It’s October on the Costa del Sol but the other day it was 33 degrees!! Warm enough to jump in the swimming pool and head down the beach. No wonder there’s so many expats living down here, in fact I read the other day that the percentage of foreigners moving to this region of Spain continues to go up every year. It’s easy to see why with temperatures like these well into Autumn.
Anyway my brother is now one of these foreigners, so I’ve been here almost a week visiting him near San Pedro, about 20 minutes from Marbella. There’s plenty to see in this region and if you don’t have a brother to stay with, VIP Backpackers does have hostels in Alicante and Malaga which aren’t too far away. Alternatively you could also stay in Granada or Sevilla, both about 2-3 hours from this section of coast.
While most of the action in this part of the world seems to happen around the beach there is plenty to do off the sands as well. Here are some highlights and easy day trips you could do if you were staying in this region.
Gibraltar – the tax free haven
I spent a wonderful day at Gibraltar, actually a Brittish territory but part of the Spanish landmass and quite close to Algeciras (where you get ferries to Morocco). You have to show a passport to get across but with the relaxing of the European border, tensions between the UK and Spain have since relaxed. Alcohol and cigarettes are tax free here or low tax so lots of people were stocking up.
Things to do here including getting a cable car to the top of the rock of Gibraltar – there are great views of Africa, WWII tunnels and batteries and cannons to visit, some incredible underground caves and an enormous number of monkeys that were thought to have first come from Africa. Gibraltar town itself is cute and quaint and akin to old England.
Marbella’s white wash houses
I’ve also visited Marbella and Ronda – both gorgeous towns with tiny streets complete with whitewash houses brimming with ceramic tiles and flower baskets. Tiny alleyways in these places lead to open squares with atmospheric churches and a lot of bars. There’s an enormous amount of action down at the beach front too with cafes and bars spilling tapas and beer out from every corner on the sand itself and on the promenades.
Bulls and paella in Ronda
Ronda itself is about 20-30km up into the mountains and set on an incredible cliff faces that falls away into a ravine below the town. There is an incredible old bridge that fords some of this and leads to a more ancient part of the city. There’s also a bullring which you can tour when there’s not fighting going on, and the city serves up some wicked paella, or for the more adventurous, bull’s tail.
Anyway if you’re looking for somewhere to warm up this winter, bring your frozen mitts down here to southern Spain and catch some sun!
Hope you’re enjoying the VIP Backpacker’s Travel Blog. There’ll be an update added every other Friday, so keep tuning in to keep your travel dreams alive! If there are any travel topics you want covered feel free to contact me, Jo, at firstname.lastname@example.org