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Marbella - Andalucia - Spain

Marbella is the choice of the rich and famous. The resort is large and stylish, with around 28km of beaches. Set against the stunning backdrop of the "La Concha" mountain Marbella is a mixture of old and new, with stylish apartments lining the seafront while typical Andalusian houses are to be found along the picturesque alleys of Marbella's Old Town. A favourite area to visit is the beautiful Plaza de los Naranjos in the Old Quarter, meaning "Orange Plaza" it is aptly named and especially beautiful when the orange blossoms are in bloom, it's also surrounded by restaurants and caf├ęs making it a perfect place to unwind and watch the world go by.

Marbella's main boulevard is home to many stylish boutiques and shops, while the gardens at "Parque de la Alameda" make a nice place to sit and relax, dedicated to the artist Salvador Dali, there are copies of his sculptures along it's length and leading down to the promenade. The "Parque de la Constituci├│n's" own little ampitheatre is the venue for outdoor productions during the summer months.

Marbella's marina is neither as famous nor as glamorous as it's better known sister, Puerto Banus, but the Marina Marbella area is the place to find fresh fish, with it's live fish market providing many of the restaurants in the area with their fish. The Paseo Maritimo borders the sandy beaches and stretches from Marbella right along to Puerto Banus. As one leaves the center of Marbella heading west one travels along the famous "Golden Mile", so called for the palatial beach front villas that make the area some of the most expensive real estate in Europe. The "Golden Mile" is also home to the Marbella Club Hotel, founded in the 1950's, the five star luxury hotel founded Marbella's reputation as a playground for the rich and famous. Nowaday's celebrities and dignities include the likes of King Fahd of Saudi Arabia, who has a summer palace and mosque on the Golden Mile. Marbella has a distinctly cosmopolitan feel to it, more so than the other main towns on the Costa del Sol, local celebrities include Sean Connery, Melanie Griffith & Antonio Banderas (who originally came from Malaga). It's not suprising then that it is often compared with the likes of Monaco and Portofino.