Costa del Sol holidays will sort you out with just about every holiday must-have – from Blue Flag beaches and golf courses to theme parks and top-notch weather.
The Costa del Sol is sandwiched between Malaga and Gibraltar – just about as low as you can go in Spain. This means you can rely on the sun to show its face 320 days a year. After all, it’s not called the Sunshine Coast for nothing. And it’s probably one of the biggest reasons so many British ex-pats have set up shop on its shores.
You’ve probably heard of the big names on this region’s CV, but the little-known ones deserve a shout-out, too. San Pedro de Alcantara is 10 minutes’ drive from plush-as-anything Puerto Banus, but a totally different ball game. Think Roman ruins, narrow streets and tapas bars. Nearby Estepona’s got cultural clout, too, thanks to a snow-white old town. And they both come with a couple of sandy beaches to boot.
Torremolinos and Benalmadena are the big personalities around here. Beach-wise, pretty much the whole coast is coloured in with sand. And they work the family-friendly angle, too. Between them, they round up a theme park, a waterpark and a crocodile zoo. Plus, Malaga’s just up the road for even more action.
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Sandwiched between Torremolinos and Marbella, the former fishing village of Fuengirola is now one of the Costa del Sol’s biggest players. It’s got the high-rise hotels, buzzing bars and tourist-friendly restaurants to prove it, but there are also side streets and squares crammed with upmarket tapas places and chic boutiques. And a Moorish castle adds a bit of history. The real draw, though, is the super-sized sandy beach.
Teetering on the rocks on the southern tip of Andalusia – about 40 minutes from Malàga – is Nerja, AKA the jewel of the Costa del Sol. You’re in classic Costa territory here, with sandy beaches and an all-night bar scene. There’s tumultuous history to explore, too – the centrepiece is the Balcon de Europa, a viewing platform that was once part of a battle-torn castle. No wonder King Alfonso XII made Nerja his holiday home back in the 1880s.
Puerto Banus is Marbella’s world-famous port, right in the heart of Spain’s Costa del Sol. It’s a millionaire’s playground with beach clubs, super-yachts moored in the marina, and a long strip of bars, clubs and designer boutiques along the water. There’s another side to this firecracker of a spot, though – head away from the sea and there are quieter bars and authentic Spanish tapas.
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