Getting to know the Costa del Sol

If you want to talk about Spanish holidays there is one region that comes up in conversation year after year.

The Costa del Sol is a destination that is tailor-made to suit your tastes. If you want to spend a week on the beach, party in glamorous clubs, splash around in family-friendly hotels or take a cultural city break, Spain’s Sunshine Coast delivers in every aspect. While you think you may know this popular part of the world, there are still parts that have the ability to surprise.

Let’s take a closer look at what and where you need to see in the Costa del Sol.

Benalmadena

When you have a noisy neighbour like Torremolinos, you need to be the relaxing escape. Luckily, Benalmadena effortlessly achieves this.

It is a town packed full of history. The Arroyo de la Miel area is home to the oldest part of the region, Benalmadena Pueblo, which is a traditional Spanish scene of cobbled streets, hideaway tapas bars and whitewashed buildings. Naturally, the area has some inviting beaches with Melilleros being the most impressive with a sea inlet and plenty of space for sunbathing.

At sunset, you can head for Benalmadena Marina to enjoy a night of fine cuisine and dancing at the ultra-trendy bars and clubs lining its promenade.

Malaga

Malaga blows all your concepts of the Costa del Sol out of the window. While the region maybe synonymous with beachside resorts, the capital of Andalucia is a city of fashion, art, gastronomy and vibrant nightlife.

Step into a city that Pablo Picasso called home. The artist is remembered fondly in Malaga and you can see some of his best works at the Picasso Museum. Admire the beautiful Baroque and Gothic architecture that helped to create the magnificent Catedral de Malaga while pay a visit to the Alcazaba, an 11th century Moorish fortress which looks over the city.

You can’t leave Malaga without sampling its incredible array of food. Indulge in the multitude of tapas restaurants where you can pair mouthwatering dishes with the finest wines in Andalucia. And there’s also a beach, what could be better?

Frigiliana

There are not many more picturesque settings in the Costa del Sol than Frigiliana. This tiny village is the embodiment of traditional Spanish living thanks to its windy cobbled streets, whitewashed homes, an abundance of colourful plants and spectacular ocean views.

You only need to spend a couple of hours in Frigiliana for you to understand why it was voted the “prettiest village in Andalucia” by Spain’s tourism board. It is split into two sections – the new part and the older Morisco-Mudéjar neighbourhood – and the latter is where you need to be. See the quaint chapel, follow the 12 ceramic plaques to learn about the Moorish uprising and see one of the private galleries of the numerous artists who reside here.

There is no way you will be able to resist a glass of sangria and a bite to eat at restaurants with the best views of Andalucia. Many of the tapas have rooftop terraces gazing into the valley below.

Nerja

A short hop from Frigiliana is the charming coastal resort of Nerja. If you like your beaches with incredible scenery then you are in for a treat here.

Lie back on the powdery white sand of beaches such as Burriana and Torrecilla and take in the views of the Sierra Almijara mountain range which characterises this part of the Costa del Sol. Nerja is a favourite among holidaymakers with the paella restaurants lining the promenade a huge hit and an excellent place to enjoy a meal under the moonlight.

While many of its neighbours have modelled themselves to appeal to tourists, Nerja has retained its rustic charm. You won’t find high rise apartment blocks here but you will see a Moorish castle and the Balcon de Europa which provides panoramic views of the coastline. It is no surprise Nerja is known as the “Jewel of the Costa del Sol”.

Marbella

When you want to party with the stars there is only one place to go – Marbella. The Saint-Tropez of the Costa del Sol, this is the playground of the rich and famous and where you can sip champagne with celebrities in exclusive clubs.

Awash with Michelin star restaurants, luxury boutique shops and some of the most talked about pool parties of the summer season, it adds a touch of glitz and glamour to your holiday. However, it is not all about bling in Marbella and you can enjoy a pleasant evening in the Old Town and the charming Orange Square.

Thanks to an abundance of beaches, you can celeb spot from one of the private loungers on the famous Nikki Beach. Don’t forget the important rule though – no carbs before Marbz.

Will you be making the Costa del Sol your next holiday destination? Check out our range of package breaks to southern Spain at www.sunmaster.co.uk. Our deposits start at just £49pp and flexible payment plans are available to help you spread the cost of your dream break.