"Istan and the Sierra de las Nieves." Istán by Beach_dog

Istán Travel Guide: 21 reviews and 24 photos

I had been curious about this small town that is not far from Marbella for a while. Only one road leads there and it is only 15 kilometers from Marbella. On a fine, sunny Sunday in May, I decided to take a drive up to the town. Taking the N-340 west out of Marbella, I turned right onto the Istan road just before reaching Puerto Banus. The roads winds its way up through the hills in a series of bends, some quite dramatic, so if you are visiting take the road slowly. Although not a great distance it took me 45 minutes to reach Istan, mainly because there are ample places to stop and take in the views and panoramas. Being May the roadsides were also lined with wild flowers.

Istan itself was quite a surprise, bigger than I had imagined and very well cared for by its residents. Perched on a small plateau, the mountains to the east and north and a steep drop down to the river to its west. There were a lot of surprises too, much more to see than I had first thought, the village well, the church, even the cemetary was worth seeing. There is a Mirador (panoramic viewpoint) on a small hill to the east of the town, offering great views up and down the valley. I also walked down towards the river, through the Orange orchards and the outlying agricultural land. The town is a great starting point for walks in the Sierra de las Nieves natural park, it is located on the southern boundary of the park.

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:Istan offers a lot to interest you for a half day outing.
  • Cons:Awkward access road, take care driving.
  • In a nutshell:I´m surprised Istan is not more visited than it is, lying so close to Marbella.
  • Last visit to Istán: May 2004
  • Intro Updated May 9, 2016
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Reviews (20)

Comments (2)

  • Mar 4, 2012 at 7:53 AM

    How easy is it to get a taxi ? Are roads to Istan considered 'treacherous'?

    • Jan 11, 2013 at 10:14 AM

      Don't try to drive to Monda from Istan! The road is treachorous, we turned back after a few hundred yards. Istan is a beautiful place though

  • LoriPori's Profile Photo
    Apr 11, 2005 at 12:13 PM

    What a lovely town! Love the main page with the red flowers and the white village above. Perhaps the next time we are in Spain, we can go there. Hint. Hint. Hugs, Lori.


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