San Pedro Area Guide: The Little Pueblo with the Big Heart
Only 10 minutes from the glitz and glamour that is Marbella & Puerto Banus, sits the small village of San Pedro. San Pedro was once a small fishing village, but expanded like most of the Costa del Sol in the 1970’s; however, what makes San Pedro so incredibly unique is how it kept its Spanish heritage and even today in the 21st century, the small town holds true to its cultural roots.
It’s almost hard to believe that only a few kilometres away is the bustling and cosmopolitan city of Marbella. Puerto Banus, playground for the rich and famous is even closer, yet San Pedro remains locked in time, with proud locals and lots of beautiful traditions. As it stands today, San Pedro and neighbouring Guadalmina is flooding the real estate market, with many seeking holiday homes close to the beach of San Pedro. This once quiet village is now bursting with modernized attractions, and getting the attention it fully deserves.
San Pedro’s Rich History
During the 3rd century AD, San Pedro was inhabited by the Romans as shown by the ruins of La Bovedas. At one time there was a Basilica of Vegag del Mar from the 4th century, and a watch tower from the 16th century. In 1858 General Manuel Gutierrez de la Concha, the first Marques del Duero, arrived and started a farm. He named it the “Colonia Agricola de San Pedro Alcantara”, in honor of his mother, Petra de Alcantara Irigoyen y de la Quintana, and San Pedro Alcantara, the saint from Extremadura that his family was devoted to.
General Manuel Gutierrez de la Concha quir literally built the small town from the ground up. He built a system of small dams for irrigation of 10,000 hectares. He also bought one of the largest agricultural machines from the US, and imported experienced agricultural workers from Granada, Almeria, Valencia and Murcia. Having offered each worker a home including a small plot of land to grow vegetables, it was impossible for them to refuse.
The General also started a school of agricultural experts, the very first in Spain. He also partook in the construction of roads with some of them still in use today. He also constructed shipping facilities in order to send sugar cane to Malaga. In 1995 at the town plaza, a statue was built in his honour and the sculptor was Santiago de Santiago.
San Pedro’s Boulevard, the Main Attraction
In December of 2014, and much to the delight of the locals, the San Pedro Boulevard had its grand opening. So much happened in way of construction for San Pedro’s main event including the construction of the new tunnel, making the flow of heavy traffic more manageable. The Boulevard’s construction was unique, and many still marvel at it’s architectural design. The boulevard provides the perfect backdrop for families, and of course those who enjoy long walks along the coast.
One distinctive aspect about the boulevard stands out amongst the rest, and this is the footbridge that passes over the central roundabout in town. The footbridge is 300m long and was specifically designed to reflect the sea. Local architect, Juan Antonio Fernández named the bridge “Un Mar de Sensaciones”, which translates to “a sea of sensations”. A name we think is more than worthy, and when you see it, we have no doubt you will fully agree!
For families with young children, the boulevard serves as a haven for exploration and play areas. The total area of the boulevard is 55,000m2, and hosts six playgrounds with different designs and layouts. The largest playground measures in at an impressive 650m2, and each playground is well maintained, making families feel safe.
During the weekends, the boulevard comes to life with families, couples, friends and more, all converging and making their way through the many events which are hosted here. There is an outdoor amphitheater that hosts performances and concerts all year long, but especially during festivals. There is also a cycle lane that travels the entire length of the boulevard.
For the more adventurous and outdoors folks, under the bridge you will find Segways and other varieties of wheeled transportation for hire. Of course the boulevard in San Pedro Alcantara is incredibly popular when it comes to rollerblading, scooter riding and bike riding. The boulevard is a great place to visit if you happen to pass by San Pedro. Along the boulevard you will find several bars & restaurants, popular for tapas and each covered with open-air seating. Spacious surroundings, beautiful gardens and water features is what’s waiting for you on the boulevard in San Pedro.
San Pedro Alcantara, a Truly Spanish and Traditional Town
The town of San Pedro remains virtually untouched, and is one of the more unique and tranquil little towns situated on the Costa del Sol. This Spanish stronghold has managed to stay grounded, and avoided the over development of properties that tarnished most of the coastal line. The new boulevard however, constructed in 2014 has revitalised interest, and properties around the beach front are in high demand.
Making your way into the centre of San Pedro, you will be greeted by the usual narrow cobbled stoned streets. The town is well kept, and very clean with a central shopping area. Plenty of shops, cafes and popular restaurants line each street. It may be hard to choose where to go because so many restaurants in San Pedro have raving reviews.