A walking holiday is a great way of exploring a place at your own pace and on your own terms, enjoying the fresh air, getting active and allowing stress and strain to melt away. There’s nothing better than setting off, with your rucksack and a map, into the beautiful countryside and discovering hidden treasures.
The Costa del Sol is better known for beach holidays, but it’s a great place to go walking in spring and autumn. There are long seaside promenades which stretch for miles, so you can happily walk from San Pedro to Marbella via Puerto Banus. It’s about a thirty minutes’ walk from San Pedro to Banus and then another hour from Banus to Marbella. This is a great way to start a walking holiday, as it’s flat and easy going with places to stop for a drink or a bite to eat so it eases you in. Plus, you can go up the Avenida del Mar, a lovely pedestrianised walkway linking the paseo (seaside promenade) with the centre of Marbella, and marvel at the Salvador Dali statues, before taking a break in the shady park. Then you must head into the gorgeous Old Town, with its tiny winding streets, squares and chapels, which is best explored on foot.
What many people don’t realise is that just back from the coast there is beautiful countryside and charming traditional villages. Travelling just a few kilometres inland, transports you back into Spain’s past and you will be charmed by the peace, tranquillity and beauty, not to mention the very friendly locals. We recommend having a base in the countryside within easy reach of the coast, as it gives you great walks on your doorstep, plus nightlife and culture too.
The Urban Villa boutique hotel is nestled within the hills just a ten minute cab ride from the centre of Marbella, close to the pretty white village of Ojen. You can walk to Ojen from the hotel and explore this surprisingly unspoilt white village. Located in a stunning area of the Sierra Blanca and Alpujata mountain ranges within the award winning Sierra de las Nieves nature reserve (Biosphere) it is a lovely walk with amazing views. The pretty Old Town includes a church, striking fountain and two museums exploring the olive oil production and strong spirit “Aguardiente” which the town is famous for. There are stunning caves to explore, a wonderful viewing point and the remains of the Moorish castle, plus bars and restaurants to rest weary feet and refuel for the walk back.
Another wonderful walk close to the hotel is around the Refugio de Juanar which leads up to the iconic La Concha mountain and is absolutely stunning, with pine trees, beautiful view points and amazing scenery. There are loads of trails around this area, including a lovely 4 hour walk to the white village of Istan. If you’re really feeling like a challenge then the walk up to La Concha is a wonderful, if slightly trickier achievement! It took us 2.5 hours to get to the top and you can see the pictures here on Facebook
This is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to walking around Marbella and so to help you out we have loads of different options to try. We work with experienced guides to offer fun and interesting walks such as a guided tour of the “white water village”, hiking through the Moorish water irrigation channels and mills in the Istan area, Andalusian cork makers tours and even survival courses for 10-16 year olds. Check out the options here
If you’d like to have something comprehensive and have a whole walking holiday arranged for you, why not join one of our walking weeks where you can base yourself at The Urban Villa and set off each day for different walks. We can develop an itinerary depending on your ability and preferences, arrange a guide and transport to take you to more remote walks and even organise massages for when you return to the hotel. Find out more about our Marbella walking weeks on our website, or contact us to check availability and discover the Costa del Sol on foot.