The "joie de vivre" of the Spanish lifestyle can be experienced in the charming village of Manilva, which is surrounded by vineyards and has breathtaking views of the deep blue Mediterranean Sea. Situated between the traditional harbour town of Algeciras in the west and the lively holiday resort of Estepona in the east, Manilva is the holiday destination which has the most to offer culturally in the west of the Costa del Sol. Bordering the Spanish provinces of Málaga and Cádiz, Manilva has always been known for its exuberant festivals, fine wines and good cuisine. Nowadays the village has all the amenities of a modern beach destination without having lost its charm and special character.
Manilva has without doubt a lot to offer for individual travellers, as well as for gourmets and beach-lovers. Above the promenade the picturesque old town has streets and alleyways lined with palm-trees and cypresses and you can clearly see the influence of the Andalusian style. There are numerous buildings from the 18th century, such as the church of Santa Ana and the La Duquesa fortress, which together with the whitewashed walls and wrought-iron balconies of the houses form a harmonious setting.
With just under 15,000 inhabitants, Manilva is a sleepy village during the week, but on Sundays the whole region seems to gather here for the vibrant weekly market of Rastro del Domingo. In fact Manilva is well known outside the region for its exuberant, traditional festivals which take place all year round and are especially popular with the Spaniards on public holidays. These days Manilva is also a great beach holiday destination. Along the coast, not even three kilometres from the historic village centre, you will find a large choice of restaurants, hotels and bars in every price category.
The main attraction for day-trippers in Manilva is the fortress of La Duquesa. It was named after a countess and built on the remains of an old Roman villa and was erected to protect the village from pirate attacks. As well as the fortress, above the marina you can also visit the museum where you can see archaeological discoveries from the 1st to the 4th centuries AD. The harbour of Duquesa with over 300 moorings is also well worth a visit. Here you can admire a colourful display of sailing boats and traditional fishing boats and as well as boats trips, there are also marine biology excursions on offer. From here you can set off on a lovely walk with your family or partner along the very well-kept promenade and in the evening you can relax in one of the many restaurants and enjoy the view of the beach and the Mediterranean Sea.
However, It is well worth planning a longer stay in Manilva. As well as the perfect temperatures on the beach in summer, Manilva seems to have some kind of celebration going on all year round, attracting Spanish visitors and tourists alike. This begins with Epiphany in January, the Spanish Carnival in February and March, while the week of Good Friday and the festival of Easter are traditionally celebrated with catholic processions. The horse-riding parade in May and the night of San Juan at the summer equinox are especially popular with the Spanish. During the full moon festival in August the whole of Manilva is illuminated by candles and paper lanterns, while artists and musicians from all over Spain provide high quality entertainment. Unique for the Costa del Sol is the Vendimia de Manilva wine festival, which has been celebrated during the grape harvest since the 1960s. The muscat grapes of Manilva are famous all over Spain and the white wine which is produced here goes perfectly with the various fish dishes served in the local restaurants.
In the once small fishing village of Manilva everything today revolves around its wine, the sea and above all its beaches. Whether you choose the nicely kept beach of Las Gaviotas or the hidden, romantic beach of Punta Chullera, whether you prefer spacious beaches with the typical fine sand of this region or the small pebble bays with their crystal clear water, the eight kilometres of the coast of Manilva offers the complete range of beaches which the Costa del Sol has to offer.