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Overview

About halfway between Malaga and Gibraltar, in the heart of Spain’s Costa del Sol, Marbella occupies the sunniest place in Europe. Roman and Visigothic remains include a Roman arched bridge and some outstanding mosaic floors from a villa, survivors of a Roman town dating from 1600 BC. The paleo-Christian Basílica Vega del Mar and nearby necropolis are from the 4th century. But it’s not the history that brings northern Europeans in droves, it’s the miles and miles of wide sandy Mediterranean beaches. The town itself is well worth wandering in, along its narrow winding lanes lined by whitewashed houses with graceful balconies that show ...

About halfway between Malaga and Gibraltar, in the heart of Spain’s Costa del Sol, Marbella occupies the sunniest place in Europe. Roman and Visigothic remains include a Roman arched bridge and some outstanding mosaic floors from a villa, survivors of a Roman town dating from 1600 BC. The paleo-Christian Basílica Vega del Mar and nearby necropolis are from the 4th century. But it’s not the history that brings northern Europeans in droves, it’s the miles and miles of wide sandy Mediterranean beaches. The town itself is well worth wandering in, along its narrow winding lanes lined by whitewashed houses with graceful balconies that show their Moorish origins and influences. Walls are all that remain of a castle built during the Arab caliphates in the 8th century.

Near the shore is the Avenida del Mar, a park with tiled benches, a fountain and several sculptures by Salvador Dalí. The palm-lined Paseo Martimo, a wide promenade, borders the beach for four miles, and nearby on the coast is the chic little harbor of Porto Banus, a favorite watering hole for moneyed yachtsmen and tourists who come to gaze on the yachts. The biggest waterpark in the Costa del Sol is Aqualand in Torremolinos, and at the far west end is Nueva Andalucia, known as “Golf Valley” for its abundance of year-round golf courses.

Lura Seavey
About the Expert

Lura Seavey is the author of Fun with the Family in Vermont and New Hampshire and she has contributed to several Thomas Cook guidebooks, including Drive Around Catalonia, Travellers Mallorca, and Travellers Barcelona.

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Lura Seavey for Triporati

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Facts at a Glance

  • Location: Southern Iberian Peninsula, on Mediterranean coast. Marbella is a favorite for travellers. What was once a small white village of fishermen is now one of the most cosmopolitan beach resorts on the Costa del Sol in Spain.
  • Language: Spanish
  • Currency: Euro
  • Research: Andalucia | Malaga | Wikitravel
  • Weather: Daylight | Rainfall
  • Current Time:

Climate

  • Best Time to Visit:

    Spring-like temperatures hold from October to March, and the long summer is dry with temperatures in the 80s. In the second week of June, a gala festival celebrates the town‘s patron saint’s day.