Sixth edition of Marbella 4Days Walking huge success

Hundreds of walkers celebrated the sixth edition of Marbella 4Days Walking by dancing with their family and friends at Las Terrazas del Puerto Deportivo. Sunday was the last day of the event at which every day about 1.800 participated. This was more than the organization had expected, in total 2.007 walkers and 289 children walked the routes of 20, 30 or 6 kilometers.

The event started on Thursday the 13th of October with a route that passed by Nagüeles and Puerto Banús, the walkers of the 30kms route made a detour via San Pedro de Alcántara before returning to Las Terrazas del Puerto Deportivo. In the following days the walkers saw various parts of Marbella, like Altos de Marbella, the Istán lake, Lago de Tortugas, Sierra Blanca and parts of the beach. Most of the walkers signed up for all 4 days, but especially those who reside in the province of Málaga opted for walking along 1 or 2 days. Marbella 4Days Walking ended in style on Sunday with the Via Gladiolo (the gladiolus being the roman symbol for victory). The walkers were received at this special part of the Paseo Maritimo with music, applause and flowers to accompany them on the last meters till the finish. The Dutch ambassador in Spain, Matthijs van Bonzel, also participated on Sunday and after having finished he handed out medals to those who walked all four days.

Every evening there was music and dance at the Plaza de la Iglesia in the old city centre. Walkers, tourists and inhabitants of Marbella shared some very special moments together. Saturdaynight was a good example of the fusion of cultures, the girls for the dance school of Paquita Jesús and the Dutch music band De Blaasbalgen spontaneously started performing together.

The dates for next years’ event are from 12 till 15 October, signing up is possible from the 1st of January onwards.

Start 4Days Walking

This Thursday morning 1.904 participants have started the first route of Marbella 4Days Walking. At the return to Las Terrazas del Puerto Deportivo it was time to party with the music of the bands De Blaasbalgen en ’t Jazzezz. The amount of participants has exceeded the expectations of the organization and since people are still signing up in the morning before the walks so the final amount will be even higher.

The first route went by Nagüeles and Puerto Banús, the walkers of the 30 kilometer routes also passed by San Pedro de Alcántara before returning to Las Terrazas del Puerto Deportivo. The next days the walkers will see various parts of Marbella, amongst which are Altos de Marbella, the Istán Lake, Lago de Tortugas, Sierra Blanca and several parts of the beach. The most of the participants has signed up for all four days, the walkers from the province of Málaga mostly opted for 1 or 2 days. The last day of Marbella 4Days Walking is special, the walkers will be received at the Paseo Maritimo with flowers and music. This part of the walk is called Via Gladiolo since the roman symbol for victory is the gladiolus. The ambassador of the Netherlands will also participate on Sunday and hand out the medals to those walkers who participated all four days.

Kids
On Friday it’s Day of the kids, the organization has invited a school to do one of the special kids routes. Then 250 children from Atalaya College (Estepona) will walk a 6km route. On Saturday and Sunday there are routes for children so families and sports clubs can join a healthy walk together. The start is between 11.30 and 12hrs so the children will be back more or less at the same time as the adults.

Fiestas
There is live music every day till 17hs at Las Terrazas del Puerto Deportivo. At night there are music and dance performances starting at 20.30hrs at Plaza de la Iglesia. Every day another dance school performs, followed on Thursday by the Coro Sierrablanca, on Friday by the pop group The Q and on Saturday by the municipal band.

M4DW opts for regional economy

The participants of the Marbella 4Days Walking are not only welcomed by the organization with great enthusiasm. The management team and other volunteers also welcome the thousands of extra guests who will stay for a number of days in the city. The organization has been working for years with local charities and associations. This year they will also offer products from the province of Málaga on route.

From the very first moment the intention was to stimulate and integrate the local economy into this event. The hotels, restaurants and shops are the first to notice the additional increase of customers. But also for the delivery of various other products and services we were able to attract entrepreneurs from the local region. Beyond that, the organization together with three local charities that are present during the event at the start and finish combine their great activities for the attention of the whole public. Participants can enroll if they make a donation to Aspandem, Piel de Mariposa (Debra Spain) or Triple A. The organization provides an additional 2 euros extra for each donated 10 euros.

Participants will receive bottled water from Agua de Mijas and the food truck this year in the hands of Huerta Pavon from Coin. On the menu are sandwiches of artisan’s baker that integrates products from local farmers. “The province of Malaga has a lot to offer in gastronomy. We want our participants to benefit from local entrepreneurs and involving smaller entrepreneurs into the organization of M4DW, thus we really love to stimulate the regional economy, ” said Maria Kupers, responsible for the production and communication of the event. At the start and finish square a tent is provided for the complete audience where the municipality of Marbella and Costa del Sol Turismo y Planificación provide information about the attractions in the area.

Countdown for M4DW

About 1.500 participants have signed up already to walk the routes of 20 or 30kms a day. They are coming to Marbella not only to walk but to party as well, there will be live music and dance performances in the city centre every day. The event takes place from 13 till 16 October.

Marbella 4Days Walking started in 2011 with 658 participants and has grown to be an important event for Marbella during the low season. About 80% of the participants comes from abroad and they usually bring along family and friends to enjoy a holiday. The organizers of the event are Dutch residents so they have easy access to the Dutch market where this kind of events is very popular. That is also why there are three tour operators who offer the flight, hotel and walks from the Netherlands and one who does the same for the people from Belgium. A recent worldwide campaign to promote M4DW brings for the first time bigger groups of walkers from Denmark, Estonia, Norway, Ireland and Great Britain. “Last year we had walkers from Japan and Poland and they return this year with more friends” says organiser Hans Wohl. “The event itself is the best promotion, we see that people who have participated either come back with more friends or recommend the event. That is why we see the amount of participants from certain countries growing every year.” Those who have signed up until now almost all come from other countries. Spaniards and foreign residents from the province of Málaga tend to sign up a couple of weeks before the event or even on the morning before the walk starts. There will be 19 nationalities participating this year and there are a total of 1.900 walkers and 3.000 visitors expected.

All routes start and finish at Las Terrazas del Puerto Deportivo. The walkers start between 8.30 and 9.30hrs and will have to be back before 16.30hrs. There is a different route of 20 and 30 kms every day. The routes pass through the city centre, Nagüeles, Xarblanca, Puerto Banús, San Pedro, Altos de Marbella, Nueva Andalucía and the Vía Verde. Walkers can choose the amount of days they want to participate, those who walked all 4 days will receive a medal on Sunday. On Saturday 15 and Sunday 16 of October there are special routes of 6kms for kids. There is live music at Las Terrazas del Puerto Deportivo every day till 17hrs.