About Guadalmina Roman Baths
The Guadalmina Roman Baths, known locally as Las Bovedos, meaning ‘The Domes’, are the ruins of a small Roman baths complex in Marbella. Located near the beach, the Guadalmina Roman Baths are comprised of seven stone rooms built in an octagonal shape which probably date to the second or third century AD.
History of Guadalmina Roman Baths
The Guaralmina Roman Baths, which date back to the second or third century, were first discovered in the 17th century, then properly excavated in 1926, but have only been classified as a Site of Cultural Interest since 2007.
They are located next to the Guadalmina river and next to the beach. Given the Baths’ location next to the beach, they are considered to be remarkably well-preserved, though there are still major concerns about their condition.
The structure is made of solid mortar, and was built around an octagonal patio of around ten metres in diameter. Parallel to the walls are the remains of an octagonal pool. There is an upper floor with a circular gallery and access to several small rooms.
The function of the site is debated; generally, it is accepted that they are Roman baths, though some believe they were large deposits for the water carried by nearby aqueducts.
At the end of 2020, the Junta de Andalucía’s Minister for Culture, Patricia del Ponzo, announced that a large project to repair the Roman Baths would commence from early 2021, and that the site would be closed to tourists, potentially for a number of years.
Guadalmina Roman Baths Today
Today, Guadalmina Roman Baths aren’t accessible for the public. 50m to the west, however, is a 16th century defence tower, named the ‘Tower of the Vaults’, which is one of a chain of towers along the coast that were constructed to warn off pirates and possible Moorish invasions from North Africa.
Guadalmina itself is an upmarket beachside community which is very centrally located on the Costa de Sol, so it is still a worthy place to visit.
Getting to Guadalmina Roman Baths
The Baths are a 17 minute scenic and coastal drive from the centre of Marbella, primarily along the Autovia del Mediterraneo/A-7. There are also buses – the L-76, L-78, L-79, 1, and 3 that depart from the centre every 30 minutes.
The Tower of the Vaults is not open to the public, but can be examined closely by taking the path at the end of Calle 3 in Guadalmina Baja district.