Walk the Golden Mile from Marbella to Puerto Banus
The walk is about 7.6km (4.8 miles) and should take less than 2 hours at a brisk pace, but with sightseeing it could take a lot more. Fortunately, you will pass our apartment about half way so you could drop in for a rest if you happen to be renting it that week.
The starting point is in Orange Square or Plaza de los Naranjos in the old town of Marbella. From the bus stop outside our apartment (other side of road), catch any bus to town centre - 5 minutes - ask for Casco Antiqua (old town). Follow the many maps within the area to the Plaza de los Naranjos.
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Plaza de los Naranjos
Most of the buildings in the Orange Square or Plaza de los Naranjos were built between 1485 and 1568. The sand stone fountain was erected in 1504 and commissioned by the first Mayor of Christian Marbella. The building to the right of the fountain is the Chapel of Santiago or Ermita de Santiago, which was constructed in the 15th century. A small white stone Statue of Santiago, who was the Apostle Saint James, is on the outside wall of the chapel. Behind the fountain is Calle Nueva, 'New Street' which is many hundreds of years old. There are many good restaurants in the square. A labyrinth of narrow streets and tiny squares surround the Orange Square
Plaza de la Iglesia
Exit the square by Chinchilla, the passage to the east, turn right at the end into Carmen. During the Moorish occupation, Marbella was one of the most important cities in the province of Málaga. The ruins of the castle are found here and are the only ones from the Muslim era which have been preserved.
Continue on to Plaza de la Iglesia - Church Square. Here you will find the Church of Our Lady of the Incarnation (Iglesia Mayor de la Encarnación) which has a long historical background back to 1485, when Marbella was re-conquered by the Catholic Kings after a long Moorish rule.
Continue down the hill to the 15th century Santiago Chapel. This is a very small but beautiful chapel. Its simple yet charming design and houses religious figures and a wood carving of Christ.
Parque de la Alameda
Turn right along San Juan de Dios, passing the Plaza de José Palomo and turn left into E del Castillo. Continue until you come to the sculpture of a woman on horseback, near the Parque de la Alameda in Marbella.
Cross the road into the Parque de la Alameda where you will find fountains and beautiful tiled seats. Perhaps have a rest here before going on.
Avienda del Mar
Go down the steps at the cetre of the park to enter the Avienda del Mar - a wide pedestrian area which leads to the Paseo Maritimo. It has waterfalls, benches, yellow marble floors and a wonderful view of the sea. This fabulous place is full of sculptures by Salvador Dali. Among the sculptures are those of Perseo, Mercurio, Trajano a Caballo, Gala Gradiva, Caballo con Jinete Tropezando, Elefante Cosmico, Don Quixote Sentado, Hombre Sobre Delfin, Gala Asomada a la Ventana, and Mujer Desnuda Subiendo La Escalera.
When you reach the Paseo Maritimo (Promenade) turn right. The walk now needs no explanation. You simply follow the 6km Paseo Maritimo, festooned with palm trees with almost 2 kilometers laid in marble stone, all the way to Puerto Banus. Here are some interesting landmarks on the way.
You will first see eateries that serve excellent Andalusian and international cuisines, including Spanish tapas. Tourists flock to this place to enjoy the lovely views over the beaches while taking sip of their favourite wine and cocktail.
Look out for the Puerto Deportivo Harbour (Sport Port). Here you can take a boat trip from Marbella to Puerto Banus. The ticket office is on the Paseo Maritimo so you will see it as you walk past.
Just after the harbour you will see the Playa de la Fontanilla (Fontanilla Beach). The beach has showers, toilets, drinking water pipes and dustbins installed. Sun loungers and parasols are for rent. You can enjoy all sorts of activities in the water.
You will see the Marbella Lighthouse (Spanish: Faro de Marbella). It was built in 1864 and is 29 metres high. It is automatic and electric, its light controlled by photoelectric cells. Its light signal is two flashes every 14.5 seconds and its maximum visibility range is 22 nautical miles.
With even more shops, cafes, you could sit down and have a coffee & pastry or churros and chocolate. Soon you will arrive at the Tourist Information Office. Outside is a sculpture of a woman water skier riding in a fountain of water. This always attracts a lot of attention.
Beautiful Beachside Walk
Pass by the new shopping centre with it's 5 cinemas (one showing films in English) This complex also has a gym and hairdressers.
Now head out on the beautiful beachside walk on marble walkways with fabulous views of the sea and bordered with palms and flowers. Pass by the top class restaurants and coffee bars around the Hotel Gran Melia Don Pepe Hotel, a five-star resort offering magnificent vista and sophisticated amenities. Enjoy the delights of the Cappuccino Grand Cafe.
As you leave Marbella behind, you start to appreciate the calmness of the surroundings but are able to stop at one of many restaurants along the way to take a break for a drink or light refreshments. Look out for the sand sculptures on the beach and the two brightly coloured penguins guarding the expensive mansions.
Pesquera Chiringuito Bar
Arrival at the Pesquera Chiringuito Bar marks an important landmark on the journey being about half way. This is also the closest part of the walk to our apartment. You can break your journey here to have a rest before carrying on. To reach our apartment, walk up the path, through the lovely gardens of the Marbella Mar area. Takes about 10 minutes. Or just have a rest on the beautiful tiled seats at that point.
Carry on past the beach bars of Naguelles beach to reach the Marbella Club Hotel and the Puente Romano Hotel. Hotel Puente Romano is a world renowned luxury resort. Perhaps nip in to the resort to see the old roman bridge from which it gets it's name. This Roman bridge was built in the first century, as part of the Via Augusta, the old road, which once connected Rome with Cádiz. The Roman Bridge is at the top of the resort near the main road.
First View of Gibraltar
On turning the corner at the Punte Romano hotel you should get you first good view of Gibraltar, the African coast and your destination of Puerto Banus. Keep an eye on you destination as you walk towards Victor's Beach Bar and restaurant. Don't expect haute cuisine, but it a great place for a drink and relax before continuing your journey. Being isolated, the prices can be above average.
On arriving at Coral Beach, you may want to visit Museo Ralli. It houses the most important collection of latinoamerican art in Europe. Argentinian paintings and European sculptures from Dalí en Maillol. European paintings also from Max Ernst, Miró, Dalí,… in a magnificent building. Free entrance Tuesday to Saturday : 11.30 - 14.00 and 18.30 - 21.00.
Before reaching the outskirts of Puerto Banus you reach a newly constructed suspension footbridge over the Rio Verde. (Green River). You can now walk between Marbella and Puerto Banus beachfront without having to step on the sand. A great improvement. Watch the ducks on the river.
Walk along the sea front towards an massive statue and sculpture. The statue stands defiantly, arms raised honorably as the landmark of Puerto Banus.
There is Dali sculpture in Marbella at the Cristamar roundabout entrance to Puerto Banus. You will need to take a detour to the top of the street. It is a huge statue of a rhino and is known as the Rinoceronte Vestido Con Puntillas (the rhino dressed in lace), and was donated to the city in 2004 by a businessman to celebrate the centenary of Dali's birth. It stands tall at 26 metres (85 ft) height over a granite pedestal.
Walk towards the port and along the harbourside to the marina. The focal point of Puerto Banus is the marina. It has berths for 915 boats, including those of the King of Saudi Arabia and several of the world's wealthiest individuals. Behind the harbour lie streets filled with bars, boutiques and nightclubs.
Puerto Banus Marina
The marina has slips for boats and ships from 8 to 50 meters. There is beach on each side of the marina. Many of the yachts moored within can enjoy an unobstructed view of La Concha mountain, one of the coast's landmarks.
At the marina you can catch the tourist boat back to Marbella.
Puerto banus is a great place for people and super-car watching with a backdrop of super-yatchs. Sit in one of the bars on the harbourside and just watch those beautiful people, not to mention the Rolls Royces, Bentleys, Ferraris, Aston Martins and Porsches go by.
Return to Marbella
To return to Marbella or our apartment from Puerto Banus, catch the L1 bus from the bus stop inside the garage on the west side of the Hipercor shopping centre located inside El Corte Ingles. Get off outside our apartment at the 'La Carolina' stop. Ask driver for help if you don't know where the stop is, or you may end up back in Marbella town centre.
Remember, with our apartment located half way, you could break this walk into two parts to be done on different days. Walking in the reverse direction is just as much fun and you see a different perspective.
Have a nice Day
Another great trip from our apartment in Marbella