Walking on the Beaches of Marbella
- FIRST WALK starts in the famous Guadalmina Beach and passes by the following beaches: San Pedro, Cortijo Blanco, Puerto Banus, Puente Romano, Don Pepe and finishes in the harbour (Puerto Deportivo) of Marbella. The walk from Guadalmina to Marbella is approximately 2-3 hours, depending of your walking pace or cycling speed. There is a sea promenade that links San Pedro with Marbella. Guadalmina is still not linked to the promenade and you will be walking directly on the beach. In other parts of the walk you will also have to walk on the beach, entre a neighbourhood or walk up and down stairs. This shouldn’t put you off; most of the walk is a piece of cake.
The beach is next to the Golf Course of Guadalmina (first golf course in Marbella, south side 1959, and north side 1973). There are pebbles and stones in some parts of the beach, and the access by car is limited. This beach tends to be quiet (despite July-August), and in a clear day, you will have a great view over Gibraltar and Africa.
Next to the beach, there is an archaeological site called Cilniana with the remains a Roman thermal bath that dates from 300 b.C. Next to the thermal baths there is a Torre Almenara (surveillance tower) in very good condition. If you are interested in accessing this Roman archaeological site contact the Delegación de Cultura (department of culture) of the Ayuntamiento de Marbella (city council) or the association Vega del Mar. (http://vegadelmar.org)
San Pedro Beach (2)
Depending on the year, this beach is full of pebbles and stones, or sand and shells. Regularly, the council brings sand from the sea to fill up the beach. When this happens the beach is suddenly full of magnificent shells of all colours, shapes and sizes. However, when the beach is full of pebbles you can find marvellous stones from all materials and sizes that rivers have dragged down from the mountains to the sea. These stones and pebbles get rounded by the sea and are brought back to the shore by the tides.
In Linda Vista Beach you will find the ruins of an Early-Christian Basilica (church), with a baptism pool in the shape of a cross. The Basilica is surrounded by a Eucalyptus forest which is next to the “Playa de las Barcas” (beach of fishermen boat). The archaeological site was restored in Autumn 2011. The restoration works have improved the accessibility to one of the pearls of Andalusian Byzantine architecture.
San Pedro Beach (Playa de San Pedro) has a sea promenade with benches, gardens and parking spaces. On the beach there are playgrounds for children. The beach entrance, changing facilities and showers have been designed to facilitate the access of people with disabilities. In the summer there also volleyball-courts with nets on the beach.
There are plenty of chiringuitos (beach bars) and kiosks (most closed in winter) along the promenade that offer refreshments, food, ice creams and shade to escape from the hot summer sun. In the promenade there is the Red Cross First Aid point, and there are drinking water fountains and gym machines.
If you continue walking on the promenade towards Marbella, the pavement will change and you will start walking on the sand. The surface changes but the path continues. From the end of the promenade of San Pedro until you reach the River Guadaiza, you will pass by a beach that the local people call La Playa del Largo (the beach of the long one).
To cross the River Guadaiza you can either walk in the shore or take the new bridge that is on the left hand side. Normally, the river is dry, especially in summer. However, when the rain hits the province of Málaga, it does not drizzle, it pours, and suddenly the streams of most rivers retrieve their power.
The rivers bring down to the coast the water collected by the mountains. For this reason, many reservoirs have been built in the province of Malaga. If the reservoirs were not there the rainwater would simply flow down the rivers and disappear in the sea.
If you have followed the promenade you will cross the River Guadaiza by taking the bridge. From there on, you will continue walking in the street of an urbanised area for approximately 200 metres. When you arrive at “Ventura del Mar” you will find the path that takes you back to the sea promenade. This image shows the reincorporation into the promenade.
Puerto Banus Beach (3)
We are now getting closer to Puerto Banus which you can see in the horizon. You will walk on a footbridge built on top of white boulders which is ideal for bike riding. The footbridge has been recently constructed, before you would have had to climb up the boulders to get to the other side. The story tells that the property occupied now by apartments next to this footpath used to be the house of Agent 007, Sean Connery, who used to stay there when visiting Marbella.
The beach on the west side of Puerto Banus has small coves of fine sand and few stones. The beach is usually in very good condition, and the coves are great for dipping into the sea, because the water is not as cold as in the open sea and the waves tend to be tiny. The beach has chiringuitos and showers.
This beach is normally extremely busy during the summer season, totally different to the deserted aspect shown in these pictures taken in November. In autumn, winter and spring, this beach is very quiet and if you take your blanket or towel this would be the perfect location to read a book, have a “siesta” or a picnic, but remember to bring warm clothes though. On the beach you will find fisherman boats that are regularly used by local people.
Once you have crossed Banus, you will arrive at the beach promenade, and you will be closer to Río Verde (the Green River). You can cross Banus by walking next to the yachts and sailing boats, or in the street/avenue directly behind the harbour. The splendid promenade of Banus has palms, gardens and playgrounds, and there, you will find bicycle parking spaces and information maps. There are pay & display parking spaces for cars near the promenade. This area has nice views over “La Concha”, the mountain behind Marbella.
The beach is fantastic, wide and with fine sand. The shore is ideal for children to play, because the water is not deep and there are almost no stones. There is a breakwater near the harbour that is facing east where you can catch crabs, and if the sea is still it is an ideal place to sit down and put your feat in the seawater without having to step into the sand. There are chiringuitos and showers as well.
Río Verde (4)
When you reach the end of the Banus promenade you arrive at the pedestrian bridge that goes over Río Verde (Green River). The bridge was recently built to link Banus and Las Cuchis Beach. Once you have passed the bridge you will be near an archaeological site. On the northeast there are the ruins of the Roman Villa of Río Verde. The premises of this heritage site are well preserved. The villa will be restored throughout 2012, therefore it will not be accessible.
In the mosaics of this Roman Villa we can see food, groceries and tools that reflect the gastronomic, agricultural and fishing practices of the epoch. The most relevant mosaic is a rectangular one in which you can see the head of Medusa.
Las Cuchis Beach
On the beach, just after crossing the bridge you will find the oldest and fanciest chiringuito of Marbella. The chiringuito is called after the nickname of two entrepreneurial women who in the ‘70s opened the first chiringuito in Marbella.
The chiringuito is located in the Playa Fantástica that has very fine sand.
Puente Romano Beach (5)
After La Playa Fantástica of Las Cuchis, the beach becomes narrower and the promenade is much closer to the shore. The promenade has been built with the same boulders used in breakwaters, so that the sea tide does not destroy it when the winter storms hit the Costa del Sol. This beach is rather wild.
The Hotel Puente Romano owes its name to the Roman bridge from the 1st century AD that is inside the property. It makes perfect sense to find a Roman bridge of the same period at less than a mile away from the Roman Villa of Río Verde.
The area of Marbella was under the dominion of the Roman Empire from the 3rd century BC until the 5th century AD The soil and sea of Marbella provided plenty of fruits, vegetables and fish. Fish was caught and salted, and it was used to produce a sauce called Garum which was highly valued in Rome’s market.
If you are curious about this Roman bridge, you could enter the hotel and maybe stop at the cafeteria for a “café con leche” (milk coffee) or “café con hielo” (ice coffee), depending on the weather.
Marbella Beach (west side) (6)
After Puente Romano you will reach the promenade of Marbella. On the west side of Marbella, the beach is wide and sandy. On the promenade there are gym machines and kiosks, and on the beach hammocks, showers, parasols, chiringuitos, etc. If you continue walking towards Marbella, the promenade will suddenly have pavement again. After passing the Hotel Don Pepe you will be closer to the city centre Marbella, and to the harbour (Puerto Deportivo) of Marbella.
It is probable that you will be a bit tired and hungry by now, so it will be time to find a place to “tapear” (eat tapas). The places for “tapear” and eating “pescaito” (fish) that we recommend are in the section Gastronomic Marbella. We recommend them because we have tried them. Have a look!! If you get closer to the old town you could visit the “Alcazaba”, the old Morish castle.
In the next section you can see the path from Marbella to Cabopino. We recommend you to do this walk another day, because after a 14 kilometres walk you must be exhausted. If you do not fancy walking back home, you can always take the bus or ask someone to pick you up.
At the end of the day, when you put your feet up in bed, you will feel the reward of your effort, because the sun, the breeze and the birdies have been your partners along the coast, and also because you have rediscovered some of the heritage sites of Marbella.
- SECOND WALK from Marbella to Cabopino. The walk starts in El Cable Beach (Playa del Cable), and continues towards the east passing by Funny Beach, Pinillo Beach, Los Altos de Marbella Beach (Dunes of the Adelfa), Los Monteros Beach, El Rosario Beach or Alicate Beach, Elviria Beach, and Cabopino Beach and Dunas de Artola. The walk is approximately 12 kilometres and could take around 3 hours, depending on the pace, the wind and the number of stops that you make along the way. For this walk there is no promenade, and you will have to walk on the beach all the time, but do not despair, the sand is very good and the beach is quite flat. Furthermore, you will find lots of chiringuitos and restaurants to have a rest and gather some energy.
El Cable Beach (7)
From this beach you will see the only pillar that has been conserved from the mining past of the area of Marbella. The pillar served to load the ships from the mining industry. “Iron Ore Company” mined steel from the mountains behind Marbella, in the proximity of Ojén. The steel mines were linked with the coast of Marbella through a train that transported the steel down to Marbella. The steel was exported to the UK.
This beach is wide, and has fine sand and various chiringuitos. From here you can start the walk. You can access the beach by taking the roundabout that is after the “Arco de Marbella” (Marbella’s Arch), but bare in mind that parking is limited, especially in summer.
A few steps east you will find the Funny Beach. This is a leisure centre with restaurant, go-kartings and lots of parking space. In the Funny Beach you will find water activities such as “pedalos” (boats that move by pedalling) and bananas.
If you continue towards the east after the Funny Beach you will arrive at the Pinillo Beach. You could also go by car. If you are on the “Autovía del Mediterráneo” (highway) you need to take the exit after Rio Real. It could be argued that the beach took its name from a little pine tree that was very close to or on the beach. This beach is also known as Trocadero Beach.
There are plenty of parking spaces nearby the beach and there is the Trocadero chiringuito, which is a colourful restaurant in a magic setup surrounded by palms, plants and shade, with a fabulous bar, and full of parasols and hammocks where you can enjoy a siesta, a day on the beach or a brief stop in your walk.
Los Altos de Marbella and The Dunes of the Adelfa (8)
Next, you will arrive at Los Altos de Marbella. This beach has a high ecological value, and is solitary (no chiringuitos) most of the year, but as any other beach in Marbella, if you visit it during the summer holiday period, you have to take into account that it will be very busy, because lots of people are aware of the existence of this beatiful beach.
If you come by car you will be driving on the Autovía del Mediterráneo and you will need to take the exit of Los Altos de Marbella. There is normally a big parking area, but during the hot summer days you might need to park slightly further away from the beach and walk a bit.
“The Dunes of the Adelfa Beach are the vestiges of an original dune chain that in the past covered the whole area of Marbella and expanded over its seashore. In conjunction with the Dunes of Artola or Cabopino, these dunes are the best conserved of the province of Malaga.”
“The first line is formed by the mobile dunes that protect the main dune from the erosion of the wind and are the habitat for species such as the sea thistle, the barron and the sea lily. These species function as barrier, and stop the sand from being blown away by the wind, and provide organic matter to the soil of the second ecosystem, that is the semi-fixed dune.”
Los Monteros Beach
Continue walking and you will reach Los Monteros Beach. The hotel gives its name to this beach.
This beach is quite narrow and if you arrive by car, it might be a bit tricky to park. So, if you plan to come to this beach think twice about bringing your car. It might be worth parking somewhere else and walk. In Los Monteros Beach you will find the beach club La Cabane, a marvellous space with excellent food. It is not cheap, but well, you only live once.
Rosario Beach – Alicate Playa (9)
We continue to the east and we find “La Playa del Rosario” were you will find one of the most authentic chiringuito-restaurants of Marbella, called “Los Sardinales.” Rosario Beach and Alicate Beach have a wide shore ideal for sunbathing, walking, swimming, etc. There are plenty of restaurants and bars, and “pédalos” to rent (boats to pedal).
“Los Sardinales” serves one of the best “Pescado a la Sal” (oven-baked fish covered in salt) of Marbella. It also has excellent seafood, a terrace and an interior dining room. The restaurant has maintained most of his staff since its inauguration 15 years ago. Somos Marbella gives one of his stars to this hospitality business for its solidarity and sustainability.
SOMOS MARBELLA LIKES LOS SARDINALES !!
Elviria Beach (10)
After our last stop in “Los Sardinales” we continue walking east passing by some magnificent beaches. Slowly we will be arriving at Elviria Beach. This long beach is wide and has very fine sand, ideal for any beach activities. There are plenty of chiringuitos in the area, which is fantastic if you fancy having a cold beer sitting in the shade and maybe even nibble some tapas. Elviria Beach is probably the best beach in Marbella.
The sun is setting and we still have to arrive at our final destination the Tower Almenara of Artola.
Cabopino Beach and Dunes of Artola (11)
After Elviria Beach, we will be entering the area of Cabopino and further on the area of Artola.
The beach before the little harbour of Cabopino is the Víbora Beach (Playa de la Víbora). The beach in Cabopino is wide and has good infrastructures such as bars, restaurants and chiringuitos. Once we have passed the harbour of Cabopino we will arrive at Artola Beach.
These dunes are National Monument: protected natural space of high ecological value. Therefore there are no chiringuitos or showers. This area is the most authentic and natural beach of Marbella, and it is also known for being a nudist beach. If you fancy doing nudism this is the beach of Marbella were you will be able to enjoy nature in its purest state.
The evening paints the sea of pastel colours: reds, pinks and violets, and the seawater stops being blue and starts reflecting the sky. The surface of the water is becomes silver and the local fishermen come to the shore to install their fishing rods. Watch out for fishing hooks. You might want to engage in conversation with the local fishermen, and discover some of the secrets of the beach.
The twilight draws the silhouette of the Tower Almenara, called Torre de Ladrones (Tower of thieves). In the meantime our walk along the coast of Marbella has finished. Once you pass Artola, the county of Marbella finishes and Calahonda county starts. Marbella borders with many other counties, and in some of the hill-walking paths you will discover them.