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Peter Charon on the Costa del Sol

Memories and good times in and around Andalucia Spain from early childhood up until the present...and beyond.

Peter Charon - Images of Andalucia - Mijas Pueblo
19 June 2015

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Peter Charon - Images of Andalucia - Lunch in Benahavis
19 June 2015

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Peter Charon - Images of Andalucia - Sunset from the Terrace at El Campanario
19 June 2015

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Golf Courses Near El Campanario
19 June 2015

Andalucía is one of Europe’s most popular golfing destinations, with over 100 courses. The enviable climate and choice of golf courses in stunning locations with spectacular sea and mountain views, make it a firm favourite with golfing enthusiasts from all over Europe and beyond.

El Campanario is perfectly situated for golf lovers, with several of the most popular and exclusive golf clubs located within easy reach. Here are just a few.

El Campanario

El Campanario is a very gentle  9-hole, par 3, Pitch & Putt golf course, designed by Manuel Pinero. Perfect for all levels of players. It is also the first Footgolf court in Marbella, a new sport for the whole family. Dedicated instructors can provide golf lessons for children and adults of all capabilities.

More seriously…….

Los Flamingos Golf Resort

Designed by the renowned architect Antonio Garcia Garrido, this 18 hole, par-71 course is set in beautiful natural surroundings on the Mediterranean coast, making it a joy to play!

The course’s manicured greens are abundant in size and its fairways of mixed width, making some a real challenge, where precision is vital.

In its short history, Flamingos Golf Club has already achieved well-deserved international renown for the high level of quality it offers and has hosted prestigious tournaments such as the European Seniors Championship in 2002, 2003, 2004 and the 2010 Spanish Women’s Open.

Los Naranjos Golf Resort – Nueva Andalucia

Los Naranjos is a typical Robert Trent Jones Sr. design with generous fairways and strategically placed bunkers and water hazards. The greens, with Penn A4-grass, are spacious and slightly undulated. The tees are long and have four markers: red, yellow, white and black with course lengths starting from 5.131 metres and reaching 6.532 metres at its longest. Since the opening in 1977, Los Naranjos has been the host of several mayor competitions, including the Spanish Open, and is ranked one of the best golf courses in Spain. In 2005 and again in 2008 Los Naranjos was voted Course of the year on the Costa del Sol.

Marbella Golf and Country Club - Marbella

The course is situated in the Marbella hills, and is tucked away in and in a charming location . Reputedly good fairways and greens which are maintained well throughout the day. There is a fine driving range located close to first tee. A buggy is strongly recommended.    

El Paraiso

Designed by Gary Player in 1973, El Paraiso is one of the more established courses on the Costa del Sol and is just a 10 minute drive from El Campanario.

Surrounded by hills, trees and plants with magnificent views of the coast, El Paraiso achieves a content and peaceful atmosphere. This lovely 18 holes course, with its strategically positioned lakes and bunkers, helps provide an enjoyable challenge and a rewarding experience for golfers of all abilities.

Los Arqueros Golf & Country Club

Designed by Seve Ballesteros, Los Arqueros is set in rolling foot hills of Benahavís, only 10 minutes drive from El Campanario. Encompassed by magnificent views of the sea and mountains, Los Arqueros is a course which will challenge players of all levels, with every hole different to the last. The clever design creates a course which follows the contours of the land and blends in with the natural surroundings, making your visit an unforgettable experience.


Peter Charon owns a lovely 2 bedroom 2 Bathroom Apartment at El Campanario which is available for rental all year round. Special rates out of season for golfers are available.

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The best places to eat around El Campanario Golf & Country Club
16 June 2015

Actually, there is nothing at all wrong with the Restaurant and Bar at El Campanario itself. They have regular live entertainment throughout the year, obviously more often and more varied in high season. At 25 Euro for a 3 course meal it is pretty good value and the ambiance is very nice. It’s not haute cuisine but it’s incredibly convenient if you happen to be staying at an apartment (like ours!) in the resort! No taxis to worry about, just a very short walk. It’s also a lovely place to go for a drink before dinner with the golf course as a backdrop.

Still walking distance, just a little farther along past the entrance to the Monte Biarritz Urbanisation is a very nice typical Italian family – run restaurant called Capannia. Out of all our local restaurants where we can walk from our apartment, this is our favourite. The food is always very fresh, and yes, a little on the expensive side. But as always, you get what you pay for, and this is top notch. Plus, if you happen to like zabaglione as a desert, I can honestly say that the one they do here is exceptional. Its 12 Euros – last time we went was in March 2015, and that was for my wife and I to share – but the flavour, heady with Marsala, and consistency, was amazing. A must.

The nearest Indian which we would highly recommend is Masala, in the El Pilar Urbanisation. It is always consistent, and very good value. Less than 5 minutes by car.

By car, within 5 -6 minutes, we recently found another typical restaurant, this time Spanish, called El Legado, in Cancelada. Don’t be put off by the rather dated décor. This is a firm favourite with the British Ex-Pat community living in the area – perhaps something to do with the 15 Euro (I think) 2 course dinner! Very reasonable and great portions, just like the old days. We splurged and had the chateaubriand for two – it was superb, perfectly cooked and at 45 Euro, very good value – we just couldn’t finish it all! Another favourite with the Brits has to be Cocomo – adjacent to the Robin Hood Bar and Restaurant and the recently rebadged Estepona Senator Hotel – same side as the Marriott Playa Andaluza Resort. Cocomo’s traditional Sunday Lunch is very popular, they have three sittings I think and you need to make a reservation.

This is just a handful of local restaurants that are easily accessible from El Campanario.

Next time I will share some lovely restaurants a little farther afield, as in Benahavis, the “Gourmet Capital of The Costa Del Sol”

Peter Charon and his wife Sue own a two bedroom vacation apartment available for rent all year round in El Campanario -

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Peter Charon Monkey on the Rock!
16 June 2015



Definitely not Peter Charon age 5!

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Peter Charons Paella Recipe
16 June 2015

Everyone knows there are endless variations of Paella, but this is my take on the classic - from Valencia. It's a bit extravagant, but well worth it. Plus, it keeps for a couple of days in the fridge and I think the flavours improve after 24 hours...

ingredients for 4 - 6 people

1 x 1 1/2 lb cooked lobster, shell split, claws cracked and grey sac removed.

1 x 2lb chicken, cut into legs and thighs and breasts cut into mouth sized chunks

1 x chorizo sausage, sliced about 1/2 in thick

3 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1 White onion, thinly sliced

2 garlic cloves

8oz tin canned, peeled tomatoes, drained

1 red pepper, seeded and pith removed, chopped

1 - 2 Large King Prawns per person

3/4 lb Shrimp

1 bag of mussels, cleaned

12 oz long grain rice, washed and soaked in cold water and drained

8oz green peas, frozen is fine

1/4 teaspoon saffron soaked in 4oz warm water 

salt and pepper

Lemon juice from 1 lemon

1 pint chicken stock, a cube is fine, but low salt if possible

Glass of dry white wine, preferably Rioja

Chopped parsley and lemon wedges

Secret ingredient - sachet of either Sazon Goya or El Unico Paellero!


Remove the lobster meat from the shell and claws and cut in approx 1-inch pieces. Put to one side.

Ideally in a large round paella pan, or failing that a large deep frying-pan, heat the olive oil. When it is hot, add the chorizo sausage and fry for a few minutes and remove using a slotted spoon. Set aside. Then fry the chicken in the same pan, turning regularly, until all of the sides are evenly browned and no more blood is oozing out. Add the chicken pieces to the chorizo. Keep warm.

Put the onion and garlic into the pan and stir fry on a gentle heat. When the onion is soft, add the tomatoes, red pepper, and seasoning, including a sachet of the secret ingredient! Cook over a moderate heat for about 10 minutes, and the mixture will thicken.

Now add the rice, fry for about 3 minutes, stirring frequently. Then add the chicken stock, white wine, saffron water and lemon juice so that the rice is completely covered. Bring to the boil. Turn down the heat to a simmer and add the peas. Then return the chicken pieces and chorizo and cook for about 15 minutes. Stir occasionally to make sure the mixture does not stick to the bottom of the pan. Finally, add the lobster meat, prawns, shrimp and mussels and cook for about 5 more minutes or until the chicken is completely cooked through and all of the cooking liquids have been absorbed by the rice.

Remove the pan from the heat. Sprinkle over the chopped parsley, and decorate with plenty of lemon wedges.

Serve at once...with some chilled white wine. Delicious!

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Early memories
16 June 2015

I first went to Spain when I was about 5! That's a long, long time ago. I went with my mum. She had friends who had an apartment in Sotogrande. We flew to Gibralter with BEA - British European Airways. I remember vividly that my mum was nervous about arriving late - I wasn't sure why at the time - but there was a good reason - in those days the border was shut at 11pm - and our friends were waiting for us on the "other side" - La Linea. We just made it.

I think we stayed for about 2 weeks. Even from an early age I was an adventurous eater! I loved Paella the first time I ate it and I still do. But one of the oddest things I remember was that I could buy a long stick of black licquorice for 5 pesetas. I honestly don't know what that would be in Euros today, but not a lot. And I used to stay up so late, way beyond my normal bedtime at home. We went to restaurants at 10.30pm - and there were so many younger Spanish children - running around, having fun, and no-one seemed to mind. Spanish people are very family orientated.

Somewhere I have a photo of me holding a monkey on the Rock! Even though it was more than 50 years ago I remember going there and holding that monkey. Now where is that photo?

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