Lucky in Life….

I have only lived here for a year but it doesn’t take long to appreciate the lifestyle you have in the Costa del Sol.

One of the massive benefits is the 320+ days of Sun we have here.

You can plan ahead and pretty much guarantee the weather will be anything but wet. 

The area I have lived in for the past year is quiet and tranquil and there are no boy racers charging past at all hours of the night. There are no drunken people walking past my window arguing. There is no continuous traffic streaming past my door. 

The lifestyle here is a expensive or inexpensive as you wish to make it. You control your own money and how and what you spend it on. 

You are surrounded by outdoor living. You can just go for a wander along the promenade, you can have a cheap day out at the beach. You can have lunch for 10€ for 2 people in some areas.

You can just sit outside and read a good book or a blog, or even buy an English newspaper here.

Children can play safer. The Spanish love children and dining out is never an issue if you have children as they are welcome anywhere.

The days and nights are longer and you find yourself staying up later as this is normal. Dining late is normal, children up past 10pm is normal.

School holidays are longer. However there are plenty of summer camps available to children who’s parents work during the day. These are subsidized by the local authorities so children can have fun while parents work. My children went to a local Lego summer camp for a week and loved it. It cost me 63€ 

We have been lucky enough to live in a villa this summer with a pool. My little boy has spent the summer learning to swim, something I would have never had time for in the UK , he is now a fully fledged water baby.

I went out the other evening and walked from one town centre down to the coast line and walked along the promenade. Such a beautiful area, buzzing with life. Plenty of shops and bars and ice cream parlours.  

We all commented how lucky we were to live in this lifestyle. 

To have the beach in our doorsteps, the good weather, the plentiful bars and restaurants and the safe environment for our children.

We have visited most of the attractions in our area. Over the next couple of weeks we aim to venture further afield to see what’s new. Ronda, Nerja and the all famous Smurf Village.

So many beautiful places to visit and then blog about so I can share my experiences. If you have any recommendations then please leave them in the comments.

Castillo Colomares, Benalmadena…..

Situated at the bottom of the Benalmadena Pueblo is the beautiful Castillo Colomares.

It is historical tribute to Christopher Columbus. The buildings began in 1987 by Dr Stephen Martin and two fellow bricklayers. It toook 7 years to handcraft the entire castle from brick , stone and cement. 

It’s has been designed as a ‘Unicum’ to tell the story of the discovery of America and also has the Byzantine, Romanesque, Gothic and Mudejar styles all combined in this one beautiful monument.


The best way to blog about this monument is through pictures. Unless you’ve been or can see it you cannot appreciate it’s glory.

You are free to wander the site and take in all the areas and historiacal features it has to offer at your leisure. However you would probably only spend up to an hour here.

Cost of entry is minimal. 2€ per adult and 1.50€ for children over 8 years and OAP’s. Children under 8 go for free.

You are provided with a brief history on the monument and also a numbered description of each area. 

There are no food and drink concessions here and this is probably why people don’t stay for very long. In the summer months the opening hours are limited so check the website before making your trip.

Castillo Monumento Colomares

Up up and away…

Benalmadena Cable cars is a must see attraction based in the andalucian town of Arroyo De La Miel. 

It’s the best way to see across the beautiful coast line from up above.

Not for the faint hearted as the cable car go right up to the top of the mountain so those with height phobias should be warned. 

It takes about 20-25 minutes to get up the the top and you can then ascend even higher up the winding paths to the most picturesque views inland and across the ocean.

There is plenty of photo taking opportunities for the avid photographer and a  selfie stick is a good idea to take along with you.

Once at the top as mentioned before you can explore further up the mountain. Make sure you wear sensible footwear. Flip flops are not really hiking attire!!

There is a snack bar, vending machines and restaurant at the top of the mountain however they are quite expensive as you’d expect and not really that great. You’d be better off taking your own water and a light snack.

One of the highlights of the trip is the Bird of Prey show which happens twice a day.

You can see buzzards, vultures, owls and an array of other birds.

You can see them flying and being called back, although when we went one of the vultures had decided he was off for the duration of the show and didn’t come back until long after the show had finished.

Be warned though, you’ll need Sun screen and sunhats as they show is out in the open and there’s no shelter from the daily Sun which at the time of the show is at its peak.

http://www.telefericobenalmadena.com 

Picturesque Mijas Pueblo….

I’ve had the rare opportunity to live in Mijas. We rented a lovely but very old Villa on the road that leads into the town. 

The roadworks were being carried out while we were there however have now completed and Mijas is a buzzing, beautiful old town to both live and visit and its hard not to fall in love with it.

The views from Mijas are amazing. The buildings are white wash with blue flower pots a plenty on all the walls. 

The plaza has been completed and is now a safe place for children to play both day and night time. There are many events held here throughout the year, including this year’s World Padel Tour Championship. The annual Feria which can last up to 5 days and various markets and other events for all the family.

There are various ways in which to see Mijas, horse and cart, donkey taxis and the Tuk Tuk. The latter is by the best way to see Mijas. The horses and donkeys have come under much fire of late as they are a controversial subject of matter. 

Each mode of transportation is not expensive and its great for the tourist revenue in Mijas. Mijas is renowned for its donkeys and in almost every shop you can buy something donkey related.

A rare and quite random and strange attractions is the Miniatures Museum. Inside an old gypsy wagon is a display of weird and wonderful items with even smaller items painted, written, drawn or inside them and with almost all of them its necessary to look through a magnifying glass to see them. For only 3€ per adult and 1.50€ per child it’s a cheap and cheerful thing to go and see while in Mijas.

Another attraction for all the family is the Monkey Chocolate Making Factory. Spend time creating your very own bespoke chocolate bar and then take it home with you.

Restaurants, cafes, ice cream parlours and tapas bars are plentiful. Some of my favourites are 

Los Arcos – Plaza Virgen De La Pena

The Village Bistro – Avenida de Mejico

Koco Bistro – Virgen de la Pena

Restaurante Meguinez – Calle San Sebastian

Incidentally Calle San Sebastian is one of the most photographed roads in Spain.

If you’re in the Costa del Sol, be sure to put Mijas Pueblo on your to do list.

Bioparc Fuengirola….

This was my second visit to this enchanting recreated rainforest hidden in the central town of busy Fuengirola. You would never believe it was in such an environment.

As with all attractions in the Costa del Sol this one is not cheap however it is good value for money. 

Booking online is highly recommended as its slightly cheaper and they also offer a family package for 60€ which is not available when you pay on the door. This I feel is a little naughty because on average most are families of four. You can save 10€ by booking this online in advance.

As you the enter the park you can have a family photo taken which is available to purchase on your way out. 

The park itself is very sheltered lots of tall trees to mirror rainforest life. The animals are all enclosed but unlike with English zoo’s there’s an element of trust put in the general public as you can get quite close to the enclosures. 

The big animal attractions available are tigers, gorillas, orangatans, crocodiles, leopard, hippos and a large selection of smaller animals, reptiles and birds. 

You can get up close with the tigers and gorillas as there is only reinforced glass between you and them and they are often sitting just the other side.

There are daily shows, mainly every hour including an interactive animal and Bird show in which you can see birds flying across the audience and animals such as otters, porcupines, armadillos and others as well as children being picked to feed the deer. 

There is an interactive lemur experience in which you can get up close with the lemurs. There is a guided tour around their environment where you can learn how they live, breed and how they are cared for by the park.


There is a cafeteria area at the park which is always busy despite being very expensive which you can imagine.

The park is an enjoyable 2-3 hours , longer if you are staying to eat. There’s plenty to see and the animal environments are very much like they would expect to be should you see them in the wild.

Due to the vast amount of tall trees and big leaves the park is very shaded making it enjoyable no matter what how hot it is.

And of course on your way out is the obligatory gift shop, if you hadn’t already spent enough money.

A great family experience for all ages whatever the weather. 

Beat the Heat…..

Most foods can leave you feeling bloated at the best of times, however when faced daily with constant high temperatures and humidity its hard to know how to stay cool and beat the heat as well as the bloat. Especially if you’re on holiday and you want to look great in that bikini!!!

There are plenty of foods available to help beat the heat and each has there own health benefit as well.

Watermelon – Has a high water content and plenty of antioxidants.

Cucumber – Full of Fibre and is 96% water. What more can I say. 

Mint – Delicious and Refreshing 

Green Veggies – Each has a high water content, perfect for staying hydrated.

Onions – contain cooling properties and are a perfect addition to any curry, salad or dip. Red onions in particular are rich in quercetin which is a natural anti allergen and can help protect against Sun stroke.

Melon – 90% water , Hip Hop Hooray.

Coconut Water – Keeps the body hydrated as well as having cancer fighting properties and anti ageing properties, everyone’s as winner 😊

Wherever you are in the world, eating local fruits and veggies is a must especially when they are in season. Their nutrients are at their peak in the summer. 

Drinking plenty of water will aid continual hydration however it can be boring, especially when you’re craving a mojito!!

So why not jazz it up: Make ice cubes using lemon juice or lime or even freeze berries, grapes or chunks of water melon in the ice cubes as you make them.

Also contrary to popular belief caffeinated drinks i.e tea or coffee will not dehydrate. This is because the caffeine amounts are vastly outweighed by the water content. 

Happy Days.

So remember, eat smart and beat the Heat and you’ll also beat the bloat. 

Traditionally Spanish…..

So… Being as I am now a resident in Costa del Sol, I thought I would share with you some traditional andalusian dishes. Just so you don’t miss out.

First up –

Pescaito Frito: translated literally means little fried fish. The fish is coated in flour and then deep fried in olive oil, with only salt as a seasoning. Served hot of course with fresh lemon to give that zingy taste. 

Can be served as an appetizer or as a main course option.

Some great restaurants to try this dish are

Restaurant Toro – Benalmadena Marina

https://g.co/kgs/YTfpdp

Caliu Restaurant – Torremolinos

https://g.co/kgs/Ua2vev

Casablanca Juan Los Mellizos – Torremolinos

https://g.co/kgs/zqRrgy

La Langosta –  Fuengirola

https://g.co/kgs/Eq9Tu5

Next on the list is  Gazpacho.

A combination of raw vegetables, served cold including tomatoes, cucumber and garlic is thought to have arrived with the Romans. 

Red Gazpacho is thought to have evolved in the 19th century when tomatoes were added and then it spread internationally.

A great recipe for Summer Gazpacho

http://www.bonappetit.com/recipe/summergazpacho

3rd on the list and my personal favourite is Ensalada Malagueno, translated means Malaga style salad. It represents beautiful Malaga and combines the sea with fresh vegetable gardens. Ingredient include Cod, Olive Oil, Olives and Oranges. 

Oranges?? I hear you say, but yes they compliment a sweet with a sour flavour.

Various restaurants will serve this across the Costa del sol all with their own twist to make it their own.

Last but not for any particular reason is the amazing Gambas Pil Pil. My husbands favourite.

It’s one of the areas most famous dishes, Prawns served hot and sizzling in a sauce of garlic, chilli and olive oil.

This dish should always be prepared to order as this is part of the theatre. You should also make sure you have some rustic bread for dipping to soak up all the delicious flavours in the oil.

Whilst the dish is fairly uncomplicated, there is a knack to getting the sauce combination correct. 

Try some of these great places;

La Mandragora – Calahonda

https://g.co/kgs/ZD51s6

Asadores Segovianos – Fuengirola

https://g.co/kgs/gCVNx5
El Capricho – Benalmadena

https://g.co/kgs/NqwVpa
If you visit any of these restaurants or try any recipes your thoughts are very much appreciated