Marbella is a beautiful coastal city in the province of Malaga. Ferraris, lively nightlife, glamour and fun are the first things that spring to mind at the mere mention of its name. Despite its deserved reputation as a major luxury destination, there is much to more to Marbella. Under the flouted façade of glitz, it is a place of beauty, from rugged mountains to nooks and crannies in the old town rich in cultural heritage.
Marbella is both a town and a municipality. Its 27 kilometres of coastline stretches from Cabopino in the east and finishes in Guadalmina, in the west. The following districts come under the Marbella municipality: Marbella (East, West, Centre), San Pedro Alcantara (North and South), Nueva Andalucia (Puerto Banus, La Campana), and Las Chapas.
Marbella east -Rio Real to the Port of Cabopino- is less developed and boasts the best sandy beaches, numerous “chiringuitos” and several golf clubs.
Marbella town proper is further divided into the newer Town Centre and the Old Town or “casco antiguo”. The centre is close to the beach and is full of restaurants and shops with numerous businesses found along Avenida Ricardo Soriano – the main street which runs through Marbella. Stretching alongside the beach is a paved promenade going all the way to Puerto Banus and even further towards San Pedro.
The picturesque Old Town is a hidden gem and is one of the best preserved old towns in Andalusia. It comprises a labyrinth of narrow, cobbled streets, lined with pots of geraniums and bougainvillea creeping up white walls. Here you will find much of the history of the town. The 15th-century Plaza de los Naranjos is the heart of the old town.
The Golden Mile stretches from the edge of the town centre to Puerto Banus and is considered the prime location for the summer homes of aristocratic and elite families. It was developed as a result of Prince Alfonso de Hohenlohe’s request to build the luxurious Marbella Club. The Golden Mile is home to Michelin-starred restaurants and legendary hotels such as Puente Romano. The coastal road splits it into a vibrant beachside, parallel to the promenade; and a quiet hillside with stunning views of the Mediterranean, Africa and Gibraltar.
La Concha, Marbella’s landmark and hiking haven: Towering 1,215 metres above sea level, the impressive limestone mass known as La Concha is the emblematic landmark of Marbella and plays an important role in its benevolent micro-climate. Trekking to its summit is almost a rite of passage for both residents and visitors alike. The top of La Concha (‘shell’ in Spanish) affords stunning views out over the city towards Africa’s northern coast.