air filters themselves on aeroplanes are sophisticated and much more effective than filters found in indoor venues on the ground. Most airlines say face coverings are mandatory, limit food and drink services and don’t allow queuing for the toilet. The airports themselves are being diligent ensuring social distancing is in place as well as temperature controls in some. As from October 2020 if traveling from Europe or the UK:
- You must complete a health control form - which includes a HCF - a negative PCR test within 72hrs of your arrival to Spain.