Translating literally as ‘Coast of the Sun’, Costa del Sol lies in Andalusia in southern Spain and is sandwiched between the less well-known Costa de la Luz and Costa Tropical. Once a series of small fishing settlements, today the region is a world-renowned tourist destination that encompasses resort towns and cities that have become synonymous with Spanish sunshine. Málaga, Torremolinos, Benalmádena, Fuengirola, Mijas, Marbella and Nerja to name but a few await you on your fantastic holiday in the Costa del Sol. Famed for its fabulous beaches, ranging from wide sweeps of golden sand to sleepy coves or the fashionable beach clubs frequented by the rich and famous, the Costa del Sol, with its stunning landscapes, fantastic food and rich cultural heritage, has something for everyone.
More than a beach destination, Málaga is also ideal for a shorter city break at any time of year. Its mild climate means it’s often warm enough to sit at a pavement café watching the world go by, though spring and autumn are the best times to visit. The Easter processions here are among the most important in Spain, ideal if you’re looking to experience some famous Spanish culture. Or why not try some retail therapy on your Malaga holiday? The winding lanes in Malaga’s heart now boast chic boutiques and cool cafes alongside the traditional taverns and its waterfront features the ubiquitous promenade, bars, restaurants and shops. Although there’s lots to do and see here if you are on a short break then Malaga is just the place to unwind and luxuriate in that relaxed Mediterranean vibe.
Immediately to the west of Málaga, on the bay of Málaga and behind the Sierra de Mijas, is Torremolinos. Long associated with the worst excesses of Irish tourism, Torremolinos has evolved into a luxury resort packed with activities and entertainment. With its clean sandy beaches, great choice of hotels and restaurants, and every entertainment and activity you can name, Torremolinos is perfect for a family holiday or for those seeking some fun from their holidays in Costa del Sol. Similarly to Torremolinos, Fuengirola too was once a sleepy fishing village. Now an effervescent metropolis Fuengirola holidays have much to offer. The fabulous beaches alone make this a superb holiday destination but there’s so much more just waiting for you to explore. The town has many tapas bars, cafes and restaurants to be sampled and an exploratory voyage down the narrow streets leading off the main square will reveal hidden delights and secrets. Here, too, is a great base for the more active holidaymakers, with golf, water sports and horse riding to be found in the area.
Marbella is Spain’s answer to St. Tropez, with all the trappings you can imagine. Rub shoulders with the rich and famous on the golden beaches as you sip on a cooling cocktail and watch the million euro yachts head into the harbor. Or why not head to the white village of Mijas, enjoy dining in the mountains at Benahavis or even take a trip across to Gibraltar?
Andalucia has thousands of years of rich history so it is no surprise that the region is home to some of the most impressive cultural and historic heritage in Europe. Settlement in the region dates back to prehistoric times with the city of Cadiz being the last stronghold of Carthahaginian Iberia back in 206 BC. Roman settlement followed and its imprint remains today in cities like Italica. Perhaps it is Muslim culture that had the greatest lasting impact on Andalucia after their arrival in the year 711.
The incredible Mosque-Cathedral in Cordoba is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a must see on your visit to Andalucia. The historic centre of Cordoba is a joy to stroll around as you get a sense of the significance the city and its mosque once had. The Alhambra in Granada is perhaps even more renowned and other impressive attractions include the Generalife Gardens and Albayzin in Granada and the Giralda tower and Alcazar in Seville! The traces of the splenderous past are not just visible in the cities of Anadalucia. A trip to the picturesque Andalusian villages and towns will bring you to see beautiful monuments reflecting the long history and rich artistic and cultural legacy. Valuable examples of Islamic, renaissance and baroque architecture can be found in the numerous fortresses, castles, churches, convents, palaces and other constructions that make up the beautiful historic heritage.
Fans of more contemporary art and culture will find house-museums of world famous artists such as Picasso, Lorca and Alberti – unmissable as you get a sense of the cultural heartbeat of Andalucia.