One of Europe’s favourite Mediterranean holiday regions, the vast Costa del Sol or “Sun Coast” runs from the Costa Tropical south of Granada, to the trip of Tarifa past Gibraltar.
There really is something for everyone – sandy beaches, year round sunshine, excellent sporting facilities, amazing cuisine to sample in the thousands of restaurants and a lively nightlife. There’s also plenty to see if you like to take in some culture during your holiday.
These 3 Coastal towns are all within 10-20 minute drive of Málaga Airport and are the most popular of the holiday resorts for familys who are looking to enjoy a relaxing, but fun beach holiday!
They boast fantastic beaches, award winning in the case of Fuengirola, lots of attractions which you can ready about further into the guide, such as Bioparc Zoo in Fuengirola, the Aquaparks in Mijas and Torremolinos or Selwo Marina and Tivoli World in Benalmadena!
In Torremolinos you’ll find wall to wall hotels and apartments, which stretch back from the glorious beaches. Along the beachfront you will find a mixture of beach bars “Chiringuitos” playing Spanish music and serving up local cuisine.
The promenade on Torremolinos stretches all the way to the Puerto Marina in Benalmadena! This promenade will take you through the former fishing village of La Carihuela. There are still a few bona fide fishermen about, and if you’re up between 06.00 and 07.00 you’ll see them returning to shore with in their gaily-painted wooden boats with nets of sardines and anchovies.
Fuengirola has hundreds of restaurants, in our opinion the best on the Coast, plus the longest stretch of beach at 7 km long. Golden, soft, sandy beaches they are award winning for their standard, safety and cleanliness!
Benalmadena has many attractions, from Selwo Dolphin Park and Sealife Centre, to Tivoli Amusement Park and the Cable Car ride, but also lovely town centre in Arroyo de la Miel with many fantastic tapas bars.
All 3 towns are linked to each other and the airport (plus of course Málaga itself) by the fantastic RENFE electric train service.
Eight kilometres (5 miles) inland from Fuengirola, you’ll find Mijas. At first glance it is the “Pueblo Blanco” par excellence – with its ancient whitewashed houses clinging to the hillside, and surrounded by some of the best coastal views in Spain. In fact its beauty and easy access to the coast have made it a “mini resort” in its own right, with some 90% of the population now of foreign origin.
Since the sixties many artists and other crafts people have made their home here and the town now boasts a wide range of bars and restaurants. A lot of the houses in the village have been converted into upscale shops, restaurants and bars, making the village itself a unique tourist attraction.
There is a local bus stop service that operates every half-hour from Mijas to Fuengirola. The main bus stop is opposite the town hall building near the centre of Mijas and in Fuengirola this stops right in the town centre bus station, making it an easy service to use.
Mijas is the only town in Spain to have a square bullring. This is situated at the other side of the main square up a small hill. Next to it you will find a garden area with spectacular viewpoints overlooking the surrounding hills and down to the coast. There is another viewpoint next to the car park. On one side of this natural balcony you’ll find a tiny chapel dedicated to the Virgen de la Peña (Our lady of the Mountain), set in grotto carved from living rock.
Neraby to Nerja is the village of Frigiliana which has previously been awarded the title of “Prettiest Village in Andalucia” on account of its picture postcard alleyways and floral covered balconies. The village also specialises in its own style of pottery and smooth dessert wine.
The caves of Nerja (Cuevas de Nerja) are one of Spain’s top tourist attractions – complete with floodlit stalactites, stalagmites and other magnificent rock formations. You’ll find the caves just over 3 kilometres from the town on the Carretera Maro. The largest of the caves contains paintings, some of which are 20,000 years old! The caves are open from 10.00 – 14.00 and 16.00 – 18.30.
The train line doesn’t stretch as far as Nerja however there is a local bus service, which runs along the coastline. The service runs approximately every half-hour and is cheap to use. The service does not run very late into the evening so you will have to take taxis back to your hotel if you are outside of the resort centre.