Marvellous winters in Marbella.
As the winter approaches some visitors to Marbella are pleasantly surprised to find the town still offering a vibrant lifestyle.
Yes, it is a resort town but unlike others in Spain and further afield, it does not close down when the summer visitors head home. Marbella has lots going on, making it perfect not just as a year round tourist destination, but also as somewhere to make your home.
With its wonderful microclimate of mild winters and seemingly endless days of glorious sunshine, Marbella has long attracted winter visitors and ‘residential tourists’, enabling the town’s restaurateurs and businesspeople to remain open year round, offering top quality dining and entertainment. This ensures there is always something to do in the quieter months for people who have bought a villa, townhouse or apartment in Marbella and its surrounding areas.
Planning a Winter Vacation in Marbella
Without question, Marbella is one of the most sought-after Spanish vacation spots in the world. You may have the finest days and nights on the Costa del Sol because of all the things to do there. Many wrongly assume that Marbella is just a good vacation spot during the summer. Those who would rather avoid both the summer tourist crush and the cold winter weather of Europe can consider a trip to Marbella in the winter.
Even though it’s busier in the summer, Marbella’s fantastic weather in the winter draws plenty of visitors. The Costa del Sol has one of the most outstanding reputations for weather in all of Europe. Marbella is shielded from the strong winds and other climatological influences by the Sierra Blanca Mountain Range, giving it an even better microclimate than it already enjoys.
The Director of Tourism for the City of Marbella, Laura de Arce, also reminded the public that agreements had been reached with businesses associated with European football clubs to continue recruiting an important sector throughout the winter, which represents roughly 80,000 ‘room nights’ a year during the low season. Similarly, the golf industry has started promoting international competitions like the Solheim Cup 2023.
Why is Marbella a great winter vacation spot?
The weather is the primary attraction of Marbella as a winter vacation spot. Warmer-than-average temperatures all during the winter attract a large number of visitors. Temperaturen may reach 26 degrees Celsius during the day and seldom dip below 10 degrees Celsius at night because of our microclimate and enviable location in the Mediterranean.
Marbella has an average of 320 sunny days each year, so even in the dead of winter, you can expect to see the sun. In fact, „The Sunshine Coast“ (El Costa del Sol) is really the name for that part of Spain. More information about the climate and seasonal changes in Marbella may be found in another article we’ve written.
Yet another is the abundance of indoor and outdoor activities that may be enjoyed even in the dead of winter. At the end of the year, Marbella has several events, such as theater productions and the San Pedro de Alcántara Feria, which attract visitors interested in the cultural lifestyle and entertainment business.
One of the great draws of winter travel is the opportunity to escape the gloom of Northern and Eastern European climates. People suffering from SAD often prefer to take a winter vacation in a warmer climate, therefore destinations like Marbella are more popular.
A generation ago, retirees made up the bulk of the wintertime visitors to Marbella. Marbella is becoming more popular among younger people as a winter vacation destination. The growing acceptance of telecommuting, in which employees are given the flexibility to do their duties from any location, is a major factor in this trend. There are a number of institutions and colleges in Marbella, therefore an increasing number of students have made the city their permanent home, bringing with them a younger demographic and a more globally diverse clientele. If you can do your job from sunny Marbella, why bother working from home?
Wintertime in Marbella: What to Do?
Its five-star leisure facilities and sporting attractions are other important factors in attracting the winter visitor. Here we give you five ideas on what to do in Marbella in the winter:
Golf is the number one reason people visit Marbella any time of year, but it is more popular in the winter when the weather is milder and a full round of 18 holes is more comfortable than it may be in the summer, when temperatures can soar to 40 degrees Celsius. More than 70 golf courses, each with its own personality, line the Costa del Sol, so golfers won’t be short of options. The likes of Robert Trent Jones Sr., Javier Arana, Cabello B. Robinson, and Manuel Piero are just a few of the world-famous architects who have worked on the layouts of these courses.
Check out our post on the 13 greatest golf courses in Marbella to find out more about golfing in Marbella.
Ski in Marbella.
Winter in Marbella is truly a privileged time of year. The mild climate means that on sunny days—and with 320 days of sunshine a year there are plenty of them—living an outdoor lifestyle is a year round option.
For those lucky enough to own a villa or apartment on the Costa del Sol, days on the golf course, tennis, sailing, fishing and hiking are all popular ways of enjoying the fresh air and beautiful weather. But there is another option more typical of chillier climes, one that many might feel is beyond reach without taking a flight from Málaga’s airport—that of winter sports.
Just a short drive away from Marbella, from the end of November until April, Sierra Nevada ski resort offers an array of winter sporting activities. Perched above the ancient City of Granada and the breathtaking Alhambra Palace, the resort has an excellent selection restaurants and bars together with several high quality hotels.
Just over two hours drive away is the ski resort of the Sierra Nevada, the most southerly ski slopes in Europe and also the sunniest. Based around a picturesque village, the resort offers first class facilities in which to enjoy downhill skiing, snowboarding and cross country skiing, as well as hiking trails. The restaurants and cafés offer excellent value for money meals and snacks, while more luxurious dining facilities are available at the plush hotels and lodges bordering the slopes.
Pack your skis and your… surfboards? A newly opened resort in Spain’s Sierra Nevada offers a new type of skiing holiday thanks to its proximity to the Mediterranean sea. It’s not actually one resort that goes on for several kilometres but rather two distinct resorts that offer a package where you can spend two days rolling in the snow and the following two getting thrown around by the waves! The idea belongs to the prestigious “Marbella Club” which owns the sea front “Marbella Club Golf Resort” and the mountain top hotel, “El Lodge”. A holiday like this would cost £1444 per person and offers luxurious rooms or apartments along with five star restaurants and direct access to the Mediterranean Sea and the Maribel and Aguila ski slopes. Both resorts are only 2 hours apart with transportation taken care of by the resort. This was actually what Prince Alfonso von Hohenlohe loved so much about the Marbella Club Golf Resort when it used to be his private residence in the early 60s.
Top quality ski facilities.
The skiing conditions and facilities themselves are acknowledged to be of a high standard, with 107 kilometres of runs where 353 snow cannons ensure 35 kilometres of piste when snowfalls have been light. As well as 40 blue, 50 red, 16 green and nine black runs, there are cross-country trails and Spain’s largest snowboarding park. The resort has hosted International Ski Federation events, including the 1996 Alpine World Ski Championships and the 2015 Winter Universiade—the world university games.
The Sulayr snowboard park has been upgraded over the past few years as the resort gears up for the combined 2017 FIS Freestyle Ski & Snowboard World Championships, due to be held in March of that year, ensuring exceptional facilities for aficionados of those disciplines. Indeed, freestyle star Jon Olsson ranked his skiing experience at the Sierra Nevada resort in his top five ever—read his blog here.
Other things to do during winter in Marbella.
1. Visit Puerto Banús: a day out in itself, this glamorous marina is the place to spot a celebrity on a winter break. Apart from viewing the spectacular super yachts, there is fine dining, a vibrant nightlife and some of the best designer label shopping to be found in Puerto Banus at its stylish boutiques.
2. Soak up some culture: there are several museums and galleries that are well worth a visit. The Bonsai Museum (Museo del Bonsai) in the Parque Arroyo de la Represa is unique, as is the popular Contemporary Engraving Museum (Museo del Grabado Espanol Contemporáneo), which has works by Picasso and Miró. The Municipal Exposition Gallery (Galería Municipal de Exposiciones) and the Casa Grande gallery showcase the work of artists from all over the world in a series of changing exhibitions. The latter also displays an impressive collection of Byzantine art, crafts and sculptures from the 4th Century, while the Ralli Museum on the Golden Mile is a delight where you will encounter Miró and Dali, among many others.
3.Time for some Flamenco: experience an authentic performance of this famous Andalusian dance genre at Flamenco Ana María (Plaza Santo Cristo, Casco Antiguo) and Donde María – Sala Flamenca (Vicente Blasco Ibañez).
4.See how the jet set live: spend an evening at the Marbella Club or Puente Romano resorts on Marbella’s Golden Mile. This is where Marbella as a luxury resort town first evolved and the glamorous fun does not stop in winter.
5.Take to the fairways: the Marbella area, with its top quality courses, is Europe’s premier winter golfing destination. Take advantage of the winter sun to enjoy a round or two in perfect conditions.
No matter the temperature or precipitation, Marbella never disappoints. There are enjoyable things to do in Marbella no matter the weather.
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