Why do so many people come to Marbella in winter?

8th February 2023
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Your trusted Marbella real estate agent and property specialist on the Golden Mile.

Why do so many people come to Marbella in winter?


8th February 2023

By Michael Dolan



Spain has long been the favourite for British and Scandinavian second-home buyers, but why is that? It is easy to understand why it is popular in summer, the endless stretches of beautiful beaches, the guaranteed sunshine, the exquisite food, but what about the winter months?


With around 320 days of sunshine, the Costa del Sol has a microclimate that pretty much guarantees it is hot (hot, hot) in summer and that the winters are mild. Whilst it might be colder November through to March, especially at night, there are still plenty of days with a clear blue sky. Which is not only good for lifting the mood, but it also means you are able to get out and about. Enjoying leisurely walks along the paseos; stopping for coffee and tostadas con tomate y aceite (a typically Spanish breakfast); and generally, appreciating life out in the fresh air. Something that is not always possible if you are used to freezing temperatures; and wet, rainy weather back home.


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. Many thought that Brexit would dent the interest from the British, but the re-surge in popularity in 2021/2022, has shown that the Brits want their Spanish holiday homes, now more than ever.


This could be because 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.


Here are just a few reasons why the Costa del Sol is so popular in winter.


Golf in Marbella


In addition to the beaches, the Costa del Sol is famous for its golfing, and it attracts enthusiasts from all over the world. With good reason, there are over 70 courses situated between Torre del Mar and Sotogrande, the latter locale hosting one of the most renowned, the Real Club Valderrama. (Home of the 1997 Ryder Cup, 16 VOLVO Masters and two Amex Championships, and reputed to be best golf club in Spain.)


Marbella Golf Country Club, Santa Clara, Rio Real and Los Monteros Spa and Golf are all within the eastern territory of the municipality. In Benahavis, you will find the five-star hotel complexes (with golf), such as Villa Padierna and La Quinta, and the exclusive La Zagaleta development golf club. As well as Los Arqueros Golf & Country Club, and El Higueral, to name just a couple.



Other sports on the Costa del Sol


The western end of the Costa del Sol is famed for its world-class sporting facilities. Aside from the golf courses, there are many riding schools, gyms, yoga, and Pilates studios, and both football and tennis academies. Racquet sports are a huge favourite in Spain. Especially paddle tennis, known simply as pádel in Spanish, with several racket and pádel clubs available in the area (Manolo Santana, Club El Mirador, Aloha Tennis, Puente Romano Tennis, Real Club Padel Marbella).




There are miles of walks that you can take along the seaside paseos; and inland you will find plenty of nature trails, perfect for both walking and cycling. But, if you want something a little more challenging, Marbella is home to La Concha, the highest mountain in the area. Further out, but still in the Malaga province, is the jaw-dropping El Caminito del Rey.


La Concha (translates to shell)


At 1200 metres high, La Concha is the biggest mountain in and around the Marbella area. The mountain was named La Concha because of its distinct shell-like shape. The hike up to the summit can be started from Juanar, which is 25 minutes from central Marbella. It is a must for any walking fans, and it offers unrivalled views of the Costa del Sol including Estepona, San Pedro, Puerto Banús, the reservoir of La Concepción, and the Sierra de las Nieves national park.


Caminito del Rey (translates to The King's Little Path)


 “The King's Little Path”, is a walkway pinned along the steep walls of a narrow El Chorro gorge, near Ardales. The walkway was constructed in the early 1900s, but a century later it had fallen into disrepair and was partially closed for over a decade. It re-opened in 2015, after the undertaking of extensive repairs and renovations; that took four years, and cost in the region of €9 million.


It tenders unforgettable views. But it is not for the faint-hearted. Once dubbed the most dangerous walkway in the world – it presents the unique experience of strolling along walkways hanging over 100 metres up on a sheer cliff face.




If it is the culture you are after, then there is plenty to tempt you. Marbella’s museums focus on everything from its prehistoric roots, to great works of art. There is one devoted to wild olive trees, which includes a collection of miniature (Bonsai) trees. Another catalogues the history of oil pressing in the area. Then there are several galleries supporting differing studies, by artists such as Francis Bacon, and one showcasing a collection of Native American artwork.


Just up the road in Malaga you will find more galleries and museums, including The Pablo Picasso Museum, others dedicated to air travel, automobiles, and an interactive music centre.


And relax …….


Or you could just do nothing ….


Anyone who has immigrated to the Costa del Sol, will tell you the way of life here is incredibly relaxed. Especially in winter. Everything seems to move a little slower, there is no rush.


Maybe it is the endless blue sky, the sound of the waves lapping on the shoreline, and the wonderful views of the sea and mountains. It just seems to make you want to linger over your morning coffee; or entice you into taking a long leisurely lunch.



Staying in touch with the office.


For some people, Spain isn’t just a place to relax, chill, and enjoy some winter sun.  For a growing group of individuals, it 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.


Marbella is also ideally suited for those that may need to commute for work. You can reach the toll road in about 10 mins, Malaga airport is only 30-45 minutes’ drive east, and travelling west you will hit Gibraltar, and its smaller airport, in about an hour.




Property Sales in Marbella


It is a vendor’s market and if you are looking to sell, now is the time. Here at Dolan Property, we have been looking after all your real estate needs since 2009. We are actively looking for all types of new properties for our buyers - apartments, villas, townhouses.


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.


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. Our team of real estate experts provide a full ‘hands on’ service, we work in partnership with you (our client), your lawyer and any other professional advisers or consultants. Dolan Property is here to help you through the whole process, every step of the way.


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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