Marbella, often described as the Spanish Riviera, stretches along the Costa del Sol in the province of Malaga (Andalusia region). The northern part of the province is located near Sierra Blanca, where the city was built. Nowadays, it is a fashionable and expensive resort that attracts many wealthy tourists, such as Arab sheiks, European kings, aristocrats, and celebrities. For instance, Antonio Banderas and Bruce Willis bought their own villas here. In turn, in 2010, Michelle Obama, the wife of the former president of the United States, was relaxing at the resort. In Marbella, you can find all the appropriate attributes of luxurious life, including private jets and yachts, expensive restaurants and spas, luxury tennis courts, and golf clubs.
In the VI century, the south of Spain was invaded by Arabs, and Marbella became Muslim for about 900 years. During this period, the city grew in size. Arab engineers built many houses and strong fortifications — a fort, protective moats, and walls. And now, walking around the city, you can see the houses with characteristic Moorish architecture.
In 1485, Marbella was conquered by the troops of the Spanish King Fernando. The city was badly damaged during the storm, and after the victory, the Spaniards destroyed the mosque in its center. Their place is now occupied by Orange Square (Plaza de los Naranjos). A few centuries later, the fortification of the walls and construction of another fort was required as the coast had become unsafe due to the growing number of pirates. Today all that remains of these structures is the tower, which rises in the gardens of the Hotel Fuerte.
Until 1954, Marbella had been a small agricultural town. That all changed when Prince Alfonso, impressed by the beautiful panoramas of the region, bought the land here and built the first-class Marbella Club Hotel. The resort attracted members of the European royal families, which gave impetus to the construction of comfortable hotels, villas, expensive restaurants, and other attributes of luxury living.
The best time to visit Marbella
Many tourists come to Marbella to celebrate the New Year. The preparations for the holiday begin very early. The aromas of almond cookies, churros, and cinnamon doughnuts are wafting all around as early as the end of November. Bright garlands and decorated Christmas trees appear in the streets, and Papa Noel (so Santa Claus is called in Spain) and his entourage are smiling at tourists from the windows of the houses.
If you visit Marbella in early June, you will have the opportunity to celebrate a fun holiday dedicated to the patron saint of the city, the San Bernabé Day. It lasts for a whole week. There are fairs, open-air concerts, rides, and merry-go-rounds for the kids. Traditional snacks and drinks are offered everywhere.
Marbella has several sandy beaches designed for a comfortable holiday with children. The most popular is located in the port area of Puerto Banus and bears the same name. There is a chic water park for kids and many water slides.
The resort offers absolutely everything at greatly inflated prices. Therefore, if you need to buy something quite expensive, it is better to do it during trips to other cities.
The city's water system includes special devices for purification, so you can safely drink the water from the tap. But its taste may vary in different areas. It depends on the model of the installed filter.
Tickets for the bus ride can be purchased at kiosks or from the driver. In the first case, the price will be lower.
Things to do in Marbella
- Climb the mountain of La Concha. A fascinating hike will appeal to all nature lovers. To get to the top (about 1200 meters above sea level), you have to walk about 8 km. The route goes through pine, olive, and walnut groves, and the reward is an amazing panorama of the city against the background of the sea.
- Go on a boat trip. There's nothing better than taking a trip on a comfortable yacht through the gentle waves of the Mediterranean Sea on a hot day. You can easily arrange a trip in the port — the choice of ships is quite wide.
- Visit the Eco Reserva Ojen park. It has very beautiful nature, and wild roe deer, goats, and deer easily come into contact with visitors. If you want, you can even pet them.
- Sit in the Chiringuito. Marbella has a lot of these small beach cafes. Here, you can try traditional Spanish food and find national dishes from many countries around the world.