There is more to Marbella than first meets the eye and for any off-the-beaten track adventure seeker – this beautiful town has lots to discover. Here is my introduction to a more authentic side of this marvellous town.
Exploring on foot has got to be the best way to get to know a place and this Spanish town is no exception. Head to the Old Quarter and you will be pleasantly surprised by the way the place has retained is antiquated charm, particularly as it is not well known for its historical legacies.
Wander the winding higgledy-piggledy streets and you get a real feel for the Arabian characteristics and foundations that give this enchanting place its charming atmosphere.
- Plaza de los Naranjos (Plaza of the Orange Trees)
- Alcazaba (The Castle)
- Ayuntamiento (City Hall)
- Casa del Corregidor (House of the Magistrate)
- Hospital Bazán with the Museo del Grabado Español (Museum of Spanish Engraving)
- La Encarnación Church
I can easily spend a morning wandering the beautiful Avenida del Mar admiring the five famous Dali sculptures that are on show for all to see. Despite having no connection with the town, Dali did take holidays here and the marble walkway honours his artistic talent.
- The Greek mythological hero, Perseus, beheading Medusa
- “Gala Gradiva”, Dali’s nickname for his wife
- “Mercurio” depicting the Roman god Mercury
- “Trajano a Caballo” – the Roman Emperor Trajan on a horse
- Dali’s wife looking through a window
Top Tip: Take a stroll to see Dali’s rhinoceros at the entrance of Puerto Banus. Called Rhinoceros Dressed in Lace, the statue was created by Dalí in 1956 following his movie, The Prodigious Adventure of the Lacemaker and the Rhinoceros.
Engraving Museum (Museo del Grabado)
Once the home of the Mayor, Don Alonso deBazán, who donated the building originally as a hospital for the poor, the museum’s sixteenth-century Renaissance features make it a stand out place to visit. The first museum of its type in the country, it displays works by Picasso and Tàpies, among others.
Showcasing all manner of techniques including lithography, serigraphy, xylography and of course engraving, this museum is a wonderful place to while away an hour or two.
Monday 09.00 to 14.00 hrs
Tuesday to Friday: 09:00 – 19:00 hrs
Saturday: 09:00 – 14:00 hrs
Closed Sunday and Public Holidays
NB: Museum information accurate at the time of this blog post’s publication.
One of my favourite things about Spain is the food. The little morsels of deliciousness that you can indulge in at any time of the day make eating here a real pleasure. I love hopping from bar to bar tasting as many tapas as I can. Here are some of my favourites:
- Magna Café – Av Calderón de la Barca 0, 29660 Marbella
- Garnacha – Plaza de los Olivos s/n, 29601 Marbella
- Barrocco – Calle Acera de la Marina 4, 29602 Marbella
I always find that I stumble upon the best bits of any town or city when I am exploring on foot or by bike. Wander as much as possible, get lost and you are bound to find some hidden gems. As far as gorgeous Marbella goes, start with my ideas above and you are sure to discover lots more.
Where to Stay
Marbella Old Town House – This funky little accommodation option comes high up on my list of places to stay when in Marbella Old Town. Bright, airy and colourfully decorated, the individual units are beautifully appointed. All have free Wi-Fi and that all-important air conditioning. The self-catering facilities are useful when you just want to hang out in the evening and don’t feel like dining solo in a restaurant.
A pretty terrace, which makes the perfect spot for some quiet reading, is an added bonus if you are ever in need of an escape from the afternoon heat.
Marbella Town – From the moment you enter this pretty apartment with its leafy front adorned with lots of pot plants, you feel a million miles from the street outside. Tranquil and relaxing, this apartment is light, cool and a great place to be based when exploring the area. The free Wi-Fi is a plus, especially if you like to upload photos to keep friends and family at home up to date with your travels.
There is air conditioning here, as well as a fully-equipped kitchen with a fridge so you can re-use your water bottles, keep your supplies nice and cold and save on buying more plastic. I love the fact that you can hire bikes here, which are a great way to explore the local area, and the option to hire towels and linens means you can save space in the suitcase too.
How to Get There
The closest airport to Marbella is Malaga Airport (AGP) and luckily this airport is well served with regular weekly flights from the UK. Sun-Air is a popular choice of airline but there are lots of others to choose from too. In less than three hours you can have left London and be on Spanish soil getting ready to start your holiday.
For anyone travelling solo, I can highly recommend getting a transfer from Malaga Airport to Marbella with Shuttle Direct. You can pre-book this service from the UK, which is very convenient, and choose either a private or shared option. The shared transfer will be cheaper, which is good news if you are watching your holiday budget. The journey takes around 45 minutes and by using Shuttle Direct you avoid the hassle of public transport, which can be tough to get to grips with.
- UK to AGP Flight Time: 2 hours 45 minutes
- AGP to Marbella Distance: 51 kilometres
- Shuttle Direct Transfer Time: 45 minutes
About Shuttle Direct
At Shuttle Direct we provide a convenient and competitively priced transfer service from airports across Europe and North Africa. Whether you choose a shared or private service, you can look forward to a professional service, friendly drivers and a hassle-free start to your holiday. Book in advance and let us take care of the rest.