Marbella positively shines in the summer, there is no denying. It seems to all be about sun, sea and spas and it’s hard to imagine another dimension to the place. You might think that come winter, one would need to jet off to the other side of the hemisphere to continue such pleasures. As the unforgiving heat of August gradually backs off and a gentle breezes enters the enclave, the weather becomes particularly ripe for outdoor activities during Autumn and Winter.
Come September, the throngs of tourists have been reduced to a savvy few, making ambling along the port front at Puerto Banús infinitely more pleasant. Walking the promenades (and shopping as you go) is an obvious foundation to your stay. But what if you took your exercise efforts to the next level? The culinary rewards would taste all the sweeter. Here is one way you could shape an off-season day on the Costa del Sol…
Golfing in Marbella
A spot of sport
It’s a well-known fact that you can always play golf on the Costa, but how about replacing this with an afternoon of gentle hiking? La Concha is the unmissable mountain backdrop to Marbella and San Pedro. A three-hour hike will take you to the summit. Perfect in autumn, winter and spring.
La Concha means ‘shell’ in Spanish and her hump-like form is a clear giveaway as to why she is thus named. She sits to the west of the Sierra Blanca. One of the greatest pleasures of walking La Concha is the fragrance released from the rare pine ‘pinaspos,’ discovered only in 1837. You can scale La Concha in an afternoon (5 hours, to the top and back down) and you’ll be rewarded with wonderful views in every direction – the Costa del Sol, Gibraltar, inland Spain and north Africa. Fear not, signposts along the way are obvious.
A seafood suggestion
Fewer than half the ‘tourist’ venues shut up shop on the Costa del Sol in winter. Many restaurants continue to take bookings day and night. It goes without saying that in a place with 320 days of sunshine a year, you can still eat and drink on terraces and seafront restaurants (‘chiringuitos’) outside the summer months. However, sometimes the wind picks up in the winter and a cosy option appeals. Enter Soliluna, one of the highest quality and friendliest restaurants in Marbella. With a generous fireplace and a large terrace with swimming pool, Soliluna is prepared for all conditions. The seafood is particularly good here, for example Cod fillet, slow baked, served with a pil-pil of spinach, leaks and rustic potatoes.