Marbella, Spain Adventure Travel Guide


Marbella, Spain


Marbella is a city on the Costa Del Sol in the province of Málaga, in the autonomous region of Andalusia, Spain.

Climate and Geography

Marbella is a city of approximately 135,000 on Spain’s southern coast, near the tip of the Iberian Peninsula. Sandwiched between the Mediterranean ocean and the Sierra Blanca mountain range, Marbella sits in a rich and diverse geographic area. Nearby are pristine beaches, sections of rugged coastal cliffs, several natural and national parks, and some of the highest mountains on the Iberian Peninsula, including the famous Sierra Nevada Ski Resort.

Located abound 200 km from the Tabernas desert (the only desert in Europe), Marbella has a warm subtropical Mediterranean climate with hot dry summers, and warm, still-pretty-dry winters. In the summer the temperature averages 26°C (with highs around 30°C) and in the winter the temperature averages 17°C, and rarely falls below 15°C. The warm climate, and average 320 days of sunshine that it receives each year, makes it a great destination outdoor adventure activities year-round.


Marbella grew quickly from a village of only 900 people in 1940, to a destination of nearly 100,000 for Europe’s jet-set elite in just 50 years. Now, Marbella is often featured in movies as Spain’s playground for the rich. An affluent modern city steeped in history, Marbella is known for celebrity sightings (Antonio Banderas and Dolph Lundgren, among others, have homes here), sunny weather, and gorgeous beaches. It’s a popular port for luxury yachts, and golf in Marbella is among the finest in Europe. With all the international attention that it gets, flights to Spain are frequent and easy to find.

Although the city itself does not feature much for adventure-seekers, the surrounding area features an incredible diversity of outdoor activities. The surrounding beaches are great for scuba diving and snorkeling. Surfing, kitesurfing, windsurfing, and sailing are all popular here, and competitions in all these sports are often held at nearby Tarifa. The famous Sierra Nevada ski resort is just a 1.5 hour drive from the city, and the nearby Sierra Blanca mountain range is perfect for all manner of extreme sports such as mountain biking, climbing, trekking, canyoning, paragliding, and more. The Camino del Rey walkway, billed one of the scariest walks in the world, is definitely worth a look.


  • Paragliding
  • Scuba diving
  • Snorkeling
  • Kayaking
  • Surfing
  • Kitesurfing
  • Windsurfing
  • Sailing
  • Hiking/trekking
  • Mountain climbing
  • Ice climbing
  • Canyoning
  • Mountain Biking (novice to expert)
  • Skiing/snowboarding (novice to expert)

On a Budget?

    • The cheapest accommodation in Marbella are pensions and hostels, which start at about $25 USD per person per night. Some of the cheaper places include  the Hostal del Pilar and Hostal Berlin.

You can find more information on hostels in hostels in Marbella here.

  • There are also several campsites near the city with rates ranging from just over $20 USD per two people in the low season to just over $30 USD in the high season.
  • Inexpensive restaurants will have breakfast for around $7-8 USD and lunch and dinner for around $11-13 USD. Of course, the supermarket is always an option.

Travel Insurance

I like to use World Nomads. It’s not too expensive and signing up is fast and straightforward. They also have pretty good coverage for sports equipment like surf and snowboards, but it varies depending on your country of origin, so be sure double check. You can get a free quote on their website.

Adventure Businesses in and Around Marbella

Fly Spain Paragliding – Tandem paragliding flights and paragliding lessons based in scenic Ronda.

Sierra Nevada Ski Resort – The best skiing in Southern Spain, hands down!


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Images (in order) courtesy of adriagarcia, Wolfiewolf, Arkangel, Adam Solomon, Serafin-Sanchez, Adriano Morán, juandesant, Bert Kaufmann, Wolfiewolf, and taquiman on Flickr.

Suggested Reading

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The information on this page was provided by My Destination Marbella. If you want to know more about the Marbella they are the people to ask.

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