Come to the Costa del Sol for spiritual enlightenment!
Published on: 14-02-2018

There are sure to be many people reading the title of our latest blog and scratching their heads – Marbella as a centre of spiritual enlightenment? A centre of entertainment, surely?! There are bars, restaurants and nightclubs to suit every taste and budget.

Marbella is so much more than this, however. As the 2000s progress, the growth in wellness and spiritual movements has moved from fringe, hippy communities of the last century to the mainstream. Vegan restaurants are no longer a novelty and millions of yoga and meditation classes are available on YouTube at the touch of a button.

As a sophisticated, modern town with an affluent, educated population, Marbella has not been slow to react to this trend towards a more contemplative existence. Within the past few years, yoga studios have sprung up along the coast to cater to this popular trend, with many different forms of this spiritual exercise being practised including Bikram, or Hot Yoga, as well as more traditional forms.

Taking the spiritual quest one step further is Shanti-Som, a beautiful retreat in the hills above the Marbella coastline. It is a perfect environment for meditation, relaxation or even rejuvenation. Shanti-Som can offer a wide range of treatments such as ayurvedic massage or Reiki healing as well as more traditional yoga, Pilates or personal training sessions. Their retreats promise a ‘sanctuary for the soul’ in the beautiful surroundings of the Andalusian pine forest.

Perhaps the ultimate in personal spiritual journeys can be found at the Stupa of Enlightenment in Benalmádena, a Buddhist monument to peace, prosperity and world harmony. The word ‘stupa’ comes from the Sanskrit word for ‘to heap’ or ‘to pile up’ reflecting the origins of the Buddhist centre of worship as a covered set of relics of the Buddha. The largest stupa in Europe, this impressive structure measures 30 metres in height and is unusual in that it offers almost 100 square metres of meditation space inside.

This is a small window into a side of Marbella that many don’t even realise exists. Along with the beauty of the landscape away from the busy coast, there is a peaceful, meditative culture that is thriving and expanding every year.