Marbella is well known for its beaches, shopping and nightlife, but once you have exhausted those there is so much more to do for those of you who are more adventurous at heart.
Nestled above Marbella town, you can escape into nature and explore miles of beautiful woodland in the “LLlanos de Juanar” located up behind the La Cañada shopping centre. The area is home to a lot of wildlife and on your trek you will spot a lot of wild animals (don’t worry no tigers or bears!!). There are six routes to explore in the park, ranging in difficulty and length. The the demanding is the hike up to the summit of the La Concha mountain, a 7,300 metre climb up to the iconic peak which dominates the Marbella skyline. You will not be disappointed once you get up there, the views are stunning! There are guides that can take you up or you can follow a downloaded map.
Less than an hour from Marbella is the beautiful town of Ronda, with its impressive gorge. It is set in incredible countryside and there are a number of hiking routes which you can explore. The area is also famous for its wine, and you can visit the bodegas and enjoy the peace and beauty of the vineyards. You can also abseil down the gorge for those not afraid of heights!!
Around thirty minutes’ drive from Marbella is the pretty white Andalucian village of Mijas. Nature lovers will enjoy the well signed hiking routes around the back of the village. Ask in the Tourist Office for route maps and information, they also run regular guided hikes if you prefer to explore in a group.
El Torcal, is approximately an hour and a half away from Marbella, near the pretty town of Antequera and is one of the most striking natural parks in the area. It boasts extraordinary rock formations and three well marked walking routes through the park. If you visit El Torcal, make sure you visit the Dolmens, an ancient site on the UNESCO World Heritage list, with its prehistoric burial chambers dating back 5,000 years.
Travelling west from Marbella, you can visit Gibraltar and climb the Mediterranean Steps (not for the faint hearted!). If you have a head for heights and are in good shape, it’s a wonderful hike and and well worth it. The views are breath-taking and you will get to meet the famous Barbary Apes up close. (When going to Gibraltar DO NOT forget your passport, you will not be allowed in without it!)
Last and no means least, we highly recommend walking the famous Caminio del Rey, located in El Chorro. It is a very popular activity so book tickets in advance to avoid disappointment. This hike is around 7.5 kilometres and normally takes between two and three hours. The walk hugs the cliff edges and you cross cross the El Chorro gorge via an amazing and somewhat wobbly suspension bridge. This is a great day out for the whole family (not suitable for babies or very small children unless you are willing to carry them most of the way!).
Marbella really is so much more that nightclubs and shopping. We are surrounded by such beautiful landscape. We have mountains, sea and beaches, lakes, winter skiing, beautiful walks and treks, zip lines, Buggies, Horseriding and so much more. To take full advantage of what the area has to offer just take a little drive and explore. It will be worth it.