The jetset’s favourite city on Spain’s Mediterranean coast, with its flashy marina standing out on the Costa del Sol, Marbella boasts also a magnificent natural setting, a picturesque casco antiguo (old town), and an intriguing millenary past.
Discover Marbella’s hidden treasures on our Marbella shore excursion!
Located between Malaga and Gibraltar, the city started to become a famous tourist destination in the sixties: actors, directors and celebrities have their holiday villa along the “Milla de Oro”, the Golden Mile of Marbella, a coastal road studded with luxury hotels and clubs that stretches for about 5km from the city center to Puerto Banús, the port of Marbella.
Despite the intense urbanization, the coast conserves several natural areas, such as the romantic Dunas de Artola (dunes of Artola) at the eastern end of the city, and all beaches between the port and Cabopino. Just behind the coastal mountain range, you can find the breath-taking Sierra de las Nieves natural Park, a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve.
Nature, but also a long history forge Marbella’s charm: in fact, the Andalusian city was home to Phoenicians, Visigoths, Romans and Moors. On our Marbella shore excursion, we will make our way through Marbella’s ancient past! We will start with the remains of the ancient Roman baths, the Termas de las Bovedas, and then continue with the Villa de Rio Verde with its exceptional mosaics, just outside the historic center of Marbella, and the Basilica of Vega del Mar, of Visigoth origin. Going even further back, it is believed that the first settlement in the area of Marbella dates back to the Phoenician occupation of the seventh century.
Without any doubt, the Casco Antiguo’s origins date back to Roman times; the old town was originally known as Salduba. The Moors made Marbella their main bastion: the Caliphate of Cordoba fortified the coast with a series of defensive towers, a citadel, the Alcazaba, and a wall to protect the city. The current name most likely developed from the name the Arabs gave it: Marbal·la. The heart of the old town is certainly Plaza de los Naranjos, build during the Renaissance. The Ayuntamiento, i.e. the Town Hall, was originally the residence of the Catholic Monarchs. However, the protagonists of the casco antiguo are the fragrant orange trees that give the square its name. Here you can also visit the oldest church in the city, the Ermita de Santiago. Originally a mosque, it was consecrated as a Catholic church after the Spanish Reconquista.
As for the food, fish and seafood are of course high on the menu, and if you want to honor the city’s lifestyle, we recommend a Michelin starred (yet not too expensive) meal at “Lobito del Mar”.
Whether you want to relax on one of the many charming beaches, stroll along the extravagant Golden Mile, or delve into the city’s many archaeological layers, let Marbella surprise you with its cosmopolitan and Andalusian charms on your cruise through the Mediterranean.
Discover Marbella, Spain’s gem on the Costa del Sol, on our Marbella shore excursion!