Marbella is in the Spanish region of Andalusia on the Mediterranean Sea and with its 320 days of sunshine per year attracts holidaymakers from Europe and the whole world. It has138,000 inhabitants and after Málaga, which is 57 kilometres away, is the second largest town on the Costa del Sol. Marbella can be quickly and easily reached via the coastal motorway from Málaga airport, which is the largest of the region.
Similarly to St. Tropez on the French Côte d’Azur, Marbella is known as one of the holiday destinations for the rich and famous of this world and Marbella’s reputation is certainly justified. In the 1950s an aristocrat bought huge areas of land in the region and founded the Marbella Club Hotel. After he had successfully promoted this place as being the nearest to paradise on earth, the famous and the super-rich heeded his call and discovered the beauty of Marbella for themselves. Especially back in the 1970s Marbella became a favourite destination in the Mediterranean for jet-setting celebrities and also for Arabian sheiks, which is still the case today.
There are several marinas along the coast, in the towns and in the suburbs. The most well-known of them is Puerto Banús. The total value of the yachts that can be seen anchored here easily exceeds the entire budget of some smaller countries. In Puerto Banús there are also numerous exclusive fashion shops, restaurants, bars and some of the trendiest nightclubs in the town. With all this wealth around, it is no wonder that in some beach clubs you have to pay 500 Euros a day for a sun-bed with a private whirlpool, but you still have to pay a minimum drinks charge on top.
However, the "See and be seen“ and the "I've got it all" culture, which is predominant in the luxury hotels and marinas, huge mansions and exclusive beach clubs, is not the only aspect that defines Marbella. For example there is also the very nice typical Andalusian old town with its whitewashed houses and its small alleyways which open out into large squares, where you can take a stroll before settling down outside at one of the numerous tables of the restaurants and spoiling yourself with local dishes and drinks by candlelight.
Then there are also the many cultural influences from ancient and more recent history which can still be seen today. Worth seeing are the Roman spas, the mosaics in San Pedro de Alcántara, the Arabian Wall, the fortress towers and the castle ruins from the Moorish era. Also the ancient church of Iglesia de la Encarnación, the town hall from the 16th century, the culture centre of Cortijo Miraflores and the sculptures along the Avenida del Mar by Salvador Dalí, Marbella’s most famous son, are well worth a visit.
However, perhaps the most important reason to come to Marbella is because of the beaches here. Along the approximately 27 kilometres of coast are to be found some of Andalusia's nicest beaches. Many of them are brown-grey, sandy beaches, typical for the Costa del Sol, some are pebble beaches and some have light sand which in places has been topped up with more sand.
"Idyllic palm beach with charming beach clubs"
"Sun, sand and beach clubs"
"A beach for every sports and party enthusiast"
"Mature hotel crowd and quiet setting"
"City beach all-rounder"
"The Marbella feel"
"A seaside oasis"
"Not just for the rich and beautiful!"
"Relaxed and spacious with lots to offer"
"Family favourite full of variety in Marbella!"
"Narrow, but what a beach!"
"Small but perfectly formed!"
"Relaxed idyll between nature and luxury"
"Perfect for sports fans and for relaxation"
"An urban beach for the whole family"
"Belgian specialities and Andalusian grilled fish"