The town of Marbella is a Mediterranean jewel. Often cited as Spain’s answer to Saint Tropez, it’s located on the sun-drenched Costa del Sol and is a favourite haunt for the rich and famous. Lavish yachts adorn the azure harbour, sports cars decorate the spotless streets and Rolex watches glint off many a tanned wrist.
Marbella enjoys its own European micro-climate, which results in an incredible 300 days of sunshine per year. Bizarrely, it’s quite normal to see holidaymakers frolicking in the surf in November – a month which, to the rest of Europe, is synonymous with hats, scarves and mittens and sports.
Apart from the obvious water sports, there are countless ways to fill your time here, including golf, quad-biking, go-karting, dolphin safaris, horse-riding, museums, art galleries, theatre shows, theme parks…the list goes on and on. Equally rewarding is simply strolling around the charming backstreets, which are packed with quirky shops, tapas bars, cheap food spots and gourmet restaurants. And if you want to just sit back, top-up the tan and enjoy your hard-earned time off, where better than the golden sandy beaches.
Accommodation differs widely, from cheap hostels to luxury boutiques. The hotels in Marbella are, on the whole, excellent. For a taste of luxury, try out the new Guadalpin Banus Hotel, situated on the beach and only a five minute walk from the Old Town (Puerto Banus). Each of the spacious rooms is stylishly decorated and furnished, and boasts a private balcony.
For something (a lot) cheaper, you can’t go wrong with the Hostal del Pilar, perfectly located in the heart of the Old Town, a few minutes from the beach. With its super-friendly staff, great roof terrace and communal lounge, it’s a firm backpacker favorite.
Come evening, you’re spoiled for choice. The nightlife is fantastic and Marbella clubs are quite simply among the best on the planet. Famous guest DJs keep dance floors packed from dusk ‘til dawn and, at the more exclusive venues, you may find yourself in the company of celebrities.
If you’re watching the pennies, Dreamers, an enormous club close to the Old Town and dubbed as the “cathedral of house music”, offers free entry and free drink vouchers to those who arrive when the night is young (about 1AMish).
However you choose to spend your time here, Marbella will leave you wanting more and more.