La Concha mountain). / AYTO MARBELLA

Marbella: an exclusive haven of fun, luxury and style

High-end quality and a range of facilities make Marbella one of the coast's major tourist centres

Tony Bryant
TONY BRYANT

Situated at the base of the Sierra Blanca and overshadowed by the La Concha mountain, Marbella is committed to providing every concept of luxury. It is one of the most important tourist towns of the Costa del Sol and offers a traditional old town, a luxury marina and shopping complex boasting the world's most fashionable brands.

Marbella's location - less than one hour from two airports (Malaga and Gibraltar) - helps the resort retain its image as one of the Costa del Sol's major tourist centres.

Thanks to the high quality and range of the facilities and services it provides, which include top golf courses, five-star hotels, designer stores and Michelin-starred restaurants, Marbella has enjoyed a reputation for exclusivity that attracts celebrities and personalities from all over the world. Marbella's jet-set image is further endorsed on the renowned Golden Mile at the western edge of the town.

For many people, luxury is defined by Marbella's excellent golf courses, and there are now 14 of them, each with its own individual character. These clubs are among the most beautiful in Europe, enjoying a location of unparalleled beauty with views of the Sierra Blanca, Gibraltar and the Mediterranean.

Its geographical location and its climate - where the number of days when the sun doesn't shine can be counted on one's fingers - make Marbella the perfect place to enjoy the delights of the coastline and the lively beach activity to the full.

Endowed with a beautiful 27-kilometre coastline that looks out across the Mediterranean Sea to Gibraltar and North Africa, Marbella is fringed by beaches, from the extraordinary sands of Cabopino and the Artola dunes, to the restaurant-lined shores of San Pedro Alcántara.

The 24 idyllic beaches - most of which have been awarded the blue flag of excellence for their amenities, cleanliness, quality, and preservation of the natural surroundings - offer a multitude of options, from watersports, scuba diving and exclusive beach clubs and chiringuitos, to secluded coves for those who simply want to relax and top up their tans in the sun.

Marbella may be known for its beautiful beaches and its four marinas, its glamorous social scene and its diverse cultural sector, but this is not all it has to offer. It also has plenty of gardens, parks and green spaces.

The most popular park is the Parque Alameda, which overflows with all kinds of fragrant Mediterranean plants and flowers. This park also boasts a collection of ten Salvador Dalí sculptures.

Other interesting parks include Parque de la Constitución, which has an outdoor thetare and a small astronomic observatory; and the Angel Gardens, one of the most complete botanical gardens on the Costa del Sol.

San Pedro Alcántara

Although inextricably linked to Marbella, the town of San Pedro Alcántara has emerged as a first-class tourist resort with an identity of its own.

Situated ten kilometres west of Marbella on the main N340 coastal road, the town offers all the modern amenities expected in a coastal resort, but at a slightly more relaxed pace than other coastal destinations.

Today, San Pedro Alcántara is home to a number of luxury golf courses and excellent beaches lined with bars and restaurants, sprawling parks and gardens, along with narrow streets and squares packed with intriguing shops and boutiques.