Destination

A family on a white sailboat off the coast of Marbella

Planning a trip to Marbella with kids? The vibrant coastal city in southern Spain has a reputation for its party scene and opulent shopping, but it is just as much a fabulous family destination.

Marbella boasts spectacular kid-friendly beaches, a quaint old town, and is overlooked by mountains perfect for hiking and canyoning with the older kids.

I have lived in the area for over 10 years and as a big kid myself, I love taking my friend’s and cousins’ kids on adventures whenever they visit.

There are so many fun things to do in Marbella with kids and here I will share the best activities and attractions for the entire family.

Is Marbella Kid-Friendly?

Marbella is extremely kid friendly, as is Andalucia in general, and you will see families with their kids on the street until late at night, especially in the warmer summer months when it is cooler in the evenings.

Restaurants and cafés are usually very accommodating to children and there is no need to worry about your kids being too loud in Marbella. Spanish families make a lot of noise so your kids will probably be the quietest there.

There are also plenty of playgrounds in parks and beaches where your kids can get out some energy.

Things to Do in Marbella With Kids

1. Take a Boat Tour

Family fun in Marbella – Photo credit: Click&Boat

There are multiple Marbella boat tours to take with kids of all ages for a fun-filled day. Whether you want to go dolphin watching or go snorkeling, there are plenty of fun boat trips to choose from.

If your family is numerous, I highly recommend renting a private yacht for the day as it gives you so much more flexibility and freedom. You can dock up somewhere nice along the coast like Cabopino or Estepona for lunch or bring a lunch pack on the boat. My friend’s kids still talk about our boat trips, especially when we saw 5 dolphins playing around the boat.

Tip: you can rent a wide range of boats in Marbella through Click&Boat. Both motorboats and sailboats, and either with a skipper or without (if you’re qualified to drive the boat yourself).

2. Have an Ice Cream in the Old Town

a narrow street with historic buildings on both sides and terraces without people
The Old Town of Marbella

Marbella Old Town is the bustling heart of the city and a must-visit and of course a fantastic place to have ice cream! If you are not sure where to stay in Marbella, this area is also great as it is within walking distance of the top attractions and of course the best ice cream!

You can find Italian and traditional ice cream to go, or sit down in beautiful squares like Plaza de los Naranjos where the kids can play around when they are finished eating.

We usually sit down by a table to chat while the kids run around playing and even made new friends despite the language barrier.

3. Explore the Beaches

A sandy beach filled with sun loungers, umbrellas and several people

The beaches in Marbella are fabulous to visit with kids. Whether you’re spending a weekend in Marbella or longer, you can visit a few different beaches as there are kilometers and kilometers to choose from.

Most of the beaches are urban with all necessary facilities like beach loungers, parasols, toilets, showers, and of course lifeguards in the season.

Also Read: The Best Time to Visit Spain

With playgrounds in and out of water, kayak rentals, paddleboat rentals, and beach bars lining them giving easy access to food, cold drinks, and ice cream, you are set for a successful day on the beach with kids of all ages!

4. Go Kayaking

Close-up of a boy in a bright yellow kayak

Kayaking is a fun family activity that you can do with kids of different ages.

Exploring the coastline of Costa del Sol is best done by kayak as you get closer to nature and it is a great way to connect as a family.

You can rent kayaks on the beaches in Marbella or join a kayaking tour if you prefer the comfort of a guide.

An alternative is to try standup paddleboarding which is a fun way of working on your balance and the older kids love it.

With a guide, you will learn the basics of paddleboarding or kayaking if it is your first time.

Or, if your family is looking for an adrenaline rush, go jet skiing or parasailing!

5. Go Hiking

Blue sky over a green and brown mountain range

Marbella is flanked by beautiful mountains offering some of the best hikes in Andalucia.

Take on La Concha, the beautiful mountain looming above Marbella with the older kids, or try some of the flatter hikes from Refugio de Juanar with the younger ones.

There are beautiful river hikes in Benahavis with water holes where you can go swimming. Or head to the picturesque Sierra Bermeja mountains to chase waterfalls and search for swimming holes.

Besides, Spain’s most impressive hike, El Caminito del Rey is always a winner among the older kids, as long as there’s no vertigo involved. Make sure you book tickets in advance as they sell out quickly and they don’t let people in past the checkpoint without a prepaid ticket.

6. Have Fun at Aventura Amazonia

For a fun day out, take the kids to Aventura Amazonia, Andalucia’s largest adventure park.

There are routes for different levels and ages with fun challenges in the forest like zip lines across trees and rope bridges. You will safely be strapped in a harness with a helmet and get a security brief before you start.

The adventure park is located in Elviria, which is a 15-minute drive from the center of Marbella.

This is truly a fun activity for the entire family and a highlight of any family vacation in Marbella. My friend’s kids were 6 and 12 when we went and both said it was the highlight of their trip, but they have easier activities for 4-5 year olds too.

7. Look at the Luxury Yachts in Puerto Banus

luxury yachts in a marina with white, Spanish style houses in the background

Puerto Banus is one of the most luxurious marinas on Costa del Sol, famed for its high-end yachts and exclusive shopping.

It’s always fun to walk around the marina and point out all the most impressive yachts. And with some luck, you might even come across some celebrities! My cousin’s oldest was especially amazed by all the luxury cars he saw here and wanted his dad to buy most of them.

8. Explore the Inland on a Buggy Tour

For a different adventure, explore the inland of the Costa del Sol on a buggy tour. This is a fun experience for the whole family and you get the chance to see parts of Costa del Sol you wouldn’t otherwise.

Make sure you bring your driving license and have the kids as your trusted co-pilots. You can get 2-3 hour tours or head out on a full-day adventure including lunch, making it the perfect activity for adventure-loving families.

9. Explore the Ancient Thermal Baths of Hedionda

An ancient thermal bath with bright blue water and brown stone walls

For a unique experience, head to the old thermal baths of Hedionda where Julius Cesar bathed and got cured of a skin disease.

It is free to enter the baths but there is a little hike to get there of about 15 minutes from where you can leave the car. It is on a dirt track, though, so it is easy for the whole family.

The baths are set in the middle of the forest by a river, making it an idyllic setting for a family picnic.

We spent a whole afternoon here, and my friend’s kids were playing in the river and forest the whole time. So cool to see kids who normally spend a lot of iPad time enjoying the outdoors so much!

10. Go Canyoning or Swimming in Guadalmina River

Adults and kids swimming and standing on the cliffs on the edge of a river with green looking water

One of the most adventurous things to do with kids in Marbella is to go canyoning or swimming in Guadalmina River.

With natural water slides, deep natural water pools, rocks for cliff jumping, and a deep ravine to swim through, this is only for kids who are strong swimmers. Through the ravine, there is no place to rest or hold onto for the little ones, so you will have to support them if they get tired.

The natural beauty is unmatched, and you will have an unforgettable family adventure, so don’t forget your waterproof camerabag!

11. Take a Day Trip to Gibraltar

A monkey sitting on top of a canon surrounded by greenery

One of the best things to do with kids in Marbella is a day trip to Gibraltar.

The tiny British territory is the only place in Europe where you can see wild monkeys. Make sure you respect them and are careful not to touch or feed them as they are wild animals.

However, with some luck, one of the smaller ones might choose to jump on your head and pose for a picture. My cousin’s kids did it safely and sat down slowly on the road about a meter from a monkey that was chilling to get a picture with it without disturbing it.

There are lots of other fun things to do in Gibraltar too, like the Siege Tunnels and the prehistoric St. Michaels Caves.

Gibraltar is also home to a Moorish Castle and the views of the rock are spectacular.

Make sure you make time to walk around the town center and take pictures with the traditional English red phone boots.

If you don’t have a rental car, there are plenty of organized tours taking you from Marbella to Gibraltar.

12. Visit the Smurf Village

Blue painted houses with mountains in the background

Juzcar is, as opposed to other Andalusian mountain villages, painted blue and not white.

But it’s not just a blue town, there is an all-over Smurf theme with Smurf wall paintings, Smurf statues, Smurf playgrounds, and a little Smurf market and activity center for kids on the weekends where they can get face paint, decorate their own Smurf hats, and other fun activities for the little ones.

It is a small village, but it is absolutely worth a visit and you can enjoy lunch at one of the restaurants in town.

Close to Juzcar, there are endless hiking trails if you feel like getting active. Explore waterfalls, rivers, and lush forests on trails like Chorreras de Balastar in nearby Farajan. This is a short but steep hike and not apt for strollers and toddlers, but older kids will enjoy it a lot!

My cousin’s kids were 4 and 7 years old when I took them to Juzcar and the oldest wasn’t too impressed with the Smurf village, but loved the playground. And he did love the hike afterward, while the youngest got face painting and walked the entire hike with her new Smurf hat.

Summing up Activities in Marbella With Kids

A man, a woman and a child holding hands, looking at the sun setting

Summing up, there are so many amazing activities in and around Marbella to do with kids of all ages.

Whether you prefer nature adventures or feel more comfortable in a controlled playground setting, you’ll find it in Marbella.

Make sure you bring your camera, because Marbella brings many family moments worth freezing.

Also Read:

  • The Best Family Vacations in Spain – Costa Brava, Costa Dorada & Costa Verde
  • Things to Do in Valencia With Kids
  • The Benefits of Traveling With Family
  • The Best Countries to Visit With Kids

 
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