Modern to Picturesque Authentic
Benahavis is a small picturesque village that managed to retain its Andalucian character. The village is especially known for its excellent gastronomy and restaurants are more frequent than in any other city in the region.
Often called “The dining room of Costa del Sol.” With population of only 2500 people, you can park on the outskirts of the village, only to walk across without getting tired. This small white limed village discovered in the late 1000’s and the name comes from one of the Arab kings son. ‘Ben’ (meaning son) ‘Havis’ (the king’s name). Isabella and Ferdinand Regeneration troops defeated the Moors in 1495 but the Arabs’ time in the village are still visible mainly by the legendary ruins Montemayor from the 1100s. This ancient Moorish ruins is at its highest peak in the area and the view is magnificent over the coast. Benahavis is easily accessible from the highway to the Guadalmina golf course, a further 7 km inland along the rio Guadalmina.
Gastronomy: Very varied cuisine that has become known even outside the country. Typical dishes: Perdiz (partridge), conejo (rabbit), Cordero (lamb) Solomillo ‘en adobo’ or ‘a la fire’ (marinated and grilled beef tenderloin), Cochinillo (suckling pig), Paella, Chorizos al agua.
We recommend you to visit Restaurante El Castillo www.elcastillo.eu, click on the El Castillo button to the right and print your voucher and you will receive 10% discount on food & beverage.
Walk straight ahead to the end of the main street – Av de Andalucia – and when you reach the David Marshall gallery, turn to the right. Walk another 30 meters and you have El Castillo infront of you to the left. Opposite hotel Amanhavis.
Tripadvisor.com has appointed El Castillo to number 1 among the restaurants in Benahavis.
Here a review from one of the guests: Bill B McLean, Virginia, United States
The Costa del Sol
The Costa del Sol “Sunny Coast” or more literally, “Coast of the Sun” is the part of the Andalusia coastline that stretches from Nerja in the east to Manilva in the west.
The approximately 200 km long coastal strip contains from Nerja, Torre del Mar, Velez Malaga, the provincial capital Malaga, Torremolinos, Benalmadena, Fuengirola, Mijas, Marbella, San Pedro de Alcántara and Estepona.
The coastline is today even called as the Costa del Golf, because of the large number of golf courses.
Costa del Sol is also sometimes counted as the 300 km that extends from Motril in the east to Cadiz in the west and thus belong to three provinces: Granada, Málaga and Cádiz. Nowadays it is however specified that the part which is located in Granada Province as the Costa Tropical and the part that is in the Cadiz province as the Costa de la Luz.
Fuengirola is the center of the Scandinavian population of the Costa del Sol.
Half a Century has passed since the Costa del Sol opened the doors to mass tourism. Fishing villages are now hotel cities and the farms have become golf courses. This is the ordinary image of Costa del Sol. But the Costa del Sol is more than the beach resorts. Malaga has the big city hustle and bustle, Marbella offers disco pulse and the mountains provide the peace of nature. Travel by car is the best way to quickly travel between the various coastal towns and sleepy mountain villages. Despite the Costa del Sol’s versatility is one thing the same: wherever you are traveling on the coast – The always shining sun!
With about 330 days of sunshine, daytime temperatures up to 17C even in December and January, with a daily average temperature of at least 13C in the winter. Costa del Sol live up to the text in the old song by Noël Coward “It is only mad dogs and Englishmen that go out in the midday sun”, I don´t think they have a choice! With more than 200 km of coastline, the Costa de Sol is not only Europe’s most southern tourist destination, but probably also the best.
A paradise for climbers, bikers, golfers, joggers, kite boarding, swimmers, sunbathers, and anyone else who enjoys Outdoor Living.
A Spanish municipality and also a town, Fuengirola is located in the province of Malaga, 30 kilometers from the city of Malaga. It covers 10 square kilometers and have a population of about 75 000 inhabitants in the area. In the east fuengirola bordering Benalmadena and in the north and west it borders to Mijas. Directly south is the Mediterranean.
Originally Fuengirola was a small fishing village, but today it is completely redesigned. Tourism is its nutritional and both Spanish and Europeans have their holiday in the area.
Along the Costa del Sol, Fuengirola is also the center of the Swedish, Danish, Norwegian and Finnish population. There is the Swedish school, the Swedish Church, the Spanish Nordic Society and more.
The town has an 8 km beach and the boardwalk is among the longest on the entire coast. Most bars and restaurants can be found here, in addition to the popular marina with 330 berths and pieces of a large number of bars and discos. The harbor lying there is of great importance to the city’s economy.
The coast’s only zoo is also located in Fuengirola and it is also open for night viewing of nocturnal animals.
Fuengirola is not the most eye-catching of the seaside resorts on the Costa del Sol and has not Marbella high international status, but s on the other hand, one of the Spanish much appreciated holiday destination.
Gibraltar also known as the Rock is the last colonial territory in Europe.
The Rock´s strategic value has always been strong because there you have control over all traffic in and out to the Mediterranean through the Strait of Gibraltar.
A well known offshore paradise, the rock with about 30 000 inhabitants currently has more registered offshore company´s than registered home´s, and around seven million visitors annually. (Do not forget the passport).
There are 27 pubs along Main Street in Gibraltar, all more English than in London. Welcome to the rock that is a thorn in the Spaniards and a matter of principle for the British. There really is not any reason not to make a visit to Gibraltar when staying in Costa del Sol!
The Spanish ruled the rock for 400 years. 1713 it was handed over to the British as part of the Utrecht peace agreement. Since then, the Spanish have demanded to have the rock back.
General Franco closed the border to Gibraltar in 1969, and so it remained until 1985 when it was opened to the Spanish and Gibraltar inhabitants, a few years later the border opened for us all.
The blockade was an attempt to force out the British. The isolation lasted for 15 years. England supported with money and the rock is still a British crown colony.
In 2001 the prime ministers of Great Britain and Spain met, they had some difficulty agreeing about Gibraltar’s future. The same year it was a referendum in Gibraltar. 99 percent voted against that Spain should rule the rock.
Even more recently, the border has been closed, Monday 2005-10-24 Spain closed the border to the British colony, to prevent 500 gastroenteritis passengers from the cruise ship Aurora to get into the country, and this triggered a wild quarrel with GB.
It is allowed to drive into Gibraltar, but the queues in as well as out of the rock make this a bad alternative. The way back thru Spain customs and passport control could take several hours and it is extremely difficult to park inside the crowded city. Buses are available from La Linea, the town on the Spanish side of the border.
Another option is to park in La Linea and walk across the border. You find plenty of parking spaces even during peak season.
The typical English red buses are on the right side of the road after passing customs and take you into the centre.
The view from “the Rock”, where you can see the Straits of Gibraltar and all the way to Africa on clear day, are often neglected by tourists, focusing on shopping. Yet, shopping ha dropped significantly since the days when the border was opened. Cigarettes, perfumes, liquor and chocolate are the most common “souvenirs”. The electronics for sale are not interesting today, the latest models are often not available and the prices are not that low compared to Spain as they were before.
At the peak of the Rock the only wild monkeys in Europe live. The top of the rock is easily accessible by cable car or by minibus. When you in any way get up to the top, remember here it is the apes who rules. It is not allowed to feed the monkeys and they can sometimes be aggressive. Do not bring plastic bags, they think it is food, hold tight to lose clothing and purses. Several belongings have been tossed down over the cliff by the monkeys.
If you want to visit a beach, there are several to choose from. On the Atlantic side there are the beaches Camp Bay and Little Bay. On the other side of the cliff lies the village of Catalan Bay. A Former fishing village that many Spanish used as refuge when Napoleon invaded Spain in begging of the 1800 century. Today it is a thriving resort town.
It takes one hour to drive there from Marbella.
The currency is: Euro, Sterling pound, Gibraltar pound (which is worthless outside of the Rock).
Istán Is a village in the Malaga province with a population of 1554 people, it lies in the Sierra Blanca valley of the Rio Verde. The municipality has an area of 99.5 square kilometers, with the urban core that is located at 303 meters. It is only 4.6 kilometers away to the Mediterranean coast as the crow flies, but by the car the road is 15 km due to all curves. The village is near the large pond that was built in 1972 to provide drinking water to towns along the Costa del Sol.
Istán is one of a number of villages that have Moorish origin, it survived due to its distance from the coast. After the Christian recon quest of the Iberian Peninsula in the 1500s, Arabs were forbidden to live along the coast. This is to prevent them from communicating with thier relatives in Morocco across the strait. Istán with its distance of 15 kilometers to the coast, was preserved while the coastal Arab settlements was depopulated and destroyed.
There are four a la carte restaurants in Istán, Troyano, El Baron, Rincon de Curro, Entresierras and the new Las Harales in Rural Hotel at the entrance to the village. There are also a number of bars serving an excellent selection of tapas. Istán also have a hotel, but they had to wait until 1998 to get it.
There are small drinking fountains with delicious cold water, these are strategically distributed throughout the city and has had the task of supplying water to the population of the village, before the water was installed into each house. They are characterized by having a structure of white and blue tiles. The sound of rippling water could be heard through the whole village, providing a unique experience and identity and personality to the village. Besides all these fountains there are El Chorro a washing piont in the middle of the village, a tiled laundry built in to the village in order to give women the advanatge to wash inside the village instead of to carry the laundry to the beach at Rio Molinos, and even today you can see people wash clothes at El Chorro.
The Swedish author Liza Marklund’s character Annika Bengtzon in the book “A Place in the Sun” quenches her thirst in one of the two bar´s at the village square.
In urbanization La Reserva de Marbella II, located in Las Chapas straight up from Cabopino Beach and Puerto Cabopino marina.
La Reserva has a large number of pool areas with pools and Jacuzzis, the larger pool areas are staffed with lifeguards during the summer season.
There is also a nice and affordable restaurant in the area, Andy’s Cafe – Restaurante. There you can eat a wide assortment of food, or just enjoy a glass with good friends.
La Reserva has twenty-four seven security.
Is the capital of the Costa del Sol. “Ciudad del Paraiso” – paradise city, so wrote Nobel laureate in literature Vicente Aleixandre about Malaga. A city that vibrates of life and fascinates with its mixture of ancient history folklore and modern culture. And it is easy to imagine paradise in this port city with nearly 3000 hours of sunshine per year and several kilometers of beach in the center of town. Many of the coastal visitors never come to the city center. Nevertheless, it is well worth making a trip there and enjoy the city sights.
Málaga may not be a beautiful city in itself, but the atmosphere is pleasant and the cultural it offers is great. Museums, the Cathedral, the fortress Gibralfaro and much more, it is impossible to make Málaga in one day if you want to see everything.
The climate in Malaga is more extrem comperad to the rest of the Costa del Sol. During the summer it is hot for those who are not used to it, and in the winter it is colder than in other coastal cities.
Malaga is a big city, with the municipality about 700 000 inhabitants is one of the largest in Spain. Well known is their August festival in the typical Andalusia style.
Málaga city center is a great place to stroll around, almost everything is within walking distance. Much of the sights are in or around the old part of town “Centro Antiguo”. The city’s rich heritage, since 900 years before Christ by Phoenicians, Greeks, Carthaginians, Romans, Visigoths and Arabs, is visualizes itself any way you look. Malaga’s most famous inhabitant was born at the Plaza de la Merced in 1881, and Pablo Picasso’s life and work is still present in most places, and citizens of Malaga is proud of their son. Opening of the Museo Picasso in 2003 was a hit and has made the city grow culturally. Near to the museum visitors can find both the Roman theater and an Arab castle not far from the bullfighting ring. On the other side of the old town, the CAC with an international contemporary art. Adjacent to the Cathedral Plaza’s Episcopal with temporary exhibitions, often of high quality. Teatro Cervantes offers a wide range of concerts, dance and musicals.
Museo Picasso: This beautiful museum in the 15 th century Buena Vista Palace is a must for any visitor to Malaga, young or old. Thanks to the master’s son’s, wife Christine and grandson Bernard the museum have a collection of nearly 200 works. A stone´s throw, at Plaza de la Merced, is Picasso’s birthplace which is also open to the public. Price: € 6 for the permanent exhibition, € 4.5 for temporary exhibitions.
Address: Calle San Agustín 8
Phone: (34) 952 127600
Alcazaba och Gibralfaro: Are military forts from the period when the Arab´s rule. Inside the walls is a palace with beautiful gardens and spectacular views. The Roman theater just next door, built in the first century AD, recently restored and restored after many years of neglect.
Address: Calle Alcazabilla
Shopping: The shopping streets in Malaga for shoes and clothes particularly is Calle Larios and the parallel street, Calle Nueva. Shoes for example, Antonio Parriego and Nicolas you find on Calle Larios. You can also find the Spanish shops Mango, Massimo Dutti, Bershka and Pull and Bear. Zara is located on the side street Liborio García. At Centro Larios shopping center is in addition to clothing stores, there are cinemas and restaurants. Branded clothing Armani, Versace, Dolce Galbana you find in the department store El Corte Inglés. For those who are looking for a gift, a souvenir, or something good to eat, a visit to Mercado Central Atarazanas. Here it is meat, fish, fruits, vegetables, olives, nuts, spices, cheese and pork at reasonable prices. At Ultra Marinos Zoilo on Calle Granada you can buy typical sweet wine Málaga Dulce or Moscatel, Serrano ham, cheeses and sausages, raisins from the province and sweets such as “mantecados”, a kind of cakes that are eaten especially at Christmas. Anyone who wants a little more exclusive memory can buy a hand fan in any of the specialized shops on Calle Nueva.
Dining: In Malaga you will not have many restaurants with white tablecloths. This is a city full of informal bars packed with people and a wide selection of tapas. In Malaga they eat a lot of fish and shellfish, the so-called “chiringuitos” on the beach and the Paseo Marítimo in Pedregalejo.
Café de Paris: Exclusive restaurant with a Michelin star. Traditional ingredients prepared in a modern way. Expensive, but quality a feast for all senses. The owner and chef, the young Malagueños José Carlos García, has studied at La Cónsula and is considered one of Spain’s top three chefs.
Phone: +34 952 003588
Bodega El Pimpi: You have not been to Malaga if you have not been to El Pimpi, the most typical place in the city with photos of celebrities, and hundred posters on the walls. Here you can drink wine from the province and eat tapas in historical surroundings – in the 1700s the house was a nunnery. Once a month there flamenco performance. Address: Calle Granada 62
La Posada de Antonio: Hollywood star and Malaga-born Antonio Banderas restaurant. Traditional Spanish cuisine. Tapas and grilled meat in a friendly atmosphere. Address: Calle Granada 33 Phone: +34 952 217 069
Antigua Casa de la Guardia: Oldest Tapas bar in Malaga founded in 1840. At first glance, this appears to be an old, traditional bar with a few seasonal tapas available. However, its charm lies in the fact that it is filled with huge barrels of different types of sherry. You have to take chance and point at one, give it a try and then move on to the next barrel. The mixture of local Spanish and tourists give a cozy filling. The bar staff just keep a running tab chalked on the bar next to you. It’s only a small place but is a very popular starting point for the evening.
Address: Calle Alameda Principal 18
The town’s name, according to locals, is from Spain’s first Queen Isabella of Castile´s first visit, who when she came to this place and saw the sea for the first time, called out: “Qué martan bella!”, what a beautiful sea. Marbella has it all: luxury apartments, villas and palaces with thousands of beautiful palm trees and plants. A fantastic seafront promenade goes all the way to Puerto Banus. In San Pedro there is also a nice promenade along the beach.
Marbella covers a 28 km long coastline along the seafront with lots of luxury hotels and even the prince’s palace. In recent years Marbella changed its appearance considerably. It is no longer a village with the typical Andalusian appearance. The population has increased rapidly and the former fishing village has turned into a modern city with about 150 000 inhabitants liveing scattered in hundreds of “urbanizaciones” community’s. During summer time the population nearly doubles. Marbella have a majority of low buildings, which is a significant difference to other holiday resorts in Spain. The municipality is located about 60 km from Malaga and stretches along the coast between the shoreline and the mountains. It gives the area a very special climate all year around. A Place in the Sun. Marbella’s popularity began in 1953 when Prince Alfonso von Hohenlohe opened the Marbella Club and his friends came to enjoy themselves and socialize.Marbella became a “hot spot” in Europe, just as St. Moritz, Gstaad, or Juan Les Pines.
Marbella has more golf courses by square km than any other place in Europe, with over 50 golf courses in the county. Here lies the “golf valley” where several of Costa del Sol´s and Spain’s best golf courses are placed. More and more arid areas have been turned into golf courses, carefully managed to remain in top shape all year around. The area is incredibly beautiful. Against the silhouette of the Sierra Blanca, the scenery is breathtaking with rolling green hills, palm trees and orange groves. Because of the microclimate that is formed between the mountains and the ocean the winters are warmer than elsewhere in Europe and the summer is not quite as hot as other places in Andalusia. Between May and October rain is rare, even in the winter it is rare that it rains a whole day, usually it’s showers and after a short while it is sunshine again. Daytime temperature never falls below 20 C degrees, except for some days in December and January. Most common are sunny days that let tourists enjoy the beach in the winter. Marbella has much to offer. Prices are higher than elsewhere along the coast, but what you get in return is quality. First class shops, newly renovated streets, restaurants and exclusive nightclubs. But there are many places to eat, drink and to be entertained without spending a small fortune.
Puerto Banus, where yachts anchor all year round along docks filled with Rolls Royce, Ferrari, Maserati, Bentley, Lamborghini and other eye-catching vehicle´s in Top Gear style. Many of the tourists don’t miss the opportunity the get a snap shot standing beside this beauties. “The Golden Mile” with its jet set life has made the area world famous, Arab sheiks and celebrities appear on right club for the year followed by hundreds of paparazzi´s
Puerto Cabopino is a smaller version of Puerto Banus, it is a quieter and cozy harbor with its diverse selection of restaurants and promenade. In the daytime the beach is also well worth a visit with its white sands and clear lukewarm water.
But Marbella is much more than that.
The municipality consists of several components that many believe are other villages. Puerto Banus, San Pedro de Alcántara, Nueva Andalucía and Las Chapas are all part of Marbella. The area is huge and extends from Mijas Costa to Estepona. Marbella’s best beaches are those outside the center of the city. The area around Las Chapas, Don Carlos Hotel (Nikki Beach) and Cobopino – most popular among those who worship a sandy beach and clear water.
Marbella’s history is not something that the ordinary tourist takes the time to get to know. Although there are archaeological findings and documents showing that the city was founded in 900 A.D.
Phoenicians probably founded Marbella already for more than 3500 years ago when they built up the business routes along the south coast of Spain. 300 years BC the Romans ruled and gave the town its first name, Salduba. The Moors invaded southern Spain in 711 A.D. They landed on the coast between Tarifa and Marbella. They built the city wall and maze of streets in the old town and gave the city the name Marbilha. This later developed into Marbella. According to the locals, it was Spain’s first queen, Isabella of Castile, who when she came to this place the first time said: “Qué mar tan bella!”, What a beautiful sea. Mar-bella became Marbella according to that version.
Andres Garcia Baena a local author has recently published an interesting book about Marbella’s history, he does not live at writing books on history, but sell them in the bookstore El Zoco as he runs in the center of Marbella
According to Garcia Barna´s dating Marbella’s earliest data is from 900 A.D. The castle still remaining in the old town center near the orange square was built around 970 A.D. The city was also surrounded by high protective walls, these walls was remowed for new buildings during the 16 century.
Puerto José Banús, more commonly known as Puerto Banús is a marina located in the area of Nueva Andalucía, to the southwest of Marbella, on the Costa del Sol. It was built in May 1970 by José Banús, a local property developer, as a luxury marina and shopping complex. It has since become one of the largest entertainment centres in the Costa del Sol, with 5 million annual visitors, and is popular with international celebrities. Developed around a coastal village in the Mediterranean architectural style, Puerto Banús contains expensive shopping malls, restaurants and bars around the marina.
Puerto Banús is visited annually by nearly 5 million people.Visitors to the port tend to be mostly tourists from northern Europe (especially United Kingdom) and Arabs (especially Kuwait and Saudi Arabia), along with Spanish tourists. The focal point of Puerto Banús is the marina. It has berths for 915 boats, including those of the King of Saudi Arabia and several of the world’s wealthiest individuals. Behind the harbour lie streets filled with bars, nightclubs and the streets is lined with expensive luxury boutiques like Christian Dior, Gucci, Versace, Dolce & Gabbana, and others.
Ronda: Is a city in the province of Malaga in Andalusia. It is located about 100 km from Malaga in a mountainous area about 740 meters above sea level. The population is about 37 000.
History: In the district there are remains from the Neolithic period, 25 000 year old cave paintings of Cro Magon period in Cueva de la Pileta. In 500-BC. Celts was settled, they called the place Arunda. Later fenicer was settled in nearby Acinipo, locally called Ronda la Vieja (Old Ronda). Caesar gave Ronda city status. During the 400-AC. Sveber took the city, in the next century the East Roman Empire ruled the town. Later the city became captivated by the Visgothic king Leovigild. Ronda subsequently enrolled in the Visigothic kingdom until 713, when it fell to the Moors, who called it Izn-Rand Onda (“the city with fortress”). During the years 1039 to 1065 Ronda was the capital of the tiny Kingdom Ronda. From 1065 it was part of Seville’s kingdom. The Moorish power was broken by the Marquis of Cadiz, Ronda captured after a short siege. 1485 the city was captured by Ferdinand and over the following years the city have peace and economic prosperity, resulting in extensive building of baroque buildings in the 1700s. Napoleon’s invasion caused great damage, Ronda’s population declined from 15 600 to 5 000 in three years.
The city is divided by a 120 meter deep canyon (El Tajo), formed by the river Guadalevín. Three bridges lead over the ravine, a Roman built for more than 2000 years ago Puente Romano, a Moorish-called Puente Arabe, and one that they started to build in 1751 and which was completed first in 1793. It’s called Puente Nuevo (New Bridge).
Ronda has inspired writers and artists such as Washington Irving, Prosper Mérimée, Gustave Doré and Ernest Hemingway.
It is exciting to see how the houses on both sides of the ravine are built entirely out to the edge of the vertical cliffs. They are called “casas colgadas” (hanging houses). Ronda, thanks to its impregnable location, looking back on a long and fascinating history.
Puente Nuevo: One of 1700s engineering artistic masterpiece is Rondas most famous landmark, the Puente Nuevo, rising on the mighty pillars of Guadalevíns gorge, creating a bridge between the two districts. The construction is similar with an aqueduct, it has a base construction and three upper arches, from which there is a very nice view of the Tajoravinens bottom. The room above the center arch was formerly a escape proof dungeon, and from there they pushed nationalist sympathizers in death during the Spanish Civil War (1936-39) – a tragic event, which Ernest Hemingway portrays in “Whom the Bell Tolls.” According to a legend the architect reached out for his hat when it blow off, he fell into the abyss and died.
La Maestranza: Ronda probably most famous building is the historic La Maestranza bullfighting ring, which is one of the oldest and most charming in Spain. The stadium, built in 1785, is surrounded by rows of arcades in two stories with Tuscan columns and has room for 5000 people. Hemingway had his own loge here. Today the stadium is owned by Ronda Royal Knight’s, whose arms can be seen on the gable above the entrance gate in the Baroque style. Those who want to know more about Spain’s oldest arena can visit the small museum where a lot of bullfighting memories, including costumes, etc. Here you can read about Francisco Romero and his son Juan and grandson Pedro, who were the creators of the legendary bullfighting dynasty, and has based the rules of today’s bullfighting.
Casa del Rey Moro: Called the 1700-century palace that was built on the foundations of a Moorish Taifa-royal palaces. On the back is a staircase that is partly covered by a vault, which is carved in the rock. With its 365 step the stairway leads down to the river and La Mina, a spring in the rock. During the fighting with the Christians, the Christian prisoners have to carry water to the top. The Spanish proverb, “God save me for Ronda jar” derived from that time. Proceeding from the Casa del Rey Moro down at the steep road you come to Arco de Cristo – a Moorish port from the 1300s. If you go further up the stairs you soon stand on the old Moorish bridge, Puente Arabe, where there are many well-preserved horseshoe-shaped arches. From there it’s a beautiful view through the canyon to the Puente Nuevo. At the end of the bridge is an old Moorish bath complex, which dates from the 1200s.
Puerto de Almocabar: From the 1200s constituted the main gate of the city of Ronda. Thrue this the Christian took the town in 1485. This is also the Renaissance city gate Puerta de Carlos and the remnants of the old city walls side by side. On the other side of the gate, the Santa María La Mayor – Ronda Cathedral, built in the late 1400’s.
Winemaking: Winemaking is not news in Ronda. Indeed, it has been found evidence that the vine grapes was produced in the area for already 2000 years ago. However, the area was affected of the phylloxera Filoxera between 1880 and 1892 and most of the vines throughout Andalusia and the rest of Europe got crop failure. Therefore the land in Ronda was used mainly to plant olive trees on, or for hunting. But once again grapes are produced in Ronda. The Winery Doña Felisa Ronda produces wine under the name “Chinchilla.”
The Winery Doña Felisa: The Winery Doña Felisa is located very near the old Roman village Acinipo, 900 meters above sea level. Acinipo is known from Roman period as “wine country” and a lot of wine was shipped to Rome from the port of Malaga. In those days they cultured a grape that is similar to what we today call Tempranillo.
The Winery Chinchilla: The Winery Chinchillais a family business run by the couple Jose Maria and Gema who are leading the daily work. The Wineary is actually both their workplace and home. It’s José María who, since the first vine was planted in the year 2000, has decided how the vines will be planted and what varieties are most suitable for the land. After several years of experimentation, it has become following grape varieties: Tempranillo, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Syrah, which are proven to grow best in the area. “Ronda is most suitable for vineyard,” said José María and continues, “and it is very important that our wines reflect the soil from which they come, and that we respect their natural flavors and taste.” Most of the wines are stored in French Allier barrels that are replaced every three years. At present the wine house only produce 100 000 bottles of wine a year, and they all go under the name of Chinchilla.
The Winery Chinchilla is open to visitors. They take groups of minimum 5 persons or more. You can get a guided tour with wine tasting and lunch, they offer different menus in different price ranges.
Torre del Mar
Torre del Mar is a largish seaside town and busy summer beach resort on the Costa del Sol, boasting one of the longest, and certainly one of the widest, beaches along the coast. The beach, known in general as Playa de Torre del Mar, runs along the entire length of the town and stretches almost 4 kilometres to the neighbouring resort of Caleta de Vélez.
Running parallel to the beach is the splendid promenade (paseo marítimo) with a wide walking area, cycle lane, grassy areas, play areas for children and, of course, numerous chiringuitos and other “watering holes”.
Torre del Mar is also very Spanish in character although, as with most places these days, you will find quite an eclectic mix of bars and restaurants. Being a commercial resort, there are shops of every size, shape and type for those wishing to indulge in a bit of retail therapy as well as regular street markets. The El Ingenio shopping centre is only a short distance away in Vélez-Málaga.
The town dates back to Phoenician and Greek times, but there is very little evidence of this remaining in the area. During Roman times, the town was known as ‘Maenoba’ and during the XI century, there are references to the town under the name ‘Mariyyat Ballis’. During the Middle Ages, Torre del Mar served both as a Customs area and as a monitoring station to guard against attacks by pirates. A castle was built in the area, the ruins of which still exist today.
Torre del Mar enjoyed a brief period as an independent municipality between 1842 and 1848, but financial difficulties led to its reunion with Vélez-Málaga. The start of the XX century saw Torre del Mar become a spa town, the authorities trying to attract tourists to the area, but it wasn’t really until 1960 and an urban boom that it really took off as an important tourist resort for both Spanish and foreign visitors. Torre del Mar is in the municipality of Vélez-Málaga in the Axarquia district (comarca) of Málaga province in the autonomous region of Andalucia.
Torremolinos is a place full of bars, restaurants and shops. The typical Mediterranean holiday is guaranteed in Torremolinos.
Torremolinos is by far the first place that was developed as a tourist destination on the Costa del Sol. Among the Spanish it is a myth. Going to Torremolinos in the 50-60´s, became a fashion for those who could afford it and for young people seeking entertainment that was not allowed in other locations at the time.
Many people came on scooters all the way from Madrid, to experience the freedom that did not exist anywhere else in Spain.
Torremolinos was a kind of free port at that time. What was considered scandalous living by the Swedes, who went to the beach in bikini, became a famous part of Torremolinos. The effect was did exist for a long time, Swedish girls attitude became a part of the liberation movement in Spain.
Torremolinos is still a place full of bars, restaurants and shops. Here you also find a conference palace, which is frequently used for national and international exhibitions, trade shows and conferences. The beach is full of small bars and “chiringuitos” beach restaurants serving fried fish and the classic “Paella”. The entertainment options are plenty during day time and nightlife, Torremolinos is a city that never sleeps.
Torremolinos is sometimes criticized for how the shoreline has been built on, high-rise hotels and residential buildings in “Manhattan” style mixed with the fishing village’s distinctive features and character. What is true is that Torremolinos is a place with the Spanish style, although there is no excessive tourism filling in the city. Those searching for a holiday with entertainment and nightlife will not be disappointed in what Torremolinos has to offer.