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Marbella city guide - the playground of the rich and famous

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Marbella is Spain’s answer to St Tropez; the favored holiday destination for the wealthy. As one of the most prominent beach resorts on the Costa del Sol, it offers an endless supply of world-class golf courses, five star hotels, and an abundance of restaurants and opulent bars to keep you entertained all night long. 

Fay Jones & Jess White

My Destination local expert on

Marbella

Central Marbella

 

Central Marbella is split into two halves, each as exciting as the other. Modern Marbella is the epitome of chic; developed over the past 50 years, starting with the Marbella Club Hotel, which opened in 1954. Visitors can either wear themselves out with the endless water activities or simply relax by the pool or at one of the many beach clubs with a cocktail and a book. The Old Town or ‘Casco Antiguo’ is far more traditional and comprises ancient architecture and historical haunts, centered around Orange Square. The area is much calmer than the bustle of the beachfront and consists of cobbled streets, boutiques and smaller, more authentic tapas bars.

 

Marbella East

 

Heading in the direction of Malaga, Marbella East is a sprawl of villages and suburbs dissipating out of the city. Due to the space, there is an abundance of golf courses, which nestle alongside a plethora of accommodation. Ranging from opulent villas to quaint fincas away from the hubbub of the city centre, the property is in high demand. Drawing crowds from afar due to the sandiest beaches on the Costa del Sol, the area is also home to some of the best restaurants in Marbella, including Nikki Beach and The Playwright.

 

Puerto Banus

 

5km to the east of Marbella, Puerto Banus lets you experience the life of a film star. The famous port is a popular stopping point for super yachts and you can’t avoid spotting celebrities perusing the marina. Synonymous with wealth, extravagance and high-end fashion, it is a melting pot of designer shops and the best nightclub strip around. However, once your wallet has run dry, the Saturday morning market sells traditional local produce and classic souvenirs so you don’t go home empty handed. For those picture postcard snaps, Puerto Banus is a must, with the white Andalucian buildings and gleaming super yachts contrasting expertly with the turquoise waters and dazzling blue sky.

 

Estepona

 

What started as a traditional fishing village has now become one of the Costa del Sol’s key tourist locations. 25km from Marbella and an hour’s drive from Malaga, Estepona is a brilliant blend of traditional and modern. Although it has developed rapidly to suit the luxury-seeking traveler, the city has preserved its authentic Andalucian culture and the streets are lined with whitewashed houses and balconies brimming with flowers. The Plaza de Flores was built by Henry V and dates back to the 15th century and for a truly Spanish experience and the Andalucian bullring still holds regular bull fights.

 

Nueva Andalucia

 

The newly built area in which Puerto Banus can be found is a hotbed of luxurious villas and apartments, and those looking to buy property tend to look no further. With the steep slopes meaning houses are elevated, all can enjoy the spectacular views of the Mediterranean and the manicured gardens below. The architecture is traditionally Andalucian, tying in the old and the new, and the area is host to street markets, stunning golf courses and a wide range of restaurants to top it all off.

 

Although Marbella draws tourists from far and wide, the surrounding area also offers more than you could imagine, meaning you’re guaranteed to keep yourselves entertained for as long as your wallet will allow.