Having A Break From It All

If you follow me on Instagram, you may have seen that recently I escaped London for a few days by jetting off to Andalusia for some much needed winter sunshine.

I’d really needed to take a break from everything, I’d just had surgery on my hand and work had been crazy busy as I tried to clear my to do list before my surgery and the time I’d have to take to recover.

I thought it’d be lovely to have some quality time with Mum, so I treated us both to a short break in Spain at the 5* Vincci Seleccion Aleysa Hotel Boutique & Spa in Benalmádena 12km outside of Malaga. Our hotel was incredibly lovely and I’ll be doing a review post later on in the week. We were really well looked after and had everything we needed including fluffy robes and slippers. Yay!

Our room had a sea view so every morning I’d look out at a beautiful view of blue skies, the sea and palm trees, it was incredible! We’d sit on the sun loungers on our terrace and just lie in the sun, catching up with our reading or having a little nap as we felt the sun on our skin. It was wonderful to feel the warm sun on our face and body, we felt amazing as we topped up our vitamin D levels and I came back to London with a nice healthy looking glow and a little tanned.

On the second day we headed out to explore after a delicious breakfast which included the sweetest and most juiciest Oranges we’d ever had! We grabbed a taxi to the traditional Andalusian Old Town, stopping first at the Castillo Monumento Colomares, a castle-style monument dedicated to Christopher Columbus and his discovery of America. The castle contains what is claimed to be the World’s smallest Chapel.

It was a glorious day with a gorgeous blue sky. So warm and sunny, I was in a floral dress and my Havaianas, while the Spanish residents were in body warmers and puffa jackets. They told me that it is still cold for them. We made friends with this cute dog at the castle. He was yapping at all the visitors but then he just followed us round & sat with us, very cute.

After the Castillo Monumento Colomares, it was a short uphill walk to the Old Town (Benalmadena Pueblo), a beautiful traditional Andalusian village of Orange trees lining little cobbled streets of whitewashed houses adorned by brightly coloured flowers.
All the exploring had given us a bit of an appetite so we strolled around in search of food. We came across Plaza Espana in the centre of the village. The square has a fountain with a statue of La Nina, who has become the symbol of Benalmadena and is the namesake of the lovely Tapas restaurant we discovered. Around the edge of the square there are a number of welcoming little restaurants bustling with people and under a canopy of orange trees. It was amazing to be able to enjoy such a delicious meal sat outside in glorious sunshine in February! We had Monkfish goujons and an incredible dish of grilled prawns with asparagus and artichoke. The sauce was wonderful and the dishes and the sunshine were exactly what I’d hoped for when I’d booked the holiday. 

After lunch we wandered along from the Plaza Espana and took an outdoor lift to the Church of Santo Domingo. The church sits on the edge of a hill and provides fantastic views over the coastline, 200 meters below. It was so peaceful and beautiful by the church and I felt very content there sitting in the sun.

After a little sun-bathing siesta we felt like stretching our legs before dinner so we went for a walk along the coastline and up to Parque de la Paloma. It’s a beautiful park which on first impressions reminded me of London’s Regent’s Park but then you turn a corner and you see chickens running around and lines of Palm trees, perfect for a warm sunny evening stroll.

Throughout our little trip I don’t think I ever tired of walking along the beach. It felt so good to be by the sea, it really helped me clear my mind and find calm, I really didn’t want to leave!

Bil-Bil Castle

On our last day it was another beautiful day even if the sky was a little grey. With a bit of time on our hands before our flight home, we decided on a boat trip along to coast to Fuengirola. The water was quite choppy at times, so Mum and I hung on for dear life at points when it felt more like a theme park ride than a smooth boat trip. The bumpy ride was worth though as we saw Dolphins!! They’d come to feed on the fish the fishing trawler was hoping to reel in. Sadly the Dolphins were far to quick for me and my camera but it was such an incredible experience and I was so pleased to share it with Mum as it was the first time she’d seen Dolphins.

As it was the last day of our trip, we couldn’t help but treat ourselves to a delicious meal, sat outside by the sea. The seafood was incredible, these fresh grilled prawns tasted amazing and the whole dish was only €8, I couldn’t believe it! The carrot cake was lovely and Mum and I tried to convince ourselves that it counted towards one of our 5 a day!

It was a wonderful holiday, I think if we could have stated for weeks we would have done, neither of us wanted to come back home and I can’t wait for my next trip abroad.

 What are your favourite Spanish destinations?

Jx

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