With low crowds and great weather, Marbella is perfect for a spot of winter sun


The Costa del Sol is popular with sun-seekers for its brilliant beaches and mild climate, but in high season, most of the budget rooms are a rash of overdeveloped resorts packed with crowds.

In the winter, the tourists go home, but the weather stays warm, with an average temperature of 19º Celsius. This makes the Spanish Coast one of the best winter sun holidays destinations, with cheaper rooms available in the more expensive resorts, and no more getting up at the crack of dawn to reserve a sun bed!

Often overlooked for a winter beach break in favour of Africa or the Caribbean, Southern Spain is now being put firmly back on the map as a winter sun destination.

Even with the rising cost of the Euro, the abundance of cheap flights and affordable accommodation mean that the Med is still a budget traveler or backpacker’s dream. Why travel further for a spot of winter sun when you could be basking on the beach in a couple of hours?

Away from the high rise hotels and full English breakfasts, there are some authentically Spanish and stylish places to stay on the Costa del Sol. This is the home of flamenco and bullfights, and inland, you’ll find rolling sierras and snow-topped mountains. The capital, Granada is a picturesque jumble of Moorish palaces, and the buzzing city of Seville is within easy reach.

For a chic beach break, the real stars of the Costa are the chic celeb-magnets Marbella and Puerto Banus. Forget Cannes and St Tropez, these elegant resorts are home to more mega-yachts, luxury shopping and palatial villas than you can shake a stick at. But Marbella is not just for the jet set, and there is plenty to tempt the budget traveler.

One of the most cosmopolitan resorts in the region, Marbella has a quaint old Spanish Quarter, dotted with unique boutiques and hidden tapas bars. The Plaza de los Naranjos is the perfect place to sit back and watch the well-heeled stroll by from a cool cafe, and the pretty marina is home to some great fish restaurants and lively bars. The main beaches, Playa de Venus and Playa de la Fontanilla boast well-maintained sands and an array of water-sports for when you’re bored of sunbathing.

There are also a surprising amount of affordable places to stay in Marbella. The tourist population drops by around 30% in low season, meaning more availability and lower prices in many of the hotels, apartments and hostels in Marbella.

Here are three places to stay in Marbella:

The Hostel Del Pilar

In the heart of the Old Town, this hostel is only a few minutes’ walk from the beach. From your hostel Marbella resort is within easy reach, packed with affordable and authentic restaurants.  There’s a roof terrace up top for sunbathing, and a large bar and lounge with pool table and log fire for cosy evenings in.
Find winter sun at the Hostel Del Pilar

Hostal Berlin

One of the top-rated hostels in Marbella, the Hostal Berlin has clean and comfortable rooms and a friendly atmosphere. The welcoming staff will help you book car hire and find the best golf courses in the region.
Book a beach break at the Hostal Berlin

Hotel Lima

This small and friendly hotel is ideally located 150 meters from the beach, and five minutes from the Old Town and lively Puerto Banus. The rooms are spacious, recently renovated and all private with TVs.
Book the Hotel Lima now!

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