Natural thermal waters in Malaga & Granada – Benefits for health

Are you planning to spend your holidays in Malaga and looking for a different place to relax? Thermal waters are an excellent choice and beneficial to health.

I already wrote in another post about health benefits of swimming in sea, this time I will offer alternatives to the beach. You can mix both!

Thermal waters usually have pleasant temperatures throughout the year, so they are ideal for relaxing during all the year. They consist of sulphurous water that arises from the interior of the earth, carrying a great number of minerals. It may have an unpleasant odour due to the sulphur, but it’s beneficial to the skin and even has antioxidant effects when ingested.

Tips for a perfect thermal bath

There are some tips for taking advantage of the beneficial properties of a thermal bath. Let’s read about them and pack up your bags, we go on excursion to the best natural thermal baths of Andalusia.

If in the thermal waters you visit there is mud you can apply on your body and head after the bath. Let the mud dry under the sun and once it starts cracking get rid of it by getting back to the water.

After the bath, why not taking advantage of the place and do some sightseeing tour? I’m pretty sure you will find nearby towns or hiking routes. In the second case you might want to leave the relaxing bath for after having practiced the walking route.

Natural thermal baths are often historically marked places that have been used since ancient times.

Thermal baths of Hedionda in Casares, Malaga

Thermal Bath in Casares, MalagaThis thermal bath is free and it is next the the Manilva river in the municipality of Casares. You can go walking from Manilva and there are also several hiking trails around that might be of your interest.

According to the legend during the 1st century before our common age, the roman troops of Cesar were waiting to confront a battle in that area. The troops were not in best conditions as many of them had scabies with strong itches.

Some of them felt the need to dive into the water to relieve the waiting and discovered with surprise that the itch feeling had largely disappeared. Shortly after Julio Cesar would order to build those baths that survived until our days. Some say that even Julio Cesar himself bathed in there.

Is this legend true? There is no evidence to support this fact and it is very likely to be false, but we will never know. What is certain is that the baths were built by the Romans and they were later reformed by the Muslims during the Al-Andalus period.

Location in map and how to get there:

Thermal baths in Alhama de Granada

Aguas termales en Alhama de GranadaIn Granada, just over an hour’s drive from Malaga, you will find the thermal baths of Alhama de Granada. Those baths are divided in two areas, one is free and at the foot of the spa where there is a private one for the customers.

Alhama de Granada is a town known especially for its thermal baths of Roman origin. The Muslims named this town Al-Hama, meaning ‘the bath’. It is next to the mountain chains of Tejeda, Almijara and Alhama, an environment of great natural beauty.

The free area consists of 3 small natural thermal pools with a capacity of around 20 people each.

You can visit the following map for getting there:

Hot springs in Zujar, Granada

Hot springs in ZujarThe healing properties of this thermal waters have been known since Roman times, Plinio wrote about this location. Zujar is a town about 110 km. from the city of Granada and within the natural park of Sierra de Cazorla.

The water of this spring is especially indicated for skin diseases treatment and many other affections.

There is a restaurant with a pool that you can access for 2€. Another option is a small lake located next to the reservoir of El Negratin that can be accessed for free.

For getting to this place you can follow the map:

If you want to find other natural thermal baths you can get to the hot waters of Santa Fe. The water temperature there is 36ºC. Find the place at the following map:

Tip: You might need to rent a car if you do not have your own vehicle. Those locations are not easily accesible by other transport means.

Christmas markets in Malaga and Costa del Sol municipalities in 2013

christmas-malaga-2013During the last weekend of November the Christmas lights switch-on takes place in most towns along the Costa del Sol and thus begin the typical activities of these pre-Christmas dates among which you can also find several Christmas markets.

In Malaga city you can enjoy the Christmas market in the central Paseo del Parque, with stalls of Christmas items, artisans and booksellers.

In Torremolinos you can visit the impressive exhibition of the Bethlehem Nativity Scene (something very typical in Andalucia) in the Town Hall or the Christmas tree in the Plaza Costa del Sol.

In Benalmadena, Arroyo de la Miel there will be an International Christmas market in the Plaza de la Mezquita, with stalls of different countries with typical Christmas products, entertainment and surprises. This market takes place on 7th of December from 11am to 8 pm.

In Fuengirola you can visit the Christmas market in the Plaza de la Constitucion that takes place inside a large tent, from December 3 to 16.

And finally, in Marbella there is a market of cribs in the historic centre. In this market, which is held during the weekends until December 22 at the Plaza of the Church Encarnacion, can be found nativity figures, Christmas sweets and Poinsettia. There is also a parallel program with activities for children, Christmas carols and parades.

These are the markets of which until now we have the dates, however there are generally markets each year in the following municipalities:

Mijas Las Lagunas at Parque de Andalucia and Mijas Pueblo at Plaza Virgen de la Peña, Marbella in the marina and Manilva at Plaza Vicente Espinel, Sabinillas.

You can find updates for the Christmas markets in Malaga on this page (in Spanish)

Christmas markets in the province of Malaga during 2012

Maybe Christmas markets in Malaga cannot compete with the Christmas markets of Nordic countries, as far as typical Christmas aesthetic concerns… a walk in the snow, the typical and delicious smells and flavours emanating from the decorated stalls…

In Malaga, the Christmas markets as known by visitors from more northern locations did not exist here, but gradually also begin to settle, “in a Malaga style” of course. And with something Malaga can not only compete, but beats many European capitals: Its spectacular Christmas lights.

Malaga city: During the month of December to January 5, the Christmas market takes place in the central Park of Malaga, with Christmas items, crafts and books, every day from 11 am to 10 pm. Another Christmas market takes place in the Plaza de Mozart, from 6 to 9 of December.

Torremolinos: From 2 to 6 December takes place the Convent Sweet Fair at the Palace of Congresses, where you can buy unique Christmas sweets made in the convents of Malaga. Opening hours are from 11 am to 2 pm and from 5 pm to 8 pm, admission is free.

Benalmadena: The Christmas market takes place Benalmadena Costa from December 6 to January 5, in the Avenida Antonio Machado – Corner Avenida Alay. Hours are from 11 am to 8 pm. In Benalmadena Arroyo de la Miel, the Christmas market takes place from 12 to 16 of December in the Plaza de la Mezquita.

Mijas: In the three nuclei of Mijas, Christmas markets are taking place from the 17th to the 31st of December. In Cala de Mijas, in Supersol Boulevard; in Las Lagunas, in the Park of Andalusia, and in Mijas Pueblo, in the Plaza Virgen de la Peña.

Fuengirola: In Fuengirola, the Christmas market is installed in a tent in the Plaza de la Constitucion, from the 5th to the 9th of December.

Marbella: In Puerto Banus takes place from December 1st to January 6th, a craft market at Plaza Antonio Banderas. In San Pedro Alcantara: On Saturday, December 8 there is a Christmas market in the Plaza de la Iglesia from 10 am to 8 pm. There will also be activities for children and a municipal orchestra concert at 12.30 pm.

Sabinillas, Manilva: In Sabinillas takes place a Christmas market with crafts, typical sweets and traditional music in the Plaza Vicente Espinal, from December 6 to 9.
Nerja: On December 6 there is a craft market in the Plaza de España in Nerja. There is also a Christmas market from the 12th to 18th of December next to the Church El Salvador (Balcony of Europe).

Inland villages in Christmas

Ronda: Christmas market in the Plaza Duquesa de Parcent, with crafts, typical food items and Christmas decorations and gifts.

Gaucin: In the Convent of Gaucin there will be a Christmas Fair on 1st and 2nd of December, from 10 am to 5 pm, with unique gifts and traditional food.

Alora: From December 14 to 16 there is a Christmas market in Alora, with food stalls, crafts and Christmas items, children’s activities and performances, at Plaza Fuente Arriba, starting at 12 noon.

Hotels in Fuengirola and Marbella – Facts and things you must know

Fuengirola is one of the most touristic resorts along the western Costa el Sol, together with Torremolinos and Marbella. But at the same time, it is a tranquil and cosmopolitan city at the shores of the Mediterranean Sea, with a great offer of sunny beaches, leisure time activities and night life. The town centre has preserved its andalusian charm with its typical streets, squares and houses. The villages´ fishing tradition materializes in an excellent gastronomy based on several types of fried and grilled fish which can be tasted all along the sea promenade in one of the many beach bars.

There is a wide range of Costa del Sol Hotels for all tastes and purses on offer, although there is only one 5- Star Hotel in the Area (Hotel Torrequebrada).

In Marbella in comparison, the finest Resort along the Costa del Sol, is distributed an extensive variety of exclusive Marbella hotels in selected surroundings.

Fuengirola is conveniently situated half way between Malaga airport and Marbella (about 34 km) and has the great advantage of the suburban train which connects the resort with the airport, Torremolinos, Benalmádena and Malaga city. The transportation to Marbella is far more uncomfortable if you are depending on the public transportation service. The Marbella to Fuengirola bus route follows the CN-340 (Carretera Nacional N-340) along the seashore. Sounds idyllic but especially in summer the seats tend to be sold out and the traveler has to resort to the crammed municipal bus, which takes ages to get to the final destination, as it stops along the 30 kilometres to Marbella every 500 metres, no exaggeration!

For the nearer future is planned the extension of the actual train network along the Costa del Sol until Estepona. By now, the Autovía de Mediterráneo (A-7 / N-340) connects perfectly the resorts along the Costa del Sol.

Costa del Golf: Manilva or Estepona?

The municipality Manilva is situated between Gibraltar and the Costa del Sol and is a renowned Destination for Golf players and Tourists who want to relax away from the mainstream tourism.

Manilva is located in the southeast of the province Málaga, on the Costa del Sol, 97 kilometers (60 miles) from Málaga city and 35 Kilometers (22 miles) from Gibraltar.

Manilva especially has promoted the exclusive Tourism and within a radius of 10 km are situated some excellent international Golf courses, as for instance in Estepona or Sotogrande.

Manilvas most estimated Golf course is La Duquesa, a course that has been designed in such a fashion to gain advantage from the uneven ground and thus you can enjoy fantastic views. Due to the mild climate in Manilva you can play practically throughout the year.

The landscape around Manilva is made out of soft hills and valleys and was well here we find Casares, one of the most known white villages in the area.

La Duquea Golf was designed in 1986 by Robert Trent Jones. It is a 18-hole course with driving rage and exercise field. The course has two clearly different areas: The first nine holes are in English style with narrow fairways and elevated greens. The oblique location, whose difficulty is increased by the wind, requires a concentrated game. The last holes are easier to play due to the width of the fairways.

Guests are welcome throughout the year; the Greenfees amount to 65 €.

11 Kilometres towards Estepona is situated Estepona Golf, another 18-hole course, that is opened throughout the year. The Greenfees for this course are 49 €. This course requires due to the great differences in height a good condition and is quite tricky. It is a demanding course for sporty Golfers.

The Golf Club El Soto de la Serena in Estepona is as well a tricky 9-hole Course that reminds a Japanese decorative garden with its lush vegetation and little winding rivers. As well this Golf course is open throughout the year and has with 12.02 € very accessible Greenfees.

In Casares we find another demanding 18-hole course, the Finca Cortesín. A club card is with registered handicap is required (M32 / F 36), the Greenfee amounts to 135 €. This is a championship golf course where will be held the VOLVO world championships from October 29th to November 1st.

At this point we would like to mention that the public transportation is quite limited in this corner of the Costa del Sol and we therefore in any case recommend a hired car. There are no trains going to Manilva nor is there a direct bus connection. A Taxi can be very expensive and a hired car is a convenient option, especially when travelling with a group of persons or having in mind moving in the surroundings of Manilva or Málaga or taking a trip to the close by Gibraltar for some shopping.

New tourist destination: Manilva in MalagaWeb

Manilva, a well known tourist destination has been added to Málaga Web. We offer information about its popular beaches and golf course and an elaborated Manilva photo gallery which we are going to amplify.

Worth mentioning is the typical Andalusian character of Manilva people and architecture. This municipality of Malaga is not affected yet by the Costa del Sol’s mass tourism. But the town keeps growing and year by year it welcomes more visitors who are looking for the features it offers. The region’s landscape is formed by picturesque sceneries, beautiful beaches and clear water which is probably the reason why it has been chosen to host one of the most important professional golf courses on the Costa del Sol.

Just an hour by car, to eastern direction from Málaga airport it’s an excellent alternative to spend great holidays on the Costa del Sol.

We hope our article would be useful for you, wether as small guide if you are already thinking about visiting the region, or just to enjoy the reading and looking at the pictures, maybe if you haven’t decided yet where to go it may work as decision support. With no doubt the Costa del Sol won’t let you down, thanks to its variety we are sure once you have spent a vacation here you will come back.