Here are some suggestions for trips that are within easy reach by car from Malaga / Marbella. Some of the description of the places are taken from Wikipedia.
The weather can often change from place to place. I have therefore added a 3 day forecast for each place so you can plan your trip and find where the weather is best. Is it cloudy in Malaga it can be nice weather in Granada.
Ronda is about 63 km from Marbella and a little over 1 hour to drive.
Ronda is situated in a very mountainous area about 750 m (2,460 ft) above mean sea level. The Guadalevín River runs through the city, dividing it in two and carving out the steep, 100-plus-meter- deep El Tajo canyon upon which the city perches. The Spanish fir (abies pinsapo) is endemic to the mountains surrounding Ronda.
The Puente Nuevo bridge in Ronda
- Three bridges, Puente Romano ("Roman Bridge", also known as the Puente San Miguel), Puente Viejo ("Old Bridge", also known as the Puente Árabe or "Arab Bridge"), and Puente Nuevo ("New Bridge"), span the canyon. The term nuevo is something of a misnomer, as the building of this bridge commenced in 1751 and took until 1793 to complete. The Puente Nuevo is the tallest of the bridges, towering 120 m (390 ft) above the canyon floor, and all three serve as some of the city's most impressive features. The former town hall, which sits next to the Puente Nuevo, is the site of a parador, and has a view of the Tajo canyon.Outside the Ronda Bullring
- The 'Corrida Goyesca' is a unique and historical bullfight that takes place once a year in Ronda in the Plaza de toros de Ronda, the oldest bullfighting ring in Spain. It was built in 1784 in the Neoclassical style by the architect José Martin de Aldehuela, who also designed the Puente Nuevo.
- The partially intact Baños árabes ("Arab baths") are found below the city and date back to the 13th and 14th centuries.Plaza del Socorro
- Plaza del Socorro is the modern political centre of Ronda, it was here that Blas Infante showed off the Andalusian flag and coat of arms for the first time in 1918. The parish church of Socorro (Parroquia de Nuestra Señora del Socorro) was only built in 1956. The building known as the Casino and Circulo de Artistas (Artists Society) is located on the north side of Ronda's Plaza del Socorro. This is a charming corner of the town where tourists enjoy their lunch, unaware that they are in the company of one of Andalucia's most famous historical venues.Palacio of the Marqués de Salvatierra
- The Palacio of the Marqués de Salvatierra opens irregularly as a small museum of Renaissance art and artefacts. The Palacio is an 18th-century renovation of an earlier 16th century building gifted to the family of Don Vasco Martín de Salvatierra by the Reyes Catolicos when they redistributed the spoils of the Reconquest. In 1994, Madonna obtained permit to shoot inside the palace of the Marquis of Salvatierra for the music video of Take a Bow.Casa del Rey Moro
- The Casa del Rey Moro is to some extent a fraud, since the house was never the home of the Moorish King. It was built in the 18th Century, when Moorish Spain was already a distant memory. Its apparently Moorish gardens are even more recent, having been designed by the French landscape gardener, Jean Claude Forestier, in 1912. But the house does incorporate one genuine and important relic of Ronda's Moorish occupation - the so-called Water Mine.
Zoo Castellar Frontera
Zoo Castellard Fontera is about 69 km from Marbella and a about 1 hour to drive.
The Castellar Zoo, an animal rescue center, is a private initiative started since 1998, which officially opened in 2002 in order to aid animals which were seized by the authorities. These animals that were the victims of the black market were mistreated and uncared. The purpose of the rescue center is to provide to these animals with better living conditions by the best carers. Several years after its commencement, the center opened its doors to the public for their enjoyment, but also to increase awareness. Gradually, with economic support, the Castellar Zoo is improving its facilities and installations for the public and animals. The center offers a second chance for the animals, and to the public an entirely different zoo, where visitors may feed the animals and interact directly with them.
Istán is at the end of the lake about 15 km from Marbella. It is a small village with open water running through the streets. When we were here in June 2017 there was an extremely nice and service friendly service in the tourist information that made us take a walk in the area, and that we do not regret. The first thing that meets you when driving to Istan does not look very exciting, but a walk in area is worth your time.
Istán is one of a number of villages of Moorish origin which owes its survival to its distance from the coast. After the Christian reconquest of the Iberian peninsula in the 15th Century, Arabs were barred from living within a league of the shoreline in order to prevent them from communicating with their kinsmen across the straits in Morocco. Istán, 15 kilometres inland, was allowed to remain while the coastal Arab settlements were depopulated and frequently destroyed.
The zoo in Fuengirola is nice for both adults and children . It is centrally located in Fuengirola city. It is not very big, but contains a surprising number of attractions. You get close to the animals and scenes are great. More info you find on there website. Further than pictures from our visit in March 2016.
Gibraltar is a British Overseas Territory located on the southern end of the Iberian Peninsula at the entrance of the Mediterranean. It has an area of only 6.7 km2 (2.6 sq mi) and shares its northern borderwith the Province of Cádiz in Andalusia, Spain.
The Rock of Gibraltar is the major landmark of the region, which you can see from Marbella on a clear day. Gibraltar is currently the only place in Europe where there are living apes in the wild. This species is called Berber-species and is also widespread in North Africa.
At its foot is a densely populated city area, home to over 30,000 Gibraltarians and other nationalities.
An Anglo-Dutch force captured Gibraltar from Spain in 1704 during the War of the Spanish Succession on behalf of the Habsburg pretender to the Spanish throne. The territory was subsequently ceded to Britain "in perpetuity" under the Treaty of Utrecht in 1713. During World War Two it was an enormously important base for the Royal Navy as it controlled the entrance and exit to the Mediterranean Sea, which is only eight miles wide at this point. Today Gibraltar's economy is based largely on tourism, online gambling, financial services, and shipping.
Tarifa is a small town in the province of Cádiz, Andalusia, on the southernmost coast of Spain. It is primarily known as one of the world's most popular destinations for wind sports. So if you visit the city to check wind forecasts. It's not so nice to visit the beach with high winds. We visited when it blew, and we saw crying children who had gotten sand in the eyes. And it was on the way over to the small island and not on the beach itself. The climate is however pleasant even in summer. It rarely gets very hot here and the wind makes it possible to move in the city even in August.
It takes about 1 hour and 20 minutes to drive from Marbella to Tarifa
The town is located on the Costa de la Luz ("coast of light") and across the Straits of Gibraltar facing Morocco.
At exactly 36 degrees latitude, it is the southernmost point of Continental Europe, situated south of the two African capital cities of Tunis and Algiers. It is also one of the southernmost points of geographic Europe, with only Malta and the southernmost Greek islands of Crete and Gavdos being further south, with Gavdos being the southernmost point of Europe.
The municipality includes Punta de Tarifa, the southernmost point in continental Europe. There are several villages which depend economically on Tarifa in the municipality, including Tahivilla, Facinas, and Bolonia.
Historical landmarks of the city include:
- The well-preserved Guzman castle, near the port, built by order of caliph Abd-ar-Rahman III (960). Annexed are the Guzmán el Bueno Tower (13th century) and the church of St. Mary, on the site of a former mosque remains of the medieval walls. Of three gates once existing, today only the Puerta de Jerez (13th century) has survived
- Church of St. Matthew, built in the early 16th century in Gothic style, also over a former mosque. The façade was redesigned by Torcuato Cayón de la Vega in 1774.
- The ruins of the Roman city of Baelo Claudia, located nearby.
- Tarifa has become a popular spot for northern-Europeans to spend their summers.
- Tarifa's unique wind conditions have made the beaches at Playa de Los Lances, Valdevaqueros and Punta Paloma the most popular in Europe with windsurfers and kitesurfers. The funnel created by the Strait of Gibraltar creates a Venturi effect when either the Levante (Easterly wind from Africa) or Poniente (Westerly wind from the Atlantic) is blowing. These two winds prevail in Tarifa for over 300 days most years, meaning Tarifa experiences exceptionally strong and consistent winds throughout the year. In addition, localised thermal winds at locations such as Valdevaqueros mean that even when the prevailing wind is not strong it is often possible to windsurf and kite surf in Tarifa These unique wind conditions are also the reason Tarifa is dotted with countless wind turbines.
Tarifa is located within the Intercontinental Mediterranean Biosphere Reserve, a renowned place to watch migrating birds, in particular the storks which cross the Straits of Gibraltar in spring and autumn. Also whale and dolphin watching can be done on the 14 kilometer wide Straits.
Source Wikipedia and own experience
Sierra Nevada is a mountain range in Andalusia in Spain . The importance of the Spanish name is " Snow Mountain ". It contains the highest point in mainland Spain , Mulhacén , 3479 m. You use about 2 hours with a car from Malaga/Marbella.
Sierra Nevada is a popular tourist destination , where the high mountain peaks makes it possible to ski in what is Europe's southernmost ski resort . The ski lift goes up to 3395 meters above sea level . You can drive by car up to 2550 meters , the last stretch of road up to 3400 meters above sea level is blocked, but it goes almost to the top.
The mountain range is located in the Mediterranean, an area which otherwise is known for having a warm climate and plenty of sunshine . At the foot of the mountain range are the city of Granada , and a little further away Málaga and Almería . The ski resorts of the Sierra Nevada . Parts of the mountain range are included in the Sierra Nevada National Park. The mountain range has also been declared a biosphere reserve . Sierra Nevada Observatory is located on the northern side at a height of 2800 m.
Alhambra is a palace and fortress complex located in Granada,Andalusia, Spain. It was originally constructed as a small fortress in 889 and then largely ignored until its ruins were renovated and rebuilt in the mid-13th century by the Moorish emir Mohammed ben Al-Ahmar of the Emirate of Granada, who built its current palace and walls. It was converted into a royal palace in 1333 by Yusuf I, Sultan of Granada.
Alhambra's Islamic palaces, as we know them today, were built for the last Muslim emirs in Spain and the court of the Nasrid dynasty. After the conquest of Granada by the Reyes Católicos ("Catholic Monarchs") in 1492, some portions were used by Christian rulers. The Palace of Charles V, built by Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor in 1527, was inserted in the Alhambra within the Nasrid fortifications. After being allowed to fall into disrepair for centuries, the buildings being occupied by squatters, Alhambra was rediscovered in the 19th century by European scholars and travelers, with restorations commencing. It is now one of Spain's major tourist attractions, exhibiting the country's most significant and well known Islamic architecture, together with 16th-century and later Christian building and garden interventions. Alhambra is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and the inspiration for many songs and stories.
Nerja on the Costa del Sol, is a seaside resort of sandy coves sheltered by the impressive Sierra de Almijara mountains and often referred to as 'The Jewel of the Costa del Sol'. A temperate climate means that Nerja is a great place to visit at any time of year.N erja is located 53 kilometres east of Málaga on the Costa del Sol and can be reached in about 40 minutes by car from Málaga airport or about an hour and a half by bus.
Nerja has a long history, evidenced by the primitive paintings found in its famous Nerja caves, discovered in 1959. These caves are now believed to be just one entrance to a linked series of potholes stretching many miles into the mountains between Nerja and Granada, and which may yet prove to be one of the most extensive unexplored systems in Europe. Visitors to the caves will be able to view the remains of one of the ancient inhabitants of Nerja.
The Romans built here three settlements, including Detunda, of which now large remains can be seen. The area was later taken over by the Arabs in the early 8th century. Under the Moors, the town was known as Narixa, which means "abundant spring", from which the present name derives.
Puerto Banus is just a few minutes drive from Marbella is Puerto Banus. Puerto José Banús is a marina on the outskirts of Marbella, on the Costa del Sol in southern Spain. The marina was built by the local businessman and property developer José Banús and opened in May 1970.
The place is known for its luxurious feel, with expensive boutiques and frequent performances of large yachts belonging to some of the world's richest