Soaking it in on the Costa del Sol
This is a partnered guest post about Costa del Sol.
It’s not often that us grown-ups get some time to ourselves without the kids, so it’s only natural to seize the opportunity with both hands. We decided to treat ourselves to a break on the Costa del Sol. Whilst we love a family resort holiday, what could be better than hot summer sun, beautiful landscape, fresh food and a healthy helping of Spanish Culture.
Stay at Refugio de Juanar
We started our break by settling in at Refugio de Juanar. This quiet little hotel is a totally unique place to make your base for the weekend. Nestled high in the mountains overlooking Marbella, and a little out of the town of Ojén, we immediately fell in love with this hillside retreat. They offer simple accommodation, with cosy beds, open fires (which would be lovely in winter!) and a simple and hearty menu – perfect if you’ve come back from a long hike. Speaking of which, this hotel is very popular with hikers, owing to its beautiful, natural location. If you’re lucky you can expect to spot wild boar, ibex and numerous species of bird. You genuinely feel like you’re in the middle of nowhere, a proper retreat.
Sightsee in Ojén
Although the town of Ojén is petite, there is more than enough to amuse yourselves for a day or two! One of the best ways of familiarizing yourself with the area is to take a tour. The tourist office arranges plenty of on foot tours, including a tour of the main points of interest in the centre of the town. As well as taking in some very pretty buildings, the location of Ojén means that you’ll be able to take in breathtaking views over the Costa del Sol. If you fancy a tour with a difference then visit the Cueva de las Columnas. This enormous cave is so named because you can see plenty of pillars left behind from prehistoric buildings, if you venture out early in the morning or once the heat of the sun has left in the evening then it’s a good idea to climb to the top of the caves and take in the spectacular views over the valley.
Sunny Morning in Puerto Banus
Although we had made Ojén our base, it is incredibly close to the coast. There are so many reasons to make a trip to Marbella, whether its for the glamorous nightlife, to try your luck in the famous casino culture, soak up the rays on the beach or, like us, to visit the stunning Puerto Banus. Puerto Banus is located in Nueva Andalucia a rich and beautiful suburb of Marbella. The vistas here are beautiful, the port backs onto a stunning mountain backdrop and you truly feel like you’re in an old Spanish fishing village. However look a little closer and you’ll see that Puerto Banus is in fact a playground for the rich and famous. Particularly during the summer months keep your eyes peeled for super cars and luxury yachts. If you pay really close attention then you might even spot a celebrity or two!
Eat at Marbella Patio
The cuisine in the Malaga region is particularly famous for being fresh and light, with a healthy helping of fish. A great place to sample some regional specialities is Marbella Patio. This little restaurant focuses on Andalusian cuisine and offers both a tapas menu if you’d like a taste of everything, right through to a la carte in the evening. The restaurant itself is in a 16th century building next to the walls of the old town, so in terms of atmosphere, it ticks all the boxes. The lemon marinated anchovies make a delicious bite to share before a main meal and if you want to try something a little bit unusual, but very typical of this cuisine then treat yourself to the Ajo Blanco Malagueno. This soup is made from local almonds and garlic, which is served cold with apple or grapes.