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Marbella

Locked between Malaga, Gibraltar, Madrid and Algeciras, and constantly competing for tourists with nearby Torremolinos, Marbella is a top-end sophisticated vacation spot adorned with a scenic Andalusian port and an evocative historical Town Hall. Marbella has succumbed to luxury and entertainment, but still preserves some vestiges of its Moorish past, with an Ancient wall encompassing parts of the city. Its beaches, El Fuerte and La Fontanilla, are the principal sunbathing sites, with plenty of adjoining sandy areas which cater to a more peaceful experience. Since the mid-20th Century, when it started to attract high-profile personalities, members of the royal gentry and ultra-rich magnates, the city hasn't deviated from its reputed glamour. The cobblestoned Old Marbella, a tiny world of whitewashed homes decorated with flower pots and a small fishing wharf, remains relatively unspoilt. The remaining parts of the resort are largely modernised, with high-rise structures and exacerbating prices to match the distinctly rich clientele.

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