Costa del Sol, attractions and beaches.

Top 10 resorts on the Costa del Sol for a holiday

Costa del Sol or Sunny Beach is the southernmost part of the coast of Spain in Andalusia, has particularly comfortable conditions for recreation.

Resorts on the Costa del Sol are known for well-developed tourism infrastructure, comfortable beaches, excellent climate, a large number of hotels for all categories of tourists, gastronomy and entertainment facilities, hospitality, high level of security.

Resorts on the Costa del Sol on the map:

Top 10 best resorts on the Costa del Sol

Holidays on the Costa del Sol beckon with vivid unforgettable experiences. Lovers of active recreation resorts offer water sports clubs with instructors in all kinds of water and underwater entertainment, modern sports centers with gyms, swimming pools, spa, massage rooms, soccer fields, tennis courts, golf courses, a rich excursion program.

There are all conditions for recreation with children – children’s play complexes on the beaches and in the parks, children’s table in restaurants and cafes, babysitting services. Young people will find plenty of nightclubs, discos and sports bars.

1. Malaga

Málaga – one of the oldest Spanish ports and modern resort city, is located in the southern part of the Iberian Peninsula, 100 km from Gibraltar. In addition to a large number of excellent sandy beaches, the city has unique cultural attractions, located mainly in the historic center. Among the most visited places are the Alcazaba fortress, recognized as the calling card of Málaga, the ruins of the Roman theater, the Cathedral, the fortress of Gibralfaro, the bullring Malagueta with a bullring museum, the Bishop’s Palace.

Why visit:
  • Málaga is one of the most picturesque cities on the Costa del Sol.
  • Málaga is ideal for a vacation in any season.
  • From Málaga you can easily and comfortably get to other resorts on the Costa del Sol.
Disadvantages of rest according to reviews of tourists:
  • Cool water even on hot sunny days.
  • During the bathing season in the city is too crowded and quite dirty.

Malaga

2. Marbella

Marbella is one of the most exclusive resorts of the Costa del Sol in the province of Malaga. The beaches along the coast are covered with golden sand. Due to the peculiarities of the terrain the water on the coast of Marbella is slightly warmer than other resorts of the Costa del Sol.

Founded two millennia ago, the city is rich in magnificent buildings of different eras, which reflect all the styles and trends of Spanish and Oriental architecture. In the historic center it is worth visiting the area of Los Narranjos square with its orange garden, the town hall, the Hermit de Santiago church, the Encarnación church and the Rio Verde villa. Modern districts are built up with fashionable hotels, luxury villas and cottages. Marbella has excellent golf courses, tennis courts, and indoor clubs in the neighborhood.

Why visit:
  • Marbella has the best beaches on the Costa del Sol.
  • The city is suitable for families with young children.
  • Marbella has many entertainment venues.
Disadvantages of rest according to reviews of tourists:
  • Marbella is recognized as the most expensive resort of the coast.

Marbella

3. Benalmadena

Benalmádena is a small resort town 22 kilometers from Málaga, conditionally divided into three parts. The coastal area is called Benalmadena Costa. At the foot of the mountains stretches the district of Benalmadena Pueblo. The area where there was once a small fishing village is called Arroyo de la Miel. There are several excellent beaches of fine gray sand along the coastline. Benalmadena has an amusement park Tivoli World, the Center of Marine Life, an aquarium with a rich collection of marine fauna, dolphinarium and Selwo Marina penguinarium. The Stupa of Enlightenment is worth a visit. The yacht club, casino, and sports port are open.

Why visit:
  • Benalmadena is a great place for a family vacation.
  • It is worth visiting the Tivoli World amusement park with children.
  • From Benalmadena it is easy to get to Malaga and Torremolinos.
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Disadvantages of rest according to reviews of tourists:
  • Cool water even in the heat.
  • Few entertainment venues for young people.

Benalmadena

4: Torremolinos

Torremolinos is a picturesque resort town 18 km from Málaga, considered the center of youth tourism on the Costa del Sol. The beaches of Torremolinos, a total length of 9 km, are covered with gray sand mixed with small stones. In the area of San Miguel there are many entertainment venues. On the outskirts is a water park. The main urban attractions are the botanical garden Inca Mill, the City Hall in a first third of the 20th century building Casa de las Navajas, and the crocodile farm.

Why visit:
  • Torremolinos is a great place to relax with your family.
  • Torremolinos is a good place for a budget vacation.
  • From Torremolinos is easy to get to the neighboring resorts of the Costa del Sol.
Disadvantages of rest according to reviews of tourists:
  • During the season it is crowded and very noisy.
  • Queues at the water park.

Torremolinos

5. Fuengirola

Fuengirola – a small respectable resort 35 km from Malaga, especially popular with European tourists. Opened a lot of hotels of all comfort levels in modern multi-storey buildings, a network of restaurants, bars and cafes, runs a large shopping and entertainment complex, is building new infrastructure. Along the coast stretches a long beach strip, covered with fine golden sand. The beaches of Fuengirola, awarded with the Blue Flag, are equipped with everything you need for comfort. Adults with children should visit the tropical-style biopark, where various representatives of tropical fauna live.

Why visit:
  • Holidays in Fuengirola are especially attractive for families with children, the elderly, lovers of calm and measured lifestyle.
  • There are many parks in Fuengirola where you can relax on hot days.
  • Washed by a calm sea with a gentle descent into the water and sandy bottom, which is important for recreation with small children.
Disadvantages of rest according to reviews of tourists:
  • The main disadvantage of Fuengirola many vacationers believe that the water is not warm enough, which is typical for many resorts on the Costa del Sol.

Fuengirola

6. Estepona

Estepona is a picturesque town in the foothills of the Sierra Bermeja, 25 km from Marbella, 84 km from Malaga. The coast has about 20 sandy and sandy-pebbly beaches, both landscaped and semi-wild. Like many coastal cities in Spain, Estepona has existed for at least two thousand years. The center is built with old neat houses, typical of the Spanish provinces, with tiled walls, courtyards, wrought iron balconies and stylish lanterns.

In Estepona it is worth visiting the ruins of San Luis Castle, the Flower Square, decorated with lawns and flowerbeds, the Church of Santa Maria Remedios, the Botanical Garden with the House of Orchids, the local Archaeological Museum. Estepona is especially interesting for lovers of modern street art. The walls of houses in modern neighborhoods are painted with wonderful paintings by local artists. The city promenade, from which in good weather you can see the shores of Morocco, also deserves attention.

Why visit:
  • Estepona is a great place for youth groups, families with children, and the elderly.
  • Estepona is interesting as a resort and an art site.
  • In the vicinity of the city there are two natural parks – San Isidro and a safari park Selvo-Aventura.
Disadvantages of rest according to reviews of tourists:
  • Cool water even in the heat.

Estepona

7. Nerja

Nerja – a popular resort on the coastal cliffs about 60 km from Malaga, is among the so-called “white cities of Andalusia,” because the historic part is densely built with neat white-walled houses. Along the coastline of 16 km. stretches a line of beautiful sandy and sandy-pebbly beaches.

The main attraction of Nerja is the Balcony of Europe, an observation point on the highest point of the town where a mighty fortification had been standing for several hundred years. In the vicinity of the town it is worth visiting the Aqueduct of Aguila and the karst cave, the longest in Europe. Parts of the cave are open to the public.

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Why visit:
  • Nerja is one of the most beautiful cities of the Costa del Sol, whose architecture attracts many lovers of natural and man-made attractions.
  • Nerja is famous for its excellent cuisine, so it is recognized as one of the important points of gastronomic tours.
  • In Nerja is comfortable for relaxation lovers, families with children, and older tourists.
Disadvantages of rest according to reviews of tourists:
  • Nerja seems boring and dull to fans of parties and nightlife.
  • Cold undercurrents from the Strait of Gibraltar.

Nerja

8. Mijas

Mijas is a small old town on the mountain slopes next to Fuentejarola and Benalmadena. The coastline is 12 km long, several equipped and wild sandy and sandy-pebbly beaches. Mihas is extremely popular with European tourists.

The city has many hotels of different levels of comfort, restaurants, cafes, bars. Among the popular attractions – the chapel of Hermitage de la Peña, Museum of Miniatures, the Church of the Immaculate Conception, a Japanese garden, a chocolate factory, the products of which can be purchased in the stores of the city. One of the main features of Mihas – donkey-taxi, which you can ride around the city on horseback or by cart. Tourists use the services of donkeys with great enthusiasm and take pictures with them.

Why visit:
  • Mijas is a picturesque town with typical Andalusian architecture.
  • A perfect place for a budget holiday.
  • The beaches are not crowded and well equipped.
  • You can buy high-quality leather goods at low prices.
Disadvantages of rest according to reviews of tourists:
  • Lovers of boisterous entertainment the resort seems sleepy and boring.

Mijas

9. Calaonda

Calahonda is a small, colorful town 40 km from Málaga, attracted by its quiet and measured way of life. There are many hotels, apartments, hostels and guest houses. On the coast there is a wonderful sandy beach with all the necessary infrastructure for recreation. It offers tourists coastal cafes, restaurants, sports clubs, rental of beach and water equipment, tennis courts, golf courses, fitness centers.

Why visit:
  • Calaonda is a pleasant town with a wonderful beach that is equally comfortable for families with children and retirees.
  • In Calaonda, you can relax without spending much money.
  • Nearby are a few popular tourist centers, which can be reached by public transport or rental car.
Disadvantages of rest according to reviews of tourists:
  • Lovers of active recreation Calaonda seems too boring.

Calaonda

10. Torre del Mar

Torre del Mar is a large tourist center on the Costa del Mar, 35 km from Málaga. A beautiful promenade called Paseo Marítimo runs along the impressive 4 km long beach strip, with many restaurants, chiringuitos cafes, picnic and barbecue areas, sprawling palm trees and lush flower gardens.

Torre del Mar has many hotels, apartments, and hostels. Several entertainment venues are open, including the nightclubs Mojito, La Caverna, Cape Diem, and Acero.

Why visit:
  • Torre del Mar is recognized as the center of youth recreation on the Costa del Sol.
  • There are several water sports clubs. There is a yacht port.
  • In Torre del Mar is easy to find inexpensive housing.
Disadvantages of rest according to reviews of tourists:
  • Torre del Mar is a dynamic youth resort that may seem too noisy for couples with children and older vacationers.

Torre del Mar

Which resort should I choose on the Costa del Sol?

Rest on the Costa del Sol is liked by many adherents of beach, active and sightseeing holidays. When choosing a resort, it is worth listening to the advice of experienced travelers so that the time spent on the Sun Coast did not seem an embarrassing misunderstanding.

What to choose for a vacation active young couple?

Young lovers of active recreation should choose Malaga, Marbella, Torre del Mar, Torremolinos, where there are both equipped beaches and sports centers, and discos and nightclubs. Sports and entertainment are perfectly combined with interesting excursion programs.

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What to choose for a holiday with children?

Vacation with children and get the most out of it is possible in Malaga, Benalmadena, Estepona, Fuengirola, Mijas. Beach holidays can be successfully combined with hiking and biking in bioparks and safari parks, visiting places of interest, fun in water parks.

What to choose for a rest for people of older generation?

Older people prefer a holiday in Nerja, Estepona, Mijas, Calahonda, Fuengirola, where you can bask on the hot sand on the beaches, admire the ancient architecture and views of the sea from the observation deck, stroll through the picturesque parks, stretch in the fitness rooms.

What to choose for a purely beach holiday?

A pure beach holiday awaits vacationers in Calahonda, Mijas, Nerja, Marbella, where they can enjoy sandy and pebbly beaches with excellent infrastructure.

What to choose for a low-cost vacation?

For an inexpensive holiday should choose Torremolinos, Calahonda, Michas, Nerja, where the beach holiday can be combined with walks through the biosphere parks and inexpensive excursions.

What to choose for entertainment and partying?

The entertainment and partying fans will feel energized in Marbella and Torre del Mar, where many entertainment venues are open and life is pulsating around the clock. In contrast to the fashionable Marbella, Torre del Mar is an accessible resort with reasonable prices.

What to choose for a vacation with a minimum of tourists?

Adherents of a secluded vacation should choose Mijas, Fuengirola, Calahonda, where even in high season you can find deserted beaches and deserted parks.

Costa del Sol Resort, Andalusia. Attractions, best beaches, activities and vacations on the coast

Costa del Sol

The Costa del Sol is an Andalusian coastline stretching from Malaga to mysterious Gibraltar. Many celebrities and dignitaries have chosen this “sunny shore” for their summer residences.

Costa del Sol Coast Map

Photo: Map of the Costa del Sol.

The climate of the coast is very mild – in winter the average daily temperature is +16°C, and in the summer months it reaches +29°C. The water is warmest in August – up to 23 ° C. The Gibraltar current does its job – the water of the coast is quite cool. If you want to swim, you have to choose August. But there are plenty of places for surfers.

You can see the coast by watching this author’s video:

Costa del Sol – it’s luxurious beaches, vibrant nightlife and solid fiesta, and in some places there is an atmosphere of good old Andalusia. The most popular resorts are Torremolinos, Benalmadena, Fuengirola, Marbella and Estepona.

5 Things to do on the Costa del Sol. What to do:

  1. Experience a bohemian vacation on the beaches of Marbella;
  2. Visit cosmopolitan Málaga or the unimaginable Ronda;
  3. See how loud you can scream at Tiwoli World amusement park;
  4. Admire the views of Gibraltar in chic Estepona;
  5. Spend time tasting Andalusian wines in local bodegas and tasting grilled sardines.

Torremolinos

Torremolinos

Photo: Torremolinos

Torremolinos is the most popular resort on the Costa del Sol, with a population that increases up to 6 times during the “hay season”. In the past the resort was known as a place where extravagant young people hang out, but now people of all ages can be found here. The essence of the resort is luxurious beaches, the best attractions and rousing hangouts.

Beaches

La Carihuela

Photo: La Carihuelu.

All the spacious and crowded beaches of Torremolinos are municipal and therefore free.

The resort is divided into 2 zones:

Bajondillo (Playa El Bajondillo) is an excellent sandy beach. Before entering the water there is a bit of pebbles, but then only clean sand. Prices for equipment are democratic, but you can hide under a palm tree.

La Carihuela (Playa La Carihuela) is a large beach with coarse sand. Very gentle bottom without stones. There are oases with greenery and parrots. The best beach for children.

Important: Torremolinos is located on a mountain and to get to the beaches (if your hotel is in town) you have to use the city elevator or one of the stairs.

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Leisure and attractions

The most beautiful building in Torremolinos is the Casa de las Navajas mansion above the Bajondillo promenade. San Miguel Street concentrates everything interesting: bars and bodegas, restaurants and coffee houses with delicious desserts, stores and, of course, discos. The neighborhood of La Caryuela has preserved its original atmosphere as well as the traditional way of preparing the legendary fried sardines.

Here is the largest water park Aqualand and a crocodile farm with a national favorite of 5 meters.

Benalmadena

Benalmadena

Photo: Benalmadena

Benalmadena is a beautiful resort on two hills, rich with gentle sea, beaches, fabulous port and a rich history. There are quiet places for families with children and more lively places for young people. The city is divided into the tourist part of Benalmadena Costa, the commercial and entertainment part of Arroyo de la Miel and Benalmadena Pueblo, which preserves the atmosphere of the Andalusian village.

Beaches

Viborillas

Photo: Viborillas

The local beaches are the best maintained on the coast, which is probably why prim English people prefer to vacation here. However, a mixture of sand and pebbles is very common.

Malapesquera is a huge beach with clean gray sand and a beautiful promenade. There are places for volleyball and soccer.

Playa Arroyo de La Miel is a beach in the commercial and entertainment part of town, so not with the cleanest water. The entrance to the sea is pebbly.

Benalnatura (Playa de Benalnatura ) – not a bad beach, there are stones at the bottom and many beautiful shells on the shore.

Carvajal is a big calm beach next to Fuengirola.

Viborillas Beach is a beach in a green bay with a restaurant on top of a hill.

Torre Bermeja – A huge clean beach.

Leisure and attractions

Tiwoli World Amusement Park

Photo: Tiwoli World amusement park

When the water is too cold, go see the three 15th century lookout towers: Torre Bermeja, Torre Muelle and Torre Quebrada. The 17th-century Santo Domingo Church and the 20th-century Colomares Castle in honor of Columbus are very interesting, as is the Moorish-inspired Bil-Bil Palace. The city museum has a rich collection of ancient art objects.

The most curious will find Roman ruins on Belmadena Costa and even Paleolithic monuments in the caves on Mount Calamorro, which can be climbed by cable car.

In the area of Arroyo de la Miel is the famous amusement park Tiwoli World with fun rides, tropical gardens and fresh fountains. The gardens of El Muro and Las Aguilas are also beautiful.

Fuengirola

Fuengirola is a very pleasant resort in the Gulf, surrounded by mountains. There are many elegant hotels right in front of the spacious beaches, as well as a magnificent green water park and a biopark with rare animals. It is also a huge port for sports boats.

Beaches

Santa Amalia

Photo: Santa Amalia

All the beaches of Fuengirola are awarded the “blue flag” and are as equipped as possible: cabins, showers, toilets, umbrellas and sun loungers, playgrounds and cafes.

Fuengirola is the central crowded beach at 1 km.

Santa Amalia is the best beach of the resort with nice fine sand.

Los Boliche and Las Gavitola are huge beaches with volleyball courts and playgrounds for kids.

Playa del Castillo is a beach near the castle. There is a rental of water bikes, boats, etc.

San Francisco is a remote beach with a smooth entrance to the water for families with kids.

Torre Blanca – A beach with spectacular views.

Leisure and attractions

Bioparc Zoo

Photo: Bioparc Zoo

Fuengirola has retained the charm of an Andalusian village with its narrow streets radiating out from Plaza de la Constitución, whose center is the Church of Our Lady of Rossario and the famous long-lived ficus, surrounded by soulful cafes.

A symbol of the city is the Castillo Sohe, a 10th-century castle in Arabic style.

Children will love the Aquatico Mijas water park and the beautiful Bioparc zoo.

Marbella

Take a look at the city now in this video:

Marbella is a bohemian resort with a 7 km long marble palm-lined promenade, beautiful sea, beaches and the mighty La Concha mountain. Thanks to the microclimate there is no stuffiness and severe cold. The coast is decorated with the most luxurious hotels in all of Spain, and in the peak season the entire marina is full of luxurious yachts. It’s easy to spot a celebrity or even a member of the royal family. It is also the safest town in Spain.

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Beaches

Rio Real

Photo: Rio Real

The beaches of Marbella are, above all, golden sand. The best beaches:

Nagueles (Playa Nagueles), a bohemian beach where you can meet a celebrity.

Fontanilla is the best option in the city center.

Playa del Cabla or Bounty (Playa del Cabla) is a youthful and democratic beach near the center with a chill-out atmosphere.

Playa de Rio Real is a luxurious beach with powerful palm trees.

Alicate is the most popular and equipped beach with a perfect sandy shore.

Playa Hermosa is a very pleasant spot 15 minutes from the center.

Playa Real de Zaragoza is a beach with clear water, golden sand and excellent chiringuitos (bars).

Nikki is a glamorous and expensive beach.

Cabopino – a wide beach next to the picturesque dunes of Dunas de Artola. An excellent place for surfing.

Leisure and attractions

La Alameda Alley

Photo: La Alameda Alley

Marbella’s most interesting historical site is the 10th century Alcazaba fortress, which offers access to the romantic, medieval Orange Square. In Iglesia Square it is worth admiring the church of Santa Maria de la Encarnación.

In the nearby village of San Pedro the remains of ancient Rome have survived: the Villa de Rio Verde and Roman thermae of the 3rd century. Very close by is the oldest Paleochristian monument, the 3rd and 4th century Vega del Mar basilica.

At leisure, stroll along the oldest alley of La Alameda, a botanical garden with marvellous ficuses and the park of Arolho de la Represa with interesting bonsai trees.

Estepona

Estepona is a respectable resort at the foot of the mountain with an authentic Spanish atmosphere and well-developed infrastructure. Estepona’s calling card is the numerous stores and salons with decorative products and jewelry. Its coasts offer amazing views to the promontory of Gibraltar.

Beaches

La Rada

Photo: La Rada

Estepona has 22 km of beaches:

La Rada (Playa de la Rada) is the main beach of 3 km with yellow-gray sand and excellent service. There is an underground parking. Along the whole beach is a beautiful promenade. Nearby historical places.

El Cristo – beach in a sheltered cove, gentle entrance to the water.

Playa Arroyo Vacero – A remote beach with a rocky bottom for divers.

Baya Dorada is a picturesque spot in the village where you can go snorkeling .

Leisure and attractions

The best place for a leisurely stroll is the Flower Square with the fragrance of orange trees. The gem of the city is the exquisite 18th-century Virgen de Los Remedios church in the Old Town. Not far away you can see the 16th century castle walls of Castillo San Luis. The most beautiful ancient villas are Casa de la Borrega and Casa del Marcus de Mudejar.

In Estepona there is an interesting Museum of Bullfighting, the Selwo Park adventure zoo on 100 hectares, where animals live in their natural environment.

Summary of the Costa del Sol

There are places on the Costa del Sol where during the season there is nowhere to go (Torremolinos), but for the tired of the metropolis you will also find a secluded place (Fuengirola). The two resorts of Marbella and Estepona are fighting for the title of the most luxurious – this is the place for you if you have high demands and an unlimited budget.

The bonus for the rent of apartments is 2100 rubles.

Instead of hotels you can book an apartment (cheaper on the average 1,5-2 times) on AirBnB.com, a very convenient worldwide and well-known service for apartment rent with a bonus of 2100 rubles at registration

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