Marbella Named Best Destination in Europe

Marbella marina aerial panoramic view - Depositphotos 676169650 XL

Over the years Marbella has made a regular habit of rating highly in global rankings for excellence and popularity. The seductive and sophisticated city is one of the world’s most coveted luxury resorts for both holidaymakers and homebuyers, so no surprise that once again Marbella has come out on top of another authoritative international ranking.

On this occasion Marbella was listed at number one in the “20 European Best Destinations for 2024” ranking. Compiled by travel website European Best Destinations, the ranking is based on travellers’ choices. This year more than one million people from 172 countries were consulted, voting for the best city breaks, the best nature getaways, the most beautiful sunny holidays and the best cultural and gastronomic holidays in Europe, whether travelling as a couple, with family or alone, “to discover the beauties and riches of Europe”.

Marbella had to contend with some impressive rivals for this year’s top “Best Destinations” honour, with over 500 destinations ultimately being narrowed down to a top 10 of second-placed Monaco, then (in order) Malta, Geneva, Batumi, Riga, Madeira, Florence, London and Reykjavik.

In choosing Marbella as their preferred five-star destination in 2024, the travellers noted that the city not only offers a sunny climate and exclusivity but is also one of the “Best Golf Destinations in Europe”, as well as one of the best for gourmets and shopping addicts.

“Wherever golfers choose to play, they will enjoy top-class golf courses, many of them with panoramic views of mountains and the Mediterranean, in addition to being able to savour post-round drinks or a meal in well-appointed clubhouses.

“Take a gastronomic tour of this food-loving Andalucian city that can cater to any craving – and delivers views and vibes to boot. With Michelin-starred restaurants serving excellent cuisine, plus hundreds of smaller eateries dishing up everything from Mediterranean and Thai to paella and succulent local tapas, luscious food is a major part of Marbella’s allure.

“Moreover, with more than 300 guaranteed days of sunshine per year, al fresco dining by the beach or beneath the stars is practically guaranteed. Once you get a taste of the gentle way of life in Marbella, you already know that you will come back.”

And come back travellers certainly do, as we know first-hand. Many of these same travellers fall so in love with the places they are visiting that they subsequently contact premier local property specialists such as Promas Estates to buy a holiday property or permanent home in their new favourite destination.

European Best Destinations cited Marbella’s warm microclimate and year-round sunshine as a key to  consolidating the area as an outdoor sports paradise. Marbella has more golf courses than any other municipality in Spain, most of them concentrated in or around the “Golf Valley”, conveniently located in the Nueva Andalucía suburb south-west of the city near Puerto Banús, and in the eastern part of the municipality.

For foodies, they recommend visiting the main Plaza de Los Naranjos square in the city’s Old Town; and for well-informed shoppers they suggest bringing an extra suitcase to take advantage of glamorous designer boutiques, iconic department stores and state-of-the-art malls.

“Packed with high-end designer shops, glitzy Puerto Banús should be the first stop on any Marbella shopping itinerary. After browsing world-renowned stores ranging from Dior to Jimmy Choo, head for the cobbled streets of the city’s Old Town, where quirky vintage boutiques rub shoulders with tiny tiendas (shops) selling everything from toys to gourmet food. Renowned establishments occupy the main avenues of Marbella and San Pedro Alcántara.”

And then, of course, there are Marbella’s beaches, considered among the finest in Spain, palm tree-shaded seafronts, dozens of verdant parks and gardens, and stunningly picturesque surrounding nature. The Sierra Blanca mountain range, for example, is a prominent refuge and reserve for the Spanish Ibex and home to magnificent specimens of Spanish fir. “Walkers can trek from Marbella to Juanar or, for more experienced hikers, from Marbella to La Concha, or take an excursion to the area known as Los Monjes.”

Spanish Retirement Havens

Marbella beach front

Meanwhile, Spain has also once again been highlighted among the top-ranked countries in the annual “Annual Global Retirement Index” compiled by International Living, “to help you with the exciting business of choosing where in the world will best suit your needs”.

Greatly helped by the global lure of such popular retirement hotspots as Marbella, Mijas and Benahavís, Spain was ranked fifth on the 2024 list, following (in order) Costa Rica, Portugal, Mexico and Panama, and ahead of Ecuador, Greece, Malaysia, France and Colombia in the top 10.

The index is “informed by hundreds of opinions and real-life experiences – information – compiled by our trusted sources in the best retirement destinations across the globe”.

Reporting back from Spain with her insights, Sally Pederson wrote, “Spain has consistently held its position among the top destinations for retirees, offering a unique blend of rich cultural experiences, favourable climates and a high quality of life. As the allure of retirement in Spain continues to capture the attention of individuals seeking a fulfilling and leisurely lifestyle, various facets make this European gem an ideal retirement destination or new home for remote workers.”

If you would like to share the honour of living in Europe’s best destination – and one of its finest retirement havens – together with countless other happy homebuyers who have settled here before you, contact the best real estate team in town at Promas Estates.