Manilva is a picturesque town located on the southern coast of Spain, in the province of Malaga. With its stunning beaches, charming streets, and rich cultural heritage, Manilva has become a popular tourist destination in recent years and continues to be enjoyed by visitors to the area.

The Spanish town of Manilva is located on the western Costa del Sol and sits back 2 kilometres from the coast, the town sits on a hill offering panoramic sea views across to the Straits of Gibraltar and the Rif Mountains of Morocco. The towns location not only offers you views to the coast it includes mountain views towards it´s neighbouring town of Casares and the impressive Sierra Bermeja continuing along the coast towards Estepona, Marbella and towards Malaga. 

The town is surrounded by vineyards that date back to roman times, today the area still produces fine wines from the Moscatel grapes grown on the sloping hills that surround the town. Harvest time around the beginning of September features the Fiesta de la Vendimia where the grapes are trodden as part of Manilva’s annual grape festival.

Brief History of Manilva

The town’s strategic location has facilitated a rich history of settlement, dating back to the Stone Age. Archaeological discoveries in the caves of the Sierra Utrera, just north of Manilva, and the recent unearthing of a Roman kiln attest to its ancient origins.

During the Roman era, the area flourished as a hub for fish processing, evident today in the remnants of factories, villas, and bathhouses near Castillo de la Duquesa, one of Manilva’s coastal villages. Artefacts from this period are showcased in the castle’s museum, complemented by a new visitor centre and elevated walkway offering panoramic views of the ancient Roman streets and dwellings.

In the 16th century, Manilva itself was established, gaining independence from the neighbouring municipality of Casares in 1795. Since then, the town has experienced steady growth, attracting a diverse community of expatriates from across the globe.

Conveniently located near the AP7 motorway, Manilva offers easy access to road transport, further enhancing its appeal as a vibrant and accessible destination.

Today’s Manilva

Manilva’s community has a mix of local Spanish, Brits, Irish and other foreigners from around the world who have settled and made Manilva and it´s local towns home, some go on to start a business, where others commute to nearby Gibraltar for work.

How big is Manilva?

In modern times, Manilva is segmented into four distinct quarters, each possessing its own unique allure and character. From the historic charm of the Old Town to the coastal tranquillity of Sabinillas, Manilva offers a diverse tapestry of experiences. The hillside enclave of La Duquesa boasts marina vistas and leisurely promenades, while the rural idyll of Manilva Pueblo beckons with its whitewashed architecture and panoramic views. Whether exploring ancient streets steeped in tradition or savouring the coastal breeze along pristine beaches, Manilva’s quartet of districts promise a captivating journey through diverse landscapes and cultural heritage.

1.Manilva town:

Nestled along the secluded stretch of coastline, this region exudes its own distinct allure. Renowned for its vineyards yielding some of the finest wines on the Costa del Sol, it captivates with its picturesque landscapes, captivating sunsets, and the serene ambience of locals leisurely strolling. Its winding streets and historic churches add to the quaint charm, offering glimpses into its rich cultural heritage. Here, amidst the tranquillity of rural life, one can immerse themselves in the beauty of nature and the timeless rhythms of local traditions, creating an enchanting tapestry of experiences.

2. El Castillo de la Duquesa:

The renowned Castillo de la Duquesa stands as a focal point in this captivating area, easily explored within a 20-minute stroll. Dating back to the 16th century, the castle exudes historical charm, offering panoramic views of its surroundings.

Castillo_de_la_Duquesa_Manilva_provincia_de_Malaga

Nestled amidst the castle’s shadow are quaint fishing houses and charming restaurants, serving up delectable dishes of freshly caught seafood. Here, visitors can savour the authentic flavours of the coast while soaking in the tranquil ambiance of this picturesque locale.

3. Puerto Duquesa:

Puerto de la Duquesa on the Costa del Sol is a picturesque marina village where Andalusian charm meets coastal elegance. With its vibrant promenades, lively atmosphere, and a bustling marina filled with luxurious yachts, it’s a delightful blend of relaxation and sophistication. Visitors can enjoy waterfront cafes and restaurants serving up freshly caught seafood and international cuisine.

4. San Luis de Sabinillas:

San Luis de Sabinillas serves as the bustling heart of daily life in the Manilva region. Here, you’ll discover all the essentials for your day-to-day routine, from supermarkets and local shops to vital services like banks and legal offices. Amidst the lively streets, you’ll find an array of inviting tapas bars and restaurants, offering a taste of Andalusian cuisine and vibrant social atmosphere.

But the true gem of Sabinillas lies along its sandy shores. Sabinillas beach beckons with its golden sands and tranquil waves, providing the perfect backdrop for relaxation and recreation. And when hunger strikes, the beach bars serve up tantalising tapas and refreshing drinks, allowing you to savour the flavours of the coast while soaking in the sun-drenched ambiance. In San Luis de Sabinillas, every moment is an opportunity to embrace the vibrant culture and coastal charm that define this unique corner of Spain.

How long does it take to go around Manilva?

Manilva has 35.59 km2. So, if you are a sporty person, walking or cycling. You can be a fun and beautiful option for a few days. Although, if you prefer to go in a vehicle, you can visit any area perfectly without any impediment.

What to do in Manilva?

Manilva boasts a jam-packed calendar of ferias and fiestas, ranging from the solemnly religious to the outrageously modern – there’s something for everyone! Whether you’re into ancient traditions or cutting-edge celebrations, Manilva has it all. So, grab your party hat and check out the events calendar de Manilva – because in this town, the fiesta never stops!

Experience the vibrant tapestry of Manilva and Sabinillas through their lively fiestas, each a celebration of tradition, community, and joy. Dive into the magical atmosphere of San Juan, as bonfires light up the summer solstice sky, igniting a night of revelry and ancient rituals. Feel the coastal spirit come alive during Virgen del Carmen, as fishermen honour their patron saint with colourful processions and heartfelt tributes to the sea.

Then, immerse yourself in the rich flavours and aromas of the Vendimia wine harvest festival, where vineyards come to life with the excitement of grape picking and traditional grape treading. With each festival offering a unique glimpse into the soul of Manilva and Sabinillas, you’ll discover a world of cultural treasures and unforgettable experiences.

uvas vendimia manilva
Vendimia Manilva

Add to that a generous sprinkle of Saints’ days and pilgrimages, and you’ve got yourself a packed itinerary of festivities and merrymaking.

Nestled in the province of Malaga and bordering Cadiz, this area has plenty to entice holidaymakers and residents alike. Outdoor enthusiasts will find Manilva particularly appealing, offering a plethora of activities to enjoy.

All in all, Manilva is a delightful town catering to all tastes. With its breathtaking beaches, rich cultural heritage, and lively nightlife, it has cemented its status as a top tourist destination in the Costa Del Sol and southern Spain. Whether you crave a serene beach getaway, an adrenaline-fueled outdoor adventure, or an enriching cultural immersion, Manilva has it covered.

Where to eat in Manilva?

Naturally, we couldn’t possibly leave you hanging without suggestions for leisure and outdoor pursuits… How could we overlook advising on where to dine? Sampling the local cuisine is a must when visiting this town. Indulge in the quintessential gastronomy, with beach bars (given its coastal location) being a highlight, alongside hearty home-cooked dishes that evoke memories of our mothers’ cooking.

Looking for some places to eat and drink? Check out our listings.

The Viva Manilva team hopes you’ve found this post engaging and that you’ve gained a deeper insight into Manilva and the culture that sets this town apart.

Things to do in Manilva

Manilva is one of the sought-after sun and beach destinations on the Costa del Sol, ensuring there’s always something captivating to do. Not just within the town itself, but also in the surrounding area. Here, we offer you several ideas for things to do in Manilva:

Explore more about these activities in our “Things to do” menu section.

What to visit around Manilva?

Travelling from the local airports of Malaga and Gibraltar you can be relaxing within an hour from Malaga and 20 mins from Gibraltar. Its proximity allows you to enjoy its surroundings in a very simple way. Rent a car and consider enjoying the food and people that these mini guides offer you.

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