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Marbella, Spain

One of the top spots along Spain’s Costa del Sol, Marbella boasts more than 16 miles of sun-drenched coastline with stunning beaches, a dozen championship golf courses, and the Sierra Blanca Mountains as a backdrop. Yet there is more to this chic resort region than meets the eye. Marbella’s Old Town is an Andalusian charmer, its typical whitewashed houses adorned with geranium-filled flowerpots. The central Plaza de los Naranjos is lined with orange trees and 16th-century architecture; nearby stands the Iglesia de la Encarnación, noted for its elaborate golden altar. The area’s prestigious “Golden Mile” lies just to the west; you can follow the beach promenade all the way to Puerto Banus, Marbella’s yacht-filled marina famed for its swank nightclubs and high-end boutiques. Head inland to visit pretty mountain villages like Mijas and Istán or the Charco del Canalón waterfall.