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THE MARBELLA PROPERTY EXPERTS

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Marbella Penthouse


Penthouse, Marbella, Costa del Sol. 3 Bedrooms, 3 ...

    3 3 €1,500,000

Useful words for a very Spanish Christmas

The festive season is almost upon us, it’s that sparkling time of year again. You may have found yourself underneath some of the heavy snowfall in many parts of Britain this week. All of these freezing temperatures and darker evenings have is reaching for the holiday sites in search of some sunshine and relaxation over the Christmas and New Year period. A second home in the south of Spain will guarantee you a regular place to holiday in – your very own place in the sun. Choose from property for a Spanish Christmas and more, in many of the most desirable areas, including the prime locations of:

Marbella – property for sale

Benahavis – property for sale

Nueva Andalucia – property for sale

Estepona – property for sale

A little more conversation…

So, there’s no excuse not to visit Spain during the Christmas period. You receive sunshine, a warm welcome and a complete break from the tinsel and turkey of home. All you need to complete your festive feeling is a little conversation with the locals. We have put together a few handy Christmas words, especially for use during this season of goodwill! Christmas celebrations are an important part of Spanish culture and society, so join in and see how different it is to celebrating back at home.

Feliz Navidad Of course, the most important phrase, meaning Happy Christmas, be prepared to say this a hundred times over from the bartender, the shopkeeper to the man on the street.

Felices Fiestas  – In general, meaning Happy Holidays.

Próspero Año Nuevo  – Happy New Year, or literally Prosperous New Year.

Día de Reyes  – Three King’s Day on the 6th January, the real Christmas to many, and the twelfth day of Christmas. Everything goes straight back to normal the next morning.

Noche de Reyes – The excitable night before, the Night of the Three Kings, and the one all the Spanish children eagerly wait for, as it’s when they receive their gifts. Traditionally, the Three Kings will roll up and dish out the gifts from their Mule and cart, or, their sports car if you happen to be in Marbella!

Luces navideñas  – The twinkling Christmas lights. Go and see the ones in Málaga, they are amazing this year.

Comida del día de Navidad  – That’s your special Christmas day food, you might want to ask at local restaurants what theirs is going to be. There may not be gravy, but there will be stupendous seafood, and rolled, stuffed meats – just delicious.

Rosca/Roscón de Reyes – A Christmas cake for the 6th of January, but not as you know it. It’s a circular affair, spongy, and covered in coloured jellies and sweets. Inside, there’s a ‘gold’ ring.

Mantecado – This is a bone dry, powdered sweet treat that my neighbour assures me is best dunked in wine. Personally, I find ideal for flinging at the cat as he removes the baubles from the tree.

Use these phrases and sound like a local – the best way to join in with the Espíritu navideño – Christmas spirit of course!

Exploring the Sierra Bermeja, Estepona

Winter in the south of Spain is ideal for more strenuous activities such as walking or hiking. Minus the intense heat of the summer months, low season walking is more comfortable, and the daytime sunshine is pleasant. Winter is also the ideal season to obtain those clear and far-reaching views, so photographers will also be happy. Close to Estepona lies the mountain range of the Sierra Bermeja, an excellent spot for exploring the region.

A mountain frame

Covering just over 1200 hectares, the Sierra Bermeja forms a frame to the Mediterranean coast of this part of the Costa del Sol, and has at its highest point a peak of 1450 metres. The mountain range is situated across the municipalities of Casares, Estepona and Genalguacil. A new home in popular Estepona means that outdoor activities such as walking or hiking are on your doorstep. It’s not all about the beach!

Flora and Fauna of the Sierra de Bermeja

There are many reasons to take to the mountains of the Sierra de Bermeja, including a good hike in the fresh air, general exercise, and also because of the trees. One part of the scenic route is also fragranced and is called the Paseo de Pinospos. This is due to the covering of Pine Spruce Pines, indigenous to this area, Abies Pinsapo Boiss. Bird watchers with a keen eye may be lucky enough to see Booted Eagles, Vultures, or Sparrowhawks. It’s also the home of the Egyptian Mongoose and the ubiquitous Mountain Goat, although they’re pretty shy. Warmer months still mean hiking boots rather that open-toed sandals, as you’re quite likely to cross paths with slithering neighbours, such as a Salamander or the Iberian Worm Lizard.

Take the easy route

There are marked paths and tracks all the way to the top, and even an old tarmac road if you’re lazy or just want to drive up to make the most of the views from the summit. It takes less than an hour to drive to the top. If you would like to see more of the immediate area, then drive up from Estepona, following the signs marked Los Reales. Drive home via Gaucin and see a little of the local area, perhaps with a menu del dia lunch thrown in for good measure. Such are pleasant days in Andalusia made of!

If you would like to view property in the Estepona area, or anywhere along the Costa del Sol, then contact us and we will be happy to advise you if necessary, and of course show you around.

Escape to Marbella before Christmas

Have you had enough of Christmas at home? Wet days and grey skies as you trudge around the shops are just the preludes. Christmas itself has become so commercialised, and you know it’ll be days on end of relatives, the central heating on high, and endless repeats on TV. Keeping the peace – and goodwill – with all men is far easier with a quick flight and a short break to Spain. ‘Tis the season to be jolly, in Marbella.

 

A good investment, in any season

Thinking of a second home, or an addition to your property portfolio for just such escapes? Then you’ll fare no better with a browse of properties in the Marbella area. Snap up not only a desirable address but a slice of a better life under the Andalusian sunshine – a bolt hole for just such holidays as Christmas, which is fast approaching. Rent it out during the summer months as a source fo second income, and enjoy off-season breaks with the whole family, or as your own private escape. Property in Spain is an investment, after all, and a safer bet for your cash than a bank account.

Pack layers, pack lightly

Landing at Málaga next month might mean you will have packed a few warmer layers than the bikini of high season, but it’s still mild and pleasant during the daytime. T-shirt weather then for days, and extra layers for nighttime, as the evenings turn a bit chilly once the sun has dipped over the Mediterranean. Spain has experienced a distinct lack of rainfall this year, so it’s unlikely you will require your umbrella.

Feeling festive

The Christmas lights have been switched on in Málaga, so leave the comfort of your Marbella home and explore the city centre for an evening. The light display is truly spectacular, it seems to get better every year. There’s an old-fashioned Christmas feel about Malaga, and you can enjoy the nightlife and stroll through the pedestrianised streets munching on some warm chestnuts from one of the street vendors, or explore some of the popular night venues before heading home again.

Eating out

December is a great time to try out the many places to eat in Marbella, minus the hordes of the high season. There’s a new kid on the block too, Funky Tapas Gastro bar is about to have its grand re-opening, find it on Calle Las Violetas, Nueva Andalucia, Marbella. That’s on Friday, 1st December, from 21:00, and everyone who comes is invited to free glass of bubbly on the door. They are planning an evening of canapés, live entertainment and much more, and it promises to be a fun evening for all.

5 winter activities in Marbella

So you are thinking of buying a Marbella property and retiring to Spain, or using it for holidays. Great choice! Should those holidays include winter breaks then you have come to the right place. the sunny south of Spain, in particular, Andalusia and the Costa del Sol are open for business all year round to holidaymakers. The wonderful microclimate of Marbella allows for residents and holidaymakers to enjoy an outdoor lifestyle for much of the days of the year, with daytime temperatures still pleasant. Around nine hours of sunshine and an average daytime temperature of 23° is pretty tempting. There are plenty of things to see and do all year round in Marbella and the surrounding areas. It about much more than lovely longs winter walks on the beach. Let’s take a look and see what are our five winter activities which you may enjoy on your visit to Marbella. Explore more!

Golf

If you’re keen on a round or two of golf, then you have arrived in the right area. Marbella has many courses in the surrounding area including La Resina Estepona and The Marbella Country Club. You can easily book ahead your tee times and find out about other information, or even become a member if you think you will be in Marbella often enough to enjoy more than the occasional round. If you’re planning to retire here, then it’s the perfect hobby. Winter sunshine will accompany you around the course, and it’s not likely to be rained off!

La Concha

La Concha is the highest peak in the area and begs to be climbed. You don’t need to be expert at all, it’s a pretty easy climb compared to the Alpujarras and the Sierra Nevada peaks, but it’s something that the whole family can do. Ensure you have plenty of water, maps and sturdy shoes before you start out, and check the weather reports. Start from the Refugio de Juanar, and follow the route – it’s more of a hike than a climb.

Gibraltar

Go a little further afield and check out the Rock of Gibraltar for a day trip from Marbella. Get up close and personal with the tailless Macaques, or do a spot of duty-free shopping on the main streets of this charming destination. The military history is also fascinating, and the views across to Africa are stunning, especially on a clear winter’s day.

Go Ski

If you have your own transport head for the hills of the Sol y Nieve skiing of the Sierra Nevada. A day of spills, thrills and fun in the snow-covered mountains awaits you and the whole family. Hire the gear there quite reasonably, or use your own if you have it. There are plenty of runs to suit all abilities, and places to eat, drink and enjoy a little aprés ski.

Marbella

Sail away

On a calm day, the Mediterranean is like glass, even in winter. If you’re lucky enough to have your own yacht parked up at Puerta Banus then just take yourself out on the ocean’s waves, or if not, charter one for the day. Leave someone else in charge is the best option, then you can indulge in some cold Cave or Chanpagne – Marbella style –  Winter activities in Marbella can fun!

Best evening venues in Málaga

Owning a property in Nueva Andalucia or another location on the Costa del Sol means easy access to the bright lights of Málaga city. Once you have done all the sightseeing your feet can manage, it’s time to take the weight off. It’s all very well walking around the centre of Málaga (it is so walkable, after all) but by the time that evening rolls around you will want somewhere to send a little downtime. A day shopping, wandering around the galleries, or just soaking up the atmosphere of this vibrant city requires a few glasses of wine and relaxation. Before or after dinner, choose one of these best evening venues in Málaga, in which to do just that.

Antigua Casa de Guardia

Where is it? On the corner of Alameda Principal, No 18.

What’s the vibe? Historical, relaxed, interesting.

The oldest bar in Malaga is definitely worth seeing if only to pore over the photos on the walls, of past visitors. Famous faces and celebrities, including royalty, are all there to see. See if you can spot a young Picasso. The sherry is a must-try, with barrels lined up against the wall. Just choose and point, and a short glass will be filled to the brim, and the price chalked up on the wooden bar top counter. There’s a fridge full of fresh seafood if you fancy a bite to eat, although most local people just come in here to chat and have a pre-dinner drink.

Bodega Bar El Pimpi

Where is it? Calle Granada 62, Jardines Alcazabilla.

What’s the vibe? Busy, vibrant, crowded.

An old Malaga mansion house is home to Bar El Pimpi, a bodega bar and restaurant. It’s also one of the city centre’s most used meeting places and makes a fine pit stop for the start of a night out. Visit on one of the special flamenco fusion nights, go for lunch, or just sit at the bar – if you can find a space – and soak up the busy atmosphere as well as a glass or two of Málaga wine. Choose from the main menu, the cocktail menu, or the seasonal set menu for light bites and hearty dinners. Their Christmas set menu is delicious!

El Cantor de Jazz

Where is it? Calle Lazcano, 7.

What’s the vibe? Cool, Jazz, American style.

Jazz up your stay in Malaga with a night full of the smooth sounds of jazz. It’s generally full of students, tourists, professionals, and couples all enjoying a night out with decent cocktails and good music. It’s pretty laid back, and the prices are more than reasonable.

 

Sala Opium

Where is it? Calle Santa Lucia, No 12.

Opium, Calle Santa Lucia 12, Málaga, Spain, Telephone: +34 670 09 87 49

What’s the vibe? Cool, Moroccan, relaxing.

Overstuffed sofas and Moroccan cushions to lean right back on, dimmed lights, and cool music. Sala Opium is the place for a quiet, relaxing night out, in good company. Be entranced by the belly dancers, the livelier themed nights that regularly run, and the laid-back atmosphere. Try the shisha pipes with their different fruity flavours.

3 winter-warming Spanish stews

Do you tend to stick to what you know and love on the menu when you eat out? Or do you choose something different each time? Holidays are the perfect opportunity to experiment with new tastes, and Spanish gastronomy is well worth being brave about. Now that the temperatures have dropped a little, we’re thinking of cooking up a storm, with the best of winter-warming Spanish stews. Recreate some of them yourself at home, and try a taste of Spain.

Fabada Asturiana

There’s really nothing better than a good, traditional stew, and you don’t have to go all the way to Asturias to enjoy a Fabada Asturiana. A staple winter dish on many menus, it’ll stick to your ribs and is perfect with a robust red wine. White beans, Chorizo sausage, Morcilla – like black pudding – and pork belly are all cooked long and slowly to create this hearty winter dish. Perfect after a long walk, or a day on the ski slopes of the Sierra Nevada in Andalusia.

Recipe for Fabada Asturiana

Rabo de Toro

Essentially, stewed bull’s tail. If the idea doesn’t appeal to you, then just try it, because you’ll be pleasantly surprised. If you have a slow cooker it’s an ideal way to cook this traditional dish, simmered with bay leaves, red wine, garlic, and tomato. It’s melt in the mouth delicious, with the meat beautifully tender, and the sauce rich and sticky. It also requires a robust Spanish wine to counteract the richness of the dish.

Recipe for Rabo de Toro.

Olla Podrida

Nourishing chickpeas – that staple of any Spanish granny’s larder – pork, flavour and long slow cooking conjure up Olla Podrida. Hailing from Burgos, the dish is an ancient one, and the name comes from the vessel used to cook it. It would have originally been cooked over the embers of an open fire and is high in calories and energy. These days, you’d be more likely to cook it in the slow cooker. A delicious dish to set you up for a long day exploring the Spanish countryside, or perhaps even a day searching for that perfect Spanish property.

Recipe for Olla Podrida.