I soon realised that if
you want to visit anywhere
at all, a car or a very accommodating taxi service is essential. The only places within easy reach are the magnificent Sotogrande estate, which has a few bars and restaurants clustered around the pretty port, and several championship golf courses with which the club has arranged special discounted rates.
The Spanish people are warm and friendly, but I found on several occasions that they have a little habit of telling you that somewhere is nearer than it really is! My 40-minute drive to Marbella took a good hour, although it was speeded up on my return by using the new toll road.
The town has improved considerably over the past few years. Situated on the coast, which has 26 miles of coastline and lovely sandy beaches,
the old town has architecture from Roman, Arab and
It is a delight to just wander through the cobbled streets discovering the various quaint buildings, including lots of boutique shops.
Not to be missed is the street of the Virgen de Los Dolores filled with pretty hanging bougainvilleas, with virtually every building a restaurant offering typical Andalucian cooking. For tapas, search out the narrow street of San Lazaro, which is filled with tapas bars.
Everything starts late, so be prepared for a late night if you want to enjoy some of the festivities. For example, the Flamenco dancing started at l0pm the day I visited. However, that did not stop
me trying the local sweet aperitif, Mascatel.
Both the old and the new town are filled with shops, and
although it is great that they open late, until 8.30pm or 9pm, it is also worth noting that they are closed between 2pm and 5pm for siesta.
For designer shopping or to just sit and people-watch, Puerto Banus, 7km up the coast, is 'the' place to go.
The port is filled with luxury boats, and if you want to see the rich and famous, this is the place to be.
Web site created by Mark Griffin