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Costa del Sol – March 25 – 27
Our finale on this around the world sojourn is the coastal portion of Spain’s Andalucía, specifically Costa del Sol, with beaches, marinas and a mild year-round climate that has attracted sun lovers for decades.
We arrived in Spain after another relaxed flight and headed to our hotel on the coast. Gran Hotel Miramar was built in the 1920s in the grand tradition of the time. It has had a few lives as a hospital and even a grand courthouse before being recently being refurbished to its historic splendor.
After some time to settle into our suite accommodations and take in the spectacular ocean views from our balconies, our exploration of the area started with a visit to a former 1920s tobacco factory, now a spacious Automobile Museum. Legendary car brands from early 1900s and classical cars on display; our guide relating how each owner customized their vehicle with glamorous interiors including ostrich or crocodile leather, hardwood dashboards, Swarovsky crystals and signature hood ornaments by Lalique among others. This museum is unique in that each car is displayed alongside fashions of the time that would have been worn while out motoring.
Our return to the hotel by horse and carriage gave us a great street level view of the city’s historic architecture and preparations for special events starting in the evening. Although this is a year-round destination, we’ve arrived in Spain on Domingo de Ramos (Palm Sunday) the start of Semana Santa leading up to Easter, a highly celebrated time which involves nightly processions in old town and inspires street performers.
Continuing with our adventure, we head to the historic center of Marbella; well-preserved despite the city keeping pace with modern culture, entertainment and glamour. Our visit to the old town includes an olive oil tasting, very fitting as Spain is the largest producer of olive oil. Heading to the sea, we board our private catamaran and cruise to the luxury marina at Puerto Banus for lunch.
Anticipating another delightful evening we depart the hotel by vintage classic cars to drive into the hills above the city for a lovely cocktail and dinner party in the gardens and dining room of the Hacienda del Alamo with views out to the sea. Our host, the owner of the hacienda, gave us a warm welcome to the historic house.
For our final day of touring choices were made between visiting the city of Malaga in depth and spending time at the Picasso Museum or heading to the whitewashed mountain village of Mijas for lovely views, gardens and shops.
The final evening in Spain took us to the rooftop bar of our grand hotel for cocktails and waterfront sunset views before we headed to our private farewell dinner to reminisce about our adventures around the world and be entertained by fabulous flamenco. Tomorrow we board our Lakani private jet for our last flight that will take us to Boston.