With its exclusive shops and restaurants Marbella is a pleasant diversion for an afternoon or evening’s entertainment. The ‘Old Town’ of Marbella has quaint cobbled streets and traditional buildings. At the centre is Orange Square, where you can dine at one of the many restaurants nestling beneath the orange trees. Marbella has grown dramatically and is now a destination shopping experience in itself, with a Branch of El Corte Ingles together with well known names such as Zara, Mango, Body Shop and others. Marbella also has a branch of Toni & Guy the hairdressers. Don’t miss out on the La Canada shopping centre nearby, which has a wide range of shops, all under cover – worth visiting on the (very) rare occasions when the weather is not so good.
Istan is a beautiful village with incredible views, Istan really holds every aspect of Spanish life and being so close helps you live the life. Istan is one of a number of villages of Moorish origin which owes its survival to its distance from the coast. After the Christian reconquest of the Iberian peninsula in the 15th Century, Arabs were barred from living within a league of the shoreline in order to prevent them from communicating with their kinsmen across the straits in Morocco. Istan, 15 kilometers inland, was allowed to remain while the coastal Arab settlements were depopulated and frequently destroyed.
The village aptly echoes night and day to the sound of water running constantly from its drinking fountains. Aptly, because it stands close to the huge reservoir created by the Presa de la Concepción dam, which was built in 1972 and provides drinking water to towns all along the coast. The water feeding Istán's fountains, however, is the pure, unprocessed mountain variety which was much prized long before the coming of the dam. Just outside the village, where it cascades freely from the rocks, motorists often stop to fill their jugs and cans.
With its exclusive boutiques and impressive cars this makes Puerto Banus another pleasant diversion for an afternoon or evening's entertainment. Enjoying a reputation as the ultimate playground for the rich and famous, Puerto Banus is Marbella's premier location, an icon among leisure centre's in Europe and is port of call to some very impressive gin palaces! A truly cosmopolitan zone, offering all manner of amenities and a focal point for visitors to the golden mile, it is home to a wide variety of world-class shops and offers a superb array of stylish bars, smart restaurants and prestigious galleries. At the western end of the harbour, you can find the aquarium de Puerto Banus, where you can take a dive in the aquariums tanks with ray's, lobsters and small sharks!
As the day draws to an end the port changes yet again and its visitors step out for an unforgettable nightlife experience. Banus is hard to beat, with alfresco bars such as Sinatra's Bar, live jazz venues and discos which are open dusk until dawn. On a par with Monte Carlo, Cannes or Miami, it has been blessed with a somewhat celebrity factor and has enjoyed visits from stars such as Rod Stewart, Bruce Willis and Spanish singer Julio Iglesias.