For many people taking holidays to Costa del Sol, Malaga will be their gateway due to its convenient airport location. However, the impressive city – which is the second biggest in Andalusia – should not be dismissed as a mere stepping stone to the beach, with many of sights and attractions in its own right. Art lovers will adore the Picasso and contemporary art museums, while the Roman theatre, Gothic-Baroque cathedral and the awe-inspiring Moorish fortress of Alcazaba are great places to explore the city’s enthralling history.
Elsewhere along the coast, Marbella represents the most popular and classiest of resort towns – and the most expensive. As well as its obvious beachside attractions, fantastic restaurants, picturesque marina and top-of-the-range accommodation, Marbella is also sheltered by a stunning backdrop of the Sierra Blanca mountain range. It even offers its own quaint insight into the past through its picture-postcard old town.
Meanwhile, Torremolinos, Fuengirola and Benalmadena are also thriving resort towns within easy reach of the airport and at a perfect location right on the beach.
Of course, the Costa del Sol has lots of opportunities to top up your tan, with many pristine beaches studding its glittering coastline. With more than 320 days of sunshine a year, you’ll be well placed to take in some of those rays whenever you visit, and with almost 20 Blue Flag beaches in the area and countless more offering very high levels of quality and cleanliness, you’ll want to explore them all.
If you feel like getting active, watersports are a popular pastime here, as are snorkelling and scuba-diving – if you’re really lucky, you might even spot some whales and dolphins!
Quality leisure time
Since the tourism boom in the 1950s All Inclusive Costa del Sol holidays have continued to grow in popularity, and the resort has had time to build up an impressive array of leisure amenities and facilities. Examples of other fun-filled attractions on the coast include theme parks, waterparks, safari parks and go-karting tracks, which are ideal for family holidays. Those in search of a more relaxed break can take a walk through any one of the beautiful public gardens and nature reserves that dot the coastline.
The recent arrival of several spas and saunas make the region a great destination if you want to pamper yourself silly too.
Meanwhile, golf enthusiasts might think they’ve died and gone to heaven. The coast is positively teeming with courses (more than 70 in total), which cater to all abilities and budgets, all the way up to the world-class Valderrama course in Sotogrande, home of the annual Volvo Masters.
Andalusian dining at its finest
Wherever you go along the Andalusian coast you’ll be treated to a feast and Costa del Sol is no different. Its seafront location means it has a focus on fish and fruits of the sea, the majority of which are as fresh as possible, sourced locally and cooked to absolute perfection.
The region’s diverse heritage – which has played host to Celts, Phoenicians, Greeks, Romans and Arabs over the years – is reflected in its cuisine. Although you’ll find tapas and other traditional Spanish dishes still dominate the menu, there’s plenty of room for variety. Whether it’s a hearty beef stew or a deliciously seasoned seafood platter, you can expect your meal to come packed with plenty of character.
Whilst you’re sure to find great food at the All Inclusive hotels Costa del Sol has to offer, it’s well worth stepping out to explore authentic local cuisine as well.
24-hour party people
The Costa del Sol was once a favourite for British holidaymakers looking to paint the town red. And although the coast has much more to offer than hedonistic pleasures, nightlife is still a big part of any holiday along the coast.
Late holiday deals to Costa del Sol can still place you at the heart of the action, if that’s what you’re after. From the crowded bistros and bars of Malaga and Torremolinos to the all-night clubs in Benalmadena’s Puerto Marina and Puerto Banus, revellers can dance the night away and do it all over again tomorrow. Don’t forget to try the local sangria!