A former teacher and charity worker from the North East of England, I love people and places and like to try out new experiences wherever possible. Capturing that 'perfect pic' is all part of the pleasure. Access issues are a particular interest.
Sunshine break or celebration – Puerto Banus is the perfect place.
Sitting in a pleasant, open fronted, restaurant overlooking the harbour with its array of million dollar yachts, my husband and I celebrated our wedding anniversary.
Along the main drag you will find all the glamour of designer shops such as Christian Dior and Georgio Armani alongside high fashion from top British designers such as Alexander McQueen and the original 'Posh', Victoria Beckham.
Very swish, you might say, but in reality we were on a budget holiday and with prices from around €14 the 3 course lunch-time set menu was designed to attract customers just like us through their doors.
Outside are the tell-tale signs of wealth in the shape of high end motor cars (Porsches and Ferraris are regularly spotted), which seem to offer no mercy to the pedestrian trying to perch on a narrow strip of pavement, but it's the perfect place to see and be seen and enjoy a nice cool drink while you watch the world go by.
Puerto Banus is a beautiful area near Marbella in southern Spain in the region of Andalucia and is a great place to escape the cold winter weather of northern Europe as it has almost year round sunshine. Many Scandinavians, Britons and others from colder parts now have second homes in this area, also known as the Costa Del Sol, which stretches from Malaga in the east to the border with Gibraltar in the west. It is easily reached by low-cost flights to Malaga Airport and the A7 National highway. There are good local bus services which run from Estapona to Marbella every half-hour in this neck of the woods.
Puerto Banus was purposely built several years ago as an up-market pleasure seekers' resort, to attract the chic set and raise the profile of the area; it lost its appeal to some holiday makers a decade or so ago as the traditional resorts such Torremolinos became jaded but many have been re-vamped in recent years with funding from the European Union. The area is very popular with sunseeks, golfers and hen and stag parties as the place comes alive in the evenings.
We walked along the lovely promenade to Puerto Banus from our hotel in San Pedro de Alcantara, 3 kilometres to the west. The local bus would have got us there in three or four stops but the view was stunning and we didn't want to miss it. The walk was all the more enjoyable as I'm visually impaired and usually use a long cane to help me get around, but the level ground and the lack of traffic made it easy walking.
At one end of the promenade in Puerto Banus there is a huge stone tower which we frequently used as a landmark while, at the other end, the Cortijo Blanco beach in San Pedro is separated by a small stream that joins the sea between the two main stretches of long sand and shingle beach. There are also beach bars and restaurants along the uncrowded promenades which stretch for several kilometres along the seashore between Puerto Banus and Cortijo Blanco. It took my husband and I three days of wandering around side streets to find where the two promenades met up as they tailed off inland at the end of their respective beaches.
If you are into surfing, the rugged headland and the sea swell between these two beaches seemed to provide ample opportunity for dedicated surfers but, if you get tired of the glamour and glitz and want to enjoy the more simple pleasures in life, we also found a lovely riverside walk that leads down to the coast near Cortijo Blanco beach. And, there, about one hundred metres inland, a small bridge spanned the stream and offered a unique view as it meandered slowly out to meet the sea while a family of ducks with their ducklings paddled about happily in the shallow water below.