With many great beaches, top class golf courses, picturesque marinas and wonderful climate, the Costa del Sol
is 1 of the worlds most popular visitor destinations. This 80 plus mile stretch of coast has a selection of holiday resorts, including the up market towns of Marbella and Puerto Banus, family orientated Fuengirola and Benalmadena, plus the ever popular Torremolinos.
The Costa del Sol once used to refer to the complete stretch of coast from Almeria to Cadiz, but nowadays it applies to the short strip inside the province of Malaga. Tourism started to really take off there during the lare fifties when Prince Alfonso von Hohenlohe built the Marbella
Club. This high quality holiday resort soon started to attract many famous guests like Sophia Loren, Gina Lollobrigida, plus the Duke of Windsor. About the same time the Malagas first true luxury hotel, the Pez Espada, opened in what was then the tiny fishing town of Torremolinos. More tourist hotels were soon added within the next few years and the Costa del Sol then became famous as a popular tourist destination.
The region suffered a small decline in the eighties, so the local councils invested a lot of cash to bring things back up to scratch. New yacht marinas, seafront esplanades and golf clubs
were built, while the beaches were tidied up and improved.
The quaint resort town of Nerja, famous for its Balcon de Europa viewpoint and coves, lies just 30 miles east of Malaga. Near to the town are the Nerja caves, that were discovered in the fifties and now one of the top Costa del Sol attractions
The 3 neighbouring towns of Torremolinos, Benalmadena and Fuengirola are located just to the west of Malaga. Torremolinos is famed for the wild nightclubs, while Benalmadena has a beautiful marina
and visitor attractions like Tivoli World. The more peaceful resort town of Fuengirola even has a small animal zoo, plus four miles of fine beaches, and a water park
A few minutes drive from Fuengirola, in the foothills of the mountains, is the quaint town of Mijas Pueblo, which is sometimes swamped with visitors, but has some notable attractions including a folk museum and an odd square bullring. The vistas over the coast are pretty impressive too.
Further west, just up the coast from Fuengirola is the renowned resort of Marbella with its closeby yacht marina of Puerto Banus
. In the middle of Marbella is the old quarter of white villas and attractive squares called the Casco Antiguo. As well as its beach, the town is also famous for its selection of up market fashion boutiques and quality restaurants. Closeby Puerto Banus is a modern boat marina with luxury yachts, bars and shops.
The pleasant town of Estepona, which still has much of its original Spanish character, is located further west of Marbella. The resort has several nice attractions, like the church on Plaza del Reloj, plus a wide golden sand beach
and fishing harbour.
Malaga is the biggest city and the main international gateway to the area. Many of the budget airlines have flights to Malaga Airport, like EasyJet, Ryanair and Monarch. There is also a coastal rail line between there and the towns of Torremolinos, Benalmadena plus Fuengirola.