Doing it for the ‘gram
Royal photographer Lord Litchfield famously quipped that even a blind man could take great pictures in Venice. The same pretty much applies to Marbella with its beautiful surroundings. Now that most of the population is documenting their every waking hour on social media, the biggest problem is where should the budding Instagram model go to get the best shot? Fret no more, as the camera shy Giles Brown scouts the best locations that are as pretty as a picture!
Bit of a no brainer, this one. La Concha is the emblematic mountain that looks over Marbella like a benevolent bouncer. There is a bit of meteorological truth in that sentence, believe it or not, as the mountain gives the town its enviable microclimate, shielding it from the excesses of what can sometimes be a harsh climate. If you haven’t climbed La Concha yet, grab your walking boots, as March, April and May are the best months to do so. Don’t panic – you won’t need climbing gear, just sturdy shoes, plenty of water and sensible clothing – and the hike takes around three hours. The view from the top, looking down on Marbella, Puerto Banus, the reservoir at Istan, Gibraltar and Morocco, is nothing short of spectacular. Marbella’s firemen climbed up and installed a bench for selfies a few years ago. Be warned though. On both occasions that I’ve reached the summit, I’ve marked the achievement by getting my kit off for the camera! (Read our recent blog on The ascent of La Concha, Marbella’s landmark mountain by walking guide and author, Guy Hunter-Watts)
Marbella Club Pier
If La Concha is emblematic of Marbella, then the Marbella Club Hotel is iconic. It was here that Marbella’s reputation as a playground for the rich and famous first started, when Prince Alfonso von Hohenlohe, waiting to make a telephone call to his uncle in Seville (it took three hours for a line to become available) decided to picnic under the pines. He fell in love with the spot and the rest, as they say, is history. Although the grounds of the Marbella Club are lovely, the best Instagram spot is the hotel’s pier, which stretches out into the Mediterranean. If you are looking for that perfect ‘summer feels’, sunrise or sundown shot, it’s ‘pier’ perfection.
Puente Romano Bridge
“What have the Romans ever done for us?” I hear you cry. Well, in Marbella, the answer is quite a lot actually. Salduba as they called it (and yes that’s where the bar at the entrance to Banus gets its name) was a thriving town on the (then) newly-built road to Rome. There are still remnants of Roman times such as thermal baths and fabulous mosaics, while another is a popular Instagram spot, though many won’t even realize it. The stone bridge at the Hotel Puente Romano (the clue is in the name) was an important part of the ancient road. Now, of course, it is located adjacent to the hotel’s bustling restaurants, its overhanging vines adorned with fairy lights, making it a wondrously atmospheric setting.
He may have hailed from Catalonia but surrealist maestro Salvador Dali appreciated the madness of Marbella, with one of his closest friends, the mustachioed and monocled nobleman Don Jamie de Mora y Aragon being one of the town’s most celebrated eccentrics. It is therefore fitting that a walkway in the centre of town leading to the sea houses many of his weird and wonderful sculptures, making it the perfect spot for a surrealist shot!
The Alameda Park in the middle of Marbella is an oasis of shade and greenery, especially in the summer months. Located next to the La Canasta (Cafeteria Marbella) building, one of the town’s landmark establishments, the fountain in the park is another popular Instagram location. At night the fountain comes alive with multicolored lights and even passing celebrities such as Eva Longoria have stopped to take a selfie there!
The world famous jet set marina is a haven for the Insta crowd, the supercars, superyachts and occasional supermodel making it fertile photo ground. Being lucky enough to live here, we occasionally get a little blasé about Banus, but if you take a stroll to the tower at the habour entrance and watch the yachts cruise in, and then turn around to see the marina with La Concha in the background and sun beaming down, you realize that Marbella really is somewhere special.
“The Red Dog,” Puerto Banús
Ever since it was put up next to the cinema in Puerto Banus, the “Red Dog” has become an, ahem, instant “Insta” hit cropping up on Instagram feeds under #marbella. Maybe it says something about the contemporary art market, or perhaps is a subtle statement on society. Or perhaps it’s just because people like to be photographed next to a fun big red dog!!