Marbella offers so much more than just beach and R&R. If you can prise yourself away from the sun lounger for a day there is a wealth of nature, culture and history out there to behold.
In no particular order, here are 6 of the best places to go to mix it up a bit on your next Marbella vacation.
Places to Visit From Marbella
Estepona is only 20 minutes away from Marbella and is another coastal resort with charming, cobbled streets bustling with life. You will find quaint and traditional beach bars and restaurants as well as a crop of new, funky tapas bars here, and a large stretch of sandy beach. Don’t miss the painted murals in town; a selection of over 60 murals found on the side of buildings and painted by local artists that gives Estepona a unique flavour. Why not take the mural route?
Estepona is located west of Marbella and easily accessible using the A-7 motorway.
Ronda is a popular choice. There won’t be many guidebooks on Marbella which don’t suggest a trip to this delightful mountaintop city which is swimming in history and offers spectacular views over the Serrania de Ronda mountains. Who knows, you might just fall in love all over again with views like this!
Ronda is 60km northwest of Marbella and accessible on the A-397, also known as the Ronda Road.
The locals call it “El peñón”, we call it “The Rock” and you can make up your mind what to call it after a visit. You will need your passport or ID card to get in, some comfortable shoes for a walk over the runway into town (yes really!) and an open mind. Why not meet the barbary apes who frequent the top of the rock by cable car, or benefit from the duty free shopping in town?
Gibraltar is situated 79km away from Marbella and accessible from the border with La Linea in Spain. Park at the border and walk across or ask a Swish representative about organised day trips.
Malaga is a cosmopolitan city and only an hour from Marbella even in traffic, there is no excuse not to visit. You will find all you would expect of a well-kept and proud city laden in history here, from shops and restaurants to culture. This was the birthplace of Picasso and his eponymous museum is just one of Malaga’s many art galleries. Our tip is to make time to explore the castle, Gibralfaro. Climb up on foot, and from here you will enjoy the most stunning views of the whole city.
Malaga is located east of Marbella, about 61km away. For those who are not driving, there are numerous busses, or a private car can be easily arranged if needed.
As beautiful lakes go, el Chorro is up there with the finest. Mini resorts like Ardales within the “El Chorro” area offer a peaceful day out, with private parking next to the lake and a serene spot to bathe, hire a pedalo or just spend the day with those you love.
El Chorro is about 75km away from Marbella and a slightly longer journey of just over an hour and a quarter via the A-355 and A-357, but well worth it for those stunning views. Set off early to ensure you get a great parking space and make a day of it.
Benahavís is so close to Marbella that if you like it, you will probably find yourself going back for a second or third night out there! This is a charming, white-washed mountain town that has a reputation for attracting the arty and foodie set, only 20 minutes from Marbella. Try some of its up-and-coming restaurants and bars. Newly opened for 2022 is the House of Flow, a social club with a private members’ style vibe, or La Taberna Fantastica, a restaurant and grill that is highly rated and offers a cosy setting.
To find Benahavís from Marbella, take the A-7 then the A-7175 all the way (uphill!) to Benahavís. Parking can be easily found once in town, just follow the signs.
Still stuck for inspiration? Why not ask us for ideas to make your stay even more memorable.
Places to Visit and Stay in Marbella
- Luxury accommodation near the beach in Marbella
- Breathtaking Villas in Marbella for Large Groups
- The Swish Guide to Beach Clubs in Marbella in 2022
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