The Costa del Sol is the stretch of golden beaches that run along the southern coast of Spain in the Andalucia region (roughly) from Nerja to Estepona.
It’s mostly famous for its towering high-rise hotels and hordes of holidaymakers. With them come the many drinking establishments that help tourists to feel at home. The ones showing premier league football, serving English fry-ups and John Smiths on tap. They’re not really my cup of tea to be honest (though I’m sure that they do make a really good cuppa).
It is easy to see what my fellow Brits find so appealing about this area of Spain. But there really is more to the Costa del Sol then the obvious UK home comforts you see at first glance.
What to see on the Costa del Sol
It seems like the sun is always shining on the Costa del Sol and the wide sandy beaches entice you to take a dip in the clear blue waters or stop a while in a beach-side Chiringuito for a nice cold beer and tapas.
My trip south was a much needed break from the heat of Madrid (40°c in July-August). Walking on the beach, feeling the sand between my toes, while the waves lapped at my feet was just amazing. It’s still hot on the Costa del Sol, dont get me wrong but the sea breeze and the opportunity to take a dip and cool down in the water was a great relief from summer in the city.
My favorite beaches on the Costa del Sol are in…
Fuengirola because it’s so big and there’s a lot of nice loungers (see pic below).
Cala de Mijas because it’s away from the bigger towns and fairly quiet (see pic above).
Nerja because it has the rocky cliff drop and mountains in the background (the title pic).
There are so many gorgeous beaches to choose from when you visit the Costa del Sol. They all offer the same kind of amenities but have their own individual charms. The most famous ones are probably in Torremolinos, Benalmadena and Marbella.
The town of Malaga is the main city in Andalucia and the gateway to the Costa del Sol, with its huge international airport and extensive train and bus connections. It has a surprisingly rich cultural history and is one of the oldest cities in Europe. It has an amazing, well preserved Alcazaba and roman Amphitheatre, which are well worth a visit.
Fun fact – Malaga is the birth place of Picasso and Antonio Banderas!
The nearby Marbella is well-known for attracting the rich and famous to its high-end Puerto Banus. A fabulous marina filled with luxury speed boats and yacht’s. The harbour is lined with exclusive restaurants, bars, nightclubs and designer shops. Marbella also has a cute old town with narrow cobbled streets lined with orange trees. Here you can find flower filled balconies overlooking nice traditional restaurants serving great tapas and seafood.
The traditional Andalusian hillside town of Mijas is a pueblo maze of whitewashed buildings. Day tourists visit for a glimpse of this beautiful place and to enjoy the panoramic views. Stopping for lunch or drinks, a donkey ride, or to buy local handmade crafts. It’s easy to think you have stepped back in time, it’s so quiet and relaxed here.
I love my food so one the highlights for me when visiting this area of Spain is the grilled seafood served on the beach called Espeto. Down on the beach you will find old boats turned into barbecues. They are filled with wood logs or coal and lit in the late morning. Left to burn away until lunch-time then rows of skewered seafood are perched on top of the glowing embers and left to sizzle in the sunshine. My favourite is the traditional sardines… just delicious!
Here’s more info on Espeto from Devour Malaga.
Want to hear more about Spanish food? My next post will be… What to eat in Madrid
If you love the Costa Del Sol and have any tips to share, it would be great to hear them! Please leave me a message in the comments box.
Want to see more what the Cost del Sol has to offer? Check out my Costa del Sol Pinterest board
Want to save this post for reading later? Pin it to Pinterest 🙂
You might also be interested Seeking the Spanish Sun’s guides to…