Manilva, La Duquesa and Sabinillas, have become a popular tourist area in the last decade. This area is still growing and is of great interest to property investors.
Manilva is a small, traditional town built on a hilltop overlooking the coast. It was part of the municipality of Casares until 1797. It covers an area of 35.20 sq. kms and is 128 metres above sea level with an average temperature of 18 degrees.
Fishing and agriculture have been the main occupations of its inhabitants throughout its history and the muscatel grapes on the vines covering the hill slopes are famous for the delicious wine made from them.
Manilva, has are three districts: itself, San Luis de Sabinillas and El Castillo de la Duquesa. There are many residential communities scattered through the area, which are home to the cosmopolitan community that has settled in the district. The setting is magnificent, with the splendid Sierra Bermeja Mountains in the background and views to Gibraltar and Africa in the foreground.
La Duquesa Golf Club, the yacht marina and the Magic Hills residential sport complex make this a significant tourist destination. Local cuisine is mainly based on the great variety of fish that is available whilst its tomato soup is justly famous.
Castillo de la Duquesa in nearby Sabinillas is a castle built to defend the town from pirates, who for centuries ravaged the coastal area.
Manilva has a fascinating history that dates back to Roman times and today you can visit the remarkably well-preserved Roman sulphur baths. Your skin will feel silky when you get out. Aside from the Romans, many civilizations and cultures have made Manilva their home, including the Phoenician and the Moors. In 1528, Carlos V erected a watchtower called the Salto de laMora to protect the 50 or 60 inhabitants at that time. The consequence of this was the area became more attractive and the agricultural industry slowly expanded. In July 1650 the names Manilva and Sabinillas were established.
One of the most interesting historical monuments apart from the Roman Baths is the Church of Santa Ana, which dates back to the late 17th Century. Shortly afterwards the Castle of Duquesa was built, but wasn’t completed until the 18th century.
Manilva boasts several wines unique to the area, both dry and sweet. There are also well-known fish restaurants and chiringuitos (beach bars) renowned for their excellent seafood and fish dishes.
The traditional fiestas, include carnaval in February - a time of fun and feasting before the onset of the austere lent. The Romeria de Nuestra Senora de Fátima takes place in June and the night of San Juan is celebrated on 24th June. In addition, on the 16th July the blessing of the Virgen del Carmen is sought when she is taken to dip her feet into the sea. On the 26th July Santa Ana, the patron saint of the district is celebrated with a feria.
Manilva is an intriguing village that is well worth a visit as it has much to offer the visitor in the way of traditional Andalucian charm.
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