Silence is the greatest luxury of our time
To many it is a well-known truth and a personal experience that peace and tranquillity is the greatest luxury of our lives. It is worth more than material values and people – the critical consumer who has the capability to pay and privilege to choose – currently pay large sums to spend the night sleeping in glas teepees under the billions of stars in the endless sky or stay in a natural suite in Norway at a river farfetched.
There, we feel ourselves and the good life is much different and more than luxury in terms of past status symbols, such as large cars, gourmet, cigars and cognac.
In that spirit, I choose my favourites, as I have found infinite peace and happiness in nature, as long as I can remember. From when I climbed to the top of all the trees around me, walked in nature and sailed on some of the cleanest lakes in Denmark, where I grew up.
1. Paseo Maritimo between San Pedro and Marbella East
One of the simplest but also the most amazing activities you can enjoy in Marbella is walking or cycling on Paseo Maritimo along the water from San Pedro to Marbella.
In my opinion this is the most beautiful and interesting stretch on Costa del Sol, although the route at La Herradura (East of Malaga) is so dramatically beautiful that it can not be compared with anything else, and therefore must be experienced too.
Besides the clean air, the peaceful sound of waves breaking on the beach and the wonderful natural environment of the Mediterranean on one side and mountains on the other, you will experience a totally unique atmosphere and positive activity.
People of all ages from playing children to seniors enjoy moving and just being on this extraordinary stretch on the sunny coast.
To observe people while taking the time to find a moment of tranquillity, is a blessing for the soul and recharges the batteries, allowing you come back to the family and to yourself with renewed vigour and energy which can be dedicated to work and to the people you have near.
I am obviously coloured by growing up in the wild nature of Denmark, where I also had my favourites in the nature surrounding forests and lakes in the wonderful, scenic Silkeborg.
I have found the counterpart here in the South and consider it irreplaceable to use nature as an inspiration and inexhaustible source of new vibrant, creative energy.
2. Refugio de Juanar and Marbella’s signature mountain, La Concha
My other great passion is mountains.
This whole area is nothing less than magical and alluring. Refugio de Juanar is a nature reserve where you experience the untouched nature as it has always been. Beautiful and magnificent. Resting in itself.
You will find here a pine forest just behind Marbella’s signature mountain, which is dated back to the dinosaur age. Although it sounds like a good story, it is nevertheless true, as a result of a rather unique microclimate allwing the great pine trees to thrive excellently.
It is said that the main reason there are very few forested areas on the Costa del Sol is that the Spaniards back in history used the trees to build ships. The deep forest in Refugio de Juanar gives the same feeling as you can have in the North, even more uniquely located on the exotic South tip of Europe.
La Concha is the mountain, which look majestic from pretty much anywhere in Marbella. For the well trained, it is advisable to trek up there, but definitely without small children and with more than enough water in the backpack, i.e. 2-3 L.
Based on some wrong advice I have been up there with too little water and it is not recommended. As always take responsibility yourself and be your own leader.
You have to respect the area and if you go at a time of the season where it’s warm and the sun shines, you dehydrate quicker than you think without enough water. It gets hot, very hot.
Go, therefore, to, up and down the mountain with respect and be well-prepared.
The trip up there from La Juanar is beautiful and it is a good 4 hour trip that midway provides an experience on the mountain top with the best views of the coast, Marbella, Gibraltar and Morocco in the distant horizon. Quite simply sublime.
Be prepared to experience something great and unforgettable.
The energy on the mountain is significant and it is interesting that the shape of the mountain, according to Feng Sui, symbolizes theft and deception which some connect with the unreliable and thieving that Marbella also attracts, besides the majority of wonderful people.
However, you overcome and defeat Marbellas’s deceptive traits by climbing and putting the mountain under and behind you.
3. Castellar de la Frontera
Last weekend our whole family and our friends moved up to this marvellous place that gives you the feeling of being back in or at least closely related to the Middle Ages.
There, we were lucky to find a cello concert that we will rarely forget. A local original that just as well could have lived side-by-side Leonardo Da Vinci’s played so meditatively beautiful that the whole family was enchanting in the present moment and became deeply affected by the presence of the music.
At Sotogrande and slightly into the green hilly landscape lies, between orchards, a castle from the Middle Ages.
With views over a beautiful mountain lake, clear views of Gibraltar, the coast and the large green hilly landscape you dream into other times of history and watching the silent eagle standing almost still far up in the sky watching you become inspired and feel the strong wings of deep historic, ancient mystery, grandeur and thoughtfulness.
In this small castle environment you can both eat and enjoy yourselves in artistic and easy-going hippie surroundings.
On the other hand, West of Gibraltar, facing Portugal you find the “Surfers Paradise”, Tarifa.
This is the opening to the Atlantic, where the beach, the dunes, the waves and the wind give a strong and fresh natural experience.
This is opposite to the more romantic Mediterranean environment, a place where one surfs and fights the forces of nature. It’s big and raw, but fascinating and refreshing.
The quality of seafood from the large Atlantic is untouchable and the place is in general characterised by pure nature and intellectual lifestyle, partly opposite Marbella, unless you know the place and thus understand the whole, the nature and the true balance behind.
5. La Herradura
Out towards Nerja (East of Malaga) lies La Herradura. A completely different small, clean and beautifully located city right at the Mediterranean.
Where the mountains of Marbella border the city limit the mountains and rocks reach out to the ocean in La Herradura. This creates a dramatic landscape of big beautiful rock formations right out to the sea.
The beach is clean and the water is clearer. The good visibility makes the place known among divers and one sees a great deal of those.
La Herradura is a refreshing experience and something completely different than the other 4 favourites.