This is where the original fishermen’s village emerged and eventually grew to transform the Costa del Sol and, with it, the whole of Spain. And although the village is now a proper city and the population is an incredible mixture of nationalities, this is still an Andalusian town at its core, proud to dress its women in flamenco dresses during the feria festival or to have its morning café con leche with toast soaked in olive oil and ground tomato. Granted, this is the only place in Spain where you will hear the shop announcements in English in a Mercadona supermarket or be able to have a conversation in broken English with an Andalusian accent with your residence’s concierge. If you want to have all of the convenience of a beach town and be part of a marvellously mixed community that has embraced both the Spanish and the expat worlds, then say no more: Marbella Town is the place for you!
One of the best ways to start your gastronomic journey in Marbella would be to head to the old town centre in Plaza de los Naranjos, where the town hall is located. The smell of the orange tree flowers, the narrow alleys, the geranium pots, the whitewashed houses hiding traditional patios: all of this tells you that you are in Andalucía. From here, you can lose yourself in any alley and you will find all types of dining options. You can sit down in any of the many terraces and enjoy a glass of fino sherry with some tapas, and you can also do this at a more traditional Andalusian setting at Marbella Patio. If you want to spoil yourself with some higher end choices, then you should visit Restaurante Paco Jiménez or Restaurante Messina. And for a more special setting, you can drive to the outskirts of the town to have a meal at Trocadero Arena: sitting in an environment originally decorated as an English house in colonial Africa, you can enjoy Mediterranean dishes and a wonderful sea view.
One of the best things about living in Marbella Pueblo would be the easy approach to life that everybody seems to have. There is not much of the hurry of the bigger Spanish cities, and everybody seems to have time for some random conversation. The epitome of this leisurely lifestyle (at least for the retired expats) would be a slow stroll along Marbella’s beachside Paseo Marítimo in the direction of Puerto Banús. You can start your journey by picking up strength with a full blown English breakfast at one of the many beach bars that offer it. As you proceed, you will have a great time people-watching the different characters that only dare to appear in this town. You will notice that even December is a great month for sunbathers, although not so many of them will dare to jump into the water. At some point, after admiring a sand sculpture, you may want to stop at one of the many chiringuitos for a bowl of gazpacho and some pescaito frito or Andalusian style fried fish. After a 7 kilometre walk that will take you to the Nagüeles and Casablanca beaches, you will eventually cross the Rio Verde river, and from there you will be in Puerto Banús.