Marbella's motto is 'A Way of Life' and, certainly, this
luxurious resort town seems to have it all and is, once again,
rising to the fore as a favourite location with the rich and
famous, as well as more ordinary folk who are willing to pay
just a little bit extra for Southern Spain's answer to St. Tropez.
Not too long ago, Marbella sharpened its image still more
thanks to a considerable investment in landscaping the area.
Marbella has a rich, yet down to earth feel with an air
of individuality that can be best appreciated by exploring
back streets in the old part of town. One of the prettiest
places is 'Orange Square' where you expect to meet with
stately buildings, small shops, art galleries, bar and bistros
in a hub of activity day and night. Depending on the time
of year, the colours here can be vibrant, with the trees
and exotic tropical plants set against a backdrop of dazzling
white buildings and a deep blue sky.
Be sure to explore the maze of surrounding narrow streets
where homes and shops intermingle to create the atmosphere
of a small village, rather than a cosmopolitan town. There
are numerous excellent restaurants to choose from ranging
from those specialising in the predictably pricey exclusive
cordon bleu to the gritty individuality of a back street
Back towards the coast is the La Alameda Park where you
can book your personal horse and carriage to travel in style
or, if you prefer, stroll on towards the sea along the Avenida
del Mar. This is arguably one of the most delightful promenades
on the Costa, flanked by classy restaurants and bars and
mercifully free of concrete high-rise apartment blocks.
Along the enormous stretch of sunny beaches you can enjoy
traditional fish and seafood favourites likes sardines on
a spit, fried fish and the incomparable paella. There are
also two large Parks in Marbella, which provide some welcome
shade to spend some time with a book. The amphitheatre at
Constitution Park (once the garden of a private residence)
is frequently used for concerts and plays in the summer.
Providing casinos, clubs and just about every sporting activity
under the sun, few places can match Marbella for world-class
tennis, sailing and golf. In addition, there are also three
pleasure craft harbours.
However, for the ultimate in Coastal charisma, it would be
hard to beat Puerto
Banus, just West of the town. This is the place to be
pampered yacht side and watch the world go by, or window shop
at several world-renowned fashion houses and boutiques.
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