The playground to the rich and famous, this is just one of the most common descriptions Marbella receives from travel experts and guide books. Located in Spain’s Costa del Sol, Marbella did not really start out as a glamorous town. It was once a small fishing village that soon became popular due to its pristine sandy stretches and beautiful coastal scenery. These days, cosmopolitan beach resorts, world class restaurants and fashionable shops populate Marbella, to advocate the glamorous lifestyle that attract many visitors from all over the world.
However, this Spanish town is not all about glamor and class. It also treasures history by preserving its old quarter, whose design is greatly influenced by Andalusian and Moorish architecture. While here, you can get lost through cobbled streets and enjoy small plazas and old houses with charming balconies. There are plenty of things to see, and of course buy, like handmade wares and accessories from local craft shops. Plaza de los Naranjos is one of the most popular squares in the Old Town, mainly due to its striking appearance. Aside from strolling through the pretty orange trees adorning the plaza, you can also visit the 16th century town hall and tourist office.
You will not run out of things to do in Marbella. You can charter a yacht and discover what this part of the Mediterranean Sea has to offer; or rent a car to explore the region’s gorgeous coastal motorway. Organized tours and buggy safari excursions are also viable options. But if all you really long for is that laidback and serene vacation, the beaches are always there at your disposal.
Marbella boasts a coastline that stretches approximately 27 kilometers, and is adorned with 24 beaches. Some of these beaches have been awarded the prestigious Blue Flag distinction (certification by the Foundation for Environmental Education that a beach or marina meets its stringent standards). Most of them have basic amenities such as public toilets, showers, sun loungers and lifeguards.
The eastern coast of Marbella has more sandy beaches than the pebbly ones. Playa del Alicate and Playa de la Fontanilla are a couple of the most frequented sandy stretches in the area. Local people tend to distinguish the beaches based on the beach bar (chiringuito), or beach clubs that can be found there. If fine dining and the luxury beach club service is what you are looking for, head out to spots like Sala Beach and Nikki Beach.
Like other sports enthusiasts who visit here, you can also challenge your golfing skills at the town’s top class courses, some of which were designed by the top golfers in the world. Overall, there about 40 golf courses spread throughout the Costa del Sol region. For people who do not mind hiking, the Golden Mile is the perfect attraction. This walking stretch measures four miles and connects Marbella and Puerto Banús. While completing the Golden Mile, you will treated to the sight of some of the most upscale mansions and houses in Marbella. This is also the home of some notable lodging establishments like the Puente Romano Hotel and Hotel Marbella Club.
The dining experience in this Spanish town promises to be memorable especially if you allocate an ample budget for it! Dine while overlooking the sea at one of the beachfront bars, or try out some of the Michelin-starred restaurants run by prominent chefs in the region! Marbella will certainly make you want to return soon!