Best Beaches to Visit in Marbella

By Julia Nilsson on - 15m. reading time

Marbella: Best Destination for Beach-Lovers

Those seeking a sun-fun-filled beach vacation need not look further than South of Spain, especially Malaga province, which offers 161 kilometers of sandy beaches of landscape diversity — plus top-notch hotels , one-of-a-kind restaurants and an impressive mix of things to do.

This summer, 50 beaches and marinas on the Costa del Sol will fly the Blue Flag, confirming cleanliness, quality, environmental management and safety. In 2024, Marbella has once again become the Andalusian municipality with the most Blue Flags, obtaining 11 awards. To Fontanilla, Nagüeles, Casablanca, El Cable, El Faro, Puerto Banús-Levante, San Pedro de Alcántara (Guadalmina) and Venús-Bajadilla, Cabopino is added to replace Adelfas-Alicate, plus Puerto Deportivo Virgen del Carmen de Marbella and Puerto José Banús.

Welcome to Marbella - European Best Destination 2024! Marbella beach

 Whether your beach goal is utter relaxation, playing with your kids and dogs, sipping pricey cocktails, or tanning in the nude, Marbella has got you covered. With no more and no less than 24 beaches along its 27 km of coastline, our town is a beach lover’s paradise. The best beaches in Marbella are as singular, as the town’s eclectic neighborhoods. With the chic Golden Mile, glitzy Puerto Banus, trendy Cabopino, and charming cultural enclaves like Old Town or San Pedro, Marbella’s personalities are many.

Best Beaches in Marbella

Since the 1950s, Marbella’s beaches have been the favourite destination of both Spanish and international tourists. They still are! From the calm, shallow waters of family-friendly Real de Zaragoza to siren song of the Ocean Club and buzzy glam of Nikki Beach, here are the best places to throw down a towel and soak up the sun on the Costa del Sol.   

11 Blue Flag Beaches and Ports in Marbella 2024:

  • Nagueles
  • La Fontanilla
  • Casablanca
  • El Cable
  • El Faro
  • Venus-Bajadilla
  • Guadalmina
  • Cabopino
  • Puerto Banús/Levante
  • Puerto José Banús
  • Puerto Deportivo Virgen del Carmen de Marbella
Marbella beach

8 Best Beaches in Marbella according to Tripadvisor:

  1. Playa de Puerto Banus
  2. Nagüeles
  3. Cabopino/Dunas de Artola
  4. Fontanilla
  5. El Faro
  6. Venus-Bajadilla
  7. Casablanca
  8. El Pinillo

Worth a Visit: Most Beautiful Beaches in Marbella  

  • Playa Hermosa (literally means beautiful)
  • Playa de la Vibora
  • Playa Real de Zaragoza

Best Beaches on Marbella’s golden mile

Marbella has its fair share of fabulous beaches, but the ones on the Golden Mile are quite possibly the most ultra-luxe. Along the beachfront of Marbella’s poshest neighborhood, expect to see plenty of chic, vintage sunglasses and designer bikinis on the sparkling white sand. Home to Marbella’s most iconic luxury hotels Marbella Club and Puente Romano, this area caters to Marbella’s style set and well-heeled holidaymakers.

Playa Nagüeles is one of the most beautiful beaches in Marbella and a preferred place for very many. Due to its massive popularity it’s always busy, especially during peak summer months. Swim in clean calm waters (Blue-flagged), rent a sun lounger, enjoy the sun and celebrity spotting. Hire a luxury yacht for a chic and stylish getaway on the sea. Have lunch at one of the restaurants with direct views to Africa. One of the suggested chiringuitos is Trocadero Playa, with Mediterranean dishes as their specialty.

Who it's best for: Fashionistas, trendsetters, and those who like to chill and drink at the best hotel beach clubs.

Playa del Ancón is one of the best beaches in Marbella. Located between Puerto Banús and Marbella, it is surrounded by abundant vegetation of palm trees and pine groves, and has typically dark Mediterranean sand, all kinds of services for bathers, and sports facilities. You can rent a catamaran, kayak or stand up paddleboard. But the name of the main game here is: relax! This beach is never full; you'll have plenty of space and privacy. Ancón beach is home to one of the most famous beach bars in Marbella, Victor's Beach. The parking situation is less than ideal.

Marbella beach

Urban beaches in Marbella

Playa Casablanca is sandy, well-maintained and catered for in terms of bars, restaurants and sun loungers. Bordered with many resorts, it offers a perfect blend of modern amenities and natural beauty. The Promenade invites to take a pleasant walk, get loads of exercise, enjoy yoga, and there’s always something interesting to see. Casablanca beach extends Fontanilla beach.

Approximately 1km long, Fontanilla is probably the main urban beach in Marbella. Located just a short walk from the centre, it backs onto the Paseo Maritimo, full of restaurants, kiosks, bars, cafés, shops, places to exercise, and all kinds of services. You can rent sun-loungers and parasols for reasonable prices. A wide variety of water sports includes jet skis. In numerous chiringuitos (basic, not fancy) you can have lunch or dinner with your feet in the sand. The food is very good especially if you stick to the basics: paella, fish on a skewer, fried seafood for sharing.

Who it's best for: Those who enjoy a busy urban beach scene with plenty of eye candy.

Playa del Cable is another favourite spot for locals. Its fine sand, ample services and amenities, along with its beach bars, make it Marbella’s trendiest beach. If you are looking to enjoy the luxurious details, chill-out music and relaxed atmosphere, and not having to deal with a big sum of money, this is your destination.

The beach got its name from the cable that used to cross the city transporting minerals towards freighters. It’s one of the few memories that remain of Marbella’s mining and steel past. Today, it’s the most modern beach in Marbella. Although its official name is Cable Beach, it is also known as Bounty because of the popular bar nearby. Young people consider it the coolest beach of the Costa del Sol. Groups of them come to play volleyball and rent pedal boats and canoes. In summer, don’t miss Sunday parties.

All these urban beaches have the Blue Flag for their excellent facilities and cleanliness.

Best family-friendly beaches close to Marbella Centre 

Playa el Faro is a very small sheltered stretch, only 200m long and 30m wide. It’s quite busy because of its convenient location close to Marbella’s Old Town and many hotels. Popular with families, it has a large children's play area, shallow sea with calm waves, and a safe environment. Young and old will feel at home!

Playa la Venus is named after the bronze statue of the Roman goddess Venus on a water-ski placed there in 1972. This Amazon of the Water protecting her beach has become a much-loved symbol of Marbella. However, her tale of woe includes removing, installing in other places, unsuccessful restoring for a few times, and sending to Madrid, where Marbella Venus was finally restored to her former beauty… but that’s another story.

La Venus, Marbella beach

Marbella Venus was created by Francisco Fernández Burgos, a sculptor from Granada.

Backed by the Paseo Maritimo, a relatively small Venus Beach is always busy. It attracts families, as it has children's play area close by and variety of water-sports. The ample facilities include restaurants, toilets, showers, sun loungers, parasols, a little parking and lifeguard surveillance in summer. A bit of unexpected fun for young and old is a shower in the shape of an elephant. The icing on the cake is a massage tent.

Playa la Bajadilla is just a short walk from the Old Town and accessible from frontline hotels and urbanisations. An urban beach for the whole family, it is busy because of its tranquil waters, children's play area, opportunity to jump into the water from the stones of the breakwaters, and access to Paseo Maritimo, multiple beach bars, restaurants, shops and other facilities. It is also often recognised with the Blue Flag award.

These family-friendly beaches are usually recognised with a Blue Flag award.

Beaches in Puerto Banus

Beautiful people, charming Andalusian architecture, flashy cars, skimpy swimwear: it's all here on the sand stretch that makes up Marbella’s famous Puerto Banus. It is home to 3 beaches: Playa Nueva Andalucia, Playa Puerto Banus and Playa del Rio Verde.

The Blue-flagged Playa Puerto Banús (also known as Playa de Levante) is 1km long with a width of 50m. It boasts fine golden sand and a protected cove due to a breakwater. The water is calm and shallow, which make this section popular for families with children. You will have all kinds of facilities; children's play areas, lifeguards, water sports operators, outdoor fitness trails, etc. Contrary to expectations, you won't find luxury and glamour here. Nevertheless, numerous chiringuitos have high prices.

Boats Puerto Banus, Marbella

The other beach areas here are better for those looking to showcase their latest beachwear, enjoy some waterfront pampering, and look for familiar faces. It’s Banus, baby! Expect bling, high-end glasses and designer bikinis - and don’t even think about wearing the same threads twice! Thankfully, new beachy purchases and post-swim couture are waiting in Puerto Banus shopping paradise, with the likes of Gucci, Versace, Tom Ford, Loewe, Dior, Chanel, Louis Vuitton, Michael Kors, etc. (lots of etc.) There always should be something for you, in this little lot!

Don’t miss a highly coveted venue, Ocean Club, the original classic beach club in Marbella – a reference for style and modern luxury. Its atmosphere has made it famous as one of Europe’s chic favourites for relaxing, partying and enjoying the best that Mediterranean summer can offer.

Who it's best for: Those looking to chill, daydream and drink cocktails in a seductive setting.

Beaches of Marbella East

Playa de Alicate (also known as Playa Pinomar) is one of the most stunning beaches in Marbella due to its thick, golden and soft underfoot sand, clear water, and all the comforts you need. You can rent sun loungers, parasols, boats, and equipment for calmer types of water sports.  Although it is one of the narrowest beaches in Marbella, only 25m wide (in peak season, you’ll lie towel to towel), it makes up for it with 850 m long and one of the largest concentrations of beach bars per km on the entire Andalusian coast. 18 chiringuitos include popular El Arenal, Bono's Beach, Aquí te quiero ver, Poco Loco, and Ranchon Cubano.

 The beach is located next to the exclusive urbanization Los Monteros where various celebrities own villas, among them were Antonio Banderas and Melanie Griffith.

Enjoy your journey to the heart of the Dolce Vita in La Cabane! Originally from 1965, the emblematic Marbella space reopened its doors in 2023. The prestigious Italian fashion brand Dolce & Gabbana has taken its iconic prints to one of the most luxurious beach clubs on the planet. The merger of Marbella’s 3 Michelin-starred chef Dani García and Grupo Mosh has transformed the exclusive space into a gastronomic and entertainment heaven. Glamour comes to life in the form of a stunning terrace, designer sunbeds and Balinese beds by the pool, DJ's, shows, exquisite menu and other elements making La Cabane a place that would make Fellini himself fall in love.

Who it's best for: Those craving a new-fashioned take on old-school glamour, while making everyone on Instagram insanely jealous.

Playa el Pinillo is a relatively large (over 1.5km) stretch with large areas of sand dunes. Rio Real Golf course comes right down to the beachfront, and the eastern part of El Pinillo is often called Playa Rio Real. At its west end, a number of football pitches are marked out in the sand. You will also find Kite Surfing and other water sports training centres.

Not to miss: Chiringuito El Kiosko KiteSurf. Lasting memories by the beach, with your feet nestled in the sand, and a perfect blend of good music, friendly service and great food at reasonable prices. Argentinian meat and empanadas, best on the coast!

Nikki Beach Who hasn’t heard this name? Actually, this 850-m stretch of Elviria’s coastline is called Víbora Beach. What truly makes it renowned is the luxurious beach club frequented by rich & famous. Yes, Nikki Beach offers unforgettable days and amazing nights. If you don't mind spending, you feel like a star. Enjoy an opulent dinner, sip champagne by the pool, rent a white Balinese lounger for just a few hundred euros, or take part in fashionable events and luxurious parties held until sunrise. Rumbas, live music with sax and violin, exotic dancers, fire throwers or acrobats bring a plus to your visit. It is a sensational place to celebrate success in style, or treat yourself like a king or queen during your holidays in Marbella.

Playa Cabopino is a family-friendly beach with countless children running around and playing in the fine sand and shallow waters. You can rent all kinds of equipment to practice water sports or embark on a dolphin-watching trip. Banana boats, jet skis, kayaks, surfing and stand-up paddle boarding - you can try them all. Highly appreciated for its cleanliness and facilities, Cabopino has received the Blue Flag this year.

People surfing on Marbella beach

If you want to add a historical touch, go to Torre Ladrones (Thieves Tower), the tallest watchtower on Malaga’s coastline, declared an Asset of Cultural Interest. The Catholic Monarchs established it for the coastal defence in 1497.

An excellent place to admire those madly magical sunsets!

Not to miss fantastic drinks: Head to Cocoa Beach Marbella for mixology-forward cocktails, nice music, Boho-chic vibe and sea views.

Cabopino beach connects with Playa Artola, which enjoys abrupt natural beauty. It’s unique; the only beach in Marbella that is not backed by any urbanization. Construction is prohibited because it is home to the Dunas de Artola (sand dunes), protected as a natural monument. You’ll feel a true connection with nature, with no shops, restaurants and hotels around, for a change. It is not surprising that this beach has a nudist section.

Beaches of Marbella West

Playa Guadalmina lies between Puerto Banus and San Pedro, alongside Marbella’s first golf course, which attracted Dukes of Windsor, Henry Ford, Krupps family, Agnellis, Aristotle Onassis, Sean Connery (the list is fabulously long). The quiet beach is wonderful for relaxing in a tasteful setting. It’s very secluded; has limited car access, beach facilities, and spectacular views over Gibraltar and Moroccan Rif Mountains. The Roman baths ruins and Almenara Watchtower are its landmarks. Naomi Campbell has chosen Guadalmina beach for her vacations.

Who it’s best for: Guadalmina Hotel guests, families and couples who just want a beautiful Blue Flag beach, minus the party feel.

Backed by a seafront promenade, cycle path and quiet urban access road, Playa San Pedro de Alcantara is a long and wide beach, never crowded due to its size. There are plenty of chiringuitos and nice restaurants on Paseo Maritimo. The upmarket Bora Bora Club remembers Prince William and Prince Harry jet skiing. One unexpected bit of fun is the life-size elephant, whose trunk functions as a shower.

Who it's best for: Families and couples who enjoy relaxed vibe and active pursuits. 

People on Marbella beach

Dogs beaches in Marbella

The Costa del Sol is pet-friendly. It is filled with dog beaches where you can bathe and play with pets. In Marbella, 2 strips of beach have been specially selected as canine-friendly: El Pinillo (near Trocadero Arena) and Ventura del Mar (Nueva Andalucía). There, dogs of all shapes, sizes and breeds can enjoy the open space without any restrictions, and dip their paws in the sea. Enjoy a vacation with your furry friends! 

Summarizing the best beaches in Marbella in a simple list isn’t easy, as the Costa del Sol boasts some of the best stretches of sand in the Mediterranean, and Marbella exudes an exclusive atmosphere, where impressive marinas, luxurious real estate, chic yachts, Michelin restaurants, high-end hotels and ostentatious establishments are the norm.

Why don’t you come to Marbella and see for yourself? Explore Marbella and Drumelia!

What about luxury living right on the beach? Have a look at our beachfront properties for sale.

Julia Nilsson
Lead Editor Julia Nilsson

Cosmopolitan since birth, Julia is multilingual and has a doctorate degree in international auxiliary languages as means of intercultural communication.…

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