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The Costa del Sol is one of Spain’s, and Europe’s, favourite holiday destinations. Sitting along the southern coast of Andalusia, stretching either side of Malaga, the Costa del Sol’s resorts are known for their excellent sandy beaches, wild nightlife, world-class golf courses and family-friendly attractions.
The gateway to region is Malaga, an attractive city full of culture, great tapas bars and history. As the birthplace of Picasso, Malaga has serious cultural cred: it’s home to several excellent galleries and an exciting street art scene.
From Malaga, a string of pretty, coastal resorts stretch out along the coastline. Head southwest and you’ll find the famed party resorts of Torremolinos and Benalmádena or continue on to family-friendly Fuengirola, where there’s plenty to keep the kids entertained. Further still are the picturesque resorts of Mijas Costa, Marbella, Estepona and Puerto Banus, known for yacht-filled marinas and glitzy jetsetter lifestyle.
Looking for something more laidback? East of Malaga are more chilled out, natural resorts of Torrox and Nerja. Both are great for families.
Of course, the Costa del Sol’s beaches are the main draw for holidaymakers and this region has some of the best in Spain. Many are Blue Flag recognised for their high environmental and quality standards. Flop on a beach near most resorts and you’ll see why.
When you need a change from sun-lounger lazing, trek inland to find some of its true treasures, such as the quaint Pueblos Blancos (White Villages), natural parks ideal for hiking and historic towns like Ronda with its dramatic mountainous location.
The Costa del Sol is generally considered a safe destination for travellers. For up-to-date travel advice for Spain, check the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office.
No, travellers with a full British passport do not need a visa to go to the Costa del Sol.
If you’re going mainly for the beach, the resorts and the bars, around four days is enough. Stay a week and you’ll have time to visit some of Andalusia’s most impressive sites, such as Ronda, the famed Pueblos Blancos (White Villages) and the Caminito del Rey.
Not really, just remember to respect the neighbours and residents as these towns are not just holiday resorts, but are home to many locals, too.
There is a local train line, which links Malaga airport with all the resorts along the Costa del Sol. Buses run along the coast between them all, but may take slightly longer. If you’re just planning on staying in one resort town and perhaps visiting Malaga for the day, then public transport will do fine. If you want to explore further inland visiting the Pueblos Blancos, the hilltop town of Ronda and around, then hiring a car is a good idea.
Step away from the seaside charms of the Costa del Sol and you'll discover another side to Spain's beloved ‘sun coast'. Charming hilltop towns, gorgeous lakes and tantalizing tapas await.Read moreabout Secret Costa del Sol: How to escape the tourist trail
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