Spain’s equivalent to St Tropez, you’ll lose yourself in the endless supply of sweeping sandy beaches and chic boutiques, while the nearby marina will provide you with a dose of much-needed glamour. A favoured destination for many celebrities, it won’t take you too long to feel like a bona fide VIP in Marbella – whether you’re spending time lazing on the beach or lingering over drinks at a nearby cocktail bar.
There is an excellent array of hotels awaiting your discovery and with the vibrant resort of Malaga within a short distance; Marbella holidays offer a great base to explore the surrounding areas. Situated on the notoriously sunny Costa Del Sol, you won’t be short of beaches on your getaway. The area boasts 24 separate sweeps of sand set over 24km of coastline, with each offering something different. Experience the dramatic black sand beach at Rio Verde or the golden sands of Neuva Andalucia, buzzing with crowds of people and a wealth of water sports – everything from windsurfing to jet skiing.
If you’ve got the kids with you, they won’t need any excuse to grab their bucket and spade. The Blue Flag beaches of Casa Blanca and LA Fontanilla offer the ideal spots to soak up some winter sun on your holidays in Marbella, while the kids spend their time splashing around. Admire the beautiful sea-views from the comfort of your sun lounger or settle at a beachside restaurant and watch the waves roll gently in.
Away from the beach, you’ll find a wealth of attractions worth discovering. The charming old town of Casco Antiguo is a photographer’s haven, decked out with whitewashed villas and a labyrinth of narrow streets. Explore the interior of a Moorish castle or catch a glimpse of the 16th-century Encarnacion Church with its ornate interior on your Marbella holidays. Visit the San Pedro area to delve into its rich Roman past – keen history buffs will enjoy strolling around its ancient ruins and visiting the old Roman baths.
For those that have remembered to pack their glad rags, there is an eclectic and diverse nightlife to explore when the sun begins to set. After sampling your way through delicious Spanish cuisine and a dose of Sangria, there is no better way to enjoy your holidays to Marbella than to glam up and hit the clubs. The main attraction is the famed Golden Mile, where top-name DJs play a mix of Rn’B, disco and club music alongside a thriving crowd. For an unforgettable evening, make sure you head to nearby Puerto Banus – just keep your eyes peeled for celebrity sightings!
For water-sports enthusiasts, finding the best beach while on holiday in Marbella might feel like a daunting task. However, head straight to San Pedro de Alcantara Beach where you can experience everything from water skiing to pedalos. The beach also has a children's play area, perfect for the toddlers.
If you're after a round of golf while in Marbella, visit La Quinta, which has a 27-hole course. The course was designed by Tri world champion and Ryder Cup champion Manuel Piñero and is surrounded by the spectacular natural landscape, with vast views of the Mediterranean Sea. It will be a picturesque game set in one of the most tranquil of locations.
If you're feeling devious and want something a little more adrenaline induced, then try out canoeing. Grab your whole party and book a session that will take you down the rapids in the Guadalmina River. Caving is also extremely popular in Marbella. Explore underground passages formed by eroding limestone. This one isn't for the faint hearted however.
Located in the Guadalhorce Valley at the foot of Sierra de las Nieves mountain range, Quad Mountain Adventures offer a plethora of packages that will engage you in the wonderfully, wild world of quad biking. Available to beginners and experienced riders, they'll be at your side the whole way, ensuring you have the craziest of rides.
The Old Town in Marbella is a great place to take the family out for dinner. Dine in one of the tapas bars for the best variation in dishes and cuisines. El Rajo is a great stop off and with free wi-fi will keep the teenagers entertained while enjoying some of Marbella's finest food.
A short car or bus journey from Marbella is the family-friendly water park in Fuengirola. The park offers the usual lazy rivers and slides but also has Jacuzzis so you can sit back and relax, soaking up the sun.
If one of your kids prefers soft sands for building castles, another prefers beaches with lots of water sports, and the other likes somewhere quiet to curl up with a book, then a holiday in Marbella will suit everyone's tastes. With 24 beaches spread across 27 kilometres of coastline you can experience a different beach every day of your stay.
Unleash your wild side and visit Fuengirola Zoo. The animals roam around in large spaces that resemble their natural habitats, creating an exotic atmosphere kids will love. During the summer months, the zoo stays open until 1.00 am, allowing guests to observe the nocturnal animals, an experience that will have your children enthralled.
There's no denying the sumptuously-luxurious atmosphere that fills the air. This is haute holidaying at its finest. The Golden Mile, a six and a half kilometre stretch between Marbella and Puerto Banus is filled with beautiful residences and some of Spain's most luxurious hotels. Why not stay at Hotel Sultan for the best location right in the heart of the Golden Mile?
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The resort is filled to the brim with hundreds of top-class clubs and bars; you'll be spoilt for choice. If you want to relax, cocktail in hand, looking out over the sea while listening to some of Spain's biggest DJs, then you must spend a night at Nikki Beach. Located in Hotel Don Carlos, only seven kilometres from the centre of Marbella, you'll be in for a night of sheer luxury that will take you into the early hours.
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Whatever type of cuisine you fancy while on holiday in Marbella, you're sure to find it within the centre. Casamono is a French brasserie that offers a vast menu, served within the confines of a modern, yet tribal-themed, dining room. If you're looking for a romantic meal then try Zozoi in Marbella's Old Town. Offering a contemporary twist on traditional Mediterranean cuisine and served under the stars, this will be a meal you'll both never forget.
If you're feeling lucky while in Marbella, then venture down the Casino Marbella. It's the biggest and most popular casino in the area and offers slot machines to schedules poker tournaments. You may just win yourself some extra spending money.
You'll never be far from a designer boutique while in Marbella. This area is filled with luxury-goods outlets and will be sure to entice you to bring home some new arm candy. From Bally to Gucci to Zara to Mango, there's something that will suit everyone's taste. With no set area offering a vast amount of shopping, lowcostholidays.com recommends you explore the streets. You may just stumble upon an independent boutique that no-one else knows about.
Whale watching is a great way to spend a sunny afternoon in Marbella. With four whale species residing in the area including fin and sperm whales, this is one adventure you can't afford to miss. Though whale-watching trips sight 90% of the time, check the no-sightings policy with your operator before booking. They'll most likely take you out again to spot again before you travel home.
To escape the popular beaches in Marbella, hire a car and head east. There are plenty of secluded bays and tiny coves, perfect for sunbathing in private. Playa del Canuelo beach, with its rocky backdrop, is a beautiful bay. Take into consideration the steep steps, but it'll be worth the hike.
The Marinas in southern Spain are a haven for celeb spotting or ogling over super yachts. However, with a vast cash injection into rejuvenating the area, Marbella's La Bajadilla marina is only fifteen minutes from the popular Puerto Banus marina but is the up and coming harbour you should keep your eye on.