In the first part of the "subjective guide" to Marbella, you read about Puerto Banus, nightlife and my favorite beach in Cabopino. You also found out where the name of the city comes from, how Puerto Banus was created and what La Senda Litoral is.
Today read about the fish restaurants on the beach called "chiringuitos", about why Costa del Sol is for some Costa del Golf, go with me to the Old Town in Marbella and let yourself be carried away by the spirit of flamenco.
Marbella - beach restaurants
If you go on a trip to La Senda Litoral and get hungry, you can come to the nearest "chiringuito", which is a fish restaurant on the beach. There are plenty of them on the Costa del Sol and you will eat good fresh fish in all of them. I will give you the names of a few of my favorites:
- Los Espigones,
- Mistral Beach,
- Andy’s Beach,
- Aurora Beach,
- Sirocco Beach,
- Taberna del Alabadero,
- Macaao Beach,
- El Ancla,
- Los Sardinales.
Order gambas al pil pil, boquerones al vinagre, lubina a la plancha and calamar a la plancha. And don't forget about tinto de verano - it's the favorite summer drink of the Spaniards, red wine mixed with Casera, a kind of local orangeade. If you don't like such inventions, order a good old sangria. Bon Appetit!
Marbella golf courses
When writing about Marbella, it is impossible not to mention golf. It is not without reason that Costa del Sol is also called Costa del Golf. The number of golf courses in this relatively small area testifies to the popularity of this sport among Europeans, because it is, except for the south of Portugal, the only place in Europe where the climate allows you to play golf also in the winter. Nueva Andalucia, which I mentioned in the first part of the entry, from "a place to live for ordinary people", has become a Mecca for golfers. The Golf Valley located here has the most-known golf courses in Europe:
- La Quinta,
- Los Naranjos,
- Las Brisas,
- Aloha Golf.
In Marbella we also have: Santa Clara Golf, Rio Real Golf, which ends ... on the beach, Marbella Golf Club, Cabopino Golf and many others. We have a total of 21 golf courses on the Costa del Sol, and there are over 100 of them in Andalusia!
If not golf then what?
In addition to water sports and golf, on the Costa del Sol you can go on great trekking routes, climb La Concha, the already mentioned "guardian" of Marbella (I recommend, the views are unforgettable!), ride bikes, play tennis, go horse riding or just sit down in some shady park and nourish your senses with lush greenery and the murmur of the nearest fountain.
Go to Parque Alameda in Marbella. And be sure to pay attention to where you sit. In addition to the beautiful, illuminated fountain Fuente de la Virgen del Rocio, Parque Alameda is known for its benches lined with traditional Andalusian, hand-painted tiles: each bench is different and each tells a story. Take a look at them and choose the one whose story will be closest to you.
La Concha rises to 1216 m a.s.l. and is an ideal destination for lovers of trekking or just wanting a break from sunbathing.
A date with the Cosmic Elephant
From Parque Alameda, take a walk to the beach. It is a short walk during which you will touch great art. Literally, because the sculptures of Salvadore Dali stand on the Avenida del Mar square leading from Parque Alameda to the sea, in the open air, without any shields separating them from walkers. You can take a picture with them, touch, chat with Don Quijote (you know, the guy from La Mancha). There are even those willing to ride on the Cosmic Elephant or those who apparently embarrassed by her nakedness, dress Gala in ... a school uniform. Housekeeping naturally intervenes, but human ingenuity knows no bounds (especially after a large amount of good Spanish wine).
From Avenida del Mar you will go down the stairs to Paseo Maritimo, the seaside promenade. Restaurants, bars and souvenir shops reign here. You can buy a bikini, sunscreen, sunglasses, flip-flops, beach dresses, hats and towels (necessarily with the inscription "Marbella" or a bull, or both), which is everything necessary for a full-length sunbathing. You can go along the promenade towards Puerto Deportivo de Marbella. If you had a lack of yachts after visiting Puerto Banús, there you will find dozens of other vessels, perhaps not so large and luxurious, but equally picturesque. Puerto Deportivo is also a basin of bars serving delicious drinks.
Casco Antiguo or the secrets of the Old Town
Marbella is not just beaches, golf and endless events. It is a city that has grown from a small fishing village with diverse history into an international resort. The richness of this history is best seen in Casco Antiguo, i.e. in the Old Town. Arabian defensive walls, Christian churches, narrow streets, fountains and lots of flowers. The famous Easter week processions (Semana Santa) also begin here. The scent of orange rises over the Old Town in spring. It comes from the main square, called Plaza de Los Naranjos, or Orange Square. There, next to several restaurants serving very tasty Spanish cuisine, there is also the Town Hall and the city hall of Marbella
El Duende, the spirit of flamenco
From Plaza de Los Naranjos it is very close to Tablao de Ana Maria, a strange place where time has stopped. "Tablao" in Andalusia means a place where flamenco is sung and danced. Ana Maria is an age-old today, once very popular flamenco dancer, whose shows were watched by the Spanish kings and lots of not only Spanish stars. Doña Ana Maria cares about the level of performances that her band serves to the viewers every evening. There is no kitsch typical of similar performances played in hotels or restaurants. At Tablao de Ana Maria there are real emotions of real people. I can't count how many times I've been there and I've never left disappointed or bored. Each spectacle is unique. It is worth reserving a seat at a lame table covered with a dotted tablecloth, order a glass of wine and let yourself be carried away by the wave of emotions rolling right next to you. It doesn't matter that you don't speak Spanish. The faces of singers and dancers will tell you everything. You will stomp on coming back, maybe even sing something, and the happy El Duende will show you to the hotel.
"Tablao" in Andalusia means a place where flamenco is sung and danced.