Are you wondering whether to move to Marbella or to buy property in Marbella? Let us share some interesting factors with you to help you make the right decision …
Exclusive Marbella. The five-star destination. Marbella is renowned for world-class tourism, celebrity visitors, Michelin star restaurants, luxury yachts and shopping. Step away from the five-star destination and you find a working town with real residents enjoying a Mediterranean lifestyle.
Marbella is divided into various neighbourhoods, from San Pedro de Alcantara in the west to east Marbella down to Cabopino in the east. Each has its own personality and depending on yours, there will be a neighbourhood in Marbella just right for your living needs.
Move to Marbella: Locations
Marbella is situated on the western side of the Costa del Sol. A 45-minute car drive to Malaga airport, and with good access as you have both the coast road and toll highway running past.
The N340 coast road splits Marbella, east Marbella and San Pedro de Alcantara into what we call beachside and mountainside. If you want to be beachside of the N340 coast road, expect to pay premium prices for a property purchase or long-term rental.
The municipal of Marbella is varied. Whatever type of life you’re looking for when you relocate to Spain, there’s a neighbourhood in Marbella that should suit. As long as you’re not looking for a country location, then check out our articles on Alhaurin el Grande and Mijas Pueblo.
San Pedro de Alcantara
San Pedro de Alcantara is situated to the west of Marbella, en route to Estepona. The old town of San Pedro is charming and exudes a lovely authentic Spanish feel. Head down towards the beach and you’ll find yourself in the area of Nueva Alcantara, which is a mix of new and old apartment complexes and villas.
For decades San Pedro was burdened by horrendous through traffic. The town hall invested in the construction of an underground tunnel to alleviate the problem, which took 10 years to construct, due to budget issues, but the result was worth it. The underground tunnel has lightened the through traffic and overground they created a beautiful boulevard with children’s play areas, restaurants and an outdoor performance area.
Puerto Banus & Nueva Andalucia
What used to be the go-to destination for the rich and famous has become much more accessible in recent years. Puerto Banus is home to excellent shopping, whether you are looking to spend serious dollars on designer brands, or want to go high street to favourite such as Mango and Zara. Come the evening and Puerto Banus becomes a party animal.
Nueva Andalucia is set behind Puerto Banus and is a popular residential location for those looking to be out of it but in it! It’s also known as Golf Valley, with several of the most popular golf clubs located here.
Between Puerto Banus and Marbella Town (below) you have the Milla de Oro (Golden Mile), a tree-lined boulevard which is home to two of the most prestigious hotels on the Costa del Sol, the Marbella Club Hotel and the Puente Romano Hotel, lots of restaurants and several beachside apartment complexes.
Many people who don’t know Marbella, think of Puerto Banus as Marbella. But Marbella town is a different animal altogether. The quintessential old town (casco antiguo) is simply beautiful. I have lived here for 17 years and it never ceases to charm when I walk through the cobbled streets.
Beachside of Marbella town combines busy, noisy commercial streets with apartment blocks piled on top, which offer both holiday and long-term rental properties, and of course, you can buy one if you want! To the west, the noise dies down and the commercial streets open out to residential streets with gated apartment urbanisations.
These are the areas you’ll see as a visitor, but in reality, the main residential area of Marbella is behind the old town. The neighbourhoods of Albarizas, Miraflores, El Mirador, are where you’ll find mostly Spanish residents. I could go on forever listing neighbourhoods, but better to book a free Skype consultation to discuss in more detail.
Between Marbella Town and the start of the municipality of Mijas, you find Marbella East. The beaches here are some of the best on the western Costa del Sol, and you’ll find this area to be ideal if you want to be close to Marbella, but you want to enjoy an out of town life.
There are several urbanisations that make-up Marbella East: Torre Real, Rio Real, Los Monteros, El Rosario, Elviria, Las Chapas and Cabopino. The area is a mixing pot of nationalities, as there are good private and public schools here, so it’s also popular with families.
Move to Marbella: Property
Marbella is such a wide area with diverse neighbourhoods, that the property options are also diverse. If you want to live in the centre of town in a traditional environment you can, or perhaps you want to be in a gated complex with a pool, you’ll find it. As you will a golf apartment, or a stand-alone villa with a private pool, gardens and a sea view.
In terms of property purchase and rental prices, on a scale of 1-10, Marbella prices are at the 8-10 range. Its reputation as a five-star resort means it’s a hugely popular tourist destination and therefore a popular buy-to-let investment destination.
Depending on the location you can expect to pay a rental price upwards of 1200 € per month for a 2-3 bed apartment and a starting price of 350,000 € to purchase the same property.
Move to Marbella: Transport
Marbella falls 30 kms short of the metro line that runs from Fuengirola to Malaga, so transport options are reduced to car, train, bus, taxi and coach. The bus route from Marbella to Fuengirola is great if you have all the time in the world, but forget it if you are in a hurry. There is a coach that takes you into Malaga, but a car is highly recommended if you want to lie stress-free!
Move to Marbella: Food & Drink
There is an amazing choice of restaurants in and around Marbella. From beach ‘chiringuitos’, to tiny tapas bars, to Michelin Star eateries. You could eat out every day for a year and not have covered all the restaurants on offer.
Move to Marbella: Kids Activities
When you have lived on the Costa del Sol for a while you will grow accustomed to travelling a few kilometres to enjoy the best activities and facilities. It’s normal to live in Marbella East and take your children to San Pedro or even Fuengirola to their hobby club.
And whatever your kids are into, you’ll find a club that will feed their ambition: gymnastics, football, basketball, chess, swimming, taekwondo… Plus all private, international and public schools offer after-school activities and clubs.
Move to Marbella: Sports Options
Kids clubs, adults clubs. Marbella caters for all. Here you’ll find world-class tennis and padel clubs (a mix of Badminton and tennis hugely popular here). You can run or cycle the paseo maritimo of Marbella right through to San Pedro if you are fit! And there are a host of great gymnasium options. Or head up into the hills behind Marbella to hike or walk in a natural paradise. I still haven’t done the six-hour climb up La Concha, but I’ll get there one day!
To live in Marbella is to live an outdoor life, and sports become a natural part of that. A healthy daily walk along the wooden boardwalk in Marbella East is one of life’s pleasures.
Move to Marbella: Education
Whatever scenario you are looking for in terms of education in Marbella, there are excellent options for your children. There are public schools, British curriculum private schools and of course international schools, which work on a 50/50 bilingual agenda, studying the Spanish Bachillerato curriculum.
Most public schools in the Málaga province are designated bilingual schools, with various topics being studied both in English and Spanish, and also in French for some years. And we live in such a cosmopolitan environment that you can guarantee if you do choose public education for your children, there will be lots of children speaking their language to help along the way.
Move to Marbella: Services
The Marbella municipality has various town hall locations from San Pedro through to Marbella East, so you don’t have to travel too far to get help with your bureaucratic questions and getting paperwork sorted out, such as your Padron Certificate.
There is a very good infrastructure and pretty much all of the services you would come to expect from a busy town you have available in Marbella.
So, there you have just a few of the many factors to consider before you decide to move to Marbella and surrounding areas. We are not saying that living in this area is for everyone but we can tell you that once you live here, it is very difficult to move anywhere else 😉 Why not come and visit and make your own mind up!
If you are buying a property in Marbella or planning to move to Marbella CONTACT US and we will be happy to help you.
How can we help you?
For lots more advice and information about moving to Spain, check out Lisa’s ebook “How To Move To Spain” and her very popular book ” Moving to Spain with Children” available via Amazon.