Marbella is one of the most iconic and best loved regions of Spain amongst well-heeled Spaniards and international communities. This stunning corner of the Costa del Sol has it all, from fantastic weather and great beaches to world-class golf courses and luxury urbanisations – all set in beautiful surroundings that are made for fun, and all just a 40-minute drive from the airport.
This vibrant coastal town is perfectly situated on the Costa del Sol between Málaga and Gibraltar. Sitting by the Mediterranean beneath the foothills of the Sierra Blanca mountains, the town has become synonymous with the broader stretch of coast, which is made up of lush golf courses, jet set marinas, buzzing beach bars and some of the world’s most spectacular properties.
Marbella has changed immeasurably in the past 50 years or so but behind the shiny façade it bravely retains its cultural heritage. It has a picturesque Old Town with authentic Andalusian squares and architecture alongside the sleek boutiques, apartment buildings and restaurants. Marbella also has a busy cultural calendar.
The path towards becoming a 21st Century centre of glamour and luxury living started in the 1950s with the opening of the Marbella Club. The sumptuous success of this magnet for film stars and royalty in turn fuelled the development of Puerto Banús, built by a Beverly Hills architect, opened in 1970 and set to become a gilt-edged base for the super yacht fraternity.
The rest is history. Today Marbella presides over a multicultural playground based on good living, a perfect climate and exclusive homes. The area’s landscape and climate, plus a population with an undiminished dedication to living to the max equals – for some at least – a close approximation to heaven on earth.
There’s a lot to commend Marbella to the world. It is a foodie heaven, served by global cuisine and local chefs such as Dani García who has no less than three high-end eateries in Marbella, including Bibo, Lobito de Mar and the eponymous Dani García. Tapas and seafood are in abundance, and high quality meets tradition at places such as Paco Jimenez, overlooking the iconic Orange Square.
Excellent international schools such as the British School of Marbella and the American College make family life easy while high quality health services combine with every luxury you could ever need to make the most of the privileged Mediterranean lifestyle.
La Zagaleta is the perfect example of exclusive living. Located in the hills above Marbella, this rolling country estate of almost 900 hectares was set to become a bustling development of 3,000 homes, but then empresario Enrique Pérez Flores stepped in and decided to create something very different.
Flores had the visionary idea to set the maximum number of homes at 420, enabling grand properties to be created with peace and privacy, freeing up space for unprecedented natural surroundings and preserving a habitat for plants and animals that made them a central part of the estate.
Of course, there was also space for fantastic facilities, including two golf courses, various clubhouses, tennis courts and an equestrian centre. Not to mention the private heliport. At this level nobody likes to queue or book, so numbers are carefully restricted to resident members and lucky guests.
As a result, La Zagaleta is a truly breathtaking place to live, with residents from across the world living in vast mansions set in stunning manicured grounds and enjoying panoramic views across the countryside to the sea.
Total discretion, round-the-clock security and a wealth of services take care of every need a privileged resident could possibly require, and should anyone ever want to leave all this behind, even for a moment, the best of the Costa del Sol is within easy reach.
Nueva Andalucía is the largest residential municipality in Marbella and also one of the most familiar and enduring, having been established around the same time as glittering Puerto Banús was opening its doors.
It is also known as Golf Valley with clubs including Las Brisas, Aloha and Los Naranjos weaving their way between the developments, and a wealth of others available up and down the coast. There are plenty of alternative opportunities for non-golfers to enjoy the outdoor lifestyle, with sports clubs including the Manolo Santana Tennis club, padel courts and hiking trails in the mountains.
This is not a touristy area like Puerto Banús, but more of an upmarket year-round residential neighbourhood that provides those living there with exquisite surroundings, beautiful houses set on wide boulevards and a sleepy sense of quiet isolation that betrays its proximity to the busy heart of the Costa del Sol.
New Developments reflect this desirable location with spectacular homes set in the rolling hills taking in the views. Properties range from classic villas in developments such as La Cerquilla or Los Olivos, to shiny new apartments and exclusive gated communities.
Nueva Andalucía has plenty of facilities to serve everything from daily needs to special occasions, including easy access to schools that cater for a wealth of residents from across the world.
Like everything in this part of the Costa del Sol, the famous Golden Mile delivers so much more than it promises, and many consider it to be more like 4 miles of prime coastal real estate with beautiful first line properties, perfect sandy beaches and exclusive five-star resorts.
The Golden Mile stretches from Marbella to Puerto Banús and is overlooked by the beautiful La Concha mountain. The various neighbourhoods tend to overlap around Marbella, but when people talk about the Golden Mile they don’t need to mention the sky-high levels of exclusivity and desirability.
The neighbourhood can be divided into different sectors, broadly classed as north, south, east and west. The southern side has been developed up to (and some might say beyond) its limits, and properties here are often the most sought-after.
On the north side there is more space for new homes to emerge, while existing properties enjoy the rolling hillside locations and offer views and a greater sense of seclusion. They are also still very close to the action down on the coast.
The west end is the area around Puerto Banús, while the east end is home to high-end properties and exclusive hotels such as the Marbella Club and Puente Romano.
This exclusive enclave enjoys the elevated status of being in the foothills of the La Concha mountain, more than 300m above sea level and with the added privilege of some spectacular views.
This area enjoys fresher air and its own microclimate, created by the shelter of the mountain and the cooler air that takes the edge off the fierce summer sun. This makes it even easier to enjoy the many hiking, mountain biking and dog walking trails that criss-cross the foothills.
The properties here are large and impressive, with beautiful grounds and pools oriented to take in the views from sunrise to sunset. This is another high status location with a finite amount of building land, so individual properties and gated communities are highly desirable, and New Developments of townhouses, apartments and penthouses are finished to exceptional standards.
As another neighbourhood with close ties to Marbella itself, all the amenities of the Costa del Sol are just down the hill, from world-class restaurants and boutiques to the beaches and vibrant Puerto Banús. But with a home here, you have a perfect quiet oasis to which you can return after an evening enjoying the Costa’s rich social, retail and recreational offerings.
In the same way, all the sporting facilities are an easy drive away, including the many golf courses, tennis clubs and spas. In fact, Sierra Blanca is home to the world-renowned Buchinger Wilhelmi fasting clinic. It is also where you’ll find the Swans International School, which first opened its doors in 1971 and now educates children of more than 30 nationalities.
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We’re pleased to bring you the following selection of featured properties from this region.
A unique development of beautiful villas on the exclusive Estepona golf resort in the heart of the Costa del Sol
- Built size from 578m2
- Terrace size from 176m2
- Bedrooms 4–6
Magnificent refurbished villa with mountain and golf course views in Aloha, Nueva Andalucía
- Built size 1,443m2
- Plot size 4,211m2
- Bedrooms 9