Having taken over the mantle from St Tropez as the place where celebrities go to chill out or because they know the paparazzi will be out in full force, Marbella has gained the reputation of being a playground for the rich and famous.
Located on the south coast of Spain near to where the Atlantic Ocean meets the Mediterranean Sea, Marbella beats the French Riviera hands down when it comes to glorious weather and immaculate sandy beaches.
Often referred to as being the California of Europe, Marbella has a rich history that dates back to the Romans, Moors and to a time when Spain was conquering the New World.
Easily accessed from nearly every European city by cheap flights to Malaga airport (a 38-minute taxi ride) Marbella is perfect for a long weekend or as a place to spend some time during your Costa del Sol holiday.
Below we have put together what we think is a perfect itinerary for three days in Marbella.
After indulging in some Spanish ‘chocolaté y churros for breakfast, spend the morning at one of the finest beaches on the costa del sol. El Faro Beach is bang smack in the middle of the city and has plenty of places nearby to go for some delightful Jamon Iberico for lunch.
After enjoying lunch and a chilled glass of ‘tinto de verano’ head back to your hotel or holiday flat or villa and do what the Spaniards do and take a siesta. When the city springs back to life at 5pm rent a bicycle or e-bike from rent4fun in the Plaza del Mar and ride the seafront Paseo Marítimo all the way to Puerto Banus.
By far the most famous of the three ports around Marbella, Puerto Banus is the place where the seriously rich park their mega yachts. Stroll around the harbour and maybe take a selfie next to a Ferrari and do some window shopping while taking in the latest Paris fashions.
Once you have soaked in the atmosphere and while you still have some money in your pocket head back into Marbella and get ready for a night on the town.
After dinner, round off your first day in Marbella with a trip to the Amare Hotel and it’s impressive Sky Bar where you can sip Mojitos to mellow tunes while gazing at the twinkling lights across the sea in Morocco.
On day two, save the beach for another day and transport yourself back in time while exploring Marbella’s old town. Not far from the seafront in the centre of the city is the heart of Marbella a mishmash of narrow winding streets and open-air plazas dedicated to Spain’s “Golden Age.” The highlight of the casco antiguo is Los Naranjos Plaza (the orange plaza) an oasis of charm surrounded by Renaissance and Baroque architecture.
Take a break at one of the many outdoor bars for a strong full bodied Spanish coffee and some serious people watching, before sampling what has to be the best ice cream you have ever had from Mauro’s Heladeria.
Take your time while strolling the cobblestone streets awash with brightly coloured flowers and artisan the shops until you reach the Plaza de la Iglesia and the Church of Our Lady of the Incarnation. Built on the site of a former Moorish mosque in 1618, the church is the most important building in Marbella and a great place to escape from the heat of the day.
For lunch stay in the old town and sample some local tapas or head off in the direction of the city away from the seafront for a set price three-course menu del dia. The Spanish don’t eat lunch until 2pm so don’t rock up early expecting to be served as the freshly cooked food won’t be ready.
After Siesta, prepare yourself out for a night on Marbella’s “Golden Mile” having taken the name from the stretch of seafront that runs between the north and south piers in Blackpool, Marbella’s icon strip forgoes the amusement arcades for trendy clubs, bars, and lounges that frequently host guest DJs. The liveliest action is at the Puerto Banus end where you will find Linekers Sports Bar and Pangea Club.
After a memorable night out on the town, have a lie in and spend the morning by the pool working on your tan while you recover from the late night at the club.
Today skip the siesta and head off to La Cañada shopping mall just a short ride in a taxi from Marbella. Getting back to your accommodation won’t be a problem either, as there are two taxi ranks with cars always available.
At La Cañada you will find 150 air-conditioned shops including some you will know from the high street back home and several Spanish stores like Zara and Mango selling the latest fashions.
La Cañada also has every possible fast food franchise you can think of and some more upmarket Spanish eateries. There is even a bowling alley if you feel like some fun and a game zone to relax in.
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