As well as some of the best beaches on the Costa del Sol, the area around Marbella also offers a stunning countryside. Here our guide to where and how to make the most of these outdoor activities.
Walking in Marbella
Andalusia is one of Spain’s most varied regions and home to several prime natural parks.
The mountains in the back of Ojén and Marbella are known as the Sierra Blanca range. There are numerous well-marked trails that crisscross these mountains and some of them feature among the most spectacular walks in southern Spain. They range from easy strolls (the short walk from the Refugio de Juanar to the viewing point has magnificent views of Marbella and the Costa del Sol) to seriously challenging hikes such as the track that climbs to the top of La Concha peak, the highest point in this mountain range.
Sierra de las Nieves: Within a short distance to the north of Marbella and Ojén lie the Sierra de las Nieves mountains, some of which are almost 2,000 m high and are often snow-powdered in the winter. This natural park has dozens of trails – some easy, some for experienced hikers only – that take in picture-perfect mountain scenery offering stunning views of Málaga and the coastline. Many of the trails start and/or end in one of the lovely white villages that dot the mountain range.
Sierra de la Alpujata: Just a 10 minute drive from Ojén and Marbella is the lovely Sierra de la Alpujata área. These mountains and hills offer some delightful walks, mostly easy to moderate difficulty, where you can follow streams and enjoy the different seasons of the year – almond blossom in the winter, the fruit trees and wild flowers blooming in the spring, and the mellow colours of the trees in autumn. Many of these trails start near the white village of Monda.
Seafront: If you prefer walking more flat, you can opt for a leisurely stroll along the Marbella seafront promenade, the Paso Maritimo, or a longer walk to the luxury resort of Puerto Banús and the seaside town of San Pedro in the west. If you want to make a serious hike of it, why not walk the 27 km section of the Málaga Gran Senda pathway that runs from Estepona to Marbella all the way along the coast.
Caminito del Rey: Follow the King’s footsteps! This is the highlight under all trips. A walkway, pinned along the steep walls of a narrow canyon in El Chorro, near Ardales in the province of Malaga, Spain. After four years of extensive repairs and renovations, the walkway re-opened in 2015. If you start your trip in Málaga City, take the A–357 motorway, and go towards MA-444, through the Municipalities of Cártama, Pizarra, Carratraca, and Ardales. This route is 59.1 km long, and it takes 50 minutes by car. In Pizarra, you can also go to Álora by motorway, and then along A-343 to the train station El Chorro. This route is a little bit longer – 60 km, and you will take a little more than one hour to get to your destination. The road is narrower and curvier than the previous one. There are coaches between the northern access (Ardales) and the southern one (El Chorro), which go in both directions. The tickets are available at a very reasonable price, depending on whether you have a transport card for the area of Málaga. Thanks to the coaches, visitors who come to El Caminito del Rey Path will be able to go back to the start point along the MA-444 road.
Ticket reservation needed! For more information and ticket reservations click here.
For more trails click here.
Horse Back Riding in Marbella
One of the best ways to explore the Marbella and Ojén countryside is on a horseback. Several companies offer horse riding in the area and you can choose from 1-hour rides to full-day excursions taking you deep into the countryside. Prices start from € 30 an hour and from € 90 a day.
Biking in Marbella
Mountain biking is also available in and around Marbella and many of the Sierra Blanca and Sierra de las Nieves trails are suitable for bikes. You can easily hire bikes in Marbella, Puerto Banús or San Pedro and specialists offer guided bike tours in the mountains.
If you don’t like the idea of cycling up and down slopes, you can hire bikes on Marbella’s seafront and cycle along the promenade, the Paseo Maritimo, as far as you like. Bike hire starts at around € 15 a day.
Guided biking tours you will find here.