One of Europe’s best-known and most glamorous destinations, Marbella has an excellent year-round climate, well-developed tourism infrastructure, and a much in-demand property market, both for purchase and rental, among national and foreign clients.
The municipality of Marbella is home to nearly 150,000 people, centered in and around the coastal cities of San Pedro de Alcántara and Marbella itself, as well as in the areas of Nueva Andalucía and Las Chapas.
Lying to the east of Estepona and west of Mijas, and bordering the villages of Benahavís, Istán, and Ojén inland, Marbella covers an area of close to 117 square kilometres, including 29 kilometers of Mediterranean coastline and reaching an altitude of more than 1,200 metres at the summit of La Concha, its iconic peak.
The city of Marbella is 57 kilometres from the provincial capital, Malaga, and is connected via the A7 highway and AP7 toll road. Malaga’s Pablo Ruíz Picasso International Airport (AGP) is just 45 kilometres away.
The city has two distinct areas: the historic old town (casco antiguo) – with Roman, Moorish, and Christian remains, whitewashed and cobbled streets, beautiful squares, like the Plaza de los Naranjos, local museums, and boutiques; and the modern extension (ensanche), built since the 1960s, that stretches down to the sea, via the botanical garden in the Alameda and sculpture-lined Avenida del Mar, and along the coast on both sides.
The Golden Mile
Marbella’s exclusive Golden Mile is actually 6.4 kilometres (4 miles) long, starting at the western boundary of the town and running along the coast to Puerto Banús. Home to many of Marbella’s most famous residents and some stunning properties, it is also the site of hotels like the Meliá Don Pepe and Puente Romano. Development began in the 1950s when Prince Alfonso de Hohenlohe established the Marbella Club and, today, it remains the most sought-after address among the seriously rich. The social scene revolves around its chichi beach clubs and fine-dining restaurants, while big-name boutiques are stocked with the latest fashion. The property selection goes from apartments and townhouses in pueblo communities near the beach, with prices from 250,000€, to contemporary and classically designed mansions in premium areas like Sierra Blanca and Cascada de Camoján where, if you need to ask the price, you probably can’t afford it.
Located west of the Rio Verde river and south of Nueva Andalucía, Puerto Banús is a luxury recreation of a Mediterranean coastal village, centred around its celebrated marina. The playground of the conspicuously wealthy, it is filled with private yachts, expensive supercars, and beautiful people who spend their time and money in its upscale boutiques, international restaurants, and lively bars and clubs, making it the ideal place to see and be seen. The area’s housing stock is mostly made up of apartments, ranging in size from pied à terres to sizeable duplex penthouses, in low-rise, compact developments, many enjoying views over the marina, while a few, high-end seafront villas line the beach to the west. Prices range from 250,000€ to the millions.
Popularly known as Golf Valley, Nueva Andalucía stands on a hillside stretching from the coast road to the toll highway, encompassing parts of Marbella and Benahavís municipalities. The area has lots of facilities for sports lovers, including three championship golf courses: Las Brisas, Los Naranjos, and Aloha, and the Manolo Santana Racquets Club. It is also well served with other amenities, like the Centro Plaza shopping and leisure complex, Casino Marbella, and a up-market selection of smaller shops, restaurants, bars, and hotels. The housing market ranges from apartments and penthouses, some in gated communities, starting at less than 200,000€ to single-family villas in high-end developments with front-line golf and Mediterranean views.
San Pedro de Alcántara
Surrounded by the mountains of the Sierra Blanca to the east, Sierra Real to the north, and Sierra Bermeja to the west, San Pedro occupies a fertile valley that runs from the toll highway to the sea, 10 kilometres from Marbella. With a population of 35,000 and a quieter, more relaxed feel than its neighbour, San Pedro town is divided into two distinct areas: the historic centre, full of local shops, tapas bars, and pretty squares, and the more modern district reaching from the coast road to the beach, with its restaurants and 5-km. promenade. Properties start from 200,000€ for apartments with pools and gardens near the golf courses of Guadalmina Alta to spacious beachfront estates that can cost into the millions.
To the west of San Pedro, bordered by the Arroyo del Chopo to the east and the Rio Guadalmina to the west, Guadalmina Baja reaches inland from the sea past the N340 road, surrounded by the fairways of Guadalmina Golf Club, home to the Costa del Sol’s second oldest course. Originally developed in the late 1950s, the area grew up around the four-star Hotel Guadalmina Spa and Golf Resort and is known for its quiet sense of luxury.
The neighbourhood’s numbered streets are lined with high-end apartments and townhouses in gated communities, starting from around 400,000€, and imposing seafront mansions, with prices to match, on large plots with direct beach access.
Stretching 12 kilometres from the town’s eastern boundary, from the Rio Real area, with its three golf courses – Rio Real, Santa Clara, and the Marbella Golf and Country Club – to the pretty marina of Cabopino, Marbella East is less developed than the western side, but still boasts a number of high-end villa urbanizations such as Los Monteros, Las Chapas, and Marbesa. The area is also home to some of Marbella’s best beaches, with plenty of chiringuitos to chose from on the sands. The property selection includes everything from apartments in Los Altos de Marbella to building plots in Elviria and El Rosario, with prices from the low 200,000€s to huge seafront residences in Los Monteros with multi-million-euro price tags.