We are pleased to present a new Solo Travel Destination Post from Armand, a member of the Solo Travel Society on Facebook. Armand lives in the United States, and submitted the following report about Marbella. Do you have a solo travel destination that you would like to recommend? Submit your description here, along with a few photos, and share it with fellow travelers!
Solo travel rating: 1 (1 is easiest, 3 is most difficult. Please see chart below)
Languages spoken: Spanish, English, German, Russian
Reasons to go to Marbella
I became a solo traveler in April 2014 with my first Euro trip being Spain. I'm writing about the Marbella leg of my trip. Marbella is a beach/resort city right smack on the Mediterranean, sandwiched between Puerto Banus and Malaga. If you happen to be in Spain and want to mix city travel with a beach resort, make Marbella a destination. Most of the hotels are of a resort type with all of the typical resort amenities. Puerto Banus (the next city over) was a short 15 minute walk along the beach from my hotel. Puerto Banus (PB) is know for its nightlife (clubs, bars) and high-end everything from yachts to cars, not to mention the designer shops along the marina. TIP: if you make your way to Puerto Banus, eat outside the city before or after your visit. The food is expensive and not that great in PB.
From Marbella I took a 1.5 hour van ride to Gibraltar, more specifically the strait of Gibraltar where I took a 45-minute ferry ride to Tangier for a 1-day excursion (back to Marbella at 7pm). I took a 13-hour flight from LA to Spain and was less than 2 hours from the African continent, so I figured it would be silly not to knock that out while I was there.
While there, take a day trip to Rhonda – it's well worth it. Check out “old town” for an awesome glimpse into Spain's Moorish history. Four to five days is more than enough time to devote to this city. If you really like just relaxing on the beach then make it 6 days.
1. The airport is about a 1-hour drive from Marbella. Taking a taxi is expensive, about 90+ Euros. Use the bus that takes you downtown. From there you will find plenty of taxis to take you to your hotel for less than 15 Euros.
2. Buses don't start running until 9 am. Don't make the same mistake I did. I booked a 9 am flight back to LA. I wanted to be at the airport by 7 am so I was forced to take a taxi. 88 Euros and 50 minutes later I was at the airport — ouch on the pocket book!
Solo Travel Destination Rating System
Safety – 1 (1 very safe, 2 safe in most areas, 3 be cautious at all times.)
Language – 2 (1 English is first language, 2 English speakers easy to find, 3 English speakers rare)
Navigation – 1 (1 easy to navigate by transit or car, 2 poor transit, car necessary, 3 not easy to get around)
Culture – 1 (1 Similar to North America or Western Europe, 2 Different from above but relaxed and easy, 3 Challenging)
Average Rating – 1 (1 is easiest, 3 is most difficult)