Discovering Marbella: 3 places less than 30 minutes away by car

Marbella, located on Spain’s Costa del Sol, is a tourist destination that attracts visitors from all over the world. Thanks to its sunny climate, golden beaches, and vibrant nightlife, Marbella offers a unique blend of luxury and culture. On this occasion, we are going to discover car excursions from Marbella and we will get to know 3 destinations less than 30 minutes away that you will love.

For travellers arriving by plane, Malaga airport is the most common entry point. This is where the convenience of renting a car is evident. Renting a car at Malaga airport not only makes it easy to get to Marbella, but it also gives you the freedom to explore the city and its surroundings at your own pace.

From the historic charm of the old town to the modern sophistication of Puerto Banús, there is much to discover in Marbella. In addition, renting a car allows you to visit the beautiful beaches and picturesque villages in the surrounding area. In short, renting a car at Malaga airport can significantly enhance your experience in Marbella. Get ready for the adventure that awaits you!

How to get to Marbella

First of all, after making the reservation, you will receive an email with instructions for our staff to pick you up on arrival. You should not go down the stairs, but go out to the arrivals lobby and follow the instructions. It is a simple process and in a few minutes you will be sitting in the car you have rented.

Once you leave our facilities and to get from Malaga airport to Marbella by car, you should take the direction towards Torremolinos/Benalmádena. Stay on that road until you see the junction to the A-7 Benalmádena/Algeciras motorway, which you should take.

You can choose between the toll motorway AP-7 or continue on the A-7 until you reach Marbella. The journey by car is around 50 minutes and is straightforward.

3 places less than 30 minutes by car from Marbella

Having a car in Marbella is not only advisable for a quick and easy transfer to and from the airport, but it will also provide you with the ability to visit other places that would otherwise be less accessible.

Below, we present and recommend some places so that you can make the most of your rental car when you visit Marbella:

Explore Istan by Car

Route from Marbella to Istan

Istán, a charming village nestled in the mountains of the Sierra de las Nieves, is a short drive away from Marbella. Its picturesque streets, rich history, and stunning natural surroundings make this place a must-visit destination. Discover its charms by strolling through the cobbled streets, exploring the church of San Miguel, and immersing yourself in the local gastronomy at its cosy restaurants and bars. Don’t forget to explore the Water Museum and enjoy outdoor activities at the impressive La Concepción reservoir.

Advantages of Travelling by Car to Istán

Travelling to Istán from Marbella by car offers a unique panoramic experience. The route provides views of the Mediterranean Sea and the majestic Sierra Blanca mountains. The freedom that having a car provides allows you to explore at your own pace, stopping at viewpoints, diverting to nearby places of interest, and taking as much time as you wish at each stop. Unlike the limited options of public transport, having your own vehicle provides a more enjoyable and less stressful journey.

Recommended Route

To get to Istán from Marbella, you will need to take the Mediterranean motorway towards Puerto Banús. You will see a sign on the road indicating the detour to Istán, which you should take and follow the directions. It is a mountain road, so you should drive with caution, as it is two-way and not too wide. You will enjoy spectacular views and along the way you can stop to stretch your legs and enjoy nature.

Estimated time from Marbella to Istán: 30 minutes.

Adventure towards Benahavís


The car journey from Marbella to Benahavís is quite an experience. The road winds through mountainous landscapes, offering panoramic views of the Mediterranean.

Discover the Freedom to Explore

Benahavís, known as the “Dining Room of the Costa del Sol,” invites you to enjoy authentic Andalusian cuisine in its numerous high-quality restaurants. Driving allows you to discover hidden charms, such as the Castillo de Montemayor with its stunning views or the picturesque streets of the old town filled with local craft shops. Surrounded by natural beauty, you can explore the Sierra de las Nieves Natural Park, go hiking in the mountains, or simply enjoy the views from the comfort of your car.

bars in Benahavis

Recommended Route

To get to Benahavís, you will need to go through Nueva Andalucía and Puerto Banús. You will find a well-signposted detour just after passing San Pedro de Alcántara, which will take you to a mountain road. Continue on this road and you will find places where you can park your vehicle and enjoy the natural surroundings. If you continue, you will end up reaching the beautiful municipality of Benahavís.
Estimated time from Marbella to Benahavís: 30 minutes.

Discover Ojén from Marbella


Ojén, an Andalusian white village a few kilometres from Marbella, offers a tranquil and picturesque escape.

Ojén: A Haven of Tranquillity

Unlike bustling Marbella, Ojén provides a relaxed and authentic atmosphere. Escape the hustle and bustle of the city and immerse yourself in Andalusian life. Driving to Ojén allows you to appreciate the beauty of the mountainous landscape and traditional architecture. Discover the art of brandy production at the Brandy Museum, located in an old distillery. Don’t miss the panoramic views of the Mediterranean from the Juanar Viewpoint, a short drive from the village.

Recommended Route

Ojén is very close to Marbella. You will need to leave the La Cañada shopping centre in Marbella to your right and take the A-355 road towards Monda, Coín and Ojén. Although you can visit any of those places, the first one you will come across is Ojén, after driving along a beautiful mountain road.

We recommend visiting the Juanar Viewpoint (Map) and if you feel like it you can continue driving to Monda.

Estimated time from Marbella to Ojén: 20 minutes.

Other recommended destinations by car from Marbella

Marbella, located on the Costa del Sol, is an excellent starting point to explore the beautiful region of Andalusia. Here are some recommended destinations to visit if you have decided to rent a car:

  1. Ronda: This mountainous city is famous for its impressive bridge that crosses the Tajo gorge. Ronda is also known for its bullring and its wineries.
  2. Málaga: The birthplace of Picasso offers a wealth of museums, a vibrant nightlife and excellent seafood restaurants. Don’t miss the Alcazaba and the Gibralfaro Castle.
  3. Granada: Home to the stunning Alhambra, Granada is a city that you cannot miss. The city is also famous for its free tapas and its lively Albaicín neighbourhood.
  4. Córdoba: With its impressive Mosque-Cathedral and its old Jewish quarter, Córdoba is an Andalusian gem that is worth visiting.
  5. Seville: Known for its cathedral, the Giralda, and the Plaza de España, Seville is a city full of history and culture. Don’t miss the opportunity to see a flamenco show.
  6. Gibraltar: Although technically not in Andalusia, Gibraltar is a short drive from Marbella. Climb the Rock of Gibraltar to enjoy the views and visit the famous monkeys of Gibraltar.

Marbella, a jewel on the Costa del Sol, and the charming region of Andalusia await you with a myriad of unforgettable experiences. To make the most of your visit, we suggest selecting a vehicle that fits your plans and preferences. This way, you can comfortably explore the most fascinating corners of these lands, enjoying each excursion to the fullest. Get ready for an adventure full of discoveries and delights!

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