Blue flags beaches in Marbella and around
Updated: Mar 31, 2021
When someone asks ¨where are the best beaches in the world?¨, countries like Seychelles, Costa Rica, Thailand, or Australia are probably the first places that come to our mind first. Nothing could be further from the truth.
Some of the best beaches in the world happen to be in Spain. Last year, the Association of ADEAC (Association for Environmental Education and the Consumer) awarded some Spanish beaches with a "blue flag”. The iconic Blue Flag is one of the world's most recognised voluntary eco-label awarded to beaches, marinas, and sustainable boating tourism operators.
With more than 5,000 miles of coastline, Spain has thousands of beaches, from tiny rocky coves to long strips of golden sand.
The Blue Flag status was awarded to more than 577 beaches around the country and the islands last year, guaranteeing not only water quality but also, in most cases, access for people with disabilities. That number means Spain tops the global ranking, handing the country the accolade of best beaches on earth.
Spain has maintained its leading position since 1987, adding new beaches, marinas and ports of cruise ships to its list each year.
Spain currently has 590 beaches, 101 yacht ports and 5 ports of cruise ships marked "blue flag", that is, meeting the strict criteria of the association awarding these distinctions. Beaches with a "blue flag" are those that provide high hygiene standards, adequate sanitary conditions, safety, good water quality and have well-trained rescuers.
This year Greece came second, followed by Turkey, France and Italy, which reflects the global dominance of Europe when it comes to consistently maintained high-quality beaches. The first place in Spain also indicates the great attraction of this country for tourists and investors who are after all looking for both sea and sun, as well as great beaches.
This victory is not accidental or one-off. Spain has maintained its leading position since 1987, adding new beaches, marinas and ports of cruise ships to its list each year. For comparison, this year ADEAC has awarded Spain 11 "blue flags" more than in 2017.
On the Costa del Sol, 25 beaches and 5 marinas were put on the list in 2018. Marbella and Estepona are at the forefront. Each of the cities can boast 4 beaches and 1 yacht port with a "blue flag". Fuengirola, Mijas Costa and Benalmádena also have the 3 highest rated places in their achievements.
When summer is in full swing in the South of Spain, which means up to 40 degrees heat, there is only one place to go to escape the hot weather (and also get a great tan!), the beach.
Families residing all-year-long in Marbella have a list of the top 10 beaches to visit while on the Costa del Sol.
Actually, a couple of them are technically located on the Costa de la Luz, but it could not be avoided... They truly are some of the greatest beaches!
Here is the top 10 'must go to' beaches:
10. Carvajal Beach, Benalmadena
It is a large urbanised beach (1600m in length) with lots of services nearby. It has fine golden sand with moderate waves and it’s probably the most charming location along the coast of Málaga. The beach has the right balance of tranquillity and good swimming conditions. There are also water parks in the summer that provide great entertainment for families with children. Located 35 minutes from Marbella centre, it can be quite busy in summer as it is frequented mostly by families.
9. Venus Bajadilla, Marbella
La Bajadilla beach marks the beginning of the Marbella promenade and is located right next to the fishing port. Its shallow depth makes it a suitable beach for kids, but it is important to remember that there are some stones when entering the water. It is one of the busiest beaches in town. This part of the coast carries its blue flag as a symbol of the quality of its waters.
8. Playa de Calahonda, Málaga
This rather well-equipped beach is located opposite the Calahonda development. It has different zones, from the most urbanised with houses and refreshments stalls to a more virgin beach with abundant vegetation. You can do diving and fishing, for which many use the wooden handrail it has. It is narrow and distinguished by its incoming and outgoing, small and irregular, south-facing waves.
7. El Padrón, Estepona
This beach is located 2km away from the town and is one of the most visited locations. The lush vegetation and marine life make it a well-known destination for fishermen. However, it is also perfect for a day with the family. It is an easy beach to reach by car or by walking from the centre. Restaurants and a shopping mall can be found in the area close to the beach.
Playa El Padrón is approximately 1,5 km long and has many palm trees. The waters of this beach are mild and the sand is fine, making it ideal for children.
6. Nueva Andalucia
A long (1050m) and popular strip of fine sand which includes El Duque and La Siesta beaches. The beach runs from the exclusive marina in Puerto Banus towards the west and is just over 1000m long and on average 30m wide. The beach consists of a number of small coves and the sand is dark, thick, typical of the Mediterranean.
The seaside passage allows for a pleasant walk from Puerto Banus to the part of Marbella called Nueva Andalucia.
Located just in front of the Guadalpin Hotel.
5. El Faro, Marbella
El Faro is located in the heart of the city. Its name comes from the elegant lighthouse of 1864 that presides over the promenade. El Faro is one of the most popular beaches in Marbella, both during high season and the rest of the year. In its collected size, 200m long and about 30m wide, it offers all the necessary services that we want to find on a beach, but also offers the possibility of having all the benefits of a first class city like Marbella at hand. The beach is just 5 minutes walk from the Marbella of luxury shops, large firms, terraces and restaurants.
4. Playa de Bolonia, Cadiz
There are many beautiful beaches in Marbella, but a favourite for many is a little further west. Playa de Bolonia is more than a beach, it is a natural environment with places full of almost virgin nature, fine white sand, crystal clear waters and a pleasant sea breeze. It is a very clean beach and its waters are the most transparent in the area. Those who visit it understand that it is a unique natural environment and respect it. The beach is about 4 km long and about 70m wide. The dunes are the main natural attraction of Bologna. It is an immense formation that the wind is accumulating and that is changing progressively. How difficult is to climb it, depends on the time you go. Climbing it to watch the sunset and take surfboards to slide down the dune is something you can’t miss.
3. La Rada, Estepona
La Rada beach is the most central beach in Estepona. It is very large offering 2,630 metres of golden sand, great chiringuitos (beach restaurants) and a beautiful boardwalk. One of its great advantages is that it is a stone’s throw away from the town’s main streets, and is very comfortable for those who wish to visit the town after a day on the beach. The promenade extends along its entire three-kilometre length where all kinds of activities take place in the summer months.
2. Artola Cabopino, East Marbella
Artola, Cabopino is stretching over 1200 m and it makes a very popular beach all summer long. Artola is surrounded by a dune landscape and is a small example of what this part of the Andalusian Mediterranean coast once was. It is a spacious beach with golden sand and crystal clear waters. The dunes are home to a reminder of Roman military defence and architecture, the Torre Ladrones, declared to be of Cultural Interest. Nearby, we also have the Port of Cabopino. Some sections of it are often used as nudist beaches. This is just one example of a blue flag quality you shouldn’t miss if you travel to Marbella.
1. Playa Nagüeles, Marbella
Are you ready for a truly luxurious holiday? If so, Playa Nagüeles in Marbella is considered one of the most exclusive beaches in the area, a place of rest and get-togethers of famous people. The beach is eagerly visited by people from the first pages of newspapers, so meeting a celebrity is very likely.
The beach is 800m long and 40m wide, and it’s located right on Marbella’s Golden Mile. The beach runs through the newly constructed 'Paseo Maritimo' and starts next to the Puente Romano Hotel and runs until the Marbella Beach Club, Playa de Casablanca and the Playa Trocadero area.