Rio Chillar in Nerja

Must-do in summer

Rio Chillar, the chill-out river, is located just five minutes’ drive from the Nerja centre, at the Sierras de Tejeda mountains. It’s a very popular spot for Spanish families. Both kids and grown-ups can enjoy fantastic walk full of splashing in the crystal clear water.

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Step by step

The route down the river starts very inconspicuously as initially the water barely covers your feet. On the sides of the river bed you will see some bushes, rocks and trees. Nothing spectacular. After 20 minutes of walking, the landscape gradually changes. The river enters a narrow gorge and the water starts to get slightly deeper, but don’t worry, in most places it should never reach your knees. The high cliffs provide plenty of shade, making the walk really enjoyable for everyone.

And that’s when the real fun starts! Jumping and splashing around, dipping in one of the several natural pools formed by the river, sitting underneath a waterfall – all these irresistible attractions can be found in Rio Chillar. Your kids will burn all their energy in no time. It takes around 3-4 hours to complete the whole route. However, you don’t need to reach the very end of the river to experience all the joys of Rio Chillar. Enjoy!

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Tips for the trip

A good pair of shoes is recommended as there will be lots of slippery pebbles and rocks under your feet most of the time. If you haven’t got anything suitable, visit a good sports shop with a wide range of light water shoes. During summer weekends Rio Chillar can get a bit busy, try to avoid that time. However, arriving in the morning can be a a good way of avoiding the crowds. Never visit Rio Chillar right after intense rainfall or when there is a forecast of rain as heavy rain causes water levels to rise very quickly.

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Setenil de las Bodegas

Setenil de las Bodegas village view

View of Setenil de las Bodegas

Setenil de Bodegas is a small Spanish ‘cave town’ located in the heart of Andalucia, near Ronda. This sleepy pueblo blanco is located deep in a river gorge and it’s famous for unique houses which are built into the rock.

It’s worth to walk all around this white village, up and down, as different viewing points allow to see the curious dwellings and rock formations in a different way and then to take most incredible photos.

This small forgotten village is also famous for chorizo sausage. There are a couple of nice restaurants and bars in the village and the inhabitants are very friendly and helpful.

We do not recommend driving to the very centre of Setenil de Bodegas as the streets might be too narrow for your car to turn, and reversing on those narrow steep streets often turns into a real nightmare! Setenil is recommended for half day trip – well-worth a detour when visiting Ronda.

Setenil de las Bodegas dwellings

Setenil de las Bodegas dwellings

Columbus’ Boats & Museum in Huelva

Muelle de las Carabelas

Muelle de las Carabelas

Columbus Ships and Museum

Located not far from Huelva, there is a museum dedicated to Cristopher Columbus and the discovery of America. Whether you are interested in history or not, you will surely enjoy the visit in this atmospheric place.

The museum is full of costumes, paintings and other items that vividly illustrate the atmosphere of the 15th century Spain. Of course, there are also 15th century travel documents, maps, navigation instruments, ship weapons and some insightful anecdotes that allow visitors to understand the ship-board life during Columbus’s voyages.

Columbus at work

Columbus at work

The museum lies directly next to a small lagoon which is home to the exact full-size replicas of the 3 ships which Columbus used to his voyage to Americas in 1492. The place is called Muelle de las Carabelas. It is possible to get on board and explore the three caravelles in detail: the smallest Nina, the middle size Pinta and the biggest one, Columbus’ flagship the Santa Maria. The walk aboard can be quite exciting as tourists are allowed to wander wherever they like.

Visiting Columbus Caravel Dock Museum is a great idea for a fun family day. It’s likely that small kids will be bored in the museum, but they should love the three vessels. Remember the museum and the ships dock are always closed on Mondays. Also if it’s rainy, the ships might be closed for safety reasons as the decks can be very slippery.

Columbus ship

Columbus ship

Columbus Monastery

In the vicinity of Columbus museum lies the La Rabida, the Franciscan monastery where Columbus took refuge between 1491-92 waiting for his first voyage west, to Indies, which turned into the discovery of the New World.

It is possible to visit the place which consists of several rooms with artefacts and documents that relate to Columbus and his journey. The place has remained unchanged for more than 500 years – it’s very well preserved. The museum is surrounded by beautiful gardens.

Entrance to La Rabida monastery

Entrance to La Rabida monastery

Oasys Mini Hollywood

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Oasys Mini Hollywood is a Wild West town theme park, one of the three Western desert parks located near Almeria. The entry price is 22 Euros for an adult and in our opinion it represent best value for money. What makes a difference between Oasys and the other two nearby studios, Fort Bravo and Western Leone, is that the visit to the large zoo which is also included in the price of the Wild West ticket!

Wicky Wild Wild West

As you start exploring the authentic looking western town with a stunning mountain backdrop, you can have a closer look at the 18th century houses or pop into the local bank, church, various shops or even local cemetery at the town’s outskirts. It’s all very atmospheric and instantly takes you back in time whether you want it or not! You can also buy one of the many souvenirs or head to the town square to take a photo on the horse next to a friendly cowboy. There is plenty of attractions and fun all around the place!

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The main attractions, which always draw crowds, are live shows, both played twice a day: a pleasant to the eye can-can show staged in the Western-style saloon and a bank robbery show featuring gunfights and some chilling cowboy-style fist fights.

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Lights, camera, action!

The famous Tabernas desert, in the middle of which the Oasis Mini-Hollywood is located, was once a favourite location for many film makers. In 1960s and 1970s, in the golden era of the European Westerns, many film producers preferred to shoot their films in the Spanish desert instead of going to the distant America or Africa. That’s because Almeria’s desert bears lots of resemblance to the stereotypical image of the Wild West. Three studios were created at that time: Texas Hollywood, Mini Hollywood, and Western Leone. The Italian film producer, Sergio Leone, shot “A Fistful of Dollars” as well as “The Good, or the Bad and the Ugly”, both starring Clint Eastwood, on the Tabernas desert. The Tabernas desert is occasionally used today for some smaller productions.

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More than ordinary zoo

If seeing all the attractions in the western villages took you more than half a day, the rest of the day needs to be reserved for the unique zoo which is also part of the Oasys Park. You will find there lots of species which you won’t find in many zoos. There is a white tiger, lions, Iberian bear and many more. The enclosures for animals are very spacious and ingeniously made. Also, in the summer season the swimming pool complex is opened allowing you take off the heat quickly.

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Wall Murals in Estepona

Recently, beautiful Estepona got some good publicity when it started opening incredible wall arts, one after another, in different parts of the city. Those gigantic wall murals are scattered around different barrios, from bullring to northern parts of the city. At the time of writing there are more than 20 murales artisiticos. It takes about 2 hours walk to see all of the murals. You can download and print a small map online by clicking here, or visit Oficina de Turismo in Estepona to get a bigger map. Have a look below at some examples of the incredible street art in Estepona!

Ruta de Murales Artisticos in Estepona

   1. ANGEL EL BUCEADOR (Bda. Tres Banderas)

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   2. LA CASA DE LA BUENA GENTE (C/Colon)

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   3. SIGLO XXI (Plaza ABC)

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   4. LA PODA DE LA BUGANVILLA (Avda. San Lorezno)

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   5. FUNDACION ANTONIA GUERRERO (C/Nuestra Senora de los Remedios)

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   6. REGANDO EL JARDIN (Avda. Andalucia)

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   7. ALMAS DEL MAR (Prolongacion Avda. San Lorenzo)

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   8. ALMAS DE MUSICA (Plaza San Frenando)

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   9. LA HUERTA DE IRENE  (Avda. Andalucia)

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   10. TIEMPOS DE CLARIDAD (Avda. Andalucia)

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   11. PASEN Y VEAN (C/Goya)

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   12. MADRE AMOROSA Y LA MIRADA DE UN NINO (C/Terraza)

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   13. DIA DE PESCA (C/Terraza)

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   14. KEEP ON TRUCKING (C/Mantilla)

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   15. LA VENUS (C/Terraza)

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   Other examples of street art in Estepona

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Fuengirola

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Fuengirola is a nice holiday resort located just 15 minutes drive from Malaga airport. It’a perfect summer desitnation for everyone: families, couples or singles. Funegoriola boasts some of the best beaches in the area, beautiful yacht-filled marina, good range of restaurants including many British and some good value for money hotels.

Fuengirola is a good choice if you want explore Costa del Sol. The town is conveniently located close both to motorway and coastal roads, so that you can get to the nearby Marbella, Mijas or Benalmadena in a matter of minutes. Popular coastal train service also runs from Malaga through Torremolinos and Benalmadena to Fuengirola. But there is no shortage of top-quality attractions in Fuengirola itself. Lovely Castle of Sohail on a hill overlooking the sea, Bioparc Fuengirola with wild animals, large water park and more.

If you are a keen golfer, Fuengirola can be a perfect starting point to discover and explore Costa del Golf. Fuengirola is surrounded by numeorus quality golf courses: inland from the town, in the direction of Marbella, and on the coastal road to Malaga.

Fuengirola – nearest destinations: Marbella, Benalmadena

Estepona

 

Ship in the roundabout in Estepona

Ship in the roundabout in Estepona

Estepona is a small idyllic town on Costa del Sol. It’s conveniently located half an hour drive both from Gibraltar and Marbella. This peaceful city is nestled in the foothills of the Sierra Bermeja Mountains which guard Estepona from rough weather ensuring more than 320 sunny days per year.

Estepona boasts very pleaseant and well taken care of beachfront, quite close to the city centre. There is a pretty promenade lined wih palm trees and flowers, outdoor gym-fitness parks, a cycling alley, fountains and more attractions. The picturesque small bay of Playa el Christo is especially popular among families with small kids. This south facing beach with reallu shallow waters and golden sand enjoys sunshine nearly all day in summer months.

Popular El Cristo beach

Popular El Cristo beach

Estepona’s maze of streets, plazas and patios is filled with all the attractions of traditional Spanish town yet with a delicate modern international touch. One of the streets in the centre leads to the beautiful Orchidarium, a must see for flower enthuasiasts. The town also boasts an amazing collection of wall murals. Nice evening bars, restaurants with seafood, chirignuitos, clubs, or fish markets are abundand in Estepona, but you won’t find here commercial centres of colourful nighclubs.

Beachfront playground near the centre of Estepona

Beachfront playground near the centre of Estepona

Are you and your family looking for a quiet place for lazy summer holidays on Costa del Sol? If the answer is ‘Yes’, Estepona might be exactly what you are looking for. Booking accommodation in Estepona is a good choice, if you are planning golf holidays. There are a couple of courses near Estepona, or the nearby Sotogrande. Since Estepona is much closer to Gibraltar than to Malaga, flying to Gib might be the best choice.

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Selwo Aventura in Estepona


Located at the entrance of Estepona, close to the main Costa del Sol road, there is the spectacular Selwo Aventura safari park. Selwo Aventura boasts more than 2000 animals from every corner of the world that live on a one million square meters site.

This popular Estepona family attraction boasts a Bird Canyon, home to rare and endangered species of birds, which is the largest natural aviary in Europe. The attractions are plentiful and varied. There is a “monkey island”, the Central Village full of large animals such as giraffes, elephants, rhinoceros and a lion, large enclosure with beautiful flamingos, amazing cave cave full of bats, the camel ride, face-painting, hanging bridges, zip line and much more!

Unlike many others safari parks and zoos, in Selwo Aventura you can get really close to the wildlife. You will surely notice small goats or peacocks roaming freely in the park. Moreover, the enclosures are large and the viewpoints located in a such a way to allow visitors approaching and observing the animals from different angles, and sometimes even to touch them.

Make sure to arrive early at Selwo Aventura, as it can take a whole day to visit the park. Take something to eat with you or buy a snack or meal in one of the restaurants inside. Selwo Aventura is a great idea for a one-day family adventure. Avoid visiting in the peak of summer, as the heat can be difficult to bear!

Estepona – nearest destinations: Sotogrande, Marbella

Estepona Holidays in Spain

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Conil de la Frontera

Spanish beach paradise

Conil de la Frontera is a popular beach resort located on Costa del la Luz, 35 kilometers east of Cadiz. Conil’s greatest appeal lies in more than 14 kilometres of magnificent vast beaches, characterised by beautiful sheltered coves, boasting crystal clear water and delicate golden sand. Other attractions of Conil include a lovely sea promenade, beautiful cobbled streets in the idyllic white town centre and the main square with some excellent restaurants and the nearby the Guzman tower.

Sunbathing, strolling, hiking, snorkelling, swimming, surfing – the versatile coastaline of Coast of the Light near Conil is perfect for anyone. The beaches of Conil are ideal for quiet summer family holidays, for beach & fun holidays with friends as well as for surfing holidays. Conil is very popular among Spanish holidaymakers. It remains very quiet most of the time, but as summer kicks into gear the town centre is bustling with activity. If sea, sun and sand is what you are looking for, book your holidays in Spanish Conil.

Best beaches in Conil de la Frontera

La Fontanilla – very close to the centre, very long beach, very popular among families, with some good beach bars and restaurants, well equipped with beach facilities (sun loungers, toilets, showers changing rooms etc.).

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Los Bateles beach – another popular beach, beautifully located where the Río Salado flows into the sea, loved by the locals, especially families with kids, abounds in bars and restaurants, lots of waterfront accommodation available.

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Roche beach – very clean, about 5 kms from the centre, northern-most beach in Conil, probably least-crowded beach, plenty of parking place in different parts of the beach, large waves make it also a great surfing beach, only a few bars close to the beach.

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Castilnovo beach – 2 kilometre long most southern rural beach, only a few people come here, no direct parking space so can be difficult to access, great for kitesurfers and windsurfers alike. PARKINH HINT: park the car on C/Boqueron and cross the bridge to access the beach quickly. Castilnovo beach borders with El Palmar beach which belongs to Vejer the la Frontera.

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Fuente del Gallo beach – located in northern parts of Conil, because of the strong winds recommended to windsurfers and surfers, no infrastructure. At high tide the Atlantic covers almost the whole beach, which you may enjoy or you may not. Great views from the cliffs that surround the beach and greta sunsets!

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Cala de Aceite – peaceful small beach near the Conil fishing port, located in a spectacular spot with cliff stairs leading down to the beach, probably the most beautiful beach in Conil, popular among nudists, no infrastructure. The northern stretch of coastline from Fuente del Gallo beach to Roche beach abounds in small naturist bays and coves. Cala de Aceite is the biggest and most spectacular of them all.

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Conil de la Frontera – nearest destinations: Cadiz, Vejer de la Frontera, Barbate.

Closest airport: Jerez de la Frontera.

Bolonia

Top ranked Bolonia beach

Large bay with shallow warm water, perfect white sand, the opportunity to run down the sand dunes, one of the largest in Europe. Your kids will fall in love with the Bolonia beach!

There is something for adults as well. First of all, there is plenty of free parking space, a couple of nice restaurants with a splendid view of the beach. Roman Ruins of Baelo Claudio are in a walking distance from the beach .

Bolonia – nearest destinations: Tarifa, Zahara de los Atunes

Bolonia Holidays in Spain

Check all the important information, helpful tips and opinions on holidays in Bolonia, Spain. Check out Bolonia’s top-ranked attractions, recommended places to stay and best things to do. Read about restaurants serving best food in Bolonia, Andalucia. Plan and book your vacations online  now with Best Andalucia guide. Bolonia is an ideal place for lazy summer family holidays.

Best Bolonia Hotels

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Selwo Marina

Selwo Marina in Benalmadena is the only dolphinarium in Andalusia. Out of the 11 dolphinariums in Spain, Selwo Marina is one of the most popular.

Multiple attractions await you in the Benalmadena’s dolphinarium. Altough Selwo Marina is small, each and every experience there is simply unforgettable.

The Dolphin Show, which takes place twice a day, combined with a Sea Lion show, is of course a must-see for everyone. The show includes, for example, fabulous dolphins performing elaborate synchronized swimming with their trainer and catapulting the trainer into the air so that he can perform a dive. Dolphins can perform amazing gymnastic moves themselves – jumps, flips, somersaults 20 feet above the water, easy work.

During the Exotic Birds exhibition, with beautiful parrots flying literally inches above your head, you will understand why parrots can have the intelligence of a 5 year old child.  Cockatoos, macaws and African grey parrot are the main actors there.  In the Isla de Hielo you will see a small colony of penguins’ awkwardly climbing the rocks, swimming as swift as an arrow and socializing with each other.

Amazonia is another section of Selwo Marina that causes amazement among the visitors. Cuban Boa, Cuvier’s Dwarf Caiman, Poison Dart frog, Red-Bellied Piranhas or Tarantula are the main celebrities here. If you come during the feeding time, you will be able to see how piranhas relentlessly and quickly bite whole chunks of flesh thrown into the water!

To get the best value from your money, we recommend to buy a full Selwo ticket that includes all the three Selwo attractions: Teleferico Benalmadena, Selwo Marina in Benalmadena and Selwo Aventura near Estepona. The full Selwo Ticket is cheapest off season. In winter the full Selwo ticket for an adult costs as little as 30 Euros (as of 2014/15 season)!

Nearest to: Benalmadena, Torremolinos, Fuengirola.