5 Things To Do in Marbella & Benalmádena

Marbella – the sunkissed Andalucian town famed for its luscious green golf courses, beautiful resorts and vibrant nightlife.

A short drive away (30-45 minutes on the scenic A7) is Benalmádena – with a spectacular coastline and marina that pull in tens of thousands of holidaymakers every year.

However, if you fancy a different style of travelling, these two towns equally have nothing short of amazing to offer.

1. Old Town, Marbella

5 Things To Do in Marbella & BenalmádenaForget your map. Take a stroll aimlessly along the streets of Marbella’s Old Town that oozes history and character. As you pass through Plaza de los Naranjos, stop for fresh churros served with an indulgent hot chocolate sauce at Churreria Ramón.

2. Parks, Marbella

5 Things To Do in Marbella & Benalmádena
Photo credit: Listen2Mama.

Cross the Avenida Ramon Y Cajal. Enter the tranquil Parque de Alameda, adorned with tiled mosaic benches and towering palm trees.

A little further down the road is a bigger park, called Parque de la Constitución. From here, you can easily hop over to the next street for a breezy seaside walk.

3. Old Town, Benalmádena

5 Things To Do in Marbella & BenalmádenaLike many pueblos in Andalucia, Benalmádena is a quaint little town lined with whitewashed houses on its steep and narrow streets.

Check out Iglesia de Santo Domingo de Guzmán, a local church that gives stunning view of the coast.

For a quick lunch, check out this little place opposite Restaurant El Muro on Calle Santo Domingo. Get four tapas and one drink for just €5.

4. Castillo Monumento Colomares, Benalmádena

5 Things To Do in Marbella & BenalmádenaThe Colomares Castle is a rather unique monument that honours the great traveller Christopher Columbus.

It took seven years to build and spans 1,500 square metres, featuring different elements that represent Columbus’s journeys and achievements.

The castle also houses the world’s smallest church in the world, as listed in the Guinness Book of Records. Read more about it here.

Opening Times

Winter
Daily: 10am–1:30pm, 4–6pm

Autumn & Spring
Daily: 10am–1:30pm, 4–7pm

Summer
Daily: 10am–1:30pm, 5–9pm

Entrance Fee: €2

Website here.

5. Theme Park & Cable Car Ride, Benalmádena

5 Things To Do in Marbella & Benalmádena
Photo credit: Teleférico Benalmádena.

If you are travelling with family or young children, Tivoli World and the nearby Teleférico Benalmádena, which runs cable car rides that offers panoramic views of Sierra Nevada and the coast, are perfect for a fun-filled day out.

Tivoli World
Opening Times: check website for latest schedule.

Entrance Fee: check website for different packages.

Website here.

Teleférico Benalmádena
Opening Times

April to June: 11am-7pm

Entrance Fee: from €11.90, check website for latest prices.

Website here.

More Spanish music to get in the travelling mood…

A Relaxing Day Trip in Vejer de la Frontera

It was a cloudy morning when we hit the A7 and head towards the whitewashed town of Vejer de la Frontera.

After a quick lunch at Casino 51, we began exploring the former fortress town on foot, letting the cobbled streets guide us through its history and culture.

A Relaxing Day Trip in Vejer de la Frontera

Much of the castle wall and archways remain intact, so you can immerse in Vejer’s historical elegance while taking in its picturesque beauty from all angles.

Rising 190 metres above sea level, Vejer even offers lucky visitors a clear view of the Moroccan coast on a sunny day.

A Relaxing Day Trip in Vejer de la FronteraWe stumbled upon Casa del Mayorazgo, a private home of five families who share a tranquil courtyard that is decorated with beautiful flora and fauna arrangements.

Although it is not a public attraction, a tourist couple reassured us it is absolutely fine to enter the courtyard, climb the stairs and navigate through the washing lines to arrive at the rooftop – opening up to more scenic views of Vejer and overlooking Plaza de España.

Plaza de España (also known as Plaza de los Pescaítos) is a nice little plaza surrounded by restaurants and distinguished by a stunning mosaic fountain featuring four traditional ceramic Andalusian frogs.

A Relaxing Day Trip in Vejer de la Frontera

Continuing our relaxing stroll around town, we came across some pre-Bull Run festivities. We couldn’t return to witness this famous (and controversial) Spanish tradition the next day, but it was fascinating to see the whole town getting together, children pushing a fake bull up and down the steep and narrow streets, and people shielding their homes and shops with wooden boards in preparation for the Bull Run.

A Relaxing Day Trip in Vejer de la Frontera

As the crowd began to disperse, the clouds started to clear to reveal a blue-purple sky and an orange sun.

Driving back home on the A7, we dined at Seaside Grill by the motorway for an authentic seaside dinner and incredible atmosphere – a perfect end to a chilled and eye-opening day out in Vejer de la Frontera.

Check out this video of the Bull Run in Vejer!

Donnie Yen ready for Star Wars Rogue One and Xander Cage

Donnie Yen ready for Star Wars Rogue One and Xander Cage

Hong Kong-born actor Donnie Yen is set to reach new heights, starring in prominent roles in two Hollywood blockbusters – Star Wars’ Rogue One (2016) and xXx: The Return of Xander Cage (2017).

The Ip Man-famed action star plays Chirrut Îmwe in the Lucasfilm production. Here is the official description of his character:

“Deeply spiritual, Chirrut Îmwe believes all living things are connected through the Force. His sightless eyes do not prevent him from being a highly skilled warrior.

“Though he lacks Force abilities, this warrior monk has rigorously honed his body through intense physical and mental discipline.”

The first full trailer, since releasing on YouTube on August 11, 2016, has effortlessly clocked over 13 million views. Check it out!

Along with renowned actor Jiang Wen (Baze Malbus), they are believed to be the first Chinese characters to appear in a film franchise that has been the target of discussions of diversity and representation.

His next project in Hollywood, xXx: The Return of Xander Cage, would seem to break some new grounds as well.

The 53-year-old star plays a warrior Xiang, and from the looks of the adrenaline-fused trailer, he’s certainly someone you don’t want to mess with!

Donnie Yen ready for Star Wars Rogue One and Xander Cage
Photo credit: Donnie Yen Facebook

Describing Xiang, Donnie says:

“It’s a positive role, I am the new xXx agent who will team up with Vin [Diesel] to take down all bad guys!”

What a breath of fresh air to see an Asian actor cast in an empowering role in a mainstream movie!

Not that Rick Yune (Die Another Day), Ng Chin Han (The Dark Knight) or Jet Li (The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor) haven’t done a superb job nailing it as the captivating villains, but Donnie fighting alongside Vin will be a welcome change.

Besides, as a fellow Hongkonger, I could not be more proud to see him do his thing in a film that is bound to make all the right noises at the international box office.

Take a look at the stunning trailer:

Star Wars Rogue One will release on December 16, 2016, while Xander Cage will come out on January 20, 2017.

It is going to be a good year for Donnie Yen, who will undoubtedly open the doors for more amazing opportunities for Chinese and Asian actors everywhere!