Casares, Manilva and Duquesa
Situated between Estepona and Manilva, Casares ticks all the boxes; peaceful countryside, not too far from the beach and pretty as a picture. If you were to imagine an archetypal white hillside Spanish village it would look like Casares, a traditional white pueblo with a population of less than 3 thousand people. Most of the Costa del Sol’ white villages are chocolate box pretty but Casares steep winding streets have a special quality, that continue to enchant visitors.
The municipality of Manilva encompasses a large area stretching from the inland town to the coastline covering 35 square kilometres. The inland town has history dating back to the Roman era and is home to an aqueduct and Roman Sulphur baths.
Traditionally a more agricultural part of the Costa del Sol, recent tourism has positively impacted the economy particularly in the coastal resorts. Demand for property from overseas buyers has risen but there is a distinct lack of high rise building as seen in some of the more established over constructed resorts in Spain and the area still is predominantly inhabited by Spanish residents.
Manilva is home to vineyards that produce several wines that are unique to the area and the restaurants and beach bars are renowned for their delicious fish and seafood dishes.
Casares nestles in the hills between the Serrania de Ronda, Campo de Gibraltar and the Costa del Sol. Casares is a small picturesque village on top of the hill unspoiled and peaceful due to its elevated setting amongst unspoilt countryside, where the loudest noise will be birdsong or your own footsteps. You enter the town from above, which gives you a sneak preview of its layout of steep paths and higgledy paved streets lined with terraced houses with doors wide open to keep cool in the summer months.
The buzzing Marina La Duquesa is next to the old coastal town of Sabinillas, near to the inland town of Manilva and a few kilometres west of Estepona. It’s a largely modern collection of hotels, villas and apartment developments, centred around the La Duquesa sports marina, which is rapidly enhancing its reputation as one of the Coast’s finest ports.
La Duquesa marina is situated half way between Marbella and Gibraltar. Set in a beautiful location on the Costa del Sol, this marina is really one of the best in Europe.
Nestled between two blue flag beaches complete with beach bars and restaurants, La Duquesa offers a tranquil setting away from the hustle and bustle you would normally expect to find on the Costa del Sol.
The Marina opens directly onto sandy beaches that stretch for kilometres down to Playa Casares with a connecting promenade to the neighbouring town of Sabinillas offering a wide range of amenities.
The marina boasts a wide choice of amenities including a varied range of restaurants, bars and boutique shops. The surrounding area boasts a number of high quality golf courses including the Duquesa Golf and Country Club which has some fantastic facilities.
Eating and drinking
This small village itself has quite a few restaurants and you can also enjoy a good choice between traditional Spanish cooking, including lots of fish and seafood and a good selection of international restaurants such as Indian, Italian, Mexican, Moroccan and much more. Of course, we have to mention the nearby luxury hotel, golf course and spa – Finca Cortesin, where you can treat yourself to a fine dining experience.
The bars in Casares village tend to stay open until very late, and are often packed to rafters with locals at the weekend. However, if you are looking for something glitzier you will need to head towards the coast.
The village has various shops selling local goods, leather bags a grocery stores and bakers though if you want to venture out to larger stores then it’s just a 30-minute drive to the larger town of Estepona.
Sports and outdoor activities
Casares’ close proximity to the coast and the countryside lends itself perfectly to outdoor sports, including wonderful cycling and hiking trails. In keeping with the rest of the Costa del Sol, this area of the coastline offers wonderful golf courses and superb beach for water sports and swimming, plus you can head out on a jeep safari or horse riding. Of course, you can take a leisure stroll through the river valley or hillside and soak up the wonderful views spanning the coast, the neighbouring town and the sea, as far as North Africa and Gibraltar.
Golf courses in Casares
- Casares Costa Golf - 9-holes, driving range and putting Green designed by Juan Carlos Martinez
- Finca Cortesin Hotel Golf & Spa - 18 holes, Nicklaus academy and coaching studio
- Dona Julia Golf - 9-holes, driving range and putting Green designed by Juan Carlos Martinez
Casares is an inland village so doesn’t have any beaches. However, Casares Bay can be reached in around 20 minutes, where you’ll find around 2kms of superb Blue Flag beaches; Playa Chica, Piedra Paloma and Playa Ancha.
La Duquesa Marina offers a relaxed alternative to the more touristic destinations on the Costa Del Sol and has become increasingly popular with holiday makers wishing to get away from the hustle and bustle of package tour destinations.
Eating and Drinking
The Port of La Duquesa enjoys a huge selection of Spanish and International restaurants and with easy parking next to the Port makes for a really enjoyable night out. After a lovely meal you can stroll around the Marina looking at the boats and the distance fishing boat lights.
There are several late night bars though if you’re in the mood for dancing you will have to venture in to the nearby town of Estepona
FACTS AND FIGURES
There are some buses from Casares but a car is always more practical as buses are few and far between. Just follow the signs from the N340 coast road from Malaga and head up the hill.
Distance from Malaga Airport to Casares: 93 km
Distance from Gibraltar Airport to Casares: 41 km
Approximate travel times from neighbouring towns
Malaga: 1 hour 10 minutes
Marbella: 30 minutes.
Estepona: 15 minutes.
Sotogrande: 20 minutes.
Gibraltar: 35 minutes
Whilst La Duquesa offers a more relaxed atmosphere away from the package holiday areas on the Costa Del Sol, the marina is just a short drive from some of the more touristic destinations of the coast including:
- 10 minutes from Estepona
- 15 minutes from Sotogrande
- 20 minutes from Gibraltar
- 25 minutes from Marbella
La Duquesa is approximately 1 hour 10 minutes from Malaga airport and 30km or 20 minutes by car from Gibraltar airport. There are buses available but obviously this will make journey times slightly longer.