You’ll find restaurants, cafes and bars serving everything from fish and chips to Mexican. Quite a few of them are owned and run by British expats, and all of the menus are in English. The El Zoco complex is a large eating, shopping and entertainment centre and has plenty of restaurants to choose from including Spanish, Italian and even Japanese.
Whilst there are plenty of incredible All Inclusive hotels on Costa del Sol, for authentic Spanish cuisine you’ll want to head to the restaurants that line the beach, or up towards Marbella. Try the seafood, locally grown vegetables and jamon serrano – thinly sliced ham from the mountains – an ideal Andalucian breakfast.
Calahonda isn’t the place for you if you want to stay out clubbing every night, and for most visitors the relaxed nightlife is a blessing. El Zoco often stays open until 3am as a place to enjoy a drink, while the nearby marina at Cabopino has a lovely after-dark atmosphere, with bars overlooking the shimmering water. British pubs and bars are two a penny and add to the community spirit of the town.
The neighbouring development of Riviera del Sol is also very popular, with visitors and locals alike flocking to David’s bar. You can also take a trip to Marbella for classy cocktails or Fuengirola for cheap drinks and urban nightlife.
Being a small town, shopping in Calahonda is geared towards convenience as opposed to luxury. That means you’ll have access to great supermarkets and souvenirs but will need to visit Marbella for some window-shopping or to treat yourself to a new handbag. Luckily, Marbella is less than 20 minutes away in a taxi or hire car and has independent boutiques as well as global brands.
Calahonda is a great base for using cheap holidays to Costa del Sol to explore the wider Andalusia region.
Nearby you’ll discover Miraflores, a popular golf and lawn bowls resort, and a little further on you’ll come to Mijas, a whitewashed Spanish village nestled in the mountainside. Here you’ll find the cobbled streets, pottery shops and Spanish residents that aren’t often seen in Calahonda. In Marbella, you can explore the old town with its rambling streets, cosy cafes and traditional architecture – although if you head out in the opposite direction and go to Malaga, you will find a transport museum, cathedral and castle.
If you’ve had enough of the hustle and bustle, go horse trekking through the Spanish mountains or visit one of Costa del Sol’s most beautiful beaches – El Canuelo. Although it’s a shingle beach, rather than sand, it sits in a stunning cove of clear water teeming with fish. Don’t forget to pack the snorkels!