Costa Del Sol Holidays – Luxury hotels to bargain deals and more; Cheap holidays to Costa Del Sol take you to one of Europe’s most popular destinations, in winter as well as summer. The coastline stretches for 100 miles east and west of Malaga, with endless gorgeous beaches and masses of exciting water sports, from windsurfing to diving, parascending and fishing trips.
It’s a haven for celebrities, who flock to the area’s more exclusive resorts like Puerto Banus. Most of us flock to places like Torremolinos for cheap ‘n’ cheerful sun, sea and sand so there’s something for every taste and budget. Costa Del Sol holidays come in all sorts of flavours!
Mountains, beaches and traditional Andalucian charm in Costa Del Sol
Cheap Costa Del Sol holidays east of Malaga are quieter and calmer, far from the madding crowd. There’s less tourist development and the stunning Sierra Almijara mountain range creates huge cliffs and wildlife-rich areas perfect for hikers and adventurous types. The area’s main resort is Nerja, a relatively new and very attractive place not far from the Costa Tropical. Malaga is Spain’s second biggest port, a vibrant, cosmopolitan place with plenty of traditional Andalucian charm. To the west there’s Torremolinos, Benalmadena and Fuengirola, popular holidays to Costa Del Sol with young people with 24/7 partying in mind!
Gorgeous beaches and excellent Costa Del Sol night life
Holidays in Costa Del Sol can take you to Marbella, glitzy and very expensive, knee deep in Ferraris, celebrities and movie stars. To the west your Costa Brava holiday can take in Estepona, quieter than Marbella and favoured by families and couples. Don’t forget Mijas, a great place to visit. It’s a traditional Andalucian village with breathtaking coastal views, not your usual package holiday destination but a firm favourite of older people, wealthier travellers and a scattering of British ex pats.
This bustling, bulging stretch of Andalucian coastline is one of Britain’s favourite year-round holiday destinations. You’re spoilt for choice when it comes to lovely beaches and you’ll find excellent tourist facilities in most of the towns and resorts. Keen to shed its previous image, the Costa del Sol is no longer the playground of the permanently sun-burnt British lager lout.
Instead, resorts like Marbella retain some of their traditional Spanish charm and are very family-friendly. If, however, you do want to head out on the town there are lots of bars and nightclubs to be found in places like Torremolinos.
Getting there and around in the Costa del Sol
Thanks to the sheer number of airlines serving the major cities of Seville, Granada, Malaga, Gibraltar and Almeria, it has never been easier to affordably travel to the Costa del Sol.
Once there, you have plenty of options for getting about. There are car hire options at all the airports and the region’s bus service is cheap and efficient, and you can buy tickets in strips of ten to make it even cheaper. There’s also a train service which runs from Malaga to Fuengirola and with stops at Malaga airport and Torremolinos.
Beaches in the Costa del Sol
You’ll find great beaches (13 of them awarded the prestigious Blue Flag) in all the resorts along the coast including Malaga, Torremolinos, Benalmadena, Fuengirola, Marbella, Estepona, Sotogrande and even Gibraltar. Most have lots of watersports and plenty of nearby restaurants, bars and cafes should you fancy a drink and a bite to eat.
At the western end of the Costa del Sol, just over 30 miles from Malaga, the more serene resort of Nerja offers a rare respite from the region’s crowded seafronts. Flanked by a dramatic mountain range, Nerja’s promenade offers sweeping panoramic views of the Mediterranean and the small coves and beaches below.
Sightseeing in the Costa del Sol
When you need a break from the beaches, there’s plenty to see and do on the Costa del Sol. Marbella’s old town (casco antiguo) dates from the 16th century, and it’s a lovely place to stroll and has some good markets on Mondays. Malaga is a fantastic place to explore and art-lovers will love the Museo Picasso on San Agustin Street. The world-renowned artist was born in the city and there’s a wonderful collection of his work.
One common sight you’ll see during your stay is that of a top quality golf course. It’s largely thanks to this sport that the area has become a year-round destination and there are over 30 courses, ranging from the ultra-swanky, such as Valderrama, to the open-to-all courses like Santa Clara.
Family activities in the Costa del Sol
If the family gets bored of fun and sun on the beach, there’s loads of other ways to spend a few hours. Benalmadena has Tivoli World, an amusement park with rides for all ages and flamenco dancing performances. It’s also home to the Sea Life aquarium. If you fancy seeing the animals in their natural habitat, then you can organise whale and dolphin-spotting trips in Gibraltar.
There are aqua parks in Torremolinos and Mijas and more active families can enjoy a whole host of sports, from tennis and horse riding to mountain biking and sailing.
Day trips in the Costa del Sol
Ronda, about 30 miles inland from Marbella, is one of the most picturesque and historic towns in the region. El Tajo, the deep river gorge that divides the medieval and 18th-century parts of the town is spanned by a stone bridge, Puente Nuevo, from where you can take in the breathtaking views.
Not far from Ronda you can also see Spain’s most fascinating prehistoric rock art at Cueva de la Pileta. Granada is also definitely worth a trip, to see the 14th century Alhambra palace-fortress which is spectacularly backed by the Sierra Nevada mountains.
Eating out in the Costa del Sol
You’ll basically find cuisine to cater for every taste on the Costa del Sol. If you want to go the traditional Spanish route, you’re in the perfect place, as Andalucia is the birthplace of tapas. Take your time and enjoy several dishes over the course of a few hours. Try gambas al ajillo, prawns in hot garlic oil, and patatas bravas, potatoes in a spicy tomato sauce.
As you’d imagine, the seafood in the area is superb and can be enjoyed whatever your budget. Splash out at a top Andalucian restaurant or, at the port in Marbella, try freshly-caught sardines cooked on a spit.
If you are pining for some familiar grub, in many resorts you’ll find plenty of cafes and restaurants serving traditional English fare (fish and chips, fry-up etc) and a few sports bars where you can enjoy a pint and watch some Premiership football.
Nightlife in the Costa del Sol
There’s no shortage of buzzing nightlife on the Costa del Sol. Torremolinos and its neighbour, Benalmadena, are the places to go if you want stomping beats, cheap lager and lots of like-minded revellers. At the other end of the scale, Marbella and nearby Puerto Banus are home to the area’s most exclusive nightclubs and bars and you’ll probably have to part with a fairly hefty entrance fee.
For a more cultural night out, try and catch a flamenco show in the evening. Ana Maria’s, in Marbella’s Old Town is a good place to see a performance of this passionate dance.
Shopping in the Costa del Sol
If you’re on a budget, then the weekly flea markets, held in most resorts, are definitely for you. Head for Fuengirola on a Tuesday and the bullring near yacht-lovers’ haven Puerto Banus on a Saturday. At both you’ll find some ethnic Moroccan items, Spanish antiques and good-quality local crafts.
For designer labels and swanky boutiques, there’s really only one place to go – Puerto Banus. If all you want are a few souvenirs to remind you of your holiday, then there are hundreds of shops in the resorts where you can snap up a t-shirt, stuffed mule or a bottle of vino tinto.