Guadalmina Area Guide

When you think of luxury places to buy a home in Marbella, the Golden Mile, Nueva Andalucía and Sierra Blanca probably spring to mind. But the western part of the Costa del Sol is also home to Guadalmina, one of the most exclusive areas for Marbella property. Tucked between San Pedro de Alcántara and Estepona, Guadalmina offers an oasis of peace and quiet with high-end discretion. And some stunning properties. All within easy reach of the bright lights in nearby Puerto Banús and Marbella.

Where is Guadalmina?

This residential area lies to the far west of Marbella on the eponymous river that marks the boundary between San Pedro de Alcántara and Estepona. The Guadalmina River, one of the shortest in Spain, runs from the foothills of the Serranía de Ronda down past Benahavís and into the sea at Guadalmina.

What’s Guadalmina like?

The area divides into two neighbourhoods – Guadalmina Baja and Guadalmina Alta. The former lies south of the highway and runs down to the beach, while the latter is to the north of the highway and reaches up into the foothills.

Above all, Guadalmina is high-end residential. Both sections consist of tree-lined boulevards, mostly flanked by large villas. Guadalmina Golf Club, one of the first golf courses on the Costa del Sol, has two 18-hole courses, one in each section of Guadalmina. As a result, many properties in Guadalmina Alta have frontline golf positions.

This is one of the quieter residential districts of Marbella and a far cry from the glitz and glamour at nearby Puerto Banús and more discreet than Nueva Andalucía on the other side of San Pedro de Alcántara. Buyers of property in Guadalmina tend to be wealthy individuals who want the quality of life offered by Marbella but in inconspicuous and undisturbed surroundings.

How big is it?

Guadalmina is small compared to other districts of Marbella, although Guadalmina Alta stretches quite some distance north of the highway.

What’s the population of Guadalmina?

Just over 3,500 people live in this part of Marbella, although the population grows considerably in the summer months.

How many foreigners live in Guadalmina?

Around half the residents are non-Spanish, and foreigners are mostly from the UK or Scandinavia. Holiday homes tend to be owned by Spaniards from the Basque Country or Navarra in the north of the country.

What’s the weather like in Guadalmina?

Like the rest of Marbella, the area enjoys a privileged climate all year round. Expect 320 days of sunshine and mild temperatures in winter. In summer, Atlantic breezes temper the heat, so it’s never too hot.

How do I get to Guadalmina?

If you approach the area from the east (say from Marbella or Malaga Airport), Guadalmina is the first exit before the highway tunnel at San Pedro de Alcántara. At the first roundabout, you can turn off for Guadalmina Alta or Baja. If you’re coming from Estepona in the west, take the first exit before the tunnel.

How far is it to Malaga Airport from Guadalmina?

It’s around 62km between the two, and the journey takes just over 40 minutes via the AP-7 toll motorway and slightly more if you use the A-7 highway. Allow for longer in the summer months.

How far is it to Gibraltar Airport from Guadalmina?

If you’re travelling to Guadalmina from the UK, flights to Gibraltar Airport can be a useful alternative to Malaga Airport. It takes around 50 minutes to cover the 62km distance but allow exact time for passport and border controls in and out of Gibraltar.

How far is it to Marbella from Guadalmina?

The centre of Marbella is about 15km from Guadalmina, just under 20 minutes by car. Puerto Banús is even closer and takes around 10 minutes to get to. Estepona in the east is 20km away.

What are the main attractions in Guadalmina?

Most people choose to buy property in Guadalmina for the area’s peace and quiet. This is a neighbourhood that allows you to enjoy the attractions of Marbella and Puerto Banús but live in tranquillity at the same time. The area has a sedate pace of life and feels like a serene oasis compared to the busy resorts nearby.

High-quality property is another appealing factor. Golf properties in Guadalmina have some of the best frontline positions on the Costa del Sol, and in the south, the best villas are literally on the beach.

While the area doesn’t offer the same choice of amenities as neighbouring Marbella or Estepona, Guadalmina does come with plenty for residents. Golf reigns supreme, and the Real Guadalmina Golf Club has a busy clubhouse and hosts regular golfing events. They include some of the most prestigious tournaments in Europe.

For non-golfers, sports centres offer tennis and paddle tennis. And Guadalmina Commercial Centre has an excellent selection of shops, a large supermarket, good eateries and health clinics.

What are the beaches like near Guadalmina?

Guadalmina Beach is one of the quietest in the area and even in the height of the summer season there are non-crowded spots on the sands. Like the beaches in Estepona and San Pedro, it’s a grey sand beach with the occasional beach restaurant. It runs for around 1.5km along the coast between Urb Linda Vista and the Guadalmina River.

What is there to do in Guadalmina?

You’ll find that most residents in Guadalmina keep themselves to themselves except for socialising at the golf clubhouse or at Guadalmina Hotel. Sports activity headed by golf is at the top of the list of activities, and the area also has excellent hiking routes on the doorstep. Guadalmina lies on the Senda Litoral path that runs the entire length of the Costa del Sol between Manilva and Nerja, and the walk into San Pedro, Puerto Banús and Marbella is very pleasant.

The attractions of the Costa del Sol are also on your doorstep. Both Marbella and Estepona make excellent destinations for a day exploring around the old quarters. Both have museums and other tourist attractions. And Spain’s fifth-largest city, Malaga, with some of the finest museums in southern Spain, is an easy day trip away.

If you’re looking for nightlife, the bright lights of Puerto Banús are a very short drive away as is the Casino in Nueva Andalucía.

What cultural activities are there in Guadalmina?

Very few actually take place within Guadalmina itself, but the area’s strategic location means that a long list of cultural activities is within easy reach.

Next-door San Pedro de Alcántara has a cultural centre with events taking place throughout the year. You’ll find much more variety in Marbella and Estepona, both of which have good and varied cultural calendars. Living in Guadalmina means you can pick and choose from both and truly savour the variety of cultural life on the Costa del Sol.

You won’t find much evidence of popular culture in Guadalmina, but you don’t have to go far to find it. Marbella and Estepona celebrate traditional fiestas throughout the year. Marbella’s fair with a week of festivities happens in June while San Pedro celebrates its fair in October. The Estepona fair takes place in mid-May. Both have solemn processions in Holy Week (Easter) and celebrate traditional Spanish customs such as the Virgen del Carmen in July (patron saint of fishermen), San Juan (summer solstice) and the Three Kings Parade after Christmas.

What about eating out in Guadalmina?

For a small area, Guadalmina has an impressive array of eateries. Most are in the Guadalmina Commercial Centre and include some excellent dining options on a par with the best in nearby Marbella. Cuisine includes traditional Spanish, Asian and Indian. For a wider choice, head for Nueva Andalucía, Marbella or Estepona where you’ll find restaurants catering for all tastes and wallet sizes.

How about property in Guadalmina?

Given the exclusivity of the area, it follows that Guadalmina property is high end. Most homes are large villas situated on generous plots. Many of those in Guadalmina Alta have commanding views of the Mediterranean to the south and mountains to the north, while those in Guadalmina Baja have the sea on their doorstep.

Million-euro price tags are the norm for villas in Guadalmina with those with frontline golf or beach positions attracting the highest prices. Some villas date from the area’s beginnings back in the late 1950s and have a typical Spanish or Andalusian style. Others are more modern and built in the popular minimalist style. The vast majority have extensive grounds and private pools with many including accommodation for staff. You can also buy plots in Guadalmina.

Other property options include apartments, mostly located in Guadalmina Alta in low-rise complexes with superior communal areas. There are also a few townhouse developments in both Guadalmina Alta and Baja.

Find out more about real estate in Guadalmina.

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