Located 6 km to the south of Marbella itself and sitting within the middle of the natural panorama that spreads across the Bay of Marbella to the sheltering mountains that give the city its very own micro—climate, Puerto Banus is one of the most sought after destinations in Europe.
The focal point is the marina itself with berths for over 900 boats, including those belonging to several of the world’s wealthiest individuals. Along the marina front you will find a cornucopia of restaurants offering every type of cuisine you could wish for, ranging from the outrageously expensive to the more affordable pizzerias. The narrow back streets behind the marina are filled with bars and nightclubs that come into their own at night. Beautiful sandy beaches lie either side of the marina bordered by promenades and lined with chiringuitos.
There are two famous landmarks, both situated on the Avenida de Nacionales Unidas, which are definitely worth a look. Rinoceronte vestido con puntillas, Rhinoceros dressed in lace, created by Salvador Dalí in 1956, is a striking statue that was placed in Puerto Banus in 2004. At the coastal end of the Avenida is the statue of La Victoria, Victory, a gift from the Mayor of Moscow to Puerto Banus unveiled in 1994. Sculpted in bronze and copper by Georgian sculptor Zurab Tsereteli this impressive statute is 26 metres tall and sits on a granite pedestal.
Avenida Jose Banus, leading down to the marina, is named after the architect and landowner Jose Banus who designed and built Puerto Banus in the 1970s. This is where you can find the Bulevar de Fama , the ‘Walk of Fame’ where Marbella town council has placed golden starfish tributes (not stars as in Hollywood) honouring renowned local, national and international people and celebrities featuring names such as singer Julio Iglesias and golfer Miguel Ángel Jiménez.
Plaza Antonio Banderas, named after the Spanish born actor, is a square situated between the marina and department store El Corte Inglés. During the summer months it plays host to a pop-up tented market where those whose budget doesn’t quite stretch to the expensive designer boutiques can find plenty to spend their money on. There is also a cinema, the Cinema Gran Marbella, which often shows original versions of films in English (VO).
The suburbs of Banus (as it is known locally) play home to many people, foreign residents from all over the world, who enjoy the lifestyle in quieter surroundings. Whilst many of the upmarket penthouses and apartments around the Puerto area are holiday homes or summer rental properties, the surrounding environs of Nueva Andalucía, where many of the villas and apartments are based on traditional Andalusian architecture and design, lend themselves perfectly to year round living.
The bullring that sits on the other side of the N340 coast road to Puerto Banus marks the entrance to Nueva Andalucía, a small town within itself with local shops, facilities and services. The bullring is also where the popular rastro, market, is held every Saturday.
Nueva Andalucía is part of ‘Golf Valley’, known as such because of the 40 quality golf courses in the area, has some of the best local ones including Aloha Golf, Los Naranjos and Las Brisas. For high rollers looking to spin the roulette wheel or play Blackjack, the Casino Marbella is located within the Andalucia Plaza Hotel.