Well known as a top location for international tourism, luxury properties and great investment opportunities, the city of Marbella is the jewel in the crown of the Costa del Sol in southern Spain. Its situation in the region of Málaga, part of Andalucía, means that the old town still retains traditional features, and new urbanisations are often in keeping with this style. Resorts, whether they're beachside or set back among the peaceful greenery of the foothills of the mountains, offer prime real estate for purchase or investment, with market leaders Engel & Völkers always on hand to offer advice.
Why Invest in Marbella?
With a average climate of over 18°C that makes it suitable as a year-round destination, Marbella's twenty-seven kilometres of sandy beaches are served by upmarket hotels, plus state-of-the-art villas and apartments to rent or buy, with all amenities close at hand. A municipality of 117 square kilometres, Marbella sits between the city of Málaga and the Strait of Gibraltar, with the coast of North Africa being visible from some places on a clear day. The azure-blue waters of the Mediterranean, the stunning coastline and the tasteful resorts are all backed by the Sierra Blanca mountain range, with La Concha (the shell) being something of a local landmark, due to its distinctive shape.
Buy Into Nature and History
Nature reserves make inland hiking a delight, while the Artola dunes are a protected coastal area. There is evidence of habitation during the Palaeolithic and Neolithic eras, and later, the Romans left their mark. Islamic rule followed the Normans from the tenth century until 1485, when the Catholic monarchs Ferdinand and Isabella made it part of the kingdom of Castile.
The city walls surround the old town and include the two historic barrios (districts) of Alto and Nuevo, with what is mostly the same formation as in the sixteenth century. The Plaza de los Naranjos contains the town hall of 1568, the mayor's house and the Chapel of Santiago, which predates the square itself. Ruins of the Arabic castle and walls also remain, so all in all, this is a delightful district for a stroll.
Green Spaces and Culture
There are some small gardens and parks outside the walls that provide welcome shade and rest. The tiled benches and fountain of Parque La Alameda offer coolness amongst its tropical vegetation. Carry on through the park towards the sea to reach the appropriately-named Avenida del Mar, with its ten sculptures by surrealist Salvador Dali - look out especially for the moving mass of Elefante Cósmico (cosmic elephant)!
La Parque de La Constitución is a place of tranquillity in the middle of town, where tourists and locals alike can relax among mature trees and colourful flowers, without straying too far from the beach. Families can enjoy the children's park and a break at the cafeteria, while all ages will appreciate the observatory. To top all this, a six-hundred seater open-air auditorium puts on plays, concerts, opera and other events under the stars.
In fact, Marbella hosts many cultural events, ranging from the Black Box Theatre with productions in Spanish and English, to the famous Starlite Festival where big names in entertainment join art exhibitions and film premieres in an open-air amphitheatre with special acoustics. The Museum of Spanish Contemporary Engravings shows work by Miró, Picasso and other Spanish artists - the Picasso Museum itself is in nearby Málaga. One of Spain's biggest contemporary art galleries is the Sammer Gallery at Puerto Banús, which is well worth a visit. Plant-lovers will love the Bonsai Museum, which owns an important collection of these specially-cultivated trees.
The Best Resorts and Golf Clubs
The upmarket urbanisations in and around the city cater for every taste, and feature all services including medical care, schools and banks. Some benefit from the seclusion of communities placed in the countryside close to the mountains, while still being within easy reach of urban facilities. Others make full use of the lively coastal strip. All are set among landscaped gardens, with ample space around each villa or set of apartments, where privacy and security are a top priority. Five-star hotels with spas and beach clubs are another plus.
The Golden Mile glistens to the west of the town, boasting a lively nightlife with top clubs, and some of Marbella's most exclusive estates, with breath-taking views. At one end, the marina of Puerto Banús attracts owners of luxury yachts, and all the services that they might require, in the form of designer boutiques, restaurants and bars. Inland from this is Nueva Andalucía, with buildings designed in typical Andalusian style. Its three golf courses and wide choice of restaurants and entertainment make it a popular residential choice.
There are several other golf resorts with upmarket hotels and excellent courses, such as the superb Marbella Club Golf Resort in Benahavís, peaceful Los Flamingos, the eighteen-hole Santa Clara, and the easier La Quinta, opposite Puerto Banús resort. Some of them host prestigious tournaments, making the area popular with golfers and sports fans, and adding another reason to buy and invest in the area. Superior sea and mountain views at these locations have to compete with sweeping vistas over the greens, even before you leave your villa. Provision for other sports, such as tennis, is easy to find, too. Engel & Völkers is the agent with the best local knowledge to identify the ideal properties for golfers and non-golfers alike.
Marbella has more than its fair share of beautiful expanses of sand, some of which slope into a calm sea, keeping them child-friendly. Playa del Rio Real, near the town centre, is part of Los Monteros and offers a variety of water sports, including the only windsurf club in the area, while five minutes away, Bounty Beach attracts a young crowd. Fontanilla is another urban beach, with restaurants, bars, gyms, shops and cinemas all within easy reach. For those wanting a quieter option, an unspoilt stretch remains at the eastern end, where the Artola dunes form a wild play area for all the family.
Those further from the centre have a different feel, and include the exclusive Playa Nagüeles on the Golden Mile along the Paseo Marítimo, and Playa de Nueva Andalucía which begins at the glittering marina of Puerto Banús. Other seaside beauty spots are spread along the coast, and all are in top real estate country.
Fun and Games!
There is plenty to satisfy the younger members of the family, from the activities for all age groups at Funny Beach and the indoor trampoline park at Costa Jump, to the zip wires of Aventura Amazonia for older children (and adults!), and the Segway Tours. They will appreciate the novelty of a horse-drawn carriage ride, to give them (and their parents) a rest. If all this isn't enough, there are amusements of all kinds in the wider area outside Marbella, and teenagers can take part in organised activities like quad-biking, canyoning and jeep safaris.
Taking into account the proximity of Málaga airport at around fifty-four kilometres, and the new coastal highways, Marbella really has it all. The chance to purchase quality real estate for investment or residence (or both), and the luxury accommodation available in all sizes, styles and localities, make Marbella just perfect for the discerning buyer. Once the decision has been made, it's time to give Engel & Völkers a ring, to make the most of its expertise and professional advice.