Its essence is contained in the name: the Costa del Sol is a coastal stretch of Andalusia that boasts more than 300 days of sunshine a year. Located in the south of the southernmost region of Spain, the Costa del Sol has become a symbol for lovers of summer, the sea and fun.
Like the Cinderella of the sea, its humble fishing villages have been completely and irremediably transformed by the tumultuous tourist development that began in the XNUMXs. Taking advantage of the fabulous climate and the number of beaches, the Andalusians were able to create a thriving industry that still drives the local economy up today.
The well-proven formula for success includes affordable prices, entertainment for young and old, services and amenities, and attracts all sorts of holidaymakers. There is something for everyone on the Costa del Sol: families with children, young people, retirees, couples.
The downside is the hideous concrete buildings, built in haste to please the throngs of arriving tourists, which have marred the historic centers and suburbs of what were once pretty towns.
Fortunately, some places have managed to keep their charm intact. Those who take the trouble to really get to know it, discover that the Costa del Sol is not just sea and fun but also history, culture and traditions.
Where is the Costa del Sol
The Costa del Sol occupies the central part of theSouthern Andalusia for a length of 161 km; its territory falls within the province of Malaga and is entirely wet from the Mediterranean Sea.
To the west it is bordered by the tip of Tarifa, which marks the beginning of the province of Cadiz, while the east end is marked by the Cabo de Gata, which is part of the province of Almeria.
Main towns of the Costa del Sol
Where to go on the Costa del Sol? Which location to choose depends a little on personal tastes, but all the main locations are equipped with excellent services and allow you to move quickly thanks to good road links.
Here are the recommended locations for one holiday on the Costa del Sol. They are obviously all seaside resorts designed mostly for a beach holiday, but they are also excellent bases from which to explore the Andalusian hinterland and visit enchanting pueblos blancos such as Ronda and Antequera.
Malaga, the provincial capital, is a world unto itself compared to the rest of the Costa del Sol. Birthplace of the brilliant painter Pablo Picasso, it is a city rich in history and cultural ferments where you can visit prestigious museums, admire breathtaking views from the top of imposing fortresses , find relief from the heat in parks and tree-lined streets, make your own itinerary in search of the best tapas and laze on comfortable city beaches.
The most famous event that takes place in the city is the Malaga Fair, a popular festival that takes place in mid-August: nine days of unbridled fun with music, dancing, food and wine. An unmissable opportunity to have fun together with the Malagueños, hospitable and jovial people who in these days of celebration show off sumptuous and colorful traditional and flamenco dresses.
There is one more reason to visit Malaga. At the beginning of the XNUMXs, Malaga undertook an important action to enhance the territory, new local activities arose and the number of tourists was constantly growing: today there is a relaxed atmosphere of optimism and confidence in the future.
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Marbella it is the VIP resort of the Costa del Sol. From the XNUMXs to the XNUMXs it was one of the nerve centers of the international jet-set, attracting movie stars, models, stylists, businessmen and Arab oilmen.
Today celebrities prefer to go elsewhere, but Marbella keeps its charm intact and is keen to stand out from the coarser resorts. In the pretty historic center, the concentration of designer boutiques is still significantly higher than that of any other city in Andalusia.
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If Marbella goes out of its way to set a tone, Torremolinos on the contrary, it strives to please everyone. Huge apartment blocks with rooms for rent to tourists line the pedestrian promenade and the surrounding streets, for a total of truly impressive beds.
Looking at the row of hotels along the beach of Torremolinos it is really difficult to imagine that only half a century ago this location was nothing more than a suburb of Malaga, chosen by the VIPs who wanted to spend a holiday in total privacy.
We recommend Torremolinos to those who want a holiday of only sea or sea and fun, to be spent entirely between the hotel, the nearest beach and the bars in the center or night clubs, and to those who love to have comfort and a large number of services at hand. .
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Benalmadena it is a smaller Torremolinos, more peaceful and with a more charming atmosphere. You will find fewer clubs but a prettier historic center with cobbled streets and flowered balconies.
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At 20 km from Torremolinos is located Fuengirola, another typical seaside resort of the Costa del Sol characterized by a long line of hotels with hundreds of rooms, golden sandy beaches that stretch for kilometers, an incredible number of restaurants, bars and nightclubs, sports fields, parks and theme.
It is especially recommended for families.
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The name of Mijas it may not sound as familiar to you as Marbella or Torremolinos, but this is actually the second largest city on the Costa del Sol and one of the richest.
Immersed in a splendid natural setting, unfortunately partly ruined by the multitude of tourists, Mijas retains a bohemian air reminiscent of the fifties and sixties, when it was the favorite destination for artists and writers.
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Estepona combines the convenience of the most famous resorts on the Costa del Sol with the charm of Andalusian villages. It was one of the first cities in the province of Malaga to open up to tourism but has managed to preserve a characteristic historic center that will make you forget the noise of the trendy places.
It is perfect for those who want beautiful beaches and a little local life.
Find out more about Estepona