If you thought that Marbella was all about sea, beach clubs, trendy marinas and residential areas that follow the flow of golf courses, think again. Yes, this is a resort town, but nature is much closer than you think. Right on our doorstep, in fact.

The people who come to Marbella tend to be lovers of hedonism, sport, glamour, the social scene or simply enjoying a great quality of life in a wonderful climate and setting. It is fair to say this area is not exactly at the top of the list of those whose main interests are nature, wildlife and open spaces, desolate and beautiful enough for endless hikes and exploration.

That said, nature is far closer to us than many realise. Of course, we have parks, seaside promenades and nice green zones in common with other towns and cities across the continent, but once again Marbella proves that it is different, for unlike many a place of its size and type, open nature really does begin where the built-up areas end.

In this article, we’re going to highlight just a few of the natural wonders that exist within a short distance of where we live, work and relax – hoping that you will be inspired to visit them and explore natural Marbella for yourself.

Touching the Sierras

Most of you will associate Sierra Blanca with an exclusive residential area set upon the lower reaches of La Concha Mountain, but of course the suburb is named after the mountain range that this iconic peak forms part of. We see La Concha every day, not realising that it is part of a physical and conceptual barrier to the Marbella we know and the beginning of a largely unknown world where nature still rules supreme.

Residents of places such as Sierra Blanca, La Mairena, La Quinta and Benahavís are perhaps more attuned to the natural side of Marbella, for these are residential areas still set amid open tracts of nature, where dog walkers, hikers, equestrians and bikers love to explore the hills, wooded groves and streams that form the contact zone between civilisation and the wild…

Words Michel Cruz – Photography Kevin Horn

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