Behind the scenes of Marbella’s pleasurable luxury

It is little wonder that Marbella has attracted the rich and famous for many decades, and that many people who come here on holidays decide to stay. It is known all over the world as one of the classiest and most beautiful holiday destinations in Southern Europe. It has everything: beaches, mountains, old world charm, cosmopolitan atmosphere and services, countryside and city, and a wonderful climate that keeps the temperatures cooler in summer and warmer in winter than the rest of Malaga province.

Marbella

Marbella is known as one of the most luxurious resort towns in the world and boasts an endless supply of restaurants, bars, clubs and shops to keep you entertained throughout your stay. Most people must-does are usually very similar: luxury shopping, clubbing and chillaxing on the yacht. This is a place that most people only dream of. But don't let its reputation scare you.
This is very unique in its category, not many out there, which can also be explored without breaking your piggy bank. It's not more expensive than some other places in Andalusia.

Marbella is that kind of posh holiday resort what doesn’t fit the expectation. It is really hard to define. A big surprise. A beautiful part of the word. Where exclusive and elegant combined with a modern minimalist approach. Offering a perfect tranquility and friendly atmosphere. Taking your time to travel slowly lets you get a different taste and you can enjoy a very comfortable lifestyle.

Marbella into a better, healthier, more sustainable and safer place to live and visit. The official processes are now paperless, replacement of public lighting with LED, the control of atmospheric pollution and the constant laying of cycle lanes are just some of the measures that have been carried out. So, if you’re a responsible tourist, this “Smart City” is the place for you.

The meandering old town itself is atmospheric with its whitewashed houses, interior patios, narrow cobbled streets, hidden plazas and great variety of bars, restaurants and boutiques. This part of the city is characteristic of an Arabic old city, to feel like you were in the 16th century. 

Plaza de los Naranjos (Orange Square) a popular meeting point. Kind a charming open space to sit down enjoy orange blossom in the air and the sound of flamenco music.

Beaches are not particularly beautiful but the coastline is fine sand all the way where you can relax and enjoy the sunshine. One of our favorite morning activities was to chill out in a café next to the sea.

There are no private beaches on Costa del Sol, so you can walk as much as you want in the sand. You can also find almost abandoned ones really close to the center.

The land that goes back from the seaside is a paradise of luxury housing developments, golf courses and beautiful mountain scenery. 

Marbella's hotspot, Puerto Banús, can be found in a marina located south of the town. In recent years has earned itself a reputation as being a playground of the rich and famous celebrities, royalty alike.

Puerto Banús

From cycling around gazing at beautiful architecture and lazy afternoons on the beach to cooking meals with fresh produce from the market and drinking wine in any outdoor squares, Marbella is an ideal slow travel destination.

While we’re still learning how to be as responsible as possible on the road, we’d love to share some thoughts, tips on helping locals while traveling. Don’t let the money you pay get lost.

When

Anywhere on the Mediterranean during summer season means wall-to-wall people. Sunshine for more than 300 days of the year allows you more enjoyable time from September until end of April. Summer time is kinda pain in the ass for locals. So if you decide not to enjoy the crowds you give although a chance to inhabitants to stay more comfortable at home during this period. The many advantages of off-season travel: different activities; less stressed quality service; more intimate, money saver and satisfying experience for you. Although, making your choice this way gives a big opportunity for the destination to decrease seasonality impacts on employees and local community.

Stay

in a local guest house, smaller boutique hotel, or an Airbnb apartment run by a native. It’s not always a rule, but in most cases, if you book your stay there, the chances your money will arrive in the hands of a local owner are higher than in a big hotel run by a foreigner with imported staff.

San Pedro de Alcantára

Eat

This means looking for local food markets where residents do shopping. Don’t forget to choose local products instead of imported ones. As we all know, industrial food production is responsible for a lot of things. That way, you support a lot of good impacts not only yourself, the shop, and the producer. Luckily, Marbella offers a selection of locally grown fruits and vegetables.

For example:
- Mercado Municipale, local market, however most of these goods have been treated with pesticides and fungicides.

- More and more farmers are signing up to ecological production. A traveling organic market promoted by the nonprofit association Guadalhorce Ecológico where producers set up their stalls on weekends in different towns is a fantastic resource. Twice a month you can find them in the area.
- Bionatura, the organic shop in the centre of Marbella
- Andalucía Ecológica offers home delivery service for those who want to eat healthy and support the local organic farms.

Many restaurants aim to cater for a growing environmentally conscious public who prefer to eat fresh, healthy and locally sourced food. We believe that more places on the Costa del Sol should follow this approach.

Buy

It is clear, that there is still a lot that needs to be done to make Marbella a more sustainable, environmental conscious place. Buying products that have been produced in the city and its surroundings minimizes significantly the carbon footprint and helps creating and maintaining local workers.

Be curious

Very often, what we hear about some nation’s look like is just bad fiction. Ask. Listen. Filter your prejudices and avoid judging people. This is the only way to learn something new and to get to know better a new culture.

Spread the word. Talk about your nice experience.

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