The town of Marbella is located on the southern stretch of Spain’s coastline known as the Costa del Sol. The region is protected by the Sierra Blanca Mountains, so it enjoys a unique microclimate with temperatures rarely dipping below 18ºC and this is key to its buoyant seasonal and residential tourist sector.
In recent years, Marbella has appealed to a growing number of professionals from the International Community, who have chosen to settle in the region, attracted by its sophisticated and high quality of life, world-class sporting facilities, excellent international schools and a wide range of specialist services. A third of Marbella’s population is currently registered as foreign.
Economy & Goverment
The economy and property market
Despite the global financial crisis has been well documented, the luxury property market remains strong. It may be true that in some areas prices have softened to reflect the broader economic difficulties, but the higher end of the luxury market proves that people will pay for quality, and that competition for the finest real estate is as strong as ever.
Buyers from other European nations and beyond are targeting Marbella’s more exclusive properties, and sellers and developers at the higher end are able to create superb opportunities, confident that buyers are creating healthy demand.
Marbella is an international tourist destination and investment hub with a reputation for high-end real estate. From holiday apartments and retirement villas, to investment properties and homes that define luxury,
Marbella offers buyers a wide range of opportunities. Lucas Fox focuses on the areas of La Zagaletta, Golden Mile, Los Flamingos, Puerto Banus, El Rosario, Altos de Los Monteros and Benahavis.
Renting or buying a luxury property in Marbella allows international tourists to have a regular base in a region that offers unrivalled opportunities for leisure, business and exploration.
Marbella is a key focal point for international travellers in Andalusia. It has excellent communications, including two international airports, a high-speed train service linking Málaga to Madrid and two important and well know marinas in Europe: Puerto Banús and the Marbella Marina.
There are currently negotiations ongoing for plans to significantly develop the Marbella Marina and add a luxury cruise liner terminal. There are also four other recreational ports with almost 1800 private berths and a spectacular range of boating including some of the largest yachts in the world.
Cities on the coast are very well served by Málaga-Costa Del Sol airport and the A7 motorway, as well as by private boat or helicopter charter. The area also has good public transport, while taxis are very clean and modern.
Flights and routes
Malaga Costa del Sol airport has flights to more than 120 key destinations on the Spanish mainland and across Europe.
Marbella schools offer high quality education to all international residents and visitors, and numbers are on the rise.
There is a wide choice of schools, including bilingual, British, German, Montessori, Spanish and more. The city is also home to Marbella University, where classes are taught in English.
There are two types of international school. Some teach in their native language and follow their country´s curriculum with or without Spanish as a second language. Others teach in their native language and follow the Spanish curriculum (where secondary education from 12-16 is obligatory).
Students can then study the Bachillerato from 16-18 years, enabling them to enter University in Europe and the US. Many children in international schools are actually Spanish, so there is plenty of exposure to the Spanish language.
Education authorities must promote the integration of foreign pupils and develop specific programmes in mainstream schools for those that do not have a good grasp of the Spanish language.
Free schooling is obligatory between 6-16, but begins at 3, with some subsidised nursery places from just 4 months. Some private schools are funded by the state (concertados), and fees are generally lower.
At 16 students can go to higher secondary school and at this age they may also attend a vocational school that provides specialized career training.
International schools in and around Marbella include:
- Calpe School
- International School Estepona
- Laude San Pedro International School
- Marbella Montessori School
- Swans International School
- St George’s School
- Mayfair Academy
- Aloha College
- British School Of Marbella
For more information about family life in Marbella please visit www.mumabroad.com.
Around 25% of people living in Spain have private health insurance. This generally means faster access to a greater choice of specialists. Spanish companies offering private health insurance include Mapfre, Asisa and Sanitas.
Those with existing healthcare in their native country should check to see if this is transferable, but with the wide variation of policy premiums it may still be worth obtaining a quote from a Spanish provider.
The choice of private healthcare may be defined by your choice of insurer (if paying directly, you can choose any clinic). Málaga and other nearby cities offer alternative solutions, but private hospitals and health providers in Marbella include:
Culture & Gastronomy
Besides the rich Andalusian culture, Marbella offers a wealth of opportunities for fun and recreation, whether on the beach or golf course, people-watching with a cocktail by the port, considering a Dalí or Chagall, dancing the night away or having a fine dining experience with friends.
Traditional Marbella cuisine is based on the seafood of the Malagueño coast. The most typical dish is fried fish - anchovies, mackerel, mullet, squid and more. Gazpacho and garlic soup are also typical. Bakeries sell oil cakes, wine donuts, borrachuelos (aniseed rolls fried with a little wine and dipped into syrup), torrijas (similar to French toast) and churros (fritters).
A variety of annual festivals include the Marbella International Opera Festival, the Marbella Reggae Festival, the Festival of Independent Theatre, the Spanish Film Festival and the Marbella International Film Festival, held in various locations including on the beach, aboard boats and in the Old Town.
Cultural venues are plentiful, from the Museo Ralli, Auditorium of Constitution Park and Ingenio Cultural Center to the Teatro Ciudad de Marbella, the Black Box Theatre and several movie theatres.
Explore the local culture in greater depth with the Cilniana Association, a local cultural organization dedicated to protecting and promoting the heritage of Marbella and neighboring towns, which publishes its own magazine.
Hotels & Tourism
The hotel facilities of Marbella are undoubtedly some of the most varied and numerous of the Costa del Sol. There are 3 grand luxe hotels, 5 five star hotels and 18 four star hotels. Marbella is an exclusive location for health and well-being tourism due to its privileged climate therefore helping recovery and rehabilitation.
Marbella occupies a distinguished position as a synonym for glamour and excellence and most of the famous brands have boutiques in Puerto Banús or other commercial areas of the town. The area boasts no less than 8 shopping centres and 62 luxury brand boutiques.
Marbella was voted European Sports Town in 2009 and its facilities include:
- 15 golf courses of high international class plus many more recreational courses
- 4 marinas
- 25 gyms
- 20 tennis and paddle clubs
- 3 horse-riding centres
- 13 nautical centres
- 4 scuba diving centres
- 9 football pitches
- 1 private sport centre with 56.000m2 of grass fields complying with FIFA regulations
- 9 sport centres
- 1 high performance centre for rhythmic gymnastics
- 14 companies dedicated to sporting and adventure tourism
- Numerous indoor pools and outdoor swimming pools
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