Marbella is a favourite spot to soak up the Mediterranean sun, especially when the weather back at home is cold and grey. But there is such a thing as too much sunshine, and sometimes everyone needs a break in town. Fortunately, this is a lovely little city full of charm and beauty. I’ve found that its quaint shops and delightful streets can provide a the perfect incentive to stretch your legs.
Take a Tour of Marbella’s Old Town
Marbella is famous for its resorts and beaches, but its Casco Antiguo (“Old Town”) is not to be missed. This maze of twisty, narrow streets winds its way between lovely whitewashed buildings and offers something new at every turn. The quarter is so packed with cobblestone streets and brightly coloured houses that it will be hard to put down your camera.
Orient Yourself around the Orange Square
There are officially two historic areas in the Old Town: Barrio Alto and Barrio Nuevo. Both of them date back to the sixteenth century, when the city was under Arab rule. Today this area is full of lovely plazas with quaint cafes and charming parks, all clustered around the central Plaza de los Naranjos (“Orange Square”) which dates back to 1485. It’s a lovely area for shopping and dining, and also features the Museum of Contemporary Spanish Engravings housed in the Hospital Bazán, an intriguing historical building.
It’s easy to get lost walking around the Old Town’s winding alleyways, but you’d better do so in the morning. Later in the day, the sun heats things up too much and may make a walking tour a bit uncomfortable.
Top Tip: If you’re taking a long walk through the Old Town, do it in the morning and avoid the hottest parts of the day.
Take a Rest in the Shade
To escape the peak times of the sun, take a break and experience the café culture of the Alameda Garden, not far from the Old Town. This lovely shaded park is full of fountains and tropical plants. All around the edge of the park are cafes, bars and restaurants that fill up throughout the course of the day. Whether you take a seat in the park or stop for a bite to eat in one of the cafes, this can be a fabulous spot to watch the world pass by.
Another option not too far away is the Parque de la Constitución (“Constitution Park”). This is a relatively new park, established in the 1980s, in what was once the garden of a private residence. Enjoy the cypress trees and beautiful flowers as you head towards the amphitheatre, which is a beautiful example of traditional Andalusian architecture. Outdoor concerts and plays are common here in summer months, so check ahead and see if you’re able to catch a performance. It’s an absolutely lovely environment to enjoy live entertainment.
Explore Salvador Dali by the Sea
The Avenida del Mar is a popular seaside walkway that extends west from the Old Town, best known for its collection of ten bronze-cast sculptures by Salvador Dali and two more by Eduardo Soriano. Dali was born and died in the Catalonian city of Figueres and was a titan of the twentieth-century art world. It’s unclear precisely what connection he had to Marbella, but these ten sculptures make this an unusual seaside stroll. Several of the sculptures have a distinctly classical theme, including a depiction of the Greek hero Perseus beheading Medusa and another of the Roman god Mercury.
Top Tip: If you want to enjoy the sculptures of the Avenida del Mar, take a walk in the evening or early morning to avoid the heat of the day.
How to Get There
There are several nonstop flights each day with several airline carriers including the budget companies like Ryanair and easyJet. Flights from London’s airports to Malaga Airport (AGP), the nearest airport, take a little under three hours on average.
Marbella is roughly 45 minutes down the coast, so pre-book a private ride from Shuttle Direct to take you directly to your hotel and start your holiday in a stress-free environment.
- Flight Time (London to Malaga Airport): 2 hours 45 minutes
- Distance from Malaga Airport to Marbella: 60 kilometres
- Shuttle Direct Transfer Time: 45 minutes
Where to Stay
Alanda Hotel Marbella – The Alanda Hotel is a luxurious 4-star accommodation with a spa and outdoor swimming pool. It offers views of both the Mediterranean Sea and the Sierra Blanca mountain range. There are four different bars and restaurants onsite, offering a range of international meals.
Senator Marbella Hotel – This hotel is just a few hundred yards from the Guadalpin Beach and features a rooftop pool, perfect for sunbathing and boasting gorgeous sea views.
About Shuttle Direct
As one of the premier airport transfer provider in Europe and North Africa, Shuttle Direct is a safe and trusted transportation option. Our process is simple because your travel should be simple. No hidden fees, long waits or disrespectful drivers. Book your transfer through our website and allow our professional staff to help you start your holiday on the right foot.