Marbella is the most famous seaside resort on the Costa del Sol and has a reputation as one of the most glamorous holiday destinations in southern Europe. Discovered by the world's jet set in the 1960s, Marbella stands for luxury and quality experiences - it's not for nothing that some of Europe's finest real estate can be found here, as well as first-class golf courses and some of the world's best beach clubs.
In the centre of Marbella you will find the historic old part with a Moorish castle, a maze of narrow streets and alleys, and several beautiful churches. The central Alameda park, lined with many Dali sculptures, connects the old town with the beach promenade via the Avenida del Mar. The seaside promenade - one of the most popular spots in Marbella - runs from the Bajadilla marina in the east all the way to San Pedro in the west, a distance of about 15km in total.
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This is a small town west of Marbella, better known as simply San Pedro. The city has plenty of amenities with a wide range of shops and restaurants, good sports facilities, health centers and various schools, including the Laude San Pedro International College.
San Pedro has an attractive promenade and two popular parks. The Boulevard, located in the city centre, has a children's playground and a small theatre, while the Parque de los Tres Jardines (north) has botanical gardens with subtropical, Mediterranean and Arabic gardens.
There are several popular developments in San Pedro. For example, the high-quality Guadalmina and Linda Vista, both west of the resort.
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Puerto Banús needs no introduction as it is one of the most popular places in Marbella to visit. It is home to an attractive marina where some of the world's largest private yachts and boats are moored.
You'll also find a long list of luxury boutiques - the main designers and haute couture names have shops in Puerto Banús - as well as many restaurants and bars overlooking the marina. This is really a place to see and be seen. In high season, celebrity spotting is a habit because many celebrities drink wine and dine in Puerto Banús.
This is also one of the best places for nightclubs in Marbella. Some of the best Beach clubs on the Costa del Sol are located in Puerto Banús, including Ocean Club, Funky Buddha and La Sala by the Sea. All offer night parties as well as daytime activities. At a short distance from the beach you will also find a number of good discotheques and pubs.
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Nueva Andalucía is located west of Marbella and north of Puerto Banús. This popular development has an excellent selection of villas and townhouses, some of which overlook golf courses. Many houses offer unparalleled views of the mountains and/or the sea.
Nueva Andalucía has excellent facilities such as a small shopping centre in Centro Plaza (next to the bullfighting arena), hosting one of the Costa del Sol's most popular Saturday markets. Aloha College, one of the largest international schools in Marbella, is located here.
Sports facilities are excellent - Golf Valley has five golf courses in and around Nueva Andalucía and some of them, such as La Quinta and Las Brisas, are among the best on the Costa del Sol. The famous Manolo Santana Tennis Academy can also be found here.
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Estepona is located in Spain, west of the Costa del Sol between Marbella and Manilva. Unlike some resorts on the Costa del Sol, Estepona has remained true to its fishing village roots and has retained its typical Andalusian atmosphere. The municipality stretches over more than 21km along the Mediterranean Sea and includes some of the best and quietest beaches on the Costa del Sol.
The seafront promenade stretches for a few kilometres. You can walk along the Blue Flag beaches of the city. On the west side of the city is Estepona Marina, home to the fishing fleet and home to shops and restaurants, as well as a Sunday market.
Estepona also offers a range of water sports such as sailing, jet skiing and diving. Many of these activities are located in Estepona Marina. Estepona has a number of beautiful beaches, including three with Blue Flag status.
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The Elviria region of Marbella is recognised as one of the most beautiful beaches on the entire southern coast. It is a lively residential area that offers a range of amenities, and very popular among the expat community.
Elviria is famous for its tranquil forests that feature beautifully scented native pines, cork oaks and sand dunes. Cabopino harbour is a popular and lively beach with a number of local and international beach bars, chiringuitos and restaurants.
The area is home to Don Carlos Hotel, a five-star luxury hotel, a local landmark for years. Also for the world famous Nikki Beach, one of Europe's premium Beach club hotspots has been known for its glamour, luxury and celebrity culture. It also has a number of small commercial areas with an array of convenient local amenities including banks, medical centers and a great selection of excellent restaurants, bars and supermarkets.
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Fuengirola is a bustling metropolis with a fantastic 8km stretch of beach, a picturesque port and a recently redesigned main square, Plaza de la Constitución, which is bustling all year round with both locals and tourists sampling the local cuisine and browsing the surrounding boutiques.
The square is an enchanting meeting place for family and friends during festivities such as the annual Fuengirola Summer Feria, Christmas and New Year when it is all dressed up in elaborate lights and ornaments and the whole town participates in street parties and explodes in song and dance.
The city is just a 40 minute's drive from Malaga Airport, connecting the Costa del Sol with most European destinations and is a short drive from charming coastal towns such as La Cala and Benalmadena.
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Mijas Costa is located in the centre of the Costa del Sol in the south of Spain and stretches over 12 kilometres along the Mediterranean coast from Cabopino in Marbella in the west to Fuengirola in the east.
La Cala de Mijas - this small town is the centre for (administrative) services of Mijas Costa. La Cala, once a small fishing village, has become a popular place to live and it has about 4,000 inhabitants. It has schools, medical centers, a range of shops and restaurants, and the best beaches in this part of the Costa del Sol.
There are 15 beaches in Mijas Costa and 3 of them have Blue Flag status. The beaches range from long, sandy beaches like the one in La Cala, to small pebble beach coves. A few small beaches are among the quietest on the Costa del Sol. The Mijas Costa residential areas are all a short distance from the beaches in Marbella and Fuengirola.
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