Area Focus: Alhaurin El Grande

Travel Guide for the Costa del Sol by Panoramic Villas

Alhaurin El Grande is a picturesque town situated in the Sierra de Mijas Mountain range, yet only 29km form Malaga and 18km from Marbella. It is also just a 20 minute drive from the beaches in Fuengirola thanks to a new road that was built to connect the towns in 2010. Alhaurin El Grade is a great place to stay if you want peace and relaxation in beautiful, mountainous surroundings whilst only being a short drive from busy resorts like Marbella and Fuengirola.

View of Alhaurin el Grande showing the Church of the Incarnation

View of Alhaurin el Grande showing the Church of the Incarnation.
This image was originally posted to Flickr by vreimunde.

Alhaurin El Grande dates back to the Stone Ages with evidence of this found in the area. The Roman and Moorish settlers really put their stamp on the town and many Roman remains including the Fuente Lucena (Lucena Fountain) have been found here. The Moors built the Torres de Fahala fortress on the hilltop above the town.

Amenities: Alhaurin El Grande has all the amenities that you would expect of a thriving town.  There are shops, banks, grocery stores and restaurants. You won’t find the bright lights and noisy nightclubs that are commonplace in the larger coastal resorts but that is part of the appeal of this peaceful town. Many of the streets are pedestrianised in Alhaurin El Grande making strolling around the shops a very enjoyable experience. Alhaurin El Grande has many traditional buildings in the centre of town and pretty squares covered in flowers which also add to the attractiveness of the town. The influence of the many British expats is easy to spot though as more and more restaurants and shops with English names are popping up.

Alhaurin el Grande town square, a great place to relax over lunch

Alhaurin el Grande town square, a great place to relax over lunch

If you want to do some serious shopping it is best to head just 10 minutes out of town on the road to nearby Coin. You’ll find La Troncha Shopping Centre here, an impressive and attractive shopping centre complete with Dunnes Stores, El Corte Ingles food hall and a multi-screen cinema.

There are numerous restaurants in Alhaurin El Grande serving everything from fish and chips to Indian cuisine. Casa Paco is an excellent seafood restaurant serving every kind of fish imaginable from sardines to lobster. Many of the restaurants have a traditional Spanish feel both inside and outside and prices are reasonable as it is not quite so touristy here. For traditional tapas dishes try Mata Hambre and for something a little different try Finca La Mota that serves innovative international cuisine for lunch and dinner. You can sit inside or out on the lovely garden terrace here.

Finca la Mota Restaurant serves delicious international cuisine using flavours from around the world

Finca la Mota Restaurant serves delicious international cuisine using flavours from around the world

Activities: There are many activities on offer in and around Alhaurin El Grande. Golf, as on the rest of the Costa del Sol, is very popular here and there are 2 main courses nearby. Lauro Golf is located in nearby Alhaurin de la Torre, about 10 minutes’ drive from Alhaurin El Grande. This 27 hole course is really beautiful with wide open spaces, lakes, forests and spectacular views. There are a couple of restaurants here, lawn bowls and paddle tennis. Horse riders can also visit the equestrian centre here where beginners can take lessons or more experienced riders can take a trek through the Sierra de Mijas.

The newer Alhaurin Golf Resort is in Alhaurin El Grande. The course was designed by the golfer Severiano Ballesteros and the 18 holes are in some of the most beautiful surroundings on the Costa del Sol. There is also a golf academy here; a 9 hole course; a club house with snack bar and restaurant; a driving range and a golf pro shop.

Activities in Alhaurin El Grande often focus around the mountain ranges nearby as they are so spectacular and offer lots of opportunities to get out and be adventurous. ‘Go Beyond’ 4×4 Landrover Tours offering 4 wheel drive safari tours around inland Andalucia. You get to hear about some of the local history, visit nearby villages and see lots of wildlife indigenous to the area as well as taking in the amazing scenery.

Mijas Wheels - a great way to see the sites and keep fit, pictured in the background is Torres de Fahala fortress. Image courtesy of Mijas Wheels

Mijas Wheels – a great way to see the sites and keep fit, pictured in the background is Torres de Fahala fortress

Another outdoor pursuit you may want to try is mountain biking as the terrain around Alharin El Grande is perfect for this. A company called ‘Mijas Wheels’ are based in Alhaurin (despite their name!) and they offer bike hire complete with safety helmets, water bottles and bike pump for 60 Euros for 3 days. This gives you long enough to explore the area at your own leisure or more experienced riders can try out some of the tougher routes around the town. They also offer a bike tour package which is great for less experienced riders that want some guidance.

Events: On the second Saturday in every month Alhaurin El Grande there is an organic street market that is well worth a visit. You can get delicious organic fruit and veg, bread and cakes and crafts.

The May Fair in Alhaurin El Grande takes place between 24 and 28 May and this is one of the biggest dates in the calendar. There are stalls and pavilions erected in the streets and where you can buy food and drink. There is lots of dancing as well.

Easter week means lots of celebrating and colourful processions through the town as you find all over Spain.

Alhaurin El Grande also hosts the Noche Flamenco of Alhaurin on the last weekend in July where the best in flamenco dancers gather to put on a spectacular show. This usually doesn’t start until around 11pm in the evening and goes on through the night with dancing and musical performances.

Links: Holiday Rentals in Alhaurin el Grande

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