Despite its modern cosmopolitan image, Marbella has a surprisingly long history and is proud of its heritage and historical significance. It lies in the heart of the Costa del Sol in southern Spain and comprises 44 kilometres of coastline, including some stunning sandy white beaches. A number of the 140,000 or so inhabitants live in modern developments, well placed for beaches, golf and other attractions.
However it also has an attractive and well preserved old town area, ringed off with walls dating back to the sixteenth century. Unlike many towns and cities in this part of the world it was a major municipality before the tourist boom started in the last century and can be dated back to prehistoric times, with the first formally recorded settlement being in the seventeenth century. Romans, Phoenicians, Moors and the Spanish have all left their mark and there are a number of fascinating sites to see. It has good rail, road, bus and road links and Malaga airport is about 40 minutes drive away while it is a cycle friendly municipality.
The city has a huge choice of bars, clubs and restaurants, from tapas to fish and chips. Probably your best bet is just to look around and see what takes your fancy and fits your budget. The marina is one of the big attractions, often packed with million euro super-yachts and the city has become known as something of a hangout for the rich and famous.
There is a wide choice of marine based activities, from fishing to diving and boat hire, depending on the time of year. The city is famously surrounded by golf courses but you can take part in or watch almost any mainstream sporting activity. There are also more green areas than you would expect, with a marked five kilometre walk taking in some of the best flora and fauna. In summary, while Marbella is the affluent and cosmopolitan place that everyone knows about, it also has a lot of hidden charms and remains,at heart, a Spanish city.
The Costa del Sol in the south of Spain is one of the most popular destination for British travellers to Spain as well as for those starting out a new life over there. It has grown from a few small coastal villages to having some of the most important towns and cities in the country including Malaga, Estepona, Torremolinos, Marbella and Nerja. Due to large presence of foreigners the gastronomy in the region covers almost every type of food from around the world. However if you want to eat like a local you can and much of the food, such as breaded anchovies, has a strong Arabic influence. There are a number of excellent seafood restaurants in the region, many of them on the beach not far from where your dinner was freshly caught. Due to the climate and the choice of dozens of courses for players of all levels, the Costa del Sol has been described as a golfers paradise. People moving to Spain also like the region due to it’s wonderful climate, with over 300 days of sunshine a year and average temperatures that range between 17 degrees centigrade in the middle of winter to around 30 degrees in August.
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