So are you a dog park person, a countryside person, a mountain-hiker, or a coastal-walker? Perhaps we ought to ask the dog? Depending on your, or your dog’s, preference, there are plenty of options for dog lovers in the Marbella area. Here’s our guide to the top places to take those beloved creatures for their daily outings.
The Paseo Stroller
The coastline here provides ample stretching ground for joggers and dog lovers alike, often the two combine along the two-and-a-half kilometre stretch between Marbella and Puerto Banús. The paseo maritimo, promenade, or boardwalk (depending on your origin) is a gleaming spectacle of Mediterranean proportions. The sea literally shines all year round reflecting that sumptuous sunshine that draws us, and keeps us here. This is the perfect place to take a stroll morning, noon or night and, pooch-permitting, you can frequent the numerous bars, cafes and restaurants that pepper this stretch of Marbella’s finery. You’ll encounter plenty of other canines along the way, but never will you feel as though you’re immersed in an uncomfortable-sized crowd. And the good news is that dogs are permitted on the paseo all year round, as long as you refrain from allowing them on the beach. However, the law states that you need to keep them on a lead as it can be busy with other walkers, cyclists and joggers. If you want to go lead-free, head into the hills or to your local dog park.
The Dog Park Socialiser
As far as any dog lovers’ opinion goes, that I have met and spoken to on the subject, the dog parks in this area are not particularly the most inviting places for the human in the equation. However, that being said, if you are inclined to allow your dog their social time with others within a safe, dedicated confine, this could be one of the best places to do so. Obviously leads are not required (within the designated areas) and they can run freely whilst mingling, hopefully pleasantly, with canine companions. There are often obstacles to combat and leap over but the wear and tear on these comparatively small spaces (to the areas designated to humans), is obvious. They’re often not the cleanest of situations but the dogs aren’t too fussed about that! This is where dog-lovers take one for the team for their prized pet and let them have all the fun. You can also relax and take five with a coffee while you watch them run loose. Click here for a full list of locations for dog parks in the region.
The Campo Adventurer:
If you like to traverse the natural landscape that Andalucía offers in abundance, there are literally hundreds of mountain and countryside walks in the area. You can stumble across beautiful lakes, rivers, and streams on such hikes or simply stroll through the rambling countryside. The nature here is stunning and the climate pertains to such walks being viable most of the year round. Check out this list of walking trails in and around the Malaga-Cadiz region.
One of my favourite spots for dog walking, or any other kind, is the Refugio de Juanar; the forested area below the walking trails of La Concha itself. Here you can park and walk the beautiful area ,flat enough for all levels of fitness, or if you feel adventurous you can tackle the face of the mountain, or just sit back and smell the pine trees! The Refugio de Juanar is actually the name of the traditional Spanish hotel which skirts the entrance to the walking trails. Here you’ll be greeted with a roaring fire during winter months where you can grab a welcome post-hike warm drink, or a cooling refreshment during the heat of summer on the courtyard style terrace. This is a perfect spot any time of year – shaded from the heat during peak season and a perfect wintry setting in the short but sweet cold season. Oh, and dogs love it!
The Beach Buddies
If you and your canine companion prefer to stretch your legs whilst feeling the sand beneath your feet & paws and the Med lapping at your heels, there are many beaches that can accommodate you both. However, it is important to note the annual restrictions on where dogs are permitted during summer months. During the peak tourist season dogs are not allowed on most of the main beaches all over the region and so it is essential to have a list of those which are known as ‘dog-friendly’ that you may frequent during this time (June 1st – September 30th). Dog-friendly beaches have recently become available in El Pinillo and Ventura del Mar (where you’ll even find a doggy shower!) providing at least a decent sized bay for you both to exercise and absorb some of the many reasons we are here!
If you are going to let your dog loose on the beach you need to be sure that you’re able to control it, that it is well behaved around other dogs and of course people, and will return to you when called. You must also obviously clean up after them – leave only footprints, etc. It is also actually required that owners carry proof of the dog’s medical records with them, I’m not sure how often this proves necessary but it is something to be aware of. Click here for a full list of dog-friendly beaches in Andalucía.