If you’re thinking about a holiday to Spain, you’re thinking about far more than reclining on sumptuous beaches under a brilliantly blue sky.
Indeed, this destination is also home to some of the top trips and ways to spend your time, and that’s definitely true of Costa del Sol. This region is the Coast of the Sun after all, and even beyond the warm weather you’ve got places like timelessly tourist-friendly Marbella and historic Fuengirola.
Plenty of adventures await, and we’ve gathered the best of the bunch for you to consider when you fly out.
Ronda is a hilltop town housing around 35,000 people, and it’s also one of the most photogenic places in Spain.
It’s right at the top of an impressive cluster of cliffs, which are surrounded by rivers far below. That means spectacular views all around, and the town is connected over those gaps by the Puente Nuevo. That’s a massive bridge that was built in the 1700s and took over 40 years to complete.
Roman and Moorish influences have shaped Ronda, making for some gorgeous architecture and a number of folk stories woven amid the streets.
The town also houses the most well-preserved Arabic baths in all of Spain, as well as towers and fortress gates preserved from their era. You’ll also find some of the best wineries in all of Spain, with some of the most desirable vintages.
The Nerja Caves
They say that the Nerja Caves were discovered accidentally by some youngsters out playing back in the 1950s, but the true history of these caverns reaches far further back. The caves extend some ways underground, with routes cordoned off for guided tours and budding spelunkers.
The caves have plenty of claims to fame too, from the world’s longest limestone column to the hundreds of stalagmites and the ancient cave paintings left by Neanderthals.
Benalmadena’s Butterfly Park
There are lots of reasons to visit sunny and serene Benalmadena, but the Butterfly Park is certainly one of the best of them.
With 2,000 square metres of parkland dedicated to beautiful tropical plants, the attraction has become the home of over 1,500 butterflies from some 150 species or more. Flashes of colour and magical memories are promised by this one of a kind outing.
The stately seclusion of Torremolinos lets its hair down at the nearby Aqualand waterpark, which is the largest of its kind in Costa del Sol.
You and your loved ones can race one another down chutes of every colour in the rainbow, or let the kids loose on the more tame affairs found in their own personal corner of the park.
Restaurants and gift shops are scattered here and there for refreshments and souvenirs accordingly, but the real centrepiece is the Kamikazee, one of the tallest waterslides in Europe.
Once more close to Benalmadena, this is one of the most beloved theme parks in Spain.
From dinosaur themed adventures to go-karts and bumper cars, and from Ferris wheels and rollercoasters to the live action antics of the haunted mansion, this theme park mixes performances and mechanical marvels to superb effect.
Let loose in the shooting gallery to quell your itchy trigger finger, then go flamenco dancing after sunset.
This magnificent structure has been rebuilt time and time again over its long lifetime, becoming a celebrated part of life in Fuengirola. It’s well worth a visit for history buffs, although the nearby river also offers plenty of adventures too.
You can kayak across it or drift downstream, while daring holidaymakers can instead zipline over the water altogether.
The Benalmadena Cable Car
We keep mentioning Benelmadena, but that’s because it has so much to enjoy! More specifically, the town backs onto Calamorro Mountain beautifully, and the locals have enjoyed that peak for generations via the town’s cable car.
Your gondola will whisk you up to the peak and its sublime views in just 15 minutes, but that’s ample time to enjoy the incredible views of the sea, as well as the town and nearby Malaga. If you fancy a trek back down, there’s even the option of a one way ticket.
The Caminito del Rey
One for the truly courageous, the Caminito del Rey, or King’s Walkway, is the trail once used by fishermen and other individuals in generations past.
It was recently re-opened for public enjoyment since having new platforms built into the rock-face, and it’s a narrow path that winds through valleys hundreds of feet above the river below.
Certain parts of the walk, which extends for almost eight kilometres, have glass flooring that give you a glimpse of the sheer rocky cliff beneath you and the countryside sprawling below.
The Sierra Nevada
Chances are you’re going to the Costa del Sol for the sunshine, but you can stick around for the skiing. The mountains of the Sierra Nevada are among Europe’s best slopes to ski down, but even if that’s not for you, taking a trip here is well worth your time.
You can hike and camp in the countryside, or instead opt to test your mettle in the biking park on some of the most rugged mountain bikes you can get. If that’s not enough, swim in the indoor pool, get active at the leisure centre and take on the pedal car circuits.
There’s every reason to involve yourself in the days out to be had in Costa del Sol. The brilliant sunshine and the beautiful beaches are just the beginning of what can be enjoyed here.
Have you ever enjoyed an excursion in the region that we’ve not had the space to cover today? Let us know in the comments below, or share your own happy memories of our favourites with your fellow holidaymakers.