Designer glamour and million dollar yachts are the hallmarks of Marbella, playground of celebrities and the super-rich. This dazzling seaside town is famously known for bringing the Bling Bling to the Costa del Sol. Developed as an exclusive resort in the 50′s, playing host to movie stars, royalty and presidents, known in the UK as the ‘Costa del Crime,’ the town became notorious in the 80′s for local politics, corruption and a haven for British gangsters.
Those days are long since over, and now the sparkling beach bars of Puerto Banus are crowded with flashy reality TV stars rubbing well toned shoulders with immaculately polished Euro-Celebs in a display of expensive mutual admiration. The Marbella Luxury Weekend is designed to stimulate consumption for economic growth. This showcase of extravagant consumerism is therefore far from frivolous, offering an unbridled display of luxury with designer fashion shows on lavish catwalks along the port, expensive jewellery, deluxe yachts, fast cars and vast amounts of champagne.
The existing fishing port will soon be redeveloped by Marbella Town Hall with Qatari sheik Nasir Bin Abdullah & Sons Consortium into a spectacular new marina with a 900 metre circular pier, luxury leisure facilities (including a shopping mall and 5-star hotel) at an investment of around 400 million euros.
Those in search of relative peace and quiet, lose yourself in the narrow cobblestone streets of the beautifully preserved Casco Antigui (Old Town). White washed buildings, plazas filled with orange trees and flowers, ornately curved iron railings, beautiful churches and old castle ruins will give you a taste of historical Andalusia.
Art-lovers can visit works by Pablo Picasso at the Museo del Grabado Espanol Contempraneo, while the “La Feria de San Bernabé” celebrates the patron saint of Marbella in a festival held in the second week of June every year in the Old Town (Casco Antiguo) and Albaraizas district.
Photo courtesy of Sksachin via Flickr ~ used under CC-BY license