The Marbella 4 Days Walking event, which is now in its eighth year, began last Thursday with its base in a new location, the Parque de la Represa. The new venue had become necessary because so many people are now taking part, many of them travelling from northern Europe especially for the event.
The head of Tourism in Marbella, Laura de Arce, said at the event's launch that more than 2,000 people had registered their interest in participating this year, and not even the rain on Thursday could dampen the enthusiasm of those who had signed up.
During this event, which lasted until Sunday, the walkers do four 20 or 30-kilometre routes through different parts of the municipality, and there is a party in the Plaza de la Iglesia at the end. It costs 50 euros to do all four days, or 15 euros for a single walk.
This year, for the first time, Marbella 4 Days Walking also includes a route for children, specifically 250 pupils from the Xarblanca school.
"It is a way of motivating people and getting them involved, especially children, in an event which is good for the health and takes place in close contact with nature," said Laura, who also pointed out that walkers from all over the world now come to take part in the event, something that helps to promote the Marbella brand.
Experts from the International Walking Association (formerly the International Marching League) are also participating this year, to see whether the event meets the organisation's requirements for being included in its programme.
Before the first walk began Hans Wohl, representative of Marbella 4 Days Walking, expressed the organisers' gratitude to the town hall for its collaboration and support for the initiative.
"This year we have entered a new phase, with a new venue for an event which has become extremely popular and gives people the chance to combine sport and nature in the spectacular setting of Marbella," he said.