Let us be honest here: The primary reason folks come to the Costa del Sol in Spain is designed for the beaches and golf courses.
And there is no question that these’re more and better plentiful than virtually any holiday region in Europe.
But for the curious, the Málaga Province has a world of choices for days over and activities.
You can descend into a gigantic cave that was forgotten for a huge number of years, drive up to the mountains to scramble past fantastical karst rock formations and cross the Puente Nuevo into the dreamlike city of Ronda, which straddles a canyon 150 meters deep.
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In 2016 twenty-two of the Costa del Sol’s beaches were awarded the Blue Flag.
This’s the gold standard for public facilities and hygiene, so wherever you go, you will always be close to a first-class beach.
The climate helps, too, as the Costa del Sol has probably the longest beach season in Iberian Spain, with consistent warmth from as early as April through to late October.
Even in the low season, it is normally sunny, and daily highs will graze the high teens.
As for the very best ones? If you would like seclusion and peace, then the shingle cove at Playa del Cañuelo near Nerja is perfect for you.
When you want a bit more life, then Torremolinos is just as great today as when the first tourists started arriving in the 50s.
Many holidaymakers find it impossible to resist the call of the Mediterranean and have to get out and paddle, dive, and windsurf to their hearts’ content.
Thankfully there is a water sports center next to the beach at each resort in the Costa del Sol.
They will give you a kit and tuition you out with all gear for anything from jet skiing to parasailing.
There are also tourist ports dotted along the coastline, the launchpad for white knuckle powerboat rides, or perhaps unforgettable whale and dolphin spotting cruises.
Divers are not neglected either, with PADI licensed centers in Marbella and Torremolinos.
Culture in Málaga
Part of the secret of the Costa del Sol is the fact that while you have got the earthly delights of sun, sand, and sea in abundance, you are also minutes from Málaga, one of Andalusia’s cultural centers.
You may also need much more than one day to see almost everything here.
For history, look no further than the Alcazaba, a Moorish fortress-palace with stern outer walls which conceal a stately and tranquil upper enclosure.
Picasso was born in Málaga, so there are actually 2 museums for this famous son, and you need to also get to the Automobile and Fashion Museum, a crowd-pleaser that puts dazzling 20th-century couture and classic automobiles side-by-side.
At this inland city, you will snap several of your most exhilarating photos ever.
Ronda is actually atop an escarpment, the bare rock walls of which are extremely precipitous.
All of it makes for sights such as the epic Puente Nuevo, an 18th-century bridge that crosses the El Tajo gorge.
The bridge structure plunges 120 meters down to the floor of the ravine.
Once inside, be sure to investigate “La Ciudad,” probably the oldest part of the city, with medieval churches and palaces, and the Alminar de San Sebastián, the surviving minaret from the city’s Moorish mosque.
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