Costa del Sol Travel Guide

Costa del Sol – Spain’s famous Sunny Coast

The Costa del Sol is a beautiful stretch of beaches and holiday resorts along the south coast of beautiful Spain. Here we have provided a comprehensive guide to the most popular destinations. Listed below are links to information on Torremolinos, information on Benalmadena, information on Fuengirola, information on La Cala to East Marbella and information on Marbella and Puerto Banus.


Nerja is situated on the coast, at the foothills of the dramatic Sierra Almijaras mountains about forty five kilometers (a 40 minute drive) east of Malaga on the Costa Del Sol.

Although Nerja is a popular tourist resort it has managed to keep its Spanish character, particularly the old part of town with it’s narrow cobbled streets and Tapas Bars. English is fairly well spoken but it remains a working Spanish town.

All the normal things are here, beaches galore (some very private and others more commercial having restaurants and water sports facilities), supermarkets, chemists, doctors, two weekly markets and loads of bars and restaurants.

The Balcon de Europ is in the center of the town and is the focal point of Nerja nightlife. During the summer months this promenade teams with entertainers, artists, dancers and stalls of all descriptions.

The town center with plenty of shops makes good for early evening browsing before settling down in one of the many fine bars and restaurants serving traditional Spanish and international cuisine.

A short drive or cab ride from Nerja there is lots to see and do; the caves at Maro, inland villages and a little further a field, Nerja is only two hours drive from the Sierra Nevada (Europe’s most Southerly Ski resort) Also two hours drive is Granada and the Alhambra Palace.

If you are looking for a relaxing quiet time on holiday in Spain, Nerja is the place for you, there are fine restaurants and it is very good for couples looking for a romantic holiday in a picturesque Spanish town.


Anyone who has been travelling to the Costa del Sol for many years knows that Torremolinos was the small fishing village that led the tourist boom in the late fifties and sixties. Now, it has become one of the biggest resorts on the coast and is regarded as the South coast’s equivalent of Benidorm so if you are looking for a cultural experience this is not the place for you.

If you like to party then Torremolinos is definitely the place for you!! There are not many towns along the Costa del Sol that have more bars, restaurants and nightclubs (including a large gay community) and with 70% of its visitors coming from the UK there is virtually no language barrier. Less than 10 minutes from Malaga Airport it is the most accessible of the resorts along the coast.

There are two main beaches to Torremolinos that are both long and sandy and with the many activities on the beaches including para-gliding, water skiing and banana boats plus plenty of beach bars and restaurants to choose from there is always something to do while you soak up the Mmediterranean sun. if you fancy getting wet in a different way you can try the aqua park on the outskirts of town.

The heart of the town is the pedestrian-friendly area known as Calle San Miguel which is packed with shops and boutiques selling all kinds of products for all you shop-aholics out there!!! At the height of the season this area is packed with people and is a hive of activity. During the summer, the town hall hosts an unlimited number of events including festivals of music, dance and jazz as well as volleyball and football competitions. The local council has invested heavily in the area over the last few years including a new seafront promenade which stretches all the way to the neighboring resort of Benalmadena and more than a thousand species of trees, shrubs and flowers have been planted around the town in public gardens providing a welcome reprieve from the surrounding hustle and bustle of bar and beach life. Torremolinos is not for the culture seekers, but for beaches, nightclubs, bars, restaurants, shops and a generally fun packed holiday Torremolinos is one of the best spots on the Costa del Sol.


Benalmadena is the second closest major resort to Malaga Airport and is neighbor to Torremolinos. This is another very popular town for British tourists and has three areas to it.

Firstly, set in the hills there is Benalmadena pueblo which still has the authenticity of a traditional Spanish village with its narrow streets and traditional Spanish houses. Then nearer the coast there is Arroyo de la Miel (stream of honey), a small , modern area packed with shops, restaurants, bars and also hosts Tivoli World, one of the best theme and entertainment parks on the coast which also has a huge cable car that travels up to the mountains and boasts the most amazing panoramic views. Finally there is Benalmadena Costa comprising of 9km’s of beach and a 2km promenade. Arguably the center piece of the Benalmadena Costa is the marina which in the past has been voted the best in the world and has over 1000 moorings. Day or night this area is a hive of activity with a new shopping center , over 200 bars, shops and restaurants plus a diving school and the very well known Sea Life Centre (watch out Puerto Banus!!).

In the center of town there is the famous 24 hour square with its late bars and early morning discos which is very popular with the youngsters. To the western end of Benalmadena on the way to Fuengirola is the 5 star Torrequebrada Hotel which incorporates the resort’s only casino and a spectacular cabaret show. Benalmadena is similar to Torremolinos as regards its popularity with tourists and is also very popular for people looking to move to Spain. Its ease of access to the holiday market, great beaches, major tourist attractions and enviable climate all help to explain why Benalmadena is fast becoming one of Spain’s premier holiday destinations.


Situated on the coast down the hill from Mijas, Fuengirola has five miles of promenade (paseo maritimo) the Rey de Espana, which offers a most pleasant walk along the beach with a number of chiringuitos along the way to enjoy a relaxing drink or sample the wide variety of seafood they have on offer, watch the chef cook your food on a barbecue on the beach!

Fuengirola is central for all the activities available on the Costa del Sol , it is 20mins away from Malaga airport, 20mins from Marbella and Puerto banus, 10mins from Torremolinos/Benalmadena and 1hr from Gibraltar.

There are many excellent places to spend your time in Fuengirola, it has one of the best open air zoos in Europe. There is the Sohail castle which lies at the west end of the promenade with its park and many festivals held within its ancient grounds. The flea market held on a Saturday at the Feria ground is the largest of its kind in the area and will interest those who like local crafts, leather, jewellery and souvenirs.. There is the aqua park, which is an oasis of fun and of course the 5 miles of sandy beaches! For the gamblers amongst you there is the Hippodromo, the Costa del Sol’s racetrack which has meetings every week and includes lots of entertainment around the course.

Nightlife is very diverse in Fuengirola and it has something for everyone. Eating out is a very important part of the nightlife in Fuengirola with its many different restaurants in the world famous fish alley!. There are also many watering holes along fish alley where you can meet up to relax in the Mediterranean evenings. There are also many late night/early morning bars all over town to enjoy for the young and young at heart.

Why not visit the port which incorporates a working fishing port and marina, there are many restaurants and bars to visit, fish and shellfish are very popular, boat trips, fishing trips and scuba diving are widely available. There is also a market on a Sunday with the local goods available!

If you do choose a holiday or you are a resident we hope the info in this website will help you find what you are looking for.

La Cala

Formerly a sleepy fishing village set between Fuengirola and Calahonda on the Costa del Sol has become a popular destination for both tourists and residents of the local area. Over the last few years more and more restaurants, bars and shops have opened in this quaint “village.” Like most coastal areas on the Costa del Sol La Cala boasts a lovely beach which is serviced by a selection of restaurants and bars. on the opposite side of the main n340 road there is a huge new development being built which is sure to bring many more people to the area. Along with a new golf course and the rapidly growing commercial center the future is bright for this beautiful village.

Riviera del Sol

Over the last few years Riviera del Sol has become a hugely popular destination for British holidaymakers and for those looking to move to the Costa del Sol and this is reflected by the amount of developments there are here now.

On the coast between Marbella and Fuengirola Riviera del Sol urbanization is situated only a few minutes from the new E-15 motorway access, and the national coast road the N-340. Riviera del Sol runs down to the beach and is adjacent to Calahonda. Riviera del Sol is a mixed residential and holiday area enjoying every facility and services needed to enjoy life comfortably. Banks, restaurants, shops, supermarket, chemist and a health center are all to hand.. Within the Riviera del Sol urbanization you will find Miraflores golf. Close buy you will also find Cabopino golf and Calahonda golf course.


Over the last twenty years or so, Calahonda has become, in some peoples opinion a town in its own right although the local authorities refuse to give it this status. It is a hugely popular area for both British holiday makers and tourists alike. Calahonda is less than a half hour from Malaga airport in between Fuengirola and the east side of Marbella.

Made up mostly of villas and townhouses with very few high rise apartment buildings Calahonda encompasses both rural and coastal life. All amenities are within a few minutes including restaurants, bars, supermarkets, shops, banks, schools, sports facilities, pretty much everything you would expect in a town of this size. There are four golf courses within the area of Calahonda and the Costa del Sol hospital is less than five minutes away. Whether you a tourist or looking to live here Calahonda has everything you could want without having to travel too far.


There are not many more picturesque and inviting coastal areas than the port at Cabopino. Here you can practise any of your chosen water sports and activities including wind surfing, para-sending and dolphin watching. Less than five minutes from Calahonda it is the perfect environment for a beach or portside meal and boasts one the most attractive stretches of coastline (including a nudist beach).

There are over 170 berths for both small and medium sized boats and has many restaurants to choose from for that romantic meal. There are also many beautiful apartment buildings and hotels overlooking the port and for those who enjoy the real outdoors two minutes across the main n340 road there is Camping Cabopino. Cabopino is 25 minutes from Malaga and less than 10 minutes from Marbella. Less than 5 minutes from Cabopino is Calahonda where you will find all your usual amenities like banks , shops and supermarkets.


Elviria is located about 15 minutes east of Marbellas city center and is 25 minutes from Malaga airport. Elviria has long been a popular holiday resort and is home to the five star Don Carlos Hotel and to the internationally renowned Santa Maria Golf & Country Club. It is less than 5 minutes drive from Cabopino port and there is no shortage of amenities including shops, supermarkets, bars, restaurants, a tennis club, plenty of golf courses and is only 5 minutes from the Costa del Sol hospital.

It is a coastal urbanization and as such most properties are within walking distance from the beach. There is also the English International School which caters for primary and secondary students. 10 minutes further inland from Elviria there is fantastic countryside with amazing sea and country views from the La Mareina urbanization. Elviria is perfectly situated and is within easy reach of any of the facilities you might require on the Costa del Sol

Marbella and Puerto Banus

With 27 kilometers of coastline and 24 different beaches to choose from Marbella has something for everyone. Whether you’re into jet-skiing, sailing, star-spotting, balloon flights, cable skiing or simply enjoying some of the best fresh seafood in the world you’ll find it all at Marbella’s seafront and water sports centers.

Stroll along the famous Golden Mile and dine at some of the most sumptuous (and expensive) restaurants that the Mediterranean has to offer. Or visit one of the many “chiringuitos” – the beach bars that pepper this stretch of coastline, serving much-needed cold drinks and delicious food to summer visitors. If you’re a sucker for seafood try their fresh char-grilled sardines.

Marbella has a distinctly cosmopolitan feel to it, more so than the other main towns on the Costa del Sol, local celebrities include Sean Connery, Melanie Griffith & Antonio Banderas (who originally came from Malaga). It’s not surprising then that it is often compared with the likes of Monaco and Portofino.

If you would like a bit of Hollywood style glitz why not visit Puerto Banus, where you can amble beside the yachts and speedboats of the rich and famous, the king of Spain also moors his yacht in this port from time to time, which is an awe-inspiring sight! Expensive sports and luxury cars litter the area; Puerto Banus is a place that inspires people!
Since its inception some forty years ago, the port has steadily grown and now features a casino, commercial shopping center, a Corte Ingles department store, marine observatory and a multi cinema with films shown with their original soundtrack.

Indoor & Outdoor Activities

If you are the adventurous type then the Costa del Sol is the place for you. In this section of the guide you will find plenty to do both indoors and outdoors, whatever your preferences. There are aquaparks, safaris, zoos, marine parks and theme parks. You can go indoor bowling, go-carting, horse riding, skiing, shooting and quad biking. Why not try a fishing trip or a boat trip where you can go out to sea and fish for jaws!! or even see dolphins on guided tours.

There are water sports available up and down the coast including windsurfing, kite boarding, paragliding and even surfing. There are also many guided tours where you can see some of the real history of Spain in places like Ronda where bull fighting originates from. For the active person there is never a shortage of things to do on this fun packed coast.

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