What to Do: Summer 2024 Activities in Marbella

Pia Arrieta DM Properties
12 minutes to read

Not so long ago, Marbella was a sleepy fishing village with beautiful beaches, an enviable climate, and fields of sugar cane, citrus trees, and olive groves. Times have changed, however, and with the growth of luxury tourism, it has become a mecca for year-round entertainment, a thriving town with something to offer everyone from families with young children to couples and groups of friends.

sailing on Costa del Sol

Summer is the season when Marbella puts on a show, with many activities to keep even the most energetic visitors and residents on their toes. Of course, much of the fun is centred around aquatic pursuits – beaches, pools, and water parks are the best places to be once temperatures rise. Step away from the beaches, though, and a wide range of activities are still available.

Read on to discover our suggestions for things to do in Marbella this holiday season.

Guaranteed Summer Sun – Marbella’s Ideal Microclimate

Caminito del rey
Caminito del rey

Whether you're visiting from a country accustomed to rainy, cloudy summers or you live here year-round, you can count on Marbella for a hot, dry summer. The unique microclimate, shaped by the Sierra Blanca mountains and the Mediterranean Sea, ensures moderated temperatures compared to surrounding areas. The mountains serve as a natural shield against extreme weather, while the sea offers a cooling effect, keeping temperatures pleasant. In summer, Marbella's temperatures usually hover around 30°C (86°F), rarely becoming uncomfortable thanks to the frequent sea breezes.

This makes it an ideal destination for those seeking sun and warmth without the intense heat that can be found in other Mediterranean locales. Additionally, once the sun goes down temperatures are usually mild – you will frequently hear the word ‘balmy’ to describe evenings in Marbella – perfect for enjoying outdoor dining and late-night strolls along the beachside promenade.

The sea itself remains invitingly warm, averaging between 22-23°C (72-73°F), ideal for swimming and various water sports. This favourable climate makes Marbella a perfect summer getaway and supports a lifestyle centred around outdoor activities, whether it's lounging on the beach, exploring the town's charming streets, or engaging in more adventurous pursuits.

Music and Festivals

Starlite Marbella
Starlite Marbella

If you’re a music lover, you will be spoilt for choice this summer, with the promise of a wide-ranging mix of music festivals and cultural events. The Starlite Festival is a highlight (from 14th June – 31st August) and features top international artists in a unique open-air amphitheatre setting in the hills above the Golden Mile. It’s a superb location that enhances the experience with its natural acoustics and stunning surroundings.

Attendees can expect performances from world-famous artists such as Take That, Tom Jones, Keane, and Simple Minds, offering genres from pop to rock to classical and flamenco. The Oasis Marbella Fest in San Pedro Alcántara also sees the I Love Reggaeton and Love the ‘90s sets return once again, while Plácido Domingo at the Starlite Festival is a treat for opera lovers.

Sporting Events and Outdoors Activities

Polo Holmes Sotogrande
Polo Holmes Sotogrande

Sports aficionados will find plenty to keep them entertained this season. The International Polo Tournament in Sotogrande (22nd July – 31st August), held just a short drive from Marbella, is one of the most prestigious events on the polo calendar, attracting the world’s best players and offering a glamorous social scene.

Meanwhile, the Marbella Cup Soccer Tournament is an international grassroots event for youngsters held on June 21st – 24th. Equally anticipated are the sailing regattas in Marbella and Sotogrande, with the World Championship Raceboard competition taking place in nearby Cádiz (16th – 21st September). In September, as the summer heat wanes, the Sierra Blanca Half Marathon will see competitors push themselves to their limits among picturesque scenery. Avid tennis players are also well served – tennis is a passion shared by many, with a host of clubs offering various playing surfaces, as well as many also offering padel tennis courts. For tennis and paddle tennis enthusiasts, we have compiled a comprehensive list of all the tennis clubs and paddle tennis clubs in Marbella and surrounding areas.

If you’re looking for sporting venues, gymnasiums and clubs please also read our Guide to Fitness and Sports in Marbella.

Golf lovers will find our Guide to Golf Courses in Marbella very useful, with a detailed list of all courses available, their history and characteristics.

dolphin watching Marbella
Dolphin watching

Enjoying the Mediterranean life is easy for anyone, with a variety of sea adventures on offer. Embark on a sailing and dolphin-watching tour from Puerto Banús on a beautiful sailboat with Veleros Marbella, where you can enjoy picturesque views, spot dolphins, and participate in water activities like stand-up paddle boarding, all from abroad the yacht. For a romantic experience, try sunset sailing along Marbella’s coast, complete with snacks, soft drinks, and unforgettable views of Marbella, Gibraltar, and the African coastline.

Stand Up Paddle is a popular and eco-friendly way to enjoy the coastline from the sea, as are kayaks, hire them from Marbella Rental Point and get a different perspective on Marbella. If you're seeking high-speed thrills, they also offer jet ski experiences, either rental or a guided tour. Boat fishing trips from Marbella are also popular, get in touch with Marbella Fishing to enjoy a fun trip on the Mediterranean.

On land, the Andalucian countryside offers spectacular hiking opportunities, where you can discover flora, fauna, and historical sites such as Moorish castles and Roman ruins. The famous Caminito del Rey offers a thrilling walk along cliff-side paths and suspension bridges, with dramatic scenery perfect for photos. Canyoning near Marbella is a must-do, suitable for adventurers of all ages, featuring activities like wading, abseiling, and pool jumping through stunning natural landscapes.

Buggy Adventures
Buggy Adventures

For off-road enthusiasts, a buggy adventure provides incredible views of the sea and Istán Lake. You can also experience the excitement of quad biking through Marbella’s hinterland, with opportunities to swim in natural pools. Alternatively, a Jeep tour allows you to explore the Sierra de las Nieves National Park, swim in rivers, and visit traditional white villages, offering a glimpse into the local culture and history.

With such a diverse array of activities, Marbella is an ideal destination for sports and outdoor enthusiasts looking to experience the best of land and sea.

Cultural Events and Fairs

Málaga Fair

Marbella’s cultural scene is well served, with a wide range of museums, events and happenings all year round, however it is particularly engaging this summer. The Nueva Andalucía Fair held in the third week in July, is a vibrant local event featuring traditional music, dance, and delicious regional cuisine, with a fun fairground for all the family.

For an even grander cultural experience, the Málaga Fair (Feria de Málaga) from 15th to 24th August is a must-visit. This ten-day event transforms the city into a festive extravaganza with a mix of day and night celebrations. Expect lively street parties, music, dancing, traditional horse parades, and impressive fireworks. The fairgrounds come alive at night with amusement rides, food stalls, and live performances, offering a perfect blend of traditional Andalucian culture and modern festivities.

Exclusive Parties and Nightlife

Olivia Valere
Olivia Valere

Marbella has long been synonymous with glamour and luxury, particularly when it comes to its vibrant nightlife. Since the 1950s, when the likes of Audrey Hepburn and Grace Kelly graced its shores, Marbella has been a playground for the rich and famous. Gradually exclusive nightclubs and beach clubs were opened to entertain their illustrious clientele, drawing celebrities, aristocrats, and jet-setters from around the globe. This legacy of glamour and opulence continues today, making Marbella a top destination for those seeking high-end entertainment and unforgettable nights.

One of the most iconic venues in Marbella’s nightlife scene is Olivia Valère. An institution that has been hosting glamorous events for over two decades, it’s a spot that draws everyone looking to experience the exclusive Marbella feeling.

Olivia Valere
Exclusive Parties

Located just off the Golden Mile, the club’s design is reminiscent of Moorish palaces, featuring ramparts and opulent interiors that transport guests to a bygone era of luxury. The venue includes multiple rooms, each offering a unique ambience, from the vibrant main dance floor to intimate lounges and an upscale restaurant blending Mediterranean and international cuisines. Globally renowned DJs, live performances, and themed parties have cemented Olivia Valère's reputation as a must-visit spot for anyone looking to experience the pinnacle of Marbella’s nightlife.

Marbella boasts a wide variety of nightclubs that cater to diverse tastes and preferences.

La Suite Marbella, located in the prestigious Puente Romano Hotel, is a premier nightlife destination, blending the vibrant energy of Manhattan's Studio 54 with the chic style of Marbella. The Puente Romano itself is a vibrant location to spend a summer’s evening, with a variety of bars and restaurants arranged around an attractive central square, known as La Plaza. Pangea, perched on the marina of Puerto Banús, offers breathtaking views of the Mediterranean Sea and a sophisticated atmosphere, attracting a chic crowd with its VIP service and impressive DJ line-ups.

TIBU Banús is known for its high-energy parties and celebrity sightings, featuring a large dance floor, VIP areas, and an open-air terrace that overlooks Antonio Banderas Square in the centre of Puerto Banús. Momento, one of the newer additions, provides a multi-sensory experience with avant-garde architecture and innovative lighting, hosting themed parties and performances by world-renowned DJs. Mirage Marbella, another newcomer, has quickly become one of Marbella's premier nightclubs with its stylish interiors offering a vibrant atmosphere and luxurious setting perfect for those looking to party in style. Each of these venues contributes to Marbella’s enduring appeal as a top nightlife destination, ensuring that the city remains at the forefront of glamorous, high-energy entertainment.

Family-Friendly Activities

Amazonia Adventure
Amazonia Adventure

There are plenty of family-friendly activities in Marbella, with something to entertain all ages and all year round. Aventura Amazonia Marbella is a standout, where adults and children can experience the thrill of giant zip lines and multi-adventure circuits in the shade of the pine treetops. This park offers an exciting mix of physical challenges and fun, making it a perfect day out for families looking to add some adventure to their holiday.

Costa Water Park is another excellent choice, with multiple locations including Benalmádena, Fuengirola, and Puerto Banús. This floating water park features giant slides, trampolines, and obstacle courses set on the sea, providing endless fun for all ages. Safety is a priority, with all participants required to wear life jackets and follow the guidance of trained monitors. The park is open from mid-June to mid-September, offering a perfect way to beat the summer heat while enjoying the water.

In addition to these parks, there are several other options to explore. Fuengirola Bioparc is renowned for its immersive animal exhibits and conservation efforts, providing an educational and entertaining experience. Selwo Aventura in Estepona brings a slice of African safari to the Costa del Sol, with expansive grounds home to a variety of exotic animals. For those looking to cool off, Aqualand Torremolinos and Aquamijas offer a range of water slides and pools, ensuring a fun-filled day for all ages.

Make the Most of a Day on the Beach

Jet Ski Marbella
Jet Ski Marbella

Marbella’s pristine beaches are well-equipped to ensure visitors have a comfortable and enjoyable experience. Most of the larger public beaches offer a range of equipment rentals to make the most of beach days. Many offer pedaloes, paddleboards, and jetskis for some exciting water adventures.

For the truly adventurous, why not try jet surfing? A jet surfboard is equipped with a motor that allows riders to glide over the water at high speeds. This thrilling water sport combines elements of surfing, wakeboarding, and motor sports, offering an exciting way to navigate the waves without needing wind or waves for propulsion. Jet surfboards can be rented at larger water sport centres, providing a unique and exhilarating experience for water enthusiasts. Additionally, many beaches have designated areas for beach volleyball and other sports, providing activities for all ages. With amenities such as bathrooms, lifeguards, and beachside cafes, Marbella's beaches are perfect for a full day of family fun.

Summer 2024 in Marbella is set to be the best yet, filled with diverse activities and events. Whether you’re drawn to music, sports, culture, or luxury, Marbella promises an unforgettable summer experience. Don’t miss out on the exciting events and unique atmosphere that define this beautiful Mediterranean city.

Pia Arrieta, 28 Jun 2024 - Lifestyle

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