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Finest Issues to Do on the Costa del Sol


Seeking to expertise one of the best that Spain has to supply? Look no additional than the Costa del Sol. Situated in Andalusia, this area is residence to among the greatest seashores within the Mediterranean. It’s the place Previous Cities meet luxurious seashore resorts; and sprawling cities like Marbella meet historic fishing villages. There are such a lot of issues to do in Costa del Sol, however that are one of the best? Learn beneath to search out out!

With excellent climate year-round, it’s no marvel that this stretch of shoreline interprets to “solar coast” in English. There are elements which might be city and developed and different elements which might be extra rustic and historic – providing a singular juxtaposition to this prime vacation vacation spot in Europe.

Questioning what to do on Spain’s Costa del Sol? Positive, the seashores and golf programs are second to none. However this area additionally has no scarcity of distinctive sights, actions, delicacies, and extra. With a few of these highlights and hidden gems you may make probably the most out of any journey!

The top things to do in Costa del Sol Spain
The Costa del Sol is an extremely particular area of Southern Spain with no scarcity of sights and thrilling actions!

Visitor Submit by Tunco Maclovio

Historical past of the Costa del Sol

Take a few of Europe’s most stunning seashores and mountains, intersperse them with historic cities, sprinkle with trendy structure, and make them pulsate with vibrant nightlife. Then, add one of many richest larders of the Mediterranean weight loss program. Mix in culinary traditions from one of many world’s oldest cities – Málaga.

Subsequent, add 300 days of sunshine a 12 months. Lastly, a great deal of individuals (together with among the world’s wealthiest) from all around the world dwelling and vacationing. Go away all these elements to bake within the solar, and also you’ll discover heaven. That is southern Spain’s area of Andalusia and its well-known shoreline, the Costa del Sol.

Aptly named the “The Solar Coast,” the realm’s relentless rays are moderated by the deep blue waters and soothing breezes of the Mediterranean. The tourism business promoted this title to remodel the area from its extra sinister historical past.

For millennia, it was often known as the Barbary Coast. Hapless guests and natives—who weren’t inside a walled metropolis—may very well be kidnapped and offered as slaves in North Africa. That is the destiny that befell Miguel de Cervantes, the creator of the traditional novel “Don Quixote de la Mancha.” 

Inland, roving bandits preyed on vacationers as not too long ago because the late 1800s. Ultimately Europeans realized its quaint fishing villages, ample sunny seashores, and low costs had nice potential for a vacationer mecca. 

Areal view of Málaga city with mountains in background. It's one of the best things to do in Costa del Sol.
One of many world’s oldest cities, dominated by quite a few historic civilizations, at present Málaga stays a vacation spot with tons to see and do!

Costa del Sol issues to do for vacationers at present!

Beginning with the now upscale Marbella, and the extra pedestrian Torremolinos, rebranding took maintain and tourism exploded. Due to guests together with princes, the Rolling Stones, sheiks and world leaders, the Costa del Sol has turn out to be a best choice amongst Europeans (particularly Brits) for relocation and sunny holidays.

For a lot of of those, a mantra of “no hablo español” is the one ticket they should have enjoyable. And these days, many of the kidnapping is completed by timeshare resorts. Hoping to promote weeks of lodging, they aim unsuspecting households wandering about: ’punters,’ as they’re recognized within the U.Okay.

Alleyway in Torremolinos, lined with decorative vases, are among the top things to do in Spain's Costa del Sol.
Torremolinos is a extra subdued pedestrian neighbor to the luxurious Marbella of the Costa del Sol.

High issues to see and do on the Costa del Sol!

Searching for extra sights and adventures in Spain past the Costa del Sol?

Food and drinks of the Costa del Sol

With a lot to see and do alongside the Costa del Sol, you’re certain to be hungry for some native delicacies. Right here you’ll ‘see meals’ all day, a lot of it native seafood. Vegan and vegetarian vacationers could have one of the best luck shopping for their elements at native vendor markets. Whereas there was an absence of fine vegetarian eating places, many are popping up. Terra Sana in Marbella is an previous standby. Some dishes to notice embody ajoblanco (chilly white garlic soup) and gazpacho (chilled tomato puree with olive oil and breadcrumbs).


These are beachfront eating places the place native tapas (hors d’oeuvres), wooden hearth pits, and locals converge. These are the place many households spend Sundays munching, ingesting, and chatting away within the hotter months. You most likely will discover the attract to do the identical irresistible!

Right here mariscos (seafood), pescaito (fish), and different native specialties are king. Just some of those are: 

  • Calamares fritos (battered and deep-fried calamari rings) 
  • Espetos (skewered contemporary sardines roasted over an open hearth) 
  • Ajoblanco (chilled, white garlic soup)  
  • Pescaito frito (combined, deep-fried shellfish and fish). 
  • Jamon Ibérico is a sort of acorn-fed, thinly-sliced and air-dried ham. Whereas not domestically sourced, is a specialty almost not possible to search out within the USA. 
  • With Andalusia being the world’s foremost producer of olive oil, its aromatic varieties are in every single place. 

Málaga dulce wine 

The native fruity wine with its aromatic bouquet and velvety-smoothness isa necessity of any journey. With charismatically-named varieties like Pedro Ximen, Moscatel, and Pajarete, you’ll most likely need to deliver residence a bottle or 5.

Tasting this wine has been one of many greatest issues to do on the Costa del Sol for hundreds of years. Julius Caesar ordered native vineyards to be burned out of undesirable competitors with Roman wine, and Catherine the Nice imported massive quantities to her residence nation of Russia. Now you will be the subsequent to check the unbelievable recognition of this locally-produced wine. 

One of the best place to attempt it’s the oldest bar in Málaga, the Antigua Casa de Guardia. The bar may be very unassuming, with big barrels on the wall, sawdust on the ground, and all kinds of wines. Since 1864, locals have come right here to socialize, sip, and gossip. Photos on the wall embody one of many proprietors presenting a bottle to Pablo Picasso, whose birthplace and museum are only a brief stroll away.

Glass of wine on a table at a beachfront bar
Tasting the native wine is among the coolest issues to do in Costa del Sol!

Artwork to See on the Costa del Sol

Artwork runs deep within the soul of Spain. A few of man’s oldest cave drawings come from the caves of Altamira up north. And to the south, the final outposts of the Neanderthal boast artwork from close by Gorham’s Collapse Gibraltar

Whenever you need to take a break from feeding your abdomen you possibly can feast your eyes on wonderful artworks. A number of the greatest stops (which provide free entry some instances/days) embody the Carmen Thyssen, the Pablo Picasso, and the Centre Pompidou.

The Carmen Thyssen is my favourite. It whisks you away to the times of previous in Andalusia with vibrant colours and highly-detailed portrayals of life way back. Right here you possibly can drink in all of the tradition that runs as deep because the Med by its art work. You will be blown-away by work so previous and so detailed they appear like selfies and group pictures – from the identical native tradition, however of one other age.

Lastly, there’s the fantastic the CAC, the Centro de Arte Contemporáneo de Málaga. As a former common of this contemporary artwork museum, I extremely suggest it. It’s at all times free and serves as an excellent shelter from the summer season warmth. Right here, you possibly can gawk at ultramodern works and ask your self “¿Qué quiso decir?” (“what did they imply?”).  

View of windows from the inside of the Carmen Thyssen museum in Malaga. This is among the top things to do in the Costa del Sol, hands down.
The Carmen Thyssen Museum is a testomony to Spanish tradition all through centuries of historical past, and makes an excellent cease in Málaga.

The previous metropolis facilities

The Costa is affected by buildings from its historic previous. This contains remnants of the teams comparable to Phoenicians, Visigoths, Romans, and Moors that after referred to as this space residence. Málaga was based by Phoenicians, whereas Marbella and Fuengirola have Moorish castles and outposts. Exploring as many of those websites as you possibly can is among the greatest issues to do in Málaga, Marbella, or anyplace else on the Costa del Sol!

Till the ’Catholic Kings’ Ferdinand and Isabella battled their technique to the Costa through the Reconquista in 1492, the realm modified fingers typically. The Moorish presence is apparent by the slim cobblestone alleys between whitewashed homes, which shelter passerby from the extreme summer season solar. 

Marbella’s Puente Romano (Roman bridge), Fuengirola’s Sohail Fortress, and Malaga’s Alcazaba, Gibralfaro, and Teatro Romano (Roman theatre) are monuments to nowadays of previous. Known as Casco Antiguos (previous metropolis quarters), yow will discover these previous downtown areas in virtually each metropolis. One other glorious sight from these instances of antiquity is the hillside city of Mijas.

My favourite city in the entire space is picturesque Casares. It was constructed into the facet of a mountain in order that pirates couldn’t see it. This hidden gem is among the greatest locations to see on any Costa del Sol journey! You may simply attain Casares in a forty five minute drive from Marbella or an hour and a half from Malaga.

Marbella, Puerto Banus, and nightlife.

Marbella is called the ‘Beverly Hills of Spain’. Although now an enclave for each down-home Andalusians and Europe and Spain’s super-wealthy, it began as a small fishing village. Within the ‘60s and ‘70s it started to evolve into the house of the ‘jet-set,’ and now is a good place to see one of the best of the Costa del Sol!

A push of tourism that included an iconic resort and a self-promoting mayor, Jesus Gil y Gil (who additionally owned the Atlético Madrid soccer crew) jump-started the town’s recognition. Noteworthy figures from King Fahd of Saudi Arabia to Sean Connery and Prince, have visited or lived right here. And now you are able to do the identical!

Even now, super-upscale gated communities like La Zagaleta boast among the world’s richest and most well-known residents. Together with the wealthy, corruption arrived and affected native politics. In reality, mayors together with Jesus Gil y Gil had been investigated and even arrested for numerous scandals.

Moreover, the true property increase of the early 2000s ultimately popped, leaving empty homes and skeletons of never-finished resorts. All this apart, it nonetheless retains its small-town really feel. That spirit, plus a seafront boardwalk, make a vacation spot that Spaniards and Europeans flock to in the summertime for all the greatest heat climate sights and actions. 

Puerto Banus is an over-the-top port with supercars, flashy shops, outsized yachts, and dapper guests. So it’s no shock that this hub attracts vacationers and looky-loos alike. Additionally not surprisingly, its nightlife is famous – Spain’s as an entire is unbelievable, however right here it’s on one other degree. 

Yachts in the harbor of Marbella, Puerto Banus.
Yachts aren’t an unusual sight in Marbella’s Puerto Banus, and its harbor serves as a playground for the sea-bound wealthy!

La marcha –  Nightlife

Nightlife right here, in Fuengirola, Benalmadena, Torremolinos, and Málaga just about begins and ends the identical. That’s, no less than pre-COVID-19. Younger Spaniards begin with “el botellón.” That is like tailgating on the street, the place dozens of individuals deliver booze and mixers. You’ll additionally discover the omnipresent native drink, calimocho (crimson wine and Coca Cola). The locals then proceed to emborracharse (get drunk!). This protects everybody some huge cash compared to shopping for drinks at bars and golf equipment. 

Additionally, many take pleasure in a porro or churro (no, not the deep-fried pastries) which is tobacco combined with cannabis. It’s smuggled in big quantities throughout the Strait of Gibraltar from close by Morocco. Whereas both of those actions would possibly elicit a response from police in international locations just like the USA, el botellón is authorized. Chocolate (cannabis) isn’t, but it surely’s just about tolerated. They’re extra strict to vacationers nonetheless, so don’t danger getting thrown in el bote, the slammer! Native and nationwide police and the Guardia Civil are famed for his or her hard-nosed method to drug use and drunken idiocy. Plus, that is particularly in the direction of guiris (foreigners.)

So long as you behave your self, golf equipment will go till 4 am or later. Then, some after-hours golf equipment will go to 10am! I at all times thought that this have to be the worst job in Spain. However kudos to those that clock in at 4 am to take care of individuals who have been ingesting all evening and morning! 

Getting concerned within the nightlife is actually top-of-the-line issues you are able to do on the Costa del Sol!

Los Andaluces

The Andalusians’ world encourages sharing one’s emotions and ideas with all. This can be why they communicate a highly-staccato model of machine-gun Spanish, and at unmatched volumes as well. 

You may solely perceive 30% of their tradition till you perceive Spanish effectively sufficient to hold with them. Then, add 15% extra in case your spoken Spanish is sweet sufficient. At this degree you possibly can spend time conversing fortunately with anybody from politicians, gypsies, barflies, taxi drivers, and fish retailers. 

Lastly, add a number of extra proportion factors when you possibly can dwell, dance, and revel with them. With this talent you possibly can come out awash of their joie de vivre shared with household and buddies.

Solely then, can you start to see the true richness of this legendary piece of Spain. And moreover, you possibly can admire the position it has performed in its historical past.

Be sure you make the most of this chance irrespective of how a lot Spanish you communicate! Chatting with Los Andaluces is a singular and thrilling factor to do within the Costa del Sol.

Need to follow your Spanish? Spend extra time in Spain in considered one of these wonderful Airbnbs!

The Festivals

What’s the ultimate step to understanding extra in regards to the Andaluces? Nicely, in need of marrying one… go to the Feria de Agosto or Málaga Truthful. This can be a week-long riot of colours, aromas, flavors, and fancy costume. It embodies the true spirit of Andalusia and is amongst Europe’s largest gala’s. In reality, lots of of hundreds come from throughout Spain and Europe to have a blast. It has been going for the reason that 1490s, impressed by the arrival of the Kings. If you may make it, it is going to be a spotlight of any journey and probably one of the best factor you do!

Right here, funding bankers in flip-flops meet bearded-hipsters in blue-suede sneakers. In reality, they rub elbows and shoulders whereas dancing the ever present and complicated Baile de Sevillanas. For one week, all are equal and legitimate, relying on temper and selection of drink. 

Most sip candy wine (Cartojal) from a shot glass hanging round their neck (hey, no downtime). In the meantime, others simply quaff ice-cold beers to stave off the oppressive warmth. After all, these dressed within the conventional Feria gear command respect and awe; these varieties are dialed into the centuries-old costume and politesse that the Truthful evokes.

Watch lots of of native {couples} dance collectively to the complicated Sevillanas, (no, not Flamenco). Most of them have recognized it since childhood! This sight to me the best spectacle of Andalusia that I’ll always remember!

Attending the Feria de Malaga is among the many greatest issues to do within the Costa del Sol.

Truthful mentality

Whenever you do go to considered one of these occasions, don’t over plan… simply let the circulate of sudden friendships and impromptu dance companions whisk you away into what’s the Feria mentality. However keep in mind – anticipate a lot of warmth!

That is the true essence of Andalusia. Its informality, wonderful sights, oversized-personalities, and its ardour, at all times taken to the subsequent degree. It’s simply top-of-the-line issues to see and do on the Costa del Sol!

There’s loads to maintain you busy right here. First, admire the Baile de Sevillanas. Then odor the perfume of the Biznaga flower. Lastly, pattern the Vino de Málaga. The candy wine fuels the Feria’s frenzy and helps vacationers think about the Ferias de Agosto from way back.


For those who take any recommendation, let or not it’s this: take pleasure in your self on the Costa del Sol! The sheer numbers of Europeans from Scandinavia, Germany, and the U.Okay. guarantee you’ll meet individuals who communicate English. Nevertheless, be sure to fulfill an Andalusian or many. Take time to be taught the fundamental phrases and be courteous to all.

The Andaluces are tolerant and respectful, so act the identical technique to them. Respect their centuries – previous traditions and life-style – as rustic or anachronistic as they could appear to a few of us Westerners. They embrace wholesome meals and life-giving olive oil, in addition to admire buddies, household, artwork, music, and dance. These virtues permit a lot of them to dwell to ripe previous ages crammed with a lot of glad recollections.

Benefit from the infinite sunshine, loosen up, and floor your self on the gorgeous seashores that dot the Costa del Sol. Take a guided tour of this magnificent area or cowl this unique locale at your individual tempo. You’ll shortly see why this is among the prime locations in Spain.

We are able to be taught lots from them. In ten years of dwelling there, I actually did – and hopefully you’ll too!

Most unique things to do in Costa del Sol for all types of travelers
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