My home for 7 months, the Costa del Sol will always be a part of me. Far from the tacky beach-side tourist spots it is famed for, to me it was the rolling hills and beautiful scenery I walked through, the glimpses of Morocco and Gibraltar I woke up to on a clear day and the beautiful cobbled streets and tapas bars of the numerous little villages I found on the way.
Summer evenings in the Old Town of Marbella are still one of my favourite things and the numerous sights within easy reach of here make it the perfect place to explore either solo or with fellow travellers in tow, here are just a few of the things that make Marbella the ideal short-haul escape.
The Atmospheric Old Town
flowering embellishments and white-washed beauty crown this area of Southern Spain and its proximity to Morocco and its Moorish ancestry is highly visible in the decorative architecture of its attractions. Wander the meandering streets of Marbella Casco Antiguo on a summer’s evening and the wine-covered walls will be alive with activity with restaurant vendors taking their seating out into the night air to bask in the atmosphere of the place. Overflowing with mouth-watering food outlets from the low-key to the date-night-definite where your carbonara is prepared before your eyes, the Old Town is the perfect place to indulge your taste buds by night and enjoy sightseeing by day.
The Beach Front
The main feature of Marbella sees the shops and tapas bars end and the lovely sands begin. Many a day can be spent lounging on the centre’s front with a ton of things going on throughout the year to take part in. In Andalusia there is always a Feria. just off the beach are a string of restaurants offering discounted tapas but be wary of sampling these unless you want frozen croquettas. The bars offer a great night out however, with festivities carrying on into the early hours in true Spanish fashion and it is not uncommon to see people going for ice cream at midnight, kids in tow. For a quieter seafront, head to Las Chapas where you will find less of a tourist crowd and some lovely places to eat.
For the Shoppers Among you…
Or those self-catering wanting a MASSIVE supermarket to stock up on everything. La Cañada sits just a short bus ride from the centre and is packed full of everything from a cinema to a Marks & Spencer. This mammoth complex is perfect for that occasional rainy day or those wanting to splash out on some new holiday clobber. Those looking for more high-end shops should head to the famous Puerto Banus where alongside the super-yachts of the rich and famous you will find a selection of high-end brands to shop until you drop.
Those looking to broaden their horizons by venturing outside of Marbella will find a whole host of adventures from the rock of Gibraltar to the hill-side wanderings of Mijas to enjoy just a short drive away if you hire a car during your trip. For those without their own mode of transport, Marbella bus station offers air-conditioned coaches to the surrounding sights for pennies, taking the stress out of having to find your way around. Those visiting the jaw-dropping gulfs of Ronda should definitely take advantage of this as the coach drops you off close to the centre after a windy road up there leaving you ready to explore straight away without the hassle of parking.
I’ll be back soon with tips on the perfect places to explore around Andalusia but, until then, click that lovely button below to read about more of my adventures.