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Best Activities in Marbella

Marbella is a tourist destination that can keep busy from the quietest and most moderate visitor to the most adrenaline and fun seeking.

Keyvis Montilva

Keyvis Montilva

12 min read

Best Activities in Marbella

Sunset at sea | Chris Osmond

When you visit a place for the first, second or third time it is likely that you are interested in knowing what are the distinctive activities of that place so you can make the most of your trip to the region. In turn, the best plans in Marbella are those that know how to take advantage of the distinctive beauty of the Costa del Sol while also offering quality entertainment to those who decide to join that tourist activity.

So I advise you to keep reading this compilation of plans and activities that I have prepared for you, so you can get a more concrete and accurate idea about the kind of things you could do on a daily basis when visiting Marbella. This no matter when you decide to visit the Costa del Sol or how many days you are going to stay, because they are short, fun activities that do not take more than 10 hours of your day in the case of the most extensive ones.

1. Rent a Vespa for a city tour around Marbella

Vespa rental| ©Pasqualino Capobianco
Vespa rental| ©Pasqualino Capobianco

The elegant and colorful Vespas, a type of Italian motorcycles, have become the vehicle par excellence for those seeking to explore most European cities on two wheels, with this scenario occurring much more frequently in the well-known coastal communities of the Mediterranean countries. For your convenience, in Marbella you have the alternative of renting one for a full day so that you can enjoy a ride on your own terms through the historic and urban center of Marbella and its surrounding communities.

Keep in mind that it almost always includes helmets for two people, as it is usual for there to be a driver with a companion as a passenger. A vehicle like this can help you get where you want to go in Marbella and its surroundings, such as the famous Puerto Banus or around the promenade of San Pedro de Alcantara.

Details of interest:

  • Price: it is usually around 40 euros. This means that the figure could be divided between two people in case your companion is traveling with a budget independent of yours.
  • Duration: the rental of the motorcycle is for exactly 24 hours and you could perfectly pick it up at the agency at about 8 am to return it at the same time the next day.
  • Conditions: you have the possibility to pay additional insurances for the Vespa and it is clearly necessary that you have a license that enables you to drive motorcycles.

Rent a Vespa, Quad and scooter in Marbella and Costa del Sol

2. A private excursion to Ronda from Marbella

Ronda| ©Tomáš Malík
Ronda| ©Tomáš Malík

Ronda is a town located north of Marbella in the mountains near the Sierra de las Nieves National Park. The entire extension of this town is on the top of a mountain as well as on a deep gorge that offers quite captivating landscapes for all visitors who decide to go there.

It was founded during the Islamic occupation of the province and has several attractions such as a famous stone bridge that crosses the gorge, a beautiful cathedral, a historic bullring and also an excellently preserved old town.

The private excursions that take you to this place from Marbella to this point of the Andalusian mountain ranges include the transfer in a minibus reserved exclusively for your group of companions. This along with the inclusion of a guide who will be with you at all times so you can understand the historical importance of each of the corners that you will know in the excursion.

Details of interest:

  • Price: approximately 300 euros per transfer if it were a car for two people. The rate goes up to about 150 or 170 per person for any other group that is intended for a trip of more than 3 participants. Children between 10 and 17 years of age pay approximately 70 euros.
  • Duration: a private guided tour from Marbella to Ronda usually takes about 8 hours on average. Keep in mind that departures are usually around 9 am.
  • Conditions: Pick up is usually offered directly at the hotel. Lunch is not included, but there is a space for it within the tourist itinerary in Ronda. Most of the time these are minibuses and cars that are accessible for people in wheelchairs.

3. A dolphin watching trip to the coast of Estepona

Dolphins| ©Ranae Smith
Dolphins| ©Ranae Smith

About 33 km from the historic center of Marbella, in the west of the Costa del Sol, is located the town of Estepona. This place is worth visiting during your stay in the region, as it has several attractions such as a promenade or a historic center just as interesting as Marbella. Now, the dolphin watching tours that depart from the marina of this town to sail the waters of the bay that bears the same name is one of the best activities to do in Marbella with children, as well as when traveling alone or with adult companions.

Keep in mind that usually occur in a sailboat that has a maximum capacity of about 15 people including the captain and navigation assistants. Also keep in mind that it includes some free drinks such as soft drinks, natural juices, summer reds, white wines or bottled waters. You have the possibility to bring food on board the boat and there are times that the same organization of the sailing trip to see dolphins includes the transfer from your hotel in Marbella to the port of Estepona.

Details of interest:

  • Prices: it usually costs about 30 euros per adult and about 20 euros per child as long as they are between 3 and 10 years old.
  • Duration: these dolphin watching boat trips usually last about 2 hours and the departure times from the port usually range from 10 am to 4 pm.
  • Conditions: the boat is not suitable for wheelchair users, assistance animals are allowed, babies are allowed, and although there must be a minimum number of participants, the number of passengers is limited to a maximum of 12 tourists.

4. The buggy excursions to the village of Istan by road

Istan village| ©Nan Palmero
Istan village| ©Nan Palmero

Adrenaline is also a good way to experience tourism in Marbella and therefore the buggy excursions from the outskirts of the city to the town of Istan are an excellent activity for all types of tourists. Keep in mind that Istan is a locality in the mountain range that is located at the bottom of the Costa del Sol. Therefore, the way up is through a paved road, but at a certain point it turns into a completely mountainous terrain that allows you to live a totally rural experience.

Clearly, it is not an activity available for people with reduced mobility to a wheelchair and is reserved exclusively for adults because of the characteristics of driving an all-terrain vehicle like this. In addition, it includes drinks, dust wipes, gloves for the driving handlebars and also dust goggles.

Interesting details

  • Price: it can cost about 80 euros per person and this includes the payment of the 4 wheel off-road vehicle known as buggy between two people for a total of 160 euros per buggy. The payment also includes a guide who accompanies the participants at all times.
  • Duration: this type of excursions usually last about 2 hours on average which is more than enough time to ascend to Istan and return to Marbella and even to have a break.
  • Conditions: it is important that at some point you have driven a vehicle like this for safety reasons and you also have to keep in mind that there will always be two people per buggy and if you do not have a companion then the rate will be 160 euros individually.

The best buggy excursions to the village of Istán

5. A guided tour of the town of Estepona

Estepona| ©Jakub Uzieblo
Estepona| ©Jakub Uzieblo

Estepona is a place that deserves to be visited on your own when visiting Marbella and the whole region of the Andalusian Costa del Sol. Therefore a guided tour can be your best alternative to get to know in a fun and planned way the historic center of this town highlighting its streets full of vegetation in this community known as the Garden of the Coast by the locals.

El Castillo de San Luis, the route of the urban murals, the famous Plaza de las Flores, the promenade of Estepona and the Archaeological Museum of Estepona are other places that are usually included in the itinerary of an excursion like this.

In addition, it should be noted that this excursion is planned based on an electric bicycle or electric scooter tour, depending on the case of each participant. Helmet and insurance are included in the price of the service, as well as the payment of the guide specialized in the history of Estepona.

Details of interest

  • Price: the tour usually costs about 48 euros per person and there is no distinction between adults and minors.
  • Duration: this type of guided tours usually last about 2 hours and a half approximately. That is the usual, as it could be extended up to 3 hours depending on the conditions of the experience.
  • Conditions: this is usually a private tour and therefore there must be a minimum number of participants for the tour to be scheduled. The most common is that the itinerary starts in Estepona and therefore the transfer from your hotel in Marbella must be arranged by you.

Guided tour of Estepona's Old Town

6. A tour of the vineyards of Ronda

Vineyard| ©Freepik
Vineyard| ©Freepik

In addition to Ronda's architectural beauty and historical importance, there is also the fact that this site has a small wine industry within the agricultural sphere of Andalusia. With this in mind, guided tours departing from Marbella that take you to a Ronda winery to appreciate the beauty of its vineyards and the quality of a tasting of locally produced wine are ideal.

Keep in mind that the tasting extends beyond simply tasting the vintages achieved to date in the region's wineries. For there is also a whole section of the itinerary focused on learning what goes behind the making of the wine in the aging barrels. As well as free time is also given to enjoy a sightseeing tour of downtown Ronda in case participants have not had the opportunity to visit the city on previous occasions.

Details of interest:

  • Price: its approximate price is about 180 euros approximately and keep in mind that there is a requirement of a minimum of two participants with a limitation of 6 people maximum on the tour. The price includes the tour guide as well as the transfer to and from your hotel.
  • Duration: This type of tour usually lasts approximately 8 hours. Which is wise if you see that there are two hours of free sightseeing in Ronda along with one hour of driving there and one hour of driving back.
  • Conditions: this tour is not suitable for wheelchair users and is reserved exclusively for participants who are of legal age.

Buy your private wine tour with tapas in Ronda

7. Attend a flamenco show

Flamenco performance| ©Dolo Iglesias
Flamenco performance| ©Dolo Iglesias

Flamenco is one of the most important cultural manifestations in all of Spain and is definitely one of the hallmarks of the identity of Andalusia, the region where Marbella is located. So attending a night show of this very famous dance and musical genre while being in the Costa del Sol is a plan that can not miss on your visit.

In turn, the best way to do it is to participate in one of those functions that are organized by dance companies. For these are events that feature professional artists trained in epicenters of this music industry such as Seville or Malaga.

Details of interest:

  • Price: you may get some function for 30 euros per person for a show of 4 acts in which there are different musicians and several performers.
  • Duration: the duration of a show with this price and with these characteristics is usually an hour on average and depending on the venue you may have the possibility of staying a couple of hours more drinking and consuming in the establishment.
  • Conditions: minors are allowed as long as they are accompanied by their parents. In addition, theaters are usually equipped for wheelchair access.

Enjoy an authentic flamenco show

8. A private tour of the Caminito del Rey

Caminito del Rey| ©alfcermed
Caminito del Rey| ©alfcermed

The Caminito del Rey is a hiking route that crosses the uneven terrain of the mountains near Marbella and consists of a series of sections that cross cliffs with suspension bridges and tunnels in natural stone through the Ardales National Park. In turn, a private guided tour may be the best alternative for those looking to enjoy the experience with a specialist in the terrain and history of this natural region.

This type of excursion consists of a tour that includes the transfer to and from your accommodation, the use of helmets and safety equipment for the sections where they are necessary and also the payment of the guide who will be accompanying you and your companions at all times. The Gaitanejos gorges and the Hoyo Valley are some of the outstanding corners of this famous mountain hiking route.

Details of interest:

  • Price: this excursion usually costs about 300 euros that are divided according to the number of participants. Keep in mind that there must be a minimum number of participants in the reservation for the excursion to take place.
  • Duration: it usually lasts about 5 hours approximately, but in that time the transfer from Marbella to the access area to the Caminito del Rey in Ardales National Park is added.
  • Conditions: it is not a suitable activity for minors and it is definitely not a permitted activity for children under 8 years old. Pregnant women and cardiac patients should also avoid participating in an activity like this.

Private half day hiking tour to Caminito del Rey from Malaga or Marbella

9. Rent a jet ski to sail around Marbella

Jet ski| ©Bas van den Eijkhof
Jet ski| ©Bas van den Eijkhof

Jet skiing is one of the most fun activities on any beach with appropriate weather conditions to enjoy it and the Costa del Sol is an ideal place to enjoy a jet ski session on the waters of the Mediterranean.

Keep in mind that this activity is suggested for adults and is basically something worth doing if you intend to continue a day at the beach on the coast of Marbella. For when you get out of the water you will be soaked and therefore it is preferable that you have the desire to continue on the beaches near the Puerto Deportivo de Marbella, as there are located these bikes for the enjoyment of those looking for a short session of aquatic adrenaline.

Details of interest:

  • Price: it usually costs about 100 euros approximately. Keep in mind that a single jet ski can fit two people.
  • Duration: the jet ski rental is usually about half an hour but there are occasions when the service is designed for a 45-minute format.
  • Conditions: children are allowed to participate if they are the companion of an adult and life jackets in appropriate sizes are clearly offered to all participants of the jet ski session.

10. Enjoy the sunset on a boat ride

Sunset boat ride| ©ELG21
Sunset boat ride| ©ELG21

One of the best things to do in Marbella in summer or any time of the year is to ride a luxurious boat to enjoy the sunset while enjoying gourmet snacks and a nice glass of wine. Keep in mind that the best way to participate in this activity is to make a reservation for a private tour and that means that the only passengers on the sailboat, catamaran or yacht will be you and your companions.

Some of these tours depart from the Port of Marbella, but there are also others that usually start sailing from Puerto Banus. Which is logical knowing that this is the neighborhood par excellence of luxury and exclusivity on the Costa del Sol.

Details of interest:

  • Price: they usually cost about 150 euros per person, but rates can be adjusted up or down depending on the number of participants.
  • Duration: a sunset boat ride with champagne included and some companions for a tapas usually lasts about 2 or 3 hours approximately.
  • Conditions: the experience includes a sailor as well as some navigation assistants. There is a guide who may be present on the boat in case you wish to be accompanied to learn about historical details of the Costa del Sol.