From Guadlalamina to Cabopino, the Marbella coastline stretches for 26km (16 miles) of sunny, sandy beaches. In the post-millennium, Marbella's beaches have been cleaned up and better landscaped with oases of palms. In some places traditional showers have been replaced with giant elephant statues spraying water from their trunks.

Within the limits of Marbella and bordering it on either side are two equally good beaches, La Fontanilla and El Fuerte, where the season extends from May to October, as the shores are protected by the Sierra Blanca mountains. These beaches have fine golden sand and are flanked by a pedestrian promenade and filled with hammocks, parasols, and a scattering of seaside taverns, bars, even modest shops. Many kiosks rent sporting equipment such as sun beds and water bikes. In summer there are lifeguards; showers and public toilets are installed. Unfortunately, both are overcrowded in summer, because they are so convenient to the city center.

Other good beaches include Playa Puento Romano, which is between Hotel Don Carlos and Hotel Puento Romano. This fine brown stretch of sand beach usually attracts guests from the hotels. Hammocks and umbrellas are supplied, and security guards from the hotels keep an eye on things. Next to Puente Romano is Playa Nagueles, frequented by guests of the exclusive Marbella Club among others. On the so-called "Golden Mile" of Marbella, this beach has mostly gray sand and is flanked by a promenade. It is often very crowded, and its watersports include windsurfing, kayaking, jet-skiing, and other activities. The beach is very well maintained, with showers and public toilets, and it has hotel security guards in summer.

Playa Casablanca is between Puerto Banús and the western fringe of Marbella, connecting with La Fontanilla . Jet skis, canoes, and other equipment can be rented. There are public toilets and showers along with lifeguard towers in summer.

Playa El Baro is a small beach with brown sand that is protected by the dock of Marbella's yachting port. From here, you can easily walk to Playa de la Bajadilla, which you reach before arriving at the fishing port of Marbella. Filled with northern Europeans lying on sun beds, it is a beach with grayish sand and calm waters. Here you will also find a trio of beach-fronting restaurants, along with public toilets, showers, and summer lifeguards.

Bajadilla is actually a continuation of Playa de Venus, between Marbella's twin harbors. Sailing and other watersports are popular here, as the beach is sheltered in a cove. Showers, public toilets, and summer lifeguard towers are provided.

Other beaches include Playa El Cable, a small city beach with gray sand where football matches are played on weekends. It is close to the fishing port and has showers and public toilets along with fish restaurants and summer lifeguard towers. Less crowded in summer is the adjoining Playa El Pinillo, which extends for almost 3km (1 3/4 miles). It offers kiosks where canoes can be rented for river sailing and has summer lifeguards.

Playa Los Monteros, near El Pinillo, is part of the urban development complex of Los Monteros. Its rock-free beach of gray sand is separated from the development by sand dunes. Two beach restaurants are here along with a beach club, and there are showers, public toilets, and lifeguards in summer.

The gray sands of Playa Alicante are at Urbanización Sea and are filled with restaurants and bars. It contains showers, public toilets, and lifeguard stations in summer. Playa Real de Zaragoza, also connected with an urban development, has public toilets, showers, and summer lifeguards. Playa Vivora is linked to the Urbanización Elvia. This calm beach that's not well known is set against a backdrop of some ugly buildings and has showers, public toilets, and summer lifeguards. Finally, there's Playa Las Canas, connected with the urban development of Artola. It possesses few services but offers good snorkeling and diving (bring your own equipment).

Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.