Long-time pet sitter and traveller Tiera St Claire shares her tips for traveling and her favourite experiences of cat sitting in Marbella and Spain’s Costa del Sol. While describing her experiences she also share some of her favourite places to visit in Marbella and the local area. Read on to learn more …
Cat Sitting in Marbella Let Me Affordably Explore Spain’s Costa del Sol
By Tiera St Claire
Cat sitting in Marbella, Spain, on the Costa del Sol in Andalucía was one of my favourite all-time pet sitting assignments.
Andalucía is a region located in the south of Spain and is rich in culture, beauty, light and gentle living. Some of the major towns in this region are Sevilla, Malaga, Cordoba and Granada. Each town is gorgeous and has its own culture and history.
One of the things I enjoy most about cat sitting in Marbella is that each nearby town has its own character, personality and flavour. Each time I visit, I build upon my relationships with each town. It feels like a homecoming to see a good friend.
I look for neighbourhoods, buildings, cafes and shops I have loved before and delight in seeing again. I savour the changes.
I combined cat sitting in Marbella with exploring the Costa del Sol
My first trip to Marbella was with my parents when I was a teenager. I felt awkward amidst all the svelte and beautiful people at the resort where we stayed, yet I marvelled at the beauty all around me.
The next time I visited Marbella was after walking the Camino Santiago for the first time. I stayed in a little hostel in the Old Town and truly fell in love. I wandered around the winding maze of shops and cafes, basking in the warmth of the sun, of the culture and of the people.
Cat sitting in Marbella for 5 cats!
Then in 2014, I was cat sitting in Marbella. I had such a great time with 5 darling kitties. We developed a nice routine where I spent time with the darlings in the morning, feeding and playing with them.
During the afternoons when they were cat napping, I’d walk around and explore Marbella, Puerto Banus and Nueva Andalucia before returning around sunset to feed the kitties and be with them some more.
Malaga, My Jumping-Off Point
Malaga, the largest town on the Costa del Sol, has an international airport and train station. It features a harbour, a castle atop a hill from which you can see the harbour, the Picasso Museum and a plethora of outdoor cafes and boutiques.
During your visit to Malaga, you can catch a bus to the other towns dotted along the coast. The bus station is across the street from the train station. There are two options with the buses: the faster one goes along the highway and costs a little more, the slower goes through the towns.
Getting around the Costa del Sol
At the Malaga bus station, you buy the ticket at the ticket window and show it to the bus driver to enter the bus. You can also catch the bus in the towns and pay the driver directly. When I was cat sitting in Marbella it gave me an opportunity to discover a slightly wider area.
Most Spanish people will greet the bus driver before saying where they are going and paying. Why not begin with hola, buenos dias (good morning) or buenas tardes (good afternoon) as you get on? It creates that lovely warmth Spain is known for and will make your visit to Malaga more delightful.
Beaches to visit
Torremolinos and Fuengirola, not far from Malaga, have great beaches and a lot of night life and are often the destinations for those who want a beach holiday.
Mijas and Benelmadena each have two parts, the pueblo up the hill and the coastal area. Benelmadena is more upscale than Torremolinos or Fuengirola. Mijas is popular with artists for its light.
Sevilla is the birthplace of Flamenco
Sevilla, the capitol of Andalucía, is farther inland and a little to the north. It is said to be the birthplace of Flamenco. It is one of the hottest places in summer, so beware if you are sensitive to heat. You can travel to Sevilla from Malaga by train.
There is an elegance to Sevilla with its wide boulevard next to the Cathedral, an Arabic Palace, Fine Arts Museum and bridges crossing the Guadalquivir River. The Alfonso XIII is a gorgeous hotel in Sevilla, worthy of a look (or a stay if you have the means).
Tips for your visit if you’re cat sitting in Marbella
Although there are so many places to visit around Marbella, my favourite is visiting Marbella itself. I’m charmed by its pedestrian-only Old Town and bougainvillea-covered white buildings.
When the orange trees bloom in the Plaza de los Naranjos, the fragrance is intoxicating.
The sea is a short walk from the Old Town and has a boardwalk 5 km long. You can walk all the way to Puerto Banus – home to yachts and luxury shopping.
Final thoughts about Cat Sitting in Marbella
I speak pretty good Spanish and enjoy improving my language skills every time I go to Spain. However, it is easy to get along if you speak only English.
In everyday life, Spanish people often put relationships before business. It feels good to make that little connection with someone in order to experience being a part of the culture.
Again, a simple hola, buenos dias before asking for a table, a ticket or the price of those shoes you saw in the window can produce a smile and that unique warmth that is Andalucía.
Cat sitting in Andalucía can help you get that feeling. Being a cat sitter offers built-in entertainment and you have a collaborative stay helping the pet owner in exchange for free accommodation. House and pet sitting can be great fun. Then you can sample a little of Spanish life in this wonderful destination!
Tiera St Claire has been pet sitting full time for 18 years. Originally from the States, she spends most of her time travelling in Europe and the UK where she loves caring for animals and the homes they live in.
She enjoys beautiful cities, walking the Camino Santiago in Spain, photography and train travel. She is a Human Design teacher. She vlogs about her house sitting travels on her YouTube channel.
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