Costa del Sol: Introduction
Holidays to Costa del Sol have it all. Málaga is fantastic destination for all kinds of holidaymakers; a city buzzing with life, art, culture and fantastic food, the city’s history dates back to pre-Roman times, with plenty of historical legacy to explore. Add in amazing golf courses, beautiful beaches, fun resorts and the picturesque setting of the Costa del Sol, and you’ve got the recipe for a holiday to remember. There are 190 miles of stunning coast to explore in the Costa del Sol, lined with resorts, beaches and holiday rentals, which makes it a popular year-round holiday destination for British travellers, time and time again.
The Costa del Sol is one of the most family-friendly areas of Spain, with plenty of attractions, water parks, zoos and boat excursions to keep the whole family entertained. If you need a break from the beach, there are tons of great days out to be had in the Costa del Sol, so you can make your holiday as active and adventurous as you fancy. Of course, if it’s a lazy sun holiday you’re after, the beaches in the Costa del Sol are some of the most attractive in Europe – with watersports and beach restaurants aplenty to keep you amused, all day long. Malaga is the capital of the Costa del Sol and the nearest airport for reaching the resorts. It’s an easy hop from the UK, with flights from London to Malaga taking around 2 hours and 25 minutes, so you’ll be by the crystal blue sea in no time!
Why Choose Costa del Sol for a holiday
Holidaymakers choose the Costa del Sol for their sunshine fix every year, thanks to the bounty of resorts on offer in the area. The Costa del Sol boasts dozens of fantastic resorts, which are in easy reach of Malaga airport, including Torremolinos, Marbella and Nerja. These resorts have both fantastic beaches, and striking coastline views, making for a picture-perfect holiday. There are also plenty of attractions in the Costa del Sol, with family-focused resorts such as Torremolinos and Benalmadena being popular choices, for their proximity to Tivoli World amusement park, a Sea Life Centre and Paloma Park.
Attractions and activities in and around Costa del Sol
The main attraction of the Costa del Sol, surely, are the beaches. Burriana Beach, La Caletilla and Torrecilla Beach are favourites, which are in Nerja, whilst Bajondillo and Playamar beaches are hostpots in Torremolinos. Benalmadena boasts Playa BilBil and Benalmadena beach, and La Siesta Beach can be found in Puerto Banus, which is a popular choice. For the kids, Aqualand Torremolinos is the biggest waterpark on the Costa del Sol, with 19 slides for adults and 15 that are accessible to children. There’s also Parque Acuatico Mijas – a waterpark with three twisting labyrinth slides, the rapids of Wild River and a 50ft drop on the Kamikaze!
If you’re after history and culture, head to Malaga’s top attractions; the Museo Picasso Malaga is a popular hotspot for discovering more about Pablo Picasso. Picasso was born in Malaga (you can also visit his first home while you're here) and the museum dedicated to his work is home to over 200 pieces by the famous artist, including the materials, techniques and ideas he explored throughout his life – a must-visit for art-lovers.
For a sense of history, discover Alcazaba and Gibralfaro Castle – an old Arab fortress and a castle constructed in the 14th century that are linked, and which boast their own fascinating museums. At Alcazaba, you can discover artefacts from the Phoenician and Roman empires in its Archaeological Museum. Don’t miss the Plaza de la Merced in Malaga – the fun, bustling square in Malaga's historic quarter is where you'll find Picasso's birthplace, as well as a monument to General Torrijos. If you’re willing to travel a little further, Alhambra Palace in Granada cannot be missed. It’s located in the Moorish city of Granada, and this stupendous, red-walled palace complex is one of Spain’s gems and a must-see if you want to get a taste of the country’s rich history.
If you’re looking for a fun day trip whilst holidaying in the Costa del Sol, get out to one of the sights of natural beauty in this region. Los Alcornocales Natural Park is a huge reserve, between Malaga and Cadiz, with stunning natural beauty – you’ll find everything from local birds, wildlife, hills, rivers and valleys to explore. Bring your walking boots, and prepare to be impressed. To the north of Malaga is Montes de Malaga, a natural park with wonderful local restaurants, hidden away in the mountains. Naturally, the Costa del Sol is a golfers’ paradise. There are so many fantastic golf courses in this stretch of Spain’s coastline, all along the coast from Benaldamena to Marbella, and you can play year round thanks to their long, dry summers. Courses range from nine to 27 holes, and you can enjoy lots of different terrains from tree-lined fairways to wind-blown, hilly courses. Don’t forget to book in advance, and you’ll be asked for your handicap certificate before you tee off. If you’re looking for something adventurous, the Costa del Sol is also a fantastic place for horseriding; try it in Torremolinos.
Of course, if it’s retail therapy you’re after, there’s plenty to keep you entertained. Try Fuengirola market, Torremolinos market, Benalmadena, Puerto Banus and Nerja open-air market for some great local buys, and don’t miss the chic boutiques of Marbella. And, when that’s done, feast on some local cuisine – gazpacho and Sangria are popular local favourites here.
Top Tips for a Costa del Sol holiday
· If your kids are getting restless on the beach, head to Tivoli World – a massive amusement park with more than 40 rides and attractions, with favourites such as the ferris wheel, twister and go-karts.
· Spaniards eat late – book a table at 10pm for dinner if you want the best atmosphere.
· Ask the taxi driver how much the fare will be before you set off and agree a fixed price.
· The Picasso Museum is free on the last Sunday of each month.
Events in Costa del Sol
There are plenty of events in the Costa del Sol throughout the year to keep you amused. On the evening of the 5th of January there is a procession (Cabalgata), when the Three Kings parade through the streets on colourful floats, with sweets thrown at children in the streets. In March, Easter week in Mijas Pueblo is very pretty, with the story of the Passion of Christ told each day in rehearsed processions and the streets come alive with tradition. In June, La noche de San Juan is celebrated, with fireworks, street festivals in San Sebastian Street and merriment. On the third week of August, the municipality of Júzcar celebrates its patron saint festival in honour of the Virgin of Moclón, with special street parades. In August, Iznate celebrates Muscat Grape Day, with special wine-themed celebrations, whilst in Benalauria, there’s a traditional Moors and Christians Festival, with special street theatre throughout the whole village. Don’t miss the Gazpacho Festival in Alfarnatejo in August – it’s a foodie’s highlight. Starlite Marbella is a special music festival that’s on every summer, with popular musicians playing through July and August. Of course, Christmas is a big celebration throughout the Costa del Sol and most towns host a Christmas carol concert in their town halls.
Costa del Sol holiday resorts
|Torremolinos Holidays||20 Hotels, Villas + Apartments|
|Benalmadena Holidays||19 Hotels, Villas + Apartments|
|Fuengirola Holidays||13 Hotels, Villas + Apartments|
|Marbella Holidays||9 Hotels, Villas + Apartments|
|Nerja Holidays||8 Hotels, Villas + Apartments|
|Puerto Banus Holidays||7 Hotels, Villas + Apartments|
|Estepona Holidays||6 Hotels, Villas + Apartments|
|Frigiliana Holidays||4 Hotels, Villas + Apartments|
|Sotogrande Holidays||3 Hotels, Villas + Apartments|
|Almunecar Holidays||3 Hotels, Villas + Apartments|
|Malaga Holidays||2 Hotels, Villas + Apartments|
|Mijas Costa Holidays||1 Hotels, Villas + Apartments|
|Mijas Pueblo Holidays||1 Hotels, Villas + Apartments|
|Manilva Holidays||1 Hotels, Villas + Apartments|