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Marbella is probably one of the best known and sophisticated resorts in Spain. Over the years it has transformed itself from a sleepy fishing village to a growing cosmopolitan buzzing town. There is a good selection of luxury hotels and others less expensive to suit all budgets. It has a fabulous assortment of designer shops, restaurants and no shortage of nightclubs.
We enjoyed wandering through the old quarter with their narrow streets filled with clothes, art and souvenir shops. In the centre stands Plaza de los Naranjos (The orange square). As the name suggests, it’s encircled with orange trees with a large fountain in the centre. It’s quite lively with nice restaurants and large terraces. The town hall and tourist office is there and so the square tends to become quite busy. On a summer evening it’s a great place to enjoy a meal or drink.
Having been to Marbella several times, our other favourite stroll is to continue on from the old quarter down to the promenade. It is a fairly long walkway that follows the beach and sporting port. This is where lots of tourists and locals intermingle and it becomes quite busy; especially in the summer months and weekends.
A favourite spot for having a drink at sunset or night-time is the Water Sports Marina. It’s a sizeable area filled with pubs, disco pubs and chill out bars; Take your pick! One of our favourites is “Hestia”, with its friendly staff and a top spot with chill out seats to relax on and enjoy your drink. On Sundays, there is an artisan market where you can spend leisurely time browsing between the different stalls. They have quite a good selection of antiques, paintings, hand painted ceramics, jewellery and so on.
For a relaxing time, you may want to visit the Bonsai Museum, named as one of the best in Europe. It was founded in 1992 and contains a selection of award winning Bonsai. The entrance fee for adults is 4€ and 2€ for children.
Each time we visit Marbella, we can’t leave without a wander through Puerto Banus to see which new yachts have taken up mooring space and maybe catch a glimpse of the odd celebrity. Here is where you will find all the bars and clubs that you’ll want. There are places to suit all ages and that’s what we love about it.
If you begin to feel peckish, we recommend you try the “Gourmet Burger Room” in Marbella. You will find it on Avenida Antonio Belon; their burgers are out of this world.
From Marbella you are able to visit many other interesting places by car. The Sierra de las Nieves has its villages surrounded by natural environment.
The “Mariposario” in Benalmadena offers an amazing experience to enter into a man-made rainforest with thousands of butterflies fluttering around. From there, we recommend a visit to Benalmadena Coast where there is an aquarium and large Sports Marina. For a small fee you can even have a ride on one of the themed boats.