«Marbella has achieved recognition as the Most Exclusive and Prestigious city of the 20 finalist locations in the “European Best Destinations” web contest, where it has been second as Best European Destination, with 61,401 votes, behind Ljubljana (Slovenia).

With these recognitions, which are awarded by this Belgian travel website in association with the platform for the exchange of good practices in tourism of the European Commission, «Eden Network», visitors value aspects such as quality of life, climate, gastronomy, the offer of leisure, health or shopping.

A city for golf travelers of travelers

Marbella’s warm microclimate and year-round sunshine make it an outdoor sports paradise.

The destination is a magnet for visiting golfers as it boasts the highest density of golf courses in Spain. Within the municipality, there are 14 golf courses, comprising 8 golf clubs with 18 holes, including Santa Clara Golf Marbella, one of the most iconic golf courses on the coast. Other options include another one with 27 holes, two with an 18-hole course plus a nine-hole layout and three venues offering nine holes.

Around half of Marbella’s golf courses are located in its famed Golf Valley, 7km south-west of the city centre and close to Puerto Banús marina. Other facilities are east of town.

Wherever golfers choose to play they will enjoy top-class golf courses, many of them with panoramic views of mountains and the Mediterranean, in addition to being able to savour post-round drinks or a meal in well-appointed clubhouses.

Gastronomy, shopping, and sights: more to enjoy

A gastronomic tour of this food-loving Andalusian city that can cater to any craving – and delivers views and vibes to boot.

With three Michelin-starred restaurants serving excellent cuisine, plus hundreds of smaller eateries dishing up everything from Mediterranean and Thai to paella and succulent local tapas. Luscious food is a major part of Marbella’s allure.

Moreover, with more than 300 guaranteed days of sunshine per year, al fresco dining by the beach or beneath the stars is practically guaranteed.

You can also enjoy other delicious foods with a view at Kayena Marbella, located at Santa Clara Golf Course.

There are also plenty of restaurants and traditional tascas serving competitively priced fare. Head into the labyrinth of cobbled alleys that fan out from main square Plaza de Los Naranjos, situated in Marbella’s Casco Antiguo (Old Town), to find them.

With its glamorous designer boutiques, iconic department stores and state-of-the-art malls. Well informed shoppers would want to bring an extra suitcase when they visit this celebrity-loved Costa del Sol city.

Packed with high-end designer shops, glitzy Puerto Banús should be the first stop on any Marbella shopping itinerary. After browsing world-renowned stores ranging from Dior to Jimmy Choo, head for the cobbled streets of the city’s Old Town, where quirky vintage boutiques rub shoulders with tiny tiendas selling everything from toys to gourmet food. Renowned establishments occupy the main avenues of Marbella and San Pedro Alcántara.

Beach and nature, the perfect location

Blessed with some of the Costa del Sol’s best beaches, the city’s palm-tree-shaded seafront fringed by the glittering Mediterranean Sea boasts some of the most luxurious hotels on the Costa del Sol. For the most exclusive beachside accommodation head to the Paseo Maritimo.

Stretching from Marbella to Puerto Banús, this 7km-long shop- and café-lined promenade is home to a wide selection of accommodation, ranging from elegant spa hotels and exclusive boutique havens to blissfully private, fully staffed pool villas with lush gardens and stunning sea views.

Marbella is bursting with beauty.

Nature-lovers have the opportunity to enjoy the beauty of the Sierra Blanca mountain range, refuge and reserve of the agile Spanish Ibex and plant paradise, where one can admire magnificent specimens of Spanish fir. This mountain range, as well as favouring the climactic conditions of the town, is undoubtedly the most outstanding element of the Marbella landscape, with the towering peaks of La Concha (1,215m) and Juanar (1,184 m). Walkers can trek from Marbella to Juanar or, for more experienced hikers, from Marbella to La Concha, passing through Puerto Rico, or take an excursion to the area known as Los Monjes.

With dozens of parks and gardens – and the spectacularly beautiful Paseo Maritimo walkway, which runs for more than four miles along Marbella’s beach-studded coastline – this jetsetter-loved Costa del Sol city is also a haven for nature lovers.

Visit the inspiration gallery for your next trip to Marbella here. And remember to book your tee time in one of the best golf courses in Costa del Sol here. 

Marbella, among the favorite destinations in Europe

The mayor of Marbella, Ángeles Muñoz, has emphasized that, despite having competed with cities at the highest level, such as London, Athens or Rome, «a magnificent result» has been achieved, which shows the strength of the Marbella brand.

Muñoz has also underlined «the enormous promotional impact that this distinction will have», which she values ​​at more than two million euros throughout the year and in whose candidacy 25.000 euros have been invested.

Marbella «has been the number one destination and most voted for by travelers from the United Kingdom, even ahead of London». This is precisely one of the main tourist source markets in the municipality, the councilor highlighted.

Thanks to being among the Top 3, institutions and establishments in Marbella will be able to «proudly wear this distinction as a seal of identity and one more tourist attraction at a crucial moment for the sector after the two years of the pandemic», she pointed out.

The campaign has collected more than half a million votes from 182 countries around the world. It has also been shared more than 100,000 times on social networks. “Marbella was shortlisted as one of the 20 best European destinations from an initial list of 400 candidates”, recalled Muñoz.

These twenty finalist destinations were published on this platform dedicated to tourism. This site is associated with other magazines such as Forbes USA, Condé Nast Travelers, and National Geographic, among others.

According to a report on the impact that the nomination for being «Best European Destination» has had in previous editions. Muñoz referred at the time, in the case of Dinant (Belgium), which ranked number 13, it had a growth tourism of more than 25 percent with respect to the previous year, and estimated the economic repercussion in more than 15 million euros, eats.