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Stately Beauty on the Sea… and in the Port

[caption id="attachment_1923" align="alignright" width="300"] Princess Yachts 98 MY[/caption] For new visitors to the Costa del Sol, there is always one destination either number one on their to-do list, or pretty close to the top: check out Puerto Banús. For some, the main lure might be celebrity spotting; for others admiring the steady procession of Bentleys, Ferraris and Maseratis along the promenade. Those with suitably plump credit cards are more likely to be attracted by the impressive range of ultra-select boutiques and gourmet dining establishments; but, almost without exception, everyone’s view is invariably drawn to the boats. [caption id="attachment_1927" align="alignright" width="300"] Oxygène AIR 77[/caption] Puerto Banús is, after all, a marina – and one of the most famous in Europe. It is true that the golden years of past decades, when some of the world’s most imposing mega boats swayed gently side by side in a regal line along the western pier, have not been replicated recently but the view still remains hugely impressive. This past summer, for example, the star of the show (at the far end of the pier) was the Lady Haya, owned by the late King Fahd of Saudi Arabia. The monarch was a regular visitor to Marbella before his death eight years ago, and his family and their huge entourage continue the tradition, staying at the palace he built on Marbella’s Golden Mile just a short Rolls-Royce drive away from the Port. Fahd’s widow Jawhara al-Ibrahim was sighted in Puerto Banús this summer, shopping and dining out. Meanwhile, berthed next to the Lady Haya was Shaf London, one of the jewels of Saudi Arabian prince and defence minister Salman Bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud’s luxury fleet. [caption id="attachment_1933" align="alignleft" width="300"] Monokini by Baglietto[/caption] Away from Puerto Banús, another major nautical highlight of the summer season was the presentation of a new venture, Sea & Joy, set up by a group of Costa del Sol companies and tourist amenities specialising in the development of activities related to the sea. Their aim is to highlight the great potential that the western part of the Coast has in this tourist sector. The marine product club is one of five created and promoted by the Consorcio Qualifica consortium and Confederación de Empresarios de Málaga business confederation (CEM), the others being Fun & Sun (leisure), Med & Beauty (health, beauty and wellbeing), Mice Costa del Sol (meeting and events tourism) and Costa del Sol Golf Club. [caption id="attachment_1937" align="alignleft" width="300"] Fantom 858 by Frauscher[/caption] Sea & Joy (www.seaandjoycostadelsol.com) brings together all nautical activities, water adventure, sea experiences, recreational boats, marinas, water sports and other options for enjoying the sea on the Costa del Sol – from water skiing, sailing classes, sports fishing, diving and jet-skis to dolphin spotting, parasailing, windsurfing, padel surf, sailing trips and kayaking. As residents and regular visitors know very well, the Coast is a paradise for water and sea enthusiasts, not just in summer but throughout the year, with several other marinas – in addition to the flagship Puerto Banús – dotted along the coastline from Sotogrande to Málaga capital city. [caption id="attachment_1941" align="alignright" width="300"] Silent 76 by Admiral Tecnomar[/caption] Further afield, the Cannes Yachting Festival, considered Europe’s premier in-water boat show, is currently underway (until Sunday 14 September), and the Monaco Yacht Show is coming up later this month (24-27 September), so we thought we would have a look at some of the stunning new motor and sailing models dazzling the industry this year. Highlighted as the Cannes festival’s “Top Five Ones to Watch”, they are ideal for gliding into Puerto Banús (or one of the Coast’s other sport and leisure ports) to take up a new home at an exclusive private berth. With your new boat safely berthed in Puerto Banús, you will need a home base within convenient walking distance, like this immaculately maintained three-bedroom apartment in Laguna de Banús – Marbella’s most luxurious beachfront development. South-facing, it offers unobstructed views of the Mediterranean and is superbly well-appointed with a large covered terrace overlooking a lagoon-style pool and topical gardens. [caption id="attachment_1919" align="alignright" width="300"] Beachfront luxury in Marbella[/caption] Click here to see more.