The Spanish Riviera – Marbella, Andalusia
What’s the first thing on your mind when hear Marbella? Well, mine is Jesus Gil y Gil, former mayor of Marbella and Atletico’s President… 🙂 Well, but probably that’s just me. Marbella is famous for being a glamorous resort town, full of rich celebrities who gather to party and spend a few euros. But don’t be deceived, if you want to peep into this lifestyle you should head to West of Marbella, Puerto Banus. It’s in Puerto Banus Marina where the sports cars and yachts meet and can be easily spotted. The true heart of the Spanish riviera.
Like most of other cities of Andalusia the history of Marbella stretches way back and this shows in its old town center, known as Casco Antiguo. Casco Antiguo is characterized by white houses, small streets, churches, plazas and stores to feed your consuming desire. Pay special attention to the “Plaza de los Naranjos” and its surroundings. It’s very charming, but falls short compared to other old towns in Andalusia like Granada, Cordoba and Malaga. Or even the unique/astonishing Ronda. On the other hand it has a beautiful and long boardwalk by the beaches which is great for walking or cycling.
Nevertheless, the true great appeal of Marbella is in its beaches, hot summers, luxurious marina and parties. Not its history or architecture.
The Beaches around Marbella
Marbella is protected by the Sierra Blanca, but during our stay it was strangely windy which made it difficult to stay on the beach. With or without wind they are beautiful with the strong blue/green color of the Mediterranean sea. Seawater is really warm in these beaches (27/28º) but the extreme heat of Andaluzia (+40º) makes it feel colder at first touch.
Puerto Banus, the heart of the Spanish riviera
Puerto José Banus is the luxurious marina located southwest to Marbella. Beach clubs, expensive designer stores, restaurants, bars and hotels live around the marina. This is where the rich and famous gather to party and show their new sports cars and yachts. It was extremely fun to peep into that lifestyle for a few hours and take some (shameful and self-conscious) pictures of it.
Sleep and eat in the Spanish Riviera
As you can imagine accommodation in summer around Marbella is quite expensive… After a longer than usual search for a place to stay we decided to stay in the: Royal tennis Club…. It’s on the east of the town and on a walking distance to the beach. It felt like a tennis training center, but we actually liked it. We also discovered that one of Marbella’s best restaurants (Don Quijote) is on the other side of the road! We couldn’t resist and splurge a little, after all, we were in Marbella. Don Quixote definitely lived up to the reputation. It was a fantastic romantic dinner.
In conclusion, we recommend Marbella to people who love sun, parties and shopping. If this is what you are looking for, you will spend fantastic holidays there. For a frugal traveler who isn’t really into clubbing it was an opportunity to rest and swim in the Mediterranean while peeking into a very different reality in the Spanish riviera.
Is Marbella your kind of holiday?