If the Costa del Sol, the sunny coastline along the province of Malaga, in Spain’s southern Mediterranean coast is a very privileged place indeed, with its 150 kilometres of Mediterranean shoreline and its mild and sunny climate; Marbella, the jewel in the crown of one of the world’s most famous tourist playgrounds, is in a league of its own. Its enviable location, wedged between the mountains of Sierra Blanca and the sparkling blue waters of the Mediterranean bestow it with a unique micro climate all of its own. It is no wonder that under these remarkable blessings of nature, Marbella flourished into the coastal leisure resort and golfing paradise that it is today.
Until the 1950’s, Marbella, although steeped in the history of the various civilizations which had left their mark in the town, Phoenicians, Romans, Visigoths and Moslems, was a small whitewashed fishing village. Today, partially flanked on one of its sides by an old Arab wall, oblivious to the glitzy, glamorous, modern resort city which has grown almost protectively around its ancient nucleus, lies the old town; immaculate in the blinding whiteness of its walls, colourful and fragrant from the blooms adorning the windows, balconies and facades of its narrow cobbled streets lined with restaurants, cafes and boutiques. At the heart of this charming labyrinth lies Orange Square, a plaza planted with fragrant orange trees and colourful flowers surrounded by whitewashed houses and historical buildings dating back to the 15th century.
Towards the middle of the last century, investors realised the true potential of Marbella. Endowed with sun, sea, picturesque inland villages, friendly locals, culture, the delights of Mediterranean cuisine and the abundance of fresh produce and seafood, added to the passion and colour of its folklore; all the ingredients were there to create a leisure haven. It was not long before Marbella became a favourite with the wealthy and noble families of Northern Europe, the rich Arab nations and famous Hollywood celebrities. It soon became a playground for the rich and famous with a large concentration of world class golf courses, luxury hotels and resorts and luxurious cruise ships and yachts berthed in its marina.
Puerto Banus is Marbella’s picturesque marina, which is filled with multi- million dollar yachts. It’s a playground for the rich and famous, and until quite recently was extremely exclusive as it was a favourite hangout for royalty and other dignitaries. It isn’t difficult to spot celebrities whilst strolling in Puerto Banus.
Puerto Banus has a wealth of pubs, clubs, restaurants, as well as world class shopping facilities and casinos. All of the designer names have a place in Puerto Banus, although you can also find the traditional, smaller boutique style Spanish shops. The beach at Puerto Banus is 1 km. in length and is a very popular fine sandy beach with all facilities and amenities as well as Jet Ski hire and many other water sports.
The The Urban Villa is a small boutique hotel with 6 suites, a swimming pool and a terrace offering spectacular panoramic views over Marbella, the coast and the surrounding coutryside.
The Parador Malaga Golf is a 4 star contemporary Parador with 88 rooms, a restaurant, an outdoor swimming pool, tennis courts and an 18-hole golf course.
The Hotel Claude Marbella is a 3 star boutique hotel with 7 rooms located in a 17th-century building, near Plaza de los Naranjos, in the historical centre of Marbella.
Marbella boasts 30 km. of beaches, spanning from Guadalmina in the west to Las Chapas in the east. The beaches range from pebbly, through dark sandy, to fine golden sand, but generally are all very well appointed, offering excellent services. The best beaches in the area are those located to the east of the city such as Las Chapas, Artola, Cabopino and Calahonda. These beaches are all fine golden sand, have a variety of sporting activities on offer and a wide dining and wining selection. Cabopino is the only nudist beach in the area.
The beaches located within the Marbella urban nucleus are all quite busy in the summer months; these are all dark sandy beaches with beach bars, restaurants, sun lounges, beach umbrellas, showers, and many other services and amenities.
The city beach in the San Pedro district to the west of Marbella is dark sandy with some rocks, it has a magnificent promenade. It has beach bars, restaurants, showers, public toilets and access for the disabled, parking is no problem and the beach is moderately busy.
Costa Del Golf
With its excellent sunny weather allowing golfers to play all year round, the Costa del Sol has become the Costa del Golf, with 60 impressive golf courses located between Malaga and Sotogrande. There are world famous courses such as Valderrama and La Quinta. With its excellent courses located in stunning locations, Marbella attracts the international golfing elite.
The Marbella Golf and Country Club, considered one of the top courses in Spain, is just five minutes away from the city centre, designed by Robert Trent Jones senior, it is a 6, 000 metre long 18 hole links course with a par of 72 with a stunning mountain backdrop. The Atalaya Golf and Country Club is the official headquarters of the European PGA. It is composed of two 18 hole par 72 courses, its fairways are guarded by eucalyptus, olive and pine trees. Marbella is by far the most popular golfing destination in Spain with a wealth of impressive courses along the Costa del Sol.
The sun shines upon Marbella for over 330 days a year, almost guaranteeing that if you holiday in the area around the summer months, you will not catch one single day of grey cloudy skies. Summers are long with mild, pleasant temperatures all year round, rarely rising above 30ºC during the hottest months of July and August or falling below 13ºC during the coldest months, when the rest of Europe is braving rain and snow. Most of the rainfall falls between the months of November and February.