There’s a lot extra to the Costa del Sol than low-cost beers and high-rise resorts
For some, the Costa del Sol should conjure up pictures of package deal vacation revellers, lager louts and cheesy faux-British pubs, however this vibrant area of Andalucia has come a good distance from days of previous. Now, with luxurious resorts and shocking cultural gems, there’s a lot on supply for the extra discerning traveller.
The Costa del Sol boasts a mean of 320 days of sunshine a 12 months and, from Could, the temperatures rise as excessive as 23˚C, peaking at 30˚C in August. The area is made up of the town of Málaga and quite a lot of coastal cities, together with Torremolinos, Fuengirola, Mijas, Nerja and Marbella, all with a wealthy historical past that spans practically three,000 years.
Most guests fly into Málaga, the Costa del Sol’s capital. The airport, the third largest in Spain, is just 8km from the town centre, so it’s price staying just a few days to absorb its atmosphere you probably have the time.
My household and I headed to the Outdated Quarter and misplaced ourselves within the Picasso Museum, which is just a stone’s throw from the home the place he was born. You can too take pleasure in one of the best views of Málaga by touring the stays of Gibralfaro Fortress, which was constructed within the 14th Century to defend the Alcazaba and sits on an impressive hill.
Afterwards, we indulged in some retail remedy on Calle Marqués de Larios, the town’s most well-known purchasing avenue, the place you’ll discover stylish boutiques and revel in genuine Andalucian fare. La Cosmopolita, situated simply off Calle Granada, serves up scrumptious dishes comparable to crab tortilla, and oxtail and veal meatballs.
After all, it might be a disgrace to spend your whole journey in a single place, and with the principle sights ticked off we determined to move on to Marbella, simply 58km west of Málaga. Initially a fishing village, it’s now the Costa del Sol’s most costly space.
Most guests fly into Málaga, the Costa del Sol’s capital
The Outdated City, with its slender mosaic-cobbled streets and beautiful historic structure, oozes appeal and we loved a leisurely stroll whereas taking within the sights. Plaza de los Naranjos, generally known as Orange Sq. due to its stunning orange timber, is lined with many tapas eating places, the place we dined overlooking the City Corridor, in-built 1568, and The Church Of Saint Mary with its unimaginable baroque-style purple stone entrance.
Marbella’s well-known Golden Mile is a stretch of shoreline from the west of the town to Puerto Banús, the playground for the wealthy and well-known, and designer boutiques like Gucci and Tom Ford are clustered across the marina. We saved our pennies, although, and as an alternative sipped sangria in a wise bar whereas watching luxurious yachts moor on the harbour.
A terrific base for households and discerning travellers to the Costa del Sol is the five-star Don Carlos Leisure Resort and Spa, only a 20-minute drive from the centre of Marbella and 45km from Málaga airport. The posh resort has direct entry to arguably among the best seashores in Marbella, Playa de Elviria, and boasts rooms, suites and personal villas.
We have been impressed with its 4 swimming swimming pools, which cater for various ages and talents, its 5 eating places and plush tropical gardens. Youngsters can have a whale of a time within the Youngsters’s Membership, when you take pleasure in cocktails on the beachfront, unwind within the spa or hit some balls on one of many space’s well-known close by golf programs.
It might have been simple to remain cacooned at Don Carlos for the remainder of the journey, however we determined to move onwards to the coastal resort of Fuengirola. With greater than 8km of sandy seashores, it’s no shock that it is likely one of the hottest locations within the Costa del Sol. And whereas it’s fairly built-up, there’s nonetheless a substantial amount of character and historical past to be discovered. Sohail Fortress, which dates again to Moorish instances, is unquestionably price a go to.
The ultimate cease on our scenic tour of the area was Torremolinos, the primary Costa del Sol resort that was developed within the 60s. For a very long time the city was synonymous with hedonism and whereas it’s nonetheless identified for its nightlife, outdoors excessive summer time the city has a distinct really feel.
We headed to the previous fishing district of La Carihuela, which has nice seaside cafés serving espestos (grilled sardines) on wood spits over log fires, and raised a glass on the finish of a fantastic journey.
Right here, on the waterfront, we felt removed from the Costa del Sol of previous – like the remainder of this area, it was an actual hidden shock.
Solution to go
Busola travelled with Avios Journey Rewards Programme. For extra data or to register with Avios, go to avios.com.
Ten issues you have to do in Costa del Sol
1 Go to La Parque de la Constitucion, close to the centre of Marbella City. The beautiful park has a kids’s playground, an observatory and an open-air auditorium.
2 Tradition vultures ought to head to the Sammer Gallery in Puerto Banús, which holds one of many largest fashionable artwork collections in Spain.
three Youngsters will love the Crocodile Park in Torremolinos, residence to greater than 200 crocodiles. Get pleasure from a guided tour and see the large spotlight – feeding time!
four Take a river stroll as much as Rio Chillar from Nerja, which cuts by way of stunning crystal clear river swimming pools.
5 If in case you have a head for heights, make a beeline for Teleferico Benalmadena. Benefit from the 15-minute cable automobile journey as much as the best level of the Málaga coast for magnificent views.
6 Go to Mariposario de Benalmadena, Europe’s largest butterfly park, which holds greater than 1,500 butterflies from 150 species.
7 For excellent tapas in Marbella, head to La Taberna del Pintxo and revel in scrumptious pinchos with a glass of sangria.
eight Take the scenic 90-minute rail journey from Algeciras, on the coast to the town of Ronda, by way of rivers and delightful white-washed villages.
9 Spend a day within the conventional Andalusian village of Frigiliana, east of Málaga. With its cobbled avenue and flower-covered homes, it oozes Spanish appeal.
10 Take a hike up El Cielo mountain, which is 6km from the shoreline, and marvel on the panoranic view.