Marbella is one of those places in the world that for some reason arouse a lot of emotions. It has its loyal fans and those who think it is overrated and "sticks up".
From the perspective of 12 years I have lived in this city, I belong to the first group. I will tell you what I like in Marbella and what to see here, coming up for a weekend, a week or ... for life. It is impossible to describe Marbella in one entry. It would be too long - there is too much to tell. That's why I decided to divide it into two parts. From this one you will read, among others, about Puerto Banus, the nightlife in Marbella and the beach that I love.
Marbella - sun, sea, microclimate
Costa del Sol is known for its wonderful climate: warm and sunny "winters" are appreciated above all by the inhabitants of northern Europe, who often come here in October and stay until April, after which they return to their countries for the rest of the year, because in summer it gets too hot for them. Portals advertising “The Sun Coast”, because that is the translation of the name Costa del Sol, boast 320 days of sunshine a year. I have never counted them but if I ever get down to it, I will count the rainy and cloudy ones – it will be definitely less counting.
Marbella, due to its location at the foot of the La Concha mountain which surrounds the city with rocky arms and protects it from rapid weather changes, also enjoys a specific microclimate that has a healing effect on many different diseases.
Do you know what the name "Marbella" means? This word comes from pre-Romanesque times and was created from the combination of the words MA + AR = MAR, which means "a lot of water" and the words BILA / BILLA with the meaning "mountain". If you look at photos of Marbella taken by drones or from the sea, you will see exactly this: a mountain and a lot of water.
Marbella is a lifestyle (until one would like to write "state of mind")
There is something in this city that makes people more cheerful, open, smile more often and speak to a completely stranger on the street, never knowing in which language the answer will come. And this is because on this relatively short stretch of the Spanish coast, which is the Costa del Sol, live in full symbiosis about 150 nationalities. And it doesn't bother anyone, just the opposite: we draw from this diversity, broaden our horizons and open ourselves to others. In our today's divided and intolerant world places like the Costa del Sol bring back faith that it can still be normal.
There's some slack in Marbella. Despite its celebrity history and attraction to big names and luxury, this city does not intimidate, does not make us put on masks and pretend that we are someone else, better, wiser, richer etc. I often hear this opinion from people who live in other places called "Jet-set Spots". Here in Marbella they still feel the luxury they like and at the same time they feel free and can just be themselves.
Puerto Banús - Marbella's unique yacht port
Speaking of luxury, let's visit Puerto Banús. This harbor is today synonymous with luxury but many prestigious guests of Puerto Banús do not know that it was originally a small fishing village. That was until 1963 when José Banús, a successful developer from Madrid, began to realize his vision there, including the construction of the district which he called Nueva Andalucía. This district was to be a place to live for ordinary people, not just noble wealthy families and celebrities who were already visiting Marbella at that time.
However, José Banús's vision went much further. He decided to create a luxury yacht port that would strengthen Marbella's position as an international resort. In 1970, José Banús and architect Noldi Schreck, who, by the way, participated in the design and construction of Beverly Hills, created a design for one of the most exclusive harbours in Europe, implemented on a scale never seen before - Puerto Banús built in 1970 remains one of the largest yacht ports in the Mediterranean.
Puerto Banus - the luxury center of Spain
From the very beginning Puerto Banús met with a spectacular reception: 1,700 guests attended the ceremonial opening, served by 300 waiters. Among the guests were: director Roman Polański, owner of Playboy Hugh Heffner, doctor Christian Barnard, a pioneer in heart transplantation operations as well as Prince Rainier and Princess Grace from Monaco. The star of the evening was at that time 27-year-old Julio Iglesias, whose performance was awarded a considerable sum of 125,000 pesetas.
Today, the largest number of yachts, sports cars and boutiques of exclusive companies in Spain is concentrated in Puerto Banús. This is the second place in Spain in terms of sales of luxury products, in addition, here you will find the most prestigious restaurants, bars and night clubs.
Nightlife in Marbella
The so-called "nightlife" is another attraction of Marbella. In the summer the city attracts party people from all around the world. During the day, they hang out in bars and beautiful swimming pools of beach clubs, which are abundant on the Costa del Sol. The most famous are Nikki Beach, Ocean Club, La Sala Beach and Puro Beach. In the evenings, there are numerous nightclubs waiting for them and parties last until dawn. Straight from the club you can go to take a shower and have breakfast at your hotel and then lay out on a comfortable bed in another beach club, or ... do not leave the club at all and stay for "after party" which often ends around lunch. This is of course a version for exceptionally tough guys, ordinary people instead must sleep sometimes - even on a sun bed on the beach.
Beaches in Marbella
Spanish beaches - you could write about them indefinitely, because the Spanish coast is very long and extremely diverse. There is everything here: from the white sand of the Atlantic beaches to the Caribbean-like illusion, to the rocky, volcanic beaches of Tenerife captivating with their beauty. The beaches of the Costa del Sol are mostly sandy, bright, although not as white as the beaches of the Baltic Sea. There are several famous beaches in Marbella worth visiting: Playa de Bajadilla, Playa de Venus, Playa de Levante, Playa de Mistral, Playa de Cable, Playa de Elviria - just to name a few. On each of them you can do all kinds of water sports or just lie down and read a good book.
Puerto Cabopino and the 180-kilometer seaside promenade
For me, the most beautiful beach in Marbella is the beach in Puerto de Cabopino - the port itself is also worth attention: tiny, compact, very picturesque. From the beach, you can go for a walk on the dunes (Dunas de Artola). You will walk on wooden footbridges that form part of a very interesting project implemented in the province of Malaga, called "La Senda Litoral". It is a seaside passage / promenade, which after the end of the project is to allow a stroll from Manilva to Nerja. The distance between these towns is “only”... 180 km - and this is what the length of La Senda Litoral is to be. Today, the project is completed in about 80%.