Attractions in Manilva and western Costa del Sol
If you want to enjoy the best of Andalucia, visit attractions in Manilva. Just 30 minutes away from Marbella and Puerto Banus, a beautiful region of the Costa del Sol.
Manilva boast some great bars, restaurants, beaches and historical attractions in Manilva suit all ages, tastes and budgets. The Roman Sulphur Baths of Hedionda are situated just below Manilva and first became popular with the Romans over 2,000 years ago. Bathing rooms were created to make the most of the natural sulphur springs which flow from above the valley, and a large inner bathing chamber still exists.
Ruins of old farm buildings are situated across the river, which would indicate that a settlement once existed around the baths. An irrigation system still exists, which was used to irrigate the valley, and although it is almost certainly Roman in origin, it was most probably restored during Arab rule in southern Spain.
Attractions in Manilva
If you are feeling fit, hike a couple of kilometres upstream, which will eventually take you to the mills of Casares. Although the distance is not great, it is not an easy route, and will probably take you most of the day to negotiate. To get to the Roman Baths, turn off the A7 at the Lidl roundabout in Sabanillas, and head inland. Go under the toll road and follow the rough track along the river for 0.9 kilometres. The Baths are on the right-hand side.
A Roman aqueduct is situated between the Baths and the coast, which is also said to hail from the days of Julius Caesar, and it was once used to drive a water wheel for a mill complex.
Just to the west of Puerto Duquesa, which is also worth a visit if you want to spend a day by the marina, is the small village of Castillo. An 18th Century fortress stands at the entrance to Castillo, which was built in the late 1700 ´s. More Roman ruins were found in 2007, adding to the historical importance of the site. Keep an eye out for cultural events and exhibitions which are regularly held at the castle. You can easily spend a day here, and enjoy lunch or dinner at one of the many fabulous fish and seafood restaurants in Castillo de Duquesa. This site is home to some of the most important Roman ruins in Andalucia, and is well worth a visit.
The Bath House
The Bath House, just to the south of the castle can also be explored, and consists of two large bathing rooms and an ancient underground heating system which can still be seen. Incredibly, some of the mosaic floors have also survived through the centuries, and north of the site is a Roman graveyard, and the site has grown into a major attraction for visitors to the Costa del Sol.
Nestling in the hillside close to Casares is the fabulous Arroyo Hondo Restaurant. This contemporary restaurant is situated just 2km from Casares and 10km inland from the coast. The countryside location is stunning, and the food is superb.
Restaurants on the Costa del Sol
Many restaurants on the Costa del Sol offer similar menus, and there is little in the way of creative flair. Not so at Arroyo Hondo, where you will find some the most innovative cuisine in Andalucia, in a quirky, rustic environment.
When it comes to food, attractions in Manilva often feature a traditional lunch on the menu.
The village of Manilva lies 2km inland from the coast. The village of San Luis de Sabinillas (commonly known as Sabanillas) hosts a Sunday flea market. It runs every week through the streets of the village. Numerous developments have gone up in Manilva during the past five years. One of the most popular tourist haunts is Puerto de la Duquesa. Here you will find some fabulous bars, restaurants and cafés overlooking the boats and the marina, plus a first-class golf course.
Estepona Fishing Port
To the east of Manilva lies the town of Estepona with its traditional ‘old town’ and fishing port. The area is dominated by the Sierra Bermeja Mountains. The mountain range includes Pico de los Reales which at 1,452 metres is 109 metres higher than Ben Nevis. Also, it is not uncommon to see eagles and other birds of prey swooping around the countryside. Manilva’s has nearly 8km of beaches, ranging from rocky coves to wide sandy expanses ideal for all the family.
Manilva boasts many fine restaurants, including Chiringuitos on the beach, cafés and fine dining establishments.