Marvelous Marbella

Costa del Sol…just the name makes you want to hop on a plane and go there! I’ve had the opportunity to visit Spain several times, even lived in Madrid for a short while when I was very young. However, I had never truly ventured into the Costa del Sol. My husband and I have visited Sevilla, Cordoba, Granada and Nerja, but we had never stayed at any of the beach towns in Andalucía before.  This past summer we finally decided to visit Marbella, and we were not disappointed!

Old Town

Old Town

Marbella is typically associated with millionaire beach mansions, crowded beaches and celebrity sightings. My Marbella experience was quite different…a maze of typically Andalusian streets with palatial facades, intricate wrought-iron balconies and a series of shrines and chapels, especially the old town (Casco Antiguo). Marbella’s old white washed streets and cobbled squares are among the most beautiful on Spain’s Costa del Sol. You can spend hours just wandering through the little pedestrian streets, full of boutique shops, cafes, and gorgeous buildings with balconies full of beautiful, colorful potted plants. It’s definitely an area suited for long strolls, and as always, do not forget your camera!

We stayed at the Marriott Marbella Beach Resort, and I highly recommend this hotel, especially if you’re traveling with kids. The rooms are spacious, clean and comfortable, we actually had a two bedroom, two bathroom apartment, with a large balcony.  The outdoor area is beautiful, with several restaurants, and a very large pool with slides.  Our daughter made several friends during our stay, and we all enjoyed all of the amenities throughout the property. The resort is about a 15 minute drive into the old town, but we had a rental car and there are various parking garages in town.  The resort also provides a shuttle into the old town various times a day.

Marriott Marbella Beach Resort

Marriott Marbella Beach Resort

195

Buttered pasta for Carolina, pan-fried codfish with potatoes, calamata olives, cherry tomatoes, and white wine for hubby and risotto with stracchino for me!

At the heart of the old town is Plaza de los Naranjos, very picturesque, and full of shops and restaurants.  We got caught up in the liveliness of the plaza and decided to have dinner there one night.  Big mistake…as with most main squares in these towns, the food was not great, and the service even worse.  Marbella does have a great selection of diverse amazing restaurants, but make sure you do your research, and stay away from all the tourist traps. The cosmopolitan nature of Marbella means you will encounter people from all parts of the world. Dinner at Stuzzikini, a little Italian restaurant, was amazing with great food and very friendly owners. They actually came by our table and chatted with us, telling us all about their family business! We also had another great meal at Tempora Restaurante, right around the corner.

Stuzzikini Cocina Italiana

Stuzzikini Cocina Italiana

In Marbella, as with most European cities we have visited, residents praise the quality of life.  One afternoon, I was shopping in a little jewelry store with my daughter, just as the famous “siesta” was about to start.  The store owner was practically rushing me, because he had to close up for his 4 hour rest, and then proceeded to tell me that Europeans were not like Americans in that they work to live, not live to work (not the first time I  have been told this in Europe). I realized at that moment, that these are some of the reasons why we travel abroad.  We like to experience the differences in cultures, and in Spain, that includes getting your shopping done in the morning, as they will close the town down between the hours of 1-5PM! So, we happily headed back to our hotel and enjoyed the rest of the afternoon by the gorgeous pool area. Later that evening we returned to town for some more strolling and dinner.

While staying in Marbella, it is also very easy to take day trips to the other nearby towns of Torremolinos, Mijas, Fuengirola, Benalmádena, Puerto Banús, and of course, Málaga, which has the nearest international airport.

Here are some more pictures of our Marbella trip.  Have you been to Marbella?  I’d love to hear what you enjoyed most…

Tiled bench at Parque de la Alameda

Tiled bench at Parque de la Alameda

Typical street in the old town

Typical street in the old town

Typical square in the center of old town, with the beautiful Iglesia de la Encarnación in the background

Square in the center of the old town, with the beautiful Iglesia de la Encarnación in the background

Typical souvenir shops selling Sevillana dolls and cermaics

Souvenir shops selling Sevillana dolls and ceramics

Ermita del Santo Cristo de la Vera Cruz

Ermita del Santo Cristo de la Vera Cruz

528

Sevillana dresses hanging from the balconies on Plaza de los Naranjos

Beautiful potted flowers

More beautiful balconies

Dinner at Plaza de los Naranjos

Dinner at Plaza de los Naranjos

A street named after me...

A street named after me…

Advertisements

27 thoughts on “Marvelous Marbella

  1. What an absolutely gorgeous place to visit. All those flowers, it’s like straight out of a fairytale. I like how they close down for their 4 hour siesta. That would be wonderful if we did that here too! A lot less stressed people, I’m sure!

    Like

  2. I have never been to Marbella. It looks amazing and your pictures are beautiful. My husband and I are talking about taking an over seas trip next year and Spain is on my list of places to go.

    Like

  3. I am not going to lie – the only things I know about Marbella are whatever I see on the U.K. reality TV show, The Only Way is Essex (TOWIE). Total trash TV, but they seem to vacation there a lot. Your photos are definitely a different take from what I’ve seen on TV. I’d love to visit one day!

    Like

  4. Pingback: Magical Mijas |

I'd love to hear your comments...

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s