The city of Marbella is considered the principal town of the Costa del Sol. Its year-round warm weather, Mediterranean beaches, history, magnificent environment and friendly people - not to mention the number of superb hotels in Marbella - have made it famous all over the world.
Thanks to its location on the beachfront, protected by the mountains of the Sierra Blanca, Marbella has a warm microclimate like almost no other in Europe, and the number of days of sunshine it sees remain its main attraction for friend and family holidays alike.
For many years, Marbella has been the chosen summer residence and retreat for the "jet set" and countless celebrities. Within Marbella, the most in vogue spot is Puerto Banus, with its yachts, fashion shops and golf courses (of which Marbella has the highest concentration in the whole of Spain).
Beaches are always going to be a major part of the town's appeal. The 27 kilometres of coastline mean that there's a choice of up to 24 beaches to stretch out on and enjoy the warm waters and the typical cuisine of the Spanish "chiringuitos" (typical restaurants on the beach).
It's not all about shopping, eating and lying around on the beach, however. Marbella also has a rich culture that includes historic remains stretching all the way back to around 1600 BC. From the Roman baths and the city ruins, to the Paleochristian basilica, the walls and towers of the period of Muslim domination and the churches and shrines of Christian times, the passage of various civilizations in the area is still there for all to see.
The old town of Marbella, a typical Andalusian village of narrow cobbled streets with white fronts and beautiful hanging pots full of flowers, has the highest concentration of historical monuments. At its heart is the Plaza de los Naranjos: if at any time it's the ideal place for a break and a drink on one of its terraces, during the spring, when it's filled with the fragrance of orange blossom, it's a particularly lovely spot.
Getting to Marbella couldn't be easier. By road, the toll AP-7 or the A-7 (old N-340) takes you right into the town centre. By plane, Malaga Airport is only around 46 kilometres away, while by train you can catch a local train (Cercanías) up to nearby Fuengirola.