My parents were staying in Alora with me for a fortnight’s holiday and, having spent a week or so in and around El Chorro, we decided to go for a change of scene and drive down to the coast. Some friends of ours had kindly left little notes on the map in the car we were borrowing which gave descriptions of the places they had visited. There was a note next to Cabopino Beach which simply said “Lovely sandy beach”.
Cabopino is just along to the East from Marbella (which I haven’t been overly impressed with on my visits) and I trusted my friends’ judgements so we duly headed off to Cabopino.
We stopped off in Ojen on the way.
Ojen is a beautiful, traditional Andalucian town -surprisingly unspoilt considering it is so close to the Costa del Sol. It is set high up in the mountains overlooking the coast, so its streets are steep and narrow and houses are staggered in rows up the hillside. It is full of quaint character and bursting with colour from the flowers cascading from terraces. It was raining when we arrived, so we took shelter in a local restaurant and had the freshest, tastiest sardines we had ever eaten with bread and olive oil. It was a simple but delicious lunch and by the time we had finished, the rain had stopped. We didn’t explore Ojen fully as we wanted to get to the coast, but we all agreed we wanted to come back and take a further look.
Ojen is famous for an anise liqueur that used to be made here called “aguardiente” and there is a wine museum to visit. There are also caves up above the town and a fair climb up some steep steps. Worth the sweat apparently as the caves are atmospheric and interesting in their own right, but they also provide some amazing views. We didn’t get to any of this, but there will be a next time…
Cabopino Beach was stunning. It is only section of beach near Marbella that is backed by extensive natural dunes and the only section of coast that has not been urbanised. It is a beautiful sandy beach with a section of scrubby, heathy natural conservation area – wooden boardwalks have been built above the plants so that people don’t disturb the plant, bird and wildlife that is being conserved here. There is also a small marina and port, as well as dolphin-watching boat trips.
Playa Artola, the next beach along, and the surrounding sand dunes offer a 'clothing optional,' area, so you can find nude sunbathers here. (We didn't notice any, but we weren't looking!)
We had a lovely walk along the boards and a paddle in the sea – it was very quiet and we had the beach to ourselves. The clouds seemed fixed in place further inland, but here the sky was blue and the sun was shining on us. There are friendly and welcoming restaurants along the beach, as well as public toilets.
If you are looking for a beach day and don’t like the clamour and tone of the standard Costa del Sol beaches, this is definitely for you!
Great fun using a four-wheel drive buggy to explore the mountains around El Chorro...