Where is it?
Restaurants Marbella and Puerto Banus It is difficult to know where to start when mentioning restaurants in Marbella and Puerto Banus, so I will include my personal favourites. If you want tapas, go to Dani Garcia´s La Moraga Ibérica in front of El Corté Inglés in Puerto Banus, try the delicious tapas at Gambrinus in Marbella or at La Venencia near Marbella seafront for superb seafood, Spanish omelette and succulent Serrano ham. Favourite restaurants include: Los Cano Beach Bar at El Rosario (3km east of Marbella), Pasta da Bruno (Marbella sea front and also in Puerto Cabopino), The Red Pepper (Marina Puerto Banus), Los Bandidos (Marina Puerto Banus) and the Beach House (on the beach Elviria). Great places to eat with the kids include: Picassos in Puerto Banus, and at any of the beach bars or tapas bars which serve a wide variety of food.
Max Beach Bar sits right on the beach at Riviera del Sol and offers a lovely view out to sea. It is a great place to go for a drink in the evening, when the weather has been hot, as you get the cooling effects of the sea.
Las Terrazas is situated 2 minutes from the villa. There are a few small cafes and an internet cafe. Venta del Golf is an excellent restaurant . Enter La Terazas the commercial centre here, next to the supermarket and on the first floor are some excellent cafés and restaurants.
Shopping Marbella and Puerto Banus If you are a shopaholic in Marbella and Puerto Banus you are spoilt for choice. Take a trip around El Corté Inglés in Puerto Banus, the most famous department store in Spain, visit La Cañada shopping mall just 1km from Marbella town centre, or stroll around the designer shops and boutiques in Puerto Banus. The Marina Mall and the Cristamar Centre are also worth a visit if you are after clothes, leather goods or top notch jewellery. If you are looking for something cheap and cheerful, take a trip round Nueva Andalucia Market on a Saturday morning, where hundreds of stalls sell everything from tablecloths to motor-homes.
Bit of culture
Culture Marbella The Costa del Sol may be more famous for its beaches than its culture, but there are a number of art galleries, museums and theatres in the area, plus packed schedules of live dance, entertainment and music, particularly in the summer months. The Sammer Gallery in Puerto Banus houses one of Spain´s largest exhibitions of modern art, and Marbella´s Bonsai Museum is home to a wonderful exhibition of Bonsai trees.
Walks in the park
La Alameda Park Marbella Just south of Marbella´s Old Town, on the other side of the road is the Alameda Park (next to the Marbella Café). If you are lucky enough to be here in Feria time (mid-June), the gardens come alive with live music, dancing and open air bars to celebrate the annual extravaganza. La Alameda Park is a popular place to take a break, for locals and tourists alike, and it boasts a magnificent central fountain, constructed from typical Andalucian tiles.
Spot of exercise
The Miraflores Lawn Bowls Club and Miraflores Tennis Club are highly popular, with their own annual tournaments and various sporting and social events. There is a broad selection of other sports activities available to you in the vicinity of Miraflores, including water sports, skiing, horse-riding, go-karting and more.
The Costa del Sol has so much to offer that it would be difficult to list all of the best places for the tourist or visitor to go and see. Here is just a brief introduction. Sandy beaches are found all along the local coastline providing a place to relax with their own bars and family facilities including Calahonda, Cala de Mijas and Cabopino. Puerto Cabopino has a nice selection of restaurants around it's harbour - including the excellent Albert's. To the west of Riviera del Sol along the coast is Marbella (about 16-18 kms) and Puerto Banus (a further 5 kms) - playground for the rich and one of the world's most expensive marinas. Here you'll find luxurious yachts, limousine and sports cars, designer boutiques and some of the finest restaurants, bars and clubs. Marbella old town, half a mile from the beach is a maze of beautifully maintained historical houses, alleyways and patios in the finest of Andalusian styles. To the east of Riviera, Fuengirola is the nearest major town (about 5-8 kilometres) and has a superb beach, Water Park, Zoo and the multi-storey Miramar shopping mall. Benalmadena has its own marina, sea-life centre and Tivoli World Theme Park. Twenty minutes drive inland from Riviera del Sol is the famous white village of Mijas with its fantastic views of the Mediterranean and mountains. Visit the Tajo bridge in Ronda. An amazing feat of 18th century engineering that spans the deep gorge separating the two main parts of Ronda. Further afield is Gibraltar and the historic Alhambra Palace in Granada.