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Photo by Two Steps Behind

Half a century ago, a man named Max Hohenlohe, married a woman from a wealthy Malaga family and began inviting his European friends to his seaside house. This was later transformed by his son Alfonso into the now famous Marbella Club.

Marbella really is unique. A sun drenched historic town, at the foot of Europe and blessed with a specially mild microclimate, thanks to the protection offered by the impressive Sierra Blanca mountain range, which rises majestically behind Marbella just one mile inland from the shore.

On a cost per sq mt basis, the Golden Mile, that runs from Puerto Banus to the middle of Marbella, is one of the most valuable areas for real estate in this area, hence the name (La Mila de Oro). It also contains the famous Marbella Club resourt, hotel and urbanisation where famous families such as the Beckhams stay when in town. Its also the location for James Hewitts Polo House and the Puente Romano - a club popular with the rich and famous where una caña (small beer) will set you back 10 Euros.

The bigger and more oppulent houses are well hidden in little roads that feed off the Golden Mile and you could very easily miss them. This is where you will find the super rich and off the scale houses boasting gardens the size and scale of large parks.

Marbella's old town & Los Naranjos

After spending the day on one of the 29 beaches along its almost 28 kilometres of shoreline, take a stroll through Marbella's old town. Around the lovely Orange Square (Los Naranjos) you will find charming narrow streets, little squares adorned with geraniums, bars and sidewalk cafes. There are also shops where you can purchase all manner of goods and gifts. Its a delightful place to take a wander.

By night, one can see Marbella in all its splendor. The restaurants form an unbroken line - with gastronomy from all over the world - and there are bars and sidewalk cafes where young and old savour the Mediterrnean night. It really is a very pretty place and a wonderful spot where one can walk for miles and soak up the atmosphere.

World-famous for its gardens and beaches, Marbella is the jewel in the Costa del Sol's crown and offers visitors a special experience; a contrasting landscape of sea, mountains, village and cosmopolitan life, where fishermen rub shoulders with wealthy tourists in the summer.

A truly Andalucian town, Marbella has always succeeded in conquering its conquerors - Phoenicians, Romans, Vandals, Arabs.

A few years ago, the first mosque to be built since the reconquest of Spain by the Catholic monarchs at the end of the 15th century, opened its doors to worshippers and visitors just a few miles from Marbella. This magnificent complex was built by H.M. King Fahd of Saudi Arabia.

Marbella is a wonderful blend of old and new, historic and modern. Its carefully conserved historic monuments include the beautiful 16th century parish church with its outstanding organ (built ten years ago by public subscription) and the old town, itself a fascinating collection of old white washed houses and tranquil streets.

Marbella's archaeological treasures and sites have been carefully catalogued, restored and protected.

Places of interest in Marbella

Bonsai Museum, Marrbella

The Museum of Engravings is the largest in Europe, whilst its Bonsai Museum is located nearby in the broad Represa stream bed, recently converted into a quiet and beautiful park. We often take our children here on a Sunday because it is a lovely place to spend the afternoon watching the kids play on the excellent facilities provide by the Adjuntamiento.

All Marbella's wide beaches fly the European Union blue flag. There are national and international schools for students of all nations, and soon there will be a university.

The Exhibition and Conference Centre hosts dozens of events every year, there are top class hotels, restaurants, bars and discos for all tastes (and pockets), a string of leisure ports, including Puerto Banus and a full range of sports facilities, including numerous golf courses, water ski centres, tennis and health clubs.

Its musical life, both classical and pop, includes concerts and recitals by world famous artists. In the Summer, many of these are free.

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