Marbella is located mid-point on the Costa del Sol in Andalucia, Southern Spain. It is approximately 50 kilometres east of the nearest city Malaga which is a major port and commercial centre in Spain. Its unique climate of 320 days of sunshine per year coupled with its average daytime temperatures of 30 degrees centigrade in summer and 18 degrees in the winter has created it into a thriving holiday area all year round. It is often referred to as “the California of Europe”.
Just 50 or 60 years previous Marbella Spain amounted to just a small fishing village with a population of under 1000 people. This all changed however quite dramatically when Spanish Prince Max Egon zu Hohenlohe-Langenburg and his heir Alfonso made an unscheduled stop in the area.
Young Alfonso was so impressed by the possibilities of this town that he began buying up land with the intention of marketing Marbella and its surrounding area as a destination for tourists. It was he who founded the now famous Marbella Club and convinced members of the European Nobility and Elite that Marbella was the place to enjoy and relax in discreet luxury.
The success of Marbella and its spectacular growth isn’t all down to Prince Alfonso though. 1970 saw the arrival of an equally impressive entrepreneur with an equally impressive vision. It was a property developer called José Banús who saw the potential for a luxury marina and shopping complex intended for the Marbella elite.
The Marbella Spain area continued its growth through the 70’s,80’,s 90’s,2000’s and today is like a small city with all the infrastructure second to none offering visitors from all over the world a playground for entertainment and relaxation. This in turn created a demand for the real estate sector to grow with thousands of holiday and second homes being built over this period.
Commercial ventures followed with more hotels, shops, offices, restaurants, sports and country clubs and the area now boasts over 60 golf courses with many others being planned.
Marbella is mainly served by the international airport of Malaga and there are several flights per day to Gibraltar. Both airports are easily accessible to motorways which run the full length of the Costa del Sol. There are many car hire firms at Malaga airport and a regular fast coach service to and from Marbella.
Marbella town centre is now like a typical Spanish town with its high rise apartments and on the beach and its historical areas with its castle walls and typical Andalucian architecture.
The style of accommodation is generally denser, older and smaller and a more a kin to the Spanish style of living. Most Europeans who visit Marbella prefer to be located in larger accommodation in areas with gardens in urbanisation which tends to focus on the hub of Puerto Bañus approximately 4 kilometres west of Marbella town.
The properties around Puerto Bañus are very expensive and tend to be located either on the beach or around golf courses. The planning laws over the last 20 years have stopped high rise development from taking place with a few exceptions depending on certain zoning criteria.