Long Weekend in Marbella
Much of what is remarkably Spanish comes from the Andalusian region. Flamenco and bullfighting were born here. Excavation sites and ancient ruins tell of the colourful cultures that shaped the place — a backdrop to the distinct Andalusian way.
Perhaps it is the 320 days of warm weather that brought inhabitants to its southern coast since prehistory. Shielded on its northern-side by the Cordillera Penibetica, the average temperature year-round is 18c, suitable for the lush flora and fauna. It is known as Costa del Sol.
But today, what brings people to Marbella, a slice of this Golden Coast, is the leisure spaces on the chiringuitos and sandy beaches. On a long weekend, here are six things to do in paradise.
1. Spend a day and have lunch at La Plage Casanis
Arriving at midday, the fun starts at the beach right away. La Plage Casanis offers terrace or inside dining, with spectacular view and a very elaborate wine list. Wood-grilled cuisine hangs in for lunch.
Basketry, clay jugs, and straw-mats accompany the planks on the walls, tables and floor–resonating a Spanish country-side tone. The rustic style contrasts the fine service and dining.
2. Go for a walk in the evening in Puerto Banus to see shops and eat dinner at La Pappardella
Southwest of Marbella is a marina called Puerto Banus, where yachts neatly line-up on the moorings, and sports cars huddle on the side-streets. Tungsten lights reflecting on the glassy waters of the harbor invite for a walk at night.
A cozy corner called La Pappardella entice for a taste of Italy for dinner. Pizza, pasta and a selection of main courses are offered by a family from Naples since 1993. Their authentic Napolitan cuisine can best be enjoyed in front of the sea in the Puerto Banus marina.
3. Lunch at Marbella Club
Old Spanish-style red clay tile roof meets modern architecture at the Marbella Club, near old-town Marbella and Puerto Banus. Nature is tamed within the white-washed walls and sharp geometry. Arches and tondos hark to old Roman and Arab times in true Andalusian style. Al fresco lunches, Andalusian courtyard, clubhouse and poolside tables provide elegant simplicity while promising healthy cuisine. Vegan and gluten-free options are available for their Mediterranean gastronomy.
4. Long walk along seaside. Have dinner in a restaurant in Puente Romano
The mild Costa del Sol with its relaxed slope and soft sand invites a breezy evening stroll. Resembling an Andalusian village, Puente Romano Beach Resort is a good place to cap the day. Seven restaurants cook Thai, sushi, Italian or Spanish food choices.
5. Go for a day trip to Tarifa to surf
Ruins of medieval fortifications loom in the historic Tarifa, but it is no sleepy town. It sits in Cadiz about an hour and a half drive from Marbella. Being the southernmost point of continental Europe, it is where the Mediterranean meets the Atantic, providing a playground for surfers. It’s where you can take out your stick and gnarl up some waves!
6. Sunday party at Playa Padre
A congregation of huts under palm trees at the beach make up the trendy beach club Playa Padre. They whip up Mediterranean cuisine with Asian and Mexican twists, accompanied by exotic signature cocktails. Famous for their Sunday parties on the sand a few meters from the water’s edge, this place is good pick for concluding a long weekend.
Be still oneself! The key is to book early. Plan your trip and decide on the style of your weekend beforehand—so you just sit and enjoy as the experience unfolds.