Marbella is the classy destination on Costa del Sol

Marbella is perhaps the most exclusive vacation spot in Southern Spain.

Marbella is the place where ordinary folks and rich people mingle and enjoy the best of Costa del Sol, maybe not so many Russians right now, but otherwise from all over the world, the wealthy Arabs with their own helicopter landing place on the yacht, many English, Germans, Japanese the rest of Eastern Europe, Chinese and the Nordics, we are there too. Anyone can join. There is something for everyone, as long as you like the sun, the beach and the Mediterranean, and probably also good food and wine and maybe golf. Take a few sample drinks at the edge of the harbor in Puerto Banus, perhaps after a day at the golf course? Then you will feel at home in Marbella. Slightly more posh than Torremolinos and Fuengirola or Benalmadena, but not so much snobbery. We are all here for a good time. Let’s take a look around.

Malaga, Spain, Circa August 2018. Rolls-Royce car next to a huge yacht in Puerto Banus, a luxury harbour and marina in Marbella popular for the jetset

Malaga, Spain. Rolls-Royce car next to a huge yacht in Puerto Banus, a luxury harbor and marina in Marbella popular for the jet set and ordinary folks

Puerto Banus, the port and a beautiful summer evening in Southern Spain

If it has to be really luxurious a la the Cote d’Azur, then Marbella can easily join in. In fact, it can also be extremely exclusive, discreet and not for the first group: good people, but that does not bother us.

The old town of Marbella is one of the most beautiful in Spain.

The oldest part of Marbella is a real find. It is a maze of pedestrian streets lined with red tiles and crazy paving.

View of beautiful orange trees in Marbella, blue sky in the background. Orange trees in the city. Plaza de los Naranjos, Marbella, Spain.

Plaza de los Naranjos, Marbella. The orange square with the best Sangria?

The buildings are all whitewashed and topped with terracotta roofs, and many dates back to the Renaissance. Some are wrapped in bougainvillea; in fact, the whole area is bright with flowers.

The houses are all arranged on corridor-like streets that appear in small squares such as Plaza de Los Naranjos, where the square’s restaurants place their seats in a small formal garden surrounded by orange trees.

The old quarter is also kept spotless, to the point where the tiles shine in the sun.

Marina waterfront with luxury motor yachts in holiday resort town of Puerto Banus on Costa del Sol, near Marbella in Spain, Malaga province.

Marina waterfront with luxury motor yachts in the holiday resort town of Puerto Banus on Costa del Sol, near Marbella in Spain, Malaga province.

Puerto Banus, for the jet set and the rest of us, in shorts after a day at the golf course

There is room for everyone in Puerto Banus with relaxed bars and some really good food in the harbor, which has an impressive range of restaurants in a fairly limited area right down in the zenith of the harbor. Take a stroll and just enjoy the atmosphere. Watch the latest Rolls Royce and Aston Martin slip past, if it’s in Puerto Banus they’ve paid tolls to drive through the harbor. Few places in the world do that happen. There is a little or a lot of bling here.  It is Puerto Banus DNA,  a few km east of the center of Marbella. But it’s also for you who just want a pizza and a cold beer, or hang out on the waterfront until the late hours before the nightclubs open and before the golf courses open.

Marbella often draws comparisons to the French Riviera, but it’s here in the Puerto Banus, you find shops, superyachts, and luxury cars wherever you look in Puerto Banús. Here is more show-of-money than in the South of France, but it is all very relaxed.

The area deserves some of your time just to see the vulgar and flashy displays of wealth, from Rolls to interesting cosmetic surgery results, but you should also just pat the large rhino sculpture, made by the ingenious surrealist Salvador Dalí, which weighs 3.6 tons. No, the statue does.

Take a few hours on the sandy beach or dress casually for one of the better restaurants this evening – if you can book a table, do so, but the possibilities are really many. Perhaps Marbella Club is for you?

La Alcaidesa, Costa del Sol, Spanien

La Alcaidesa, Costa del Sol, Spain

Golf in Marbella and its surroundings

It’s no secret that golf is a huge industry on the sunny coast, and Marbella is of course close to some of the best courses. Among other things, some of Spain’s top courses such as Valderrama are at a reasonable distance.

Golf courses near Marbella:

La Alcaidesa, Costa del Sol, Spain, lovely golf course and incredible views of the Mediterranean and Gibraltar

La Quinta, classic Marbella golf course and lifestyle, top restaurant

Cabopino Marbella, where the World Cup for amateurs was held in 2022

Marbella Golf Club, Robert Trent Jones course, everything is in order

We made two articles about the costa del Sol´s best golf courses, which are the two here:

Golf on the Sun Coast and the rest of Spain

Costa del Sol’s best golf courses near Marbella, the most exquisite golf area on Costa del Sol?

Visit classic Southern Spain

Seville, the capital of Andalusia and a region

Granada, classical culture and architecture

Malaga is a really nice city with an authentic touch

Fuengirola, the classic Costa del Sol beach destination place, see why

Gibraltar, say hey to your new pet monkey(s)

Travel guide to Spain

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