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The Marvellous Mountains that surround Marbella

BRIGHT.

Article by Victoria Wood

The fabulous views of La Concha mountain from the area close to Real de La Quinta
The fabulous views of La Concha mountain from the area close to Real de La Quinta

One of the most iconic views that strikes anyone arriving in Marbella is the backdrop of stunning mountains that cushion the city between country and sea. This is just the beginning of a whole host of magnificent ranges that spread throughout the region and create the stunning landscape that draws, and keeps people opting for the southern Spanish lifestyle. There are no shortages when it comes to mountain ranges in the southern part of Spain, Andalucía alone boasting around 30 within its boundaries.

Whether you choose to live within one of the mountainous areas here, or are happy enough to have a view of a peak or two from your home, the powerful energy that comes from the sheer presence of these mountains is something that enhances the whole vibe of the area.

The Sierra Crestellina in the Natural Park of Alcornocales
The Sierra Crestellina in the Natural Park of Alcornocales

Speaking to people living in Casares village inland from Estepona, the mountains are part of their lives due to the village itself being built into the side of the rock and daily walks opening up a whole world of freedom and fresh air and light.

“Taking the dogs for a long stroll up in the hills or down in one of the valleys, or even splashing around in the river is the perfect start, or end to any day for me.” said local resident María Rodriguez Valadez, Casares, referring to the Sierra Crestellina that borders the village, home to a huge colony of vultures.

For other folks it is the sun setting and beaming a warm orange glow on the side of a towering friend that makes evenings at home an extra special moment.

“In the valley where we are near to Gaucín the sun reflects right on to the Monte del Duque which you can sit and look at from the garden, it is so picturesque that we landscaped to include it in our seating plans!” Karen Jensen, Gaucín, Sierra del Hacho.

From the limestone peak of El Hacho you can look over the sweeping Genal and Guardiaro valleys and their respective rivers flowing towards the coast as well as views as far as Gibraltar and Africa. Here you may well spot the griffon vultures and even stumble across a rare Bumblebee orchid or two and possibly even an Iberian Lynx.

The village of Benahavís in the Serranía de Ronda
The village of Benahavís in the Serranía de Ronda

When you’re situated by the coast you get the best of both worlds having the Mediterranean on your doorstep as well as some stunning viewpoints from the surrounding mountains.

“Where our house sits in Benahavís, near Real de La Quinta, has to be one of the best spots on the coast. We are perched up high on a hill overlooking the hustle and bustle of Nueva Andalucía and Puerto Banús but are lucky to be up out of the way with an amazing view of the Med, all the way from Fuengirola to Gibraltar. And behind us there is nothing but mountains, valleys and eventually you get to Ronda. We get incredible sunsets as well as sunrises; it’s a really special situation to be in which I wouldn’t change for the world!” Nicole Marks, Benahavis, La Serranía de Ronda mountain range.

One of the highest mountains at such close proximity to the sea, the Sierra Bermeja mountain frames and dominates the landscape behind Estepona. Take a drive to the top in less than an hour and sit and absorb the sights as far as neighbouring Africa.

The Sierra Bermeja range silhouetted against the evening sky, as seen from Marbella
The Sierra Bermeja range silhouetted against the evening sky, as seen from Marbella

La Concha, meaning ‘the shell’ due to its shape, is the iconic mountain that looms proudly above Marbella and the Costa del Sol, and the most westerly point of the Sierra Blanca.The summit sits at an impressive 1,200 metres above sea level and you can climb to the nobbly peak in around three hours, less for more avid climbers and you can skim some time off for the downhill return. You’ll need to have a relatively good level of fitness to get to the top, but there are also many trails up and around the mountain for all levels. If you do manage to reach the peak, the views are second-to-none and will literally take your breath away, not just due to the climb! You can take a break, have a snack and sit and soak up the incredibly extensive vistas. Click here to read our blog about climbing La Concha.

Guy Hunter Watts - author of many walking books on the top of La Concha
Guy Hunter Watts - author of many walking books on the top of La Concha

The town of Istán sits majestically just 14 kilometres from the coast. It is steeped in history as well as mountains, being located in the Sierra de las Nieves. This is a stunning place of natural beauty with natural springs, the Rio Verde, and of course the incredible ‘Istan Lake’. The lake is actually a reservoir which was constructed in 1972, collecting its waters from the surrounding mountains. It stretches for 5km with a surface area of 214 hectares and so supplies not only amazing view but also the water for many of the surrounding towns including Marbella. You may spot the odd otter here and the lake has known to be home to catfish and trout.

The Istán lake (Embalse de la Concepción) that provides water to Marbella and the surrounding areas
The Istán lake (Embalse de la Concepción) that provides water to Marbella and the surrounding areas

“Our view stretches across the gorgeous reservoir and goes as far as the African coastline. Watching the sunset every day is still an event, even though we’ve lived here for five years, it’s something you never get tired of. And the peace and quiet is something we also cherish! No noisy motorbikes or sirens, just the birds and the wind in the trees. The drive up is only 10 mins from the Golden Mile, you don’t even notice it. It’s certainly ‘away from it all’ but it’s not too far away. Living on the side of Marbella’s iconic La Concha mountain is a very special place to be – what a privilege!” Mike Wicks, Cerros del Lago, Istán, Sierra de las Nieves.

Of course we can’t neglect to mention the famous Sierra Nevada, literally translating as ‘snow covered mountain range’, which stretches through Granada, Málaga and Almería. (Not strictly “surrounding” Marbella, but within a 2-hour drive.) The highest peak of Spain sits here overlooking the rest of Andalucía and as one of Europe’s most southerly ski resorts is a popular destination for Spaniards and tourists. Thanks to the relatively new highway you can actually ski and surf within one day; waking up in Sierra Nevada for an early morning shift on the slopes and then a drive down towards Cádiz to catch some waves in the afternoon. Now that’s living!

Mainland Spain’s highest peak, the famous Sierra Nevada
Mainland Spain’s highest peak, the famous Sierra Nevada

BRIGHT are currently developing Vista Lago Residences – 18 villas that are located in the mountainside estate of Real de La Quinta and have fabulous views overlooking Marbella and towards Gibraltar and Africa, set between La Concha mountain and Benahavís. These luxury sustainable villas are now officially on the market – so if you’re looking for comfort and unrivalled luxury in the foothills of Marbella’s marvellous mountains, look no further! Visit our information page to find out more, and reserve your villa by calling: (+34) 648 981 111 or sending an email to: [email protected]

Sunset to Africa and Gibraltar
Views from Vista Lago Residences will take your breath away!
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