Most people associate Marbella with luxury hotels, exclusive villas, trend setting visitors and fancy restaurants, but those who look a little deeper will discover that there is more to this town than glitz and glamour. It has a rich and vibrant history that, according to new research, stretches much further back than the times of the Moors. |
It has been proven that the history of this city began in 1600BC when the Romans inhabited the area and named the city Salduba (Salt City). There is evidence to suggest, however, that the city was inhabited as far back as the Palaeolithic and Phoenician times.
If you fancy a break from sunbathing or meandering along the Golden Mile, why not take a trip to visit one or two of our top archaeological sites in the area?
Rio Verde Roman Villa
Located about 6km from the centre of Marbella, these remains have been connected to the ancient Roman city of Salduba. Exquisite mosaic floors are on show, created using hundreds of coloured square shaped pieces, and just to the right of the entrance you can see a mosaic depicting Medusa’s Head. This symbol is representative of an ancient Roman method used to keep thieves and uninvited guests at bay. More depictions of animals, culinary equipment and other geometric decoration can be seen throughout the villa and constitute to making these mosaics one of a kind.
The site is only open between 11am and 1pm on Thursdays, so to visit at any other time, you must book a group visit.
Basilica de Vega del Mar
This Paleo-Christian church can be found in a lush eucalyptus forest just next to the Guadalmina River. The site is a collection of remains from the original Basilica that mainly focus on its foundations and the burial site. A lot of smaller items discovered here are now in the National Museum of Archaeology in Madrid. Apparently once part of the Roman city of Cilniana and located on the Roman route that links Cartagena to Cádiz, the original church was constructed in the 4th century, before being destroyed in 365 A.D. during an earthquake.
The fascinating remains that you see today have been dated back to the sixth century. It is thought that the tombstone, very obvious due to its ‘Constantine Crimson’ colour, is the oldest in Spain.
The site is free but only open between 11am and 1pm on Fridays.
It is hard to believe that the remains you see on this site were once the centre of the formidable defensive system for the city. Built at the end of the 9th century, the structure was constructed using materials of Roman origin. It has recently been agreed that the castle could have actually been built on a Roman site. The Jonick Capitals in the walls, the Calle Trinidad, and the Homage Tower on the northern side of the castle are testament to this fact.
The castle is free to visit, although you have to admire the fortification remains from the outside. You still get to see lots, so it worth taking an hour to do so.
There really is more to Marbella than meets the eye, archeologically speaking, so when you are on holiday, take a look past the bright lights and bustling streets. You might be surprised at what you discover.
How To Get There
Marbella is a popular resort that is only a 45-minute drive from Málaga Airport; a small busy airport hub that has flights arriving daily from a whole host of European cities, including London, Paris, Frankfurt and Madrid. If you are travelling from the UK, you have a huge choice of airports that offer direct flights to Málaga. Manchester, London, Birmingham and Newcastle are just a few examples. Jet2, easyJet, Monarch and Thomson are some competitively priced airlines you can choose from.
On reaching Málaga, you no doubt want to get to your hotel as soon as you can, and most travellers go for a pre-booked taxi from Málaga Airport to Marbella. We at Shuttle Direct offer a reasonably priced service that takes you from Málaga Airport to Marbella in comfort and in good time. You are met at Arrivals and taken straight to your hotel, which takes all the worry out of getting to and from resort.
Lukas Johannes is a driver for Shuttle Direct, the number one provider of shared and private airport transfers all over Europe and northern Africa. If you’re looking for an affordable transfer from Malaga airport to Marbella, Lukas and his colleagues can make sure that you and your luggage get to and from the airport swiftly and safely.
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