Marbella Boat Tours

Boat trips in Marbella are an excellent way to experience the Costa del Sol from a more privileged and much more entertaining perspective.

Keyvis Montilva

Keyvis Montilva

9 min read

Marbella Boat Tours

Cruise on the coast | Georgy Trofimov

Sailing has always been one of the best things to see and do in Marbella. Which is logical knowing that it is a destination with more than 27 kilometres of white sandy coastline that has become a favourite place for the arrival of boats of all kinds. I invite you to read on if you are interested in participating in an activity like this when you are visiting the most famous city on the Andalusian Costa del Sol.

Sailing trips to enjoy the sunset in Estepona

Atalaya Beach in Estepona| ©aquilino2010
Atalaya Beach in Estepona| ©aquilino2010

Sailing trips are an entertaining activity all over the world and particularly in Marbella they take on a very pleasant beauty because of the calmness of the waves of the coast. As well as the appreciation of the constant and unruffled sailing along the coastline that has been developed along the Costa del Sol over the last couple of decades.

A sailing trip involves the presence of a skipper as well as some sailing assistants. In the case of this type of trip there is usually soft and pleasant music on board the boat and sparkling drinks such as cava or sangria are almost always offered.

Due to the nature of the boat it is not an activity suitable for wheelchair users and there is usually a limit of up to 12 passengers on the boat. This means that if your group of companions fills that quota then it becomes a private tour.

Bear in mind that the boat usually departs from Estepona Marina so it will be up to you to arrange a transfer from your accommodation in Marbella, sometimes the tour service itself will pick you up from your hotel, but you can also get a taxi for around 20-25 euros.

Details of interest

  • Price: A tour like this usually costs around 30-35 euros per adult while children between 10 and 3 years of age usually pay around 20-25 euros to enter the boat.
  • Duration: this sailing tour of Estepona Bay usually lasts about 2 to 3 hours approximately. Keep in mind that this is more than enough time to appreciate the beauty of the coast and even enjoy a couple of drinks with your companions.
  • Means of transport: they usually take place on sailboats, but you should be aware that they are not luxury vessels, they are quite modest without detracting from the safety and comfort of the experience.
  • Advantages of this option: the rates offered are extremely convincing in a city where everything is a bit expensive.
  • Disadvantages of this option: having to coordinate your own transfer from your accommodation somewhere in and around Marbella to the port of Estepona can be a little nerve-wracking.

Dolphin watching tour in Estepona Bay

Dolphins| ©Ranae Smith
Dolphins| ©Ranae Smith

One of the biggest features of the Spanish Mediterranean coastline is the chance to see dolphins in their natural habitat just as tourists visiting other Atlantic destinations such as the Canary Islands or the Azores and Madeira can do. So it makes sense that there are some boat trips in Marbella that focus exclusively on navigating the waters of Estepona Bay to appreciate the beauty of the marine world's most intelligent mammals.

The duration of the trip is usually virtually identical to one that focuses on participants enjoying the sunset. What changes are the navigation routes, as in this case it is necessary to be able to see different groups of dolphins on the excursion. At the same time, as it is an early morning or mid-afternoon trip, which means greater safety and visibility, there is always some swimming in the open waters of the Mediterranean Sea.

Bear in mind that in this case there is also usually a participation limit that can be filled by your whole group of companions if you are interested in turning the experience into a private trip. There will be a guide specialised in marine fauna who will alert you to the approach of the dolphins and drinks are also usually offered.

It is usual for this type of tour, as well as the other options mentioned in this list, that there is a free cancellation of the reservation if it is made well in advance. Also, bear in mind that the guide and captain speak Spanish and English.

Interesting details

  • Price: The price for a dolphin watching boat trip on the Costa del Sol is usually around 30 euros per adult while children between 10 and 3 years of age usually pay around 20 euros.
  • Duration: A dolphin watching trip in the bay of Estepona usually lasts about 2 hours. Depending on the conditions of the day and the impossibility of seeing dolphins at the beginning of the trip, it may take up to 3 hours.
  • Means of transport: usually sailing boats and in this case it will be a more modern model. However, it is also possible to go on other types of boats such as catamarans or sport fishing boats.
  • Advantages of this option: the price is an advantageous feature of this type of boat trips in Marbella and the fact that you can select different times for the departure of the boat is an interesting detail.
  • Disadvantages of this option: the departure is also usually from Estepona Marina and again this could be a budget problem for you depending on where you are staying.

Sunset boat trip with dinner and wine included

Breakfast at sea| ©Reynier Carl
Breakfast at sea| ©Reynier Carl

Finally, comes the option that convinces those seeking exclusivity, luxury and privacy, as a ride on a modern boat to enjoy a delicious Mediterranean dinner with an accompaniment of sparkling wines is the best alternative. At least for those who wish to live a slightly more special experience.

This is an activity designed for couples, as there is a limit of two participants in addition to the tour guide who will be on the boat at all times with the captain. In this case, the captain will not need any navigational assistants as it is a small luxury yacht with mechanised propulsion.

In addition, on some occasions the pick up of the participants from their accommodation is included. This is as long as it is a hotel or a property that belongs to a very specific list of locations.

As for the dinner you should know that it is a tasting of local products as well as the preparation of some typical Spanish Mediterranean tapas. The wines are also usually from local Andalusian wineries in the Ronda region, but there may be exceptions.

Interesting details

  • Price: The approximate price for a private boat trip for two people including wine and dinner is around 150 euros per person. This means that the whole experience costs approximately 300 euros, knowing that there must be two participants for the trip to take place.
  • Duration: a tour of the Costa del Sol at sunset always lasts 2 or 3 hours maximum and this tour is no exception to this rule.
  • Means of transport: they are almost always modern and luxurious boats that are big enough to have a kitchen and an internal cabin, but they cannot be classified as real yachts either, or at least not as a big one.
  • Advantages of this option: it is an exclusive plan to enjoy as a couple.
  • Disadvantages of this option: the fact that it is a two-person trip is quite limiting for many tour groups, especially for couples travelling with children.

How to book boat trips from Marbella?

Scheduled sea excursion| ©luckysilver1
Scheduled sea excursion| ©luckysilver1

There are different alternatives to book a boat trip from Marbella, however, the best of all is always going to be through an online method. This is due to the fact that this formula allows you to identify which dates are available for each of the different trips you are interested in. You can also see the price variation between specific dates and others. You even have the possibility of getting a free cancellation of your purchase if you inform us well in advance.

There are other alternatives such as the local tourist agencies located along the Costa del Sol or also a company that is dedicated exclusively to offer boat trips both in a tourist and sporting approach.

However, the drawback with these options is that there is no guarantee that the price will be convenient. Also, you never know if you will get a ride for the date and time you are interested in and there is no way to compare with the other agencies unless you go through them all.

Duration of boat trips from Marbella

Different options on the sea| ©pixelRaw
Different options on the sea| ©pixelRaw

The average duration of boat trips from Marbella is always around 2 or 3 days maximum. This applies at least in cases where the trip is only about enjoying the coast and possibly adding a short swimming session of about 30 minutes in the open sea. This will allow the participants to enjoy this experience in the Mediterranean Sea to the fullest.

Of course, there are exceptions such as those rides that go from Marbella to some other specific point in and around Andalusia. This would involve a descent and a subsequent boarding of the participants on the boat and then return to one of the ports on the Costa del Sol.

However, two hours is more than enough time to enjoy an experience like this. Boat trips have been one of the best activities to do in Marbella for decades, because they are a safe plan for the whole family, entertaining all kinds of people.

What will I see on boat trips from Marbella?

Los Reales de Sierra Bermeja Natural Park| ©Turismo de Andalucía
Los Reales de Sierra Bermeja Natural Park| ©Turismo de Andalucía

Depending on which port your trip departs from, you will see different sections of the Costa del Sol. If your boat trip departs from the marina of Marbella you will almost certainly be able to appreciate the beauty of places such as Puerto Banús or the town of Nueva Andalucía.

On the other hand, if your boat trip departs from the port of Estepona you will probably be able to appreciate places such as the Golden Bay or the natural area of Los Reales de Sierra Bermeja. Which can be seen as part of the mountain ranges that surround the entire Costa del Sol.

Keep in mind that either way this kilometre-long stretch of the Costa del Sol is an extremely attractive area from a natural perspective. Which means that all boat trips, no matter which sailing route you choose, will offer you a privileged view of some of the favourite destinations among the day trips that depart from Marbella and then return to the historic centre of Marbella.

Tips for enjoying boat trips from Marbella

Family on the boat| ©Sergey Makashin
Family on the boat| ©Sergey Makashin

There are different tips I can give you regarding participating in Marbella boat trips, but taking sunscreen with you and applying it constantly throughout the experience is always going to be one of the most important. One of the biggest disadvantages of sailing is that you are constantly exposed to more significant solar radiation than you experience when walking on land.

The second piece of advice I can give you with regard to this type of experience is to bring alternative children's entertainment in case you wish to take part in these trips with children. The truth is that although boat trips are one of the best activities to do in Marbella with children, it is a reality that they, especially the younger ones, have to get bored with a significant frequency.

I recommend that you bring drinks and snacks in case the tour you have chosen does not have them. The truth is that it is quite uncomfortable to be in the middle of the sea with a growing appetite and a thirst that cannot be quenched due to the lack of bottled water inside the boat.

How much do boat trips from Marbella cost?

Sunset Service Cruise| ©Sheila Jellison
Sunset Service Cruise| ©Sheila Jellison

Boat trips that are shared with other groups of people and are not geared towards a luxurious experience usually cost between 30 and 60 euros per person. However, tours that focus on a more exclusive sailing experience on a modern and impressive vessel are usually more than 150 euros. In some cases they can go up to 250 depending on the length of the trip and the conditions offered.

Keep in mind that boat trips are one of the best things to do in Marbella in winter. This is due to the fact that the low tourist influx that this destination has compared to the summer makes the prices of the service go down.