Marbella Inside & Out

Discover the magic of Marbella from an "insider" point of view – by Liz Glazer


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An outing from Marbella Town to visit the Art Gaucín Open Studios 2016 Event (20-22 & 27-29 May)

Gaucín

open studios art gaucin If you are an art lover and feel like a day away from Marbella Town over this holiday weekend,  you might be interested in visiting the whitewashed mountain village of Gaucín, just under 70 km from Marbella Town,  for the second stage of the Art Gaucín Open Studios event (May 27-29).This annual event showcases the work of the thriving community of Spanish and foreign artists that live in Gaucín as they open their studios, homes and gardens to the public to display and sell their work (download information: http://artgaucin.com/open-studios-map/).

Having never been to Gaucín before, when my friends Keris and Cate asked me to join them on a trip to this event last Friday, I readily agreed… Continue reading


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Istán – an enchanting and enchanted Garden of Eden in the mountains just outside Marbella Town

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“The mountains are calling and I must go”, so wrote John Moore one of America’s most famous and influential outdoor enthusiasts in 1873.

And never has a quote been so appropriate when it comes to this blog post about my recent visit to the beautiful mountain village of Istán.  Set in the midst of the UNESCO natural reserve of Sierra de las Nieves, on the southern slope of Marbella’s La Concha mountain, it is located in the verdant valley of the Rio Verde and overlooks the stunning lakeside scenery of the La Concepción reservoir and the Mediterranean sea beyond.

Although only 15 km inland northwest of Marbella Town, as a rather timorous mountain driver I’d never dared to venture there before.  Having reconnected with my inner intrepid explorer however, thanks to this blog, for the past few weeks I was itching to go on an outing in nature and had been having this inexplicable “call” to visit Istán.  So when my friend and fellow nature-lover Cate suggested out of the blue that we go on a voyage of discovery to the very village of Istán, it was akin to a call of destiny… Continue reading


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Freewheeling in & around Marbella Town – Stage 3: Leisure Harbour to Marbella’s Banana Beach (2.7 km) & beyond…

Banana Beach dunes

If you´re staying in Marbella Town and don´t have a car or don´t fancy the relatively long walk from the town centre to reach the fine-sanded expanse of beach known as Banana Beach, some 700 metres to the east of the fishing port, an alternative way of spending a few hours enjoying this lovely stretch of coastline is to pack up your beach gear in a rucksack, rent a bike and cycle there. Continue reading


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The Sunday morning outdoor flea market of Benahavis and a walk through the Las Angosturas Nature Reserve

 Benahavis Sunday morning flea market

If you’re looking for something different to do on a sunny Sunday that’s not too far from Marbella Town and enjoy a good rummage around a market as I do, I suggest you take the short drive to the picturesque mountain village of Benahavis, and spend the morning strolling around its weekly morning outdoor flea market… Continue reading


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The forested paths of Marbella Town’s “Gunpowder Plains”

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I read an article a couple of months ago about “the lost art of getting lost” and was mulling this over as I walked back from my favourite supermarket at the far west end of Calle Jacinto Benavente, the street we locals call the “post office road” that runs parallel above Marbella Town’s high street, Avenida Ricardo Soriano.

2For years when walking back along this route, I have simply passed by these two squat tower-like buildings with steps leading up to a now unused fountain some 30 metres above street level, with a forested area beyond but never thought to explore further. I was put off from so doing by the signs on these tower-like structures which read “Club de Golf Marbella” and more intimidatingly, “Motoclub Los Mentirosos” (The Liar’s Biker’s Club!), imagining that these steps led to an incongruously mismatched shared private sports practice area, where leather-clad bikers dodged around tartan-trousered golfers.

However, in the spirit of “the lost art of getting lost”, I cast aside my trepidation of trespassing and climbed up the steps… Continue reading


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Journey through the “lost” and lush river valley of El Padrón, Estepona.

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Having asked my circle of friends and fellow long-term residents of the Malaga province to take me to one of their favourite places in nature, close enough for a day-outing from Marbella town, so that I can then share this with readers of Marbella Inside and Out – I too have embarked on an amazing journey of discovery of Andalusian nature at its most magnificent, to places that are only a few kilometres inland from the concreted coastline.

Such was the case at the end of last month when my friend Cate took me on a “mystery tour”, to what she intriguingly referred to as “the lost valley of El Padrón”. All I knew when she picked me up in the early hours; as it involved a long walk in the still blazing August heat; was that I should wear my swimwear under my walking clothes since it also involved a dip in the shallow summer waters of the Padrón river, which flows from the foothills of the Sierra Bermeja mountain range above Estepona, for 12 km down to the coast. Continue reading


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Take a “river walk” on the wild side – an exhilarating trek through the Angosturas gorge in Benahavis

20150510_135350A wonderfully refreshing escape into nature, far from the madding crowds that pack Marbella’s beaches in the summer, is to head inland to the picturesque mountain village of Benahavis, just over 20 kms from Marbella town centre.

Before I met my friend Moya who has lived in the village for the past 30 years, I’d been there only on a couple of occasions to sample the cuisine at one of the fine dining restaurants for which Benahavis is renowned, overlooking the area’s most spectacular rugged mountain and dense forest scenery.

Today, thanks to Moya’s “local insider” knowledge and her love of nature, we invariable combine one of my escapes from the Coast to explore the surrounding countryside she knows so well and immerse ourselves in the stunning scenery, instead of admiring it from afar. Continue reading