New State-of-the-Art San Pedro Boulevard: Fascinating and Hugely Symbolic.
Roughly speaking, San Pedro de Alcántara has 2 urban areas. One is the charming Old Town with its gracious 19th century parish church, pedestrian Calle Marqués del Duero and narrow streets packed with intriguing small shops, sidewalk, cafés, bars and restaurants (read a new post later). Another part is beachside Nueva Alcántara, with Paseo Marítimo promenade perfect for good-times sundowners, families, beach and sport enthusiasts (read our previous post). The expansive new recreational and green zone Boulevard (Bulevar de San Pedro) makes an interesting connection between the centre and the south side that leads down to the sea.
Images of San Pedro Boulevard.
The ambitious 6-million-euro project has been a great addition to the vibrant resort town. It started as a city-sponsored large-scale project to revitalise the San Pedro community, but faced long delays due to the economic challenges. However, the final result has been an absolute success! The magnificent Boulevard had its grand opening in December 2014.
So much happened on the way! After years of campaigning and then years of major road works, an underpass was finally constructed, not long after a new underground car park had been built in the town centre. According to the Olive Press, the total cost was 85 million euros. It was an extremely wise decision to build a 2-km new tunnel to take the busy A-7 road beneath San Pedro. It has brought the 2 parts of the town together, eliminated long queues for drivers and a dangerous road crossing for pedestrians. Instead of traffic jams we have got a concourse of a new generation – the stunning Boulevard.
San Pedro de Alcántara Boulevard.
The inauguration ceremony was an occasion to remember! Featuring a circus show, street parades, music, entertainment, lighting and firework displays, the opening party became a real Spanish fiesta with the whole community of Marbella and San Pedro coming together and pouring out onto the streets to take part in the magical spectacle. The Mayoress of Marbella, Angeles Muñoz delivered an inspirational speech and displayed her pride that “this successful project had not only exceeded expectations, but been achieved within the predicted timeframe of 16 months”.
Inauguration Ceremony Image.
What a great place to say hello to your friends with a glass of cheery sangria, to enjoy family fun, events which are hosted here or a simple leisurely stroll appreciating wonderful views. With entrances from both sides and in the middle, the beautifully designed unique piece of outdoors architecture allows people to walk along the flat area or up and down on the ramps. Besides different walkways, there are impressive water features, fountains and green zones, community amenities, play areas and skate parks, trendy new restaurants, modern tapas-bars and cafés, lovely places to relax or just sit and watch the world go by.
One distinctive aspect about the Boulevard stands out amongst the rest, and this is the imposing, undulating, extraordinary bridge, worth mentioning separately. Fabricated with 150 tons of steel and wood, the 300m long footbridge snakes high above the Boulevard like a fairground ride. The bridge was specifically designed to imitating the sea waves. The gifted local architect Juan Antonio Fernández named his symbolic creation “Un Mar de Sensaciones” (Sea of Sensations) which could just as well be in reference to the boulevard itself with all its ‘pleasurable sensations’.
Annual Flower Market on San Pedro Boulevard.
Annual Flower Market on San Pedro Boulevard.
It is symbolic also in a different way. As the Olive Press wrote, “the bridge, Boulevard and tunnel below is a bold statement indicative of the town’s progress over the last decade, a sign that San Pedro is no longer to be overshadowed by its famous neighbours but is standing tall on its own feet, independent in spirit and in practice”
The total area of the Boulevard is 55,000 m2, and there is something on offer for everyone. They say, happy life is about pleasing and pleasuring our senses. The ability to hear, touch, see, taste and smell connects us to the environment and this fascinating place allows all our senses to experience pleasures.
The sun and gentle breeze touch the skin (don’t forget sunscreen in summer). You can savour the scent of fragrant plants, feel the smell of the sea and tempting food, hear the joyful sounds of children’s laughter and the soothing whisper of flowing water. The Boulevard boasts almost 4,000 m2 of water features with varying contemporary designs. The spectacular views of the Mediterranean Sea, majestic symbol of Marbella La Concha mountain and lovely coastal town hugged by 2 mountain ranges are truly eye-pleasing. The visitors enjoy night lighting and special visual delights in the amphitheatre with seating for 800 spectators where performances and concerts are held.
Amphitheater with kid’s musical event.
Taste is also catered for. The area is dotted with many restaurants offering different types of cuisine, and on the Boulevard itself there are small gourmet eateries, tapas-bars and stylish cafés with indoor and outdoor seating. The parents can have a relaxing meal or a cup of coffee with friends while their kids play safely in full view on a large paved area adjacent. By the way, the chef who once cooked for president Bill Clinton serves tasty treats on Andalusia’s only high-tech artificial rink. Of course, it’s burgers, hot dogs, buffalo wings and French fries from the authentic truck kitchen… very cool and retro.
Yes, among variety of amusement spots is a fantastic ice-skating rink to show off your pirouettes all year round. You won’t need woolly gloves and scarves! The innovative eco-friendly outdoor rink is for green version of ice-skating. The entertainment centre offers a 9-hole pirate-themed mini-golf course for kids and adults and a bouncy castle.
In total, 6 well-maintained playgrounds with different designs and layouts cater to children. Toddlers and pre-schoolers enjoy padded hills, swings and wooden horses. The older ones can try out the zip line or stretch their skills at the special spaces for roller skaters, scooterists and skateboarders. The professionally produced concrete skate park is made up of two bowls, one larger than the other, as well as various slides and ramps. There are several benches along the park for either spectating or the ‘cool gathering’ of teens. A cycle path travels the entire length of the boulevard. You can’t go wrong with hours of free entertainment for young adventures. Under the bridge there are Segways and other varieties of wheeled transportation for hire.
Playground of San Pedro de Alcántara Boulevard.
An information office and modern touchscreen monitors help visitors to obtain directions for entertainment and dining on the Boulevard and in the surrounding area. Wi-Fi is accessible throughout the concourse. But leave your iPads and electronic games at home – don’t miss fun for all ages!
Finding a parking spot is usually stress-free, quick and easy. Another option is using the pay underground carpark under Av. Marques de Duero, and there is always enough space down towards the sea.
No wonder, the Boulevard is a great tourist attraction in its own right and is incredibly popular among locals. The community has truly embraced this cutting-edge project as a new meeting point, a modern space for family activities, a venue for cultural and civic events to enjoy all year round. Boulevard San Pedro was the setting for a massive event in the town when children and adults could enjoy a wonderful exhibition and dogs exercises of the Canine Unit of the local police. There’s no better place for traditional Spanish festivals and parades, including Christmas Parades, Three Kings Parade, Semana Blanca festivals that include celebrating the historical day ‘Día de Andalucía’, Semana Santa (Easter Holy Week) processions, St. Valentine Carnival (Día de los Enamorados) and much more.
Cycling Tour of Spain runs along Boulevard San Pedro de Alcántara.
Since the town has been drastically improved, its popularity is increasing due to its excellent location, infrastructure and fabulous real estate market potential. The urban park has transformed San Pedro and added value to the properties in the area. Experts believe that this tendency is set to grow. Business people started to invest more by opening up new-style tapas bars, restaurants, shops and boutiques. Rental prices have risen already in some quarters by as much as 20%. Local real estate market is seeing the arrival of more property investors, especially foreigners from Europe and around the world. New developments increase the housing stock that is in high demand and attract buyers from all over. Among them is the ultra-modern residential complex ‘Perlas del Mar’ which is situated right between two exciting places, Paseo Maritimo and Boulevard, literally just minutes’ walk away from both!
SOCIAL MEDIA VERSION
FIND OUT MORE: