Marbella Vacation! City, beach, vacation home, golf and beach clubs – Travel Tips

In this Marbella vacation guide, you will learn a lot about the city, from the first approach from Marbella airport to Mijas, to the best beach clubs in town. Of course, insider tips, as well as Juan’s restaurant, where every evening a real opera is sung! The special, by a waitress and a chef. Of course, also with a small special on golfing and the best golf courses in Marbella. Because, that’s what the Costa del Sol region is famous for. We show you the most exclusive places to live, like the “Golden Mile” in the center. Here you will find magnificent villas under palm trees with XXL swimming pools! You will also get to know Puerto Banús, with exclusive boutiques of Burberry or Louis Vuitton and the many yachts that are anchored here. Welcome to Marbella, the Miami of Europe.

Marbella: city, location and weather on the Costa del Sol

If you ask me about Marbella, there is only one sensible answer:

Marbella is the Miami of Europe!

A pleasant climate all year round, lots of sun, right on the Mediterranean Sea and all this just a few hours away by plane, from European capitals such as Berlin, Stockholm but also Rome. In fact, many Italians are also here in Marbella, as well as Swedes and Germans. One reason for this are, for example, the countless, large and lush green golf courses. As well as the “Old-Town” of Marbella, the kilometer-long beaches and the Spanish attitude towards life. What this means, you will learn in this Marbella guide for your first vacation.

Listen along with Zoe:

Location: South-Southeast Spain, almost at Gibraltar

Marbella is located in Spain, more precisely on the southeastern coast, just before the southernmost point of Europe.

Before starting, a piece of Marbella, from above!

Drive from the airport: In 40 minutes at the marina

Marbella itself, like the other coastal cities (Malaga, Mijas), stretches along the beach and coast. When driving from the airport of Malaga to Marbella, one hardly notices the transitions between the cities and districts.

Malaga, Mijos, Marbella: Route

The way from the airport to the center of Marbella takes about 40, 45 minutes by car.

Expressway, speed limit and coast

On the expressway you are allowed to drive a maximum of 120 km / h. In fact, you often even drive up slowly, because the road runs directly along the coast. The view is captivating, especially if you are coming from the northern regions of Europe.

As you drive, on your right are the residential areas and behind them the mountains. More precisely, the Sierra Blanca. The mountain range runs along the coast, through Istán, Ojén, Marbella and Monda. One mountain in particular stands out later in Marbella, the 1,215 meter high Mushel peak.

In Marbella they say that the mountain stops the heat from inland, also the clouds! Therefore, the good climate, the many sun, but more about that later in the section “Climate and Weather” in Marbella.

So to the right you have the mountains and to the left, the Mediterranean Sea is constantly visible. With good visibility, you can even see the African coast from here. Even Gibraltar (the southernmost tip of Europe, only a few kilometers to Africa) is only 30 minutes away by car.

So Marbella is different from the typical, European city. It is not centrally located, but typical of coastal cities, it stretches along the sea. Accordingly, one is also more likely to travel by car than by bicycle or on foot.

Along the entire route from the airport to Marbella, you pass a lot of greenery through palm trees, you see golf courses and settlements, with vacation homes and villas. Everything in the typical Spanish look. Here are mainly the properties that are used by the owners for their own vacations and when the occupants are not on site, the vacation homes and villas are rented to tourists. The further you get into Marbella, the more exclusive the neighborhoods become, especially when looking towards the mountains.

So many spend their autumn and winter time in Marbella. Then, when it is cold and wet in the rest of Europe! Why? In Marbella is always pleasant climate.

Climate: weather and temperatures in Marbella

Temperatures – Due to the southern location with sea air and warmth from inland, a warm, not hot, climate has been established here. In this location palm trees grow and the oranges on the trees are ready to be picked in December. In fact in December!

Pure Mediterranean climate.

All this, in Europe.

Plants and fruits: green all year

Here too, Marbella is very reminiscent of Miami, palm trees grow 20 meters, 30 meters in height. Orange harvest in December, palm trees and fruit all year round, that’s what everyone dreams of when they think of vacation and relaxation.

During the day, the city is relatively protected by the high mountains from the more extreme heat inland.

Houses in the ground – Only 30, 40 km further in the mainland, for example, there is a region where houses are traditionally built in the ground! From above you see as only a small door, the rest of the apartment is under the ground and is thus always cooled. As I said, in Marbella such extreme heat, e.g. over 35, 36 degrees are rather rare.

Because, at the same time from the sea blows a cool breeze, especially in the evening, so that even after hot days, in the evening is not uncomfortably hot. The Mediterranean Sea provides balance.

Clear starry sky through mountain and sea air

At the same time, the protection of the mountains ensures that few clouds pass over Marbella, even at night. Marbella is not a big city, like Berlin, Hamburg, Munich or other European cities like Paris and London. The starry sky over the sea spark so, as in few places in Europe.

Seawater desalination and irrigation – clouds, rain, all this is very rare in Marbella. If you wonder why there is so much greenery, most of the land is irrigated, permanently. Marbella and Spain as a whole, are among the most successful countries when it comes to seawater desalination. So they can create a lot of green despite the warm temperatures, a lot of sun. Hence the almost unique golf courses in the region, with almost always good weather.

The moment between sunset and starry sky:

Weather in Marbella: Today + temperatures

Here’s a quick look at the current weather in Marbella:

Marbella City: Old Town, Villas & Starbucks

Marbella’s downtown consists of many small neighborhoods. However, the city itself feels larger than it actually is, due to the stretching along the coast.

Downtown and Old-Town

Old-Town of Marbella – One of the most important places is probably Marbella’s “Old-Town”. The name says it all, this is how you imagine the old town in Spain. Many small restaurants, small boutiques, small squares, orange trees and also small highlights, e.g. a wall with hundreds of blue flower pots (ideal for Instagram). Here in the old town you can find the real Marbella. Later in the tips, we also recommend a restaurant where every evening an opera surprises you.

During the day you will find relatively few people in the city center, due to the high temperatures, especially in the summer months! After all, hardly a breeze blows in the alleys of the city center. But in the evening, Marbella’s old town feels fast!

The “big meal” here doesn’t start at 6 or 7 pm. You start with a few drinks around 8 p.m., 9 p.m., then come tapas and only late in the evening, around 10 p.m., 11 p.m. or even 24 p.m., comes the actual dinner, the big main course.

Shopping: shopping and tips

Puerto Banús – Another important spot, especially for the first visit, is Puerto Banús. In Puerto Banús you will find the big yachts, sailing ships and also very many shopping opportunities. However, it is not cheap here, because it is mainly Gucci, Louis Vuitton or luxury brands the Hermés.

Location in Marbella:

Rating on Google: 4.4 / 5.0 with 1,660 reviews

To the left and right of the port of Puerto Banús, stretch the beaches, as well as large hotels. In addition, there are beach bars and many other ways to spend time here.

Golden Mile: Villas neighborhood in the center

Only a few minutes by car and you are at the Golden Mile. The Golden Mile is the most exclusive area, at least in the downtown area of Marbella. Here are large, stately villas. Accordingly, many streets are closed off by barriers.

The Golden Mile is above the main road (yellow on the map) and covers a wide area. The higher you go into the mountains, the larger the villas and estates become.

Away from that, there is everything you need. From everyday groceries and markets like Lidl and Aldi, to small stores in the streets, to large shopping centers with Starbucks and Wendy’s, so even American stores that you can’t find in the city. This is what makes Marbella special. With only 141,500 inhabitants. You can find everything here, as well as Gucci, Louis Vuitton & Co. in Puerto Banús.

Beach and shopping in Marbella

Vacation in Marbella means for many above all: relaxing, visiting the beach and finally time for shopping!

Beaches in Marbella: Almost 100% sand

If you spend your vacation in Marbella, you are lucky, because here is almost exclusively sand to find! Directly on the Mediterranean Sea, not far from Gibraltar, the southernmost tip of Europe, you can have pure beach feeling. From the entire journey via Malaga and Mijas, in Marbella and to the next town is Estepona.

That means where you go to the beach doesn’t really matter! You can find beautiful sand everywhere.

When it comes to space, you might want to look for a beach outside the city center. Because of course most of the tourists are here and of course also the locals. That’s why many very good addresses, like Nikki Beach, are not centrally located in the city, but a few kilometers outside the big tourist crowds.

Toplist: Best beaches in Marbella

What does the community on Google say? Thousands have left reviews, these are the best beaches:

  1. Playa del Alicate
  2. Playa Nagüeles
  3. Cabopino Beach
  4. Playa de Puerto Banus
  5. Playa de Artola
  6. … and many more!

At Cabopino Beach:


Believe me, you have so many possibilities to go shopping in Marbella! From big shopping malls, where you can also find many international stores, from Starbucks to Wendy’s, to many, small shopping streets and of course many, small boutiques in the “Old-Town”.

If you want an exclusive shopping experience then you have to go to Puerto Banús, here you will find luxury brands from all over the world, from Louis Vuitton to Burberry and Hermès. My first stop was at Louis Vuitton, in fact we even walked out with a pair of shoes. Why not! Fitting for our almost daily visits, to great beach clubs, here locally. Always at yes you can enjoy the good life.

Here you will find the Louis Vuitton store and many other luxury brands:

Villas and vacation homes: real estate

In Marbella there are pretty much all forms of real estate. So to speak, from the rental apartment, to the exclusive designer villas in the mountainsides.

Villas: Golden Mile

If you can afford it, you can live and reside very exclusively in Marbella! On the one hand, there is the “Golden Mile”, or the entire area from the golden mile up to the mountain slopes. Here you can find villa after villa. The higher up in the mountains, the more exclusive the location. Even more exclusive than in the Golden Mile, it becomes a little further inland. Here there are small settlements where the super rich live. Again, they live somewhat secluded, so they are not directly accessible to everyone from the city. In addition to seclusion, of course, security also plays a big role for these real estate buyers.

If you want to see the expensive villas in Marbella, drive along the coastal road, in Marbella it becomes the main road and orient yourself towards the mountains. You can start for example in the “Golden Mile”. But it is important that you cannot explore the area on foot.

Tip: It’s best to organize a good, high-quality car. After all, you will have to pass through some barriers where you don’t want to attract attention. You can find the map and location above, in the “City” section.

Cottage: beach location

In Marbella, however, you can also find many vacation homes, especially on the beach locations, left and right of the city. As already described in the introduction, Marbella stretches over the entire coastal area and accordingly the settlements are also extensive, with small and large vacation homes.

Often they are owned by owners who rent them out as vacation homes for many months. So you can enjoy the luxury of Marbella itself, for example, in the cold autumn and winter months in Europe. In the spring and summer, the vacation homes are then rented out to tourists.

A good deal! Because, as a rule, you pay 20% commission to the local managers. So if the house costs 1,000 euros per month, whether rent or repayment of the loan, but per month 3,000 euros can be collected (minus 20%, 600 euros) remain after rent or repayment of the loan still 1,400 euros per month!

Real estate for golfers

Marbella is the Miami of Europe. There are over 100 golf courses in the area, all within an hour’s drive. In Marbella alone you will find about 20 golf courses and golf clubs. Golf courses in Marbella are very popular! Therefore, the business is booming and meanwhile more and more properties, directly at golf courses are designed. Therefore very popular, also very special, the various properties that are built directly on or around golf courses!

The big advantage for all golf fans, the golf club is only a few minutes walk away. E.g. directly through your own garden, past your own swimming pool. Already you are at the 1st hole. Very practical, for all those who practice golf as a hobby and sport. The membership is included in these properties, so you can play directly.

Villa Tour! Real estate agents in Marbella

House Tour Marbella! After we have already taken you to Los Angeles with our luxury broker Lukinski, today we take a closer look at one of the hotspots in Europe, Marbella! The “Miami of Europe”. Designer Villa in Sierra Blanca for 4.4 million XXL-Finca or also my highlight, in the end with day and night house. Directly in Marbella or a bit more secluded, anonymous for 2.28 Mio. Euro in Real de la Quinta. In August it is here maximum 31°C, in December still 17°C, that makes Marbella so special. We show you some of the most exclusive villas that are currently on offer. Our Marbella special on real estate, villas and rentals!

Photo: AMA / Lukinski

Golf in Marbella: Number 1 in Europe

In addition to the city and the beaches, or of course, in addition to Mediterranean climate, but above all had one thing to offer, golf courses! Therefore, the designation, Miami of Europe, is also so appropriate.

Tip: Los Naranjos Golf Club

A good tip for golfers is for example the “Los Naranjos” golf course. “Naranjo” is the Spanish word for “orange tree”, “Naranja” means “orange”. The golf course is called this way because there are extremely many orange trees in this area. The golf course is managed by Swedes. There are a lot of them in Marbella! Besides the wide lush green, you will also find a great culinary offer, with international cuisine. Los Naranjos is definitely worth a visit, not only for golf, but also for delicious food.

The best golf clubs in Marbella

Marbella is not only a dream destination for vacationers looking for sea and sun, but also for golfers! The city offers centrally and in the surrounding area several exclusive golf courses with varied courses for passionate golfers or a shooting ranch for beginners and beginners. We have selected some of the most popular and best rated golf courses for you and present them here. Whether you are looking for a large golf course with restaurant and hotel with all-round service or a secluded, quiet golf course with a sea view: Marbella has the right golf course for every golfer!

More top recommendations for Marbella can be found here:

Restaurants and Beach Clubs: Good life

Here are 3 more tips: 2 beach clubs and 1 distinctive restaurant in the old town of Marbella!

Why 2 Beach Clubs? If you want to enjoy the good life in Marbella, you have to go to beach clubs or restaurants. On the one hand you meet your friends here to let the day end, on the other hand you can decide for yourself whether delicious food, another jump into the sea or directly into the pool. Relax on a lounger with cocktails and snacks.

Only 10 minutes from Old-Town, in the middle of the beach:

Nikki Beach: Las Chapas

Nikki Beach Club – Away from the big tourist crowds of the city center, you’ll find Nikki Beach Club, in Las Chapas (Marbella). Right on the beach, extremely cozy and with fantastic and stylish food. Stylish? Yes! The sushi alone, but read more here! Our tip for those who want beach club, extremely tasty food and drinks.

Nikki Beach Marbella, Photo: Pedro Jean

You’re right downtown? Then you should check out this beach club:

Ocean Club: In the City

Beach Club XL – Right in the center of the city, in the middle of the hotels and shopping streets, is the Ocean Club, directly on the beach! Best location, everything kept in white, an XXL pool, live DJ, dancers… more does not go. The reviews on the Internet are top, almost 5 out of 5 stars gives the community on Google. Reason enough for a visit, in one of the recommendations for Marbella, the Ocean Club.

Insider tip: Juan! Restaurant with spontaneous opera

Here is an absolute insider tip, which I really only know through good friends! In the middle of the city center (Old-Town), you will find Juan’s Restaurant. Every evening, absolutely surprising, under palm trees, in the courtyard of the restaurant, something comes with the no one expects while eating: An opera! Sung by a real, married couple who work in the kitchen and in the service, respectively. Both are trained opera singers and when Juan heard about it, he found it so charming that unless there is a small live performance every evening.

Not in fine pinstripes, suns in the typical clothing of the kitchen and service. The performance goes from 10 to 15 minutes each and includes two to three songs, with a special charm, in the night of the Marbella.

El Patio De Mariscal – Calle Virgen de los Dolores, 3, 29601 Marbella

Tip: Nearby is a beautiful church “Templo de Dios” hidden in the alleys.

Discover Marbella

The beautiful Old Town, miles of beaches, villas on the Golden Mile and outside the city and Europe’s number 1 when it comes to golf courses. This is Marbella!