San Pedro de Alcantara

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Centre to centre, San Pedro and Marbella are 16 kilometres removed, but the little town is as little as ten kilometres from the western entrance to Marbella town and less than nine kilometres from the famous Puerto Banús port.

Though part of the greater Marbella municipality, San Pedro Alcántara is a small town set a few metres inland almost midway between Benahavis, Estepona town. A former agricultural settlement first created in the 19th century, San Pedro retains a more traditionally Spanish atmosphere that offers an authentic Andalusian town experience right on the doorstep of Marbella and Puerto Banús.

Location

Centre to centre, San Pedro and Marbella are 16 kilometres removed, but the little town is as little as ten kilometres from the western entrance to Marbella town and less than nine kilometres from the famous Puerto Banús port, both of which can be reached in little more than five minutes. San Pedro also lies just ten kilometres from the charming little inland village of Benahavis, home to luxury country club resorts such as La Zagaleta and El Madroñal, and is roughly 20 kilometres from Estepona.

The A-7 coastal road runs roughly parallel to the coast, passing Estepona through a viaduct as it connects Marbella and Estepona, while on its north side the town is linked to the coastal AP toll motorway. Originally not set right upon the sea, San Pedro is now gradually being connected to the sandy beaches and seaside promenade that are around one kilometre from its southern side by a newly emerging luxury residential area known as Nuevo Alcántara. The latter is a well laid-out suburban area dominated by exclusive contemporary apartments dotted with townhouses, villas and one of the leading racquet clubs in the region, the Club de Pádel y Tenis Nueva Alcántara.

The A-7 coastal road runs roughly parallel to the coast, passing Estepona through a viaduct as it connects Marbella and Estepona, while on its north side the town is linked to the coastal AP toll motorway. Originally not set right upon the sea, San Pedro is now gradually being connected to the sandy beaches and seaside promenade that are around one kilometre from its southern side by a newly emerging luxury residential area known as Nuevo Alcántara. The latter is a well laid-out suburban area dominated by exclusive contemporary apartments dotted with townhouses, villas and one of the leading racquet clubs in the region, the Club de Pádel y Tenis Nueva Alcántara.

The topside of the viaduct is made up of a stylish new promenade park that forms the official meeting point between San Pedro town and Nueva Alcántara. Designed to create an open recreational space for inhabitants of the town, it features playing areas for children, water features, benches, a small amphitheatre for performances, two popular tapas restaurant/bars and an ice skating rink at Christmas.

San Pedro is set upon the largely level coastal plain of the Costa del Sol– here known as the Vega de San Pedro Alcántara – and looks out across the Mediterranean Sea up to Gibraltar and the coast of North Africa. The inland views take in the succession of mountain ranges that mark the beginning of the mighty Serranía de Ronda that stretches far inland. On the eastside is the Sierra Blanca, dominated by the iconic La Concha Mountain (1270 metres high and officially known as the Pico del Astonar. Rising right behind the town are the Sierra del Real and the Sierra de las Nieves, with on the west the Sierra Bermeja mountains.

Origins

Unlike many of the towns and villages in Andalucía, San Pedro Alcántara is not an ancient village dating back to Iberian, Phoenician, Roman or Moorish times, though there is evidence that people have lived here for thousands of years. Archaeological findings point to the presence of a small fishing port in Roman times called Silniana, while right by the beach in Vega del Mar, amid a stand of eucalyptus trees there are the remains of an early Christian basilica church have been found and preserved. The site can be visited daily from 10:30 t0 13:30 and it represents a rare example of a sixth century AD Visigoth church, which was built before the Muslim invasion of the following century.

After the reconquest of Andalucía from the Moors in the middle ages, the coastal region gradually became depopulated due to the centuries-long slaving raids by Barbara Corsair from North Africa. These Muslim pirates carried off thousands of inhabitants into slavery and made settlement of what is now the Costa del Sol virtually impossible until the French conquest of Algiers in 1830. Not long after, in the 1860s, the Marques del Duero established a planned agricultural village that attracted farmers from across the region and indeed all of Spain. They settled in what is now the little suburb of El Ingenio, where they processed their sugar cane crop in the El Ángel factory that was built in 1871. This attractive building remains here to this day and is used for municipal and cultural events.

Shopping and dining

The town centre of San Pedro Alcántara offers a compact area in which to experience authentic Andalusian village life. It also features a wide range of shops and services, from boutiques, pharmacies and perfumeries to opticians, clinics, banks, law firms and phone shops. You’ll be able to find just about everything you need in town or at the small neighbouring industrial estate (polígono), including car dealerships, garages and furniture stores.

San Pedro is also increasingly popular for dining and socialising, boasting a good variety of tapas bars, cafes and traditional eateries in the old town and a growing selection of excellent restaurants and gastro tapas venues on and near the Bulevar and Paseo Marítimo beach walk, offering everything from Spanish to Italian, French, Argentinean and Asian cuisine.

The beaches in San Pedro are sandy and clean, with a pleasant sprinkling of fish restaurants and beach clubs such as Bora Bora, Guayaba, El Ancón and Macao.

Sport

In addition to padel and tennis clubs, San Pedro also has a municipal Polideportivo sports complex offering gymnastics, swimming pools and indoor sports. The local football club attracts a lot of young players and there is a first class choice of golf courses within a ten-minute drive, including Los Arqueros, El Higueral, La Zagaleta, La Quinta, Magna Marbella, Los Naranjos, Las Brisas, Aloha Golf, Dama de Noche, Guadalmina, Atalaya and El Campanario.

Also close to the town centre is the Cable Ski lake, which comes complete with a lakeside chill out club and borders a driving range.

Properties

Few foreign buyers opt for properties in the town centre but many are drawn by the modern apartments in Nueva Alcántara, older renovation villas in Vega del Mar, the golf apartments in Los Arqueros or luxury country club villas in El Madroñal and La Zagaleta. Guadalmina is particularly popular for its apartments and villas, with properties in La Quinta also close by.

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