Marbella, the second most populous city in the province of Málaga, is known as the capital of Costa del Sol. Sheltered from the cold north winds by the hills of Sierra Blanca, Marbella presents a large gap between the north and the south, thus providing an impressive and unparalleled views of sea and mountains from almost every point of the city, and a vast green landscape of many and varied species of flora.
Its 27 km of coastline are the center of a huge bay of sandy and clean beaches, more extensive to the east, preserving in the easternmost zone the protected area of Dunas de Artola, declared Natural Monument of Andalucia in 2001.
Phoenician in origin, as attested by the deposits of the Rio Real, this small fishing village experienced an unstoppable touristic development since the end of World War II when Ricardo Soriano Scholtz von Hermensdorff, Marquis of Ivanrey, promoted this destination among his rich and famous friends. These steps were followed by his nephew Alfonso de Hohenlohe and other European members of renowned families, turning Marbella into a meeting point of the international jet set.
Puerto Banus is the symbol of luxury and glamour in Marbella. This marina associates boutiques of the most important fashion brands worldwide, and is a getaway for famous people in the world of art, politics, sports, and for members of the great royal houses worldwide. In recent years, thanks to technological development and improvement of its infrastructure, Marbella has become not only a destination for sun and sand, but also a city capable of hosting major international events like the International Film Festival, and sports tournaments such as Volvo Match Play and Andalucia Tennis Experience.
In addition to landmarks which you cannot miss, Marbella offers lovely less crowded places, perfect to get away.
The Old Town is one of the most beautiful historical districts and the best preserved in Andalucia. Within the old walled enclosure of the sixteenth century, there is the Castle (X century) - the only building that endured the Muslim era. The intense commercial life offers varied establishments among the narrow cobbled streets and white balconies covered with bougainvillea and geraniums.
The famous Plaza de los Naranjos, of Renaissance origin, is the heart of the Old Town. We recommend that you take a walk on a warm summer night and find delight in the orange blossom.
Nearby, you will find la Iglesia de la Encarnación (The Church of the Incarnation- XVII century), the San Juan de Dios Chapel, the Santo Cristo de la Vera Cruz Chapel and the Bazán Hospital (XVI century) which houses the Museum of Contemporary Spanish Engraving since 1992, first of its kind with a rich archive of authors such as Miro, Picasso, Tapies and Chillida.
The Cultural Center Cortijo de Miraflores and its archaeological exhibition, the Ralli Museum and the archaeological sites of the Villa Romana de Rio Verde and the early Christian basilica of Vega del Mar are sensible options for a cultural visit.
Avenida del Mar, located along Paseo de la Alameda, is a garden route with fountains between the Old Town and the sea, and the permanent exhibition of outdoor sculptures of the famous artist Salvador Dali.
Benahavis, a mountain village with typical white houses is located only about 7 km from the coast. This is where the Natural Monument of Las Angosturas is located - a very narrow canyon the river Guadalmina passes through. The wide range of restaurants have earned it the label of "Gastronomic Corner of the Costa del Sol."
Many artists and bull fighters were born less than 60 km away, in the historical town of Ronda, cut by the deep pit dug by the river Guadalevín and the New Bridge crossing it, making it a unique city. Take a walk through the old Arab medina and the Alameda del Tajo, which invite you to admire corners and monumental works.
Marbella is divided into 26 beaches of golden or dark sand and moderate waves. In the east, you will find wide beaches of golden sand, like those in Los Monteros, Pinomar, Las Chapas and the natural protected area of Dunas de Artola, near the port of Cabopino.
The beaches of Venus, el Faro and la Fontanilla, located under the promenade and next to the Marina of Marbella are the most central and popular ones.
The beaches of Puerto Banus are renowned for the quality of their fine golden sand, calm waters and extensive leisure facilities. To enjoy a good atmosphere on the beach, the Beach Club Hotel Playa Banús offers you their best specialties.
The western area is less crowded, it is where the beaches of San Pedro and Guadalmina of dark coarse sand are located
The Costa del Sol, where Marbella is located, is characterized by a subtropical Mediterranean climate with mild winters, high insulation, as well as hot and prolonged summers.
Marbella enjoys a unique microclimate formed by a number of factors such as proximity to a warm sea, which produces a "thermostat" effect on the ground favoring the mild climate; the presence of coastal mountains of the Cordillera Penibética which protect it from the cold north winds and retain the beneficial effect of the sea, and its predominant orientation towards the sunshine, enjoying over 320 days of sunshine a year, with an average of 330 hours /month of sun in summer and a percentage insolation between 75% and 80%, and between 180/190 hours/month in the winter months. The average annual temperature is 18 °, a characteristic that becomes a major tourist attraction, especially in the winter months. In the summer, the average temperature is between 20 ° and 25 °, somewhat milder than in neighboring municipalities.
The local cuisine of Málaga coast is based on the fish. Most typically fried fish or fritura malagueña, comprising jurelitos, mullet, rosada fish, baby squid, anchovies ... dipped in flour and fried in good olive oil. Dressings are also typical with such fish as shark or dogfish. There is an established custom is to eat the raw thin shells, with a dash of lemon juice, salt and pepper. Malaga clams are slightly smaller than the others, they have lighter shells and are very tasty.
Among the soups, besides the typical Andalusian gazpacho and its variety ajoblanco, the gazpachuelo is possibly the most typical soup of Malaga of all.
The popular emblanco is a simple soup made of tomato, potato, onion, garlic, carrots, shrimp and white fish. El Puchero malagueño is a typical winter stew, a complete dish which used to be prepared in the hunting season, with chicken, beef, vegetables and chickpeas. Among the pastries we should highlight los roscos de vino (wine donuts) which are typical during Chritmas season, Malaga porridge, oil cakes, borrachuelos, las torrijas and churros.
Apart from this traditional cuisine in Marbella we can find a wide variety of restaurants offering international and fusion cuisine. Chateau Mona Lisa is the best restaurant that offers an impressive selection of nouvelle cuisine in Puerto Banus. And to enjoy the best traditional Italian cuisine, artisanal pastas and pizzas, we recommend Arethusa or Carpaccio, also in Puerto Banus.
Marbella is known for its lively, varied, complete, exclusive, cosmopolitan and endless nightlife, capable of satisfying all tastes. From the events, parties, galas, presentations, etc., attended by the most exclusive of the jet set, aristocrats and celebrities who are regulars and have many properties in Marbella - to the Old Town pubs and terraces of the marina, where young and not so young and the majority of residents go in search of a relaxed atmosphere.
Puerto Banus is one of the hubs of the nightlife of Marbella. We recommend to begin the evening with a drink in any of the terraces of the pier, watching the passersby. Sinatra's, at the entrance of the Port, is one of the most popular and the most traditional bars in the Port. News Cafe has been maintained for some years as one of the most elegant, trendy bars. To dance the night, Dreamer's organizes sessions with the most prestigious DJs of the moment.
The Casino Marbella is another fun place where you have several options such as a slot machine room, roulette, blackjack and poker tournaments to suit all tastes. La Milla de Oro associates the most prestigious clubs and discos of the moment. Olivia Valere, next to the Palacio Saudí, is one of the most exclusive clubs. Suite brings together the beautiful people in a contemporary, glamorous and funky atmosphere, on the terrace by the sea in summer, as well as in the club during the winter.
The Marina of Marbella has been experiencing its resurgence since the summer of 2010, when the extension of the promenade was inaugurated. There is a varied selection of terraces, bars and clubs, where you can enjoy from live rock music in Loco's to dancing to the most popular music of the moment in Lemmon. Normally the closing time is extended until 6 or 7 am.
The Old Town of Marbella is a place where you can find all sorts of bars and pubs that will surprise you on every corner. One of them is the Town House, with a small Andalusian courtyard, a fountain and stairs which lead to the top floor, with different rooms, where you can take your first drink. El Tanguito is another hidden secret, which combines a grill restaurant (upstairs) with a cozy living room and a garden inside, perfect to have a nice chat. Most pubs are concentrated in the Calle del Peral, for example Smalltalk, where you can listen to flamenco. Also, in the Plaza de los Olivos there is a large number of pubs, including Premiere with fantastic music. It closes at dawn.
You will certainly enjoy unforgettable flamenco evenings at Tablao Ana Maria, where reservation is required.
In June, we celebrate the popular Fair and Festival of San Bernabé, in honor of Marbella's patron. For a week, various activities of typical Andalusian flavour and floklore are held, both during the Day Fair as well as the Night Fair.
Marbella Easter religious processions (March or April), pass through the main streets and alleys of the Old Town.
The Feast of the Virgen del Carmen, patroness of the sea, is celebrated on July 16 with an impressive maritime procession where flowers are thrown into the sea and salves are sung.
The International Film Festival in Marbella lasts for three intense days in mid-October, and it is dedicated to independent cinema from around the world.
On the last weekend of June, the International Art Festival is held in Marbella. Music, theater and outdoor performances liven up the event that gathers the works of more than 100 artists from around the world. Marb Art is the International Contemporary Art Festival, which takes place at the Palacio de Congresos in September.
Among the major sport events we should name the prestigious Andalucia Tennis Experience tournament, which gathers the greatest figures in women's international tennis or Absolute Tennis, involving youth at the high, national level.
Throughout the year, there are many tournaments, tours and golf championships. One of the most important ones at the international level is the Volvo World Match Play.
No less important are the sailing events, such as the Grand Prix Costa del Sol, which commemorates the feat of Isidoro Arias, the first Andalusian sailor to circumnavigate the world solo sailing, or various boat traces Platu 25.
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