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?…
Spring, summer, autumn or winter – there’s always a school holiday just around the corner.
If you’re determined to spend it in a sun-soaked holiday hurrah then there’s nowhere better than the southern Spanish coast. It’s simply got the the whole package of great weather, gorgeous food and plenty of things with which to keep the whole brood occupied.
So if you’re looking for a stylish getaway that’s also fun for all the family, check out our guide to the best things to do in and around Marbella with kids…
With rope bridges, zipwires, tree climbing and swing bridges this treetop rope adventure circuit challenge is not for you if you’re a vertigo-sufferer. (The highest safety standards are adhered to, though, with harnesses and introductory training.)
There’s a mini kids’ course for 4 -7 year-olds and from 7 years, and up there are 83 challenges in the trees and 20 ziplines in total. You can challenge your family for up to 3 hours in Adventura Amazonia.
Address: C/ Valeriano Rodríguez, 2, 29604, Marbella; Aventura-amazonia.com.
2. Mundo Mania
Having indoor and outdoor play areas, catering for all ages and holding workshops, too, Mundo Mania is straight up kiddie nirvana. The outdoor facilities have a water park area, trampolines, multi-sports pitches, while indoors there are pool tables and the small matter of the biggest soft play area on the Costa del Sol.
There’s a restaurant and bar for children’s snacks and adult meals. With plenty of events planned for all ages it’s always worth checking out their website for specific dates. Mundo Mania is located within walking distance of some of our Los Flamingos villas, so for a family fun getaway please do ask us for availability!
Address: Camino de Brijan, 53-75, 29688 Estepona, Malaga; Mundo-mania.com.
3. Wakeboarding in Parque de Las Medranas
This park and lake in San Pedro Alcantara is the place to take the teens to hang out and hit the water for a wakeboarding lesson or two. It’s a cable pully lap system so it’s great for continuous riding and there are plenty of obstacles.
In Summer there’s also live music, DJ sets, a swimming pool and snack bar and it’s open 6 days a week (closed on Mondays).
Address: Parque de Las Medranas s/n, 29670, San Pedro de Alcantara, Marbella; Cableskimarbella.es.
4. Marbella Buggys
Feel the need for speed? If you’ve got an adrenaline junkie in your family then a buggy tour will be right up their street.
Head for the mountains just outside Marbella and hit the dirt tracks on a tour with a pro tour buggy leader. Anyone with a valid driving licence can get behind the wheel, while children can be co-pilots. You can choose from a 2 hour, 3 hour or day tour (which includes lunch).
Address: Camino de Montesol S/N, Rio Padron, 29680 Estepona; Marbellabuggys.com.
5. Hire a Catamaran
Hire a catamaran for the day and head out onto the Mediterranean to experience the coast from the sea. While the kids are looking out for dolphins or enjoying the thrills and spills of a banana boat ride, you can lie back on the nets and soak up the sun. Ask our Concierge for details.
Address: Puerto Deportivo de Marbella, C/ Duque de Ahumado s/n, 29600, Marbella.
6. Children’s Playground – Bulevar, San Pedro Alcantara
There are plenty of playgrounds dotted around Marbella but we think this is the best. There’s a 3km well-marked rollerblading, skating or bicycle track around the park as well as several great play areas and an amphitheatre where you can enjoy live music and shows during the summer, Feria week and school holidays.
Address: Av. Luis Braille, 29670 San Pedro Alcantara, Malaga.
7. Kid’s Spa
This is a beauty, modelling and craft hub for children where you can pre-book experiences at the spa or in your villa. Whether it’s a t-shirt design workshop, kid’s cinema or mother and daughter manicures, there are loads of opportunities for family fun.
They can organise birthday parties and events in their salon or in your own villa, so check out their website for what’s happening when you’re on holiday.
More information: Calle Arturo Rubinstein, 3, 29602 Marbella, Málaga. Kidspamilkandroses.com.
8. Food Room Marbella
Nurture your mini-foodies with a kid-friendly live cookery experience at the Food Room. They run regular cookery classes and school holiday clubs in English and Spanish for children ages 6 years and over, or can organise a private class just for you.
Discover the secrets of great Spanish cooking during your stay in Marbella and take home much more than just the photos!
More information: Urb. Guadalmina Alta, San Pedro de Alcantara, 29670 Marbella, Málaga. Foodroom.es
9. Beach – Dunas de Artola at Cabopino
Why this particular stretch of sand over the other beaches in Marbella? Well, the maze of sand dunes and historic tower, the Torre de los Ladrones, make it just that bit more fun for children. It’s also next to Cabopino port with its small marina and family-friendly restaurants.
Address: Cabopino Beach, 29604 Marbella, Málaga.
10. Segway Tour
Hire a Segway and go for a ride along the coast or have a guided tour around Marbella. With special Segways just for children, even the littlest members of the clan can hit the road.
Address: Avenida de las Naciones Unidas, CC Cristamar, Local 2, 29660, Marbella; Marbellasegwaytours.com.
11. Marbella Historic Centre
Marbella has a charming old quarter with cascading plant-filled streets, cobbled squares, shops and restaurants that’s great for a day when the appeal of the pool (eventually…) starts to tire. Have a meander around with an ice cream and visit the very beautiful Museum of Contemporary Spanish Engravings (Museo del Grabado Espanol Contemporaneo).
More information: Calle Hospital Bazán, s/n, 29601 Marbella; MGEC.es.
Things To Do with the family Around Marbella
In Estepona there’s 1.9km of outdoor track where you can race go-karts to your heart’s delight. Children from 6 years old can drive, while younger children can be a passenger with a parent.
Address: Salida 155 A-7. Junto a gasolinera GALP. 29680, Estepona; Kartfun.es.
13. Horse Riding
Some say the best way to see a country is on horseback. At Los Caireles, you can take a ride into the countryside around Marbella no matter what your level.
Address: Urbanización Hacienda Cortes, C/ El Almendral S/N, 29603, Marbella; Loscaireles.es.
Theme Parks & Water Parks NEAr marbella
Given its popularity as a family holiday destination, the Costa del Sol inevitably has more than its fair share of amusement parks. And while they can be busy places, they also guarantee a fun day out for the family, particularly in shoulder season when queues are shorter.
This zoo in Fuengirola has gorillas, crocodiles, lemurs, giant tortoises, hippopotamus, tigers and much more. The park is divided into territories: the island of Madagascar, Equatorial Africa, Southeast Asia and islands of the Indo Pacific.
Great care has gone into the rain forest feel of the park. The path leads you through the different territories under tunnels, over bridges and around enclosures. There’s quite a lot of shade and it’s very friendly to small children.
Opening times: Open every day from 10 – 18hrs, July and August 10 – 23hrs
More information: Calle Camilo José Cela, 6, 29640 Fuengirola, Málaga. Bioparcfuengirola.es
This safari park is much bigger than Bioparc. It also offers more than animals, too, it has a huge zipwire, 65 metres of hanging bridges, archery and trampolines.
Animal-wise there are white rhinoceros, elephants, cheetahs, giraffes, pythons, waterbucks, lions, wallabies and more.
The Central Village – where the big African animals are – is the show-stopper. Be sure to book the Serengeti Safari where you get taken inside the enclosures in a customised jeep.
Opening times: 14th Feb – Oct 10 – 18hrs, Jul and Aug 10 – 20hrs, Nov – Feb varied opening times, please check the website.
Address: Selwo Adventura, Avenue Parque Selwo s/n, A7 highway km 162,5, 29680, Estepona; Selwo.es.
16. Tivoli World
Tivoli World in Benalmadena is a compact theme park, but with its many attractions and regular live shows it’s undoubtedly one of the best things to do on the Costa del Sol with kids. For the smallest members of the family, ‘Tivoliandia’ offers rides better suited for little ones.
To make your trip even more fun, take a ride on the Cable Car which runs from right outside Tivoli and takes you up the mountain to enjoy spectacular views of the coast. At the top you can enjoy a Birds of Prey display and grab a snack at the restaurant.
17. Sea Life
Still in Benalmadena, this small aquarium in the award-winning Puerto Marina has sharks, stingrays, jellyfish and more. Be sure to be around for feeding times.
Opening times: Open daily from Monday to Sunday from 10 – 17:30hrs
More information: Puerto deportivo, s/n, 29630 Benalmadena Costa, Málaga. Visitsealife.com
The biggest water park near Marbella is Aqualand in Torremolinos. It has 18 slides and attractions including the dare-devil Kamikaze, Rapids, Boomerang, speed racers and Black Hole among others. It’s a great day out for all the family and has an area dedicated to toddlers and non-swimmers.
Opening times: 20th May 2019
Address: C/ Cuba, 10, Torremolinos, 29620; Aqualand.es.
19. Costa Water Park
Costa Water Park can be found in various locations along the coast – Benalmadena, Fuengirola, Mijas Costa, Elviria, Marbella and Sotogrande. An inflatable assault course in the sea, it’s a lot of fun and one of the absolute best things to do with kids when the mercury starts to rise.
Life jackets are given out as part of the ticket so there’s peace of mind. Open during the summer months only.
More information: Costawaterpark.com.
Inland family Adventures from Marbella
This is a guided wolf tour – which is exactly as cool as it sounds. The wolves in Lobopark aren’t domesticated, so you get the unique experience of watching these amazing creatures ‘in the wild’.
For families with older children there are Wolf Howl Nights tours, where on full moons the park does special tours to see (and hear) the wolves when they’re at their most active.
More information: Ctra. Antequera-Álora, km 16, 29200 Antequera, Málaga. Lobopark.com
21. El Torcal Natural Reserve
At the prehistoric El Torcal Natural Reserve kids go wild for the bizarre rock formations and the possibility – however small – of actually discovering a dinosaur fossil.
There are three routes that you can follow – red, yellow or green – though the red route is restricted in order to protect flora and fauna. The green route is the easiest but the yellow, which is only slightly steeper/rockier, is more dramatic.
More information: El Torcal, Ctra. A-7075, 29200 Antequera, Málaga. Torcaldeantequera.com
22. el Caminito del Rey
There aren’t many walks in the world quite like the gravity-defying – and incredibly beautiful – Caminito del Rey in El Chorro. With a large part of the route clinging to the cliff edge above a gorge, it’s a spectacular way to spend a morning or afternoon… for those who aren’t afraid of heights, that is.
Tickets must be booked in advance, please contact us for more information.
More information: 29550 Ardales, Málaga. Caminitodelrey.info.
Malaga city with kids
Malaga city has it all, beach, museums, shopping, art and great restaurants. If you’re planning some time in Malaga city while on holiday there are lots of things to do with children that are both educational and fun.
23. The Pompidou Centre
While most of Malaga’s art galleries hold fun classes on the weekends for over 5 year olds, the Pompidou Centre in particular is very good at catering for children. Not only is it generally very child-friendly with a cafe, shop, toilet and changing facilities, but it has a room dedicated to pre-teens with all sorts of interactive activities built around learning about artists.
The Pompidou Centre is on the pedestrianised Muello Uno which is perfect for families with its electric car rental, bikes, play areas and boat trips as well as shops, markets, restaurants and bars.
More information: Pasaje Doctor Carrillo Casaux, s/n, 29016 Málaga. Centrepompidou-malaga.eu.
24. Castle & Fort
If you’d like to be outside, then the Alcazaba and Gibralfaro are a fun attraction for the family. Not far from the Wheel, situated in the centre of Malaga, this 10th-century fort-palace complex allows for imaginations to run wild and little legs to get tired.
Opening times: 9.00 hrs – 20.00 hrs in the summer and 9.00 hrs – 18.00 hrs in the winter.
More information: Calle Alcazabilla, 2, 29012 Málaga.
25. Interactive Music Museum – MIMA
Ideal for budding rock stars, visitors are taken through the history of musical instruments with plenty of opportunities to try them out, too. Look out for activities for children during the school holidays and weekends.
More information: Av. de José Ortega y Gasset, 201, 29006 Málaga. Musicaenaccion.com.
26. Automobile Museum
In an old tobacco factory, this museum has a large collection of vintage and unusual cars, as well as fashion and art. Great for all ages, it’s a good option to please the whole family and break up the day. It’s not very big and can be visited easily in a couple of hours.
Opening times: Monday to Sunday from 10.00 – 19.00hrs
Address: Museo Automóvil Malaga, Edificio de La Tabacalera, Avenida Sor Teresa Prat 15, Malaga; Museoautomovilmalaga.com.
Like our pick of things to do in Marbella with kids and thinking of a special family break? Check out our selection of Marbella villas.
Array (  => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 78708 [post_author] => 5 [post_date] => 2019-12-02 11:31:07 [post_date_gmt] => 2019-12-02 11:31:07 [post_content] => 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? Perhaps the best part of all is just how easy it is to get to...
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.