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Explore Enchanting Towns Near Marbella

While Marbella's golden beaches and vibrant nightlife are well known by all who visit, there's a side to the Costa del Sol region that offers a more authentic and immersive experience. Just beyond Marbella's bustling coastline lie a collection of captivating towns, each with its own allure and a glimpse into traditional Andalusian culture. In this article, we invite you to discover the hidden gems near Marbella that are truly worth a visit. From the picturesque streets of Frigiliana to the dramatic cliffs of Setenil de las Bodegas, these towns embody the essence of Andalusia, showcasing its rich heritage and natural beauty. 


Nestled in the mountains to the east of Marbella, Frigiliana is a picturesque town that exudes charm at every turn. Renowned for being one of the most beautiful villages in Spain, its whitewashed houses adorned with vibrant flower pots create a stunning scene against the backdrop of the mountains. As you wander through Frigiliana's narrow cobblestone streets, you'll find yourself immersed in a delightful maze of boutique shops and cosy cafes. 
The town proudly preserves its Moorish heritage, clear in the architectural details and the tranquil ambiance that permeates the air. A must-visit attraction is the Palace of the Counts of Frigiliana (Palacio de los Condes), a magnificent 16th-century Renaissance mansion that offers a glimpse into the town's rich history. It is also worth visiting the Frigiliana Archaeological Museum which features a plethora of exhibitions ranging from Phoenicia pottery to Contemporary art. While exploring Frigiliana, don't forget to indulge in the local delicacy: miel de caña (meaning sugar cane honey), which is renowned for its unique and delectable flavour.

How to get to Frigiliana


Perched dramatically on the edge of a gorge, Ronda is a town that commands attention with its breathtaking setting and captivating history. The star attraction of Ronda is undoubtedly the Puente Nuevo, an awe-inspiring bridge that spans the El Tajo canyon, offering mesmerising panoramic views of the surrounding countryside.
As you venture into the town's historic quarter, you'll encounter the Mondragón Palace, which houses the Museum of Ronda. This palace provides a glimpse into Ronda's rich past, showcasing exhibits that range from prehistoric artefacts to Islamic art. There is also the 13th Century Baños Árabes Yacimiento Arquaológico (Arabic Baths Archaeological Site) which features intact bath house rooms, vaults and water systems. 

Visiting the Plaza de Toros is a must. This historic bullring, which is one of Spain's oldest, allows visitors to experience the storied controversial tradition of bullfighting. Ronda was recently added to the Andalusian Wine Route list, as the town and its surroundings are dotted with wine bodegas that offer tastings and tours to be enjoyed.
How to get to Ronda

Zahara de los Atunes

Zahara de los Atunes is a coastal haven that promises an idyllic retreat. Situated on the Costa de la Luz in Cádiz, this charming fishing village captivates visitors with its pristine white sandy beaches and translucent waters for the Atlantic Ocean. 

A culinary adventure is guaranteed when visiting this coastal town, as Zahara de los Atunes is known for its delectable fresh seafood dishes. And as its name states, what is most famous and a must-try is the tuna. Also, this region of Spain is known for its unique meat from Retinto cows. A fun fact is that you may spot these cows grazing along the coast and relaxing on the beaches.
People venture to Zahara de los Atunes to enjoy a plethora of water sporting activities, such as windsurfing, surfing, paddle boarding or even kayaking. Being on the cusp of the Atlantic, the waters provide ideal conditions for those who enjoy the aforementioned sports. And if you are an avid fisher, Zahara de los Atunes will guarantee an exciting fishing  

Driving to Zahara de los Atunes is also an experience as minutes away are fields of sunflowers that are a popular stop for pictures or simply to bask in the beauty of the yellow fields that expand as far as the eye can see. 
How to get to Zahara de los Atunes


The town of Nerja is situated east of Malaga City and captivates visitors with its stunning beaches and the mesmerising Caves of Nerja. When exploring the vast caverns you will encounter breathtaking stalactites and stalagmites, as well as prehistoric cave drawings that were first drawn over 42,000 years ago. And it is said that these cave drawings are the oldest in the world made by humans. Nerja is also home to the Balcony of Europe, a scenic viewpoint that offers panoramic vistas of the Mediterranean Sea. 

To enjoy Nerja to the fullest, head to the picturesque Burriana Beach. With its sandy shores and crystalline waters, it's the perfect spot to unwind and relax under the warm Mediterranean sun. We also suggest taking a stroll along the promenade, lined with inviting beachfront cafés and restaurants.

As you explore the charming streets of Nerja's old town, you'll be enchanted by its traditional Andalusian architecture and vibrant atmosphere. The whitewashed houses are adorned with colourful geraniums and bougainvillaea. You will also discover hidden plazas, quaint shops and local boutiques that offer an array of unique handicrafts and souvenirs.
How to get to Nerja

Setenil de las Bodegas

Setenil de las Bodegas is a town that is considered being an architectural marvel, where houses are ingeniously built into the cliffs.This unique integration of nature and human habitation creates a surreal and captivating experience. Wander through the narrow streets that wind their way through the rock formations and you will find houses providing shelter within the natural caves and overhangs. 
There are a plethora of bars and restaurants nestled within the caves, where you can try delicious cuisine while being surrounded by the rugged beauty of the cliffs. Don't miss the opportunity to taste the local delicacy of Setenil de las Bodegas: Chacina, a variety of cured pork products that are renowned for their exceptional flavour. Indulge your taste buds and savour the traditional culinary delights that showcase the rich gastronomic heritage of the region.
How to get to Setenil de las Bodegas


Nestled in the Sierra de las Nieves mountains, Ojén offers a tranquil retreat from the bustling atmosphere of Marbella. Be sure to explore the charming village centre, where traditional Andalusian houses adorned with vibrant flowers create a picturesque scene. We suggest taking a stroll through the narrow streets, lined with cosy cafés and inviting shops that allow you to truly immerse yourself in the authentic Andalusian atmosphere.
Ojén offers breathtaking views that span towards the Mediterranean and African coastline, as well as the Sierra Blanca mountain range that encapsulates this beautiful town. Also, this town is located close to the Refugio de Juanar, a reserved home to a plethora of fauna, as well as the route to climb our famous La Concha mountain. 

Ojén is also famous for its locally produced anise liqueur - Aguardiente - which is known to be added to morning coffee. During your visit, be sure to indulge in a tasting of this regional specialty, allowing your palate to savour the unique flavours and aromas that define Ojén's culinary heritage.
How to get to Ojén


Álora is a picturesque town that captivates visitors with its natural beauty and authentic Andalusian charm. Located in the Guadalhorce Valley, this town boasts stunning backdrops of rugged mountains and green valleys. 

One of the major attractions in Álora is the majestic Moorish fortress, Castillo de Álora, perched high on a hill. Immerse yourself in history as you explore the ancient walls and towers of the castle, which offer panoramic views of the surrounding valley below.
The town itself boasts whitewashed houses adorned with colourful flower pots. Here you can admire the authentic Andalusian atmosphere through charming plazas, boutique shops and more. 

For nature enthusiasts and adventure seekers, Álora is a gateway to exhilarating outdoor experiences. Just a short distance away, you'll find the famous El Chorro Gorge, a natural wonder that offers views of cliffs and turquoise waters as you hike through the landscapes. And the Caminito del Rey is also close by — a cliff side walkway that offers a bird's-eye view of the gorge below. The walkway, known for its dramatic heights and stunning vistas, promises an unforgettable adventure.
How to get to Álora


Júzcar is an enchanting village nestled in the Valle del Genal, 22 km from Ronda. In a daring and imaginative endeavour to promote the Smurfs movie, every building in this charming town was adorned with vibrant blue hues, creating a truly fantastical and captivating tourist attraction. 
While exploring Júzcar, be sure to visit the Smurfs Museum, a must-see destination for fans of all ages. You will embark on a nostalgic journey back to your childhood, surrounded by a treasure trove of Smurf memorabilia and exhibits dedicated to these iconic blue characters. The museum offers a blend of entertainment and education, allowing visitors to learn about the history and cultural significance of the Smurfs while revelling in the joy they have brought to generations.

Whether you're a dedicated fan or looking for a fun trip for the family to remember, this extraordinary village promises a memorable adventure that will leave you with a smile on your face.
How to get to Júzcar