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Tourist Guide

Marbella - Puerto Banus - Cabopino - San Pedro - Costa del Sol

Puerto Banús has fine beachesSince Spain is one of the most visited countries in the European region, anyone looking for a good way to relax can actually choose from so many . This country has so much to offer. Whether you are the type of tourist who really enjoys playing golf while having your holiday or would rather prefer to kiss the sun by going to different well-preserved beaches, you would surely find Spain amazingly attractive. For the must-see places in Spain, continue browsing this page.

Over 300 days of sunshine every year, a beautiful coastline with fabulous beaches, enchanting towns and villages, magnificent countryside, stylish resorts, sophisticated nightlife, superb shopping and an amazing choice of golf courses

make the Costa del Sol a perfect choice for a holiday, a second home or for living permanently.

The area offers something for everyone - families, couples, groups of friends and, of course, golfers.

Marbella's motto is 'A Way of Life' and certainly this luxurious resort seems to have it all and is a favourite location with the rich and famous.

Marbella stretches along some 27 kilometres of coastline from Cabopino to San Pedro and boasts some of the finest beaches of the Costa del Sol.

Marbella is split into several districts - Marbella East, Marbella Centre, Puerto Banus, Nueva Andalucia and San Pedro. It is a town that offers not only an international jet-set scene but also a typically Andalucian ambience and is a golfer's paradise.

Stroll around the beautifully managed parks and gardens or the narrow streets of Marbella's romantic 'Casco Antiguo' (Old Town), steeped in history and so typically Andalucian. Everything you could need is found here surrounded by an incomparable landscape of sea and mountains.

Marbella East begins at Cabopino - a very pretty little port - and has some of the best beaches in the area including Las Dunas which is a Natural monument.

Marbella Centre comprises the Old Town, centre, beach front (Paseo Maritimo), the sports and fishing ports. Head along the Golden Mile out of Marbella to reach world famous Puerto Banus.

Puerto Banus is built around a large marina where some most magnificent yachts lay at anchor. It was originally developed as an exclusive playground for the rich and famous in the 1970's yet still retains the Andalucian character with traditionally narrow streets and white-washed buildings. Nowadays there are also modern shops and celebrated restaurants, bars and nightclubs. There is a huge branch of Spain's best department store - El Corte Ingles and also a large cinema complex that shows some films in English.

Nueva Andalucia has multi-million Euro villas and more modest but still stylish apartments plus some very fine restaurants. It is also home to the Casino. On Saturdays there is a justifiably popular market.

San Pedro de Alcántara is very Spanish in flavour with a surprisingly good choice of international restaurants and exclusive shops - you will have to hunt them down in the warren of small streets. There is a superb promenade along

the seafront.

San Pedro is just 10 minutes drive west Marbella and about 30 minutes' drive away from the natural beauty of the Serrania de Ronda Mountains.

An ancient farming community, once famous for sugar cane, today San Pedro is a refreshingly unspoilt pueblo with an appeal all of its own.

The main square with its imposing parish church is surrounded by narrow streets which are packed with intriguing small shops, cafes and bars. Thursday is market day and you may find some bargains.

The modern wide promenade is ideal for a stroll with several excellent chiringuitos (beachside restaurants) specialising in fish dishes. If you are feeling especially energetic you can walk all the way to Puerto Banus.

For history lovers there is a Paleochristian Basilica Church by the sea and the third century Roman Baths, Las Bovedas.

Cabopino to the east of Marbella is a charming small marina and the best beaches.The marina has some very good restaurants and a few shops. To the west along the beach you will find some great beach restaurants. Sinbad el Mariñero is well noted for its fresh fish and Triana is very popular especially for lunch.

Marbella also has its down to earth side and an air of individuality which can be best appreciated by exploring back streets in the old part of town. One of the prettiest places is La Plaza de Los Naranjos - Orange Square - home to the 16th century town hall and tourist office where you can pick up a detailed map and visitor information.

Be sure to explore the surrounding narrow streets where homes and shops intermingle to create the atmosphere of a small village, rather than a cosmopolitan town. There are also numerous bars and excellent restaurants to choose from.

Marbella and Puerto Banus have a lot to offer including fine shops, galleries and sports facilities. World class restaurants and exciting bars, exhibitions and concerts plus many local ferias, which are truly great fun, make this area a great choice.

For those who come to life after dark, Puerto Banus is justifiably famous for its restaurants, cafes, bars and nightclubs.

Fantastic stores, chic boutiques and great markets make this part of the Costa del Sol a shopper's paradise.

There are sports centres and tennis clubs, beauty salons and aesthetic clinics - this is the home of the body beautiful!

Enjoy a round of golf For the golfer it is perfect - the courses of 'Golf Valley' are well known (Aloha, Las Brisas, Los Naranjos, La Quinta and Dama de Noche, which is the only floodlit course in Europe). Countless others surround you, including Guadalmina, Atalaya, Los Arqueros and Los Flamingos and world-famous Valderrama.

Discover the beautiful mountains, with their dazzling white villages, as well as Marbella Old Town, Ronda, and Gibraltar. Or venture a bit further to Granada, Cordoba or Seville. Jerez and Cadiz are also well worth a visit.

Many beautiful beaches beckon - many offer an array of water sports and others simply peace and quiet.

From Guadalalmina to Cabopino, the Marbella coastline stretches along 26 kilometres of sunny beaches bathed by the Mediterranean, where you can enjoy traditional fish and seafood favourites like sardines on a spit, fried fish and world famous paella. There are casinos, clubs and just about every sporting activity under the sun - few places can match Marbella.

Old Town Marbella

The Alcazabar or The Castle contained the first city of Marbella.Soon the settlement spilt over the walls, extending over what is today known as the old town.

The boundaries of the old Arab medina can be easily seen to-day as all areas that were dominated by Arabs have the typical very narrow streets, twisting and winding through the town. This is pure Arab style, a style that protects from the burning sun, allowing the people to stroll along the streets without leaving the shade.

La Plaza de los Naranjos - Orange Square - is the centre of the town - a small but grand square.

In the 16th century, the Golden Century in Marbella, a selection of public senatorial buildings were constructed. The most important of these buildings is the Town Hall, ordered to be built by the Catholic Kings in 1568 and which maintains today the same administrative functions. The right hand side of the facade has a series of commemorative plaques in honor of the conquering of the city and the bringing of water in 1632.

There are also older buildings such as the Chief Magistrate's House, situated to the left of the Town Hall next to the Santiago Chapel, which dates back to 1552. The house is unmistakable due to the archway on the upper floor. This archway, together with the stone facade that frames the door are in Castilian style from the16th century.

The Chief Magistrate was also the owner of the Bazan Hospital, situated in the street of the same name, where the Museum for Contemporary Spanish Engravings is now situated, the finest museum in Spain for Contemporary Engravings.

Near the Castle is Nuestra Senora de la Encarnacion, this church which was started in 1618 and is very impressive This church is of the basilica type - it does not have an apse at the back of the alter.

On the facade of this wonderful building one can see a stone portal in Baroque style, that was added after the original project had been completed. There are Arab influences - once again highlighting the Andalucian people's great capacity to assimilate the most beautiful parts of each cultural influence that even today sweep through the land.

Close by is a small jewel of a building - the San Juan de Dios Chapel the chapel of a 'Hosptalillo'.

This "Hospitalillo" was ordered to be built by the Catholic Monarchs and such was its importance they were present at the inauguration.

The structure of the Capilla de San Juan de Dios is simple, but the portal, framed by a half point archway underlines the original function for which the building was constructed. It has a carved door with details such as the city shield to the left and a carved religious image to the right. Inside the Chapel is coffer that was not discovered until the middle of this past century.On the left there are fragments of frescos. The frescos were discovered recently and although there are only fragments, it gives one an idea of the multicolored decoration that used to adorn the temples in the area. This is very unusual in the Castillia of the Conquerors and is yet another example of the mixture of styles.

The rest of the Hospitalillo building is used today for cultural purposes.

Marbella's main sights

Old town and Orange Square
Partially surrounded by the ruins of an old Arab wall with narrow white washed streets there are old churches and squares, as well as lots of fascinating shops and boutiques.

Bonsai Museum
An exquisite exhibit of bonsai trees which is open daily from 10 am to 13.30 and from 16.30 to 20.00. Located in Arroyo de la Represa Park. Telephone 952 86 2926 for more information.

Municipal Art Gallery
This art gallery always has a good selection of work by local artists and is open from 19.00 to 22.00 hours. Located in José Palomo Square, s/n. Telephone 952 82 5035 for more information.

Roman Villa and Roman Baths
There are remains of the Roman Villa at Rio Verde. It is noted for its well preserved mosaics. The ruins of the roman bath houses are just a step from the beach at Guadalmina to the west of San Pedro.

Museum of Spanish Contemporary Engravings
This building was formerly the residential palace of the Mayor,
Don Alonso de Bazán, who donated it to the town to serve as a hospital for the poor. Today the building is a museum, as well as housing the offices of the Marbella Cultural Delegation. The museum is the first of its type in Spain and exhibits works by Picasso, Miró, Tapies, Chillida and several other famous painters.

Seafront promenade and beaches
The extensive promenade is ideal to experience and join the Spanish in the traditional 'paseo'. Flanked by pavement cafés, restaurants, this promenade is one of the most attractive on the Costa del Sol and has the added advantage of being within minutes of the centre of town.

Marbella Mosque
This beautiful temple overlooks the Golden Mile just to the west of the city centre. It was the first mosque to be constructed since the reconquest in the fifteenth century.

  Flea and Antique Market (Saturday morning).
  Next to the bullring of Puerto Banus is a great rambling flea market, a 

  mini 'Rastro' where you can find everything from a wooden elephant to 

  a woolly jumper. Prices are good but you may need to haggle.


Parks and Gardens
Marbella prides itself on its parks and gardens. Even the smallest open spaces have been carefully planted with beautiful flowers.

Surrounding Scenery
The magnificent mountain known as 'La Concha' (The Shell) is part of a range that extends across the skyline to the village of Ojén. Take the road to Ojén and turn left into the beautiful park called 'Juanar', where the mountainside is covered in pine trees, pinsapos, walnut and olive trees, as well as wild orchids - and some wild animals, including Hispanic wild goats, eagles and Royal owls. At one of its highest points stands 'El Mirador' where you can look down on one of the most spectacular views of Marbella and its surroundings.


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Marbella's beaches

Marbella has 27 kilometres of coastline and 24 different beaches:

Guadalmina Beach

San Pedro de Alcantara, next to the Guadalmina Golf Course

1.600 m long and 30 m. wide

Relatively quiet and very clean
Water sports are available such as windsurfing, jet skiing, pedalos, etc.

Two beach clubs and two "chiringuitos" (beach restaurants) with sun beds.


Linda Vista Playa

San Pedro Alcántara, next to the Linda Vista Urbanization

550m long and 40m wide

Quite busy in summer
Water sports are available such as windsurfing, jet skiing, pedalos, etc.

Two "chiringuitos" (beach restaurants) with sun beds.


San Pedro Beach

San Pedro de Alcántara

1 km long beach and 35 m wide

Promenade that goes all along the beach area

6 beach restaurants with sun beds and one beach club with swimming pool, and paddle tennis court, there is also a children's playing area on the beach, the use of which is free.

Nueva Andalucia Beach

N ext to Nueva Andalucia and close to Puerto Banus

1.100m long and 30m wide

Water sports are available such as windsurfing, jet skiing, pedalos, etc.

4 beach clubs with swimming pools and also six beach restaurants with sun beds.

Puerto Banus Beach

West of Puerto Banus.

1 km long and 50 m wide

Very busy
4 beach restaurants with sun beds

Pedestrian promenade.

Rio Verde Beach

East of Puerto Banus

1.200 m long beach and 30 m wide

Close by are the remains of a Hispano Roman villa from the Ist century, known as the Rio Verde Roman Villa

Relatively quiet

Beach club and three beach restaurants.

El Ancon Beach

Next to the El Ancon Urbanization.

900 meters long and 20 meters wide

2 beach restaurants


Nagueles Beach

O On the Golden Mile of Marbella, next to the Marbella Club

800 meters long and 50 meters wide


2 beach clubs and a beach restaurant.

Casa Blanca Beach

By the Casa Blanca Urbanization.

2 KM long and 45 m wide

Relatively quiet

La Fontanilla Beach

Central Marbella next to the Leisure Port

800 m long and 30 m wide


10 beach restaurants with sun beds.

El Faro Beach

West of the Leisure Port in Marbella

300 m long and 35 m wide


2 beach restaurants as well as children's games on the beaches

Venus Beach

Close to the Marbella Leisure  Port

500 m long and 40 meters wide

3 beach restaurants with sun beds, as well as children's games on the beach .

Bajadilla Beach

C lose to the fishing port

700 m long and 35 m wide

Quite busy - especially with Spanish families

3 beach restaurants with sun beds.

Cable Beach

Close to the Fishing Port and the Rio Real River

1.300 m long and 40 m wide

Relatively quiet
2 beach restaurants with sun beds

Pinillo Beach

Next in the Los Monteros Hotel area

1.500m long and 30m wide

1 beach restaurant.

Los Monteros Beach

Next to the Bahia de Marbella Urbanization

2 km in length and 50 m width


2 beach restaurants and a beach club.

Alicate Playa

1.900 m long and 35 m wide

Relatively quiet
11 beach bars and a beach club.

Real de Zaragoza Beach

Next to the Real de Zaragoza Urbanization

1.800 m long and 50 m wide

Quite busy
7 beach restaurants with sun beds as well as the five star Don Carlos Hotel and the world famous Nikki Beach Club


Vibora Beach

Near the Rio Vibora

650 m long and 35 m wide
Quite busy
2 beach restaurants and a beach club.

Las Chapas Beach

In the Las Chapas area

1.000m long and 40 m wide

Relatively quiet
4 beach restaurants.

Playa de las Canas

In the Marbesa area of Las Chapas

1.200 m long and 10 m wide

Realitively quiet
5 beach restaurants, three with sun beds.

Artola Beach

This beach is situated in a protected sand dune area known as LAS DUNAS DE ARTOLA, next to the Cabopino Marina

1.500 m long and 25 m wide
This beach is a naturist beach and fairly busy

3 beach restaurants

Calahonda Beach

On the Eastern limit of the municipality of Marbella

900 m long and 30 m wide

1 beach restaurant with sun beds.

Please also see our recommendations for restaurants and shopping: more >

Weather in Marbella

Marbella enjoys one of the best climates in Europe.

The Weather Today and The Forecast >

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