Marbella Property Insights & Area Guide
Certainly the most glamourous of the resorts on the Costa del Sol, and for many, the jewel in the crown, Marbella needs no introduction. The town has been popular with second homeowners and relocators since Europe’s aristocrats discovered it in the 1950s.
Today, Marbella spreads from Guadalmina in the west to Cabopino in the east, encompassing some of the most exclusive property on Costa del Sol. You’ll find plenty of variation in the many districts that make up the town and for a newcomer, choosing the right area for you can be a challenge. To help you, we’ve put together an area guide to Marbella with a description of each district and what’ll you find there.
Did you know? Marbella reputedly enjoys the best climate on the Costa del Sol and while it boasts 320 days of sunshine a year, the resort is never too hot in summer or too cold in winter.
Marbella’s main areas – West to East
Marbella starts in the west on the boundary with Estepona and Benahavis. This area is the most built-up part of the resort and the exclusive developments stretch far north. The west side is also home to the best golf courses in Marbella, located in the aptly named Golf Valley and southern Spain’s most famous marina, Puerto Banús.
Guadalmina Alta and Baja
Running along the Guadalmina River, this exclusive development is a favourite with golfers and those looking for a quieter location in Marbella. North of the A7 highway is Guadalmina Alta and south is Guadalmina Baja. Amenities centre around Centro Guadalmina with a good choice of shops and restaurants.
Highlights in Guadalmina: the Costa del Sol’s oldest golf course, quiet beaches and easy access to both Marbella and Estepona.
On the property market in Guadalmina: a mix of high-end low-rise apartment developments and villas. Many of those in Guadalmina Alta has frontline golf views, while in the south, you’ll find villas with direct access to the beach.
San Pedro de Alcántara
A small town in its own right, San Pedro has a decidedly Spanish atmosphere and offers excellent amenities. The pleasant boulevard with an open-air theatre and children’s playgrounds dissects the town on the north from the residential Nueva Alcántara and the beach to the south.
Highlights in San Pedro: a full range of amenities and small-town ambiance.
On the property market in San Pedro: in the town, you’ll find mostly older apartment blocks, while to the south in Nueva Alcántara, property is primarily high-end apartments and townhouses.
Did you know? Marbella’s coastline stretches 27km along the Mediterranean with miles of beaches, mostly sand. In 2022, six beaches flew the blue flag.
Around 18,000 people live in Nueva Andalucía, making it the largest residential development in Marbella. It’s also one of the firm favourites with foreign homebuyers and relocators and you’ll find a multi-cultural atmosphere along with a haven of peace and quiet. However, it offers a range of amenities onsite plus easy access to Marbella and Puerto Banús. Development has taken place around wide tree-lined boulevards, offering seclusion and tranquillity for residents.
On your doorstep are some of the best sporting facilities on the Costa Del Sol – golfers have the largest choice with five excellent courses in the area, located in Golf Valley at the northern end of Nueva Andalucía. Families opt for the area because of state and private schools and higher education establishments. There are also banks, shops and restaurants.
Highlights in Nueva Andalucía: well laid-out development, sporting facilities and amenities onsite, tranquil environment.
On the property market in Nueva Andalucía: at the southern end, centred around the bullring and in La Campana slightly further north, properties are mostly apartments. Elsewhere, villas abound, generally Mediterranean-style, and many sit on extensive plots. Those with elevated positions enjoy sweeping views of the coast and mountains.
Did you know? Sotogrande and Marbella share many features. Find out what they are in our Sotogrande location guide.
Famed for its luxury extravagance, Puerto Banús is one of Europe’s party hotspots and focal point for haute couture. The marina berths some of the world’s finest mega yachts – the biggest are regular visitors in the summer – while lining the harbourfront are designer boutiques from the most famous fashion houses and excellent restaurants. There are also several shopping centres and a large branch of El Corte Inglés, the Spanish flagship department store.
Puerto Banús is also home to a succession of small sandy bays with family-friendly chiringuito restaurants and some of Marbella’s top beach clubs such as Ocean Club Marbella. The marina’s fame has made it a favourite with celebrities and is the place to see and be seen in Marbella.
Highlights in Puerto Banús: the luxury living, excellent choice of restaurants and clubs, year-round buzz although winters are quieter and fine views of the coastline and mountains.
On the property market in Puerto Banús: marina properties are all apartments, built in the Mediterranean style and dating back to the early 1970s when the port was created. Outside the marina, you’ll find many high-end apartment complexes, usually gated and with excellent communal facilities.
Did you know? Marbella has no less than 22 golf courses, one of the highest concentrations in Spain and Europe. They include the oldest – Real Club de Golf Guadalmina and Rio Real Golf – as well as the sixth-best in Spain, Las Brisas.
For this area guide to Marbella, this section covers residential districts between Puerto Banús in the west and Rio Real in the east. In addition, the town has several exclusive developments at the foot of the Sierra Blanca mountains where you’ll find what many believe to be the best microclimate in Marbella.
The Golden Mile
Stretching just over a mile (2km) from Puerto Banús to central Marbella, this boulevard more than lives up to its name. Created in the mid-1950s when Marbella Club came into being, the Golden Mile brings together the best of everything. It’s home to Marbella’s top hotels, exuberant tropical gardens and fine wining and dining (Dani García, holder of two Michelin stars owns two restaurants here). In addition, you’ll find boutiques and art galleries plus some of the best real estate on the Costa del Sol.
Marbella’s most exclusive postcode attracts the world’s rich and famous – the Saudi royal family owns the White House replica and countless celebrities have bought property there. South of the boulevard lie some of Marbella’s quietest beaches despite being home to bustling beach clubs and two five-star GL hotels. The seafront promenade is also one of the scenic on the Costa del Sol and a favourite with strollers and cyclists.
Highlights in the Golden Mile: the verdant gardens, fine property, exclusive living and amenities.
On the property market in the Golden Mile: beachside, you’ll find secluded villas, many of which have direct access to the promenade, and high-end apartment complexes in a Mediterranean style – Marina Puente Romano is one of the finest examples. On the north side of the boulevard, properties are also mixed and range from spacious apartments to vast mansions via townhouses.
Named after the mountain range that forms its backdrop, this exclusive development is one of the most highly sought-after among foreign property buyers. In addition, the mountains provide its famous microclimate, protecting Sierra Blanca from strong ocean winds and tempering the summer heat.
Among its attractions is proximity to Marbella but with a more peaceful environment. Most properties here enjoy panoramic views of the coast and across the Mediterranean to Africa. There are few onsite amenities but those in Marbella are just a short drive away. The famous annual Starlite music festival takes place here.
Highlights in Sierra Blanca: secluded and tranquil environment, beautiful views, fine property and security since the complex is gated.
On the market in Sierra Blanca: all properties are at the higher end of the market, whether they’re spacious apartments or mansions in vast private gardens.
Did you know? Around 148,000 people live in Marbella, although the population swells as much as four-fold during the summer months. The foreign population numbers almost 39,000, with the British as the largest group.
Marbella proper is back down by the sea, an eclectic mix of uber-modern, charming history and traditional Spanish town living. The old quarter is one of the most attractive on the Costa del Sol and has conserved its typically Andalusian ambiance. Here, you’ll find a maze of whitewashed alleys and squares, home to boutiques, galleries, cafés and restaurants.
Marbella’s modern quarter is at the west end of town, with attractive tree-lined boulevards, home to homes with excellent communal facilities. Apartment blocks abound nearer the centre between the seafront promenade and the main street and many are holiday lets.
Highlights in Marbella Centre: pretty old quarter, attractive boulevards and seafront promenade and excellent amenities.
On the market in Marbella Centre: apartments are the most common type and many of those in the west carry a million-euro price tag. You’ll also find townhouse developments such as La Virginia and El Capricho plus a few villas on the north side of the town centre.
Once you pass under the famous Marbella archway, you enter the eastern section. This area reaches as far as Cabopino and includes Marbella’s best beaches. Several commercial centres dot the A7 highway and you’ll also find schools, Marbella’s main hospital and several golf courses.
Named after the eponymous hotel (5-star GL), this gated development is home to some of the finest properties on the east side of Marbella. The coastal position means many homes have sea views and several developments enjoy a beachfront situation. There are no amenities onsite, but Marbella town centre is just a short drive away.
Highlights in Los Monteros: seclusion, security and the best beaches in Marbella.
On the market in Los Monteros: a mixture of apartments with spacious communal gardens, townhouse properties and villas.
The largest residential area on this side of Marbella has the best amenities including schools, golf courses, shops and restaurants. On the sands are numerous chiringuito restaurants and beach clubs, including Nikki Beach. On the hilltops is La Mairena, an exclusive development with possibly the best views in Marbella.
Highlights in Elviria: range of onsite amenities, family-friendly ambiance and easy access to Marbella.
On the market in Elviria: apartments and townhouses, some frontline beach or golf positions and villas.
Did you know? At The Property Agent, we’re more than happy to share our expert advice on which area of Marbella is right for you. All you have to do is get in touch.
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