Marbella Travel Guide

Marbella is one of the original Costa del Sol resorts, made famous by becoming Europe’s playground for the rich and famous. Indeed, mention the name Marbella and it usually conjures up images of plush hotels, casinos, multi-million dollar yachts and Ferraris. But today Marbella is not exclusively for the jet-set. Being only 30 minutes drive to the west of Malaga airport which welcomes many budget flights, the resort is has become a popular destination for hundreds of thousands of holidaymakers each year.

Best Time to Visit Marbella

Due to being protected by the Sierra Blanca mountains Marbella has its very own micro-climate which results in about 320 days of sunshine annually – the most in Europe. In winter the day time temperatures rarely fall below 15ºC and in summer they reach about 30ºC or higher in the afternoons. In the summer months there is very little if any rain. It does tend to rain in winter but it rarely lasts longer than a few days and then the sun come out again. If you prefer to avoid the crowds of tourists that descend during school summer holidays then May, June and September are the perfect months to visit the resort and you may find the temperatures more comfortable too.

Although the weather in winter is a bit too cold to swim in the sea or lie on the beach it is a great time to leave the cold and wet behind. The Marbella weather provides an opportunity to really enjoy the outdoor life all year round without having to worry about the cold and rain. For golfers escaping the north European weather take a look at our Costa del Sol Golf Courses page for more information.

Recommended Marbella Hotels

Many Marbella hotels are now within the budget of visitors to Spain as the town is no longer the exclusive millionaire’s playground of the past. The resort now attracts hundreds of thousands of holidaymakers every year who arrive via Malaga airport which is just 30 minutes away. Below we’ve recommended a few properties for you to consider that we reckon stand out from the rest.

Hotel Fuerte Marbella
Rating: 4-Star
The El Fuerte Hotel overlooks the sea and is separated from the beach by only the promenade. It is set in beautiful lush tropical gardens where there are 2 swimming pools, one of which is covered and heated in winter.

Golf Hotel Guadalmina
Rating: 4-Star
This oasis of golf, beach and exquisite cuisine offers the ideal holiday destination for relaxation and leisure. It is situated in one of the most exclusive areas of the Costa del Sol and is surrounded by emerald green golf courses and the sparkling blue of the Mediterranean Sea. Each of the rooms offers fabulous views of the sea and the golf course from the individual private terraces.

H10 Andalucia Plaza
The H10 Andalucia Plaza is located in Puerto Banus, 800 metres from the beach and just 5 kms from Marbella in the heart of the Costa del Sol. Facilities are outstanding including two swimming pools and a casino. Nearby there are four of the best 18-hole golf courses in Europe.

Princesa Playa Hotel
Rating: 4-Star
This Aparthotel is located right on the front within easy walking distance to Marbella town centre. It is a modern building and all the rooms have balconies and sea views.

Hotel TRH Paraiso
Rating: 4-Star
This hotel is located on a hill between Estepona and Marbella and is surrounded by golf courses. It has 2 pools one of which is indoor and heated and also a beach club which the hotel offers a free shuttle bus to. The views from the rooms are wonderful either to the sea or to the mountains and golf course.

Hotel Pyr
Rating: 3-Star
The Hotel Pyr Marbella is located in Puerto Banus, one of the most prestigious marinas of the world. It is a short walk from excellent beaches and is also close to the famous Casino of Marbella.

Marbella El Faro Inn
Rating: 3-Star
This aparthotel is located in a modern complex in the centre of Marbella and only 150 metres from the beach.

Marbella Tourist Attractions

The main resort of Marbella is predominantly hotels, apartment blocks and beaches but the older parts of town still remain and hold the traditional Spanish feel and atmosphere. Exploring the back streets of Old Marbella will reveal stately buildings that date back to the 16th century or beyond, along with small traditional shops, cafes and galleries – a far cry from the modern Marbella just a stone’s throw away that most people only know about and see.

Throughout the old town, small plazas lined with local bars and orange trees add to the traditional feel and are a great place to take a break and soak up the atmosphere before heading back to modern day life.  To escape the hustle and bustle further, the Sierra Bermeja Mountains rise up behind the resort and are ideal for exploring by 4×4 or on foot; plenty of viewpoints provide opportunities to see the two and a half mile coastal spread that is Marbella.

At the Western end of that spread is Puerto Banus, Marbella’s own playground for the rich and famous, with it’s modern day marina packed with large yachts and motorboats, while back in the town centre you can find world-class shopping and entertainment together with all the attractions that a top holiday resort could possibly provide.  The Avenida del Mar is the town’s principal seafront promenade, with countless bars and restaurants serving only the best quality food and drink. Or if you prefer, local traditional seafood dishes such as barbecued sardines on a spit or paella can be enjoyed at the nearby beach huts, or chiringuitos – well worth a visit.

Dotted around the immediate vicinity of Marbella are numerous Costa del Sol golf courses, making this part of the Costa del Sol one of the most popular golfing destinations in Europe.  Tennis clubs, horse riding centres, bike hire, water sports and air sports such as paragliding all ensure that even the most adventurous holidaymaker won’t be going home disappointed, while the 12 or so beaches that Marbella boasts keep the sun worshippers happy!

Restaurants: Best Places to Eat in Marbella

Marbella is no longer the exclusive resort that it used to be which is reflected today in the vast quantities of eateries available to suit every pocket. Many tourists head to the restaurants around the Plaza de los Naranjos in the old centre of town. Most of these tend to be excessively touristy and overpriced. If you head down to the Puerto Deportivo you’ll find a whole range of bars and restaurants too numerous to list here. The survival of the following places is testament to their excellence.

Address: Plaza Altamirano 3
Type of Food: Traditional Local Fried Fish Dishes
Excellent value for shellfish, Malaga fried dishes and fish a la espalda in this restaurant in the historical centre of Marbella.

Los Cañizos
Address: La Bajadilla.
Type of Food: Local fish dishes
Excellent fried fish, grilled sardines on a skewer and baked fish dishes . Good value for money.

Marbella Club Grill
Address: Bulevar Príncipe Alfonso Von Hohenlohe, s/n.
Type of Food: International
An attractive location for dinner whether in the dining room in winter or outside in the garden during the summer.

Address: Pº. Marítimo Duque de Ahumada, 5
Type of Food: Seafood
This institution on the seafront promenade has long been considered the place to go for the best seafood in Marbella. Santiago Dominguez continues to ensure that his restaurant’s fine reputation is maintained.

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