La Concha from Puerto Banús: two of Marbella’s most iconic views and great to explore in autumn.

With the arrival of autumn, many non-residents, holiday-makers or newly-arrived expats on the Costa del Sol may be asking what else is there to do now that summer vacation months of July, August and September have been and gone…

Well, the answer is… a lot. We have listed our top five picks for things to do in Marbella in November and December, which might serve as inspiration for those of you that have hung up your budgie-smugglers and deflated your lilos for another year:

1) Golf

If you live in the UK, northern Europe or even further afield, playing golf in autumn and winter is barely conceivable. Let’s face it, fairways turn into boggy slush and bunkers fill up with rain water, becoming little more than miserable, sandy paddling pools.

But this is the Costa del Golf! Owing to its 320 sunny days per year and marvellous climate, including over the winter months, the Costa del Sol hits a peak in golfing activity in the months of October and November.

Marbella – well-endowed with some of the Coast’s very best courses – is of particular importance during golf’s high season (which goes through to around May) and enthusiasts come from all over the world to navigate its immaculately-designed fairways and verdant greens.

Las Brisas, Río Real, Aloha, Guadalmina and La Quinta are perhaps some of the best-known courses among the 17 in Marbella municipality alone.

2) Running, walking or cycling on the promenade

As mentioned in a previous post, this time of year is the ideal season for walking, since it’s warm enough not to have to wrap up with too many layers but cool enough that you’re unlikely to overheat.

Marbella’s promenade stretches for over 10 kilometres, linking the Golden Mile, iconic Puerto Banús and San Pedro de Alcántara to the west, central Marbella and the Artola dunes and Cabopino to the east. A lot of the coastal walk is on soft ground, meaning it is low impact for walkers and runners, while it is also popular with cyclists and families out for a casual stroll.

3) Shopping

What better way to spend an autumnal afternoon than a spot of retail therapy? For all the best brands in the same place, head to the La Cañada shopping centre, located just outside of central Marbella.

With a cinema, entire floor of restaurants, activities for children, DIY (do-it-yourself) store and even a car mechanic, it meets virtually all your needs… a dangerous place if you’re a big spender!

For high-end stores such as Louis Vuitton, Gucci, Versace and Christian Dior, head to Marbella’s exclusive Puerto Banús marina-front: the iconic hang-out of the glitzy and glamorous.

For boutique fashion outlets, Marbella town centre offers a huge variety of options for all budgets. You can certainly pick up some decent bargains away from the huge shopping centres, so the town centre is well worth considering, too!

4) Visiting nearby white villages

The beauty of living in Andalucía is, well, its beauty. The region – and specifically Málaga province – has an abundance of charming white villages whose character and traditional Andalucian architecture and authenticity have remained unsullied, despite the exponential growth and development of coastal resorts elsewhere on the Costa del Sol.

The village of Ojén, just 10 kilometres north of Marbella, is especially recommendable for its steep, narrow streets, relaxing fountains, quaint squares and all-round rustic charm. In fact, it’s such an attractive municipality that the legendary Spanish singer Julio Iglesias has a mansion in the municipality!

5) Hiking and outdoor sports

Talking of Ojén… A popular hiking trail for the fitter and more adventurous expat is the 13.5-kilometre round trip from El Juanar in the municipality of Ojén to La Concha: the Sierra Blanca’s second highest mountain and Marbella’s emblematic backdrop.

The latter peak has an altitude of 1,270 metres and the hiking route takes you 50 metres shy of this height, in the process offering spectacular 360° views of the coast, Gibraltar, across the Strait to Africa and northwards towards the breath-taking Istán valley and lake.

Any other suggestions? Feel free to leave us a comment below!