These days, the words ‘Costa del Sol’ are equivalent to sun-drenched holidays, conjuring up images of eye-poppingly gorgeous beaches carved in between rock faces, swish marinas and hillsides speckled with terra cotta-capped villas. It’s a classic cosmopolitan destination you won’t soon forget.
Costa del Sol at a glance
Most holidays to this sunny coastline start in Malaga Airport and fan out to the beach – there are almost 20 Blue Flag Award winners here in total. That’s more than 160 kilometres of coastline. Perhaps most famous of Costa del Sol’s resorts is star-studded Marbella, whose flashy harbour is connected to equally glamourous Puerto Banus by what’s known as the Golden Mile.
Otherwise, Costa del Sol’s resorts range from traditional Spanish in nature to outwardly touristy, clad in All Inclusive hotels and beaches paved with sunbeds and umbrellas.
What were once fishing villages are now busy cityscapes that still have all the same authentic, diamond-in-the-rough tapas spots and boutiques, you just have to do a little digging to find them.
But it only became a tourist destination in the early 20th century after an economic crisis left the locals searching for an alternative source of income – soon to follow were hotels and shiny waterfront scenes, until finally holidaymakers came in droves.
5 fun facts about Costa del Sol
- The name Costa del Sol translates to the ‘Coast of the Sun’ or the ‘Sun Coast’.
- Costa del Sol has long been a holiday destination for the rich and famous, seeing the likes of Grace Kelly, Brigitte Bardot, Frank Sinatra and a huge array of worldly royalty.
- Golf is kind of a big deal in Costa del Sol – there are more than 70 courses in this region alone.
- Famous painter and co-founder of the Cubist movement Pablo Picasso was born in Malaga.
- King Fahd of Saudi Arabia built a palace on Marbella’s coastline modelled after the White House, valued at more than £120 million.
Things to do
Tivoli World – Tivoli World in Benalmadena is Costa del Sol’s very own mega park, complete with rollercoasters, carnival and water rides, fun houses and live performances.
Nerja Caves – Accessed via a staircase, these natural underground beauties stretch out for nearly five kilometres near Nerja and are home to the largest stalagmite in the world.
Port of Marbella – A hotspot for the rich and famous, Marbella’s port is highly strollable, especially if you love to celebrity and million-pound-yacht watch, as well as wander through designer boutiques.
Here are some of our top money-saving deals on holidays to Costa del Sol.
Monarque Sultan Aparthotel, Marbella
Found at the foot of the Sierra Blanca Mountains and right along Marbella’s Golden Mile, this elegant hotel comes with an amoeba-shaped pool, worldly cuisine at the onsite restaurant and a spa equipped with a Finnish sauna.
Senator Banus Spa, Estepona
Contemporary decor and clean cut lines make up the Senator Banus Spa, which impresses holidaymakers with a peaceful pool scene, daytime dance classes, pamper-heavy spa treatments and a cocktail bar soundtracked by a live pianist.
Holiday Village Costa del Sol
A family-friendly haven with its incredible pool scene equipped with a pirate ship and water fountains, the Holiday Village Costa del Sol comes at the ready for action-packed holidays with an open-air theatre, a buffet spot, American diner and Italian restaurant, a crazy golf course and games arcade, all with the sea in sight.
Costa del Sol is famous for a reason. Been here before? Let us know your favourite sights and stops in the comments below.