Luxury Adventure Holidays: Conquer Andalucía’s Peaks and Seas with Marbella Mountain Resorts

An image of adventure luxury travel hiking in Marbella

How do you holiday? Are you the type who seeks total relaxation, or purely hedonistic pursuits? Perhaps you’re more of a culture vulture taking in the sights or a foodie hunting down local delicacies. Or do you have a taste for adventure?


There’s no doubt there are still many of us who look forward to time away to rest and unwind from our busy lives in a luxury villa during our holidays. But there is a growing trend for more active holidays which provide us with opportunities to embark on a journey of self-discovery, to push our limits and find out what we are capable of.


Media coverage of the rich and famous and their appetite for increasingly eccentric and original luxury adventures, are driving us to seek out unique and more immersive experiences, such as safaris, “dream” destinations, active holidays, and immersive and transformative travel. High-profile personalities include Richard Branson, whose pursuit of aviation adventures led him to achieve two hot air balloon “firsts”, crossing the Atlantic Ocean in 1987 and the Pacific in 1991. Not to mention his successful trip to the edge of space in July 2021 in his Virgin Galactic rocket plane. Actor Ewan McGregor has motorcycled thousands of miles around the world and fellow motorcycle enthusiast and actor Keanu Reeves recently featured as a guest on the Ride with Norman Reedus reality series, riding from Barcelona to Valencia.


Although history shows us that pursuing unique luxury travel experiences is not just a modern obsession. Think of Ernest Hemingway – visiting Pamplona for the first time in 1923 during the San Fermín Festival – who joined the hundreds of men and boys in the bullring to take part in amateur bullfights.


The trend for increasingly extreme adventures could be driven by the numerous TV series showing celebrities and members of the public willingly subjecting themselves to gruelling physical and mental challenges in the name of testing their own endurance. A perfect example is Chris Hemsworth in the Limitless series, whose tests included swimming in the Norwegian arctic and taking part in the insane Navy SEAL drowning drill. And Spain isn’t immune to the trend: the Spanish version of the Survivor franchise – Supervivientes – has been running since 2000, spawning spinoffs such as Pasaporte a la isla and La Isla de los FamoS.O.S.


But for those of us who don’t wish to have their suffering televised or go to such extreme lengths to prove themselves, we are increasingly seeking the services of expedition-style operators who provide once-in-a-lifetime trips. These days, a “polar plunge” in Antarctica, a hike to Everest base camp, or a swim with manta rays in the Maldives are on many a bucket list.

An image of adventure luxury travel camping in Marbella
An image of adventure luxury travel hiking in Marbella

Adventure travel in Southern Spain


Not surprisingly, with its diverse landscapes, Andalucia offers an array of activities for thrill-seekers and adventurers.


Mountainous areas such as the Sierra Nevada are the perfect terrain for challenging pursuits, including rock climbing, abseiling, mountain biking, and winter sports. For those who like to combine white-knuckle activities, canyoning fits the bill, with a heady mix of climbing, sharp descents and swimming through narrow gorges. And for an exhilarating river ride, white water rafting in some of the region’s churning rapids can certainly test a person’s mettle!


For coastal adventures, the Costa del Sol boasts a host of exciting water sports, such as kitesurfing and windsurfing, parasailing and sailing, and numerous scuba diving sites to explore its hidden depths.


Whereas for the daredevils who enjoy taking to the skies, adrenaline-fuelled experiences include skydiving, base jumping and bungee jumping; or for the slightly less bold, zip-lining, paragliding, paramotoring and hot air balloon rides can still provide a thrill.


Our deep-rooted knowledge o, coupled with our established network amongst key players around the coast and Andalucía, allows us to offer our clients access to the most sought-after, memorable and timeless experiences for any occasion.

An image of luxury adventure holidays from hiking in the Costa Del Sol
An image of luxury adventure holidays from kitesurfing in the Costa Del Sol

Marbella Mountain Resorts – creating tailored experiences and enduring memories


As a modern company in a constantly evolving industry, we are always seeking new ways not just to stand out as leaders in the luxury travel business – providing the best luxury villas in Andalucía to rent – but also to deliver added value to our customers. Our mission is to go beyond our commitment to offer excellent products and services. Our focus is less on the transactional nature of business and more on a personalised relationship with our customers, creating authentic and meaningful experiences that will endure long after their holiday is over.


To this end, we can curate an exclusive suite of tailored activities based on your needs and desires. Let us give you a taste of the many experiences on offer in Andalucía.


Mountaineering enthusiasts will be aware that Spain is known for its world-class rock climbing destinations. The limestone cliffs in El Chorro, just 50km from Málaga, offer routes ranging from high to mid and easier grades. Or for non-climbers eager for a dizzying rush, the Caminito del Rey – once known as the “world’s most dangerous walkway” before its restoration and reopening in 2015 – is a 3km boardwalk around part of the El Chorro gorge, and at 100m high, is not for vertigo sufferers…


The dramatic landscape of the Sierra Nevada mountain range – much of which is a protected biosphere reserve – has the highest peaks in Western Europe, outside the Alps, and offers countless opportunities for hiking, climbing and canyoning. Los Tres Picos (the “big three”) challenge involves summiting Alcazaba (3,371m), Veleta (3,394m) and mainland Spain’s highest peak, Mulhacén (3,482m), and overnighting in a refuge or wild camping. Other options here include low and high mountain scrambling, snowshoeing, trail running and fastpacking.


If rock-climbing is too intimidating a prospect, but you’d still like to push yourself outside your comfort zone, you might be persuaded to give via ferrata a go. Italian for “iron road”, via ferrata routes have steel cables periodically fixed to the rocks to which you can secure yourself as you climb. There are several in Granada: Moclín and Archidona are great for the uninitiated, and for the more daring there’s the 300m-long Los Vados which, at 240 metres, is the highest via ferrata route in Andalucía. In Ronda, the Tajo de Ronda via ferrata affords spectacular views of the town, the Tajo river and the dramatic Puente Nuevo (New Bridge), which spans the 120 metre-deep gorge.


For skiers and snowboarders, the Sierra Nevada Ski Resort, at 2,100m, is among Europe’s highest and boasts over 120 ski runs over 106km, with a good mix of green, blue, red and black runs. If you’re looking to test your slalom skills, try out the Fuente del Tesoro World Cup Giant Slalom run. The Loma de Dílar area is home to the Sulayr Superpark, considered one of Europe’s best snow parks, with 71 different modules and ramps, and Spain’s largest halfpipe, descending a whopping 165 metres with six metre-high walls. Or for a descent under the stars, you could go for a night ski along the 5.8km Rio run, illuminated by 52 spotlights dotted along the route. And if you’re a skier or snowboarder who has always dreamed of going where few have gone before, how about booking a private heli-skiing trip to make that deep powder dream come true.


Canyoning locations are a plenty in Málaga and Granada. On the eastern edge of Los Alcornocales Nature Park, 80km from Marbella, you’ll find the impressive Cañón de las Buitreras (Vulture Canyon), with near-vertical walls sometimes reaching 200m high, and the Guadiaro river below. The Cañón de las Angosturas near the village of Benahavís is perfect for walking or swimming in the Guadalmina river and beginner level canyoning.


For a different kind of descent, white water rafting is an exhilarating alternative. Navigate the churning rapids on the Genil river in Cuevas Bajas, 50km from Málaga, as you manoeuvre your single or tandem open kayak through currents and boulders and tear down the 6km route.

An image of adventure luxury travel bicycling in Marbella
An image of adventure luxury travel yachting in Marbella

If you love crossing rough terrain on two wheels, check out the impressive number of mountain biking trails in Andalucía. Examples include the 28km circular route from Málaga through the beautiful Montes de Málaga Natural Park (937m), the very demanding 40km Capileira to Pico de Veleta trail in the Sierra Nevada (1,326m), or the 30km circular route from Ronda to Cueva del Gato de Benaoján (709m), crossing the Guadiaro river, where you can stop to explore the caves and cool off in the natural pools.


For four wheel fun, how about speeding across the Andalusian countryside in a buggy? Get off-road and off the beaten track to discover hidden beauty spots around Marbella. Don your dust goggles and bandana and race across the “outback”, stopping to take in the stunning views of the Mediterranean, Gibraltar and even North Africa on a clear day.


Have you ever dreamed of driving a sportscar? There are several companies in Andalucía who organise Track Days where you can jump behind the wheel of a high performance car and challenge and improve your driving skills, benefitting from expert advice, whether you’re a beginner or advanced driver. For a truly exclusive and thrilling driving experience, the private Ascari racetrack resort near Ronda is one of the most challenging circuits in Europe, with 5km of hairpins, chicanes, and flat out straightaways. Buckle up and channel your speed demon! And if you’re a newbie up for the challenge, instructors are on hand to put novice drivers through their paces.


Flying through the air on a zipline may seem like child’s play, but if you’ve set your sights on the longest one in Spain, head to Comares – one of the highest villages in Andalucía – and whizz the 436 metres through the air, 115 metres above the valley in under a minute. If you have space on your schedule to drive further west to Huelva, you’ll get the chance to time travel. Take the 720m journey on Límitezero, the first cross-border zipline in the world. Cross the River Guadiana from Spain to Portugal at over 70km per hour and you’ll arrive one hour earlier than you set off!


Have you always wanted to soar to new heights? Andalucía is a great place for base-jumping aficionados, with over 20 “exits” (ledges to leap off) in Cádiz, Granada and Málaga provinces. Jumps range between 60m-170m and include Caminito del Rey and Peña de los Enamorados (Lover’s Leap). Or if you yearn for the thrill of up to a minute’s freefall at a terminal velocity of 200kph, then head to Seville for some tandem skydiving from 10,000 ft – or even 15,000 ft for the fearless! If you’d rather play it safe, Fly4Real in Málaga has Spain’s first outdoor skydiving simulator.


If you’d like a gentler glide across the sky, with time to take in the sights around you, then try paragliding or paramotoring. Float above the Sierra de Grazalema Natural Park – a UNESCO Biosphere reserve since 1977 – across beautiful Spanish fir forests and the highest peak in the area, El Torreón (1,654m). Home to over 130 species of birds, you may just be accompanied on your flight by a kite, buzzard, griffon vulture, peregrine falcon, or the majestic golden eagle!


You could hop into a hot air balloon and watch the sun rise or set over Seville, taking in major landmarks such as the gothic Cathedral of Saint Mary and the Royal Alcázar Palace, and natural wonders like the Doñana National Park, the majestic Aznalcázar pine groves and the glistening Guadiamar river; or cruise above Granada’s stunning Alhambra Palace, the remarkable Sacromonte Caves and the rugged Sierra Nevada mountains.


First-time flyers might prefer to remain tethered, so perhaps parasailing along the Costa del Sol may be less intimidating, but at heights of up to 200m, you can still feel as free as a bird.

An image of adventure luxury travel yachting in Marbella
An image of luxury adventure holidays from motorboating in the Costa Del Sol

If it’s sailing that floats your boat, you could charter a catamaran, yacht or speedboat to explore the charming Andalusian villages along the Costa del Sol, or learn the ropes on a sailing course tailored to your level. Prefer to surf the waves? Tarifa is known as the wind capital of Europe. Because of its location on the Strait of Gibraltar, the winds can reach 40 knots, and with picture perfect blue skies and clear, warm waters, it’s the perfect place for kiteboarding, wing foiling and windsurfing. Whether you’re a beginner who wants to catch their first wave or an advanced surfer, Tarifa is the place to be!


For an unforgettable scuba diving experience, there are more than one hundred dive sites along the Costa del Sol between Marbella and Puerto Banús. From caves (El Pimpollo), wrecks (a 300-year old French Galleon) and deep offshore reefs (Roqueillos), there’s something to suit all levels. You’ll be blown away by the variety of marine life here, including octopus, cuttlefish, lobsters, moray and conger eels, and countless corals and sponges. Don’t miss the Laja del Almirante, one of the most important marine sites in the Mediterranean, with more than 500 species.


If you prefer to stick to terra firma, the Tabernas desert in Almería is something a bit different. The only desert in Europe, its otherworldly landscape of volcanic outcrops and salt flats along with some of the most beautiful beaches in Spain and quaint fishing villages, make for a truly memorable holiday experience. Not surprisingly, the region has been a popular location for Hollywood films, with over 100 shot here during the 1960s and 1970s, including Sergio Leone’s spaghetti westerns. The three film sets – Oasys MiniHollywood, Western Leone and Fort Bravo – have been turned into Wild West theme parks where you can witness mock bank hold-ups and shootouts, watch Can-Can shows and sip beer in saloons, amongst many other activities. And for dedicated fans of the gunslinging genre, Tabernas hosts the yearly Almería Western Film Festival.


Are you thinking less cowboy riding and more cantering along the beach, wind flowing through your hair, the sound of hooves mingling with the waves lapping the shore? In that case, the Costa del Sol is the right location: the glittering Mediterranean and beautiful surrounding foothills are the perfect backdrop for rides on horseback. There are several riding centres here offering treks from one to three hours which can cater for beginner to advanced riders.


If astrotourism is more your thing, Spain has some of the clearest skies in the world, and many natural areas with zero light pollution. Just north of the Tabernas desert is the Calar Alto Observatory, which is not only the largest in Europe, but has one of the largest telescopes (3.5m). Take a guided tour and discover the wonders of the universe. Or for more stargazing adventures, during the summer months you can visit the Sierra Nevada Observatory, which at 2,896m elevation, is the highest in Europe.


And finally, what about extreme feats of endurance like the Ironman 70.3? Test your mental toughness with the Marbella race: a one-loop 1.9km swim course, followed by a one-loop 90km bike course, and ending with a three-loop 21.1km run course along Marbella’s promenade. As the slogan goes: #anythingispossible!


As you can see, there are endless possibilities in Andalucía to take part in thrilling, challenging or once-in-a-lifetime experiences. It’s up to you whether you want to conquer the region’s peaks, defy gravity, ride the waves, explore hidden depths, go full pelt on two or four wheels (or hooves!), stargaze or ski by starlight, or experience the many memorable moments Andalucía has to offer.


Marbella Mountain Resorts is delighted to offer an introductory 2-day all-inclusive adventure package for guests staying at the Ronda Mountain Resort – a beautiful 7-bedroom Andalusian country estate on the outskirts of Ronda town. Day 1 starts with a superpower breakfast, before you hop on your electric bike and ride the greenway trail from Ronda to Marbella. Jump aboard your private helicopter for a thrilling ride back to Ronda, where you will be treated to a well-deserved massage to soothe those tired muscles, followed by a delicious chef-made dinner. On day 2, after an energy-boosting breakfast, prepare for the ride of your life on powerful off-road buggies, as you tear across the Ronda countryside and marvel at the town’s most spectacular sights from privileged locations. In the evening, you’ll sample local delights expertly prepared by your private chef, before you take in a flamenco show, where you’ll witness how music, dance and song come together in perfect harmony to evoke the true spirit and emotion of this Andalusian tradition.


La Navatura Experience Day is a package for the most discerning clients who are looking for something super exclusive. This activity is about spending a day in one of the best hunting estates in Spain just one hour from Marbella. The package includes Helicopter trip from Marbella, organised clay pigeon shooting activity, photographic safari and food in the middle of nature, horseback riding or quad biking and other surprises! 



An image of luxury adventure holidays from doing Safari in the Costa Del Sol
An image of luxury adventure holidays from clay pigeon shooting in the Costa Del Sol
An image of luxury adventure holidays from horseriding in the Costa Del Sol
An image of luxury adventure holidays from hiking in the Costa Del Sol

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