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Travel to Marbella, Spain's chic holiday resort

By Amy Adejokun Amy Adejokun Section editor

Our Editorial team's advice

Go to the flagship destination of the Costa del Sol! Marbella is to Spain what Saint Tropez is to France: a former typical village, which has retained its charm despite the rapid development of tourism facilities and its 'jet-set' image.

The charming streets of old Marbella, nestled in the heart of the city, make you quickly forget the concrete buildings, the traffic and the hustle and bustle of the Costa del Sol. This former Arab district is a maze of narrow and twisted streets, where you can happily lose yourself while exploring. The famous Plaza de los Naranjos is the hub of old Marbella where it is a real pleasure to sit on the café terraces in the shade of blossoming orange trees. On your way, stop off at the Church of Nuestra Señora de la Encarnacion; at the Museum of Spanish Contemporary Etching; at the Bonzai Museum and at the Virgin on the Balcony, which is surrounded by bougainvillea.

As for the coastline, the long beaches are dotted with luxury hotels and some of the best restaurants in Spain, also some of the most overcrowded! As for water sports, 'Funny Beach' is is a club not to be missed, offering a complete range of water and land sports.

Marbella is not only about beaches however, it is also known for its golf courses (there are a dozen of them!) The San Pedro de Alcantara is particularly popular with the English and every year the golf valley attracts golf professionals and enthusiasts from all over the world. Only four miles from Marbella, Puerto Banus is a marina which is frequented by a number of local celebrities and it boasts almost a thousand sailboats and yachts, each one more luxurious than the next. Along the marina you will find a multitude of restaurants, bars, antique dealers and luxury shops, which are often open all night during the high season.

It is also possible to opt for more remote sightseeing trips from Marbella. The most curious tourists and British crown devotees go to admire the legendary rock of Gibraltar. Finally, many travel agencies offer tours across the Mediterranean Sea to Morocco, Ceuta and Melilla.

To see

A few miles from the coast, up in the hills, do not forget to visit the charming traditional villages of Mijas and Ojen in the Sierra Blanca and Istan (Blanca and Istan Mountains). If you're seeking spectacular views, go for a stroll in the Sierra Bermeja along the Pico de Las Reales route which offers a magnificent view of the entire coast; you can even see Africa!

To do

Among the famous golf courses of Marbella, the green at San Pedro de Alcantara is particularly popular with English tourists. As for water sports, there's no lack of activities; from sailing and water skiing to canoeing, diving, and deep sea fishing it's all there, any takers?

pros

  • +  The charm of the old town.
  • +  The proximity of many golf courses.
  • +  The well connected and efficient bus service.

cons

  • -  Some hotels are quite far from the town centre.
  • -  The beaches are not spectacular.
  • -  Prices tend to soar in the summer.

To think about

A tour of Andalusia is not complete without a visit to some of the most beautiful areas in the region such as Seville, Cordoba, Granada and Ronda. The road winding through the white villages is also dazzling, if you plan such a trip you must take good sun protection as the sun really beats down in that part of Spain; inland, far from the coastal breeze.

To avoid

Of course it is wonderful to be in an exotic setting, sampling Andalusian specialties by the water's edge with your toes in the sand, but be aware that the restaurants on the seafront are usually more expensive and serve mediochre food compared to the smaller restaurants nestled in the hills of the city. Do not hesitate take a detour and drop in one evening!

To try

In addition to tapas and traditional dishes, sopas, which are hot or cold soups, can be found on every menu. You will also find many restaurants serving fish and seafood specialities, with cuttlefish, squid (fried or in a salad) and mullet in particular. The raw vegetable dishes are very good too. In short, you have a lot of choice.

To bring back

Among the local handicrafts you will find pottery, carpentry, marble statuettes, wrought iron, cushions and wallpaper.

Weather Marbella

These indicators are used as a set of criteria to predict overall weather conditions in Marbella . The different indicators are there to help you prepare for your trip to Marbella so you can make plans based on the weather forecast, whether it be a trip to the beach, walking, visiting attractions and museums or winter sports... Here you'll find a precise, overall weather score for each week in Marbella , which takes into account temperature indicators, bad weather predictions, sunshine levels and wind speeds.

Weather November
Overall rating 36/100
  • Temperature indicators 20% Cold

    Maximum temperature between 16°C and 18°C, the perceived temperature is <30°.

  • Bad weather indicators 60% Light showers

    Light showers - averaging between 10.5mm and 17.5mm per week.

  • Sunbathing indicators 50% Sunny intervals

    Cloudy with sunny intervals (40% to 60% cloud cover).

  • Swimming indicators 32% Chilly

    Sea temperature between 18°C and 20°C. Wind speed between 7 mph and 18 mph.

  • Wind indicators 60% Light wind

    Light winds (between 6mph and 12mph).

  • Humidity indicators 62% Normal

    Slight feeling of discomfort due air humidity registering higher than 65%.

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