5 Off the Beaten Path Day Trips from Marbella

Off the Beaten Path Day Trips from Marbella
Image by Alejandro Mezcua Gonzalez via Flickr

Looking for unique day trips from Marbella? You’re in the right place!

Marbella is a beautiful city on the Costa del Sol, one of the most luxurious destinations in Europe. Its surroundings are equally picturesque, with many special places in Andalusia that you can explore on a day trip from Marbella.

Whether you’re into charming white villages, a day of nature hiking, or a cultural experience, there’s a perfect off-the-beaten-path day trip destination for you around Marbella.

key takeaways

  • You can go from Marbella to off-the-beaten-path destinations like the towns of Mijas Pueblo, Estepona, Benahavís, Ojén and Casares.
  • The closest major cities to Marbella are Malaga and the British territory of Gibraltar.

Mijas Pueblo

Perched on the hills overlooking the coast, Mijas Pueblo is a picturesque town with breathtaking views of the Mediterranean. Wander through its charming streets adorned with flower-filled pots, check out Plaza de la Constitución, and be sure not to skip the famous donkey taxis. Mijas Pueblo has a calm and genuine Andalusian feel.

Things to See in Mijas Pueblo

  • Chapel of the Virgin of the Rock
  • Plaza de la Constitución
  • La Muralla and the Botanical Gardens

How to Get to and Where to Park in Mijas Pueblo

To reach Mijas Pueblo from Marbella, just take the AP-7 and drive for 30 minutes. Mijas is only a short distance inland from Fuengirola.

There is overall plenty of parking in the streets of Mijas. However, you have to rules to street parking in the town, and something when we’re on holidays we don’t want to bother with rules.

That why I’m leaving you here 2 very central car park in town.

  • The most popular is a multi-story car park underneath Tourist Office. (Google Maps)
  • Just between the Tourist Office and the Plaza Virgen de la Peña. (Google Maps)
5 Off the Beaten Path Day Trips from Marbella day trips from marbella

Learn more about this charming village with a typical arab layout on these popular walking tours. (Private or Group Tours available!)

5 Off the Beaten Path Day Trips from Marbella
Image by Alejandro Mezcua Gonzalez via Flickr
Church in Mijas Pueblo
Image by Alejandro Mezcua Gonzalez via Flickr


It’s worth checking out for its charming old town, lovely beaches, and lively arts scene. Take a walk along the colorful streets with murals and visit the Orchid House, which has a fantastic collection of orchids. Estepona blends tradition and modernity, making it an interesting place to explore, and it’s just a 25-minute drive from Marbella.

Things to See in Estepona

  • Estepona Orchid House
  • Plaza de las Flores
  • Playa De La Rada
  • Paseo Maritimo de Estepona

How to Get to and Where to Park in Estepona

It takes 25 minutes to drive from Marbella to Estepona on the AP-7. Alternatively, you can hop on the Avanza Bus (L-79) from Marbella, which takes about 1 hour to reach Estepona.

If you plan to park on the street in Estepona, be careful. Watch out for nearly invisible lines that mean no parking! If a side of the street has no cars, it’s likely because the white parking lines are hard to see, and locals wisely avoid parking there.

Two good car park options in Estepona for a day trip are :

Andalusia, Malaga

Navigate the Bahía de Estepona : Sail the Estepona Bay in the traditional Menorquín fishing boat

Bahia de Estepona, From Marbella
Image by dawolf- via Flickr
Estepona, Off the beaten Track Day trip from Marbella
Image by Jilles Dissel via Flickr


Benahavís is a true food paradise near Marbella, often called the “Dining Room of the Costa del Sol.” This cute village is famous for its great restaurants serving traditionnal Andalusian dishes.

Most importantly, Benahavís has one of the most exciting canyons on the Costa del Sol. The Guadalmina River is a popular place for canyoning, making it the perfect spot on this list to connect with nature.

Things to Do in Benahavís

  • Have gazpacho andaluz at Los Abanicos
  • Go to Flamenco night at La Taberna Fantástica
  • Go Canyoning in the Rio Guadalmina

How to Get to and Where to Park in Benahavís

Benahavís is only a quick 22-minute drive from Marbella. Just take the Autovía del Mediterráneo.

In Benahavís, park on the side of the road at the town’s entrance; it’s safe. Try to park as close to the town as possible because parking is a bit hard to find once you’re in the town.

Canyoning in the Rio Guadalmina, in Banahavis
Image by whattodoinmarbella via Instagram
Rio Guadalmina
Image by whattodoinmarbella via Instagram


Tucked in the Sierra de las Nieves Natural Park, Ojén is a peaceful Andalusian village that feels like a different world from the busy beaches of Marbella. Walk through the narrow streets of this town. The combination of white houses, colorful flowers, and rock formations always reminds me of Setenil de las Bodegas. Have a meal at one of the local restaurants, where you can enjoy local dishes in a laid-back atmosphere.

Ojén is also the starting point for hiking the famous La Concha mountain, the large mount overlooking Marbella. If you enjoy hiking, you can spend a whole afternoon conquering the Pico de la Concha.

Things to Do in Ojén

  • Going to the Mirador de Juanar
  • Hiking La Concha

How to Get to and Where to Park in Ojén

Ojén is just 15 minutes by car or 20 minutes by bus from Marbella. There are a few parking lots in Ojén, but if you are going to hike the mountain that dominates the skyline behind Marbella, you’ll want to park in the car park next to Refugio de Juanar. (Google Maps)

the streets of Ojen, Malaga. Day trips from Marbella, off the beaten track
Image by Timelapsed via Flickr
Hiking La Concha Mountain in Marbella
Image by emiliegarneau via Instagram


Casares is one of Spain’s most beautiful white villages. It’s still very Spanish and special because it’s not too crowded with tourists. Visit for the fantastic views from the castle and the laid-back atmosphere of a small mountain village.

Things to See in Casares

  • Casares Castle
  • Banos de la Hedionda (Said to have been built by Julius Ceasar)

How to Get to and Where to Park in Casares

Casares is only a bit further inland, a few kilometers northeast of Estepona. It takes about 45 minutes to get there from Marbella.

The roads in Casares are very narrow, so it’s better to park outside the village and walk. You can find free parking on the road leading into the village. If you bring a car to Casares, there’s a parking lot in the center of town. (Google Maps)

visiting casares on a day trip form marbella
Image by PhotoLanda via Flickr
the streets of Casares
Image by PhotoLanda via Flickr

Read more

Where to Stay · Best Hotels in Marbella · Historic Hotels in Andalusia · Where to Stay on the Costa del Sol
Marbella Travel Guide · Best Tours · Hiking La Concha
Málaga Travel Guide · Best Churros · Hammam · Calle Lario · Ruins of Acinipo · Alcazaba
Itineraries · 7 Days in Andalusia (Off the beaten path)
Day Trips · Best day trips from Málaga · Granada · Nerja Waterfalls