With news channels full of the Spanish Government’s efforts to ensure the beaches and hotels are open in time for the summer season, it is easy to forget that Marbella (and the Costa del Sol) has so much more to offer than sun, sand and sea. It is not by accident that Marbella, consistently holds the top spot as one of the world’s most popular destinations.
So, if you were planning to take a whistle stop tour, what should you do to get a taste of Marbella’s many different facets? Undoubtedly there is a plethora of stunning beaches blessed with fine golden sand and the clear blue Mediterranean Sea, but there are also Michelin starred restaurants, for example homegrown culinary star Dani Garcia boasts 3 Michelin stars, and of course there are multiple historic sites which pay testament to the area’s Moorish history, the most famous of which is Marbella’s Old Town.
If you want to make a big splash on your first night you could head to Puerto Banús, the glitzy marina awash with super yachts and lined with designer stores, restaurants and bars. Take it slow with a spot of people watching or get into the party spirit when the sun goes down.
If you fancy seeing a little more of a traditional bustling Spanish village you could head to San Pedro de Alcántara, a bustling busy town just a few minutes’ drive to the west of Puerto Banús, where you’ll find shaded plazas and narrow streets packed with Mom and Pop independent stores and eateries. The main pedestrianised boulevard is lined with inviting cafes, where a cold drink can be enjoyed as you watch the world go by. Alternatively head to one of the many unpretentious chiringuitos like El Abrevadero on the paseo for some tasty tapas or mouth-watering paella.
Take a trip slightly inland to discover the impossibly cute whitewashed village of Benahavis for a huge helping of Moorish flavour and a feeling that time has somehow stood still. You will be wowed by vistas and the sheer number of charming restaurants. Take care, favourites like Los Abanicos get full very quickly, which is not surprising when you consider the generous portions and friendly staff.
Why not round off your whirlwind visit with a relaxing visit to Marbella’s old town. The fortified Moorish surrounding the town is clearly visible, providing an insight into the fascinating history. When in the Old Town, everyone should enjoy a leisurely breakfast or lunch in one of the many restaurants, cafes and bars in the Plaza de los Naranjos, and while away the time under the dappled shade of the orange trees.
Once you have visited Marbella, the only question is when will you return and what will you see next?
Calle Malaga, 15, Benahavis
952 85 50 22
Chiringito EL Abrevadero
1 Av. Del Mar Mediterraneo
BiBo Dani Garcia
Hotel Puento Romano
Av Bulevar Principe Alfonso de Hohenlohe