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Marbella, Costa Del Sol

Aug 17, 2007
One of the most important beach resorts on the Costa del Sol, Marbella is known as the holiday destination of European business tycoons. An open port to the Mediterranean, Marbella is a flourishing city in Andalusian Spain and one of the oldest inhabited places in Europe. The mountains of Marbella have hidden the secrets of the Paleolithic and the Neolithic people for millenia. Like its southern Spanish relatives: Alicante, Valencia, Sevillia and others, the city still preserves the vestiges of five different conquering cultures.

Founded by the Phoenicians, Marbella also knew Carthaginian occupation in the area of Rio Real. Later, it was a Roman base known under the name of Salduba. The cities fortifications date back to the Muslim rule, when the city castle was also built. Even the name of Marbella is of Arab origin, Marbi-la, from which it derives. The city entered a period increasing development some seventy years ago, and it has maintained this upward trend to the present day.

The main touristic attraction is the large seafront promenade, which may just prove ideal for the traditional Spanish "paseo". There are cafes and restaurants, souvenir boutiques and tea houses, but most of all, there is the soft golden sandy beach and clear blue sea. This is the final destination spot for most European tourists, above any other sight in the city. Furthermore, the promenade has the advantage of being within just a few minutes walk from the old centre.

Part of the old civilization, remnants of a Roman settlement and now a popular tourist attraction are the Roman villas and baths. They have well preserved mosaics, and you will always find local guides ready to fill you in with the cultural details. The great advantage is that these ruins are very close to the beach of Guadalmina, west of San Pedro, so you're actually close to other sights on the tour. Furthermore, there is also the city's mosque, a tribute to the city's Islamic past, and a great pride for the Arab community of Marbella.

As for museums, one highly recommended place to go is the Museum of Spanish Contemporary Engravings. Formerly a residential palace, belonging to Don Alonso de Bazan, it served later as a hospital for the poor. It houses and exhibits works of Picasso, Chillida, Tapies and some other great names in the Spanish patrimony. To pass from museums to open air sights, that's one great idea for any sightseeing tours. Marbella boasts some of the most beautiful parks and gardens in Spain, where every small area is valued, and planted with flowers. There are Naguelas Parque, Parque de la Constitucion, La Alameda, Parque de las Medranas and others all worth a visit if you have the time.

Marbella is as crowded at night as it is by day, since the Costa del Sol has an abundance of restaurants, discos and nightclubs swarming with people. Here are some of the best spots to have fun in the warm nights of Marbella. Ana Maria's will entertain you with fun flamenco shows, for rock music, try Frank's Corner, and if your after the chic high life of Marbella, La Notte Piano Bar is great place to visit. Stones Music Bar should also be mentioned, as it offers a friendly atmosphere of Karaoke sing-alongs and sports matches.
About the Author
Steve Thomas writes about the popular resort of Marbella on the Costa Del Sol, Spain. For more information on various Spanish cities visit http://www.myeuropeanvacations.com/spain/ .
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