onsidered unofficially as the capital of the western Costa del Sol, there is no doubting the fact that Marbella has all the qualities required to merit its position as one of Spain’s premier tourist resorts.
Its privileged location, at the foot of the Sierra Blanca and on the coast, create an excellent climate and a landscape of immense beauty.
The town dates back to Roman times, a period from which abundant archaeological remains are to be found; two towers and the castle walls bear witness to the presence of the Arabs; and in the old centre of the town, Our Lady’s Church, the Chief Magistrate’s House and St. John’s Hospital were all built after the Christian reconquest.
However, it is for its excellent sun and sand holiday facilities that Marbella is best known: magnificent spacious beaches, natural AREAs of great interest such as Cabopino Dunes or Las Chapas Pine Groves, pleasure harbours, golf courses, sports clubs and a wide variety of establishments to justify its reputation.
Seven kilometres from the centre of Marbella is the densely-populated San Pedro de Alcántara district, which lies within Marbella‘s municipal boundaries and appeared as a result of the building of a sugar refinery in 1860.
What are the best things to do in Marbella?
Spain’s beautiful southern Costa del Sol:
Marbella comprises 24 beaches along a 27-km coastline. Each shore is unique, but all offer a stretch of golden sand underneath a virtually year-round sunny climate. It’s little wonder why Spain’s Costa del Sol is one of Europe’s most popular tourist attractions.
Some beaches, such as Bono Beach, Playa del Cristo and Estrella del Mar are great for families, with shallow, calm water, soft sand, and restaurants with kid-friendly menus. For a party atmosphere, Marbella Beach Club, Nikki Beach, and Ocean Club provide the glitz and glamour that is so often associated with Marbella.
Marbella golf courses
Tee off with a beautiful view:
Marbella is a hub for golf enthusiasts, with over 50 courses spanning over 100 km along the Costa del Sol. It’s no wonder the area is sometimes called the ‘Costa del Golf’. This means you’re sure to find a golf course that suits your ability. The serene settings and gorgeous views are par for most Marbella golf courses.
Some top-rated venues of mid-difficulty levels include Los Naranjos and La Quinta. The former is a championship-quality golf course with beautiful views of La Concha Mountain. The latter is a well-kept golf course that has received rave reviews from members and guests alike.
Plaza de los Naranjos
Feel out the city of Marbella on one of its liveliest squares
Framed by historic buildings and classic white Andalusian houses, Plaza de los Naranjos is the hub of Marbella Old Town. Taking its name from the orange trees that surround the Renaissance fountain that sits in its centre, the square is mostly occupied by the umbrella-shaded tables and chairs of nearby restaurants. Just take a sit and take the pulse of the city. Plaza de los Naranjos is the perfect place to start your tour of Marbella Old Town.
Location: In the centre of the Old Town, about 600 metres north of the Old Port of Marbella
Marbella Old Town
Lose yourself in a flowery vintage district
Named Casco Antiguo de Marbella (Ancient District of Marbella) in Spanish, Marbella Old Town dates back to the 15th century, right after the Christian Reconquista. Featuring winding streets, typical Andalusian houses with balconies decorated with fresh flowers, historic buildings and a great choice of cool restaurants and small boutiques, the Old Town offers something to see and enjoy at every corner. Colourful and tidy, Marbella Old Town has a warm and pleasant atmosphere.
Location: Just north of the Alameda Park in the city centre.
Avenida del Mar
Stroll on an outdoor museum-like walkway
Avenida del Mar (Sea Avenue) is a 5,500 sq m rectangular square that stretches between the Alameda Park and the beach, right next to Puerto Deportivo de Marbella, the oldest port of the city. Lined with shops, bars and restaurants with terraces shaded by wooden pergolas, Avenida del Mar is also an open-air museum, home to 10 Salvador Dali sculptures. Take a refreshing drink at one of the restaurants and watch the world go by.
Location: Between Alameda Park and the beach, right next to the Old Port of Marbella