Introducing the Marbella Grand Prix

For those who love the finer things in life and know how to enjoy themselves, this region offers so much in the way of unforgettable experiences. The Marbella Grand Prix provides the perfect opportunity to discover some of the best of all.

Building on a long-standing tradition of classic car rallies and luxury car tours in countries such as France, Belgium, Great Britain and USA, the organisers of the Marbella Grand Prix are bringing this elegant way of enjoying beautiful vehicles to our coast – and more specifically, the rolling hills and mountain ranges of its hinterland. In so doing they are combining several of the most joyful things in life: touring with luxury sports cars through the lovely and varied landscapes of Andalucía, followed by fine dining, outdoor drinks in evocative settings and stays at luxurious country resort hotels.

May 25th 

The four-day programme sees the international participants arrive at the Hotel Anantara Villa Padierna in Los Flamingos, the starting point of a rally that is not a racing competition, but rather an ode to the sheer enjoyment of cruising through country roads en route to the region’s finest beauty spots. Those gathered at the hotel will rendezvous at a cocktail event overlooking the collection of Porsche, Ferrari, McLaren and Audi sports cars that hey will be using during the Grand Prix, before enjoying dinner at La Veranda.

May 26th 

Such views of cars and lofty golf courses will be exchanged for mountain scenery, as the 20 participants set off into the Sierra de las Nieves in the direction of Ronda. Clear blue skies and deep valleys surround you as you climb into the mountainous interior with receding but spectacular sea views behind. Each car will be taking the trip at its own pace, arriving at the Reservatauro Ronda for lunch and a stroll through this bullfighting stud farm dotted with the olive trees and cork oaks so typical of this region.

As afternoon sets in, the second stage of the day’s rally leads through rolling vineyards in the wine country around Ronda, looping back towards the coast later to take in the now ever expanding views of the Mediterranean Sea. The outlines of Gibraltar and North Africa are prominent as the participants descend towards Marbella for a short rest, refreshments and dressing to impress for the champagne cocktail and dinner at Mamzel, one of the most emblematic restaurants in Marbella right now. 

May 27th 

Friday sees the convoy of luxurious sports cars leave their hub at the Villa Padierna for what is the longest day of driving, from Marbella through the Montes de Málaga range to the undulating landscape of the La Bobadilla, a Royal Hideaway Hotel that is in effect a famously luxurious spa getaway with the feel of a landed country estate. Popular with Spanish and Hollywood celebrities, it is also the stunning backdrop for the end of the day’s tour, which on most days averages out at 200 kilometres in all. 

Lunch consists of a sampling of choice local products, later also including a tasting menu of the Rio Frio caviar produced nearby, which serves as an aperitive for the gastronomic dinner specially prepared by Michelin two-star chef Pablo Gonzalez. The evocative ambience of the evening will also provide the setting for a private flamenco show that concludes day three of the grand tour.

May 28th 

As your weekend begins, the participants in the Marbella Grand Prix will be enjoying a leisurely breakfast amid the magnificent natural scenery of La Bobadilla. They will open their powerful cars up on the motorway, travelling between mountain peaks and passing traditional villages on the way to Málaga, the coast and Marbella, where they will be let into the harbour parking to add further lustre to the yachts moored along the quay. The gathering of 20 luxury sports cars in such an iconic spot will certainly produce some photographic opportunities as the drivers and their partners relax at a private cocktail party and lunch in the port. 

Saturday evening is spent at the Las Dunas 5*GL Health & Spa, a luxurious health-based beachside hotel and spa where the fellow travellers will stay after a memorable barbecue dinner and white party at the Polynesian-inspired Tikitano restaurant right upon the sands of a panoramic curve in the shoreline. From here, the eye traces it all the way past Estepona to Gibraltar and Africa, behind which the setting sun will create a spectacular backdrop for the party and glamorous conclusion to the first edition of the Marbella Grand Prix – a style-studded event that takes in many of the finest elements of this region within a full yet leisurely four-day programme.

The inaugural version of hopefully many more Grand Prix to come, the Marbella GP brings international refinement to Marbella and helps to solidify its position on the map for luxury motoring events – a factor further aided by the engrossing scenery and luxury diversions of Marbella and its Andalusian interior. For those interested in taking part there is still an opportunity to join the select grouping of luxury car owners about to embark upon a lifetime experience or to participate in the closing party at Tikitano.  More information by email.

First published in Essential Magazine

Images: Shutterstock

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