Marbella is situated on the coast in-between Purto Banus and Fuengirola, directly on the N-340. 10km to the north of Marbella is Ojen with a population of 2000, natives known locally as 'Ojenetos'. The nearest golf course is 'Rio Real' others close by include: Los Naranjos, Las Brisas and Aloha.
Marbella, or 'beautiful sea', is a town aptly named and is the most well known holiday destination in Europe. Fifty years ago, labouring under the harsh regime of Generalisímo Franco, this small Spanish fishing village would surely have had no idea as to what the future would hold, but few would have guessed the success and growth in store.
The town is divided into two halves, the old town and the new. The older part is charming and contains most of the elements present in the white villages of Andalucía, with its tight passages and maze of streets. Most of it is several centuries old and located in its centre is lovely Plaza de los Naranjos, or Orange Square. The Town Hall can be found in this square and was the governor's residence in 1568. The whole square is filled with bars and restaurants, although most of these are over-priced and offer poor service, but on New Year's Eve the area explodes into a massive party to celebrate the New Year, with cava and grapes all round. Amateur historians will discover that this part of Marbella is the source of most of the town's history.
As well as the popular and historic Plaza de Los Naranjos there are several interesting churches to visit, not to mention the mosque, which can be found just outside Marbella and is one of the city's most famous monuments and, although it has been recently re-designed, it is still fascinating to visit.
The new part of Marbella is exactly what you would expect from a tourist centre devoted to putting on a beautiful face for its visitors. Tree-lined streets feature a plethora of exotic flowers and lovely gardens, while the park in the city centre with its marble walkways, tall exotic trees and huge fountain offers peace and tranquillity and is only metres away from the location's buzz of constant activity.
The beaches stretch as far as the eye can see with warm sand and perfect facilities for sitting back on a sun bed and relaxing. In fact "relaxed" sums up the whole atmosphere of Marbella. Between 9 a.m. and 2 p.m. people go about their daily business, closing from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. during the worst of the day's heat for siesta time. Even though most businesses now have air-conditioning, old traditions die-hard! From 5 p.m. until 8 p.m. or later the businesses open again and shopping continues until after dark.
For the serious shopper Marbella is heaven, consisting of hundreds of glamorous, trendy and expensive outlets; from top of the range jewellers to the best clothing stores in the world, plus the shopping centre La Canada and the famous department store El Corte Inglés, both of which add still further to the quality and luxury that Marbella has to offer.
Besides the top-of-the-range retail therapy on offer, Marbella isn't entirely devoid of a cultural core. There are several museums of art as well as the world famous Bonsai museum which displays some of the best examples of these miniature trees to be found anywhere in the world. The amphitheatre in Marbella Park constantly hosts shows and events, as do many of the major hotels within the area.
If eating out is your thing then you will be very happy in Marbella. The historical area contains a wide selection of eating places in every corner, while the centre of town offers some of the nicest restaurants on the Coast. The front-line section of the beach boasts excellent lunchtime venues for meals, snacks and ice cream.
If you like to indulge in local nightlife then Marbella is perfect for you but, in authentic Spanish fashion, it doesn't start until well after midnight. If you head up into Orange Square the area comes alive at night, with its bars and clubs often packed full of revellers. The area is typically Spanish, so having a few useful phrases may be useful if you want to get familiar with the locals. Most phrase books will offer a Spanish equivalent for "Do you come here often?" or "Haven't we met somewhere before?".
Marbella's golf facilities are second to none, with 18 excellent courses to be found locally. Providing superb facilities for the most avid and demanding of golfers, major competitions are frequently held here and the numerous celebrities who regularly visit this part of the Coast use the courses.
Marbella is a perfect location in which to relax, enjoy the weather and live one of the most enviable lifestyles to be found any where in the world.