If you’re looking for a cosmopolitan city break, you’ll find an effortless style and laid-back charm surrounding holidays to Marbella. Spain’s equivalent to St Tropez, you’ll lose yourself in the endless supply of sweeping sandy beaches and chic boutiques, while the nearby marina will provide you with a dose of much-needed glamour. A favoured destination for many celebrities, it won’t take you too long to feel like a bona fide VIP in Marbella – whether you’re spending time lazing on the beach or lingering over drinks at a nearby cocktail bar.
There is an excellent array of hotels awaiting your discovery and with the vibrant resort of Malaga within a short distance; Marbella holidays offer a great base to explore the surrounding areas. Situated on the notoriously sunny Costa Del Sol, you won’t be short of beaches on your getaway. The area boasts 24 separate sweeps of sand set over 24km of coastline, with each offering something different. Experience the dramatic black sand beach at Rio Verde or the golden sands of Neuva Andalucia, buzzing with crowds of people and a wealth of water sports – everything from windsurfing to jet skiing.
Away from the Beach
If you’ve got the kids with you, they won’t need any excuse to grab their bucket and spade. The Blue Flag beaches of Casa Blanca and LA Fontanilla offer the ideal spots to soak up some winter sun on your holidays in Marbella, while the kids spend their time splashing around. Admire the beautiful sea-views from the comfort of your sun lounger or settle at a beachside restaurant and watch the waves roll gently in. Away from the beach, you’ll find a wealth of attractions worth discovering. The charming old town of Casco Antiguo is a photographer’s haven, decked out with whitewashed villas and a labyrinth of narrow streets. Explore the interior of a Moorish castle or catch a glimpse of the 16th-century Encarnacion Church with its ornate interior on your Marbella holidays. Visit the San Pedro area to delve into its rich Roman past – keen history buffs will enjoy strolling around its ancient ruins and visiting the old Roman baths. For those that have remembered to pack their glad rags, there is an eclectic and diverse nightlife to explore when the sun begins to set. After sampling your way through delicious Spanish cuisine and a dose of Sangria, there is no better way to enjoy your holidays to Marbella than to glam up and hit the clubs. The main attraction is the famed Golden Mile, where top-name DJs play a mix of Rn’B, disco and club music alongside a thriving crowd. For an unforgettable evening, make sure you head to nearby Puerto Banus – just keep your eyes peeled for celebrity sightings!
Things to do in Marbella
Marbella offers the glamour of St Tropez on the south coast of Spain. Spend the afternoon on a yacht in the exclusive harbour, soaking up the Mediterranean sun and guzzling champagne, just some of the cherished things to do in Marbella. Mix with the rich and the beautiful in the boutique shopping district, where designer labels compete for your attention. Try some of Europe’s best seafood in the chic restaurants that line the marina, or drink swanky cocktails in one of the bustling bars. If you’re feeling restless, head out of town to one of Marbella’s world-class golf courses, or go swimming at the gorgeous beaches nearby.
Wine and Dine
Marbella offers an incredible array of Spanish and international cuisine cooked by some of Europe’s top chefs. You don’t have to blow your budget on lobster and caviar; Marbella also has a great selection of local restaurants which offer authentic Andalusian food at reasonable prices. Signature local dishes include gazpacho, a tasty cold soup perfect for lazy summer days, and pescaro frito, small fish fried in olive oil. Tapas bars abound in Marbella, offering classic tastes – cheeses, sausages, potatoes – alongside new and innovative dishes from around Spain. Andalusia is also a great region for grapes, and there is no shortage of terrific wines to sample.
Action and Adventure
Marbella attractions include some of the finest and most challenging golf courses in Spain, and you can ‘putt’ your way along the coast of the Costa del Sol. The mountainous region north of the town, the Sierra de las Nieves, attracts casual visitors with its numerous hiking trials, and is also popular among rock-climbers and cavers. Marbella’s multiple beaches draw wind-surfers, jet-skiers, and other adrenaline junkies keen to try out the surf. You can also charter a yacht or a sailboat to take you along the coast, or out into the Mediterranean.
Family Fun/ Couples Holiday
There’s a reason that celebrities flock to Marbella: the 5-star hotels are sumptuous, the food is spectacular and the bars are lively. There’s no better place for a honeymoon or to enjoy a simple weekend break. The golden mile, the stretch of beach between Marbella and the nearby town of Puerto Banus, is one enormous playground for families to enjoy the delights of the Mediterranean. Snorkelling is popular here, along with other beginners’ water sports. There are a number of kids’ clubs around Marbella which put on various fun activities, allowing parents to do some shopping or sightseeing. Some hotels have a babysitting service, along with games rooms, indoor activities and children’s swimming pools.
Relax and Recharge
There are plenty of relaxing things to do in Marbella, such as spending time in a traditional Andalusian bath. Many hotels offer spa treatments, along with swimming pools and gardens in which to recharge your batteries. You can also enjoy a laze on one of Marbella’s gorgeous beaches, such as the exclusive Don Carlos beach, or cook up a barbeque on nearby Victor’s Beach. Nothing beats sitting on a yacht out in the harbour, where you can sunbathe in the afternoon and enjoy drinks in the evening.
Marbella attractions aren’t restricted to partying and beach-hopping – there is plenty of culture to sink your teeth into. Salvador Dali sculptures line the Avenida del Mar down to the seafront, and the Museum of Contemporary Engravings features artwork by Picasso and Miro, among others. Traces of Andalusia’s Moorish past can also be glimpsed in Marbella, particularly in the old town, where the Arab-built walls still partially stand. Behind these walls there are plenty of churches and squares dating back to mediaeval times, such as the beautiful Church of St Mary. Other archaeological treats include the Town Hall, erected in 1564, and the Old Governor’s House overlooking Orange Square. On the west side of town sits the imposing Marbella Mosque, which holds over 30,000 Islamic volumes. The old castle, built in the 9th century, overlooks the town, and is a testament to the strategic importance of Marbella for the conquering Arabs.