The resort city of Marbella, Spain has all of the essentials for a luxury vacation: high end dining, comfortable accommodations, and relaxing beaches. However, Marbella has even more to offer than a typical luxury resort with opportunities to explore the Spanish landscape and indulge in local culture and cuisine.
After flying into Málaga Airport, follow the Costa del Sol south into the city of Marbella, where the opportunities for relaxation and adventure are endless. Pick a spot in the sand on Marbella’s sixteen mile coastline and dip your toes into the cerulean sea, or head over to Six Senses Spa at the Puente Romano Beach Resort, where you can treat yourself to a massage after your overseas flight. The resort area also has numerous golf courses and offers horseback riding. The beaches are bordered by a promenade lined with bars, fresh seafood restaurants, and shops where vacationers can bike or walk while watching the setting sun glisten off the Mediterranean waters.
Marbella’s Old Town provides a look into the city’s culture through the Gothic and Renaissance architecture that lines the streets. Visit the town hall, built in 1568, and the Chapel of Santiago, Marbella’s oldest religious structure. Take a rest outside a cafe along one of the cobblestone streets and admire the Old Town’s unique charm.
The surrounding cities and landscape give travelers a chance to explore outside of the resort and take part in new adventures. A scenic drive through the mountains leads to Ronda, a city situated atop a deep gorge, which divides the 15th century new town from the Moorish old town. The city overlooks expansive vineyards that offer tastings of expertly crafted wine and local delicacies. Ascari provides car enthusiasts with the opportunity to speed along Spain’s longest racetrack. Also close by is Granada, home of the famous palace, Alhambra, an ode to Moorish influence with its intricate carvings, flowing fountains, and bright mosaic tiles.
Drive an hour down the coast and get a taste of England in Gibraltar. Grab lunch at a traditional fish and chips shop. Later, hike up the Rock and see the famous Barbary Macaques, the only monkeys in Europe living free from captivity, and stare out over the strait to the mountainous northern Moroccan coast. Other highlights include the limestone St. Michael’s cave, the lighthouse at Europa Point, and the Moorish Castle.
The Caminito del Rey brings nature lovers along a two mile path that line the vertical walls of the Gaitanes Gorge and leads to a footbridge over the Guadalhorce River. Discover indigenous flora and fauna throughout the excursion, like mountain goats and golden eagles.
There are infinite other activities from Marbella that make the trip memorable. The Taste of Andalucía includes wine and olive oil tastings and food tours where travelers can nibble on traditional Andalusian specialties. Learn to cook Spanish dishes with the finest local ingredients, and spend an afternoon sailing along the clear waters of the Mediterranean.
With activities central to the resort area and excursions to surrounding cities, Marbella is the perfect base for a vacation in southern Spain that balances culture and luxury.