Top tips for visiting Marbella & Beyond

by Cat Harding
(Mijas Costa)

For a family-friendly destination with beautiful beaches, excellent attractions, and a wonderful climate the Costa del Sol is just the perfect choice. With plenty of activities and amenities designed for babies, toddlers, and children of all ages, the Costa del Sol is a great place to create happy family memories that will last a lifetime.

Here are some my Top-Tips for your next family Costa del Sol-iday!

TOP TIP: Get Cheap Transfers & a Shopping Service in one! - there is a company Hello Costa offer a unique shopping & transfers service - where you are met at the Airport with all your shopping already on board, so you can say goodbye to wasting your precious holiday time in crowded supermarkets (especially with little ones) - or struggling to shop online in a foreign language as their website and customer service all in English.

They have great prices for Transfers and have all the essentials, including sunscreen and snacks for your little ones with free delivery to your accommodation you can arrange everything in advance, which means that you can make the most of every precious holiday moment.

You just add the transfer to your online shop – for a door to door service, with your shopping already on board. Great for late (or early) arrivals or families who don’t need a car during their vacation and they offer baby car seats and booster seats at no extra cost.

TOP TIP: One of the best ways to enjoy a family vacation on the Costa del Sol is by renting a villa. Villa rentals offer the perfect combination of privacy, comfort, and convenience for families with children. Luxury villa rental accommodation is readily available throughout the region, offering plenty of space for your family to spread out and relax.

My top recommendation for booking luxury accommodation on the Costa del Sol is The Luxury Villa Collection. Their Guest Experience team help with arrangements for kids before you travel, including requests like baby equipment rental, such as strollers and baby baths or a babysitting service.

Some luxury villas providers cater especially well to families with babies and toddlers, providing equipment rentals such as cribs, baby baths, and highchairs or which have baby gates and baby monitors available or elevators for easy access. Some luxury villa mangers also arrange babysitting services during your stay, allowing parents to enjoy some much-needed alone time.

The Luxury Villa Collection is a great place to find a curated collection of exceptional villas, and advice on which is the most suitable for you and your family. Their team have great personal, in-depth knowledge of the villas and they offer a very high-level customer service. Highly recommended for high-net-worth travellers or multi-generational families & groups looking for something truly special.

If you prefer something more low-key, there are plenty of rental accommodation options available, including apartments and Airbnb rentals. Self-catering rental accommodation is also a great option for families, as it allows you to prepare your own meals and save money on dining out.

TOP TIP: For Mijas Costa Accommodation - If you are heading to Mijas Costa, I recommend trying Suncoaster or Solfinders for a variety of rental accommodation from apartments to villas, with many that are ideal for travelling with kids. These are not just portals like Airbnb. They are established and trusted and have an in depth knowledge of the accommodation and are local and there to assist if you have any issues at the property during your stay.

Now that you've sorted your accommodation - the fun stuff! The Costa del Sol is home to a plethora of family-friendly attractions that both adults and children can enjoy. There are water parks with baby pools, zoos with feeding stations, aquariums with touch tanks, and museums with interactive exhibits.

For families who love the outdoors, there are several parks and hiking trails that are perfect for exploring with a baby carrier. You can also take a boat tour or go dolphin watching, and some tours are even designed for babies and toddlers.

Here are some top tips for some amazing days out that will appeal to every member of the family; young and old.

TOP TIP: Malaga The Imagination Museum in Malaga, is a truly amazing place to visit for all ages and great for multi-generational families. Immerse yourself in the world of illusions that they have created for you.

The Imagination Museum offers a unique experience that appeals to both adults and children alike. Adults can relive their childhood memories, while children can become their favorite fairy-tale characters. For the youngest visitors, there is a specially equipped children's playroom where they can have fun under the watchful eye of caring staff.

Once inside, you'll be amazed by the visual illusions, music that can be heard not only with your ears, and exciting games of light and shadow. The interactive exhibits are designed to engage all your senses and challenge your perception of reality.

Don't forget to fully charge your mobile phone or bring your camera, as there are plenty of opportunities for mind-blowing photos that will make your visit unforgettable.

TOP TIP: Estepona For Lego Loving little ones! If you are staying in Estepona and fancy a night out or a dinner with your partner or friends, without the kids, you can drop off little ones (Ages 5 -10) at Bloqueria for an awesome evening of building LEGO® and playing games!

Currently Bloqueria only offers this on the Third Friday evening of each month from 19:30 – 22:00.

Children can enjoy a fun filled evening of building with LEGO® bricks constructing their own creations - perfect for unlocking your children’s creativity. With vibrant colours and a wide variety of shapes, there is no limit to what they can create – castles, cars, robots – the possibilities are truly endless! They also have experienced staff on hand to help guide them through their creatve construction projects.

This evening of LEGO® fun your children will not forget includes a kids meal of chicken nuggets, chips and juice for each child. The cost is 25€ per child (with Sibling discounts available). You can enjoy a peaceful dinner whilst they have a blast!

TOP TIP: Benalmadena Paloma Park in Benalmadena is a fabulous fun for kids and a budget friendly day out for the family. Paloma Park is a wonderful, spacious urban park. It has a lake with ducks, lots of facilities, and the park is a natural home to some wonderful wildlife. There are chickens and ducks to feed, rabbits hopping around and donkeys and goats in fenced off areas. Play areas, picnic areas. and also cafes for drinks and snacks. Paloma Park is at Avenida Federico García Lorca, 29630 Benalmádena,

When it comes to beaches, the Costa del Sol has some of the best in Spain, including child-friendly beaches with shade structures, lifeguards, and easy access. Some beaches even have playgrounds and designated areas for toddlers.

TOP TIP: La Cala de Mijas is a great place to visit and only 1/2 an hour by car from Marbella. It has a fantastic beach that stretches for over 2 kilometres and offers a wide range of amenities that cater to the needs of kids and their families. This beach is easily accessible, and walkable to from the towns car-park.

The beach at La Cala de Mijas is a beautiful and safe place for kids to play and swim. The beach is very well-maintained, and there are lifeguards on duty to ensure the safety of all visitors. Kids can build sandcastles, play games, or simply relax on the beach while you are soaking up the sun.

There are also some great restaurants and chiringuitos on La Cala de Mijas beach. Try Ella’s On The Beach for a great meal directly on the beach with child-friendly food options.

We also highly recommend Heladeria Casa Esteban (a popular ice cream parlour) on Calle Marbella about 2 minutes walk from the beach, for some of the most incredible ice-cream.

TIP TOP, TOP TIP: Marbella for a guilt-free day, grown-up day without the kids on tow.

The Marbella Club has an incredible Kids Club, open 365 days a year from 10:00 to 18:00. This amazing Kids Club provides daily entertainment for kids aged from 4 to 14, with a fully supervised program offering a wide variety of engaging activities, including sports, gardening, wildlife experiences, science experiments, and outdoor play, all year round.

Their kids club is for children aged 4 to 14 (and under-4s - when accompanied by a parent or guardian). An amazing way for parents to have a romantic date day or go on adult only adventures or excursions whilst kids the get to make holiday friendships and have their own unforgettable experience.

TOP TIP: Sotogrande & Estepona For some morning fun with babies and young toddlers, Baby Cakes Marbella offer Rhyme Time. This fun filled play session for little ones is currently running fortnightly on Fridays at The Hairy Lemon Sotogrande and also at Mundo Mania in Estepona on Wednesdays and Saturdays. They open from 11am so time to chat, coffee etc before one hour of songs, nursery rhymes bubbles and fun!

So, there you have it! The Costa del Sol is a great destination for families with babies, toddlers, and children of all ages. With plenty of family-friendly accommodation, activities, and amenities, you can enjoy a stress-free and memorable family vacation.

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