The resort of Marbella is the first choice of the rich and famous! The resort is large and stylish, with around 28 km of beaches and set against the stunning backdrop of the La Concha mountain, and is an interesting mix of old and new, with stylish apartments lining the seafont, and typical Andalusian houses along the picturesque alleys of the old town. One of the most popular areas to visit is the beautiful Plaza de los Naranjos (Orange Square) in the old quarter, beautiful when the orange blossoms giving the square its name are in bloom. Marbella’s main boulevard is home to many stylish boutiques and shops, whilst the gardens at Parque de la Alameda make a nice place to sit and relax – dedicated to the artist Salvador Dali, there are copies of his sculptures along it’s length and leading down to the promenade.
The Marbella Coastline is legendary, and offers an outstanding selection of beaches, stretching for over 25km – many of the best beaches are close to central Marbella, lined with a boardwalk which is known locally as the Paseo Maritimo. One of Marbella’s premier beaches, Fontanilla Beach, is well maintained and has excellent facilities, including bars, beach chairs and umbrellas, lifeguards and a nearby Marina. Fontanilla Beach is known for its extremely dark and unusual sand.Known for its extensive selection of water sports, including both surfing and windsurfing, Guadalmina Beach is close to Marbella’s historic San Pedro area. Without doubt one of the best beaches in the Marbella area, Nagueles Beach is lined by the Paseo Maritimo Boardwalk with a number of nearby Hotels and beach clubs. Pedalos are available for hire and the beach is particularly popular with surfers.
Marbella boasts an excellent selection of restaurants, which serve everything from tapas to pizza and top quality international cuisine, and if you are a fish lover you will not be disappointed with the wide variety of fish available in this area of Andalusia ranging from mixed fried fish, grilled or marinated fish, anchovies, red mullet, squid and sardines. The region is well known also for its variety of cold vegetable soups – ‘gazpachos’, and a mouthwatering array of fresh fruit. The restaurants in the old town of Marbella are a great place to go after some boutique shoping, and a visit to the fishing port in Marbella to try sardines on a spit or fresh salads and delicious fish
There are a number of water parks along the Costa del Sol, one within easy reach of most places is Torremolinos Aquapark, with probably one of the highest water toboggans in Europe at over 22 metres high, as well as an assortment of water slides, a wave pool, tropical lagoon and sunbathing areas. The Costa del Sol is famed for its tremendous number of Golf courses, too numerous to mention. For great shopping opportunities, there are a number of shopping Malls within an easy drive, although best holiday buys are local handicrafts, including lace, colourful ceramics and basketware – you will always find plenty of choice in the craft shops in the mountain villages. Most major resorts along the Coast have a morning market once a week, and Marbella has a market on a Monday by the Football Stadium, whilst that at Puerto Banus is on a Saturday near the Bullring at the top end of the old town.
Places to Visit
Malaga is the Capital of the Costa del Sol, and well worth a visit, a bustling city with the old and new meeting to form the backbone of the shopping area and the thriving nightlife. The narrow side streets form an interesting maze of alleys crammed with tapas bars and bodegas. The painter Pablo Picasso was born in the City and today his house is a popular tourist attraction. Andalusia is famous for its ‘white villages’ and just a short drive away is Mijas, which is famously recognised as being one of the finest examples. It still has much of its charm with its little whitewashed houses perched on the hillside. Its narrow streets are restricted to pedestrians and donkeys (who act as taxis). The higher you go in the town the quieter it becomes as the streets turn into flights of steps, and the cheaper the cars restaurants and bars are!