If you are looking to get away somewhere refined and luxurious, Marbella is calling your name. With statuesque mountains, sunny beaches, sprawling golf courses, mansions, and luxury yachts, this resort town located on the Costa del Sol in Andalusia is full of both natural and man-made beauty, making it one of the must see cities of Spain.
Here’s a look at how to get the most out of your trip to Marbella.
What Is the Best Time to Visit Marbella, Spain?
While most people might be expecting summer to be the best time to visit Marbella, smart travelers wait until September and October. This is the optimal time to take a trip here because, while the tourists have all gone back to their home country or region, the temperature outside is still ideal for swimming in the sea.
If you can’t make it then, April is also a good month to visit, as it usually isn’t too crowded yet and the temperatures aren’t unbearably hot.
Our Favorite Things to Do in Marbella, Spain
Visit a Michelin-starred Restaurant
As we already mentioned, Marbella is a magnet for the rich and famous, and a big reason for this is the city’s fine dining. As of 2020, Marbella had three restaurants with Michelin stars, with one of them — El Lago, boasting gorgeous views and delicious local wines— holding on to its star since 2005, a rarity in the restaurant business. The other two, Skina, which offers authentic Andalusian Haute Cuisine and Messina, which offers Mediterranean fare and fresh fish and crustaceans, have held onto theirs for several years as well.
Explore the Old Town
Fittingly called “Old Town” in English, this section of Marbella is the oldest but cleanest, most immaculate part of the city (we’re talking street tiles that are so shiny they sparkle in the sun). It is filled with whitewashed buildings and terra cotta roofs dating back to the Renaissance, as well as beautiful, flower-draped balconies. It is also adjacent to many small squares such as Plaza de los Naranjos, where you can eat outside restaurants in gardens lined with orange trees.
See the Sculptures on Avenida del Mar
Art lovers won’t want to miss taking a stroll down Avenida del Mar, a wide avenue lined with palm trees and exquisitely maintained hedges as well as a nice view of the sea. The main draw here, though, is the sculptures: the bronze statues and other pieces were created by none other than famed surrealist Salvador Dalí.
Some of the Best Attractions in Marbella, Spain
Marbella has twenty beaches complete with dark brown sand to sink your feet into, but one of the best-rated is El Faro. Situated on the west side of Marbella’s port, this 200-meter beach was awarded the Blue Flag in 2016, which is given to beaches that are not only beautiful and well-maintained, but that also follow strict safety, educational, environmental, and accessibility criteria. This beach is perfect for families, as the water washing the sand only reaches knee height, making it great for children to splash around in without any danger.
The Golden Mile
The Golden Mile is Marbella’s most talked-about feature. This thin strip of land on the coastline between the Mediterranean sea and La Concha mountain peak is one of the most exclusive pieces of real estate in all of Europe. Since Prince Alfonso Hohenlohe opened his luxury Marbella Club Hotel there in the 1950s, this part of town has attracted everyone from businessmen to aristocrats to movie stars to billionaires. Those wealthy visitors, naturally, loved the area and began building their own private villas and penthouses, leading to the area being filled with fine dining restaurants, nightclubs, and boutiques to keep them (and visitors like you) happy.
If all that luxury gets to be a bit too much for you, you can take a trek out to La Concha, a mountain located behind the main resort area of Marbella. A part of the Sierra Blanca coastal range, the peak of this particular mountain reaches over 1200 meters and the hike takes around four hours, but the awe-inspiring view of the coast and the sea beyond is absolutely worth it.
Other Sights Worth a Visit in Marbella, Spain
We highlighted El Faro before, but honestly, all of Marbella’s beaches are worth a visit for those who love sand, sun, and an ocean view. Alameda Park is also a great place to spend an afternoon, with its tropical plants, marble walkways, and numerous fountains. But if you came to Marbella for the luxury, you can’t leave without checking out Puerto Banús, one of the flashiest places in the city that draws comparisons to the French Riviera with its expensive sports cars, super yachts, and boutiques. Oh, and did we mention it has a 3,600-kilogram “Rhinoceros dressed in lace” sculpture, also by Salvador Dalí too?
So, if you have a taste for the finer things in life, Marbella should definitely be on your itinerary list for holidays in Spain. Spoil yourself with good food, nice cars, lovely beaches, and one-of-a-kind art and have the holiday of your dreams.