Ten reasons why Marbella is not to be missed
This beautiful city like no other, settled alongside the sea in the heart of the Costa del Sol, offers visitors much more than the seaside image it has acquired over time. Marbella is full of surprises, from a historical centre worthy of the most exclusive white village of the Sierra, beaches for all tastes, mountains, endless sunshine, fantastic local gastronomy, culture, leisure to, as you will already know, glamour, yachts and luxury. Yet this only represents one side of the cities charm. Due to this and much more Marbella is simply a must see for visitors of Andalucia. And just to make sure we have you fully convinced, here are ten reasons why this destination just cannot be missed:
1. Take a stroll to Puerto Banús
If Marbella is known all over the world for one thing, it´s for its luxurious port visited by endless personalities in their luxury boats. If you can allow us to compare the two, ignoring the distance, going to Puerto Banús is like strolling along the Hollywood Walk of Fame, an authentic showcase where fortune and fame from all over the world come to Marbella to dress in designer clothes and spend their days on yachts or in high-end cars.
If you do decide to visit, a stroll in and amongst the famous, a trip on a catamaran or visit to the most exclusive jewellery and clothing stores are activities that cannot be forgotten. But there is more to Marbella than Puerto Banús, its promenade and marina also deserve a visit, not forgetting a stroll along the beach.
2. Visit the historical centre
Marbella´s historical centre surprises a lot of its visitors. Perhaps the first thing you think of when you hear the city´s name is Puerto Banús, and not its historic centre with white narrow lanes, trellised houses and hanging bougainvillea giving the spot its unique charm. Everybody leaves the centre surprised at the small fishing village spirit that is still alive today; it is a historical centre that certainly deserves to be explored. Admire, amongst others, the Orange Tree Square, where the aroma of orange blossom fills the air. The old city wall or the Encarnación Parish Church are both perfect ways to complete your tour. Enjoy Marbella´s delightful hidden secret!
3. Drop in at the Museum of Contemporary Spanish Printmaking
Without a doubt, one museum that cannot be missed is the museum where visitors can find works of Picasso, Miró, Dalí, Chillida, Tápies and Barceló. This genuine treasure is home to more than four thousand prints. The Museum is the first printmaking museum to come out of Spain, and one of the few in the whole of Europe. It can be found in the heart of the centre, just behind the Encarnacion Parish Church, in the former Bazán Hospital; an attractive building that represents the public renaissance architecture of the 16th Century that has been declared a Spanish Heritage Site of Cultural Interest.
4. Discover Istán
The municipality of Istán is settled within the beautiful surroundings of the Sierra de las Nieves. It is worth mentioning that part of its land constitutes the area designated as a Biosphere Reserve by Unesco. Located in an exceptional setting, perfect for exploring the charm of the mountain villages, surrounded completely by nature, where it appears as though time has stopped. In fact, if you truly wish to see something unique, don´t miss the opportunity to visit the Castaño Santo, a tree that is over one hundred years old and home to a lot of history and many curious legends. Not forgetting the Escalante Tower, the Church of San Miguel, the Water Museum nor the source of the River Molinos or the stunning River Verde.
5. Fall in love with Ronda
They say that everyone who visits Ronda falls in love with it, not only because of its location, historical monuments, including the Bull Ring (one of the best known, above all for the “Goyesca” fights) but also for its breath-taking canon and the bridge that sits over it…In fact, according to Lonely Planet, Ronda is one of the most beautiful cities in Spain. And no wonder! Its ancient Arab medina structure, its lavish bull fighting culture and its stunning scenery make this village a compulsory stop on for any visitors of Andalucia.
6. Take a trip to Las Chapas beach
Marbella is home to more than 30 kilometres of coasts to suit all tastes, from urban beaches with elegant promenades and beach bars to please all pockets, to other practically wild beaches ruled by tranquillity and peace. It is Las Chapas beach that stands out from the list, quiet and not visited often, with golden sands and everything you need for a day at the beach. In the centre, the Venus Beach is perhaps the busiest, yet charming and bustling with swimmers who want to take a dip in the Med and sunbathers enjoying a mojito or sardine skewer in their hammock.
For those who are in search for a more serene setting, the Artola dune, known as Cabopino Beach is ideal. Surrounded by pine trees, this beach is perfect for nudists, enjoying a good book and relaxing to the sound of the waves. Other recommended beaches are those of San Pedro de Alcántara, Cortijo Blanco, Puerto Banús or Puente Romano.
7. Take home a souvenir from Puerto Banús Market
Does a place exist where you can buy anything you need at a reasonable price? It does! Marbella is not just high prices and exclusive stores. The market, held every Saturday on the outskirts of Puerto Banús, is an opportunity that cannot be passed down. Souvenirs of the city, fresh fruit and vegetables, spices, clothing, crafts, jewellery and furniture, from 9 o´clock on every Saturday mornings. The travelling stall keepers will try their hardest to attract tourists and locals alike to participate in the most authentic shopping trip of the city. It is even worth it just to have a wander around. Pencil it in your diary, their stalls stay put until 2 o´clock in the afternoon on Avenida de Manolete.
8. Take a trip to the centre of Malaga and its museums (Thyssen and Picasso)
Over the years, the capital of the Costa del Sol has become a place that no tourist who comes to the area can pass by. From the castle of Gibralfaro that overlooks the city, descending towards the stunning Alcazaba, and ending up in the Roman Theatre, you can discover a unique mix of architecture of diverse styles and eras that make Malaga a place of outstanding beauty. Taking a stroll through the Plaza de Merced, down the streets, calle Granada towards calle Larios and winding up in the Alameda and the Paseo del Parque is an idyllic tour for those tourists who seek to discover history, culture and leisure sheltered by the shade of stately homes, reminiscent of the city´s glorious past.
Amongst this maze of streets and lanes, the Thyssen Museum and its collection of Andalusian Art, as well as the Picasso Museum, home to limited editions of the Malaga artist´s works as well as the house where he was born, are highlights that cannot be missed.
9. Route around Ojén: from the Refugio to the Juanar Viewpoint
The journey of a few kilometres that separate Marbella and Ojén along a mountain pass and the glimpse of this white village nestled in the mountains, simply takes one´s breath away. The sea views over this town and its narrow, white-washed streets both contrast with the dazzling green of the nature that surrounds them.
Although the medieval castle of Solís and the caves of Ojén do deserve a visit, the natural setting of El Juanar, in the Sierra Blanca is a compulsory must-see. Ideal for those who seek to enjoy nature in its purest state, it offers a wide range of hiking trails for all levels. The majority of the routes finish in one of the most stunning natural balconies facing out towards the Marbellan Coast, the cruz del Juanar, from where you may appreciate a truly breathtaking panoramic view of the Costa del Sol whether during the day or in the evening.
10. Make the most of the Puerto de Sotogrande
A select marina that is sure to charm all those lovers of water activities is the Puerto de Sotogrande. Equipped with fantastic facilities and found right next to great golf courses, it is one of the greatest attractions of San Roque, a municipality of Cadiz. A wander along its marina, abundant with restaurants serving exquisite dished is a luxury that this setting, a mixture of sea and architecture, permits. Discover one of the most prestigious marinas in the whole of Europe, up there with Puerto Banús, where it´s the norm to play polo, tennis, padel or to horse ride.
Where to stay:
Fuerte Hoteles proudly welcomes you to one of the finest hotels in Europe. With 263 rooms and located on the Costa del Sol, we can promise you amazing weather as well as friendly service. Our double rooms come with stunning sea views and all the modern amenities that you have come to expect on your travels.
Avda el Fuerte s/n, POSTCODE:29602 Marbella. Málaga. Tel.:+34 952 920 000