Think you know Marbella? Think again. From the cobbled streets of Benahavis and day trips to Morocco and Gibraltar, here’s why you need to visit:
- Swerve the more well-known Ocean beach Club in Puerto Banus and go poolside at nearby La Sala By The Sea instead. From Ladies’ Day to Born In The 90s pool parties, La Sala has a more chilled-out vibe. Tuck into Thai fusion food, sushi platters or, if you’re feeling hungover, the Buddha burger may be just what you need. lasalabythesea.com
- Take a trip up into the Andalusian mountains and visit the quaint village of Benahavis. It’s synonymous with food and has an array of top-class restaurants. Tapas doesn’t come any better than at El Chico, where you can tuck into gambas pil pil and the tastiest mini burgers cooked by Chico’s mum.
- Drink cocktails at Luck Cocktail Bar, Benahavis. The outside terrace offers picturesque views overlooking the mountains and you can pick your poison from a large selection of cocktails and gin. Our faves? The espresso Martini and Negroni. Food here is also a must.
- Take a day trip to Morocco. You can get a ferry from Tarifa to Tangier for around 60 euros. The FRS ferry service runs up to six times a day, and takes around one hour to arrive. Known as the door to Africa, Tangier offers wonderful sights, sounds and smells of spices fill the air. Markets are a must and you’ll also spot the Berber tribeswomen selling their wares.
- Marbella’s historic Old Town, or Casco Antiguo, is a hidden gem which most tourists don’t manage to discover. It can be found near the centre of town just up from the Avenida Ricardo Soriano – the main street which runs through Marbella – and opposite La Alameda park. With its ancient architecture, cobbled streets, boutique shops, art galleries, bars and restaurants, the Old Town makes for the perfect day of culture and cuisine.
- More than 1200 years of Moorish, Spanish and British history can be found in Gibraltar. Explore the famous Gibraltar Rock and watch out for the famous inhabitants – the tailless Barbary macaques. Many of the 160 primates hang around the Apes’ Den near the middle cable-car station, as well as at the top cable-car station and the Great Siege. Also visit the Moorish castle, Gibraltar Museum, WWII tunnels and St Michael’s Cave. The natural grotto is filled with stalagmites and stalactites.