Over several decades the Costa Del Sol has developed into one of Europe’s premier holiday destinations based largely on its climate which provides around 300 sunny days per year with hot, dry summers and mild winters. Malaga airport is the key gateway to the region which attracts more than two million annual visitors. Most of the tourist development has taken place to the west of Malaga as mega resorts have grown out of what were no more than fishing villages in the 1960s. The main resorts include Torremolinos, Benalmadena and Fuengirola which are very close to the airport. Further along the coast lie Marbella with its famous marina at Puerto Banus, Estepona, Sotogrande and finally Gibraltar where the Costa del Sol comes to an end. Tourist developments to the east of Malaga are mainly geared towards domestic tourism until you reach the popular resort of Nerja which attracts mainly foreign visitors.
Costa del Sol Resorts
Benalmadena – Lying a short distance south west of Malaga airport between the famous resorts of Torremolinos and Fuengirola, Benalmadena has plenty to offer the whole spectrum of visitor types.
Estepona – Estepona is the most westerly resort of the Costa del Sol. It has avoided too many of the high rise blocks of many of the other resorts and is an ideal choice for those people looking for a quiet holiday.
Fuengirola – The third major high rise resort heading south from Malaga, Fuengirola is especially popular with British tourists of all ages especially families and middle aged groups.
Malaga – Malaga is the stepping stone to the Costa del Sol. Relatively few visitors visit the city as they rush from the airport to their holiday resort. In doing so they miss a gem of a city with a fascinating old quarter next to a Roman theatre and Moorish palace, a commercial centre with first class shopping and a vibrant social life.
Marbella – Famous as a playground of the rich and famous, Marbella is now accessible to many who swarm south to enjoy the Spanish sunshine and the world class golf courses of the Costa del Golf. Marbella Restaurants | Marbella Weather
Mijas – Mijas Pueblo stands high up the mountain above the coastal resorts and is a popular ½ day excursion from the Costa del Sol whilst Mijas Costa is the resort on the coast below which attracts mass tourism to its many attractions.
Nerja – Nerja is the most easterly resort of the Costa del Sol which still somehow maintains a reputation as a quaint village. This is no longer the case as the inevitable tourist developments have transformed the town into a thriving resort but without the high rise excesses of the western Costa del Sol.
Puerto Banus – Puerto Banus was established long ago as a favourite haunt of Europe’s jet set. Today it is still home to multimillion dollar yachts and flash cars but is also open for business to everyone.
Sotogrande – Sotogrande marina is the first port of call for yachts entering the Mediterranean. It is also home to two of Europe’s finest golf courses including Valderrama which hosted the 1997 Ryder Cup.
Torremolinos – During the 1950s and 60s Torremolinos was converted from a quaint fishing village into the Costa del Sol’s original tourist resort. Today it is a concrete jungle but with fine beaches and ample accommodation it has plenty to offer.
Map of the Costa del Sol
Things to Do on the Costa del Sol
The climate of southern Spain is such that golf can be played all year round which has turned it into one of the world’sgreat golfing destinations . With more than seventy courses to play on, excellent accommodation options first class tourism infrastructure the Costa del Sol attracts golfers from all over the world. The extensive coastline is conducive to many water based activities with every resort catering for its visitors with a variety of activities such as kitesurfing, scuba diving and even dolphin and whale watching. The local markets which take place in different resorts each day always prove popular with visitors.
For something more cultural you can take full day excursions to the great Moorish cities of Seville, Cordoba and Granada or shorter trips into Malaga and Mijas or to the lovely town of Ronda. Other popular tours include Gibraltar and Tangier in Morocco which is only a short catamaran journey across the the Straits of Gibraltar.