Marbella Boat Tours

Boat trips in Marbella are an excellent way to experience the Costa del Sol from a more privileged perspective and much more entertaining.

Keyvis Montilva

Keyvis Montilva

9 min read

Marbella Boat Tours

Coastal cruise | Georgy Trofimov

Sailing has always been one of the best things to see and do in Marbella. Which is logical knowing that it is a destination with more than 27 kilometers of white sandy coastline that has become a favorite place for the arrival of boats of all kinds. I invite you to read on if you are interested in participating in an activity like this when you are visiting the most famous city of the Andalusian Costa del Sol.

Sailboat rides to enjoy the sunset in Estepona

Atalaya Beach in Estepona| ©aquilino2010
Atalaya Beach in Estepona| ©aquilino2010

Sailboat rides are an entertaining activity all over the world and particularly in Marbella they take on a very pleasant beauty due to the tranquility of the waves of the coast. As well as for the appreciation that allows a constant and smooth sailing on the coastline that has the large communities that have developed along the Costa del Sol for a couple of decades.

Being a sailboat ride involves the presence of a captain as well as some navigation assistants. In the case of this type of tour there is usually a soft and pleasant music on board the boat and almost always sparkling drinks such as champagne or sangria are offered.

By the nature of the boat is not an activity suitable for people in wheelchairs and most commonly there is a limit of up to 12 passengers on the boat. This means that if your group of companions fills that quota then it becomes a private tour.

Keep in mind that the sailboat usually departs from Estepona Marina and therefore it will be up to you to arrange a transfer from your accommodation in Marbella, sometimes the same service offers a pick up from your hotel, but you can also get a cab for about 20 or 25 euros.

Details of interest

  • Price: a tour like this usually costs about 30 to 35 euros per adult while children between 10 and 3 years old usually pay about 20 to 25 euros to enter the sailboat.
  • Duration: this sailing tour around Estepona Bay usually lasts about 2 to 3 hours approximately. Keep in mind that this is more than enough to appreciate the beauty of the coast and even to enjoy a couple of drinks with your companions.
  • Means of transportation: they usually take place in sailboats, but you have to know that they are not luxury boats, they are quite modest without detracting from the safety and comfort of the experience.
  • Advantages of this option: the rates offered are extremely convincing in a city where everything is a bit expensive.
  • Disadvantages of this option: having to coordinate your own transfer from your accommodation somewhere in and around Marbella to the port of Estepona can be a bit nerve-wracking.

Dolphin Sighting Tour in Estepona Bay

Dolphins| ©Ranae Smith
Dolphins| ©Ranae Smith

One of the greatest distinctions of the Spanish Mediterranean coasts is the possibility of being able to see dolphins in their natural habitat just as tourists visiting other Atlantic destinations such as the Canary Islands or the Azores and Madeira can do. So it is logical that there are some boat trips in Marbella that focus exclusively on navigating the waters of the Bay of Estepona to appreciate the beauty of the most intelligent mammals of the marine world.

The duration of the trip is usually practically identical to one that focuses on its participants enjoying the sunset. What changes are the navigation routes, since in this case it is necessary to be able to see different groups of dolphins during the excursion. At the same time, as it is a tour that takes place early in the day or in the middle of the afternoon, which implies greater safety and visibility, there is always some swimming session in the open waters of the Mediterranean Sea.

Keep in mind that in this case there is also usually a limit of participation that can perfectly be occupied by your whole group of companions if you are interested in turning the experience into a private tour. There will be a guide specialized in marine fauna who will alert you to the approach of the dolphins and it is also common for drinks to be offered.

It is usual that in this type of tours, as well as in the rest of the options I mention in this list, there is a free cancellation of the reservation if it is made well in advance. Also, keep in mind that the guide and captain speak Spanish and English.

Interesting details

  • Price: the price for a dolphin watching boat trip on the Costa del Sol is usually around 30 euros per adult while children between 10 and 3 years old usually pay around 20 euros.
  • Duration: a dolphin watching trip in the bay of Estepona usually lasts about 2 hours. Depending on the conditions of the day and the impossibility of seeing dolphins at the beginning of the tour it is possible to extend up to 3 hours.
  • Means of transport: usually sailboats and in this case it will be more modern models. However, it is also possible that the tour is given in other types of boats such as catamarans or sport fishing boats.
  • Advantages of this option: the price is an advantageous feature of this type of boat trips in Marbella and the fact that you can select different times for the departure of the boat is an interesting detail.
  • Disadvantages of this option: the departure is also usually from Estepona Marina and again it could be a budget problem for you depending on where you are staying.

Sunset boat ride with dinner and wine included

Breakfast at sea| ©Reynier Carl
Breakfast at sea| ©Reynier Carl

Finally, comes the option that convinces those seeking exclusivity, luxury and privacy, as a ride on a modern boat to enjoy a delicious Mediterranean dinner with an accompaniment of sparkling wines is the best alternative. At least for those who want to live a more special experience.

It is an activity designed for couples, as there is a limit of two participants in addition to the tour guide who will be on the boat at all times with the captain. In this case, the captain will not need navigation assistants as it is a small luxury yacht with mechanized propulsion.

In addition, in some occasions the pick up of the participants at their accommodation is included. This is as long as it is a hotel or a property that belongs to a very specific list of locations.

As for the dinner you have to know that it is a tasting of local products as well as the preparation of some typical Spanish Mediterranean tapas. The wines are also usually from local Andalusian wineries in the Ronda region, but there may be exceptions.

Details of interest

  • Price: the approximate rate for a private boat ride for two people with wine and dinner included is usually around 150 euros per person. This means that the whole experience costs approximately 300 euros, knowing that there must be two participants for the tour to take place.
  • Duration: a tour of the Costa del Sol during sunset always lasts about 2 or 3 hours maximum and this tour is no exception to this rule.
  • Means of transportation: they are almost always modern and luxurious boats that are big enough to have a kitchen and an internal cabin, but they cannot be classified as real yachts either, or at least not as a big one.
  • Advantages of this option: it is an exclusive plan to enjoy as a couple.
  • Disadvantages of this option: the fact that it is a two-person tour is quite limiting for many tourist groups, especially for those couples traveling with children.

How to book the boat trips from Marbella?

Scheduled sea excursion| ©luckysilver1
Scheduled sea excursion| ©luckysilver1

There are different alternatives to book a boat trip from Marbella, however, the best of all is always going to be through an online method. This is due to the fact that this formula allows you to identify which are the available dates for each of the different tours you are interested in. You can also see the price variation between some specific dates and others. You even have the possibility of getting a free cancellation of your purchase if you inform it well in advance.

There are other alternatives such as local tourist agencies located throughout the Costa del Sol or also in a company that is dedicated exclusively to offer boat trips both in a tourist mode and with a sporting approach.

However, the drawback with these options is that there is no guarantee that the price will be convenient. In addition, you never know if you will get a ride for the date and time of your interest and there is no way to compare with the other agencies unless you go through them all.

Duration of the boat trips from Marbella

Different options on the sea| ©pixelRaw
Different options on the sea| ©pixelRaw

The average duration of boat trips from Marbella is always around 2 or 3 days at the most. This applies at least in cases where the tour is only about enjoying the coast and possibly adding a short swimming session of about 30 minutes in the open sea. For with this the participants will be able to fully enjoy this experience in the Mediterranean Sea.

Clearly, there are exceptions such as those rides that go from Marbella to some other specific point in and around Andalucia. This would imply a descent and a subsequent boarding of the participants on the boat and then return to one of the ports of the Costa del Sol.

However, two hours is more than enough to enjoy an experience like this. And is that really the boat trips for decades remain as one of the best activities to do in Marbella for the fact that they are a safe plan for the whole family that entertains all kinds of people.

What will I see on boat trips from Marbella?

Los Reales de Sierra Bermeja Natural Park| ©Turismo de Andalucía
Los Reales de Sierra Bermeja Natural Park| ©Turismo de Andalucía

Depending on the port of departure you will see different sections of the Costa del Sol. If your boat trip departs from the marina of Marbella you will almost certainly be able to appreciate the beauty of places like Puerto Banus or the town of Nueva Andalucia.

On the other hand, if your boat trip departs from the port of Estepona you will probably be able to appreciate sites such as the Golden Bay or the natural landscape of Los Reales de Sierra Bermeja. Which can be seen as part of the mountain ranges that surround the entire Costa del Sol.

Keep in mind that either way this kilometric extension of the Costa del Sol is an extremely attractive area from a natural perspective. This means that all boat trips, no matter which sailing route you choose, will offer you a privileged view of some of the most preferred destinations among the day trips that depart from Marbella and then return to the historic center of this city.

Tips for enjoying boat trips from Marbella

Family on the sailboat| ©Sergey Makashin
Family on the sailboat| ©Sergey Makashin

There are different tips I can give you regarding participating in Marbella boat trips, but taking sunscreen with you and applying it constantly throughout the experience is always going to be one of the most important. One of the biggest disadvantages of sailing at sea is that you are constantly exposed to more significant solar radiation than what you experience when walking on land.

The second piece of advice I can give you regarding this type of experience is that you should bring alternative children's entertainment in case you wish to participate in these trips with children. The truth is that although boat rides are one of the best activities to do in Marbella with children, it is a reality that they, especially the younger ones, have to get bored with a significant frequency.

I recommend you to bring drinks and snacks in case the ride you have chosen does not have them. For the truth is that it is quite uncomfortable to be in the middle of the sea with a growing appetite and with a thirst that cannot be quenched due to the lack of bottled water inside the boat.

How much do boat trips from Marbella cost?

Sunset Service Cruise| ©Sheila Jellison
Sunset Service Cruise| ©Sheila Jellison

Boat rides that are shared with other groups of people and are not geared towards a luxurious experience are usually around 30 to 60 euros per person. However, tours that focus on a more exclusive navigation in a modern and impressive boat usually exceed 150 euros. In some cases they can reach 250 depending on the duration of the ride and the conditions offered.

Keep in mind that boat trips are one of the best things to do in Marbella in winter. This is due to the fact that the low tourist influx that this destination has with respect to the summer makes the prices of the service go down.