Malaga travel tips

Marbella: The heart of Costa del Sol

Marbella is the biggest city in Costa del Sol and the second largest in the province of Malaga after Malaga city. It’s famous for being a beach resort for jetsetters, millionaires and celebrities; but there is much more to Marbella than that. The tourism infrastructure is developed and diverse, so you can find services for your every need.

History of Marbella

Marbella was a small fishing village until the mid-20th century, when a few Spanish Aristocrats started building summer resorts for themselves and their acquaintances. Names like Rothschild, Bismark, Thyssen-Bornemisza are no stranger to the town.

Later on (promoted by dictator Francisco Franco) Puerto Banus was built. Famous people like Grace Kelly and Rainier of Monaco, Julio Iglesias, Sean Connery and Arab monarchs like King Fahd of Saudi Arabia became regulars of the fast-growing city. It is estimated that between 1950 and 2001 the population of Marbella grew by 897%.

By fernando0 – Flickr, CC BY-SA 2.0

Nowadays, urban development has been more regulated as to avoid over-exploitation and the loss of the local flora and fauna.

The city

Marbella is bordered by coastal mountains to the north which provide great views of the city and the Mediterranean Sea. These mountains have very little urban development, so they preserve the local flora and fauna of the region. In the city, green spaces are made up mostly by the many golf courses available (currently 32 courses and driving ranges).

West of Marbella is neighboring town of Estepona, and to the east Mijas. In both these towns there are many parks and attractions to make your stay even more interesting if you run out of things to do in Marbella.

Picture by Herry Lawford – CC 2011

Within Marbella, you have plenty of places to visit both in the summer and the less warm months of the year (wink at the great temperatures throughout the year). The historic center, is great for a late afternoon walk, enjoying the smell of orange blossom and jasmine during spring time. Get lost in the crooked little streets, remnants of the Arab heritage of southern Spain and take a few pictures of the small balconies decorated with geraniums in the most traditional Andalusian style.

What to do

You can do great shopping in the newer parts of town or in one of the many shopping centers available. The Plaza del Mar located on the seafront promenade, Marina Banus, Corte Ingles and the Plaza Mayor are just a few of the great shopping centers you’ll find in Marbella.

There are many fantastic restaurants in Marbella to have a grand meal and enjoy the best dishes created by Michelin Star chefs like the Marbella-born Dani García, and other awarded restaurants like  Skina, El LagoEl Ancla in San Pedro de Alcantara is a great restaurant with views of the sea, ideal for having quality traditional seafood.

You can’t visit Marbella and not go to one of the many golf courses. Connoisseurs recommend Finca Cortesin, Santa Clara Golf and Atalaya Golf. If you are not an avid golfer, you can wait for your party relaxing in their spa, the pool or having cocktails in one of the bars. There are also many music festivals like Starlite which present world renowned artists from many different music genres. Beach parties, nightclubs, casinos and and much more complete the list of possibilities to have a wonderful time in Marbella and never get bored.

Naturally, you can go to the beach as well. There are plenty of water sports and activities for hire at the many beaches of Marbella. Stating May and until end of September you can bathe in the warm Mediterranean waters. In the area of the Congress Center, close to Dani García’s restaurant “Bibo” is our holiday apartment Mariana. Ideally located a short walk away from shops, the beach and lots of restaurants. The perfect holiday apartment to enjoy this beautiful city and have an unforgettable time.

See you in Marbella!

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