One of the world’s most recognisable glamorous holiday destinations, Marbella is a fantastic getaway for those looking to twin incredible nightlife with an overall air of exclusivity.
Holidays in Marbella
Home to over 140,000 people with thousands of foreign visitors swelling this total during summer months, Marbella has long been a destination of international obsession.
Nowadays, it’s mind boggling to think Marbella once resided as a modest white-washed fishing village. After all, within the space of 50 years, this staple part of the Spanish Riviera now offers visitors over 15 premium golf courses, world class beaches across an area spanning 27km as well as a collection of the world’s finest designer retailers.
Oozing with class at every turn, tourists will get to see how the other half live when perusing Marbella’s ‘Golden Mile’. A swanky thoroughfare of esteemed mansions and luxury resorts connecting the old town with the adjoining playground of Puerto Banus, the extravagant lifestyle is typified by the roar of sports car engines and huge collection of yachts.
Marbella enjoys one of the most desirable climates in Europe with average summer temperatures ranging from 22-24°C between June and August.
While the scorching temperatures of peak season may prove too humid for some, January to March heat of 11-14°C ensures visitors can take peaceful strolls around Marbella’s two marinas or the historic old town at more of an enjoyable pace.
Marbella is a wonderful holiday destination for so many different reasons but one of its biggest pull factors is the lack of rainfall – receiving less than 50 days’ worth annually. Therefore, the stunning beach communities of Cabopino or Playa Fontanilla can be enjoyed across multiple seasons.
Things to do on holiday in Marbella
While the glitzy and glamorous facets of Marbella are a joy to indulge in, it’s worth remembering that the city is the second largest town in the Province of Malaga. Therefore, there are a range of different experiences attainable here, from the city’s Arab fortress to the lush fairways belonging to Golf Valley.
Spectacular leisurely strolls
Leisurely strolls don’t come more spectacular than they do in Marbella. When it comes to people watching and simply watching the world go by, Puerto Banus is bursting with life.
En route, stop by and take a seat at one of many international diners that line the idyllic harbourside such as Restaurante Chateau Mona Lisa or Jacks American Brasserie which sit along the Calle Ribera street. Hear the rumble of Ferrari’s and Lamborghini’s that purr along the concrete with the sound of million-dollar yachts docking in port.
What’s more, central Puerto Banus is extremely easy to conquer by foot with supreme designer labels such as Dior, Gucci and Luis Vuitton boasting stores dotted just minutes away from the seafront. Shopaholics will also fall in love with the shopping centre located here.
Centro Comercial Marina Banús is a wonderful two-storey mall featuring High Street names and if that wasn’t enough, Spain’s favourite department store El Corte Inglés is only a hop across the road.
Party, Marbella style
If you’re looking to party around the clock, Marbella truly is the destination for you.
Several high-end beach clubs are scattered along the coast with Nikki Beach and La Sala offering visitors an elite experience incorporating champagne and cocktail table service, four-poster beds, private swimming pool and beach areas, dancers and more.
After relaxing amidst these sumptuous palm-fringed surroundings in the daytime, Marbella and Puerto Banus truly come alive come nightfall. From revered nightclubs featuring top worldwide DJs such as Aqwa Mist and La Suite to more laidback lounge bars dotted along Avenue Del Prado, multiple tastes are catered for.
One of the most scenic clubbing nightspots is Pangea with its stunning rooftop terrace, complete with cordoned off VIP booths, providing picture perfect views across not only Puerto Banus marina but also the mountains that overlook the vicinity.
Resorts in Marbella
Around a 40-minute journey from Malaga Airport by car, there are several resort areas making up greater Marbella, most recognisably Puerto Banus but there are several other attractive areas to stay.
Cabopino, based 13km east of Marbella, has proved an up-and-coming resort down the years with clean water, golden sands and a large collection of restaurants appealing to couples and families with young children.
There are also a wide assortment of hotels surrounding El Faro Beach which is extremely popular with city hoppers due to its close proximity to the trendy harbour area as well as quick access into Marbella’s old town.
Here, visitors will uncover a side of Marbella far removed from the glitz and glamour. Instead, marvel at the proud remains of the city’s Arabic castle as well as the Baroque-designed Church of Santa María de la Encarnación.
Located just west of the aforementioned resort area, Playa de la Fontanilla is another popular beach community. Fantastically based with Marbella’s thriving heart only a short walk away via the coastal promenade, there are plenty of water sports available here, not to mention Constitution Park – one of Andalusia’s best loved green spaces.
Hit the green
When it comes to golf courses with incredible panoramic views, Marbella isn’t short of world class facilities. The Mediterranean climate found here means green fairways are fringed by lush subtropical vegetation and verdant Bermuda grass.
Golf has been played in and around the foothills of the Sierra Blanca mountain range for over 40 years now with the 1968 opening of Real Club de Golf Las Brisas helping to establish a region now known as Golf Valley.
Nueva Andalucia, to name its official title, boasts three of Europe’s foremost golfing experiences – Aloha, Los Naranjos and the aforementioned Las Brisas. These 20th century constructed courses have contributed to entire golf villa communities springing up across the province.
These courses typically enjoy their boom season between the months of September and November whereby the average midsummer heat of 22-24°C subsides somewhat.
Sample the local cuisine
While some may opt to dine in the fine international restaurants belonging to Puerto Banus marina, sampling Andalusian cuisine is a great way to plunge yourself into local culture.
Some of the region’s best tapas bars are located within Marbella’s old town such as El patio de Mariscal and Garnacha. Each eatery boasts its own distinctive character, such as the former restaurant being housed in an ancient Andalusian courtyard.
Diners are able to choose from a wide variety of seafood with several shrimp, squid and prawn-based dishes on the menu as well as gazpacho – a chilled soup and Andalusian favourite that is made of pulped vegetables, typically tomatoes and cucumber with garlic and vinegar added.
For those wanting to sample tapas in a traditional Andalusian restaurant, time your visit for around 8:30pm with the dining experience typically lasting until 11pm. It is customary for tapas to precede a main meal with pescaito frito (salted deep fried fish), pringá (slow cooked beef / pork) and tortillas de camarón (shrimp fritters) available on most menus.
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