Costa del Sol Holidays

The Costa del Sol or sun coast is the most southerly and one of the hottest holiday areas in Spain. Although it was one of the later area to be developed, in some ways it has surpassed the other area in the number and size of the resorts.

It seems incredible that 50 years ago this part of Andalusia was only a fishing and farming-based rural community. With the advent of mass tourism and package holidays, Spain became an affordable destination, but even then the Costa del Sol was one of the last areas to be developed.

Malaga The airport is at Malaga and this is a historic town that was first settled by the Phoenicians about 770 BC. They named it Malaka which is the Phoenician word for salt as the fish were salted there. It has survived a number of visitors and influences over the years with the Romans and later the Moors and this was one of the last places for the reconquista(reconquest of Spain by the Christians). Each of the visitors has left their trail, but the city has undergone a lot of growth since the tourist industry took off. Malaga is also the birth place of the famous painter Pablo Picasso

Within reach of Malaga are a number of well known resorts.

Torremolinos was one of the first resorts to be developed in the area. As a small village prior to the 1960s, it soon transformed when a number of high rise hotels and apartment blocks were built. In recent years there have been efforts to improve its reputation with cleaner beaches and public gardens. It is a very popular resort with the British and the night life is vibrant with a number of clubs and bars.

Benalmadena is resort situated between Torremolinos and Fuengirola. Its name dates back to the time when it was under Moorish occupation and is derived from the Arabic word Bani al-Medina which means son of the settlement. it has a long promenade called the Paseo Maritimo and in the evening visitors walk along it enjoying the warm climate and holiday atmosphere.

Fuengirola is known for its long sandy beaches, some of which are blue flag. It is another popular resort with an array of restaurants, shops and bars that keeps the visitors coming back year after year. Again it has along history and Sohail castle built during the Moors occupation is a good place to visit.

Marbella to the west of Malaga is another resort with high rise hotels, but it has been developed in a way that still has that feeling of space. As well as a good beach, the sea front is a popular place to enjoy the evenings with restaurants and bars. In the centre of the town are some exclusive shops and in some ways this is a more upmarket resort than the resorts to the east of Malaga.

Puerto Banus is near to Marbella and is in some ways similar to San Tropez in France in that its main attraction is its marina where there are some millionaire yachts on display. The harbour front is awash with upmarket restaurants and bars while the people dress to impress. It is well worth a visit, although it might be expensive to stay there. The beach is also a good sandy beach and there is a shopping centre close by to buy your designer sun glasses and other beach attire.

A lot of the coastline West of Marbella is awash with villa developments such as in Estepona and it is easy to see why. The mountains provide a wonderful backdrop to the lovely beaches and coastline.

On a completely different tip, further inland in Andalucia is the historic authentic town of Ronda which has an impressive bridge across the deep El Tajo gorge. The town is completely unspoilt in spite of a large number of visitors. The road there through the mountains is beautiful, but rather treacherous, so it might be an idea to go as part of a coach trip.