Malaga airport is no more than a 30 minute drive from most tourist resorts in the Costa del Sol, and there are regular international flights from most major cities arriving daily. Malaga airport is currently undergoing an extension project which will see it becoming the 3rd largest airport in Spain, contributing even further to the accessibility of the Costa del Sol to other countries. The infrastructure within the Costa del Sol is very well established with a beautiful coastal road offering lovely sea views as well as a major toll road for fast access to destinations such as Granada, Seville and Gibraltar.
The broad stretches of beaches are cleaned daily and coupled with over 300 days of sunshine each year, tourists flock back to the Sunshine Coast year after year. The larger and most crowded beaches come equipped with restaurants, bars, children’s playgrounds and watersports hiring facilities. There are seven nudist beaches, one of which is located in Cabopino; however, topless sunbathing is widely accepted throughout the Costa del Sol.
There are two shopping centres located nearby – the Parque Miramar in Fuengirola and La Cañada in Puerto Banus. La Cañada is the larger of the two with many clothing, shoe, furniture, arts and crafts shops to browse. Both centres have a cinema which show some films in English. Shops are open from 10am to 10pm every day except Sundays. Fuengirola also has a local craft market held in the feria ground every Saturday and La Cala de Mijas has a small market every Wednesday and Saturday mornings.
The coastline also has one of the highest concentrations of world class golf courses which is the reason as to why the Costa del Sol is often referred to as the Costa del Golf. There are more than 40 golf courses and a number of international championships such as the Ryder Cup, the World Championship, the Spanish Open and the PGA Matchplay are regularly hosted on them. If you would like information on local golf courses then please contact us for further assistance.
The Costa del Sol has 11 marinas which provide a variety of sailing and watersport facilities. The larger marinas located in towns such as Puerto Banus, Benalmadena, Marbella and Fuengirola provide watersport activities including jetskiing, surfing, parasailing, waterskiing and fishing trips. During the daytime, these marinas focus primarily on water activities, but at night, they come alive with top quality restaurants, bars, stylish boutique shops and nightlife.
Many people associate the south of Spain with sun, sand and sea; however, winter sports is a very popular pastime and the number one location for skiing is Sierra Nevada, located just two hours from the Costa del Sol. Sierra Nevada has 45 pistes of varying difficulties, six off-piste routes, two cable cars, 12 chair lifts and five ski lifts. Ski wear can be hired and schooling is available for everyone from beginners to experts. Although small in size compared to other ski resorts, Sierra Nevada is considered to be of a high standard and hosted the 1996 world ski championships. Located above Granada, Sierra Nevada’s skiing season is extended to five months, the longest in the country, due to the artificial snow machines which generate snow round the clock.
Horse riding is a very popular pastime on the Costa del Sol and the province of Malaga is now becoming just as an important equestrian centre as Cadiz. The Costa del Sol Hippodrome horse racing circuit in Mijas is ideal for lovers of all things equine. Local riding stables will take you on riding routes through forest and mountainous regions, where you will be able to delight in some magnificent scenery. Football is the national sport, however, bullfighting comes a close second and it is considered an Andalucian art form in Spain. Many people think it inhumane and detest the cruelty, whilst others think of it as the most amazing spectacle that you can witness in Spain. Bullfighting traditionally takes place on the Costa del Sol between Easter and October and some of the country’s top bullfighters perform here. There are bullrings in Mijas, Fuengirola, Marbella and Benalmadena but the oldest bullring in Spain is in Ronda and dated from the 18th century.
The Mijas Costa/Marbella coastline and the surrounding inland areas offer opportunities for almost every adrenalin sport or outdoor activity you could wish for. Rock Climbing & Abseiling in the El Chorro canyons and mountains. Mountain Biking and Trekking over some of Andalucia’s most stunning terrain and through some of the most beautiful countryside in Europe. And also Fishing, Shooting, Quad-Biking and Go-Karting – infact, amost any other adventure activity you could think of.
The Costa del Sol has the highest number of restaurants in all of the Andalucian region with traditional dishes such as tapas (“taster” dishes), pescaito frito (small fried fish), stews, gazpacho (cold garlic and tomato soup), fish and pork widely available. Food is very important in the Spanish culture as it provides the hub for family gatherings so whatever you want to eat and at whatever time, there is a choice of restaurants, cafes, ventas (small local bar serving cheap food), beach huts, tapas bars and even petrol stations have cafes attached to them selling tapas after hours. The Menu del Dia is a popular Spanish three course meal and usually costs approx 7€. Wine is produced in abundance in Spain, and is therefore very cheap and widely available. Sangria is also associated with Spain and is a refreshing drink for those hot sunny days.
The Costa del Sol caters for the young and the old, families, golfers, group holidays or relaxing breaks. Every resort along the coastline offers evening entertainment to suit all. Those looking for lively nights out, should head towards Marbella, Puerto Banus, Benalmadena or Fuengirola where bars and nightclubs tend to be convoluted into one area of each town. Bars and nightclubs do not however, tend to start getting busy until after midnight and most stay open until dawn. Benalmadena also has a casino and there are regular evening shows at the Fortuna Nightclub
For those looking for something a little quieter and more cultural, the Costa del Sol hosts some of the finest flamenco shows and dinner dances - Flamenco Show. The flamenco dance is an Andalucian folk art and is performed in traditional costume, with women dressed in flamboyant dresses and are accompanied by castanets and acoustic guitars.
The Spanish are very passionate about music and art, so theatre, film, jazz, light opera and flamenco festivals are often performed in historical buildings such as the Sohail Castle in Fuengirola.
The smaller resorts and local bars will also nearly always provide a programme of events ranging from guest singers and karaoke to quiz and themed nights.
Marbella and Puerto Banus are a 10 minute and 20 minute drive respectively, from Calahonda. Located west of Calahonda, the towns can be reached by the coastal N340 road. Marbella has 27 kilometres of coastline so watersports are widely available from the seafront. The Golden Mile, a long straight road connecting Marbella to Puerto Banus has some of the finest restaurants that the Costa del Sol has to offer, and the King of Saudi Arabia’s palace is also located here. Marbella is considered a cosmopolitan town with many famous celebrities choosing to holiday here, and is often compared with Monaco and St Tropez. Puerto Banus is considered just as glitzy with many rich and famous people mooring their large yachts and speedboats in the port. All the boats are a spectacular sight and definitely worth viewing! Also present in abundance around the port are expensive sports cars and boutique shops. Both Marbella and Puerto Banus come alive at night, with restaurants staying open until late, and bars and nightclubs open until the early hours of the following day!
Fuengirola’s position on the Costa del Sol is very central to most main tourist towns – 20 minutes from Malaga airport, 20 minutes from Marbella, 25 minutes from Puerto Banus, 10 minutes from Benalmadena and one hour from Gibraltar. Fuengirola has a beautiful promenade along the beach and in the town centre itself, it has one of the best open air zoos in Europe. For those interested in local crafts, leather, jewellery and souvenirs, the local market held every Saturday is worth a visit. Fuengirola also has a port, where boat trips, fishing trips and scuba diving are widely available. Whether you are young, retired, or a family, the nightlife in Fuengirola has something to suit everyone. There are many different restaurants to sample food, including the world famous fish alley, and the bars and nightclubs stay open until very late.
La Cala de Mijas is only a five minute drive from Calahonda and is still a working fishing village. Located between Fuengirola and Calahonda, La Cala de Mijas is a popular destination for tourists to visit on the Costa del Sol, as this quaint village now has a good selection of bars, restaurants and shops. The beach in La Cala de Mijas is beautiful and during the summer months, there are regular festivals and concerts held on the beach at night. There are three 18 hole golf courses and a rapidly growing commercial centre. Once a small village, La Cala de Mijas is now expanding in size due to demand.