Marbella. There aren't many places offering year-round sunshine in Europe that, from beaches and golf to shopping and fine dining, tick as many of the luxury holiday boxes. Sounds tempting?…
Marbella and shopping. Did two things ever sit together so naturally? It’s all in the heritage: the area was born out of the golden age of wealthy jet setters in the 50s. And there’s one thing the glamorous jet set of yesteryear (and present day, for that matter) know how to do – and that is spend it.
While just up the road, Puerto Banus is door-to-door designer boutiques, Marbella’s offering is slightly more varied and you have to work a little harder to find its most inviting independent shops.
To give you a bit of a helping hand, we’ve picked out a handful of the very best in our guide to Marbella shopping.
The Best of the Boutiques
My Dreamy Shoes
Calle Nueva, 4
Dreamy by name, dreamy by nature. This small shoe shop in Marbella has a great selection of shoes for women and children, from wedges and espadrilles to boots and heels. If you want something a bit unusual in the way of footwear you’ll find it here.
Liz Cole Couture/The Hat Shop
Calle Panaderia, 4
Liz Cole’s studio is just off Plaza de los Naranjos, tucked away down a narrow street. She sources the most divine collection of kimonos, as well as making made-to-measure clothing out of handmade silk. She can design and make anything you want, from 40s-inspired shirt dresses to 50s full skirts as well as modern shift dresses. A dress takes about two months from design, to fitting to the finished article – so plan your trip well.
Atelier Marbella Crea
Avenida Miguel Cano 6 / Local 2 Bajo
Need a hat for the wedding season or ladies’ day at Ascot? Let’s face it, buying a hat off the peg to go with an outfit never looks quite right – you nearly always have to get one made that matches the colour or style of your outfit. Fortunately, your ideas are in safe hands with Atelier as they are a long-established milliners (and school) in Marbella.
Calle Nueva, 9
D.Oliva only stock the very finest produce from Andalucia – Owner David personally selects his wine from local vineyards and sells this alongside a mind-blowing choice and flavours of Spanish olive oil – try it with fresh pan de pueblo in the shop, or you can even book a full blown wine and food pairing (book it as part of an Old Town Marbella Tapas Tour with our colleagues at Toma Tours). It’s a great place to drop in to if you’re a food-lover.
Centro Comercial La Colonia (San Pedro de Alcantara)
Twist makes the cut for the LVC Marbella shopping edit as it stocks small brands that are casual, easy to wear and stylish. Don’t let the slightly dated shop fit and merchandising put you off as the collections are handpicked by the owner. It also stocks Hudson jeans and Ugg footwear.
Centro Comercial Centro Plaza, Avenida Manolete, 1, Local 39-40 (Nueva Andalucia)
A carefully selected range of clothing and accessories from largely Swedish designers fill this boutique in Nueva Andalucia. A range of unusual and sensibly priced brands such as Filippa K, Caterina Lucchi, Sixty Days and TCN make it well worth a visit.
Centro Comercial Centro Plaza, Avenida Manolete, Local 18-19 (Nueva Andalucia)
Born out of the need for unique, original pieces of clothing and accessories, Gunnels is a boho-chic, pretty, breath of fresh air. The owner is Swedish and is famed for her clogs (yes you heard correctly, clogs – just try them and you’ll see where we’re coming from). We love this boutique and always pop in when we’re in Nueva Andalucia.
Calle de Ramiro Campos Turmo, 10
Not forgetting the men, of course… Berdaguer is one of the more traditional, high-quality men’s clothing shops in Marbella. Stocking branded names such as Hackett, Burberry and Church’s, this boutique deals in classic clothing and a variety of accessories that would keep any man happy.
The Best of Vintage
These two vintage shops stock quality pieces from recognised names so it’s always worth popping in for that vintage Luis Vuitton backpack, Chloé silk dress or YSL circa 1984 belt you’ve always wanted.
Calle de Enrique del Castillo, 1
This little shop is filled from top to bottom with all sorts of vintage clothing and accessories. Be prepared to rummage, but there are gems to be found.
Avenida Ricarco Soriano, 21
Only stocking luxury brands, Ruz vintage has a great collection of clothes and accessories including a good selection of silk scarfs in perfect condition.
The Best Shopping Centre
Set back off the Carretera de Ojén and surrounded by palms, La Cañada makes for a great option if you’re wanting an afternoon away from the beach or the pool. There are a few designer names knocking about, but it’s largely the best of the Spanish high street that fills the space.
Classic styles in good quality fabrics fill Adolfo Dominquez stores. Its collections are forever favourites that won’t go out of fashion. Think a sea of tan, creams, navy, black and a nod to fashionable colours. They stock men’s and women’s clothing, accessories, costume jewellery and sunglasses.
Bimba y Lola
We love Bimba y Lola. Expect fresh designs that go from edgy, to classics with a twist. A relatively small collection is served up every season featuring bold colours, tailored trousers and dresses with shoes, bags and jewellery to compliment.
Men’s and women’s mid-range designer shop Purificacion Garcia always delights with flattering cuts, inventive designs and forever pieces.
If you’re after a suitably glamorous base camp for your Marbella shopping trip, check out our collection of luxury villas.
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Where is Marbella?First things first, though. Where is it? Marbella is in southern Spain - in the province of Malaga in the Andalucia region, to be exact - on a stretch of coast called the Costa del Sol. Here's a map of Marbella to help you get your bearings:
Where Do You Fly to?It depends on from where you're flying in. The nearest international airport to Marbella is Malaga. Málaga-Costa del Sol Airport (Aena.es) is 51km away and an easy 40-minute car/taxi ride. Virtually all the major airlines fly there direct from the UK and from across northern Europe. The next closest airport to Marbella is Gibraltar (Gibraltarairport.gi), which is just over an hour's drive away. British Airways, Easyjet and Monarch all fly direct from the UK to Gibraltar.
From the USIf you’re flying into Spain from the USA you'll probably have to travel to Madrid-Barajas Adolfo Suárez Airport (Aena.es). From there you'll have to either fly, take the fast speed AVE train (Renfe.com) or drive to Malaga and transfer from there to Marbella. The most convenient way to get to Marbella from Madrid is by the fast speed train taking just 2.5hrs or by flying taking only 1 hour and 15 mins.
how to get there from malaga airport
By CarThe best way to get from Malaga to Marbella is to drive. And if you're on holiday that probably means you're going to need to hire a car. As with almost all international airports, Malaga has a frankly baffling array of different car hire options to pick through. To avoid the scrum of the departures lounge, jump on the complimentary minibus to the offices of Niza, Helle Hollis or Enterprise situated a mere minute outside of the terminal. Inside the terminal you can find Sixt, Hertz and Europcar. If you're unsure of which company to use, click the following link. For a more luxury car hire service we'd recommend Sixt (Sixt.com). They're friendly, totally professional, trustworthy and have a range of high-end rental options, from BMWs, Audis and Porsches to Mercedes and Range Rovers - and even automatics. If you're travelling in a large group, they also have 8-12 seater self-drive minibuses available for hire. Of course if you're looking for ease, our Concierge can make the reservation for you to be dropped directly off at the villa. A car of your choice can be delivered to your villa. Once you've picked up your car/minibus hire, driving from Malaga airport to Marbella could hardly be easier. Directions from Malaga-Costa del Sol airport are as follows:
- Leave the airport and head southeast onto N-348
- At the roundabout, take the 2nd exit and stay on N-348
- Take the Torremolinos ramp to N-340/Cádiz
- Merge onto Avenida de Velázquez/N-340/MA-21
- Take the ramp to E-15/A-7/Benalmadena/Algeciras. Merge onto AP-7
- Pass Torremolinos, Benalmadena, Fuengirola
- Take exit 184 towards Marbella/Casco Antiguo/Avenida del Trapiche
By TaxiFor sheer ease, you can’t beat jumping in a taxi. A taxi rank is situated outside the arrivals sidewalk of Terminal T3, level 0. It's best to ask the driver, beforehand, how much a taxi is from Malaga to Marbella to ensure they don’t overcharge you. There are two transfer prices, and these are dependent on both times of the day and the day of the week. Transfer Price Band 1 is weekdays from 06.00 to 22.00 hrs. Transfer Price Band 2 is weekdays from 22.00 to 06.00 hrs, all day Saturdays, Sundays, public holidays, the August Feria and Holy Week. Band 2 transfer time is more expensive than Band 1. Alternatively, you can pre-order a taxi at Malaga Airport Taxi (Malagaairporttaxi.net) and get a price when booking. The transfer time from Malaga Airport to Marbella takes around an hour, in a taxi.
Other Ways to Get to Marbella
- By bus: It is possible to take a bus (Alsa.com) from Malaga airport to Marbella. But it's a whole lot less convenient than driving via hire car or private transfer.
- By train: There isn’t a train connection from Malaga airport to Marbella.
Distances - how far is marbella from...
- Malaga (city): 61km away and 46 minutes' drive.
- Granada: 187km and just over 2 hours' drive.
- Seville: 258km and 2 hours 45 minutes' drive.
- Gibraltar: 78km and 1 hour 2 minutes' drive.
- Madrid: 584 km and 5 hours 45 minutes' drive.
A Bit of HistoryThe land previously belonged to the Saudi businessman Adnan Khashoggi, who it is said, used the estate as his party house and hunting grounds. The property and land went up for sale and a group of Spanish property developers bought it and put plans together to create a playground for the rich and famous in Marbella. Each villa is unique, with their own styles depending on the specifications of the owner.
Location & Getting There
So where is La Zagaleta?The large estate sits in Malaga province in the south of Andalucia. It’s in the foothills of the Ronda Mountains just 25 minutes from Marbella, 18 minutes from Nuevo Andalucia and the nearest beach. It's 20 minutes from the village of Benahavis, 40 minutes from Sotogrande port, 50 minutes from Ronda, 55 minutes from Malaga airport and just over an hour from Gibraltar airport. La Zagaleta is very easily accessed by car or helicopter. There's heavy security surrounding the estate and entrance is on prior permission only.
What Else is in La Zagaleta?It’s worth noting that all the facilities in La Zagaleta are for exclusive use to villa owners only; they pay an enormous service charge to be allowed to use the facilities.
Golf CourseLa Zagaleta golf club is only open to villa owners and their guests. They have exclusive access to two of the Costa del Sol's best private golf courses, La Zagaleta and Los Barrancos. La Zagaleta golf course - known as the Old Course - is to championship standard with 18 holes, Par 72 over a distance of 4800 - 6000 yards. Designed by renowned golf architect Brad Benz in 1991 and redesigned by Marc Westenborg in 2016, it’s a rewarding course with fantastic views to the coast and flanked by mountains. The New Course, Los Barrancos, is very different to the Old Course. It’s a challenging 18-hole, Par 70 with lots of obstacles over a distance of 4356 – 5381 yards.
The ClubhousesThe hub of the estate is the spectacular Old Clubhouse, or La Zagaleta country club. Measuring 5,100m² it has an indoor/outdoor swimming pool, billiards, bowling alley, tennis courts, gourmet food supermarket, pro-golf shop and restaurants (see below). There's also a nightclub, bars and events space where there’s a full schedule of experiences and parties planned. The New Clubhouse is a thatched lakeside venue. A lot smaller than the Old Clubhouse, it's still just as popular with La Zagaleta residents for events or having a quick drink in the bar.
Horse RidingLa Zagaleta is home to some beautiful stables with indoor and outdoor schooling arenas. Horses can either be kept on a full livery basis, or horses and ponies can be hired for lessons or hacks. ‘The Riding Club’ equestrian centre has a team of instructors and well-schooled horses for all levels of rider including Arab, PRE and, for the children, Farabella horses and Welsh ponies.
RestaurantsWhy leave the comfort of a beautiful villa when you can enjoy a top-quality meal at home? At La Zagaleta there are Michelin starred chefs available for in-house dining throughout the estate. However, for owners the clubhouse has two restaurants: the formal dining Old Course Restaurant; and a terrace bar restaurant that's ideal for light bites and brunches.
Famous ResidentsThere is private security throughout the whole of La Zagaleta - so know one really know who lives or owns houses there. It’s a place where the super-rich and famous go to be away from the limelight. However, it is said that Hugh Grant, Rod Stewart and Vladimir Putin all have house in La Zagaleta.
What to Do NearbyWhen staying in La Zagaleta, the houses are so special that it’s sometimes difficult to tear yourself away from the estate. However, if you do want to see more of the area, here's our pick of easily accessible and great day trips:
- Ronda: historic, boutique wineries and ab-so-lutely beautiful.
- Benahavis village: a great option for restaurants; have a lunch or dinner in this pretty village.
- Granada: a romantic inland city and home to the Alhambra Palace, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
- Malaga: the birthplace of Picasso with a fort, palace and Roman amphitheatre.
- Cordoba: historic city with a stunning mosque-church at its centre.
- Sevilla: one of the most beautiful cities in Europe.
- Sotogrande: a lovely port, wake boarding lake and polo hub.