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The main gateway for the Costa del Sol is Málaga Airport (AGP), officially Málaga-Costa del Sol Airport, which is located just south of Málaga city.
In 2016, Málaga Airport will handle over 10,000 international flights, a healthy proportion of which depart from or are bound for the UK. This is hardly surprising, when you consider the throngs of British holidaymakers who head here, not to mention the many thousands of expat Brits who are living the migrant Mediterranean dream.
Costa del Sol flights from UK airports typically take around three hours, around 15 minutes less if you fly from London, more if you take off from Edinburgh. This means that you can wake up in soggy Britain and be in the sun-soaked Costa del Sol for lunch.
During summer, dozens of daily direct flights leave from the UK at various times, so you can avoid the dreaded middle-of-the-night airport trek.
If you are hoping to book a cheap flight to the Costa del Sol in 2016 or 2017, you can easily compare the fares of various low-cost carriers online.
Ryanair, easyJet, Thomson, Norwegian, Monarch, Jet2, Flybe, British Airways and Aer Lingus all offer low-cost Costa del Sol flights, departing from all over the UK, including Edinburgh, Belfast, Birmingham, Exeter, Bristol, Cardiff and East Midlands Airport.
Direct flights from London to the Costa del Sol take off with Monarch, British Airways, easyJet, Iberia and Norwegian, while Heathrow is served by BA. Ryanair and easyJet operate Malaga flights from London Stansted, while London Luton offers departures with Monarch and easyJet.
You can compare flights from Manchester to Málaga from Monarch, easyJet, Ryanair, Jet2 and Norwegian.
Be warned: scoring a cheap flight to Costa del Sol airport may not always be as much of a bargain as it seems. Each airline has their own rules and prices for baggage (be aware that these can differ depending on whether you book a package holiday or a flight only). Many carriers, including British Airways, allow you to choose between a basic hand-baggage only option and a slightly pricier fare that includes a check-in bag.
There are plenty of ways to reach your final destination after touching down at Málaga Airport. Find out more on our page dedicated to getting around the Costa del Sol.
Though Málaga Airport is the nearest airport to the Costa del Sol, it is not the only option. There are several airports in the region that are also within manageable driving distance of the Costa del Sol.
You may want to fly to Jerez Airport instead, which is a two-hour drive from Marbella. Another arrival point worth considering is Gibraltar Airport, which is an hour south of Marbella.
In 2016, most flights to these airports depart from London, so unless you live in the south of the UK it might not be worth the schlep.