Costa del Sol, which literally means “Sun Coast”, is a region lying along the Mediterranean coastline of Andalucia in the south of Spain. With more than 300 days of sunshine a year, it is aptly named the Sunshine Coast. Costa del Sol sprawls from eastern Malaga to the provincial boundary of Cadiz. Due to its geographical location, it is undoubtedly a favorite destination for tourists who are looking forward to a relaxed and sunny vacation. With vibrant sunny days, intimate encounters with nature, lovely golden beaches, state-of-the-art golf courses and plenty of cultural immersion, it is an ideal place for everyone.
Being the largest city on the Costa del Sol, Malaga is known as the region’s capital. And being the gateway to the Costa del Sol, and Pablo Picasso’s birthplace, it is a popular destination for tourists. The nearest beach in the area is La Malagueta Beach. Most visitors go to Museo Picasso Malaga or the Picasso Museum, which plays home to various Picasso art works, many of them donated by the famous artist’s family members. An old castle with exhilarating views and stunning scenery offer the best spot for sightseeing. Castillo de Gibralfaro is a must-visit if you want to get a glimpse of the whole city’s splendor. Malaga’s greatest monument, Alcazaba in Calle Alcazabilla, is another site of interest. It is a Moorish castle, which is the perfect vantage point to admire the beauty of Teatro Roman or the Roman Theater. The ruins sit underneath the castle. At the heart of the city is the Catedral de Malaga or Malaga’s Cathedral. The unfinished Renaissance church is nicknamed La Manquita or “the One-Armed Lady” due to its missing tower. Other buildings worth visiting are Church of Santiago and Palacio Epispcopal or Episcopal Palace. There are also interesting museums you can check out while visiting the area such as Museo Carmen Thyssen with its excellent collection of Spanish paintings dating from the 19th to 20th centuries, the Interactive Museum of Music which houses one of the largest musical instruments selections in Europe, and Museo del Vidrio y Cristal or Museum of Glass and Crystal. Complete the Malaga experience by strolling down the narrow streets of Pasaje Chinitas where you can find shops and vendors of different local goods and products.
Another favorite tourist spot on the coast is Marbella. Once a small fishing village, the town is now garnering fame with its superb beach resorts. With its picture perfect surroundings, its beaches are some of the best sun destinations. One of the most well-known of these beaches is La Venus, a small beach at the center of the city between a fishing port and a marina. The beaches of San Pedro de Alcantara and Puerto Banus are perfect for a vacation. They are blue flag awardees from the Foundation for Environment Education for its water quality, services and safety, and environmental management. The charm of Marbella also lies in the well-preserved culture and architecture of this ancient city. One of them is Plaza de los Naranjos or Orange Square, a living example of Castilian Renaissance design and one of the most alluring plazas in Costa del Sol. The plaza contains three impressive buildings: the Renaissance style town hall, the Chapel of Santiago which is considered the oldest religious building in the city, and the Gothic-Renaissance Mayor’s house. After this historical stroll, you can walk through the Golden Mile of Nueva Andalucia and be amazed by the grandeur and lavishness of the most luxurious restaurants and hotels in town. A four-mile walk between Marbella and Puerta Banus will give you an idea how well-developed this area is. Some notable hotels are Palace of King Fahd, Melia Don Pepe and Hotel Marbella Club. Marbella also offers spectacular golf courses for the sport enthusiasts. Almost 40 sophisticated golf courses provide a first-rate golfing experience. Some of these are Rio Real Golf Hotel, Parador de Malaga Golf, La Quinta Resort and many more.
Another fishing village that is now a tourist center is Torremolinos. The Playa La Carihuela is a bustling stretch of 9 kilometers of beaches, beach bars and water sports. It is popular among travellers. For a shopping adventure, you can meander along the shopping street of Calle San Miguel where boutiques, shops and restaurants flock the area.
For some lively and festive nightlife, and also outstanding cuisine, you can go to Benalmadena Costa. In this town, you can also find the Benalmadena Stupa, the largest stupa or Buddhist monument in Europe. Other activities you might find enjoyable are dolphin watching in Selwo marina, riding the Sightseeing Tour Bus, stopping over at Tivoli World to try the cable car trip and admiring the fascinating sights aboard a boat. There are loads of things to do to make your trip unforgettable.