Best Time to Go to Marbella: Complete Overview of the Seasons

If you are looking for the best time to go to Marbella, it totally depends on how you plan to spend your vacation. Truth is, Marbella is a fabulous destination all year round. But every season is not great for any type of activity.

After living on Costa del Sol for over 10 years, it is safe to say that I have experienced every season in Marbella, even those horrific torrential rains that the coast sees over the winter months.

Every season brings something unique, and I am sure that after reading this, you will have a clear picture of the best time to visit Marbella for you and your needs.

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best time to visit Marbella

Best time to go to Marbella

Winter in Marbella

Average temperatures: 18°C/8°C
Average days of rain: 4-5 days/a month from December to February
Best for: Hiking, shopping, visiting museums, exploring mountain villages
Worst for: Beach, swimming

What to do

While mostly recognized as a summer destination, Marbella in winter has a lot of charm. Not only are there fewer crowds than in the peak season, but the cheerful holiday spirit, especially during December in Marbella is capturing.

There are plenty of things to do in Marbella beyond the beaches. It’s the best season for hiking and you can climb La Concha and Cruz de Juanar peaks which loom over the city.

Besides, winter is a lovely time of the year for shopping, visiting museums, and strolling around the Marbella Old Town.

Marbella best time to visit
La Concha

Highlights of winter

Three King’s Parade – There are parades on the evening of January 5 and the morning of January 6 celebrating the Three King’s day, when they came with gifts for the baby Jesus. It is a lively event full of music, costumes, and candy.

New Year Grapes – On New Year’s Eve, the new year is rung in by eating 12 grapes. One grape per second leading up to midnight. This is a unique Spanish tradition that takes place in Plaza de La Iglesia in Marbella’s Old Town.

Actual weather expectations

While you definitely get plenty of warm, sunny days in Marbella over the cooler months, it’s also the time of year that gets most windy, and high humidity can make night and early morning temperatures feel a lot colder than the actual temperatures.

Winter is also when it rains the most, so both layering up and bringing an umbrella are important. Besides, you might experience torrential rain, and in that case, I suggest leaving the umbrella at home because it won’t make any use.

And if you can take a day inside, it’s probably the best. Whether you cozy up at the spa of your hotel or go shopping in one of the shopping malls.

That said, in my experience, most torrential rains are worst at night and early morning before it dries up during most of the day. So you might be lucky and don’t miss out on the sightseeing after all.

best time to visit Marbella Spain

Spring in Marbella

Average temperatures: 24°C/10°C
Average days of rain: 3-4 days/a month from March to May
Best for: Hiking, shopping, visiting museums, exploring mountain villages, beach, swimming
Worst for: Hiking with dogs

What to do

This is the best time to visit Marbella Spain for sightseeing, going on boat trips, and chilling on the empty beaches. It might still be a little cold for swimming but on hot days with no wind, even I get in for a dip.

Spring is lovely for hiking in the mountains, but be aware that it’s also the season for pine processionary caterpillars which are quite so poisonous and can be deadly for dogs. So avoid pine forests if you plan to go to take your furry friend.

It is also a lovely time of the year to browse the boutique stores in the old town and enjoy a coffee in the sun on Plaza de Los Naranjos.

But spring is also an exceptional time to go on day trips from Marbella to nearby mountain towns like Casares and Ronda or hike the majestic Caminito del Rey hike in Ardales.

average temperature in Marbella

Highlights of spring

Semana Santa – Holy Week in Marbella is a unique experience with parades filling the streets. Semana Santa transmits a sad and heavy religious vibe with happenings from the days before Christ’s crucifixion carried on large floats through the city with music and “nazarenos” dressed in religious capes with pointy hats covering their face.

Actual weather expectations

Ok, so we’ve talked about the average temperature in Marbella in spring, but what can you actually expect when visiting?

Usually, you get nice and warm, sunny days, but there are days of rain and wind still – after all, it’s not summer yet.

This means you should bring layers of clothes and the evenings are still cool. You might also experience a huge difference between the sun and the shade, so I always keep a hoodie or a shirt in my bag to pull over my shoulder when the air feels cool on my arms.

It’s a season where it’s easy to get sick if you don’t cover up in the shade and the evenings because the heat of the sun is so delightfully warm that it’s easy to forget the temperature differences.

Also, windy days are deceiving!

best time to go Marbella

Summer in Marbella

Average temperatures: 31°C/18°C
Average days of rain: 0-1 day/a month from June to August
Best for: River hiking, beach, swimming, boat trips
Worst for: Hiking in the mountains, crowds

What to do

The summer is the best time to go to Marbella if you want to spend long days at the beach, doing water sports, and dancing the night away at beach clubs.

It’s hot and not exactly ideal for sightseeing or exploring the mountains, however, the city turns into a vibrant summer destination like no other.

Marbella is home to several hot beach clubs like Nikki Beach and the beaches in Marbella span across 27 kilometers (17 miles) of coastline so there are beaches for everyone to enjoy.

Whether you want an urban beach with all amenities, a sand-swept remote beach, or are looking for nude beaches, Marbella has it all.

Summer is also a great time of the year to explore all the lush rivers and waterfalls in the mountains, especially above Estepona. In my opinion, one of the best things to do in Costa del Sol. So put on your swimsuit, strap on your river hiking shoes, and get into nature!

Marbella best time to go

Highlights of summer

Ferie de Marbella – The Marbella Fair takes place in the first or second week of June and is one of the most epic festivities in the city. With a large fairground, the locals dance the night away to traditional Sevillanas music as well as the latest top hits.

Actual weather expectations

It’s usually very hot and humid in summer and not a lot of cloudy days. Make sure you bring enough sunscreen and a hat to cover your head.

Fall in Marbella

Average temperatures: 28°C/11°C
Average days of rain: 1 day in September, 4-5 days in October-November
Best for: Swimming, beach, fewer crowds, shopping, hiking
Worst for:

What to do

Fall is my favorite time in Marbella. It’s like an extended summer without the crowds. In September, you should definitely take advantage of the hot temperatures and empty beaches. It is also a fantastic time of the year to go on boat trips in Marbella.

The best time to visit for hikers is later in the fall from mid-October when the temperatures (normally) go down a little bit. Mid-November is the best time to search for fall colors.

I recommend going to Valle del Genal to Bosque de Cobre (the copper forest) where the Chestnut trees color the valley in deep yellow and orange colors. Visit towns like Parauta or Igualeja and hit the trails from there.

Fall is also great for hitting the shopping centers in Marbella on rainy days.

best time to go to Marbella

Highlights of fall

Fall colors – you won’t see many fall colors in Marbella city, but head to Valle del Genal in the Ronda region, and you’ll see an ocean of fall colors in mid-November when the Chestnut trees change colors.

Actual weather expectations

September is usually an extension of summer and it could last until early November, but it really varies from year to year.

From the end of September, you can expect more rain, and especially at the end of November, you can experience heavy torrential rains. If that happens, you better find an indoor activity for the day(s).

Reflections on the best time to visit Marbella

Summing up the best time to go to Marbella, each season brings different things and different weather expectations. I hope you found your season of choice whether you go on a day trip to Marbella or plan to spend a weekend.

Happy travels!