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Property in Costa del Sol/ Area Guide/ San Pedro

San Pedro de Alcantara is in an ideal situation, just 10 kilometres west from all the glitz and glamour of Marbella, yet just a few minutes drive away from the natural beauty of the Sierra de Ronda mountain range and 20 km from the town of Estepona An ancient farming community, once famous for sugar cane, today San Pedro is a refreshingly unspoilt pueblo with an appeal all of its own.

Be sure to head for the central plaza here with its gracious parish church and surrounding narrow streets which are packed with intriguing small shops, sidewalk cafes and bars. Thursday is street market day with all the associated hustle and bustle; a veritable bargain shopper's paradise.

The name of this small town has two sources. It was founded by Manuel Gitiennez de la Concha who, in the 19th century, founded an agricultural colony where the town now stands. His family was devoted to Extremadura's Saint Pedro, while Manuel also adored his mother, Petra de Alcántara. who provided the second part of the name.

The land was drained and became an area of intense farming with over 10,000 hectares cultivated. A village was constructed for the farm workers and nearby areas, such as Guadalmina and Cancelada, were also used as dormitory towns for the agricultural labourers.

The town retained its farming origins until the the early 1920s, when the land was divided and sold. Tourism began in earnest in the early seventies when Franco's death increased Spain's popularity. The town remained fairly rustic until then, but drainage systems and telephone lines were quickly installed, forcing San Pedro into the age of technology!

San Pedro also has the last summer fair in Andalucia being in the second week in October. The Church Square is the place where everyone seems to meet and the place is alive with history. Sit amongst the locals, who will make you feel most welcome, and then maybe explore the narrow streets which surround you. Packed with intrigue, all very unique, you won´t be able to resist the wares. Why not have a coffee at one of the many cafes or bars. If you really want to pick up a bargain, hit the Thursday Market, with all the associated hustle and bustle.

History buffs will enjoy the Paleochritian Balisilica Church by the sea and the third century Roman Baths, Las Bovedas. Check at the local tourist office for timings.

The Paleochritian Balisilica Church and Necropolis is located in the woods next to the Bora Bora Beach Club that is on the sea front directly infront of the town. A little further west along the beach to Guadalmina is located the restored remains of the Roman Baths. If driving leave San Pedro westward towards Estepona. Stop at the tourist office in the Arch for the keys. After passing under the Marbella Arch, turn right and double back under the road tunnel.

A pleasant walk is from the centre of town to the beachfront along the Avenida del Marques del Duero which is a particularly attractive wide avenue flanked by palm trees. And the modern wide promenade is ideal for continuing your stroll (or skateboarding!) with several excellent chiringuitos (beachside restaurants) specialising in fish dishes. Visit Bora Bora if only for a drink at the bar. It is one of the best beach clubs on the coast, with a superb restaurant and all the usual beach facilities. A tropical paradice.

The lifestyle is that of a very traditional Spanish Pueblo in which to escape and become part of a unique culture. Don´t let it pass you by in San Pedro!

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