Marbella Quick FAQs - Interesting facts about Marbella
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- The origins of Marbella reach back to Roman times.
- The Moors controlled the town since 771 AD and gave it the name Marbilha.
- The palaeochristian, Visigothic basilica of Vega del Mar near San Pedro de Alcántara dates from the 4th or 5th century.
- The Arabic castle, the towers and the city walls were built during the 9th and 10th century on the Roman buildings During the 19th century mining was very important for Marbella because the iron ore mined in the mountains of the Sierra Blanca was processed here.
- At the beginning of the 1950s, Alfonso von Hohenlohe bought extensive estates and the big change from an industrial to a holiday and tourist town in the 20th century began.
- As early as 1954, the Marbella-Club Hotel opened its doors in the then village of Marbella.
- With the inauguration of Marbella’s most famous Puerto Banús marina in 1970, the city started to become a meeting point for the ‘Rich and Famous’ and the 'Jet-Set'.
Culture and Places of Interest
- Strolling along the Paseo Maritimo, the 6 km long beach promenade is one of the most popular leisure activities with both tourists and locals.
- There are untouched nature reserves, like the dunes of Cabopino.
- Five beaches have been awarded with the Blue Flag, an eco-label for beaches with high environmental standards.
- 21 golf courses, the biggest concentration of golf courses in the whole of Spain (or maybe even in Europe?), with Greens over viewing the sea or the possibility to play at night.
- The city offers innumerable excellent and top-modern sports facilities.
- 4 harbours (for water sports), many tennis clubs, horse riding clubs and schools, gyms and leisure centres.
- Marbella has many important Museums and Art Galleries
Festivals and Traditions
- Semana Santa or Holy week in Marbella is an Andalusian festivity mixed with the traditions of its foreign inhabitants.
- At the beginning of June is Marbella’s most important festival is the San Bernabé, a folk festival to honour the patron of the city.
- 16th July is the day of the patron saint of the fishermen, Virgen del Carmen.
- Feria in October to honour the patron saint of San Pedro de Alcántara.
- Día del Tostón, on 1st November. It is a tradition in many mountain villages and towns to drive to the fields and countryside and to roast chestnuts.
- The Starlite Festival brings together a complete programme of unique concerts, cinema premieres, fashion shows, art exhibitions and a gastronomy from the five continents
Geography and Population
- Marbella is located in Andalucia, Spain.
- Surface Size: 114.3 Km2 . Coast Length: 26 kms.
- Latitude: 36 ° 30 'N Longitude: 4 ° 53' W Altitude: 22 meters above sea level.
- Time zone: 1 hour ahead of Greenwich Mean Time (GMT)
- The municipality is a strip that extends along the coast on the slopes of Sierra Blanca. The coast is low and sandy with good beaches.
- Population: 124,333 (20% foreigners)
- Main population centres of Marbella and San Pedro Alcántara.
- People who live in Marbella are called Marbellís
- Neighbouring municipalities: Estepona, Benahavis, Istan and Mijas Ojén.
- Distance from Malaga: 57 km
- Communication by road: Mediterranean motorway A-7 (ex-340); Freeway to the Costa del Sol (AP-7).
- Communication by air: The nearest airport is the International Airport Pablo Ruiz Picasso (Málaga), 45 kms.
- Communication by train: The nearest station is near Fuengirola, 27 kms.
- Marbella is twinned with: Baler, Philippines; Cabourg, France; Doha, Qatar; Jeddah, Saudi Arabia; Miami Beach, United States; Nabeul, Tunisia; Nevers, France; Punta del Este, Uruguay
- Marbella is protected by the mountains of Sierra Blanca, thus creates a microclimate that an annual average temperature of 18 ° C. More about Marbella's Micro-climate.
- Average daily temperature in January: 16°C / 61°F
- Average daily temperature in July : 28°C / 82°F
- Restaurants serve many different types of cuisine, national and international.
- Typical dishes: Fried fish (Pescaito frito), sardines on the spit, gazpachuelo, emblanco, gazpacho, garlic soup, asparagus scrambled eggs.
- Baking: oil cakes, wine donuts, borrachuelos, French toast, churros.
- Tap water in Marbella is safe to drink but it has a high sodium content in some areas making it bitter. Buy bottled water, especially for babies and children.
- Opening hours for pharmacies are Mon-Fri 9am-2pm, 5pm-7/8pm, Sat 9am-2/3pm. In summer most stay open all day until around 10pm.
- You need a prescription from the doctor to be able to get antibiotics.
- The Costa del Sol Hospital has an excellent A&E department and even has a seperate unit for children.
- The EHIC/E111 card entitles you to medical care that is free. However, it does not cover all things and should not replace travel insurance.
- Many of the beaches along the stretch of Marbella's coastline are patrolled by lifeguards.
Services and Accessibility
- Summer is the hottest and busiest time but Spring and Autumn are a great time to visit too as the weather is a little cooler. Why visit out of season?
- All shops open between 9 and 10am, some close for a siesta around 2pm but re-open again at 4.30/5pm. Most supermarkets are open all day until 9 or 10pm
- Banks are closed at the weekend and keep the following hours during the week: Mon-Fri 8.30am-2pm.
- There are plenty of ATM machines with English, Spanish, German and other language options. There will usually be charges to your account if it is not Spanish but they should be minimal.
- Emergency phone numbers: - Police/Fire/Ambulance 112; National Police 0091; Local Police 092; Guardia Civil 062; Fire Brigade 080; Ambulance 061; Sea Rescue 900 202 202
- English is widely spoken by most people. You will also hear German, Russian, Dutch, French and Arabic.
- Most of the theme parks are open all year round except for the water parks.
- Currency: Euro (EUR)
- Telephone area code: 95 - Country dialing code: +34
Tourist Information Offices
- Marbella Tourism Board on Paseo: Glorieta de la Fontanilla, s/n, Paseo Maritimo. Tel.:(00 34) 952 771 442, firstname.lastname@example.org
- Old Quarter on Orange Square: Plaza de los Naranjos, 1, Tel.: (00 34)952 823 550, email@example.com
- San Pedro Alcántara: Marqués del Duero, 69, San Pedro de Alcántara. Tel.: (00 34) 952 785 252, firstname.lastname@example.org
- Puerto Banús Marina: Plaza Antonio Banderas. Tel.:(00 34) 952 818 570, email@example.com