Andalucia's answer to St Tropez, Marbella is by far the most glitzy seaside town in Spain. This part of the Costa del Sol has long been a golfing and yachting playground for celebrities and the super-rich, with luxury hotels lining the coast and, at buzzy Puerto Banus, an abundance of restaurants, designer shops and boutiques alongside al fresco bars for yacht-watching in the harbour.
Old town, Marbella
Once the sun goes down, this part of town reverberates with energy with its numerous bars and restaurants. But, there are plenty more gentle pleasures to be had in Marbella, in particular its beguiling old centre and Plaza de los Naranjos, or Orange Square, full of tropical greenery and surrounded by old streets with a small-village atmosphere.
Then there are all the pleasures of beach life, including the Avenida del Mar promenade and the wild Dunas de Artola that's even been preserved as a Natural Monument. Further afield, the city's shadowing mountains and pine tree forests are perfect for hikes and mountain biking among soaring golden eagles and falcons.