Backed by the rocky Sierra Blanca mountains of Andalucia, Marbella’s sandy beaches, glittering marinas, Old Town, and beach clubs make it one of the most exclusive resorts on Spain’s Costa del Sol. Here are some ideas for how to spend a day in the sophisticated city.
While Marbella flaunts its beaches and marinas, the more traditional districts tend to stay in the shadows. Stray from the beaten path on a walking tour that focuses on the Old Town, which is characterized by whitewashed houses and cobbled plazas. Chart Marbella’s history at the Plaza of the Orange Trees (Plaza de los Naranjos) and City Hall; explore Alameda Park; and admire the Salvador Dali sculptures.
Alternatively, book a hike into the Andalucian hills or choose a tour that covers both Marbella and neighboring Puerto Banus—a jet-setters’ playground centered on a glittering, yacht-filled marina.
Most visitors flock to Marbella for its beaches, so spend the afternoon enjoying a slice of Marbella’s ultra-cool beach life. The town boasts 23 different stretches, with highlights including Bounty Beach and Playa Nagueles, where the water’s edge is hemmed by plush beach clubs and restaurants.
After a spell on the sands, head for the cool of the Sierra Blanca mountains on a late-afternoon electric bike and wine tour, which typically follow trails through Andalucia’s White Villages (Pueblos Blancos) before descending to the coast for tapas and wine.
Kick-start the evening with a makeup masterclass, during which you’ll receive professional tips on how to create your sultriest look while sipping on Cava. Alternatively, join the locals on a sunset stroll along Marbella’s palm-dotted seafront promenade (Paseo Maritimo), enjoying tapas and drinks at the sidewalk cafes.
After dinner at a beachfront restaurant, head for glitzy Puerto Banus or Marbella Port (Puerto Deportivo), to sip cocktails and dance the night away with glitzy party crowds.