The Costa del Sol is one of the most popular resort destinations in the world and runs through the province of Málaga. From Game of Thrones and film locations to the cultural hotspot of Málaga city and the glamour of popular celebrity haunt, Marbella, not to mention more than 300 days of sunshine a year, there are many reasons to visit the Coast of the Sun.
Places to Visit
Birthplace of Picasso and Antonio Banderas, Málaga is brimming with places of interest and fabulous bars and restaurants. The castle of Gibralfaro and the Alcazaba hark back to the times of the Moors, and the views from Gibralfaro across the city and port are second to none.
Art lovers will be spoilt for choice with the likes of the Pompidou, Picasso, Russian and Carmen Thyssen galleries all within the city.
Numerous museums such as the Museo de Málaga (free entry to EU citizens), Museo de Arts y Costumbres Populares and Malaga Wine Museum provide an insight into this diverse and interesting city.
If you’re in the region during the Christmas period, head for the city’s main shopping street – Calle Larios. Boasting one of the best light displays in Europe there are daily light and music shows during December and the first week of January.
Combining the glitz of a rich and famous lifestyle with traditional Andalucia, Marbella offers you a mix of cool beach clubs, hot nightlife and restaurants in sun-dappled squares.
Plaza de los Naranjos (Orange Square) is in the old town of Marbella. Cobbled streets lead into the square which, as its name suggests, is lined with orange trees and surrounded by tapas bars, shops and restaurants.
For lively, summer destinations try out the beach clubs and cocktails bars that stretch from Elviria to Puerto Banús. To truly adopt the glamorous lifestyle, why not jump aboard a luxury yacht with Marbella Yacht Charters.
There are so many reasons to visit Córdoba, not least the Roman bridge, beautiful palaces and the World Heritage Site of the Mezquita – a combination of mosque and cathedral.
A popular event at the beginning of the summer is Los Patios de Córdoba, where private patios are opened to the public. Festooned with flowers they are a beautiful sight and are often accompanied by live music, local food and wine.
With its buzzing tapas scene, breathtaking architecture – the Plaza de España harks to a bygone age while the Metropol Parasol is both modern and a great place to take in the views – and the largest Gothic cathedral in the world, there’s plenty to see and do in Andalucia’s capital.
With superb skiing on the Sierra Nevada during the winter months and hot sultry nights when you can wile away the hours with tapas, wine and Flamenco, Granada is a wonderful place to visit at any time of the year.
Wander the tranquil courtyards of the Alhambra palace and the Arab quarter of the city Albaicín with its narrow streets and distinctive architecture or admire the gold and white interior of the cathedral.
Things to Do
Lazing by the pool or on the beach is one way to spend the warm Spanish days, but if the mood takes you there are plenty of activities and events in and around the area to get you up on your feet – or perhaps in the air.
For adrenalin junkies, you can choose from a host of activities including:
- Leave the main roads and head into the real Andalucia with Rangers Safari Tours
- Take to the skies in a helicopter and see the coast from a new angle
- Get behind the wheel of a Dune buggy and race through the countryside
- Lift off from the back of a boat and parasail along the Fuengirola coastline
If you’re staying at one of CLC World’s Costa del Sol resorts, there are plenty of teen specific activities to keep them occupied during the summer months. There’s also plenty to do along the coast for teenagers from unique indie places to shows and shopping – teenagers need never be bored.
Fiestas and Festivals
If there’s something to celebrate, it will be celebrated: this could be the motto for Spain, and it certainly holds true on the Costa del Sol. From religious festivals, ferias celebrating traditions, food and crops and events that applaud the mix of cultures that makes Andalucia the place it is today, there’s a party every month of the year.
Below is a selection of some of the most popular events.
The year starts with Dia de los Reyes, which marks the end of the Christmas festivities. Villages and cities alike celebrate with processions and parades.
St. Anton’s day is popular in many mountain villages, and is very popular in Mijas where the blessing of animals is combined with the search for a mate by the village’s single ladies!
Mark the beginning of summer with the festival of San Juan – parties on the beach until dawn are not uncommon.
The Moorish Moon is a September festival that marks the coexistence of the different cultures of Málaga and goes on into the night.
And back to Christmas… the lights of Málaga are said to be amongst the best in Europe and the city is certainly full of festive cheer.
Food and Drink
The Costa del Sol’s climate means there’s a plethora of fresh, tasty food available all year round. From fresh sardines and seafood, goat to oxtail and avocados, olives and juicy tomatoes, there really is something for everyone.
Eateries come in all shapes and sizes. Enjoy your sardines cooked over an open fire as you relax at a beach-front chiringuito, or splash the cash at one of the coast’s Michelin-starred restaurants – the choice is yours.
Here are some top tips for eating out on the Costa del Sol:
A refreshing cold beer is a treat during the hot months of summer. There are a number of local beers available, which are more like lager, though some of the artisan beers are darker. To order a small beer ask for a caña.
Doughnut for breakfast? When in Spain… taken with a hot chocolate this long version of a doughnut is a staple for brekkie. But if you prefer something a little less sweet then why not try a pitufo (see below).
Just about every bar and restaurant will have a few legs of wonderfully cured ham either hanging up or being sliced. It’s one of the true tastes of Spain.
Menú del día
Lunch is a relaxed affair and starts from around 2pm. Most restaurants, cafés and bars offer this 3-course meal which costs between €7 and €14.
Spain has arguably the best olive oil in the world. With hillsides covered in gnarled olive trees and most towns and villages boasting an oil mill, you know it will be fresh and tasty.
Originally from Valencia, paella has found a second home in Andalucia. With fresh seafood in easy reach, it makes sense for this rice dish to grace menus along the Costa del Sol.
Toasted rustic bread, a pitufo traditionally comes topped with olive oil, tomato and garlic. There are other varieties to be had, including one topped with serrano jamón. A savoury form of breakfast.
Food is not to be rushed. Lunch starts around 2 and can last for up to 2 hours. As a result, dinner is not taken until much later. Your first dinner course may not be served until 9pm at the very earliest. But this is Spain, so relax and go with the flow.
Originating from the bodegas of Granada, tapas (meaning lids or covers in Spanish) are small tasters and include jamón, tortilla (Spanish omelette), grilled prawns, olives, Russian salad or Manchego cheese. There is an almost endless variety.
The Rioja of the north is very popular and is often served chilled in the south. In the summer, red wine is mixed with Sprite to create Tinto de Verano – a refreshing tipple – or with juice and other alcohol to form Sangria. The wines local to Málaga province tend to be on the sweeter side as the mountain villages to the east generally grow the Muscat grape.
From getting the best deals on your exchange rates to taking great photos for Instagram, below are links to useful information for holidaying on the Costa del Sol.