While you can mingle with the glamorous nightlife of Marbella or relax and stroll through the quaint and picturesque side of the town, don’t forget about the surrounding areas. One of the best parts of this beach destination is the geographical location fit for some amazing day trips. Stay nearby in one of the Marbella hotels and soak it all in.
Malaga is not only a bustling hub on the Costa del Sol with downtown beaches, but one of the oldest cities in the world. You can spend your day wandering the Alcazaba, the Moorish fort that once protected Malaga from thieves, or visit the oldest remains in the city: the Quecha Theater, which dates back to the first century BC. The Gibralfaro Castle boasts can’t-miss views of the city, and the Picasso Museum, filled with drawings, sketches, and paintings by the great artist, is a must visit for art lovers. Malaga is a one hour drive by car.
You’ll need your passport for this one! To visit this British territory on the southern tip of Spain, you’ll have to wait to cross the airport runway – the only airport in the world with a road through it! Once on the rock, you can take the cable car to the top of the mountain for unforgettable views, visit medieval castles, explore the caves, and, of course, see some of the only wild monkeys in Europe! Legend goes that if they ever leave, so will the British. You can reach Gibraltar by car in just under one hour.
Ever dream of kitesurfing along white sandy beaches in an exotic land? Or at least watching others do it while you sip a cocktail? Then you want to visit Tarifa. Known as a surfers paradise for all those who paddle out, or catch the wind in their kites, its crystal blue waters and white beaches make for the perfect backdrop to any day. Tarifa is also where you can catch the ferry to Morocco. The drive to Tarifa from Marbella is between one hour and one-and-a-half hours.
Just a 14km ferry ride from Tarifa, why not visit the African continent and absorb an entirely new culture while visiting Marbella, Spain? Return tickets on the ferry cost less than $65 USD if you travel without a car. Tangier is best for walking around, visiting and bargaining at the famous market Casa Barata (house of cheap things), and eating local cuisine. Visit the Dar el Makhzen (Sultan’s Palace) and the Kasbah mosque built in 1230! If you’d like a guide, check out all the awesome tours offered. Tangier is a safe city and the hub to many cultures. French and Arabic are spoken, but so is English, Spanish and various other languages. The trip from Marbella to Morocco will be about three hours by car and ferry.
Granada, Cordoba and Seville are also beautiful historical cities worth a visit if you have enough time in Andalusia. The south of Spain is filled with many essential small cities among white villages in the mountains. I guess it’s just a good excuse to stay longer or book your second trip back to the Costa del Sol before you even leave.