A scenic 40-minute drive west of Malaga along Costa del Sol takes you to Marbella, Spain’s ritziest and most cosmopolitan seaside resort. Here, luxury designer stores line the streets, glistening yachts crowd the harbours, and the rich and famous holidaying in the luxury villas of Marbella dance the night away in fashionable clubs.
With the Sierra Blanca mountains looming in the background and the gleaming blue waters of the Mediterranean lapping at its shores, Marbella is not short of natural charms either. Thanks to its superb setting between mountains and sea, the resort enjoys an exceptional year-round micro-climate with pleasant summers, mild winters and an average of 320 days of bright sunshine a year.
Boasting fine golden sands and beautiful azure waters, Marbella’s beaches are reputed to be among the best on Costa del Sol, with 7 of them awarded Blue Flag status for cleanliness and amenities.
Approximately 6 km south-west of Marbella, in the area called Nueva Andalucía, Puerto Banus is Spain’s glitziest marina. With its striking Mediterranean architecture and enclave of upmarket shops, bars and restaurants, it’s not hard to see why the smart set has fallen for its charms.
In the heart of Marbella, the Arab-flavoured Old Town known as Casco Antiguo, feels a world away from the glitz of Puerto Banus and the bustling shores of Costa del Sol. To get a real taste of Andalucia, take a walk around its narrow whitewashed alleyways adorned with flowers and distinctive shops and then stop for a coffee and a spontaneous flamenco show at one of the terrazas in the charming Plaza de los Naranjos.