Thrill-seekers may be surprised to learn just how many adventures are on offer in this luxurious Andalucian town — and with a Sonhaus home, you can experience them all.
Marbella embodies luxury with its stylish beach clubs, upmarket boutiques and bars, gleaming white yachts and must-visit marina. Yet there’s a whole other side to this sun-drenched spot of Andalucia just waiting to be discovered.
Backed by the dramatic Sierra Blanca mountains, Marbella revels in its balmy microclimate with a spectacular natural setting that can’t help but lure adventure seekers away from the sanctuary of their Sonhaus home.
1. Explore the Sierra Blanca mountains
The rugged peaks of the Sierra Blanca attracts hikers, cyclists and climbers alike to its lofty peaks that offer jaw-dropping views over pine forests and out to the sea. Along its lower stretches, ancient olive trees adorn dusty paths, where hikers journey through olive groves towards the peak of La Concha (4,166ft) — so-named for its shell-like shape. Catch your breath at the top and gaze down on the sun-blushed shores of Marbella and across to the glistening Strait of Gibraltar, with the outline of Morocco’s Atlas Mountains visible on a clear day. The Ermita de los Monjes Marbella, meanwhile, is a 2.8-mile hiking loop that winds up through the mountains and includes the chance to take a refreshing dip in the pool beneath the stunning Barranco Blanco waterfall.
2. Go canyoning in Guadalmina
The Guadalmina canyon’s raw elemental beauty is a magnet for adventure-seekers. For the best views — and thrills — sign up to a canyoning experience, which involves trekking through the dramatic landscape’s folds and ravines, scrambling down the naturally smooth canyon walls and plunging into bright turquoise pools. There are plenty of options for all levels of experience (and fearlessness) and for the hardy, there are nail-biting 100ft abseils down sheer rock faces and stomach-clenching cliff jumps into swirling pools.
3. Hit the slopes
In winter the Sierra Nevada mountain range is dusted in a thick layer of snow. Just a two-hour drive from Marbella, you can be at the beach in the morning, go skiing in the afternoon and return to your Sonhaus home in time to dress for dinner. Crisscrossing the Sierra Nevada’s brooding peaks are some 70 miles of ski tracks across 131 pistes, not to mention the largest ski slope in Spain at 3,940ft, all of which attract skiers and snowboarders to the region from December to April. And like any self-respecting ski domain, there’s a vivacious apres-ski scene retoxing skiers in the bars framing Pradollano Square.
4. Take to the water
Beach time in Marbella isn’t just about sipping sangria or frequenting beach clubs on sultry summer days. There’s plenty of action on the water, too: wakeboarding, water skiing, sailing and kitesurfing are just some of the watersports you can try during a stay at your Sonhaus home. Spend long afternoons bobbing about the Strait of Gibraltar fishing for red tuna, cruise around the calm waters on a sunset SUP trip from Puerto Deportivo and test your nerve with a spot of surfing just off Playa del Cable. Further inland, kayak around the calm waters of Lake Istan while eagles circle high above or cast off for a kitesurfing adventure.
5. Take a day drip to Tangier
For something entirely different, charter a boat and swap continents for the day with a trip to the exciting Moroccan port city of Tangier, on the northernmost tip of Africa. Just an hour from Marbella, its famed for its colourful streets, aromatic spice markets and trinket cluttered souks. Today its a bastion of culture, home to retro cafes, theatres and a recently spruced-up marina attracting visitors from around the world. Head into the medina — a warren of antique stores, pokey alleyways, colourful murals and hidden clothing shops where the whiff of incense swirls through the streets — then linger on one of its roof terraces with a sugary sweet mint tea while gazing across the city to the sea beyond. Sail back to your Sonhaus home at dusk to catch the sunset from the water — if you charter a yacht for the trip you could enjoy dinner on the journey, too.