Marbella wins the award for being the Nº1 destination for 2024.

28th May 2024
Home > News > Marbella wins the award for being the Nº1 destination for 2024.

Dolan Property

Your trusted Marbella real estate agent and property specialist on the Golden Mile.

17th March 2024

By Michael Dolan


Marbella wins the award for being the Nº1 destination for 2024.


"Marbella takes the crown: Best European Destination 2024."



We are thrilled to share the exciting news that Marbella, our beloved coastal haven on the Costa del Sol, has been crowned as the Best European Destination for 2024. This prestigious award recognises Marbella's charm, elegance, and its undeniable status as a top destination for discerning travellers and homeowners alike.



Marbella's recent recognition as the Best European Destination for 2024 is a testament to its enduring allure. What’s not to like! There are beautiful beaches and lush green spaces. For visitors the restaurants and nightlife go hand in hand with excellent resort amenities.



For permanent residents there are several first-class multilingual schools, an international airport just 30 minutes’ drive up the coast, and an eclectic cultural calendar. It has an average of 320 days of sunshine a year, is set in the foothills of the Sierra Blanca, sheltered by the slopes of the coastal mountain range; no wonder so many people have decided to make their forever home here.



The award for Best European Destination is a highly prestigious tribute that emphasises Marbella's exceptional appeal and standing among Europe's top destinations. It acknowledges not only the city's stunning beaches but also its rich history, world-class amenities, and the warmth of its welcoming community.



Marbella has long been synonymous with luxury living, and this recent accolade further solidifies its reputation as a haven for those seeking the finest Mediterranean lifestyle. From upscale real estate to Michelin-starred dining and exclusive shopping, Marbella offers a lifestyle that resonates with sophistication and elegance.



Whether you're considering making Marbella your home or indulging in a luxurious vacation, this award reaffirms what we've known all along – Marbella is the epitome of European elegance and charm.



Marbella's achievement as the Best European Destination for 2024 also shines a spotlight on the Costa del Sol as a whole. The region's commitment to providing an unparalleled living experience, coupled with its natural beauty and cultural richness, contributes to its status as a global destination of choice.


Here is a selection of other accolades awarded to Marbella, and the neighbouring municipalities on the Costa del Sol.


Blue Awards for the Costa del Sol Beaches.



Along the Costa del Sol, the sun-kissed shores have not only captured hearts but also earned prestigious Blue Flag Awards for their pristine beauty and commitment to environmental excellence.

The Blue Flag Awards go beyond the pristine sands and crystal-clear waters. They recognise efforts in environmental education and sustainable management. The Costa del Sol's commitment to preserving its natural beauty is evident in initiatives promoting biodiversity, waste reduction, and the overall well-being of its coastal ecosystems.




Marbella's beaches have been graced with the Blue Flag, a symbol of quality and environmental stewardship. From the iconic Playa de la Fontanilla to the golden sands of Puerto Banús, Marbella's commitment to maintaining clean, safe, and sustainable coastal areas has gained well-deserved recognition.




Estepona takes pride in its pristine beaches, each waving the Blue Flag as a testament to their commitment to environmental education, water quality, and safety. Estepona's Playa del Cristo and Playa de la Rada characterise the city's dedication to providing locals and visitors with an unspoiled coastal paradise.



Malaga Province.

Beyond Marbella and Estepona, the entire Malaga province boasts an array of Blue Flag beaches, each contributing to the region's reputation as a premier coastal destination. From the charming coves of Nerja to the family-friendly Playa de la Malagueta, these beaches showcase the diversity and beauty of the Costa del Sol.



Estepona was a finalist for European City of the Year 2023.



In 2023 Estepona, dubbed the 'garden of the Costa del Sol', was selected as one of the three finalists for the impressive 2023 European City of the Year award - even though it is only a town.



Estepona lies in the heart of the Costa del Sol; between San Pedro Alcántara to the east, and Casares Playa to the west. It has over 20 km of coastline, with 17 different beaches. It is 45-minutes from Gibraltar, an hour from Malaga airport and only 2.5 hours’ drive to the ski resort of Sierra Nevada.


Known as the Garden of the Costa del Sol (El Jardín de la Costa del Sol) its sheltered setting; nestled between the sea and the mountains; gives Estepona a protected natural environment supplying an all-year-round micro-climate with approx. 325 days of sunshine annually.



The municipality shares inland borders with Benahavis and the Los Reales de Sierra Bermeja Natural Park. It is home to residential areas and developments such as Bahia Dorada, Galera Park, Seghurs, Selwo, Casasola, Reinoso, El Padron, Benamara, El Paraiso, Estepona West, Marina and Port, Old Town, and the New Golden Mile.



The town hosts a variety of events: the food and wine market along the promenade; open air concerts and shows. In addition to the culture, Summer in Estepona, brings with it the celebration of various saints’ feast days … and the town fairs.



Sharing the finalist spot was the city of Exeter in the county of Devon in England. Both Estepona and Exeter were pipped at the post by the winner and third finalist Amersfoot, a city in the Netherlands.



The winner was determined by London-based organisation, The Academy of Urbanism, made up of architecture and urban planning professionals from several different countries, who sent a delegation to Estepona to evaluate the quality of life offered, local culture, infrastructure, and sustainability.



The Estepona town hall was quoted as saying “the Academy of Urbanism is an independent non-profit organisation that aims to recognise the cities "with good practices in urban planning." The Mayor of Estepona, José María García Urbano, said he was "enormously satisfied" at the honour of being in the top 3 finalists and he considered the municipality as "a benchmark at European level of modern, sustainable living, with quality of life and respect of the environment".



Costa del Sol Hotel: No. 1 in Spain, 9th in the World. TripAdvisor's Travellers Choice Awards 2023.



Staying in Estepona, Ikos Andalusia, was proclaimed the best hotel in Spain, and ranked ninth overall in the world, in the ‘Best Hotels’ category by the 2023 Traveller’s Choice awards from Tripadvisor.



TripAdvisor's Travellers Choice Awards are a testament to the opinions and reviews of millions of travellers worldwide. The fact that this Costa del Sol hotel secured the top position in Spain; and a spot among the world's best; speaks volumes not only about its commitment to excellence and guest satisfaction, but also the overall enchantment of the Costa del Sol.



Ikos Andalusia is part of the brands group of all-inclusive, child-friendly, luxury beachfront resorts, that are located on some of the Mediterranean’s most spectacular coastlines.  There are several situated in Greece, and another Spanish one in Mallorca.



This award-winning hotel on the Costa del Sol has perfected the art of combining luxury with warm hospitality. From breathtaking views of the Mediterranean to impeccable service, every detail is crafted to provide an unforgettable experience for guests. Whether you're a local looking for a staycation or an international traveller seeking the epitome of beachside elegance, this hotel sets the standard.



Beyond the luxurious accommodations and world-class service, the Costa del Sol itself plays a crucial role in the hotel's success. The region's sunny climate, stunning beaches, and vibrant culture create an irresistible backdrop for travellers seeking the perfect blend of relaxation and adventure.

This accolade not only highlights the exceptional hospitality offered by this esteemed hotel but also showcases the region's ability to provide world-class experiences.



Whether you're considering a permanent residence, vacation home, or investment opportunity, the Costa del Sol offers a lifestyle that seamlessly intertwines with the excellence exemplified by the award-winning hotel.



Malaga is honoured as one of Spain’s top three cities for culture and the arts.



Malaga, the vibrant capital city on the Costa del Sol, has been honoured as one of Spain's top three cities for culture and arts. Highlighting the city's flourishing reputation as a cultural hub.



Malaga has long been cherished for its historic charm, stunning architecture, and a deep-rooted connection to the arts. This recent recognition as one of Spain's top three cities for culture and arts is a testament to Malaga's commitment to preserving and promoting its cultural heritage. This acknowledgment underscores the city's diverse cultural offerings, including museums, theatres, galleries, and a thriving arts scene that captivates both locals and visitors.



From the world-renowned Museo Picasso Málaga to the historic Alcazaba fortress, Malaga boasts a cultural kaleidoscope that spans centuries. The city's commitment to preserving its historical landmarks while fostering contemporary artistic expression has created a unique blend that resonates with art enthusiasts of all kinds.



Malaga's recognition as a top cultural city is not just about its past; it reflects the city's vibrant present and promising future; it is a haven for creativity. Artists, performers, and creators from various disciplines find inspiration in Malaga's dynamic atmosphere, contributing to the city's ever-evolving cultural landscape.



Whether you're considering making Malaga your home or seeking a cultural retreat, this award solidifies the city's status as a beacon of creativity and expression.



Fun things to do at Easter in Marbella and throughout the Malaga Province.



Spain has long been the favourite for tourists and British, Scandinavian, and other Northern European second-home buyers and retirees. With the endless stretches of award-winning beaches, the guaranteed sunshine, the exquisite food. Scorching temperatures in the summer months, a more moderate climate in spring and autumn, then winter brings with it cooler nights, but still, plenty of glorious sunny days, with beautiful cloudless skies.


Marbella, and the surrounding areas of Estepona, San Pedro, Benahavis, and Cabopino, have big expat communities and there is a large population of winter tourists, and regular yearly visitors that come for the cooler months.



Year round it is the perfect place to visit, or live. And the Easter holidays are no exception …



Thousands of tourists from all over Europe and other parts of Spain flock to Andalucia to enjoy Semana Santa, which is the Spanish name for Easter or “Holy Week”. Four national days of holidays, and no work, mean that visitors and locals alike can enjoy everything that is great about Marbella in Springtime. Beautiful weather ensures that the beaches and paseos are full of families and friends, enjoying relaxing days and fun filled nights.



Easter is a time when Marbella comes alive with religious processions, cultural events, and a palpable sense of community spirit. Semana Santa is a deeply rooted tradition, combining religious devotion with artistic expression. The city's streets are adorned with intricate processions featuring ornate floats, religious icons, and traditional music. Locals and visitors gather to witness this spectacle, immersing themselves in the rich cultural heritage of the region.



Along Marbella's Golden Mile, the Easter period brings a unique charm. Many local businesses, restaurants, and beach clubs embrace the festive spirit, offering special menus, events, and themed activities. Enjoy leisurely strolls along the picturesque promenade, adorned with spring flowers, and take in the breathtaking views of the Mediterranean as the city exudes an air of celebration and joy.



Just a short drive from Marbella, Estepona celebrates spring with its vibrant Floral Festival, where the streets come alive with colourful flower displays and traditional Andalusian festivities. Estepona's charming Old Town provides a perfect backdrop for this floral extravaganza.



San Pedro del Alcántara hosts its traditional Feria in the spring, featuring lively parades, flamenco performances, and a festive fairground atmosphere. It's a fantastic opportunity to experience the local culture and indulge in traditional Spanish cuisine.



Known as the "Dining Room of the Costa del Sol," Benahavís boasts a gastronomic fair during spring. Explore the village's charming streets and squares while savouring a variety of local and international dishes.


Fuengirola, a bustling coastal town, hosts a variety of international events during spring. From music festivals to cultural exhibitions, there's always something happening to cater to diverse tastes.



Venture to Malaga for the Feria de Abril, a lively event featuring flamenco dancing, horse parades, and traditional Andalusian music. Malaga's springtime festivities capture the essence of the region's vibrant culture.



Or you could head south to Gibraltar, where the British influence adds a unique flavour to the spring festivities. Explore the Rock of Gibraltar, indulge in duty-free shopping, and witness the blending of cultures in this fascinating British Overseas Territory.



As you bask in the warmth of spring on Marbella's Golden Mile and explore the diverse cultural offerings of the surrounding areas, you'll discover that the Costa del Sol truly comes alive during the Easter period. ¡Feliz Primavera! (Happy Spring!)



Dolan Property, real estate specialists based in the heart of Marbella.



The awards afforded to the Costa del Sol not only signify the beauty of Marbella, Estepona, and other coastal gems but also reflect a commitment to sustainable living and environmental responsibility.



Visitors to Spain from all over Europe, and other parts of the world, have always seen the Costa del Sol as a tourism hotspot. Now Malaga (only 30 mins drive from Marbella) is emerging as a hub for European business with Vodafone, Google, and Citigroup all recently opening new offices in the city.



For a growing group of individuals, Marbella ad the Costa del Sol has also become a base to work from, with online jobs and telecommuting having become increasingly popular.



Luckily Spain has a fantastic internet infrastructure in place – with over 82% of the population having access to a connection. Spain is well served by a variety of providers; speeds are generally good; and prices are fairly low. 3G and 4G is available throughout the country, and 5G is available in most cities and urban areas.



Whether you're drawn to a relaxed way of life, a more temperate climate, appreciation of the arts and culture, religious traditions, lively fairs, or international events, this region offers a rich tapestry of experiences for residents and visitors. There is a beauty that extends far beyond the beaches; offering the chance of a highly sought after, enviable lifestyle.



There are no restrictions on non-EU citizens buying property in Spain, and if the purchase is more than €500,000 the buyers are eligible for a golden visa – which amongst other perks, also allows free movement throughout the Schengen area.



We understand that choosing a new home is a big step, and for those of you buying or selling a property in a foreign country, it can be very stressful, Dolan Property is here to help. If you are looking for a professional real estate expert; we are based in the heart of Marbella’s Golden Mile and specialise in high quality, desirable properties in prime residential locations; Nagüeles, Sierra Blanca, Cascada de Camoján, East and West Marbella, Istan Road, Nueva Andalucia, and the new Golden Mile in Estepona.



Dolan Property specialists are committed to the highest levels of business and ethical standards, and we are proud members of the Leading Property Agents of Spain (LPA).




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