Sitting pretty in the region of Malaga, Spain, on the sunny Mediterranean coast, lies the beautiful city of Marbella. Largely spared from the British invasion that has transformed other parts of the Costa Del Sol to a hotter version of the UK, Marbella tends to attract upmarket clientele and is famous for drawing wealthy tourists from all over the world.
Marbella's weather is one of the biggest pull factors for holidaymakers and those looking to relocate abroad. Sitting between the Sierra Blanca Mountains and the Mediterranean coastline, Marbella experiences its own personal microclimate - characterised by warm, sunny summers and fairly mild winters. The climate makes it all the better for enjoying Marbella's extensive coastline, which is dotted with first class beach facilities, luxurious marinas, impressive yachts and famous golf courses. Those seeking watersports activities can also partake in sailing, diving or water-skiing.
Moreover, Marbella has a long and interesting history, with periods of settlement from Phoenicians, Visigoths, Vandals, Byzantines, Romans and the Moors. It wasn't until 1485 that Marbella became part of Spanish territory, and for a long period its economy centred predominantly on livestock and agriculture - especially vineyards and wine.
It wasn't until the 1940s, when a period of hotel and residential property construction began, that Marbella became a playground for the rich and famous. Now a thriving resort town, Marbella has received international awards for its contributions to tourism and for its clean living and security.
Marbella is rich in culture and the arts, with several museums such as the Contemporary Engravings Musuem, the Bonsai Museum and a number of art galleries. For a trip back in time, Casco Antiguo, Marbella's old quarter, has retained its character from its former days as an old fishing town. Here you'll find plazas filled with orange trees, ornate churches, white washed houses and cobble stone streets.
But, whilst exploring Marbella on foot can be a delightful way to see the narrow streets, car hire in Marbella is easily arranged and will allow you to explore more of the city's several districts, including the Golden Mile, Puerto Banus and San Pedro de Alcantara.
If you're looking for a classy destination in a beautiful, refined setting, Marbella - Spain's answer to St. Tropez - is the ideal destination to visit.