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Spain: Barcelona, Madrid, Marbella, Puerto Banus, Seville, Toledo
Marbella, Spain: Playground of the rich & the famous
by Prakash Bang, Editor in Chief
Marbella is a city in the Andalusia province, half an hour's drive from Malaga airport. It is known for being the playground for the rich and famous and has become one of the most prominent beach resorts on the Costa del Sol. Marbella sits in the perfect location beside the Mediterranean Sea with the rolling Sierra Bermeja Mountains behind and with an average of 320 days of sunshine a year it attracts visitors all year round.
We reached Marbella from Seville. Actually, it would just take a little more than 2 hours of drive; but we took 7 instead. The difference was spent in a detour to explore Gibraltar. For our proposed 2-night stay in Marbella we were booked at the famous Don Carlos Leisure Resort, touching the Nikki Beach. Though the beach is not private, lack of locals surely gives the feel of owning the beach.
The hotel's property is surely an experience in itself. Its massive landscaped gardens, the exotic pool and access to beach would tempt a visitor to stay put and avoid going out. And many tourists, I am told, do just that. Well, we surely would step out to explore Marbella, especially the Old Town and Puerto Banus, a neighbouring and yet another playground of the rich & the famous.
It was 5 PM when we checked in at the hotel. Thankfully, we got a room on a higher floor facing the sea. Immediately, we stripped in the very basic attire and hit the beach. A couple of hours on the sand was enough to build our appetite for the evening. Dinner that night was at Masala - an Indian restaurant - just a 15-minute walk from the hotel. Being an Indian myself I can vouch for the taste and quality they offered.
The next day, after a leisurely breakfast, we took a taxi and headed to explore the old town.
Marbella is a city made up of two halves, Modern Marbella and the Old Town or Casco Antiguo. Modern Marbella has sprung up considerably in the last 50 years, mainly down to one man, Prince Alfonso Hohenlohe, who discovered Marbella when his Rolls Royce broke down in the area. At the time it was inhabited by only 900 people but he fell in love with the area and opened the Marbella Club Hotel in 1954 and invited other noble European families to enjoy the luxury location.
Since then, Marbella has never looked back and is now a thriving tourist destination and it’s not hard to see why. In the area there are over 12 beaches, with water sports and beach clubs, 50 golf courses, designer shops, casinos, bars, top-class restaurants, nightclubs and of course first class hotels. There’s literally something for everyone.
Then there is Old Town, which is based in and around Orange Square or ‘La Plaza de los Naranjos’ which is surrounded by three historical buildings: The 16th Century Town Hall, the old Governor’s House and the Chapel of Santiago. Here you’ll find something completely different, tightly knit cobbled streets, small boutiques, art galleries, some excellent restaurants, with local tapas bars and most importantly a true feeling of Old Spain.
For the next few hours, we were lost in the maze of streets in Old Town. The pictures will give you a reason why.
Little away from the Old Town and just across the main road was La Alameda Garden and a short walk beyond was the beach front. We spent some time at the garden and at the beach front.
Thereafter, we took a cab to explore Puerto Banus – a 20-minute cab drive.
Marbella Image Gallery Photo viewer
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