Marbella: the very name is enough to conjure an expensively scented whiff of the rich and famous who have flocked here since the 1960s and ‘70s. Spectacular natural scenery and year-round sunshine have made this the chicest resort on Spain’s Costa del Sol, complete with luxury hotels, high-end restaurants, and plenty of sun-kissed beaches.
There’s plenty to do in Marbella, both on and off the beach. The whitewashed Old Quarter (Casco Antiguo) offers a taste of authentic Andalucia, while the luxe Puerto Banús marina, with its multimillion-dollar yachts, is the place to see and be seen. Visitors can stroll along the Seafront Promenade (Paseo Marítimo) or do some shopping at the colorful Nueva Adalucía Flea Market. Nightlife is another highlight, with some of the best glamorous nightclubs in Spain. Travelers pressed for time can see the historical highlights of Marbella, including glam Puerto Banús, on a half-day private tour.
Things to Know Before You Go
- Marbella makes for a fun weekend getaway for beach lovers and couples.
- Bring swimwear, but pack something nice, as well, for evening dinners and nights out on the town.
- Don’t forget sunscreen, sunglasses, and a hat.
- International credit cards are accepted at most major hotels, shops, and restaurants.
How to Get There
Marbella is beautifully situated at the foot of the Sierra Blanca, looking out to sea, in the province of Málaga. The closest airport is Málaga, but you can catch buses from Madrid or Barcelona.
When to Get There
Marbella can get pretty packed in summer, when the beaches attract sun seekers from around Europe. The sweet spot is September and October, when the crowds have dispersed but temperatures remain warm enough for a Mediterranean swim.
Best Beaches of Marbella
A vast majority of visitors to Marbella and the Costa del Sol come for the beaches. The two most popular, El Fuerte and La Fontanilla, are both easily accessible from the seafront promenade. Those looking to escape the crowds can head up or down the coast for more secluded stretches of sand, like Bounty Beach or Playa de Alicante.