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The best things to do in Manilva and the western Costa del Sol

If you want to combine excellent beaches with award-wining attractions and natural scenery, visit the town of Manilva, which is just a 30 minute drive to the west of Marbella and Puerto Banus.

Manilva boasts a choice of bars, restaurants, beaches and historical attractions to suit all ages, tastes and budgets. The Roman Sulphur Baths of Hedionda are situated just below Manilva, and first became popular with the Romans over 2,000 years ago. Bathing rooms were created to make the most of the natural sulphur springs which flow from above the valley, and a large inner bathing chamber still exists.

Although it cannot be proved, sulphur, which has great healing properties, was thought to attract the Romans to the site, where they bathed regularly to improve the condition of their skin, and also to give them greater mental strength and prepare them for battle. Julius Caesar was even said to have bathed in the Roman Baths of Hedionda, Manilva, around 62BC.

Nowadays, families and visitors flock to the site, to enjoy lunch at the Roman Oasis Restaurant, or to spend a day out in the surrounding countryside. Ruins of old farm buildings are situated across the river, which would indicate that a settlement once existed around the baths. An irrigation system still exists, which was used to irrigate the valley, and although it is almost certainly Roman in origin, it was most probably restored during Arab rule in southern Spain.

Thousands of years later, Manilva is home to hundreds of ex-pats who have bought holiday homes here and who use Manilva storage companies to store their goods.

If you are feeling fit, hike a couples of kilometres upstream, which will eventually take you to the mills of Casares. Although the distance is not great, it is not an easy route, and will probably take you most of the day to negotiate. To get to the Roman Baths, turn off the A7 at the Lidl roundabout in Sabanillas, and head inland. Go under the toll road and follow the rough track along the river for 0.9 kilometres. The Baths are on the right hand side.

A Roman aqueduct is situated between the Baths and the coast, which is also said to hail from the days of Julius Caesar, and it was once used to drive a water wheel for a mill complex.

Two kilometres inland from the coast is the village of San Luis de Sabinillas (commonly known as Sabinillas) which hosts a Sunday flea market every week through the streets of the village. Numerous developments and urbanisations have grown up around Manilva during the past five years, and one of the most popular tourist haunts is Puerto de la Duquesa. Here you will find some fabulous bars, restaurants and cafés overlooking the boats and the marina, plus a first-class golf course.

Take a trip to Manilva, and spend a day exploring the fascinating sites and enjoying the excellent local restaurants, beaches and attractions. A choice of accommodation in Manilva is also available.

If you are looking for storage in Manilva, uStore-it can offer a choice of over 200 self-contained storage units for different volumes of storage at competitive rates.