Finally at beach
I’ve been several times in Marbella, always passing by.
This time I spent there two weeks, and got many things to write.
Avenida del Mar
Right in the heart of Marbella a short but large walkway connects the old quarter to the beach.
Displaying in the centre a dense line of statues created by Salvador Dali, it is flanked by gardened shades, easing the mandatory visit under the strong sun.
Marbella is a new big city totally devoted to tourism, however, it keeps a small “island” of tradition, where the image of Andaluzia was well preserved and maintained.
Though at small scale, than what we may see in Seville, Granada, or any other traditional city of the province, strolling in the shaded narrow streets of the old quarter is a real pleasure, with many cafés offering their esplanades or air-conditioned rooms to a break and a drink.
At night, respecting the Spanish use of getting out by the cool evening, the streets become even more lively, with commerce opening doors till late.
Pateo de los Naranjos
The historic centre of Marbella is a small square, whose name came from orange trees.
This detail may suggest a Muslim origin, but the Renaissance style of the square shows more recent conception.
Surrounded by classical buildings, it is as everything else in town a very touristy point, covered with esplanades full of tourists.
It’s not a great monument, but Spanish try their best to preserve history, and in a city where construction has frenetic, replacing almost everything not suitable to tourism, this degraded walls were all that they could save from the old castle.
It is only a segment of the outer walls, dating from the 10 or 11th century, built by Muslim occupiers, including in the construction a few stones from previous roman constructions
Located in Plaza de los Naranjos, this palace from the 16 century, conceived to house the king’s local representative, was built in Gothic and Renaissance styles, but the main signs are Mudejar.
The ground floor is now used by a restaurant, obviously with the same name, and with “monumental” prices, of course.
The building may pass without notice because it is somewhat hidden by the esplanade, and I don’t know the use of the other floors.
Plaza de la Victoria
Ermita del Santo Cristo
Centrally located, Venus beach is the place where “everything happens”.
By day, is is just one of the several artificial beaches in line, by night the promenade where everybody goes. I read that it is the most beautiful beach, and… I may concede.
There are a few details making the difference.
Squeezed between Venus and Fontanila beach, and facing the lighthouse (thus the name) there’s a very small and secluded beach. The curious thing is that we were unlucky, and had cold water during all our stay, but checking the weather they always announce two more degrees in Faro beach than in its neighbors, Venus and Fontanilla.
One day, I decided to check it out and… yes, there was a small difference.
Maybe the size and shape of the seclude bay will help to retain and heat the water!
One beach like all the other, but with a great difference – it was “our beach”, only a few meters distant from our beds and pool.
It´s a long beach, but a couple of hundred meters west of the start, near the tourist office, the sand changes and many rocks and pebbles appear, confirming that we were lucky, renting the apartment facing its best section.
A few kilometers west of town, a marina was the pretext to build the most sophisticated urbanization of Marbella, where prices are high (sometimes not so high as expected). The idea that it is the land of a special and privileged fauna turned it in a touristy point to visit, walk around, and save your euros, heading back home or to common people’s area.
Sporty visitors walk along the coast, others take the cheap bus that connects the two ends in minutes, however, I don’t know if it’s “possible” to take a holiday in Marbella without the inevitable visit to count the Ferraris and Porsches parked next to the yachts.
Website: Puerto Banus
As usual in Spain, at night everybody goes out, filling the streets, esplanades, everything. Marbella is no exception, and the marina is the point of convergence, and the largest sort of pleasant places for a last drink.
Strolling night and day
Driving and parking
Driving in Marbella it’s easy, but parking is a nightmare. There are a few paid parking lots near the sea, but they cost a fortune, so, the solution is to find a cheaper parking inland, and skipping the use of the car, what is not difficult if beach is your purpose.
I’ve been in Figueres, visiting Dali’s museum, with some frustration, because I expected more. In Marbella I saw a group of statues, bigger than in the museum, lined in a pedestrian avenue called Avenida del Mar, in the centre of the touristy area of the city.They must be reproductions, for sure (they are not big enough to stop criminal temptations, and don’t seem so carefully guarded as the originals would justify), but they show all the creativity of the crazy master, being possible to watch the whole as an artistic composition, or each statue individually as a single work.
Address: Avenida del Mar