Over the centuries, the area has been occupied by Phoenicians, Visigoths, Romans and the Moors. In fact, its origins date back to 1600 B.C. Until a few decades ago, however, there was just a small sleepy fishing village of tiny white homes here. When Franco opened up Spain to international tourism in the 1960s, its location and climate ensured a rapid growth with beaches, promenades, hotels, marinas, and casinos being constructed. Hidden away amongst these is the old town or casco antiguo, a delightful spot with orange trees, historic buildings, and cobbled pedestrian-friendly streets. Its cafe-lined squares are perfect for watching the world go by over a coffee or glass of Spanish wine.
You can make the most of local attractions and beaches with your economy rental vehicle. Drive along the "Golden Mile" that is actually four miles long, a journey that takes you from beaches and luxury residences to the upmarket marina town of Puerto Banús. Celebrities and members of royal families from around the world have homes here. With your rental car, it's also easy to enjoy some horse racing at the Hipodromo Mijas Costa or a game of golf at nearby courses. Spanish cuisine can be fully enjoyed at Marbella restaurants. Tuck into grilled sardines at the beach or enjoy the choice of excellent tapas bars in Plaza de los Naranjos, or Orange Square.