Marbella is the most important city (with Malaga) on the Costa del Sol. Once a small Andalusian fishing village - there were just 900 inhabitants in the 1940s - it is now known as Spain's answer to Saint Tropez, and it is one of the most exciting high-society holiday resorts on the Med. The city itself is attractive with its dazzling white buildings set against the deep blue Mediterranean sky. has fine boulevards, parks and gardens, as well as small narrow alleys in Moorish and Andalusian styles. City highlights include Orange Square, with historical buildings, boutiques, art galleries, pubs and bistros.
The Avenida del Mar is a sea-front promenade with fine restarants and attractive views. Olivia Valere (restaurant, bar, disco), the Arabian walls, the Bonsai museum, the Museo del Grabado Espanol Contemporáneo, the old city centre, and the Golden Mile, with the Marbella Club Hotel and its beach club, Matrix Estates directly opposite, and the late King Fayed's Palace.
There are beaches near Marbella itself, with dark sand and pebbles, and nearly all beaches have the classic Chiringuitos - beach bars - serving paella and local fish. Nikki Beach, fifteen minutes from central Marbella, is world famous, against the backdrop of the Don Carlos Beach Resort in Elviria, Marbella. This is one of the most popular nightlife locations of Marbella, and it is also famous for the Sunday soirée beginning at 2 p.m., with DJ sets, live musics, and loads of champagne. Another favourite venues are Puro Beach, and the Ocean Club near Puerto Banus.
Of course, Marbella is also famous for its yachting. Marbella has two major marinas: Puerto Banus, which is a large and exclusive marina, and the smaller Marbella Marina. The latter, owned by Empresa Pública Pueros de Andalucía, with space for 335 boats, has a berth depth of just 2 metres, which means that it can host only small boats, with a maximum length of 20 metres.
Puerto Banus, 6 km west of Marbella, is a luxury marina, with many fine restaurants and boutiques. It has a capacity for 915 boats from 8 to 50 metres length. Berth water depth varies from 3 to 6 metres at the berths. All berths at Puerto Banus are supplied with water, electricity (220/380 V) and TV. On berths for boats over 15 metres length, a telephone connection is available. Complete boat repairs are possible, with a 50 ton travel lift and a 6-ton mobile crane, and there are several yacht charter organizations that offer half daily, daily, weekly or longer charters, whether bareboat or crewed. A yacht makes it possible to stop to swim and enjoy the beaches wherever you like.
Fishing trips off the Marbella coast include bottom fishing, for which it is a good idea to avail of the advice of local yacht charter concerns. Species include sea bass, bream, snapper, conger and mackerel. For sport fishing, this area is one of the classic red tuna routes, and the giant reds are exciting captures, up to 400 kg. Other species found here include the yellow tail tuna and the dorado tuna, marlin and swordfish. Trolling along the coast, between four and eight miles from the coast, is another fishing technique for tuna, bonito, large mackerel and dorado.
The Straits of Gibraltar is a legendary location for sailors, with currents and strong breezes that makes taking the helm of a sailboat an exciting experience. Dolphin watching is possible in the Straits of Gibraltar, and even in the Bay of Marbella itself.
Cruising destinations in the vicinity include cosmopolitan Spanish ports Benalmadena and Sotogrande. On longer trips (five days or more), many other locations are within easy reach, such as Seville, superb historic city, and Cadiz. The "Costa Tropical" near Granada is famous for its crystal-clear seawater, while just 60 miles to the east, Marina del Este is a small and chic marina, carved out of the mountain. Cruising in this area is made easy by the fact that there is a marina every fifteen or twenty miles. International locations include Ceuta, Spanish independent enclave on the northern tip of the Moroccan coast with fortresses dating back to the 15th century, Smir in Morocco, and Gibraltar. The "Rock" is a fascinating location that offers many interesting sights such as St. Michael's caves, and tax free shopping at Queensway Marina. Gibraltar is spectacular from the sea, and from inside, the visit to the Second World War tunnels is fascinating.
Smir, on the coast of Morocco and just 50 miles from Puerto Banus, and 10 miles from the Strait of Gibraltar, is a good way of experiencing Morocco from the seaboard, with Port MarinaSmir offering services ideally tailored to luxury travellers. From here, the many cultural visits possible include Tetuan, whose ancient medina has been declared a world heritage site by Unesco, and north Moroccan jewel Chauen, just over an hour by car from Port MarinaSmir, famous for its blue-painted houses. In Tangiers, visit the medina, and have a coffee in the legendary Café Haffa while watching the sunset.
Portugal is also very close, with many marinas, and lovely coastal locations such as Vilamoura, Tavira, Lagos and Faro. In short, hiring a yacht from Puerto Banus is an attractive option that opens up a whole world of tourism.
Marbella Boat Charter has a wide range of motor yachts and sailing yachts for hire, for activities that include cruising, sailing, fishing, dolphin watching, regattas and parties. Their boats include the Sunseeker models Portofino 53, Manhattan 60 and Manhattan 66, Charters range from 4 hours to one day, or one week or more.
Tel. +34 952 865 592 or +34 630 600 992
Marbella Yacht Charter offers a range of luxury yacht charters, with yachts including brands such as Sunseeker, Fairline, Princess and Gobbi.
http://www.marbellayachtcharter.com, phone 00 44 (0)161 365 1401, +34 678741353 or +34 667703439