Entering San Pedro from Puerto Banús to the east or Estepona to the west, visitors are delighted to find an archetype Spanish town with no overly ostentatious airs and graces.
The town is maintained in an extremely clean and tidy state, with a central shopping area, quiet parks and squares, and beautiful gardens. Just right off the main road into the Nueva Alcántara area is an attractive five-kilometre-long promenade and wide beaches that have been awarded a “Blue Flag”.
Agriculture remains important to the town’s coffers but since the 1970s the area has thrived on tourism, developing into a pleasant Costa del Sol resort with handsome villas set amidst luxuriant vegetation. San Pedro de Alcántara is refreshingly different to crowded areas at other resorts but – as it is just 10 minutes from Marbella centre and five minutes from Puerto Banús – offers the best of both worlds.
San Pedro is also of considerable archaeological interest, with significant remains located in or near the town. Las Bovedas is a Roman site dating to the third century, Vega del Mar Basilica is a Palaeo-Christian edifice (excavations have unearthed several tombs containing precious funerary objects) and The Vaults’ strange octagonal building derives its name from its vaulted rooms… it is in fact a thermal establishment dating from the third century BC.
San Pedro has the final summer fair (“feria”) in Andalucía, starting on 19 October and lasting four days, with a bullfight held on the last day.
Unlike most modern Spanish bullfights, where meat from the bulls is donated to charity, here the bulls that are killed are cremated in a bonfire at the end of the day. This ritual mirrors the pagan ceremonies performed by ancient Iberians.
San Pedro lies on the main Costa del Sol coastal road just off the AP7 tollway, 10 kilometres west of Marbella, 60 kilometres from Málaga airport and even closer (50 kilometres) to Gibraltar airport – both less than one hour’s drive away.
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