Visiting San Pedro de Alcántara
San Pedro: A Typical Andalusian Village and Popular Tourist Town
San Pedro de Alcántara is a neighbouring town immediately west of Marbella, although it actually belongs to the Marbella municipality, and was originally an agricultural settlement or “colony” which was founded in 1860 by General Manuel Gutiérrez de la Concha e Irigoyen, the 1st Marquis of the Duero.
Location of San Pedro
San Pedro sits approximately 10.5kms west of the centre of Marbella, and just over 3kms from Puerto Banús, which is the most western point of the Marbella Golden Mile. It is made up of a long coastal area surrounded by a semi-circle of three mountain chains: Sierra Blanca in Marbella to the east, with the Marbella landmark known as the La Concha mountain due to its resemblance to the shape and texture of a seashell; Sierra Real in the north; and Sierra Bermeja in the west. The coastline belonging to San Pedro includes the lovely beaches of Cortijo Blanco, San Pedro Playa, and then the Guadalmina beach. This 4,900m stretch of beach is beautifully maintained and lovely walks can be enjoyed also along its promenade which is interspersed with pretty gardened areas.
Easy access to surrounding areas
Halfway between Gibraltar and Málaga, San Pedro can be easily accessed from the sea ports and airports of both cities. If you are interested in a day-trip or a long weekend in North Africa, Algeciras (one of the largest ports in Europe) and Tarifa (also the watersports centre of Southern Europe), they are just over 60kms away, and both offer ferry services to the north of the African continent.
The town is also the “final stop” of the traditional Seville – Costa del Sol route, and takes in the magnificent historical centre of Ronda, just 47kms away. There is so much to do and so much to see…. and with plenty to cater for all tastes!!
Places of historical interest in the Old Town of San Pedro de Alcántara
Noteworthy are the III century Roman Thermal Baths of Bóvedas in San Pedro, just 500m from the Vega del Mar Basilica, an early Christian church which is another landmark in itself, situated in the urbanization of Linda Vista and dating back to IV century. The Basilica was discovered by chance, at the beginning of the 1900’s, while eucalyptus trees were being planted on the site.
The Watch Tower of Bóvedas, dating back to XVI century, is just 50m from the Thermal Baths of the same name. This is one of many such lookout towers to be found dotted along the coastline and were built for defence and to enable the use of heavy firearms from strategic positions on the beach.
The main Church, which sits in the Plaza de la Iglesia, No.1, opened for worship in the second half of XIX century (1869) and follows the colonial style favoured by the Marquis of the Duero. At No.2 in the same square, sits the lovely Villa de San Luis, also built in the colonial style by the Marquis as a home for the “Administrator” of the colony. This lovely property was bought over by the Marbella Town Hall in 1945 and became the Municipal Office in the town.
Text by Patricia Torney, March 2014