Winter in Marbella: The ONLY Guide You Need to Read

Winter in Marbella: The ONLY Guide You Need to Read

Are you planning to spend the winter in Marbella?

You’re probably wondering about the weather, if shops and restaurants are open as usual, and, most importantly, what to explore in winter on Costa del Sol.

I live on Costa del Sol, right next to Marbella, and in this article, I will give you everything you need to know about planning the perfect winter trip to Marbella.

In short, winter is a great time to visit Marbella because flights and accommodation are cheaper, and the weather is still very pleasant. It’s also the perfect time to explore famous monuments in Southern Spain as they are less busy.

Let’s dive in and feel free to use the table of contents to navigate to the topic you’re most interested in.

streets of marbella old town with palm trees and flowers, Southern Spain
Pretty streets of Marbella old town.

Is Marbella Worth Visiting in the Winter?

Yes, it is!

I love visiting Marbella in winter, especially at the start of the season.

It’s much less busy, the prices are at their lowest, and the weather is still brilliant. As you head toward the end of the winter, the weather gets more unpredictable, and it’s more likely to be rainy.

Here is an overview of the pros and cons of visiting Marbella in the winter:

Reasons for Visiting Reasons Against Visiting
Weather is still very pleasant for most of the winter. You might get caught in a rainy period.
Lots to do and see even in winter time. Some hotels close for winter, limiting availability of accommodation.
Great deals on flights and accommodation. Limited availability of both flights and hotels.
Great time to explore Southern Spain as its less crowded. You need to plan for rainy days as the weather is pretty unpredictable.
Perfect for more peaceful exploring and sunny days out. It’s too cold to sunbathe or swim in the sea.

Winter in Marbella: What to Expect

December in Marbella

December is all about Christmas festivities and celebrations, so there are a lot of local events and things to do this month.

The weather is still very nice, with plenty of sunshine and very little rain. Accommodation prices are at their peak around Christmas and New Year’s, so if you want to travel during this time, you should book your place as soon as possible.

For a full weather update for December check this article, I also have a guide on what to pack in December.

January in Marbella

January and February and the coldest and wettest months on Costa del Sol. If you plan your trip closer to the start of the month, you’re more likely to experience decent weather still.

Spaniards celebrate their Christmas on the 6th of January with the Three Kings Parade, and even well worth attending, especially in bigger cities like Malaga.

You need to plan your stay in Marbella around the weather a bit, and have flexibility to change your plans if bad weather arrives.

For a full weather update for January check this article. Also read what to wear in January in Marbella.

February in Marbella

February has the most unpredictable weather of the year – March and April are not great either. It can be very rainy, depending on the year, and also pretty windy.

Accommodation prices and flights will be at their lowest rates, so its a great option if you’re looking for a great deal and don’t mind the sudden changes of weather conditions.

Check here what to pack in February and what weather to expect in February.

woman walking on the streets of Marbella on Costa del Sol, in Southern Spain
No winter coats are needed, winter in Marbella is pretty mild.
Empty beaches of Marbella in the winter months
Empty beaches of Marbella in winter.

Winter in Marbella: The Weather

Here is a summary of the main weather points for each month of the winter.

Weather Conditions December January February
Average Day Temperature 8°C to 16°C 6°C – 15°C 7°C – 16°C
Sea Temperature 17°C (63°F) 16°C (61°F) 7°C (16°F)

Winter in Marbella: Best Day Trips & Things To Do

1. Explore Marbella Old Town

In winter, you can explore the pretty cobblestones streets of Marbella old town in peace, without crowds, soaking up the atmosphere.

The first stop should be Plaza de los Naranjos, where you can see beautiful decorations at Christmas time (see below) and dine under the scent of orange trees.

Marbella old town is like a picturesque small village inside the city, and you shouldn’t miss a chance to explore everything it has to offer. Just wander around the narrow streets, visit the small churches and chappels, and sit down for some tapas.

Plaza de los Naranjos, Marbella
Plaza de los Naranjos decorated for Christmas.

2. Explore Puerto Banus

Puerto Banus is a posh district about 10 minutes drive from central Marbella – you can get there easily by a local taxi and ask to be dropped of in Puerto Banus Marina.

Known for its luxurious vibe, upscale restaurants and hotels, and most importantly, the marina which is home to some of the most expensive megayachts, visiting Puerto Banus is like venturing to a different world.

In wintertime, you will find it much more peaceful, without the summer crowds and party groups, with plenty to see and do to enjoy a full day in Puerto Banus.

Puerto Banus, Marbella - Spain
The main highstreet of Puerto Banus

3. Book a Tapas Tasting Tour

What a better way to experience what Marbella has to offer than by trying the local cuisine.

You can either do a self-guided tour by visiting some of my favourite restaurants in Marbella, or book this walking tour of the old town combined with a tapas tasting session.

casa blanca restaurant marbella spain andalusia 7
Tapas at Casa Blanca

4. Walk or Bike the Golden Mile

Winter is the perfect time for long walks, and if the weather allows, you should add the walk on the Golden Mile to your program.

Golden Mile is the stretch of prime real estate between Marbella and Puerto Banus, known for some of the most prestigious and luxurious villas on Costa del Sol.

Rent a bike or take a long walk, either way you will be treated to stunning seaviews all along. There are a few local bars and small restaurants where you can stop for a quick drink or to grab a bite.

5. Book a Day Trip to Gibraltar

Change of scenery? I’ve got just the idea for you!

How about visiting the British territory of Gibraltar? Only a short drive away, you will cross the borders to the UK and be able to book a tour of the nature reserve, where you can see the famous Gibraltar monkeys or visit the St Michaels Cave.

I’ve done this trip twice already, and it’s a must-see!

Day Trip to Gibraltar

Book online – it sells out fast!

6. Plan a Day Trip to Malaga

Malaga is the perfect day trip destination from Marbella – it’s only about an hour drive, and has dozens of interesting museums that make a perfect program for a bad weather day.

A great place to start is the famous Picasso Museum in the heart of the old town, and if you fancy something out of the ordinary, there is also a very cool video gaming museum and also car & fashion museum.

You can reach Malaga easily by car, but there are also local buses – check the transport guide here.

7. Visit the Famous Alhambra in Granada

Winter is a great time to explore the usually crowded monuments of Southern Spain, like the famous Nasrid Palaces in Granada.

Alhambra is one of the most visited monuments in Spain, and a stroll through the palace and gardens will leave lasting memories.

You can book a local tour here – it includes pick up and drop off in Marbella, tickets to the palace, and a guided tour, along with some free time in Granada. The tour runs also in winter but make sure to book your tickets ahead of time as they sell out quite fast.

Alternatively, you can drive there yourself. Public transport is pretty limited and you won’t be able to make a day trip out of it.

church square in marbella old town, costa del sol
Pretty church square in winter.

Rainy Days Ideas for Winter in Marbella

Rainy periods in Marbella are not extensive, so you shouldn’t worry too much about your trip being spoiled by weather. If you do get caught up in a rainy spell, here are a few activities to keep dry:

  1. Visiting the Museo del Grabado Español Contemporáneo to appreciate modern Spanish art.
  2. Taking a cooking class to learn the secrets of Andalusian cuisine.
  3. Exploring local art galleries, discovering both local talents and international artists.
  4. Shopping spree at Centro Comercial La Cañada, where I also catch a movie.
  5. Relaxing in a luxury spa, indulging in some self-care.
  6. Experiencing the indoor markets, sampling local cheeses, wines, and olives.
  7. Attending a flamenco show, feeling the passionate pulse of Spanish culture.
  8. Joining a wine tasting session, savoring the rich flavors of Spanish wines.
  9. Visiting historical churches and buildings, immersing myself in Marbella’s architectural beauty.
  10. Participating in a pottery workshop, creating your own souvenir to bring home.

Final Thoughts

I hope you enjoyed this comprehensive guide to winter in Marbella. If you have any questions left, leave a comment below and I will be happy to answer.

Before you head off, check out some of my other guides to plan your trip to Marbella!

LOVE it? SAVE it for Later!

Planning your trip to Marbella? Save these pins to your Pinterest account so you can explore them later!

While you’re there, check out my dedicated Pinterest boards for Marbella old town, Marbella photography locations and best hotels in Marbella.

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Photo of author
Lucia has been living on Costa del Sol since 2020, and through her love of photography and travel, she has been documenting the best places to see in Southern Spain and uncovering hidden gems only known to locals. All the articles on Viva La Vita are written based on personal experience and local expertise.

Hi, I'm Lucia

At Viva La Vita, I will help you to discover Southern Spain like a local!

I've been living on Costa del Sol since 2020, and fill these pages with first-hand insights, personal experience and practical tips that will help you plan a wonderful trip to Spain.

Make yourself at home and find the best places to explore in Andalusia and beyond.

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