Marbella’s 17-mile stretch along the Andalucía coastline is divided into 24 beaches. The best are to the east of town, between Nikki Beach and La Cabane clubs. Costa Bella and El Alicate are popular favourites for their languid golden sands and all the amenities you could hope for, with long walks, beach bars, clubs and restaurants dotted along the way. For a cool and laid-back vibe, try Bounty Beach where chilled-out music blends with the sound of the lapping waves and volleyball-playing locals add to the atmosphere. If you plan to plush things up for a day, then the aforementioned Nikki Beach and La Cabane clubs are not be overlooked, along with Ocean Club Marbella and Beach Club Estrella del Mar.
5 things you must try when you go to Marbella
While the Costa del Sol’s shiny jewel in the crown has earned a reputation as a glitzy
destination for celebrities, Marbella is also an area of stunning natural beauty and
old-world charm. For a holiday like no other, discover the best things to see and do
here with our guide…
From dining in fine restaurants and sipping cocktails on canopy beds at one of the many beach clubs to exploring hidden beaches and the stunning Casco Antiguo (old town), the best of two worlds collide in Marbella. The following mix of five pursuits will allow you to dip in and out of both worlds, as the mood takes you…
Many luxury restaurant groups have outposts in Marbella, including Nobu and Mahiki, which are a big draw. But for a unique experience on the Mediterranean shores, then begin with Celicioso for breakfast, complete with its green smoothies, eggs every way and fresh pastries, including gluten-free. Rachel’s Eco Love is another popular destination for those in-the-know with healthy breakfasts and lunches, and an organic deli if you want to take a picnic to the beach. By night, try The Farm in Marbella’s old town for organic ingredients and chilled-out flourishes. Fish fans must head to Lobito de Mar, run by Dani Garci, who has several Michelin stars to his name. For tapas in a traditional setting, try El Estrecho or La Moraga Bistro, a trendy eatery serving modern tapas with an international twist, one street behind Puerto Banús marina. For a memorable dinner, splurge at Skina, a tiny Michelin-starred restaurant where ingredients come together in delightful and unconventional ways. Of course, you can’t leave Spain without an authentic paella, and the old town is a great place to find one.
Marbella’s fresh white buildings look as though they are bleached daily by the sun and are a sight in themselves, as well as Marbella's lush green “Golden Mile” – the coastal area that stretches from the western border of Marbella city to Puerto Banús. The port is home to some of the most expensive yachts in the world. Here, a bevy of restaurants, bars and designer boutiques can be found, amid the sound of humming sports cars cruising by. The old quarter is a must, replete with its narrow-cobbled streets and blossoming window boxes. Stroll along the Avenida del Mar, a popular walkway from Marbella's old town, that you past sculptures by Salvador Dali, down to the beach. For an another dose of fine art, the Museo del Grabado Espanol Contemporaneo in a restored 16th-century palace features 20th-century artists, including Picasso, Miró and Tàpies.
For a swanky tipple, the aforementioned beach clubs are the bastions of style by day and night. Additional names to add to the list include Sylt, one of the newest clubs in Marbella with trendy décor and a laid-back atmosphere and La Sala By The Sea, a day to night Asian themed beach club with pool and great music. Mahiki’s Coconut Cocktail Bar is also popular, and a great way to experience the celebrity haunt without the price tag of dinner. Pangea’s large open-air terrace is popular by night, as well as NewsCafe. Of course, Spain is celebrated for its wine and the old quarter has an abundance of intimate wine bars to choose from.
Andalucía is famous for its shoes. Look out for the typical sandals and espadrilles, beautifully handcrafted and in premium leathers. Whilst the shopping scene is known for its designer labels, you also have the largest El Corte Ingles department store in Spain, the Marina Banus shopping centre, and on Avenue Ricardo Soriano, you’ll find the Spanish franchises, including Mango and Zara. For designer buys at reduced prices, look to pre-loved Chic Vintage store in the old quarter.