Stuff your suitcase with swimwear, sun cream and flip-flops – lazing in the sun is the highlight of a holiday in Marbella. Situated in Andalucia’s Costa del Sol, this coastal destination has 24 sandy beaches for you to choose from. When you're not working on your tan, tour the walled Old Town and its medieval buildings, or get a glimpse of the lifestyles of the rich and famous in swanky Puerto Banus. Whether you're on a romantic break or travelling with the whole family, it’s always a good idea to book a Marbella villa, especially one with a private pool.
Live it up in opulent Puerto Banus
The resort town of Puerto Banus is a ritzy retreat for royalty, celebrities and many of the wealthiest people in the world, along with a constant influx of holidaymakers looking to enjoy a slice of the glamorous life. After setting your bags down in your Puerto Banus holiday letting, make a beeline for the marina, which serves as the area’s focal point of interest. It may sound silly, but yacht- and car-watching is a legitimate activity in Puerto Banus, so find a seat in one of the waterfront bars and cafes, and ogle the luxury and sports cars passing by. Chances are, you'll swiftly spot more than one Rolls-Royce, Bentley or Porsche. High-end shopping is another draw, with designer boutiques and a massive El Corte Ingles department store waiting for you to peruse the lavish goods on offer. As for the beaches, there’s Playa de Puerto Banus, also called Playa de Levante, on the eastern side of town, while popular Playa de Nueva Andalucia sits west of the marina. Both spots are family-friendly, featuring calm, shallow waters for the little ones to play in and a slew of beach bars to ensure the grown-ups have a steady supply of cocktails. Needless to say, the Puerto Banus beaches get very crowded at the height of summer, so a spacious, self-catering villa rental with a large private pool will definitely serve you and your travelling party well if you're visiting Marbella in July or August.
Marbella’s Golden Mile offers a string of nightlife spots
The Golden Mile is actually a misnomer, since this stretch from the Old Town on the western edge of Marbella – the orange tree–dotted, Castilian Renaissance–era Plaza de los Naranjos would be your landmark – to Puerto Banus spans around 4 miles. Holiday lettings in this area offer quick and easy access to a lively seaside strip of restaurants, bars and clubs, some of which are found along the palm tree–lined Paseo Maritimo promenade. At the same time, you'll be close to the Old Town, also known as Casco Antiguo, whose narrow streets are lined with colourful flower boxes. This walled old quarter has 2 parts. Barrio Alto is the one to visit for sightseeing, as it’s home to Marbella’s most notable historic buildings, including the 15th-century Ermita de Santiago, the city’s oldest religious building. Meanwhile, Barrio Nuevo features whitewashed houses with traditional tiled roofs. And if you just want to settle into a deck chair for an afternoon on the beach, the coastline is practically on your doorstep, especially if you snag one of the villas to rent in Marbella that are within a mile of the shore.
Hit the fairways in Nueva Andalucia
If you’d like to stay somewhere less flashy, consider the villa rentals in quieter, more laid-back Nueva Andalucia, which lies farther inland from the bustling marina of Puerto Banus. This sprawling neighbourhood is largely residential, with houses that exemplify traditional Andalucian architecture. Don't forget your golf bag at home – Nueva Andalucia’s eastern section is also known as the “Golf Valley”, where you'll find golf courses like Los Naranjos and Las Brisas, both of which were designed by the renowned American golf course architect, Robert Trent Jones. Although Nueva Andalucia is set back from Marbella’s 24 beaches, they're a short drive away if you're hankering for some sand and sea. Alternatively, bask in the sunshine on your villa rental’s pool deck, or head for Lago de los Tortugas (Turtle Lake), a tranquil reservoir with swimming beaches and picturesque mountain scenery.