The Costa del Sol – Coast of the Sun – is the southern coast of Spain, dotted with little towns, each with a buzz and energy of its own.
This coast is home to the most famous of Spain’s beaches and certainly lives up to its name. Its sun-drenched climate makes it an attractive place to unwind, nearly year-round, and is a great place for families.
An extremely short distance to the marvels of Andalucia, Costa del Sol is also a stone’s throw from the ferry to Morocco – if you wish to combine the two countries (we don’t recommend day trips). It’s also a great jumping-off point for a day of hiking in the Alpujarras Mountains, a day at the Alhambra in Granada, or exploring some of the off-the-beaten-path White Villages.
We are happy to arrange a leisurely day of sailing, yachting, or deep-sea fishing in the tempting blue waters of the Mediterranean.
We can also arrange a morning of golfing for you. With over 60 courses, Costa del Sol has developed a well-deserved reputation as a world-class golfing destination. Valderrama was the home of the 1997 Ryder Cup.
The center of Costa del Sol is Marbella. The miles of hotels are anchored by the rather charming Old Quarter, whose whitewashed walls are drenched with bougainvillea and whose streets all seem to lead to the Plaza de los Naranjos (Orange Trees).
If you are looking for traditional Andalusian charm, and don’t want to venture too far inland, you might also want to check out Mijas.
Near Rincon de la Victoria, which you might otherwise skip, is the unique “sea cave” of El Tesoro. Remains from the Neolithic Age have been found here and legend says that Arab treasure is still hidden within.
A bit further east is Malaga. Thanks to a thorough restoration, Malaga has been experiencing a renaissance in recent years. Malaga was the birthplace of Picasso, and a 16th century palace holds more than 200 of his works. It also has one of southern Spain’s finest restaurants.
East of Malaga, things get a bit quieter. The little town of Nerja is where the slopes of the Sierra de Almijara plunge into the sea. Once a sleepy fishing village, it now earns more from tourism, but retains much of its charm in an attractive coastal landscape.
Just a few miles inland from Nerja is one of the region’s prettiest towns, Frigiliana. Characterized by small plazas surrounded by wrought iron balconies and bright red geranium, it was here that the Moors lost their final battle in 1569.
Heading west from Marbella are the Straits of Gibraltar and the windsurfing and kitesurfing town of Tarifa.
More than anything else, the southern coast of Spain might be an ideal way to end your trip. After all those amazing monuments, museums, cities, and towns, you might decide that before going back to your “real” life, you want to work on that suntan just a little bit longer.