Considered unofficially as the capital of the western Costa del Sol, there is no doubting the fact that Marbella has all the qualities required to merit its position as one of Spain's premier tourist resorts.
Its privileged location, at the foot of the Sierra Blanca and on the coast, create an excellent climate and a landscape of immense beauty.
The town dates back to Roman times, a period from which abundant archaeological remains are to be found; two towers and the castle walls bear witness to the presence of the Arabs; and in the old centre of the town, Our Lady's Church, the Chief Magistrate's House and St. John's Hospital were all built after the Christian reconquest.
However, it is for its excellent sun and sand holiday facilities that Marbella is best known: magnificent spacious beaches, natural AREAs of great interest such as Cabopino Dunes or Las Chapas Pine Groves, pleasure harbours, golf courses, sports clubs and a wide variety of establishments to justify its reputation.
Seven kilometres from the centre of Marbella is the densely-populated San Pedro de Alcántara district, which lies within Marbella's municipal boundaries and appeared as a result of the building of a sugar refinery in 1860.