If you’re a parent in need of some rest and relaxation as much as giving some adventure and happy memories to your nearest and dearest, look no further than the sublime shores of Costa del Sol.
The so-called Coast of the Sun is among the most family-friendly of all the regions of Spain, and from active exploration to more measured days of culture and history, there’s no shortage of ways to spend your family time. If you’re stuck for ideas, check out some of our pointers.
Bask on the beach
Our first suggestion, namely long fun beach days, might seem obvious, but it’s a good idea to consider the kind of beach your holiday will be close to.
For example, more shy kids will enjoy somewhere like Estepona, where the beaches are gorgeous and tranquil and the locals have kept the culture flourishing.
More lively tots need look no further than the legions of beaches framing Nerja, which is one of the most active resorts in Costa del Sol. The rocky outcrops here also make for fun places to look for sea creatures in rock pools.
Visit Castillo de Colomares
Spanish architecture is pretty evocative already, but if you’re in Benalmadena, definitely check out the fairy-tale beauty of the Castillo de Colomares. However, if you’re expecting this magnificent edifice to grant some insight into the medieval era of Spain, think again.
This castle was actually built in the 1990s, influenced by Baroque and Gothic styles with a Byzantine twist, all to evoke the spirit of the era of Christopher Columbus, to whom the castle is dedicated. Explore its spires and ramparts and discover how one of the greatest voyages in human history came to be.
Hop on the Benalmadena Cable Car
Once you’ve taken in the sights of the Castillo, consider showing the kids up to an even greater view via the town’s cable car.
It slinks its way upwards to the pinnacle of a plateau on Mount Calamorro, making the town itself look like a series of train set model buildings from your vantage point of nearly 800 metres above sea level.
Looking across the Mediterranean Sea from on high you can point the little ones at the shape on the horizon – that’s the coast of Africa.
Make a splash at the waterparks
Some of Spain’s most exciting waterparks make their home along Costa del Sol, including the region’s largest, Aqualand Torremolinos.
It’s a realm of chutes, flumes, winding river rides and splash pools aplenty that keeps kids entertained from dawn until dusk. Older kids and adults will love the fierce rides like the Kamikaze and Boomerang.
Take a closer look at what’s on offer and you can find less mainstream offerings too, which might also save you some spending money.
While smaller waterparks are abundant on the Costa del Sol, special mention goes to the series of eight Costa Waterparks, including three in Fuengirola. They’re inflatable obstacle courses floating just a little way out to sea, meaning you can jump over wobbly bridges and race down slides into the warm water.
Take a trip over the waves
As much as Costa del Sol offers plenty to do on dry land, enjoying the deep blue sea is a given on your holiday.
While boat trips are easily found wherever you choose to savour the shore, a favourite is the little boating trip that takes you from Fuengirola to Benalmadena. Because this boat also has a glass bottom, the kids can check out the fishy friends swimming beneath your hour-long sojourn.
Costa del Sol is packed with places to play, and oodles of activities for young and old. We’re only scratching the surface, and we’d love to hear your recommendations in the comments.
Alternatively, see if our overview of the Costa del Sol inspires you any further, and keep an eye out for some solid deals on family breaks.