Marbella has grown from a small town to a small busy cosmopolitan city. Establishing a reputation over the years for being the playground of the rich and famous, today Marbella is a modern residential city as well as being one of Europe’s leading luxury resort locations.
Located at the most southern part of Europe, Marbella is protected by the Atlantic winds by the bay of Gibraltar and protected from the northerly winds by the Sierra Blanca mountains. This makes Marbella warmer than other parts of Spain in the winter, and cooler than other parts of Spain in the summer. It boasts over 320 days of sunshine per annum and is known as the California of Europe.
Marbella boasts a very high standard of living, comparable to any other European city: shops with international products, trendy boutiques, high-quality service, modern hospitals and motorways, international schools, theatres, museums, cultural clubs, internet lines, etc. With today’s technology and communications, many people are moving to Marbella to live permanently and continue their business via the internet. Others, move to Marbella and set up a business or start a new job. Today, living on the Costa del Sol means a unique quality of living.
Apart from the climate, we have one of the best and largest selections of golf courses in Europe. Yacht harbours, tennis courts, gymnasiums, horse-riding centres, hunting, padel-tennis, fishing, football, basketball, cycling, walking, mountain climbing, skiing, motorcycle and car racing are some of the many activities available on the Costa del Sol. Theme parks, safari parks, zoos, aquariums, bowling alleys, cinemas cater to the youngsters.
Málaga is a classic historical city which has now increased its cultural variety with the opening of the Picasso Museum.
On top of all this, the town offers a large and good variety of elegant restaurants offering cuisine from all parts of the world. And then there is the nightlife. Bars, piano-bars, discotheques, fashionable night clubs and private parties, will keep you awake till the early hours.
Those who prefer history to hedonism will revel in Marbella’s rich past. Dating back to the third century before Christ and originally an agricultural settlement, its strategic position on the Via Augusto made it an important trading post. Inhabited by the Phoenicians and named Salduba by the Romans, then Marbilha by the Moors, who were ousted in 1485 by Fernando and Isabel, Marbella retains traces of each civilisation in churches, baths and villas which can be seen from Rio Verde to San Pedro and throughout Marbella’s 27 kilometres. The Catholic King and Queen hispanicised Marbilha into Marbella (meaning beautiful sea) and were responsible for constructing the Town Hall, a gloriously flamboyant building in the Orange Square, the town’s nucleus. The interesting mix of cultures that inhabited this town can be seen through a selection of architecture from Renaissance to Baroque, Moorish to Castilian. In reality, one should leave the car behind and “walk the Old Town”, starting with the castle, the Iglesia de la Encarnación and the tiny houses flanking a maze of winding streets. Pretty shops and restaurants, “tapas” bars and street cafes, are as much part of Marbella as the Roman ruins in Rio Verde and San Pedro de Alcántara, the early Christian Basilica Bovedas in Urbanisation Linda Vista and numerous other historical sites.
However, it is Marbella’s more recent history that has led to its development as a leading luxury resort. And this is inextricably linked with Prince Alfonso von Hohenlohe and the legendary Marbella Club Hotel which opened its doors in 1954. Within a decade the hotel, and gradually by extension the town, started to gain a reputation for exclusivity and glamour that rivalled its more established competitors on the French Riviera
Marbella today is a cosmopolitan melting pot, hosting nationalities from all over Europe and the world. Attracted by the climate, facilities and lifestyle, never has the saying been more appropriate: Marbella – A Way of Life!