What to do in Manilva
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Manilva is situated on the coast at the Southwestern most periphery of Malaga (about 35 kilometres from Gibraltar and 97 kilometres from Malaga) and shares its border with the province of Cadiz in Southern Andalusia, Spain. This small town of Costa Del Sol covers just about 35 square kilometres and is situated 128 metres above sea level.
Manilva is widely regarded as a fairyland, which is encircled with enchanted grounds of vineyards and comprises of small hills, diminutive rivers, mesmerising valleys, and a large karst limestone ridge standing just behind it. The divine height of pride surfaces very finely and breeds passion in the visitors' heart and soul.
Despite the touch of modernization and newly built skyscrapers in the residential areas, this beautiful town intrinsically defines the ancient Spanish temperament and magnificent views; and preserves the fascinating history of Roman times and the Moors. An Aqueduct and some antediluvian Roman Sulphur baths are standing unpretentiously and depicting the history that it left behind several centuries before. The domineering simplicity is seen prominently in this well-graced town of Costa Del Sol.
The cuisine of this town showcases the Mediterranean diet. A diverse array of restaurants offers an innumerable variety of delicious native seafood and different international cuisines including Indian, Arabic, French, Japanese and extended lists of many more.
At Manilva, there are three major centres of population: A small fishing village along the coast known as San Luis de Sabinillas; a beautiful yachting marina called Puerto de la Duquesa to the west of Sabinillas; the white village of Manilva located 2 km inland; and, to the west, a lovely small village named after 18th century-old castle%u2014Castillo de la Duquesa. Several communities have been living here for a long time now. The population consists of 17,000 permanent residents with approximately 14,000 temporary inhabitants, who arrive here to enjoy their holidays, fresh air, water and healthy vegetables.
The most significant feature of this small town in the 18th-century parish church for communal worship and the adjacent Spanish cemetery. The two places are the gravity of attraction for thousands of visitors who flock to Manilva every year.
History of Manilva
The earliest signs of civilization in Manilva dates back to the Neolithic period; the remains can be seen at 20 archaeological sites which were discovered in the early decades of the 20th century. However, the history of Manilva town began in the mid-16th century. In 1528, the king, Charles V ordered to build a watchtower named the Salto de la Mora to prevent the frequent attacks of tyrannical pirates in the Southern coast of Spain. After a few years, more than fifty neighbours built a farm community on Los Mártires, a tiny hill, which later became El Cortijo, the foundation of present village Manilva. In 1530, the Duke of Arcos established the church of Santa Ana decorated with the famous image of "Santa Ana la Vieja", which was later destroyed in the civil war of 1939. The church housed two more statues, The effigies of Nuestra Señora del Rosario and el Santo Cristo de la Mar. Ironically, the whole building was destroyed in 1722 with extinct of its ancestors in an earthquake and about half a century later replaced with The Iglesia de Santa Ana church in 1776 in Calle Iglesia.
In 1796, 26th October, Manilva liberated itself from Casares and was granted the "royal privilege of town". The event not only affected the growth of this place but also ended its long-time conflict with neighbouring villages. In coming decades, it evolved into a community of industrious farmers who harvested the finest wine and fish. The economy of this land depends on fishing, agriculture and most importantly on muscatel grapes. The history of Vineyard started between 1515 and 1520 when the Duke of Arcos granted some lands for cultivation.
In the 70s, golf course and Marina were developed and since then, tourism activities have rapidly grown. Today, the history, amusing climate and mesmerising beauty of this land attract thousands of tourists from across the world. Short and long-term visitors keep coming throughout the year.
Museums and Monuments in Manilva
Next, we will show you the best museums and monuments in Manilva to visit:
Santa Ana Church
Saint Ana's Church situated at the heart of the town, is the architectural highlight of Manilva. This monument was originally established in 1530 by the Duke of Arcos and was among the largest buildings of Spain. The church would house the magnificent image of Santa Ana la Vieja and the effigies of Nuestra Señora del Rosario and el Santo Cristo de la Mar. Unfortunately, in a fierce earthquake of 1722, the church met its fate and got completely destroyed. Over a half-century later, in 1776, people of Manilva re-established the church at a beautiful site called Calle Iglesia. The original image of Santa Ana la Vieja is said to be excavated from the grounded church and was brought to the new building. Later, during the civil war of 1936, the image was completely destroyed.
Castillo de la Duquesa
Castillo de la Duquesa was established by Francisco Paulino of Seville in 1767 during the rule of the Spanish King Carlos III for protecting the coast from invaders and intruders, customs control, and using it as a base for seaborne landings for infantry, artillery and cavalry forces. At night, when it is lighted up, the beauty of Manilva coastline strikingly doubles. This place is widely famous for numerous delicious fish restaurants and traditional Spanish cuisines. Excavation work in 1989 revealed the structure and lifestyle of the contemporary village: A hothouse with under-floor heating system and a bathhouse with two big and spacious chambers have been found towards the South of the castle; to the west of the bathhouse, a Roman Villa stands still between the main road and the castle; and a Roman graveyard in the North of the barracks.
Excavations work once again started in 2007, several extensive Roman ruins have been found which is called to be the most important in the whole of Andalucia and represent the historical and cultural significance of historic times. Recently the castle is used for exhibitions of cultural events and used as trainee workshops and municipal offices.
Defensive Tower, Punta Chullera was built between 15th and16th centuries. It is standing by the beach and nearest to the Information Office. Torreguadiaro town is very close to it. Several similar towers can be seen standing along the Costa del Sol. These towers were established to send a warning signal to the large castles, which were situated behind the mountains, about incoming vicious pirates or strangers by lighting a fire so that precautionary steps could be taken at the earliest. These castles are still standing there fearlessly. Some nice medieval structures can also be found in places such as Jimena de la Frontera, Mijas, and Casares which are very near to Punta Chullera.
Noche de San Juan
Noche de San Juan is an important festival celebrated in Manilva. The event, which is regarded as %u2018the ancient pagan mid-summer celebration', starts by the evening hour on 23rd June and continues till the early hours of 24th June. A massive bonfire is organised, a couple of days prior to the main event, on the beach in Sabinillas. It is an art performed with diverse themes every year around midnight with live music and dance followed by a ceremony in which people walk into the sea to save them from bad luck. It continues until the early hour of the next morning.
The three Kings Parade
The Three Kings Fiesta or Three wise men: This festival is held on the 6th January as the closing Christmas event. Inhabitants buy a lot of gifts for children and themselves. People flock in the church where the traditional status of Three Wise Men (Melchor, Baltazar, and Gaspar) is decorated on pastoral funfair rides at Tizimín and displayed. On a previous day on 5th January, a remarkable event the Cabalgata de Los Reyes takes place.
On the day, People start Manilva parade around 5 pm in Castillo de la Duquesa and march through Sabinillas. They return to Manilva after about 2 or 3 hours. Three kings cavalcade visit throughout the village and toss gifts for children. After the parade, people assemble to prepare some special meals. At night, just before going to bed, children keep water and straw outside the door for the Camels; and a pair of shoes so that the kings come and leave beautiful gifts for them.
On the occasion of el Dia de Reyes (The Day of the Kings) people take a traditional ring or crown-shaped bread that is covered with "jewels" of fixed fruits.
Virgen del Carmen
Virgen del Carmen is held on 16th July, a festival that is specially celebrated by the fishing communities in Castillo as well as Sabinillas.
This festival has come out from the story of the Carmelite Monks who would live on the slopes of the Mount Carmel. They worshipped the Virgin Merry, who, according to them, appeared in front of them and assured them to be their %u2018star of the sea' and guide them for their safety. Ever since, it is believed that she appears, to keep her promise, in front of the fishing communities of Manilva and other places of Costa del Sol.
Some significant festivities in this town are Easter, The Grape Harvest, Carnival, Tourist's Day, Virgin of Fatima's Pilgrimage, Saint Juan's Night , Saint Luis de Sabinillas' Day, Saint Ana's Day, wine festival in first weekend in September, Manilva Day - Dia de Santa Ana - 26th July, Immaculate Conception - 8th December and Carnival - February/March.
Discover the best beaches in Manilva:
-Playa de Los Torros: It is a small beautiful cove which is approximately 100m wide and consists of fine shingle. It is surrounded by rocky protrusion and runs along the main Malaga dual carriageway. One can reach there through a narrow road located at the pedestrian bridge at Punta Chullera.
-Punta Chullera is a tiny rocky cape located at the farthest West end of Manilva and consists of a small cave at the mouth of the arroyo Calataraje, which has the boundary with the municipality of San Roque. People out here enjoy the rocky shore and abundant sea life. The water here is neat and crystal clear and shallow. Visitors should be careful while taking baths because of octopus and sea urchins; nevertheless, this beach is very popular among tourists and locals.
-Playa del Gobernador is approximately 30 metres wide and 850 metres in length. It is at a very short distance from the Playa Paraiso or the Venta de Asfalto just near the Paraiso roundabout. Visitors can have a lot of fun in this wide sandy beach.
-Cala de la Sardina is a tiny beach of approximately 150 meters in length and is situated between two groups of rocks just beside Playa Paraiso.
-Playa de Tubalitas is less than half a mile away from the Cala de la Sardina on the way to the Arroyo Negro. This beautiful beach is bordered by small green hills. What is special about this beach is plenty of Tuna fish and long history of catching tuna fish by %u2018tunny nets'.
-La Duquesa (Playas Castillo & Duquesa) is an 1150 metre long beach that includes a remarkable Blue Flag marina, Puerto de la Duquesa and village of Castillo. It is bordered by two arroyos: Penuela to the east and the Indiano to the west. This beach is popular for three chiringuitos and various water sports. In 2005, this beach was given %u2018blue flag' award.
-Sabinillas-Colonia is about a mile long beach that includes the front areas of Sabinillas town. It is located between the Rió Manilva and the Port. It has also been awarded the 2018 blue flag' for its beauty and popularity. It is quite a safe place and several guards are there to help visitors. Plenty of cafés and restaurants are available here that offer a diverse range of national as well as international cuisines. Visitors can enjoy long walkways to the west Castillo village.
-El Negro (Los Toros) is considered to be the Manilva's biggest beach stretching from Aroyo to the Arroyo del Indiano, which is up to the long west of Castillo Village. The village has been named after the bulls which go to the beach from the adjoining Canada Real on the route to Estepona from Los Barrios.
Several bars and restaurants in Manilva offer a diverse range of traditional and appetizing international foods of Holland, Italy, Germany, Britain, Argentine, India, China, and the list goes on.
-San Rafaels is situated at the threshold of Hacienda Guadalupe, which is very near to Manilva. The speciality of this bar is Castillian foods and suckling pigs.
-Roman Oasis Restaurant is located at the countryside of Manilva, which is about 3 kilometres away from Costa del Sol. Since its inception in1983, it has been serving food lovers. Visitors can enjoy fresh hot foods coming directly from wood-burning oven and barbecues in a tropical environment along with twinkling stars and loving the mild wind. Some alluring recipes such as Irish coffee, Stilton cheese are also available.
-Beccy's, a Restaurant Cafe, is situated in The Courtyard, Monte Duquesa. It is famous for broad selections of teas and delicious dishes. Visitors prefer to have breakfast here for great quantity and quality food at reasonable prices in a pleasant ambience.
The other bars at Monte Duquesa are Duquesa Bar, Bojangels, Carolines, Jolly Sailor, Mojo's, and Munchies.
Some Restaurants in this area that offer international menus are:
-Jasmines offer international menus which include Arabic cuisines. It is located just across from Guardia Civil barracks.
-La Pergola offers international food items and is located on the harbourside.
-The Mexican offers Mexican and Tex-Mex items.
-Browns offer English breakfast.
-Passage to India and Taj Mahal offer Indian cuisine.
-Straw Donkey Roadhouse offers American dinner special food.
-Mandarin Palace and Slow Boat offer special Chinese dishes.
-Il Capitano and Il Vigneto offer Argentinean, Italian, and Spanish foods. The two restaurants are located behind the Los Hidalgos Urb.
-Macues offers sea bass cooked in a salt crust and lascivious Spanish items.
-La Traviata offers a grill menu and various international food items.
Castillo de la Duquesa Bars and restaurants such as Delfines, La Taberna del Pueblo, Meson del Castillo, Nuttalls, Domingo offer various shellfish, seafoods, chips and English daughter beers.
Some Casares Bars: Finca Cortesin, Venta García, La Paloma, La Choza and Arroyo Honda offer traditional Spanish foods.
Some of the popular Sabinillas Bars are Cruz Blanco, Last Resort, Cafe C, and Restaurants are Green Olive, Indian Village, Mamma Iole, El Estribo, Charlie's, Bar Playa, No Name Restaurant, Rilex On The Beach, Massala, Manolo's, and Miel that satiate taste buds for traditional Spanish as well as wide range of delicious international foods.
Hotels in Manilva
There are wide selections of fascinating hotels in Manilva. Some of them are:
-Apartamentos Manilva Green was founded in 2007 with 4-star facilities. It is located on a small hill where one can enjoy beautiful sights of mountains, vineyards, sea and a quiet lovely ambience.
-Apartamento Punta Paloma Golf is a very modish and sophisticated building encircled with eye-satisfying green gardens. It is located near the Golden Mile and at a short distance from Europe's one of finest golf courses Valderrama and Sotogrande polo club. Along with international facilities, it offers great views of the Mediterranean Sea.
-Pueblo El Goleto Aparthotel is a very stylish and luxurious hotel. It is located a couple of kilometres away from the golf course of Valderrama and at a short distance from Marbella. It is in close vicinity from Sotogrande Marina port and not so far away from Puerto Banus. Reaching Manilva is quite easy and accessible from here. This hotel allows visitors to enjoy beautiful sights of sandy beaches, hills and sea.
-Pierre & Vacances Terrazas Costa del Sol, a holiday village apartment Manilva, is an impressive place to stay. It is surrounded by green trees and fountains. It provides kids' playgrounds, fitness centre and the extensive sports facilities including football, basketball, and table tennis inside the hotel. It also offers remarkable sites of the Mediterranean Sea and the Rock of Gibraltar. Some attractive places Ocean Tour Andaluz, Costa Boat Charters, and many golf courses are pretty close to the hotel.
-EH Apartamentos Turisticos Don Juan is situated between the ports of Sotogrande and Puerto Banus and in the pleasant atmosphere of leisure time. Manilva is 3 kilometres away from and Marbella is 40 km away from the hotel. Swimming pools, eye-soothing gardens, sandy beaches and palm trees all contribute to the beauty of this hotel.
-Edificio Marina Duquesa is a large, spacious and luxurious apartment situated at the opposite of the golden sand beach at Duquesa. Communal attractions are swimming pools, gymnasium, a sauna and a tennis court. Some boutiques and bars, elegant Duquesa port and a wide selection of restaurants are at a very short distance.
Some more well-furnished and lavish hotels are H. Apartamentos Vista Real(12.97km away from Manilva), Las Brisas (13.15km from Manilva), Sotogrande Marina Club (9.11 km from Manilva), DDG Retreat (11.49 km from Manilva), La Redonda (21.95 km), Apartamentos Miguel Angel (12.36 km from Manilva), Selenza Estepona Thalasso & Spa (13.66 km from Manilva), Kempinski Hotel Bahia Estepona (14.39 km from Manilva), Playabella Spa Gran Hotel Luxury(20.16 km from Manilva) and many more.
Shopping in Manilva
Manilva is a quiet and charming place that reflects the traditional Spanish culture with the sporadic influence of modernization. Unlike metro cities, one can't find large shopping malls or supermarkets, but small shops in villages such as Duquesa and Sabinillas are found quite in a number. Here, a lot of handicrafts products coming from different parts of the world are available. Visitors have an amazing experience of shopping in a wonderful ambience of Manilva.
On Sunday, people can join in a colossal car-boot sale at the nearby community of Sabinillas and buy a variety of items; bargaining is a common phenomenon. If one is looking for a wide variety of things, then the El Corte Ingles department store is in Puerto Banus and La Canada shopping centre located just outside of Marbella, are the best options. Both shopping centres are near the Costa del Sol and Manilva. Besides these two, there are more than 100 small shopping centres available such as beauty stores, jewellery shops, shoes and leather bags, garment shops, saloons, and Elemis centres.