Marbella is advertised in holiday brochures as the most exclusive resort on the Costa del Sol, which could possibly mean that if people haven’t got loads of money they are excluded! Certainly it is the playground of the rich and famous – and infamous! Film stars and footballers rub shoulders with foreign royalty but the town has also been the haunt of crooks and undesirables including the Russian Mafia and Osama Bin Laden though, to be fair, this was before he embarked on his terrorism career. Even local government has been corrupt there – so much so, that the Spanish government took the unprecedented step of suspending the Marbella council.

However, the town is a major tourist centre and for good reason. This jet setting resort has hotels, villas and mansions fit for kings yet despite its opulence it has a perfectly preserved old town. This old Moorish quarter is a warren of narrow twisting streets and alleyways. Small restaurants, cafés and boutiques occupy many of the whitewashed buildings that often have wrought iron balconies festooned with geraniums or bougainvillaea. This part of Marbella is extremely photogenic and is a mix of Moorish and Christian architecture because the old houses are interspersed with the occasional church.

Plaza de los Naranjos

The heart of the old town is the delightfully named Plaza de los Naranjos – so called because of its orange trees. Attractive buildings surround the square including the 16th century Town Hall. There are several outdoor cafés here and it is the perfect place to unwind over a glass of beer.

A couple of miles away is Puerto Banús. Here you can see how the rich spend some of their ill-gotten gains, as many luxury yachts are berthed at the marina in this chic suburb of Marbella.


About Robert Bovington

Robert Bovington is an English writer of travel books. These include “Spanish Matters” and “Spanish Impressions” Robert Bovington was born in Brighton, East Sussex, the son of Leonard and Audrey Bovington. He is the first-born and has eight siblings – six brothers and two sisters. Having worked for many years in both the telecommunications industry and the teaching profession, Robert wanted to take on new challenges. He and Diane decided to relocate to Spain and, in 2003, the couple moved to Roquetas de Mar in sunny Andalucía. However, lazing on the beach was not Robert's idea of fun - he wanted to explore his new homeland. It didn't stop there! He was so impressed with Spain, its countryside, its historic cities and its culture that it inspired him to write about his experiences. Robert Bovington has been married to Diane for over thirty years. They have no children. However, Robert’s short marriage to Helene resulted in twin daughters Carole and Sheila. The author is also a grandfather and great grandfather. Robert met Diane when both belonged to the Crescent Operatic Society. Music is one of the author’s great passions. At primary school he sang in a choir in a concert of Bach and Handel. Another of his interests is football and for many years he supported Brighton & Hove Albion home and away. His favourite premiership team is Arsenal. Other interests include information technology, writing and ten-pin bowling.
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One Response to Marbella

  1. Reblogged this on Spanish Impressions and commented:

    Reblog of my Dec 2011 post…

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