With its glorious set of sandy beaches and enough attractions to keep the entire family entertained – holidays to Costa del Sol are the answer to where your next break should be.
Considered as one of the most popular holiday hotspots, the beautiful Costa del Sol is the ideal year-round destination. Whether you’re seeking sunshine, sand and sea in the summer months or an escape from the harsh winters back home, there is nothing that quite matches the undeniable charm of this vibrant part of Spain. Kick back and relax in the numerous beach resorts and marinas, from idyllic seaside towns to the busier resorts like Puerto Banus, or embrace a captivating culture away from the beach with plenty of things to do and discover on your Costa del Sol holidays.
Top hotels in Costa del Sol
Torremolinos, Costa del Sol
Fuengirola, Costa del Sol
Roc Costa Park
Torremolinos, Costa del Sol
Vik Gran Hotel Costa Del Sol
Mijas Costa, Costa del Sol
Benalmadena, Costa del Sol
Royal Costa Hotel
Torremolinos, Costa del Sol
Benalmadena, Costa del Sol
Guadacorte Park Hotel
Algeciras, Costa del Sol
At a glance
- Currency: Euro
- Language: Spanish
- Time Zone: GMT +1
- Average flight time: 2h 55m
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When to go
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From sipping cocktails on a sun-lounger to dipping your toes in the sea, there are plenty of places to uncover on Costa del Sol holidays that offer spectacular backdrops for relaxation. Majestic hotels with glorious swimming pools as well as luxurious beachside apartments are awaiting your arrival – enough to make you feel like a VIP. Join the jet set with a visit to marvellous Marbella, a destination known for its stylish streets and blissful beaches. Browse chic boutiques, linger over drinks and discover its world-famous marina.
A short jaunt along the coast will welcome you to the town of Fuengirola, an ancient town abundant in stunning architecture and laid-back charm. Lovers of watersports will be in their element here, with everything from sailing and diving to jet-skiing. If you’d rather keep your feet dry, pay a visit to the Mijas Golf Resort where you can practice your perfect swing in stunning surroundings.
Despite the primary lure of the beach, there are some great cultural attractions in the Costa del Sol. Malaga is the main hub of the area’s history and tradition, and there are many sights of interest around the city that deserve at least a day of your attention. The city’s attractive architecture is still dwarfed by the magnificent cathedral which glows beautifully when lit up at night.
Malaga is also home to some impressive Moorish castles, roman ruins and an iconic bullring that can be visited without having to experience any cruelty or controversy. Picasso was born in the city, and there is a fantastic museum displaying his work through a variety of exhibits.
If you’d like to embrace some traditional customs you could book yourself into a Salsa class in Malaga. There are many options, some of which are hosted in niche Salsa bars, so you can present your new moves when the sun goes down with a glass of sangria in hand.
Wine and Dine
One of the main components of the coastline’s diet is inevitably the rich supply of seafood found in the Mediterranean Sea. Fried seafood is well celebrated in this area and you won’t find a tastier snack than the mini fried boquerones, especially if they’re coated in white wine vinegar. The majority of these seafood treats can be enjoyed in seafront snack bars and restaurants known locally as chiringuitos. They also provide the honourable service of keeping the beaches well stocked with cold beer.
This region of Spain is famous for its range of Iberian hams. The jamon come in many shapes, sizes, colours and flavours, and the majority are served with olives, gherkins and cheeses.
Of course a trip to Spain has to involve a visit to a tapas bar or two. Malaga is arguably home to some of the best tapas joints in the region and the delectable dishes at the Restaurante Gallego Candamil are certainly worth a trip.
The Costa del Sol produces a sweet wine using muscat grapes, known locally as mosto. Holidaymakers however may prefer a glass or two of cold San Miguel beer to cool down in the midday sun. It’s practically medicinal.
The endless beaches found along the coast provide all the fun that a family could need, but there are various other things do in the Costa del Sol for holidaying families. The majority of beaches are great for splashing around in, paddling or swimming. Arguably one of the best beaches can be found at Estepona in the form of El Cristo beach. The shallow waters here make it the perfect spot for fun for the kids and relaxation for the parents.
There are two water parks in the Costa del Sol, with the best based in Torremolinos. The aptly named Aqualand boasts numerous pools and slides, providing an enjoyable day of swimming, bathing and sliding.
If the kids are craving an amusement park fix, look no further than Tivoli World in Benalmadena. The park is full of thrilling rides and slides that may even get mum and dad’s hearts racing.
A boat trip is a great way of escaping the crowds along the beaches, while also allowing you and your family to explore the open sea a little more. One of the best and most popular trips is a dolphin spotting trip which can be booked in Benalmadena.
Action and Adventure
The coastline is full of action-packed water sports with varying degrees of thrill and fun. Hiring a kayak or pedalo is a good way of exploring the stretches of sand at your own pace, while taking a tour on a slightly bigger boat can transport you to snorkelling and diving areas. Windsurfing, kite surfing and parasailing are other popular water-based activities prominent along the whole coast.
The Costa del Sol’s attractions aren’t all necessarily based around the water. The peaks around Mijas provide some great walking trails and mountain biking opportunities, while rock climbers will find satisfaction in the challenges around Mijas Pueblo.
The Costa del Sol is also an extremely popular golfing destination, with various golf breaks and holidays extremely easy to book in advance and also after you land in Spain. Golf4u Spain is a well-renowned company based around Mijas, an area that boasts no less than seven courses.
Life's a Beach
A long stretch of coastline enjoying the lapping waters of the Mediterranean Sea, the Costa del Sol in Spain’s Andalucia region has been a premier international travel destination for over 50 years. This highly developed part of Spain caters to all manner of tourist needs, from cheap accommodation and quick bites, to top resorts and fine dining.
The beaches are the most prominent of the Costa del Sol’s attractions, boasting warm waters, soft sand and plenty of sun year-round. But there are many other things to do in the Costa del Sol than lounge on the beach – although that does sound like quite an attractive prospect.
More joy can be found in the water with some thrilling and challenging water sports, while the mountainous area discovered further inland is a great location for walking, cycling and climbing – there are many things to do in the Costa del Sol, even if you aren’t a committed beach bum.
The Costa del Sol has become famous as a party-driven destination boasting vibrant bars, boozy pubs and pumping clubs. The three primary party destinations are Marbella, Benalmadena and Fuengirola, while Malaga possesses a slightly classier night vibe.
The majority of Marbella’s bars and clubs can be found in the Puerto Banus area where the beachside style makes way for late night clubbing action. Benalmadena tends to consist of more familiar establishments. English and Irish pubs are commonplace, all showing sport on the telly, and hosting bar games such as pool and darts. Fuengirola tends to have the most diverse and rowdy nightlife. There are some more sedate bars towards the centre of town, while the clubs along the beachfront tend to perk up around midnight, continuing to thrive well into the next morning. The biggest clubs are Millennium and Funk Clu.
The Costa del Sol provides the perfect ambience and surroundings for a holiday as a couple. There are so many romantic spots and one of the most romantic things to do is to take a night walk together along one of the quieter, sandy beaches with the moonlight reflecting on the water and only the sound of the waves lapping the shore. There are beach side bars as well, perfect for having a quiet drink along the way.
Take a walk to the Parque de la Paloma for a romantic picnic spot, the park is renowned for its beauty and secluded areas. The old town in Marbella is a picture perfect romantic place to head for a day trip, have a drink in a café in Orange Square so called dues to the many orange trees growing there and affording you shade and peaceful surroundings.
Religious festivals are big in the Costa del Sol and Easter is a big festivity, Passion Week from 9-16th April is a big festivity with processions taking place in the town of Ronda particularly. Easter processions are held all over the Costa del Sol with spectacular iconography and celebrations. If you are travelling in February, the town of Tolox has a fun festival consisting of throwing powder over each other until you are completely covered! The tradition apparently started when local baker boys would throw flour over the girl they liked to show their affection!
For something else a little whacky, the town of El Burgo holds a 19th century reenactment festival, visitors are encouraged to take part in the reenactment which includes bandits and heroes.