A New Way to Travel Place to Explore
Monda is a tiny town (or large village) in the mountains just inland from the Costa del Sol.
Situated past Ojén on the A-355, it lies a mountain valley at 365m and has a population of less than 2,000. It is well-linked by road with Marbella, just 15km away, as well as Coin and Cartama (for Malaga). Thanks to development on the nearby coast over the last few decades, the town has enjoyed new prosperity.
The village’s dominant feature, which stands out for miles around, is the large stone building which stands atop the tree-covered hill above the village. Although this resembles a fortification, it is in fact a superbly-located and traditionally-styled modern hotel, Castillo de Monda, built on the site of the Moorish Castillo de Al-Mundat.
THINGS TO SEE
Monda has a small central village square, Plaza de la Ermita, with the Monument to the Miner. Just outside the square is the preserved Fuente Lavadero de la Jaula. There is small museum Casa Museo Marigloria near the Iglesia de Santiago Apostol. Castillo de Monda overlooks the village. Just outside the village is the Calvario, Roman road and olive oil mill.
Castillo de Monda has enjoyed mixed fortunes over the centuries. Read about its history and the love story of Arturo, Beatriz and the blood-red almond blossom.
SIERRA DE LAS NIEVES
You can access the Sierra de las Nieves natural park from Monda. Take the Ojen road and two km out of Monda, after the gigantic new road cutting on the right, a turning leads down to the old road. This unmade track leads into the heart of the park. It can be used as a cross-country route to Istan before circling back to the coast or even to reach Tolox.
Despite being a growing town, Ronda retains much of its historic charm, particularly its old town. It is famous worldwide for its dramatic escarpments and views, and for the deep El Tajo gorge that carries the rio Guadalevín through its centre. Visitors make a beeline for the 18th century Puente Nuevo ‘new’ bridge, which straddles the 100m chasm below, before taking in the views from the Alameda out over the Serranía de Ronda mountains.
On the western side of the Costa del Sol, Estepona is a both a working town with a large permanent population and an engaging seaside resort bringing you Blue Flag beaches, a stylish marina and loads of authentic restaurants and Spanish beach bars.
You’ll fall in love with Estepona’s centro historico, which is like an enchanting step back to how this region once looked. But this isn’t to say that Estepona lacks modern attractions; the brand new Orchidarium is a delight and its bold domes will be a symbol for the resort for years to come.
Fuengirola is a town on the Costa del Sol in southern Spain, known for its sandy beaches. South of the city center, the medieval Moorish Sohail Castle towers over the coastline, and hosts concerts, festivals and a medieval market in summer. Adjacent to the Plaza de Toros bullring is Bioparc Fuengirola, a naturalistic zoo featuring a re-created jungle clearing and animals from Asia and Africa.
The street market is a major attraction.
San Pedro de Alcántara
San Pedro de Alcántara is in an ideal situation, just 10 kilometres west from all the glitz and glamour of Marbella, yet just a few minutes drive away from the natural beauty of the Sierra de Ronda mountain range and 20 km from the town of Estepona. An ancient farming community, once famous for sugar cane, today San Pedro is a refreshingly unspoilt pueblo with an appeal all of its own.
Be sure to head for the Plaza de la Iglesia with its gracious parish church and surrounding narrow streets which are packed with intriguing small shops, sidewalk cafes and bars. Thursday is street market day with all the associated hustle and bustle; a veritable bargain shopper’s paradise. At the lower end of Calle Marques del Duero sitting on top of the main coast road (in a 3km underpass) is the Boulevard park.
The Parque Comercial La Cañada remains a bet for the future, as well as a consolidated present.
With a revolutionary architectural and technological design, located in the great axis of the city, the Parque Comercial La Cañada has integrated in the merchandising the best national and international firms of all the sectors, in model of the new generation of centers and commercial parks , Including leisure, catering, cinemas. A large part of these 100,000 m2 are destined for the large surface area of Alcampo, Leroy Merlin, Sportzone, Worten and Norauto and the rest to fashion, complements, home, decoration, sports, computers, white and brown line, specialized shops, national and international firms, Leisure and catering and a cinematographic complex managed by Cinesa. All this supported with parking spaces and access by foot and public transport to the same commercial park.
El corte Ingles
- El Corte Inglés is Spain’s largest department store chain, with branches all over the country, and now in Portugal and Italy. El Corte Ingles in Puerto Banus, Marbella has become Spain’s answer to Selfridges.
- The El Corte Ingles in Puerto Banus has everything a store of this size could offer, and more, and after an extensive expansion it is even bigger and better than before. Located centrally in Puerto Banús, El Corte Inglés consists of six vast floors with plenty of parking available at the lowest rate in the city. Access to the store is easy with buses stopping within the ground floor parking area with routes to San Pedro de Alcantara, Marbella and Fuengirola as well as a taxi rank directly outside the store.
- The easiest way to begin your journey through El Corte Inglés’ vastness is to work your way up. Starting at the bottom, the Sotano 2, meaning Below Basement, consists of a haberdashery, fabrics, home furniture and household items on offer.
- Sotano 1, the Basement, has sports equipment and clothing, toys, shoe repairers, photocopying services, dry cleaners, key cutters, customer services, post office, a car shop and garage and flower arrangements.
- The Ground Floor houses a couple of cafeterias, perfume and make-up, lottery, footwear, handbags and briefcases, jewellery including Stephen Webster, photography, pharmacy, opticians, and newspapers and magazines. Half of this floor is dedicated to the Hipercor supermarket. This isn’t an ordinary supermarket since it sells everything from fine wines to DIY tools. The food is of excellent quality with all sorts of fresh meats, salads, cheeses, fruits and vegetables as well as everything else a normal supermarket does or doesn’t have. With large areas devoted to electronics, toys, pet products, furniture for the home and garden, appliances and clothing, Hipercor is a department store within a department store. Hipercor also offers the service of delivering your shopping to your home for free if you spend over €120.
- The First Floor has the very latest fashion collections for men, women and children, male and female hairdressers, baby products and a breastfeeding room. As a result of the expansion, a trendy café is now situated at the back behind the women’s clothing that has views of the mountains through the floor to ceiling windows.
- The Second Floor is made up of electrical goods including computers and televisions as well as crockery and cutlery, household goods, linen, furniture, luggage, books, music and stationery. There is also a telephone shop, travel agents, bar and restaurants. Our favourite part of this floor is the Champagne Bar where you can sip on Moet and Chandon after a hard days shopping and enjoy a fine selection of gourmet bites too.
- El Corte Inglés is open Monday to Saturday from 10am until 10pm and in July and August it is open Monday to Sunday from 10:30am until 10:30pm. It is also open on several Spanish bank holidays as well as at Christmas. For those looking to pick up some bargains the summer (July 1 to August 31) and winter (January 7 to March 1) sales can see discounts of up to 70 per cent.
- The food hall in El Corte Ingles also now includes La Maquina Restaurant – 951 506 224, Tse Yang dimsum Club – 951 319 553, and Mamma Mia Pizzería – 952 929 067.
- El Corte Inglés offers a service of interpreters, speaking nine languages, a Personal Shopping Service available at shopping hour and a service that deals exclusively with Foreign residents living in Spain, The What’s Hot team.
Marbella is a city and resort area on southern Spain’s Costa del Sol, part of the Andalusia region. The Sierra Blanca Mountains are the backdrop to 27 km of sandy Mediterranean beaches, villas, hotels, and golf courses. West of Marbella town, the Golden Mile of prestigious nightclubs and coastal estates leads to Puerto Banús marina, filled with luxury yachts, and surrounded by upmarket boutiques and bars. ―
On the southern face of La Serranía de Ronda mountain range, Benahavís is one of the most mountainous villages on the western Costa del Sol, near the resort beaches as well as the spectacular mountains of the Serrania de Ronda. Its terrain is traversed by the Guadalmina, Guadaiza and Guadalmansa Rivers. Places of great natural and historic interest are to be found within its boundaries, such as El Cerro del Duque, Daidin and the Montemayor Castle.
During the late 1990s, the Junta de Andalucia constructed a dam on the site of an old marble quarry, and now for much of the year the once ever-flowing Río Guadalmina is a dried-up riverbed.
The benahavis village has some of the best restaurants to be must visited.