Southern Spain: sultry cities and chic coastal resorts

A twelve-day itinerary from Seville to Sotogrande

Strung around Southern Spain like sparkling jewels, Seville and the Costa del Sol offer a feast of different experiences. Whether that’s meandering through a historic city shaped by its Moorish roots. Relaxing on soft sands. Or indulging in sumptuous fine dining, world-class golf and opulent nightlife. This itinerary offers a taste of everything from some of the best luxury hotels in Southern Spain, all ready to be booked with a call to our Travel Advisors.

AT A GLANCE

• 10-12 day independent itinerary for southern Spain, based on flying in and out of Seville or Malaga

• Experience boutique luxury in a majestic city centre retreat and spa treatments in selected SLH hotels on the Costa del Sol

• Highlights include Seville’s historic treasures, two-star Michelin dining in Marbella, pristine beaches in Estepona and Sotogrande

START IN STYLE: SEVILLE

Home of the fiesta, flamenco, tapas and medieval cobblestone alleyways, Seville  is an ancient blend of Christian and Moorish architecture. Spend the morning basking in the Gothic splendour of Seville Cathedral. The intricately carved, gold covered altar, the tomb of Christopher Columbus, and views from the ‘La Giralda’ bell tower are mesmerising. The Alcázar of Seville, one of Europe’s most ornate royal palaces, is another legendary UNESCO landmark, complete with fountains and peacocks sauntering about.

Hire a bicycle and discover the vast Parque de María Luisa – a green and pleasant space to escape the heat. Dotted with duck ponds and tranquil gardens, relax here before visiting the nearby Museo Arqueológico, and Museo de Artes y Costumbres Populares that’s dedicated to Andalusian customs and costumes.

But the city’s not all ancient history. You literally can’t miss the 30 metre-high Metropol Parasol that opened in 2011. This giant, wooden sunshade with its undulating honeycomb roof and mushroom-like pillars lets you take a lift up to the winding walkway at the top.

UNPACK YOUR SUITCASE

Hotel Palacio de Villapanés, Spain

Converted from an 18th-century regal residence, Hotel Palacio de Villapanés pairs sleek, modern rooms with fine Andalusian cuisine. Suggested stay 4 nights.

HEAD FOR THE BEACH

Whichever luxury escape you choose, the most sought-after sandy enclaves are moments away. For jet-set glitz and glamour, Marbella has raised the bar in every sense. Stroll down to the Marina where sleek super yachts glisten in the sun and flagship designer stores are ideal for picking up the latest season’s beach-wear.

Clubbers will be in seventh heaven. Spot the A-listers at the prestigious La Sala on Banús, or if you’re staying at Nobu Hotel, make the most of VIP table service at La Suite. Or for a taste of Marbella’s Andalusian heritage, book a table at a cosy flamenco bar in Marbella Old Town to watch performances brimming with raw talent.

UNPACK YOUR SUITCASE

Nobu Hotel Marbella, Spain

Acclaimed for its famous restaurant, the Nobu Hotel Marbella has a distinctly Japanese inspired, laid-back luxury vibe. Set around the exclusive Plaza Village, you have the private pool and cool, contemporary comforts to call your own.  Suggested stay, 3 nights.

THE RELAXATION CONTINUES: ESTEPONA AND SOTOGRANDE

West of Marbella, are two stylish resort towns. First, is charming Estepona. A photographer’s dream of white-washed buildings and narrow streets lined with colourful flower pots. You’ll find plenty of tapas restaurants and 'Chiringuito' bars by the sea serving traditional delicacies – try the chargrilled sardines. A clear, warm sea and wide, sandy beaches ensures plenty of space to relax and have fun. But for peace and quiet, head for the 3.7 mile-long Saladillo Beach.

Next on your Southern Spain sojourn is Sotogrande. Surrounded by lush cork forests and a busy marina, the Sierra mountains create a scenic backdrop. Spend a day in Ruta de los Pueblos Blancos, or take a boat across to Gibraltar or Morocco.

Sotogrande also boasts Valderrama – one of the finest championship golf courses, polo fields, tennis academies, rugby and sailing clubs. This area is famous for its architectural gems. But there’s protected marshland too, where migratory birds fly to and from Africa.

ROOMS WITH A VIEW

Healthouse Las Dunas, Spain

A palatial spa hotel, Healthouse Las Dunas in Estepona specialises in soothing treatments and delicious, healthy cuisine. Perfectly balanced and beautifully presented, the Healthouse menu turns healthy eating into an art form. Dishes have been designed by two Michelin-starred chef Andoni Luis Aduriz to be low-calorie, salt and sugar free. Or try the newly opened FELIX restaurant, situated on the hotel's elegant Andalusian style patio. Chef Manuel Camisuli has created a gastronomic space with a high level commitment to the Mediterranean with Asian hints.

Alternatively, be right on the coast, at the Club Maritimo de Sotogrande for gastronomic dining and world class golf. Sit on the restaurant terrace and enjoy tapas while watching the comings and goings in the marina or enjoy the view from your room, as each comes with a view overlooking the picturesque marina. Suggested stay 4-5 nights. 

TRAVEL TIPS

Seville to Marbella is about 2 hours and 40 minutes by car. Estepona is then another 30 minutes, while Sotogrande is an hour away. Fly into San Pablo Airport for Seville. But from the coastal resorts, your closest airport is Malaga or Gibraltar which is just a 30 minute drive to Sotogrande. As always, ask our Voice Reservation Team for details about transfers or transport provided by individual hotels. 

BOOK YOUR BOUTIQUE HOTELS

To book the hotels on this independent itinerary, get in touch with our Voice Reservation Team on 0800 0482 314 (UK) & 1-877-234-7033 (US). You can find a full list of our dedicated toll-free numbers here. We’re ready and waiting to plan luxury adventures 24 hours a day, seven days a week. So whenever inspiration strikes, just get in touch.