Beyond the image that comes to mind when we hear about Marbella, this city offers a lot more than just Puerto Banús and glamourous nights, celebrities and parties. As well as beaches, sun and luxury yachts, those really in the know are aware that there is another Marbella with a historic centre that has preserved its old world Andalusian village charm, small bars that have been around for generations, archaeological remains that remind us of its Roman origins and Arab past and much nature to discover. This is why we want to tell you about 5 times when you will experience the true essence of the city that is the emblem of the Costa del Sol:
Easter Week in Marbella
As in all Andalusian cities and towns, Marbellan Holy Week (March-April) is an unmissable festival for locals and visitors alike. A ritual that is celebrated since ancient times, with the processions of the sculptures and participants in the religious processions watched by thousands of spectators, who follow the route of these processions of images belonging to different churches.
The city’s different brotherhoods bring the processions to life as they go through the old quarter, snaking along the narrow white façade streets, at the foot of the castle and along the central avenues, while people take part and follow the processions.
The city is in fully functioning mode and the climate offers daytime temperatures of over 20 degrees, so it is the ideal time to visit Marbella in all its splendour and comfort. Springtime in Marbella has the perfume of orange blossom, the colour of bougainvillea and the taste of the sea.
June, an unmissable month
The San Bernabé Fair is one of the most eagerly awaited times of the year by everyone in Marbella. It is when the city’s Big Week takes place, which pays tribute to its patron saint, San Bernabé. Marbella adorns itself to put on its fair with all its parties, and is full of colour and excitement, creating the perfect venue for its inhabitants and visitors to joyfully and respectfully celebrate the San Bernabé Fair.
The Fiestas de San Bernabé pay tribute year after year to the Patron Saint of Marbella on 11th June. Leisure, fun, locals getting together and a great atmosphere take over the city on these festival days. The Day of San Bernabé is, in addition to the Day of Carmen, one of the most important times of the year for Marbella and its inhabitants.
On the Noche de San Juan, on 23rd to 24th June, bonfires are lit on the beaches of Marbella and large crowds gather to celebrate this night and to welcome summer with music and dancing.
The month of September is when most tourists go home after a busy August and it is then that Marbella offers its best to those in the know. The weather is cooler, but the sea water is milder than in previous months: the perfect formula for enjoying endless sun-filled days on and beach.
If you have small children or are travelling with teenagers, take advantage of the days just before they go back to school to enjoy some family time. You will find all the amenities fully available, but with the benefit of easy parking and less congestion in the town’s central streets and on Paseo Marítimo. Plus, entering and exiting Puerto Banús is much easier and quicker. It is also the most popular time for high profile visitors (especially from Arab countries) so Puerto Banús will be full of impressive cars and stunning yachts.
San Pedro Alcántara Fair and Fiestas
The San Pedro Alcántara Fair and Fiestas are celebrated in mid-October and are the municipality’s last big festival; undoubtedly one of its liveliest and most joyful events.
The 19th October is the big day of the San Pedro Alcántara Fiestas—the day of its patron saint. Both the daytime and nighttime fairs are very famous and lively. The nighttime fair takes place in Jorge Guillén Street, while the daytime one occupies the town’s main avenues.
The best of the fair is at street level, between the stalls and the people: there is no schedule, just days of good old fashioned partying, just as it should be. The programme includes the classic events of Andalusian fairs, such as Los Gigantes (a giant paper mâché puppet parade) or horse riding, along with concerts and all kinds of activities.
The first Sunday of November, after All Saints Day, sees the celebration of the Fiesta del Tostón in the streets of Marbella. This ancient custom is a day on which people go to the countryside with friends or family to bring back chestnuts for roasting. Roasted chestnuts are tasted along with a glass of anisette or brandy. It is a collective celebration that seeks to recover the spirit of El Tostón, a Marbellan tradition that forms part of its cultural identity.
A festival full of activities, where the fun and joy are contagious.
When you fancy it…
These are just a selection, but Marbella is always ideal. Whenever you come, there will be something for you to enjoy, so all that remains is for you to decide on your special time of year and come and experience it here.