There’s arguably nowhere in Europe more synonymous with beach resorts, happy hours and holiday postcards than the Costa del Sol. Brits have been jetting down to Spain’s southern coastline for more than 60 years, lured by 320 days of annual sunshine and a proven-to-please mix of home comforts and Mediterranean exoticism. Accommodation ranges from the basic to the luxurious, but whether or not your budget stretches to champagne, a holiday to the Costa del Sol from GlasgowAirport means you’re guaranteed atmosphere.
There’s no lack of options when it comes to choosing the right resort. Fuengirola, Torremolinos, Nerja, Marbella and Benalmádena are among the best-known names, and all have their own character, whether it be high-rise or historical. Long, sandy beaches represent the main point of similarity, but these days you’ll also find boutique boltholes and upmarket tapas bars.
More than beaches
This stretch of coast has always been a magnet for sunseekers and bar-hoppers, but away from the clichés, there are some excellent attractions. A couple of examples? In Marbella, the Museo Ralli (UrbanizaconCoralBeach) is a great private art museum, while the BioParc at Fuengirola (Avenida Camilo José Cela 6-8) is a well-run, conservation-minded zoo. Topping the lot is a day trip to the utterly extraordinary Alhambra palace in Granada.
Sun, sea, and sand might be the region’s main drawcards, but if you head to the right places there’s much to enjoy by heading inland too. The hills and mountains that backdrop the Costa del Sol hold rich rewards: these include the Laguna de Fuente de Piedra, which is renowned as a nesting site for flamingos, and the vast subterranean network of the Caves of Nerja (Carretera de Maro), the site of concerts each July