|An Insider's View of
Marbella Spain by Jackie De Burca
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People love to travel to
the "in place" and the "in place" changes over the years sometimes purely
because people are so keen to find the next trendy in place. Some of these
places are further afield and for those of us based in Europe with tighter
budgets it is great to be able to rediscover one that is within easy reach.
Marbella in the South of Spain falls into this category, and the image
that it has inherited from the 1960s still has some truth but it possesses
more depths and colours to it than that.
were motivated to travel there because of the weather, and the Saudi Royal
family contributed to making it what it is today, at least some aspects.
What a tourist does not always appreciate is the heart of the area, the
native people, the huge international community who have made it their
home and a lifestyle that is hard to beat.
The Marbella area enjoys
an especially pleasant micro-climate, and weather records show an average
of 320 days of sunshine per year and only 45 days of rain. The international
image of Marbella is that of a playground for the rich and famous, especially
centring around Puerto Banus. Marbella and the surrounding area has much
more to offer than just this, and makes a wonderful location for touring
to other interesting parts of Andalucia as well as not going far at all
as there is really no need to!
People who have travelled
to many parts of Spain are often pleasantly surprised by Marbella and its
surrounds. With a certain type of reputation the expectations are of something
that perhaps lacks character in some ways, however this is not the case.
Even touristic parts such as Orange Square- Plaza de Los Naranjos- are
incredibly charming while at the same time unashamedly touristic. One can
sit with a drink or a meal, intoxicated with the smell of oranges, the
style of the people around and of course there are always some interesting
looking tourists to watch. It is a very special place and is surrounded
by those charming labyrinths of whitewashed Spanish streets which are filled
with lovely boutiques.
Banus itself is a must to visit and depending on what you like as a person
you may either love it or not as the case may be. During the day and early
evening it is a wonderful place to take a stroll and admire the yachts
and the cruising cars. As the dusk falls the scenery changes in the port,
and creatures of the night emerge making it a venue more suited to the
party going types.
Out of the port and in towns
such as Marbella itself and San Pedro, there are a wealth of working cafes
used mainly by the locals where you can feel the spirit of the area, and
often find the best food. The local people are well seasoned to tourists
and the majority of them will speak English to you, but with some encouragement
they will speak in Spanish if you wish. Like anywhere it is necessary to
at least attempt some of the local language in order to really feel the
There are villages like Istan
and others within easy reach of Marbella which are somehow timeless and
so very beautiful. In the surrounding area of Marbella within a 15 minute
drive, you can choose a lifestyle that can either be sophisticated, peaceful
and in tune with nature, or a simple Spanish village lifestyle which still
holds the charm and values of years gone by - or of course a combination
of all types.
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