A gorgeous resort town in southern Spain, Marbella is one of the most luxurious and popular destinations on the Costa del Sol. This classy seaside city is built for relaxation and recreation. Here, Spaniards and other Europeans spend their days sunbathing on the jewel-like Mediterranean beaches then spend their evenings dining in the city's chic eateries. Located on the water, Marbella is also a popular port for sailing and yachting in the Mediterranean Sea.
Although Marbella has been developed for tourists, there is still a charming Old Town in the city's central district, where you can see the distinct Andalusian influence. Wander among historic pastel-colored buildings over cobblestone streets, pop into a centuries-old church or dine al fresco among an elite crowd of visitors. For food lovers, Marbella is a wonderful destination, with over 600 restaurants, tons of fresh seafood, and several Michelin-starred restaurants.
If you are interested in browsing through designer label clothing, Marbella's boutiques feature some of the most famous names in fashion. There are also a number of upscale gallery spaces in town, some of which feature excellent contemporary work. For a distinctly Spanish experience, visit Marbella during the Feria de San Benabe in June, when you can enjoy typical dancing, music, and food from Andalucia.
In and around the town of Marbella, there are several interesting sights, including:
-Patio de los Naranjos: The main square in Marbella's Old Town, the Orange Tree Court is a hub of activity from morning until evening.
-Paseo Maritimo: Enjoy the gift shops and boutiques along this lovely wooden boardwalk in Marbella's harbor.
-Puerto Banus: Marbella's most famous beach boasts a large marina for yachting, wonderful restaurants, and chic sunbathers.
-Roman Villa: In the neighboring town of Rio Verde, you can visit a Roman villa built during the 1st and 2nd centuries and adorned with striking mosaics.
-La Concha: Ascend La Concha, the highest peak above the city, where you can enjoy a beautiful view of Marbella and the sea.
-Gibraltar: Take a short drive from Marbella to see the famous monolith, the Rock of Gibraltar, which stands over the sea.
As many of Marbella's vacationers would agree, a luxury vacation rental in the city's upscale residential neighborhoods will be the best way to really relax. Look for a comfortable condo or modern apartment, with access to a private pool and hot tub. For utter pampering, rent a villa near town, where you can watch the sunset over the sea.
As featured in USA TODAY and recommended by Travel + Leisure in its annual Villa Guide:
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