Marbella has an exceptionally mild microclimate, protected by the impressive Sierra Blanca mountain range, and a cosmopolitan atmosphere provided by a broad mix of different nationalities. The town has been spared the worst excesses of concrete architecture inflicted upon TorreMolinos. Marbella retains the greater part of its old town - set back a little from the sea and the new development. Centered on the Plaza de los Naranjos and still partially walled, the old town in Marbella is hidden from the main road and easy to miss.
Marbella is full of history, found in every corner of the old town, with its Moorish castle, and famous "Orange Square". Slowly, this original quarter is being bought up and turned into "quaint" clothes boutiques and restaurants.
The "can't miss" landmarks in Marbella include Capilla de Santiago, Museum of Spanish Contemporary Engravings, the above mentioned Casco Antiguo - the old town, Marbella parks and gardens, and more.
The small Chapel of Santiago was built in 1485 shortly after the re-conquest from the Moors. Recently renovated, inside it houses some of the religious icons that are carried through the streets by the brotherhoods during the Easter processions.
The building of Museum of Spanish Contemporary Engravings was once the residential palace of the Mayor, Don Alonso de Baz'n who later donated it to the town to serve as a hospital for the poor. The building is now a museum. The museum is the first of its type in Spain and exhibits works by Picasso; Mir'; Tapies; Chillida; and many other famous painters.
In the centre of town you'll come across La Alameda. The gardens at this plaza are filled with a range of beautiful tropical plants. You can book a horse carriage ride, which takes you on a sightseeing trip through town.
Nagueles Park is just out of town. This outstanding park is situated at the foot of the Sierra Blanca Mountain, and has amazing views of the surrounding landscape. There are picnic facilities available here, which are excellent for having lunch in the country.
Puerto Banus is the meeting-point of the jet-set in Marbella, where you can find the most beautiful yachts, the most elegant shops and the best restaurants. The shiningly white buildings make a fine contrast with the dark blue sea - a pleasure for the eyes.
You can find some great restaurants in Marbella too. La Tartana is one of the best in town. They serve a wide range of traditional Spanish dishes at very reasonable prices. It is very popular with locals and tourists alike.
In La Tricicleta you can dine on a small rooftop terrace with parachute canopies surrounded by pot plants. This is one of the best places in town to sample some local cuisine.
Santiago is the best place in town to go for seafood. They serve a wide range of Spanish inspired seafood dishes. There is also a tapas bar located at the entrance, which is great for a quick snack.
There is something for everyone in Marbella, from its spectacular natural environment, numerous landmarks and outstanding beaches to its most sophisticated hotels and super restaurants offering refined cooking. Enjoy!