San Pedro de Alcántara and adjacent residential area Guadalmina, are in an ideal location that caters to a different type of Costa del Sol resident. This area is just 10 km west of dazzling Marbella, 2 km from Puerto Banús, and a mere few minutes from the spectacular beauty of the Sierra de Ronda Mountains. This authentic Spanish town has an appeal unmatched on the Costa del Sol.
San Pedro de Alcántara and Guadalmina are home to approximately 26,500 residents. The people of this area reflect the regional culture of Southern Spain. However an exclusive residential area, located within the prestigious Guadalmina golf course, is home to some of the long established millionaires on the Coast. Apart from the privileged Spaniards living in Guadalmina, affluent northern Europeans have opted to purchase their second home here and numerous British young professional couples deside to relocate to this area. Many villas and flats in this urbanization have spectacular views of the golf course, the ocean, and La Concha Mountain (standing proudly at 1,270 meters)
San Pedro de Alcántara lies on the Costa del Sol’ toll free Autovía (CN340 or A7). One can also access the town via the Coast’s new toll motorway AP-7. If driving to San Pedro de Alcántara from Sevilla or Ronda simply take the scenic C339 road. San Pedro de Alcántara is only an hour away from Málaga city, which provides residents and visitors with easy access to international transportation facilities. From Málaga you can catch a flight to hundreds of international locations, hop on a train or opt to use the ALSA buses.
It’s only fair to warn people about the ongoing road works in the San Pedro area. The project began in May/June 2007 after a decade of planning. Naturally, the economic crisis has severely slowed down progress and diminished available funds. The final outcome of the development will be the long awaited San Pedro underground tunnel, measuring one kilometre in length. Traffic flow has been affected but the area looks forward to its completion and a vastly improved system.
Most of the town can be visited on foot, however to get to adjacent Guadalmina or further beaches you will need a set of wheels. If you’re riding the local Portillo buses, there are stops that will take you outside or around San Pedro. The main Portillo stop in San Pedro is near the tennis club and if you wish to catch the bus from Guadalmina, the stop is located on the A7 in front of the Guadalmina Alta commercial centre. The Portillo buses are the cheapest form of public transportation and come by every half hour, however, many find them uncomfortable (especially in the summer) because they are packed and sweltering.
Grab a cab from Taxi Luna on Calle Del Sur or from Sur Taxi on Calle Marqués del Duero. If you have no luck there don’t worry, there are plenty of taxis circulating the streets ready to pick you up.
WHAT TO DO
This town is not known for wild nightlife. An evening in San Pedro de Alcántara consists of a delicious meal and a few drinks at a quaint local bar. This atmosphere is more relaxed then many of the Coast’s others towns. No need to dress to impress – one can just be themselves. If you’re looking for a big party night, Marbella and Puerto Banús are a short taxi ride away.
AT THE BEACH
San Pedro’s 2 km long beautifully tiled promenade is very wide and delightful. You can enjoy the mixture of lush gardens on one side of the pathway and wide sandy beaches on the other. There are several chiringuitos and beach bars all the way along, the vast majority of which specialise in the true Spanish Mediterranean cuisine including paella and fresh seafood. Be aware that Spanish families love to congregate for their Sunday meal (which is known to last up to 4 hours), so book your table in advance in these restaurants!
San Pedro’s coast has several pleasant beaches. Near to Guadalmina Baja (south section of the urbanization), you can find the Guadalmina beach. 1,600 meters long and 30 meters wide, this alluring beach offers loads of space for fun in the sun! San Pedro beach, situated in San Pedro, is another perfectly appealing option. This sea bank is 1 km long and 35 meters wide, however, due to a recent regeneration project, the sand is a medium dark colour. Like most beaches on the coast you can rent jet skis, practice water sports, or simply go for a dip in the warm Mediterranean.
San Pedro de Alcántara was founded by General Manuel Guitiérrez de la Concha and Irigoyen the first Marqués del Duero. In 1860 they founded San Pedro and it quickly became an area of intense agricultural cultivation. The town was built up swiftly with construction machinery imported from America and the United Kingdom. The main routes for travel and communication were sea and a single ancient roman road. Eventually, San Pedro residents were able to build quality roads provoking greater migration to the sea side town.
Several monuments and churches still remain major historical points of interest in San Pedro. The Bóvedas are a small collection of Roman ruins dating back to the III century. The size and shape of the remaining stones have led historians to believe that the Bóvedas used to be Roman baths. Alongside the Roman baths is La Torre Vigia Las Bóvedas, a tower which was was built from the stone taken from La Bóveda ruin in the late 16th century. Historians believe that the tower served as a security precaution against North Africa. The Bóvedas are located between the Poplar Creek and the Guadalmina River – just 500 meters from the Basilica de la Vega del Mar. which is also a tourist attraction being another Roman ruin that dates back to the IV century.
A charming place to visit is the Plaza de la Iglesia, built in the XIX century with a centerpoint of a white colonial style church built by the Marqués del Duero himself in 1866. The square is surrounded by many local bars and is a perfect place for relaxation or a drink. The plaza is also home to San Pedro’s Ayuntamiento (Town Hall), for this town – although a part of the Marbella municipality, has its own mayor and counsellors.
San Pedro has a charming street market every Thursday morning on the town’s fairground. This typical Spanish market is a great way to indulge in the Spanish experience. You can buy local produce, handmade crafts and jewellery, clothes and much more. If you are in the Guadalmina residential area, be sure to visit their market every Sunday from 10am-3pm. It is located in the shopping complex behind Supersol Supermarket.
San Pedro is one of the best places on the coast to practice sport. It has a municipal sport centre where you can enjoy virtually any sport. The centre, located in the town centre on Calle Fuente Nueva, has facilities for football, volleyball, tennis, aerobic, gym, swimming and more! The renouned Club de Padel y Tenis de Nueva Alcantara is one of San Pedro’s major racket sport hubs. Located on CN340 km 171.5, this sport club has a gym, dance, paddle and tennis facilities and even its own hairdresser!
San Pedro is also known for its exquisite and well kept golf courses. This sport is extremely popular and because of the coast’s microclimate can be played year round. Guadalmina Golf Club is beautiful and has a tennis court, large pool, and a great restaurant. If you’re new to golf, why not try and hit a few balls at the Guadalmina driving range (located close to the Barceló Hotel)? And when you get tired of it all, the driving range has a well stocked bar run by local residents.
If golfing is simply not for you, try Cable Ski Marbella. Located next to the driving range in Guadalmina Alta, this fantastic club offers wakeboard, kneeboard, and water-ski lessons.