Holidays to Puerto Banus mean celebrity-spotting, glitzy restaurants and designer boutiques, not to mention champagne-style clubs – though Marbella’s old town is on hand for a quieter contrast.
The St Tropez of southern Spain
Puerto Banus is Marbella’s world-famous port, right in the heart of Spain’s Costa del Sol. It’s a millionaire’s playground with beach clubs, super-yachts moored in the marina, and a long strip of bars, clubs and designer boutiques along the water. There’s another side to this firecracker of a spot, though – head away from the sea and there are quieter bars and authentic Spanish tapas.
A long sandy coastline
Puerto Banus is famous for its beach clubs – these very fancy, all-day beach bars have spilled out onto the sands just west of the port. The clubs have big, luxurious sunloungers and a bar serving up cocktails and champagne. To the west of the port is the more traditional Mistral Beach, a sandy number with a beach shack restaurant called a chiringuito. And 10 minutes’ drive away is Nagueles Beach – it’s Marbella’s busiest beach and offers windsurfing, jet-skis and pedalos.
Daytrips to Gibraltar
A 45-minute drive from Puerto Banus takes you to Gibraltar. A cable car runs from the harbour all the way to the peak of the Rock – the views up here reach as far as northern Morocco. Halfway up the cable car route is the Apes’ Den, where the free-to-roam Barbary Apes, Europe’s only native monkey, usually hang out. A little walk from here are the Great Siege Tunnels, 18th-century British gun emplacements which were carved out of the ground by hand.
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