Puerto Banus was opened in May 1970 by the developer Jose Banus, the marina is situated only 5km to the east of Marbella and Puerto Banus has become one of the most famous Marinas in Europe. Located between Marbella and Estepona, Puerto Banus is world renowned as a holiday resort and has become home to the rich and famous offering one of the best year round climates in Europe. The focal point of Puerto Banus is the Marina, which has berths for nearly 1000 boats with some of the world’s elite and wealthiest individuals mooring their exclusive yachts here.
The impressive Yachts are only matched by the lines of sports cars parked in the marina and the various designer clothing boutiques that line the streets. Puerto Banus still has a lot to offer those with less extravagant budgets and is the perfect venue to simply sit and watch the world go by. During the day and early evening the port offers a fantastic range of restaurants and cafe bars, and in the evening turns into one of the liveliest beach resorts on the Costa del Sol.
Just outside of the Marina and alongside Puerto Banús there are a number of beach clubs. Here you have a choice and you will pay more for the ones aimed at the holidaymakers and wealthier expats, or you can head to one of the more traditionally Spanish chiringuitos, which are more affordable but offer less opportunity for people-watching. Ocean Club is the biggest beach club in Puerto Banus, where expensive sun loungers, exorbitant drinks and every Sunday are world famous for their extravagant ‘champagne parties’. Still, it’s immensely popular, so it must be doing something right! Plaza Beach is slightly more affordable and accessible, and right beside the port, while La Sala beach at Villa Marina and part of the La Sala group delivers a nice mixture of exclusivity, style and affordability. For something completely different, you can choose to head for the beach to the east of the harbour, where a more family-friendly atmosphere exists.
Eating and drinking
It is virtually impossible to mention all the restaurants and to distinguish the different styles of cuisine in Puerto Banús. There really is something for every taste, Italian, Japanese, Thai, Indian, modern European, Argentinian, Moroccan, Russian, Lebanese and of course specialist fish restaurants along the front line of the Marina, these can tend to be a little more expensive. If you are a family and on a slightly tighter budget, there are more reasonable options such as the Italian restaurant Picasso’s, which has a great location on the front line and serves great pizzas and is excellent value for money. Just remember it gets extremely busy all year round so try and get there earlier though don’t be put off if there is a queue as the staff are extremely efficient and you will soon be seated.
One of the port’s most popular night spots is restaurant/lounge bar La Sala located just a few minutes’ walk from the Marina and slightly away from the main bustle of the Port. This is a lively spot where you can rub shoulders with celebrities, locals and holiday makers and offers an excellent restaurant and bar with live music. Aqua Mist is the nightclub located under la Sala and gets busy after the bar), There are a huge range of lounge bars playing music until the early hours including Cavalli, Pangea, News Café, Havana, Seven and are all must do venues for any party goers and clubbers. The port can be expensive but most of the bars have happy hours so there is something to suit every style, taste and budget!
If you are more of a day person there are many sports and family activities to enjoy on both land and sea. On the sea you can enjoy Banana rides, water skiing, wake boarding, yacht charters, scuba diving, deep sea fishing and there is also an excellent catamaran boat called Fly Blue offering hourly charters between Marbella and Puerto Banús. This is an excellent and in expensive way to see the coastline from the sea and we highly recommend it! On land you have Segway hire, paintballing, bike hire or just visit one of the many gyms and health centres available offering Yoga classes and gym classes.
Shop till you drop
Over 5 million tourists visit the Marina every year and many come to enjoy the Shopping opportunities in Puerto Banus that will satisfy the most devoted shoppers, with designer boutiques from Armani to Hermes that can be found lining the pretty streets around the marina. If your budget doesn’t stretch to big designer names, you can find more reasonable prices in chains such as Zara, HnM and Massimo Dutti in the Marina Banus shopping centre. If you prefer to do your shopping all under the same roof then the 5-floor department store El Corte Ingles, offers everything from electrical goods to furniture and fashion. There is also an enormous, well-stocked supermarket on the ground floor. Throughout the Easter and Summer holidays you can visit the market stalls in Plaza Antonio Banderas where you’ll find food stalls, fashion accessories, clothes, ceramics, antiques and much more.
FACTS AND FIGURES
Transport and travel
Alongside reasonably priced taxis, there is a good public transport service which makes getting around very easy. The Portillo bus routes serve the neighbouring towns Marbella and San Pedro and also offer routes running as far as Tarifa, Gibraltar and Malaga airport. The bus stop is located outside El Corte Ingles though there are several places where you can book day trips if you don’t fancy driving.
Puerto Banus is linked to the rest of coast by two major road roads; the Costa del Sol toll road with prices that vary between high and low season(AP-7) or the coast road Autovia del Mediterraneo (CN-340A)
- 45 minutes’ drive from Malaga airport
- 60 minutes from Gibraltar airport
- 5 hours from Malaga to Madrid on the AVE fast train