If you like mansions with a country-chic vibe nestled in the hills between mountain scenery and the famous shoreline of Marbella, chances are you will like this wonderful blend of Los Angeles and the French Riviera.

One of the most iconic drives in the Marbella area is the route that flows uphill from the little town of San Pedro Alcántara into the mountain range of the Serranía de Ronda. A little over half an hour distant is the elegant country town of Ronda, itself a historic gem, but long before you arrive there your attention will be captured by a series of luxurious country clubs set within the wooded scenery of the foothills. One of the finest of these is El Madroñal, the epitome of high-end-meets-rustic-chic living in Marbella.

This secluded community that was once a private domain and before that part of an expansive hunting estate is a gated residential area covering a total of 223 hectares. El Madroñal is divided into six different sections, each with its own secure gated entrance. The plot sizes here are large, as are the properties that stand upon a minimal acreage of 2,600 square metres, and lack of density, space and abundant natural beauty are three of the main characteristics of life here.

Marbella areas to discover: El Madroñal

Spectacular scenery

Perhaps the most outstanding characteristic of all, however, are the views, as El Madroñal occupies a hillside location with some of the finest country and sea views on the entire Costa del Sol. The typical terrace or infinity edge pool here allows you to survey open greenery, rolling wooded hills, eagles soaring overhead in the deep blue skies, and down the hillside slope towards Marbella and the shoreline with the sea, Gibraltar and North Africa in the distance.

Sense of arrival is another key feature here, where the large landed villas are reached after a drive through private nature and spectacular views. Marbella and the coast are little more than ten minutes away, and the nearest golf course just five minutes, but from this location you’d think you’re in the middle of the Andalusian countryside.

Marbella areas to discover: El Madroñal

A favourite with popstars

Little is it known, but among these grand exclusive estates surrounded by large gardens and private sections of nature, there is a villa with a professional recording studio where the likes of Mariah Carey, Bjork and Kylie Minogue have recorded new material on many occasions? The setting in a sheltered location among peaceful nature makes each of the villas – regardless of architectural style and specifications – a resort in its own right, and therefore a favourite of recording stars.

Former producer Trevor Morais was one among several famous international stars and celebrities who owned here, as El Madroñal offers the space and privacy they demand, yet in a beautiful setting close to the jet-set amenities of Marbella.

In recent times, modern mansions have been added to the more classic rustic-chic properties that took root here since the private community evolved from a personal estate in the 1980s, but irrespective of the design style an El Madroñal villa provides the owner with a particular sense of space, comfort and refinement that brings a touch of the French Riviera to Marbella.

Marbella areas to discover: El Madroñal