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Your guide to Marbella
Welcome to Marbella
Marbella embodies the essence of Spain’s renowned Costa del Sol, with 17 miles of shoreline luring sunseekers to its azure Mediterranean waters, as it boasts 320 days of sunshine a year. The sea is a way of life here, with four marinas, including the popular Puerto Banús. But there are just as many treasures on land, all doused with Andalusian flavors, represented in its whitewashed architecture and orange trees aplenty: It’s no wonder that the historic area is anchored by Plaza de Los Naranjos, or Orange Square, dating from the Renaissance era. Also within the winding streets of Old Town, which sits in the Sierra Blanca’s foothills, are preserved sections of Islamic walls and towers that formed the ninth-century Arab fortress. But above all, Marbella just has that sense of elevated living, drawing celebrities, culture seekers, and beach lovers alike.
When is the best time to stay in a vacation rental in Marbella?
Of course everyone wants to be at the Spanish Mediterranean destination in the summer when the beach weather is idyllic, but that also makes May through August the busiest period, with higher prices and heavier crowds. April, September, and November may feel more manageable and the water temperatures are still suitable for a swim. The winter temperatures dip low enough that it’s simply too cold to get into the water, but the land temperatures remain moderate enough for exploration by day. The major annual festivals include the Marbella Carnival in February, Festivities of San Bernabé in June, Virgen del Carmen in July, and San Pedro Alántara Fair in October.
What are the top things to do in Marbella?
The famous blue waters of the Spanish Mediterranean draw visitors to the golden sands — and with two dozen beaches lined along the city’s southern coast, there’s no shortage of choices. Artola-Cabopino Beach within the Dunas de Artola nature preserve offers a relaxed landscape among the dunes, while Playa de la Bajadilla, Playa de Rio Real, and Playa de Venus are closer to the action in the city center.
Marbella Old Town
Wander the charming streets of the historic city center, where ruins of the area’s Roman, Arabic, and Christian pasts are all preserved. Highlights include the Arabic Castel’s ruins, the Church of Our Lady of the Incarnation, and Orange Square. Also make sure to wander down Avenida del Mar, which has fountains, gardens, pergolas, and 10 sculptures by Salvador Dalí along its route.
Museum of Contemporary Spanish Engraving
Housed inside the 16th-century Renaissance-style former Bazán Hospital, the museum’s collection of more than 4,000 prints includes works by all the Spanish masters.