MAR AZUL Resort, Estepona

CAN WE WALK ANYWHERE ALONG THE BEACH ......YES !

THE LOCATION OF THE MARAZUL-RESORT IS VERY SPECIAL ....
Because we have the best of both worlds !
We are right between ESTEPONA TOWN, AND to the next biggest attraction on this coastline, THE LAGUNA VILLAGE & CRUISOS BEACH-BAR !
WALKING LEFT
EITHER ALONG THE BEACH OR THE PROMENADE....................

From our gorgeous swimming pool area, just pass through a security gate, for which you'll have a key, or use your key-card.

Then just cross our well-maintained lawns, to the promenade, right by the deep blue Mediterranean Sea. 

The promenade here must be one of the finest stretches in Spain !  It encompasses a stunning illuminated bridge from which the protected animals & birds of the River Padron Estuary Nature Reserve can be observed at very close quarters, these including Terrapins, Crag Martins, Parakeets, Egrets, ducks & geese, and many varieties of fish.  

Within 2 minutes walk from MARAZUL you're passing the Russian five star Kempinski Hotel.


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Or not, as the case may be !  Can you resist the temptation to walk up their beautifully manicured gardens to their poolside bar alongside their pristine deep-blue tiered swimming pool ?  A fine alternative to your own wonderland at MAR AZUL.

The staff here are very welcoming, and the hotel features four restaurants, each with a unique ambience, including one serving buffet breakfast and their famous Sunday Jazz Brunch. 

There are two bars, La Veranda Bar where you can enjoy a selection of tapas and drinks, and the Pool Bar, offering a variety of snacks, ice creams, coffees and drinks in a lovely setting.

Just in front of the Kempinski Hotel you can hire canoes, pedalos and sailing boats, or go skiing.  There's a volley-ball court, and a lovely children's playground on the white sand...... I doubt if the children playing there appreciate the lovely view across the Mediterranean Sea, but I'm sure their parents do ! 


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THE LAGUNA VILLAGE

IF you can tear yourself away from the lovely surroundings of the Kempinski Hotel, and wish to stretch your legs a little further in the same direction, you'll approach the Laguna Village within a further 4 minute walk along either the promenade (via our superb new bridge over the River Padron) or continue your walk along the beach.

The Laguna Village comprises a dozen or so chic boutique shops and as many cafes / bars / restaurants & a posh beach-club, all built right on the beach !  Nobody asks how they ever got planning permission for it all, but it suits us very well ! I saw a camel here once.

This is the place for a proper good pampering.....stretch out on a big soft white bed.....inside your own big white tent (the top's open to let the Sun in of-course).....peruse the sophisticated menu....keep a Sea-eye open for a visiting cruiser......order your first bottle of bubbly......can the day get any better than this ? It depends who's on the visiting cruiser.

 


WALKING RIGHT ALONG THE BEACH (towards Estepona)

The easiest way to walk to Estepona is along the promenade from Marazul, past a Thai buffet and Macdonalds (7th minute) then along a lovely shaded boulevard (two Tapas bars on the 8th minute), and down the steps by the supermarket roundabout to the first promenade bar (19 minutes).  Then continue along the promenade, past the fishing boats on the beach (see left) onto the central promenade area (28 minutes).


ESTEPONA PROMENADE

The walk along the central promenade, right alongside the pristine "Blue-Flag" La Rada beach, is a joy, and the kids will love it too.

There can't be any more children's playgrounds per mile anywhere else in the world !

You wouldn't know that there's a 2-storey underground car park beneath this promenade, but you'll find it very handy if you drive in !

It's so interesting walking along this promenade that before you know it, you're approaching Estepona Marina:-


ESTEPONA MARINA

This is a delightful place to linger, whether it be around the Sunday Market, or partaking of a tapa & a glass of wine in one of the cafe bars whilst happily people-watching.

There is a very wide range of restaurants here, many overlooking the colourful fishing boats in this pretty harbour.  Because this is a working fishing port, fish is the speciality in most of the restaurants.  In the evening you're likely to be eating fish caught that very day ! 

But we're not finished yet. If you've got a little more energy left, or if you need to walk off a Sunday lunch, there's a big surprise around the next corner...... 


EL CRISTO BEACH

 

Just a few minutes further than Estepona Marina, and, rather surprisingly, through an area of apparent waste-land and around a head-land, you'll stumble across a most beautiful horseshoe-shaped "blue-flag" beach with lovely fine sand, safe shallow water ideal for youngsters, life-guard stations, two character beach-bars serving good value Sea-food and providing comfy loungers & umbrellas, all in a beautiful setting.

An ideal place to claim one of those loungers, order a refreshing drink, and take a well-earned rest whilst listening to the relaxing music from the excellent beach-bar sound system !

Being situated in a delightful Southerly-facing sheltered cove, this is a particular favourite for serious sunbathers & families with children alike.

(Notice the Rock of Gibraltar on the horizon)

 


SELWO ANIMAL & ADVENTURE PARK

My children don't come on holiday with us anymore.....ahh......(well they are in their 30's ! ) but I really wish I'd taken them here.  It's great for all ages, and it's only a few minutes drive away !

Your adventure in Europe's largest wild-life park begins by climbing up onto a big 4-wheel-drive ex-army truck, which transports you very closely past lions, monkeys, giraffes, and hippos up wild & rugged terrain simulating as near as possible the animal's natural environment. You disembark in an enclosure on a high hill shared with Bengal Tigers and a cave full of bats.

After suitable refreshments another truck will take you to the top of an even higher hill, after winding through valleys and up steep tracks passing through the homes of elephants, bison, antelopes, bears, tigers, giraffes and rhinoceroses, all of which roam in apparent freedom.

Don't get the truck back, unless you suffer from vertigo. Instead walk back over the safe but scary aerial rope-bridges (looking DOWN on more big beasts), down an exciting zip-wire and through a fascinating bird sanctuary with hundreds of captive inmates in a scenic valley with a net over the top!

 


PUERTO BANUS

Just 10 minutes drive away.

In the super-affluent confines of this luxurious marina you really can rub shoulders with the rich & famous !  The vast array of flashy boats & flashy cars & flashy folk can be best observed from one of the many water-side pavement bars & cafes & restaurants.  Just sit down for a while, relax, relish a glass of much-too-expensive-wine, and the show comes to you....you'll be entertained by the antics of the super-rich .....wonderful.....unless of-course you're the jealous type !

When it's all got too much for you, retire to the back-streets for much better value food & drinks !

 

 

 



GIBRALTAR

I wasn't impressed with Gib. on my first visit.  On that occasion we paid for a taxi to take us up the rock, which parked for a short time near the apes, and subsequently dropped us off in a street of shops.  

Much better to go prepared with a tourist map, and make your way up the rock by cable-car.  From here there are dramatic cliff-side walks with stunning views of sea-birds, anchored boats, and if your lucky you'll be looking DOWN onto birds of prey and even a landing plane ! 

It's then an easy walk down via the tourist attractions (the rock-tunnel-trip & the apes) to the shopping centre below for very cheap cigs & alcohol. 

 


VISIT RONDA, or even Africa

For the adventurous, hop on a  ferry  from Gibraltar or Algeciras to Tangier in Africa, where you'll discover a myriad of medinas, sit with snake charmers, and take a sample of saffron, the world’s most expensive substance.

But it's actually more adventurous to drive to Ronda !  Arriving safely after negotiating 273 hair-pin bends on the way up from Estepona is an achievement in itself.  Not a drive for whimps !

Ronda retains much of its historic charm, particularly within it's old town. It is famous worldwide for its dramatic escarpments and views, but more particularly for the 18th century bridge that splits the town in two, whilst straddling the 100 metre deep El Tajo Gorge. 

The view from that bridge down to the River is truly breath-taking.  If you have ornithological interests, take your binoculars !  You can look DOWN onto siskins, nightingales, goldfinches, and a colony of nesting Choughs.  It's so much easier than looking UP into trees & cliffs !

 


TENNIS & GOLF

There are two tennis clubs within a 5 minute drive of MAR AZUL, both offering the choice between grass & clay courts, tuition, and many other facilities.  Full details on request.

With over 70 golf courses, the Costa del Sol has the highest concentration of them per square mile in Europe.  Robert Trent Jones’s first European club is Sotogrande Real Golf ClubValderrama Golf Club was the host of the 1997 Ryder Cup and is one of the most beautifully maintained courses in Europe. In Estepona El Paraiso Golf Club has very well regarded greens and fantastic views. Marbella Club Golf Resort in nearby Benahavis is a highly challenging course requiring constant strategy. With six bridges linking the course, Monte Mayor Golf Club is one of Spain’s most loved courses and is an experience for all who tee-off here.  THESE ARE ALL WITHIN A 20 MINUTE DRIVE OF MAR AZUL.

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