The Costa del Sol is a world-famous beach holiday resort, attracting millions of tourists looking to top up their tan and enjoy Mediterranean cuisine every year. In 2018, the destination received a whopping 12,556,000 tourists to its shores, with the majority travelling by plane.
Malaga airport is located just 6 kilometres outside of the city of Malaga. From the airport, you can easily reach the various coastal towns of the Costa del Sol by car, bus or train.
The Costa del Sol is comprised by the towns of Benalmádena, Torremolinos, Fuengirola, Mijas, Marbella, Estepona, Casares and Benahavís.
Marbella: Orange Square, one of the most famous places in old town with lots of shops and restaurants.
Each of the municipalities has their own particular traits, although they’re united by the common thread of low-rise constructions, traditional whitewashed houses interspersed with modern buildings and the coexistence of fishing areas with luxury resorts. Everything has its place in the Costa del Sol.
Let’s take a look at some of its attractions.
The Playa de la Viborilla is perfect for children, as it offers a huge range of services: showers, public toilets and sun loungers and parasol rental. This is also a relatively clean beach. Another highly recommended beach is the Playa de Torrevigía.
The most popular beaches in Torremolinos are the Playa de la Carihuela, Playa de los Álamos, Playamar and Playa del Bajondillo. All of these beaches are well located, offering additional services and a wide range of nearby shopping options.
The Playa del Castillo Sohail, sprawling beneath the town’s castle, is very long. It’s easily accessed from the national motorway and offers multiple services. Given its proximity to the Río Fuengirola, kids can also enjoy boat rides and other attractions.
The beaches in eastern Marbella, like Playa de Cabopino and the Playa de Elviria, are your best options, as they are very clean, and the water doesn’t come too far in. They also tend to be quieter than the beaches in the centre. Another good alternative is Playa de los Caños (leaving the A-7 motorway in the direction of El Rosario), or Playa de Río Verde (in the direction of Puerto Banús).
One of the best child-friendly beaches is the Playa del Cristo. The waves are calm, with a breakwater protecting the beach from currents. Here, you’ll find fine, clean sands.
The climate on the Costa del Sol, where the sun shines on average 320 days a year, makes it the perfect destination for golf lovers. The Costa del Sol is currently one of the biggest golfing hotspots, first gaining popularity with golfers in the 1960s with the foundation of many golf clubs. These are usually tourists with high purchasing power.
People quickly started referring to the Costa del Sol as the Costa del Golf. Nowadays, this is the area with the highest concentration of golf courses in Spain and in Europe: Marbella (21), Mijas (11), Estepona (10), Benahavís (6), San Roque (6), Málaga (3), Casares (2), Rincón de la Victoria (2), Benalmádena (2), and one each in Vélez Málaga, Fuengirola, Nerja and Manilva.
Some of these clubs are listed below:
Real Club Golf Las Brisas, Marbella
El Higueral Golf, Benalmádena
El Paraíso Golf, Estepona
La Cala Golf, Mijas
Magna Marbella Golf, Marbella
Many of the tourists who visit the Costa del Sol have high purchasing power, and brands are aware of this. Shopping lovers will be delighted, finding everything from low-cost brands to the most exclusive labels.
El Corte Inglés (Málaga, Mijas and Marbella) – Spain’s biggest department store. This store includes everything from eating options to a supermarket and high-end clothing brands.
Miramar Shopping Centre, Fuengirola – This shopping centre offers eating options, a supermarket and several shops with the most popular clothing brands.
La Cañada, Marbella – A shopping centre offering everything from popular brands to high-end labels. You can also hire your own personal shopper.
Puerto Banús – a paradise for brand lovers. Some of the shops found in this port-side shopping centre include Jimmy Choo, Valentino, Emporio Armani, Escales, Tom Ford and Gucci, with the establishment renowned for its exclusive atmosphere.
This port-side shopping centre also offers fantastic eating options, with restaurants combining magnificent views with fine cuisine.
The Costa del Sol is a true hiking paradise. The province is surrounded by natural parks, allowing hikers to feel at one with nature. There are many different hiking options, although most routes run through the following areas:
Sierra de las Nieves Natural Park: Besides hiking, this park also offers the opportunity to undertake several adventure activities, go horseback riding and even go camping, amongst other things.
Sierra Blanca mountain range: The highest point is the Pico de la Concha, which stands proudly at 1215 metres above sea level.
El Chorro: Here, you’ll find various hiking trails in addition to water-based activities in the Guadalhorce reservoir, where you can try your hand at canoeing or kayaking.
Sierra Bermeja mountain range: Beginning in Estepona, the Ruta del Río Padrón is one of the most popular hiking routes.
And to get to know the Costa del Sol, nothing better than staying at the exclusive BlueBay Banús ***, a charming hotel built with the structure of an Andalusian village and located very close to the famous Puerto Banús, in Marbella.