vmBorja, Author at Vacation Marbella

Marbella for the Solo Traveler

Marbella for the solo traveler. Most of the time in our life we always sojourn with a partner, family, or group of friends. There are some times though that we have to travel in life alone. It could be we just want to be alone; need time away from the crowd, or we just enjoy our own company enough that we do not need anyone else but ourselves. We can go about our own business without anyone telling us where to go or need anyone to lead us. For those brave enough to enjoy traveling alone, this is for you. It may seem awkward, even frightening to experience something new alone or even check out a location all on your own; but here in Marbella, this can be done with such ease and a sense of fulfillment. The following are some solo activities that you can experience in Marbella without much fuss and trouble at all.

Try Out Local Coffee Shops

Right in the dining row of the boardwalk at Puerto Banus, there are several coffee shops you can partake in and enjoy the scenery. One of the best IG-worthy home grown café is Rosas Café. You can even go here with your pet as they have a special menu catering specially for them. At Rosas Café, you can seat yourself, grab special brews, a cake or two, bring a book and just enjoy this beautiful place. Don’t be shy to take pictures and share them on your social media.

Another local coffee shop that is a favorite among locals and tourists alike is Magna Café Marbella. While this is not exactly along the Puerto Banus restaurant row, the short 1km walk or drive is well worth it. Magna Café overlooks the dreamy golf course called Magna Marbella Golf Course. This café and restaurant has been serving organic cuisine to its guests since 2005. This café located in the Nueva Andalucia area has breath-taking mountain views, fresh air, al fresco dining, and boasts of superb service and complete meals under the hands of Chef Edgar Mikelsons. Restaurant goers speak about the view where on any day you will be able to see down to the coast of Gibraltar. Here, you can dine alone and not feel emptiness as the beautiful grounds surround and enthrall you to just take it easy, relax, and enjoy the experience.

Take Yourself Out to a Shopping Spree

Not to be missed in Marbella for the solo traveler are the rows upon rows of high-end retail stores that will surely leave your wallets and cards in exhaustion! Marbella is home to high-fashion unlike Ibiza. Here, you will see the likes of Rolex, Valentino, Louis Vuitton, Bottega Veneta, Gucci, all displaying prominent designs like there is no tomorrow! Go ahead and treat yourself to some luxurious brands. If lingerie is also something you want to buy for yourself, friends, or your partner, then Oysho is the place to go. Here you will find from kids to beautiful and dreamy lingerie that will surely make your sleep a beauty rest indeed.

There are also department stores where you can easily find anything to your heart’s content. One of the biggest is Centro Comercial: Costa Marbella. This expansive department store has a total of six floors that offers dining, service, and a wide array of retail stores that will certainly have you reaching for your wallet as you walk along the corridors floor to floor.

La Canada Shopping Centre, a perfect place for shopping for the Marbella solo traveler. Here, everything you need can be found. From restaurants, home appliances, souvenir shops, and even entertainment. This is one place that is essential if you plan on being in Costa del Sol. Another plus for this shopping centre is its free parking. You now have less to worry about as you shop from retail store to store.

The Marbella Old Town Shopping Centre is also something to visit while you are alone. This area has special niche stores and offers authentic Marbella craft and local stores that you will definitely want to buy. This shopping area also has historical points of interest so imagine yourself being immersed in local history as you talk to the owners of artisanal shops and get to know them on a personal level. Imagine knowing the history of this beautiful shopping centre. Take a picture or two with the locals and get to imbibe the local sceneries. The Marbella Old Town Shopping Centre is a hip and vibrant place that you will surely enjoy by yourself or with friends and family.

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Rent a Bike and Discover Corners of Marbella

As summertime approaches, this is the perfect time to rent a bike and just explore what Marbella has to offer. The good thing with the boardwalk of Puerto Banus and the roads, is that it is bike-friendly. Ironman events have been held here several times and it is scheduled again to happen this September 2021. You can bike along and just take in the sceneries as you feel the wind and refresh your soul as the mountain settings just put you in an amazing mood.

 

Get a Holiday Rental

Another important factor as you experience Marbella as a solo traveler is that it is always best to find accommodation where you feel and live among the locals. While Marbella is worldly known as a tourist destination, there are residents and locals who have made this their home. When you rent a property via local property accommodations, you will be able to experience living like the locals and even make a friend or two. One accommodation provider, Vacation Marbella has a wide-array of properties that you can easily contact and choose from. They cater to all: from solo travelers looking to find themselves all the way to big family reunions. There is one property that they will be able to connect you with.

Travelling alone should never be something that you dread. It is a good way to really get to know yourself and when you experience Marbella as a solo traveler, you will feel that you can do anything else and conquer the world on your own. Go ahead, contact Vacation Marbella so you have a head start in making your solo travel dreams come true!

Pet-Friendly Holiday Rentals in Marbella, Spain: How To Find Them

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Pet-friendly holiday rentals in Marbella, Spain: how do you find them?  Gone are the days when dog and cat owners would need to leave their pets at a boarding facility or have someone dog-sit them while they go on holiday for a few weeks. Nowadays, with airlines becoming pet-friendlier and the rise in having therapy dogs, there is a bigger need to look for accommodation that also allows your pets to stay in the room with you. Most traditional hotels do not even allow this as there are too many risks involved. Here is where we welcome holiday rentals. That feeling of home-away-from-home yet everything feels whimsical and totally new; this is the promise of holiday rentals in Marbella, Spain. 

 

There are several options around Marbella that allow holiday-goers to bring their pet with them while they enjoy the sun and attractions. Here, we will talk about where to find them and some pros and cons when you bring your pet with you on your travels. 

#1 The first thing one must carefully check is to make sure your pet has all the necessary paperwork and is updated with their vaccinations. All airlines will not allow you to bring your dog or cat with you if they are not registered and their rabies shots are not current. Once you reach your destination, most villages and rental accommodation will also check these to make sure that your pet is fully protected.

For entry into Marbella, Spain, your pet has to have a valid EU passport and microchipped. So, before you leave your home, double check that the paperwork is carefully filled out and that your pet records are all up to date. 

#2 The second, if not the most important one, is to search for your pet-friendly holiday rentals in Marbella, Spain. You can do a quick search on Google about pet-friendly places to rent and it will usually come up with a lot of options already. Aside from this, we also have in this site where we already mark which properties are available to let right away. In Booking.com, you can see top places where pets are welcome as well. In AIRBNB, you just have to read the house rules to check if the accommodation accepts pets. Vacation Marbella welcomes pets as long as they are not over 10kgs. Most vacation rentals do not allow bigger sized dogs so keep a watch out for this important notice. 

#3 Most establishments in Marbella, Spain do not allow dogs inside restaurants so decide on outdoor cafes, designated beaches, and parks that welcome your fur babies to have fun alongside you. Of course, while on vacation, it is still a good idea to find time to exercise your pet so just as a precaution bring along a muzzle, collar & leash, and poop bags whenever you go out with them. 

#4 During high summer months, the temperature in Marbella, Spain gets really hot so it is best to keep your dogs indoor or in shaded areas. During this time, official beaches also do not allow pets where there are many beach-goers. When your pet is your priority, it is best to go during lean season where you have more freedom to bring your dog or cat to more places. 

#5 Ask for property pictures or special house rules. When you bring your pet on holiday, you have to be aware of special rules each pet-friendly holiday rentals in Marbella, Spain has. There are some accommodations that also require upfront payment or even a per-day fee for your pet. While us pet-owners hate shelling out additional money just to bring our fur babies, it is a good way we pay this so that we show that we are thankful that they are allowing us to in the first place. There is always a risk these accommodations take when they allow dogs or cats since after our departure, they have to deep-clean each corner to avoid the next guest from getting pet dander or fur allergic reactions. 

#6 Beaches that allow pets in Marbella, Spain are slowly cropping up. In fact, since 2018, more and more official beaches have designated pet areas. The beach at the mouth of River Torrox, Malaga has a 300m stretch of pure sand for your dog to run around and enjoy the sun, sea, and sand. There are also litter bins and bag dispensers where you can dispose of your pet’s excrements safely.  This beach is located in the touristy Costa del Sol where the mountains meet the sky and sand. 

If you can find holiday rentals in Marbella, Spain that allow pets, as much as possible choose one with a yard or a closed-off fence so that you will be able to let your dog run free in the garden. 

Here in Vacation Marbella, we have several pet-friendly holiday rentals that you will find to your liking. From penthouse to villas that allow small dogs and cats, you will be able to search for one easily. In the Vacation Marbella site, you just have to tick off in search options that allow pets and it will bring you to results that show accommodations that do welcome pets.

Ironman Marbella 70.3

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IRONMAN Marbella has fastly become a moniker as it gets more participants excited each additional year. While it was postponed last year because of the height of the pandemic, it will soon once again become a reality as IRONMAN Marbella 2021 is set this September 2021. 

The setting is still the beautiful and dreamy area of Marbella, Spain. This part of Spain is touted to be one of the most picturesque in all of coastal Spain. In fact if there was one location in Spain known for Instagram-worthy pictures, this Andalusian city is definitely the one. Where else can athletes swim, bike, and run and still be able to bask in the beautiful scenery but only in Marbella, Spain? 

Ironman Marbella starts with a beautiful 1.2 mile swim in the beach of Puerto Banus Levante beach of the Mediterranean Sea. Here, crowds and supporters can actually look out from their terraces and balconies and enjoy this historical event unfold in front of their eyes. Several holiday goers set their holiday travels to Marbella, Spain around this time. Even if you are not an athlete or aspiring marathoner, you can enjoy the camaraderie and cheer on your favourite participants. 

With the COVID pandemic still in the air, one can say that supporting your athletes from a distance is definitely worth it. That is why there are several holiday rentals in Marbella, especially in the Puerto Banus area that you can stay in, cheer from afar, and definitely feel safe. Vacation Marbella, one trusted and recommended luxury accommodation offers several properties within this area where you can feel safe and still feel the ambience of Ironman 70.3 Marbella in front of you. 

After the swim, athletes are then taken to a 56 mile loop starting at the “Gold Mile” of Marbella. This bike course enables participants to cycle across the city of Marbella and get a feel of the old and new diverse looks of this beautiful place.

They will race through Monda, Coin, and Cartama before heading back to transition again in Puerto Banus. 

Puerto Banus is known as Costa del Sol’s playground. This is a melting pot where everything that glistens and is full of glamour can be found. One can dine with anyone from the famous rich or Hollywood stars and still be able to afford it! The shops and restaurants lined up in this part of Puerto Banus reflect the expensive lifestyle one can dream about. 

There are plenty of designer names all around the marina complete with yachts and boats docked. As tourists, they can get a taste of this lifestyle since there are several tours and holiday rentals in Marbella offering this. 

Once back in the world famous Puerto Banus, Ironman 70.3 Marbella athletes then do a last two-loop 13.1 miles run course. This track leads along the promenade of Marbella. On one side, participants get to experience and feel the magic of the Mediterranean. On the other side, they get to be cheered on by spectators and viewers as they finish near the sea. The magic starts and ends with Puerto Banus and with the high hopes that this pandemic will soon ease up on more travel restriction, several holiday letting companies are offering special early bookings for the September 19, 2021 week stay. 

If you feel you are not up for competing but still wish to be a part of this special event, the first thing to do is to look for accommodation around Marbella, Spain. It is definitely a good idea to book early as with over 5,000 participants, supporters, and their families, this area of Marbella, Spain will definitely be filled up fast. As an athlete, it is still best to stick with your family and just rent via a holiday rental instead of staying at a hotel. This will give you more flexibility as you feel more at home and feel more at ease not having to worry about the COVID  virus as you prepare for the race. 

Holiday rentals in Spain are definitely strict when it comes to cleanliness as they have to abide by health and sanitation guidelines in order to continue their business during this trying time of the pandemic. Vacation Marbella takes it a step further by making sure everything is clean and up to excellent standards even before check in of guests. 

Hotels cannot give that homey feel as homes actually can give and with holiday letting companies, we make sure that each home you stay in will feel like you are really home away from home. We also offer added services such as airport transfers to and from where you will be staying. And with small fees, we can stock the fridge and pantry so that you can get the rest and relaxation you need before the race or during your stay. 

Even without directly participating at Ironman 70.3 Marbella this September 2021, you can still feel this triumphant event just by being in the area. You can also opt to tour around the area of Malaga, the birthplace of Picasso. There is a Roman Amphitheatre and the 11th Century Alcazaba. This is actually one of the most important landmarks of Malaga. This amphitheatre overlooks the city from a hilltop which is such a magnificent sight on its own. The full experience of your Vacation Marbella can be had with just one host provider. 

Ironman 70.3 Marbella awaits your arrival this September 2021. This very special sports event is one not to be missed. We welcome you to book already and catch the best deals online for the best holiday rentals in Spain. 

Ironman comes to Marbella once more in 2020

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For the last two years, the IRONMAN 70.3 Marbella has been delighting athletes and spectators. Each year it has attracted 5,000 athletes from around the World. They have been impressed with the route, the climate and the fact that they can swim in the Mediterranean, run through Puerto Banus and explore the beautiful inland area on their bikes.

This format is known as a “Half Ironman” and is a long-distance triathlon which covers 70.3 miles, or 113 kilometres.  This is broken down into three parts, a 1.2 mile swim, a 56 mile bike ride and a 13.1 mile run. Marbella will once again host the Ironman 70.3, on the 26th of April 2020 and you can register for your place online, if you’re up for the challenge.

It starts with a swim from the Levante Beach in Puerto Banus, from there athletes will grab their bikes and head along Marbella’s Golden Mile and into the beautiful inland countryside. They will cycle up into the hills past Ojen, Monda, Coin and Cartema and then back to the start point in Puerto Banus. They will drop their bikes to complete the race on foot, with two laps of the Marbella promenade to finish on the sand of the Levante Beach in Puerto Banus where the race began. View the route   

This is a tough race, but can be completed by amateurs as well as professionals with the right training. Entry fees are 305€ for Tier 3 and 325€ for Tier 4 and the first two tiers are already sold out, so if you want to take part, get your place booked now.

Next step is to book your accommodation, as with 5,000 participants and their family and friends descending on Marbella, not to mention normal holidaymakers, accommodation books up fast. For maximum convenience we’d recommend booking a vacation rental in Puerto Banus so you’re within walking distance of the start/finish point of the race.

Choosing a holiday rental rather than a hotel, gives you more flexibility for pre-race preparations and meals and gives you more space and options to rest and recover after a gruelling race. We have properties for rent right on the beachfront where the race begins, others within a five-minute walk from the start, in the port itself.

Before the race, we can pick you up from the airport and stock your fridge and cupboards with all your high protein, high energy foods before you arrive. This removes any stress and allows you to stay focused without having to worry about heading to the supermarket.

After the race, we can arrange for a masseuse to come to the apartment and give you an incredible Fix Me Deep Tissue Massage or a Traditional Thai massage to relieve your aches and pains and improve your recovery.

Nothing is too much trouble, so please just ask what you need to make your IRONMAN 70.3 Marbella experience the best it can be and we will make it happen!

Once you’re booked, then it’s time to start training and there are some really good resources on the IRONMAN website, like this article on how to make training fit your lifestyle. Best of luck with the preparations!

If participating sounds a bit tough, then why not go and cheer them on. There’s a great atmosphere in Puerto Banus for the swim and cycle and then Marbella’s promenade is buzzing with fans, family and friends for the final run. You are welcome to line the route, or head down to the finish line. You could even walk along the beach from Marbella to Puerto Banus and feel part of the action, without breaking a sweat. The walk will take around an hour, depending on whether you stop off for refreshments at one of the many bars and restaurants along the way.

April is a lovely time to visit Marbella, whether you’re a participant in IRONMAN or simply want a spring sunshine getaway. However, if your chosen dates include the IRONMAN tournament, please make sure you book your accommodation early, as there is very high demand over these dates. We look forward to welcoming you very soon.

Here IRONMAN 70.3 Marbella 2019 Race Movie:

Discover Marbella’s many areas

Marbella is both an amazing town and a diverse district stretching from San Pedro to Cabopino on the sunny, cosmopolitan Costa del Sol in Southern Spain. It has a strong Andalusian identity and is heavily influenced by its international population, with an estimated 147 nationalities calling Marbella home. If you’re planning a holiday to our sunny shores, you need to choose the right place within Marbella to suit your needs and make sure you experience all its different facets for a complete picture of this beautiful place.

As Marbella residents and holiday rental experts with hundreds of vacation rental properties in the area, we want to help you to make the right choice with an overview of each of the key areas in and around Marbella.

Marbella Old Town – The pretty Old Town is tucked away behind Marbella’s busy high street and is a world away from the modern, cosmopolitan town that Marbella is today. White washed houses line winding streets, leading to little squares, chapels and hidden gems at every turn. You can see the ancient city walls and find lots of independent shops and quirky bars and restaurants. Even if you’re not staying in the Old Town itself, a visit here is a must, as it harks back to the town’s long history and will charm and surprise you.

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Golden Mile – This exclusive and highly desirable area between Marbella Town and Puerto Banus is famous as one of the most expensive areas – hence its glamourous name. This short stretch of the A7 coastal road includes supermarkets, banks, cafes and restaurants for ultimate convenience. There’s a beautiful seafront promenade just a few minutes’ walk from the main road, with some fantastic beachside restaurants and bars. On the other side of the road are some of the oldest residential developments in Marbella, with lush gardens, large villas and an exclusive feel. This is a great place to stay if you want to be within easy reach of both Marbella and Puerto Banus and want everything on your doorstep.

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Puerto Banus – This exclusive marina, lined with designer shops and filled with superyachts and supercars is the playground of the rich and famous. A visit to Puerto Banus to admire all this bling and extravagance is a must, and if you love the finer things in life, or want to party the night away, then this makes a great base for a holiday. We have a wide range of holiday rentals in Puerto Banus, including apartments right on the waterfront in the port itself, others on the best beaches, and others in the area with the best shopping and nightlife. You don’t need a car if you’re based in Puerto Banus, as you can easily walk to the many shops, bars and restaurants and you can even stroll to nearby San Pedro to see a different side of the area. Marbella can also be reached on foot, or via the catamaran ferry that goes between the two ports every hour.

 

Nueva Andalucia – The area of Nueva Andalucia is behind Puerto Banus and very popular with international residents and holidaymakers because of its fantastic golf courses, modern properties, shops, bars and restaurants. It is quiet, yet has a lot of options within easy reach, and Puerto Banus is just a short cab journey away. Golfers love it, for its variety of courses in a very small area and it has a relaxed, welcoming feel. There’s a small shopping centre and plenty of bars and restaurants in the different areas. Ask us which part of Nueva Andalucia would work best for you.

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San Pedro de Alcantara – To the west of Puerto Banus is the pretty and charming town of San Pedro, which has its own unique identity. San Pedro has held onto its Spanish character and developed a great restaurant and bar scene, with buzzing tapas bars alongside international hot spots. It has a long seafront promenade connecting it to Banus and Marbella, but it is less developed and quieter than its glamourous and better-known neighbours. Back from the seafront is a boulevard created with families in mind. It boasts many playgrounds, cafes and bars and has the perfect surface for riding your bike or roller skating. Further back from the sea you will discover the pretty town itself, with pedestrianised streets, squares and lots of great bars and restaurants. There’s also a large weekly market where you can pick up everything from fruit and veg to clothes and homeware.

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Guadalmina – Guadalmina is well located close to San Pedro and within easy reach of Puerto Banus and Marbella to the East and Estepona to the West. It has a great golf course, a padel club and a beautiful stretch of beach. It also boasts a bustling shopping centre with a big supermarket, several banks, lots of restaurants and bars and even a cooking school. It is an elegant residential area, where you can find peace and tranquillity, within a short drive of everything that Marbella has to offer.

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Bahia de Marbella – Leaving Marbella and driving past the popular La Cañada shopping centre towards Fuengirola you will arrive in the popular area of Bahia de Marbella in around five minutes. This pretty residential area has a beautiful beach, a number of great restaurants and even a thriving rugby club. If you’re looking for peace, easy parking and a lovely beach area, this is a good choice for you. We’d recommend you hire a car if you’re staying in a holiday rental here, to make the most of the area and be able to explore nearby Marbella and Puerto Banus.

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Rio Real – Just a few minutes’ drive to the east of Marbella is the peaceful, pretty area of Río Real. It boasts a fantastic golf course and a number of very popular beach resturants, including the fantastic Trocadero Arena. The beaches in this area are fantastic and there are watersports on offer nearby. This area is a good choice for holidaymakers looking for a combination of golf, beaches and a quiet getaway, yet still within easy reach of Marbella and all its charms.

 

As you can see, the area of Marbella offers holiday makers an incredible choice of locations and activities. We have holiday rental properties in Marbella to suit all tastes and are on hand to advise you what type of property, in what location would be best for you. Please contact us and ask us for our recommendations and let us make the most of your next holiday to Marbella.

 

Natural wonders within easy reach of Marbella

Marbella is well known for its beaches, shopping and nightlife, but there are also some wonderful green spaces to enjoy. Our favourite is the Parque de la Constitución, close to Marbella’s port. This park is full of mature trees, water features and winding paths. Take a picnic, or visit the small café and take a moment to enjoy nature. But this is just the tip of the iceberg if you have a car and are happy to explore.

Within just a few minutes’ drive of this cosmopolitan hot spot, you can escape into nature and explore miles of beautiful woodland in the “LLlanos de Juanar” up behind the La Cañada shopping centre. You can enjoy the many different types of pines, as well as many different flora and fauna. The area is heaven for wildlife as well and you may spot mountain goats, eagles and other birds of prey. There are six routes to explore in the park, ranging in difficulty and length. Download the route information This is also the starting point for the demanding hike up the La Concha mountain, a 7,300 meter hike up to the iconic peak which dominates the Marbella skyline.

A little further afield from Marbella there is even more for nature lovers.

Take a short trip up to the beautiful town of Ronda, with its stunning scenery, including the impressive gorge. It is set in incredible countryside and there are a number of hiking routes which you can explore. The area is also famous for its wine, and you can visit the bodegas and enjoy the peace and beauty of the vineyards.

Around thirty minutes’ drive from Marbella is the pretty village of Mijas, and nature lovers will enjoy the well signed hiking routes around the back of the village. Ask in the Tourist Office for route maps and information, they also run regular guided hikes if you prefer to explore in a group.

El Torcal, is approximately an hour and a half away from Marbella, near the pretty town of Antequera and is one of the most striking natural parks in the area. It boasts extraordinary rock formations and three well marked walking routes through the park and you may see orchids, wild roses and many other plants and shrubs as well as many type of birds of prey. If you visit El Torcal, make sure you visit the Dolmens, an ancient site, so special that it is on the UNESCO World Heritage list. These are prehistoric burial chambers dating back 5,000 years and there’s a good visitors’ centre which explains more about this incredible place.

Around an hour away from Marbella in the other direction, you can visit Gibraltar and climb the Mediterranean Steps. If you have a head for heights and are in good shape, it’s a wonderful hike. The views are breath taking and you will get to see the famous Barbary Apes up close. Start from Jews Gate and climb the steep path up to O’Hara Battery close to the Rock’s summit.

Last but not least, we would recommend walking the Caminito del Rey, inland from Malaga. It is fast rising in popularity as one of the best activities in the area, so booking tickets in advance is essential. This hike is around 7.5 kilometres and normally takes between two and three hours. The highlight is sections which hug the cliffs and cross the El Chorro gorge via an amazing suspension bridge. It comes highly recommended and to make it easy for our guests, we have partnered with a tour company to offer half day private tours from Marbella to the Caminito del Rey. Please contact us to arrange the tour.

As you can see, Marbella is a great base for an active holiday, with many wonderful places to explore a short drive away. At Vacation Marbella, we have hand picked a selection of luxurious holiday rental properties. These make a wonderful place to rest, relax and recharge your batteries, leaving you ready and raring to go to explore the stunning nature within easy reach. Please browse our selection of Marbella vacation rentals online, our contact our helpful team and we’ll offer our recommendations based on your needs and preferences.

 

Top 10 restaurants in Marbella

Marbella is a true foodie paradise with a whole host of wonderful restaurants to choose from. You’ll never struggle to find somewhere to suit your mood, or different palates. We have a selection of our favourite 14 Marbella restaurants on our website for you to check out. However, many of our holiday rental clients are asking for the “best restaurants in Marbella” so in this article we are going to try and answer that question.

To start with, we had to look at what TripAdvisor has to say on the matter and checked out their list of  top ten restaurants in Marbella as rated by the TripAdvisor users. Now of course this changes frequently and depends how well the restaurants manage their pages, but it is a good place to start.

Currently rated as number 1 (at time of writing) is the Wabi Sabi, a Hawaiian restaurant serving the much loved poke bowls, their version of the iconic Loco Moco and other favourites such as burgers and ribs. This is a little place close to Marbella port and certainly looks like it’s delivering something different, tasty and fresh here in Marbella, with good options for food intolerances and vegetarians.

Very close by is the second-place offering, an American style rib shack, which according to reviewers serves “the best ribs ever”. They rustle up original Memphis style ribs, as well as other favourites such as pulled pork wrap, Caesar salad, nachos, and chicken wings.

Back from the beach is Pizzeria da Michele, which is currently ranked third in the list. It serves Sicilian style pizzas, is popular for its friendly staff and is apparently “the best pizza in Marbella”.

Moving on from TripAdvisor, we wanted to look at another benchmark of quality and highlight the prestigious establishments which have been awarded a coveted Michelin Star. Marbella boasts an incredible four restaurants with Michelin stars and many more that are highly ranked by Michelin.

The top restaurant according to the Michelin Guide is Dani Garcia at the Puente Romano, which has been awarded an incredible three stars – the very highest honour, which represents “superlative cooking by chefs at the peak of their profession”. However you only have a few days to try this incredible restaurant, as it is closing its doors on the 15th of November.

If you can’t get a table at Dani Garcia before it closes, don’t worry, there are three more fantastic options for a Michelin starred feast in Marbella, each of which boasts one star.

Skina is nestled away in the pretty white streets of Marbella’s Old Town and is a tiny, fine dining restaurant, with a big reputation.  They pride themselves on using the best quality ingredients and traditional Andalusian flavours and combining these with creativity and flair. You can choose a taster menu which highlights the best seasonal produce and splash out on the wine pairing option, but this will set you back 235€. Alternatively you can choose from the three course a la cart menu where you can select three dishes from the menu for 130€ per person without wine, or 180€ for the pairing option.

Messina is one of our favourites, that made it onto our list of recommended restaurants for its quality, ambience and more affordable price tag.  Chef Mauricio Giovani cooks international food, with dishes from his native Argentina, as well as Spanish and Asian flavours. They have taster menus starting from 69€ per person, with a 28€ wine pairing option and you can also select from an a la cart menu. Read our overview of Messina for more information.

Last but not least is El Lago, which has maintained its one Michelin star since 2005.  Unlike the other two, this isn’t in Marbella Town itself, but is located in Elviria in the Marbella district, a short drive from Marbella itself. This stunning restaurant is located in the club house of Greenlife Golf in Elviria Hills, with great views over the golf course and lake. They use the best local products and modern and traditional techniques to create unique flavours and textures. They have a number of taster menus starting from 72€ per person and offer an option to do a wine pairing, or a selection of local wines from 23€ per person.

As you can see from these highly rated restaurants, TripAdvisor and our selection of 14 recommended restaurants it is very hard to choose the top ten.  However, we hope that these recommendations will help you to find your perfect restaurant on your next holiday in Marbella.

If you and your travelling companions particularly love one style of food or another, or you are looking to celebrate a special occasion, our helpful team of Marbella experts are on hand to advise you. We’ll also let you know the best loved restaurants located close to your holiday rental property so you don’t need to travel too far to enjoy fabulous food.

WHY VISIT MARBELLA IN WINTER

puerto-banus

Marbella is well known around the world as a paradise and most people know about its beaches and where to sample the best cocktail as the sun goes down on those balmy summer evenings, but how about the rest of the year?

Anyone who says that Marbella is just a place to visit in the summer clearly hasn’t enjoyed its off peak delights. For those of us that live here all year round, we love the cooler and less crowded months where you can more easily experience the real Marbella and without having to share it with all the tourists. So in this post, we want to share the advantages of travelling to Marbella in the winter and how to make the most of those off-peak trips.

Marbella basks in 320 days of sunshine each year

Thanks to its privileged location under the protection of the Sierra Blanca mountains, Marbella enjoys a microclimate which gives it cooler summers and warmer winters and makes the temperature ideal all year round. The average temperatures during the winter are 18° during the day and it rarely dips beneath 10° even at night. As well as these mild temperatures, it gets an average of 320 days of sunshine per year, so it definitely deserves its place on the “Costa del Sol”.

This microclimate and sunny weather make it a lovely place to spend time over the winter and explains why so many Northern Europeans, Scandinavians and Brits spend their winters here. If you are planning a winter getaway to Marbella, here are our six favourite winter activities for you to try.

Stroll the seafront promenades without the crowds

One of the many pleasures of a holiday on the coast is a stroll along the seafront, and Marbella has a wonderful stretch of “paseo” for you to explore. Our favourite time to stroll is sunset, when you will have the paseo almost to yourself and can admire the beautiful views across the Mediterranean all the way to the Rif Mountains in Morocco. Nature certainly puts a show on for us at this time of year! There is a lovely walk between Puerto Banus and Marbella, where you’ll enjoy designer shops, beautiful beaches and a great choice of bars and restaurants to stop and rest weary feet, or admire the view.

Eat al fresco on your own terrace

Enjoying your lunch or dinner in the sunshine on your own terrace is hard to beat. Winter is the best time to eat outside, when the sun is not as strong, the air temperature is cooler and it’s much more comfortable to be out in the sun. Vacation Marbella’s properties have some incredible terraces for dining, relaxing and sunbathing and they are perfect all year round. Take a look at the terrace in this two bedroom apartment in Ventura Sea Breeze – there’s plenty of dining and sunbathing space and great views too. You will be spoilt for choice for outside space in this Marbella villa including a pretty courtyard, private garden with sunbathing area, first floor terrace and a rooftop deck with comfortable seating and panoramic sea views.

Shop til you drop and get the full attention of the sales staff

Marbella and Puerto Banus are shopping hot spots and definitely a big draw for our visitors. Travelling to this retail paradise in the winter allows you to visit all the shops at your leisure and enjoy the experience without the queues. Shop mid week and during the day and you’ll have the sales team at your disposal and the shops pretty much to yourself.

In Marbella we’d recommend a stroll around the independent boutiques in the Old Town. It’s great to explore the winding streets lined with flowers, discovering pretty plazas and stores selling everything from clothes to jewellery, art to ceramics and local delicacies. But if you love designer labels and international brands, a trip to Puerto Banus is a must. This famous port has all the big names in a very small area including Dior, Cartier, Gucci, Dolce & Gabbana and many more.

Play golf

Lovers of the beautiful game of golf will be in heaven in Marbella. The sheer number and quality of golf courses in this area is hard to believe and the sunny weather and blue skies provide the perfect conditions for a round. Autumn and winter is the best time of year to play golf here in Marbella, as it’s just the right temperature and the visibility is the best.

As golfers ourselves, we’ve made sure we have a wonderful selection of properties for a golf holiday. Staying in this Los Naranjos Townhouse, in the heart of the golf valley, you are just two kilometres from three fantastic courses – Los Naranjos, Aloha and Las Brisas.

Climb La Concha and enjoy the best views

A winter break is the perfect time to climb the La Concha mountain a truly iconic sight on the Marbella skyline. Leaving from the Refugio de Juana, you will hike 1,200 meters to the top of this impressive peak. Your reward is the most incredible views across Marbella and during the winter you have the best chance of seeing out all the way to the Atlas mountains in Africa – truly stunning. The hike takes around six hours in total, including the climb to the peak and the descent, and you need to be wearing suitable foot wear and take plenty of water, food and sun protection. Are you up to the challenge?

Horse ride on the beach

Many people dream of riding a horse along the soft sand of the beach, splashing through the waves. During the winter you can do just that here in Marbella. There are guides which offer two hour routes along the beaches of the Costa del Sol and keep you and the horses safe and happy throughout the ride.

If you want to start to learn to ride, Marbella is a great place to learn. We recommend the equestrian centre Arrocha Equitación, which offers lessons for different ages and levels. If you love horses, you can also visit the Hipodromo Costa del Sol in Mijas to see the horse racing

This is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to all the incredible activities to enjoy in Marbella over the winter season. We’re here to help you make the most of your visit, so please feel free to ask us for recommendations on what to do in Marbella and the Costa del Sol, the best restaurants or insiders’ advice on all aspects of life in Marbella.

If a winter holiday in Marbella sounds like your idea of heaven, then what are you waiting for? Check out the stunning holiday homes on our website, make your choice and start preparing for your winter sun getaway.

THE PERFECT DAY IN MARBELLA

Are you on holiday in Marbella and don’t know what to do or where to go?

We can help! Here are our recommendations for creating the perfect day in Marbella.

To start the day right, you need a fantastic breakfast and there are loads of wonderful spots to choose from. One of our favourites is Celicioso, the best café for gluten free goodies in the area. Open from 9am it serves amazing cakes, breads and pastries, plus a great selection of pancakes and egg dishes, which will make sure you have a great start to your day.

After a delicious breakfast, we suggest you head to one of Marbella’s beautiful beach clubs. Opium Beach (I can’t find anywhere called OPIUM MAR VEAN in Marbella, do you mean this place?  https://opiumbeachmarbella.com/en) is an excellent choice. You can relax on Balinese Beds, bask in the sun, enjoy refreshing and creative cocktails and light bites with great music right by the sea.

Once you’ve had enough sun, sea and sand, we recommend heading into the historic Old Town for a stroll. This charming area is lovely to explore, with great shopping and beautiful white washed streets, which will take you back in time. From there continue your walk down to the sea and along the promenade for happy hour at the Cappuccino Grand Café. This is the perfect spot to enjoy a cocktail whilst the sun goes down.

Last but not least, you need to experience Marbella at night! We are lucky to have a wonderful variety of amazing restaurants. However with so many to choose from, it can be tough to decide, so we have prepared a Marbella restaurant guide with our favourites!

After a delicious meal in a magical place, we suggest you head to OCCO Marbella for an after-dinner drink, a place so beautiful it will leave you speechless.

Then it is on to the clubs for a night you won’t forget! Marbella is well known as a party town and the choice of clubs is legendary. The place to be right now is Momento, where you can enjoy the best DJs, concerts and atmosphere until the sun rises once more.

 

We hope that these recommendations help you to make the most of your stay here in Marbella. Have a wonderful trip!

 

The Vacation Marbella Team

GOLF CLASSES IN MARBELLA

A b o u t   G o n z a l o . . .

Head Instructor and Founder of Gonzalo Golf Academy. He has a Bachelor degree in Business Administration by Coastal Carolina University (South Carolina, United States) and a Masters degree in Professional Golf Management by the PGA of America.

The experience of Gonzalo in the golf industry stands out for working in the best golf courses in the world.

Among others, TPC Sawgrass (Florida, EEUU) Headquarters of the PGA Tour and host of THE PLAYERS CHAMPIONSHIP.

He also worked at Real Club Valderrama (Ranked as the best golf course in Europe by magazine Golf Digest) where it hosted the Ryder Cup of 1997 and as of today is host of the Andalucía Valderrama Masters.

Gonzalo also sums various years of experience as a golf instructor. Giving lessons to a large group of players that go from, adults, kids, golf professionals to people with mental disabilities.

 

A b o u t  t h e G. G. A . . .

 

Gonzalo Golf Academy (G.G.A) was created with the aim to improve the game with specific programs tailored to suit any level, from beginners to low handicaps.

The foundation of the academy is to allow players to see the game easier and visually. Using the latest technologies of video analysis, the GGA guarantees immediate results.

GGA´s philosophy is based on making each lesson professional, personal and above all a fun experience. The values inculcated by the instructors of the GGA to their students are: determination, perseverance, and specially a good attitude.

Our methodology is based on the easy compression of each lesson. Each student/ player will receive an email at the end of the first class, showing the main areas of improvement and changes made by the teacher. Another detailed email will be sent out at the end of each period of 5 lessons, allowing a clear visualization of the evolution of each player.

A b o u t   o u r L u x u r y   S e r v i c e s . . .

The GGA stands out not only for their specific and tailored made golf lessons, but also their exclusive and luxurious services. At the Costa del Sol is the only Golf Academy that sends Video Analysis right after each lesson, providing the client with a much better view of what he/she needs to work on, or improve.

The golf lessons at the GGA include:

 

  • Welcome Pack
  • Golf Clubs (If they need them)
  • Luxury Transport (if they need it)
  • Golf Range Balls
  • Unlimited Water
  • Video Analysis (The pro will be filming the clients durinf the golf lesson, and at the end of each lesson, the clients will have a personalized video analysis in their email, to see what needs to be improved and the work done in the class).

 

Also, the GGA will cover all this aspects of the game:

 

  • Fundamentals of the Golf Swing
  • Golf Grip
  • Stance
  • Irons (long & short)
  • Woods and Driver
  • Putt
  • Putting Green Management
  • Rules of Golf
  • Bunker Shots
  • Chip & Flop Shots
  • Golf Course Management
  • Bio-Mechanics of the Golf Swing
  • And most important, the GGA guarantees a very fun experience!

 

 

The GGA provides its services in one of the finest Resorts at the Costa del Sol, Villa Padierna Golf Club. Villa Padierna has 3 golf courses: Flamingos (most commercial), Alferini (for low handicapers) and Tramores (exclusively for the Golf Academy use). This creates an incredible value to the GGA clients, since its all at their provision.

Every client that comes through Vacation Marbella will have a discounted price on every service!

 

Gonzalo is an excellent person, but above all is a great golf instructor. He makes it look very easy…you realize your mistakes quickly and see immediate improvements”                                            – Guillermo Ortiz (Alumno G.G.A)