Marbella embodies culture, entertainment and glamour; it is one of the most exclusive cities in the Mediterranean and the pride of the Costa del Sol. Twenty kilometres of coastline, four marinas, sixteen golf courses and a privileged climate, make it a destination beyond compare. Perhaps that is why Julio Iglesias, Sean Connery, Antonio Banderas, Eva Longoria and Naomi Campbell (just a handful of the many famous faces that are seen here) do not think twice when choosing Marbella as their holiday destination.
Visiting Marbella is a unique experience. From shopping in its luxurious boutiques to dining in its distinguished restaurants or having fun at their beach clubs, the possibilities are endless. But if the priority is relaxation, the city has twenty thalassotherapy centres and spas, alongside a first class selection of hotels in its three main centres: Marbella, San Pedro de Alcantara and Puerto Banus-Nueva Andalucía.
All of this has led to almost 4,000 Britons choosing Marbella as their place of residence.
NOT TO BE MISSED IN MARBELLA
Marbella is a destination that will not fail to surprise you. Even today its historical centre preserves the remaining fortress walls that surrounded the city in the Moorish period, and the Moorish castle. In one tower you can see built-in Roman capitals, revealing that even older construction materials were used to build the defensive enclosure.
An unmissable stop on the cultural route through the city is Cortijo Miraflores centre of culture. This 1704 mansion was a sugar cane press and mill. Today it houses the Museo del Aceite, rooms for temporary exhibitions, a library and a municipal art gallery. Behind the building, remnants of ovens and a rupestrian chapel from between the eighth and tenth centuries were found.
Also worth a visit is the Colección Municipal Arqueológica and the Museo Ralli, dedicated to the promotion of European and Latin American contemporary art. Furthermore, in the Avenida del Mar you can admire a collection of bronze sculptures by Salvador Dalí. This artery connects Marbella Marina with the Paseo de La Alameda, designed in the nineteenth century.
In the Plaza de los Naranjos, designed after the Christian conquest of Marbella, you have a view of the Hermitage of Santiago, the Town Hall and the Casa del Corregidor, built between the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries. They are in the heart historic centre of the town, with its white houses and balconies bedecked with flowers.
Near the square are the Capilla of San Juan de Dios and the sixteenth century Hermitage of Santo Cristo de la Vera Cruz, and the seventeenth century Iglesia de la Encarnación. The latter consists of three naves and its front door, carved in Rococo-style ochre stone; it is truly wonderful.
The Hospital Bazán, located in the vicinity, houses the headquarters of the Museo del Grabado Español Contemporáneo, with works by Picasso, Miró, Tapies or Chillida. While the Museo del Bonsái, a short distance away, exhibits one of the most complete collections of its kind in Europe.
Marbella has interesting archaeological sites, like the Basílica Paleocristiana de Vega del Mar, in San Pedro de Alcántara. The remnants of the Roman town of Río Verde or those of the hot springs near Guadalmina also have some historical interest.