The Costa del Sol is one of the most popular destinations in Spain for tourists from all over Europe. Boasting some of the country’s best beaches, delicious Mediterranean cuisine and a balmy sub-tropical climate, it’s no wonder that everyone including the rich and famous flock to its coastline for a summer getaway. Well-known resorts include Fuengirola and Puerto Banus, however, it’s the city of Marbella that steals the show.
Just a short thirty-minute drive from Malaga airport, Marbella sits at the heart of the Costa del Sol. Thanks to its prime location, it welcomes visitors with sunny skies and some of the most beautiful beaches in the entire region; its most famous is the Golden Mile. As suggested by the name, you can expect soft golden sand, excellent local restaurants and plenty of historic sights to explore. It’s also known as a golfer’s paradise, thanks to the luxurious Marbella Golf and Country Club, as well as a number of other excellent courses.
This resort town has something for everyone, however, there are a few things that simply can’t be missed. Here is my list of must-see highlights during your stay in Marbella.
The Old Town
Whenever I arrive in a new city, the first place I explore is the old town. This is often the most picturesque and fascinating part of a city and it’s a great way to learn a bit about the history of a place – Marbella Old Town is no exception. Spend a day wandering around the cobbled streets and you’ll stumble upon the many treasures the resort has to offer, such as local bars, pretty terraces, chapels, museums and more. History lies around every corner!
The heart of this historic centre is the Plaza de los Naranjos, where you’ll find interesting buildings like the Casa del Corregidor and the Ayuntamiento. I also love to visit the churches of an old city and Marbella offers some beautiful ones, including the unmissable Iglesia del Santo Cristo de la Vera Cruz, which dates back to the sixteenth century.
It’s likely that Marbella’s magical beaches are its most popular attraction – and once you step foot on them, you’ll see why. The golden sand and sparkling blue waters have been attracting tourists from all over the world since the fifties and, over the years, its popularity has shown no signs of slowing. Whether you’re a sun-worshipping sunbather, can’t wait to get into the sea, or are here for the beach bar buzz, Marbella’s eighteen miles of beaches offer something for every holiday-goer.
Here are a few of my favourites.
Real de Zaragoza: This small and narrow stretch of sand is not as well known, but I think it’s one of the best. It’s a quiet beach that is perfect for relaxation and there are plenty of amazing restaurants nearby.
El Faro: The most famous beach in Marbella cannot be omitted from this list. It’s located in the centre of the coastline and is the longest stretch of sand in the area, making it ideal for everyone.
El Realejo: I love this beach for its calm atmosphere and beautiful surroundings. You’ll find tranquil waters and exotic plants, plus the Rio Real Golf Course is close by, making it perfect for when you want a break from a game.
The Archaeological Sites
Marbella’s history dates back to 1600 B.C., so there is plenty to please history buffs. Although it was founded by the Romans, it was during the Muslim period that it became an important city. You’ll notice this influence in the Old Town, with its typical Arabic layout networked by narrow streets.
The region’s long history means that there are lots of archaeological sites to discover, and one that you must see is the Basilica de Vega del Mar. Hidden in a forest of eucalyptus trees you’ll find the ruins of one of the earliest churches of Christianity, dating back to 300 A.D. If you want more, the six Beacon Towers and Las Bovedas Roman Baths are also worth visiting.
Where to Stay
El Fuerte Marbella – A stylish five-star hotel that offers all the amenities you could want during your stay. Its central location makes it the ideal accommodation from which to explore.
Apartamento Imperio 2 – An entire apartment with a fully fitted kitchen, living room, two bedrooms and two bathrooms, ideal for travellers that like a home-away-from-home. The beach is a short stroll away and you’ll have your own balcony for sundowners.
Amàre Beach Hotel Marbella – An adults-only hotel located right on the beach with luxuriously designed rooms, a spa and a great restaurant. The perfect accommodation for a special trip.
How to Get There
Travelling to Marbella from the UK is easy and relatively cheap, with some flights starting at just £20. There are daily flights from London to Malaga (AGP), which is the most convenient airport, offered by British Airways, Easyjet, and Ryanair to name a few. I’d recommend pre-booking a Malaga airport transfer to ensure that your journey is hassle-free. A private transfer (Malaga to Marbella) means that you can travel in comfort, which will set the tone for the rest of your trip. I love Shuttle Direct as they always provide a reliable airport transfer wherever you are, Malaga to Marbella included.
UK to AGP Flight Time: 2 hours 54 minutes
AGP to Marbella Distance: 50.5 kilometres
Shuttle Direct Marbella Airport Transfer Time: 40 minutes
Types of Transfer
Shuttle Direct offers a number of Malaga Airport to Marbella transfer types depending on your needs, budget, and preferences.
There’s nothing worse than waiting in the taxi queue after a flight. Shuttle Direct takes away that hassle with their private taxi service which will save you time while delivering quality service. If you pre-book, a Malaga airport taxi to Marbella is a very relaxing way to travel.
This is a great option for travellers looking to cut down on travel time and save a bit of money getting from Malaga Airport to Marbella. This cost-effective airport shuttle will get you from A to B without any delays or stress.
For those that value privacy and convenience, a private transfer is your best option. Shuttle Direct allows you to pre-book your driver so that you can sit back and relax from the moment you step off the plane.
Love a good deal and great service? The minibus service is the airport transfer for you! This is a shared vehicle that takes away from the stress of navigating public transport by providing comfortable and reliable transport with friendly drivers.
Choosing the Right Transfer
Selecting the best airport transfer type for you is important as it can set the tone of your trip. Important factors to consider will be your budget, how much luggage you’ll have and personal preference.
Cost: While all the options from Malaga Airport to Marbella provide excellent transfer services, privacy and comfort will cost a little more. If these are important to you, then opt for the more expensive private taxi service over the shared minibus, which will be slightly lower in price.
Convenience: All Shuttle Direct drivers are experienced and knowledgeable, however, some modes of transport are more convenient than others. A taxi will be faster than a minibus but the private transfer offers more comfort and privacy.
About Shuttle Direct
Shuttle Direct has been taking away the hassle of airport transfers from travellers for years and we are made up of a team of experienced, friendly drivers. No matter what kind of transport you’re looking for, from private luxury to affordable shuttles, we will help you get to where you need to go with a smile.