Marbella: Costa del Sol - Hot sun, chill lounges, sexy people, nightclubs, casino, fresh food and tons of shopping!
The Costa del Sol is one of the leading "Hot Spots" in the Mediterranean. Marbella is the most famous of the small towns that line the southern coast of Spain. Marbella is actually split into two areas, the old and the new. New Marbella is a modern town filled with the most luxurious hotels like The Marbella Club Hotel, delicious restaurants like Suite del Mar and tons of shopping with many brands you know and even some that you don't.
Old Town Marbella is really the only place in this area that you'll really feel like you are in Spain. It's a classic seaside village with narrow cobblestone streets lined with local traditional shops, restaurants, and cafes. Our favorite is Plaza de Los Naranjos. It still lives up to its name with the many Orange trees that fill its courtyard. If you are lucky you'll stumble upon one of the seemingly thousand "Saints Days" ceremonies performed each year.
Puerto Banus is just a few minutes from Marbella Town. Once you arrive, you'll see the unfortunate result of globalization in some restaurants and some shops that make you feel like your at the Mall of America and not in Europe. But, just close your eyes and don't look, it's like it's not even there.
Instead, walk off the main street toward the ocean (yes through the car gates that look like you shouldn't be entering) you'll find the main port that houses the 100+ foot yachts of the rich and famous, our top restaurant pick, Los Bandidos and high-end shops like Louis Vuitton. If you enjoy people watching, you'll never want to leave the port. Which ever open-air restaurant you choose, make sure your seat is closest to the port so you "people watching" won't be obstructed.
Heading down the coast you'll come upon Estepona. Laguna Village is here and it's the perfect place to spend the day if you just want to chill, have a great lunch and of course, do some more shopping! Lastly, we have Gibraltar and Tarifa. This is a great day trip from Marbella. These towns offer great views of Africa, terrific "wind" sports with a slightly more Arabic feel.
Marbella - Top 5 Tips
GOOD TO KNOW - THESE ARE THE 5 THINGS WE WISHED SOMEONE WOULD'VE TOLD US. IN MANY CASES IT COULD'VE SAVED TIME, SANITY AND TOLL MONEY!
1. Make a Reservation for Sunday @ Nikki Beach
On Sunday, the "place to be" is clearly Nikki Beach. Now, Nikki Beach is a great place to hang during the week to lay in the sun, hear chill music and sip some great cocktails. But as the weekend approaches it gets harder to get in. You'll be amazed at the lines to get in (not just the "que" as they call it, but the lines people will try to use to get in!) So, to solve this problem it's very simple.
Go on the Thursday or Friday before, spend the day by having lunch and renting a sunbed for about 125 euros. Then make a reservation with the sunbed manager (not your waiter or the hostess) for the following day for a sunbed. Then, make a reservation (with the hostess) for brunch as well, sometime around 2:00 p.m. will be fine considering you'll probably be out partying the night before until dawn!
Then when you show up on Sunday, the gates will part, you'll get your wristband and be able to party with the sexiest and wealthiest people on the Costa del Sol. The Sunday party will not disappoint you. As the sun gets higher, so does the crowd. Don't be surprised if you find yourself holding a Magnum of Champagne and spraying the crowd while dancing on top of the speaker box! Nikki Beach Marbella WWW.NIKKIBEACH.COM
2. HIT THE ARTESIAN MARKET
In Puerto Banus there is a huge outdoor marketplace. Each booth has local items. Make sure you go at the beginning of your trip, and pick up a Pashmina or two... or three....or...well, you get it. This is the perfect place to pick them up every color. Especially, considering the nights on the Costa del Sol can get chilly.
3. RENT A SMART CAR
Small cars are the easiest way to get around on the Costa del Sol. The Smart Car is our personal favorite. However, beware of two things:
- If you bring too large of luggage, it just won't fit. So pack light!
- If you think you reserved a Smart Car, read the fine print. It'll most likely say "Smart Car or Similar". So be specific about what you want or be ready for a surprise!
4. DRIVING AP-7 vs. A-7
A-7 always. This can get very confusing especially after a long flight from the states. So, if you have to stick a note to your Smart Car dashboard then do it. If you choose incorrectly, you'll be going for a long drive to Estepona!
5. SUNSCREEN Spf 15+
The weather is just like a woman buying shoes, unable to make up her mind! One day it feels like California and the next like Hot Lanta, either way the sun is hot and you'll bake so don't be stupid were your sunscreen regardless!
Best Time to Visit Marbella
Best time to go to Marbella is June - August. Miles and miles of beaches and the warm summer sun make Marbella the summer playground of the European jet set. Not to mention the port attracts some of the world's largest yachts as they make their Mediterranean tour.
July is a perfect month to sit at the beach and enjoy the European summer lifestyle that includes tons of Rose and the hot summer sun!
How to fly to Marbella?
Airport code: AGP (Málaga)
Pablo Ruiz Picasso Airport in Málaga is the easiest place to fly into. From there it is just over an hour to the Costa del Sol.
No U.S. city has flights directly into Málaga so catch a flight to either Paris, Rome, London or Madrid and then a connection to Málaga.
Area: The Costa del Sol is made up of many towns. The hottest spots are Marbella, Málaga, Fuengirola, Puerto Banus, Estepona and Tarifa. Weather: It's one of two ways: 1. California 70 degrees sunny 2. 80 degrees, hot and humid. Language: Spanish, however with the Castilian dialect. English is widely understood. Currency: Euro