The Costa del Sol or “Sun Coast”, one of the most attractive tourist destinations in the world due to its natural beauty and infrastructure, extends along the entire coast of the province of Málaga and the Mediterranean coast of Cádiz.
The section along the Mediterranean coast from Nerja to Sotogrande blends the beauty of its beaches with the rustic mountain countryside that protects the coast and provides it with a truly exceptional climate. Three hundred and twenty-five days of sunshine a year and an average water temperature of eighteen degrees Centigrade (64ºF) attract visitors all year round to the sun and shores.
From densely populated tourist areas to small secluded coves, the entire coastline is a marvel of clean, transparent waters and coveted blue flags, modern facilities and services, a wide variety of cultural and leisure activities, with a price range for every traveller.
Protecting the coast, like privileged watchmen standing guard over the Mediterranean sea, we find the mountains of Sierra Bermeja, Serranía de Ronda, Sierra de las Nieves, Sierra Blanca, Sierra de Alpujarra, Sierra de Mijas, Montes de Málaga, Sierra de Tejeda, and Sierra de Almijar, offering rural tourism, hiking or simply the opportunity to become captivated by the peaceful life of Andalusian towns and the charming popular architecture.
The Costa del Sol is bordered by Costa Tropical or Granadan coast to the east, and Costa de la Luz to the west, the point where the Atlantic Ocean meets the Mediterranean. Travelling the various routes, such as La Axarquía Route, Route of the Pueblos Blancos (White Villages), Route of Islamic Málaga, Route of La Pasa, Route of Sun and Wine, and visiting places as fascinating as Antequera or Mijas, inland travel lovers will also find the Costa del Sol an authentic paradise where they can enjoy nature’s attractions and follow the vestiges of its former cultures which received the early influence of other ancient civilizations, such as the Phoenicians, Greeks and Carthaginians.
The Roman Empire, throughout history, developed a vigorous trade along the coast and encouraged the sale of its products to other provinces, but it would be the Moorish culture, born of Islamic domination, that would provide a lasting imprint on its customs, way of life, popular architecture, surviving even today in numerous ordinary characteristics, as well as in the cuisine, and in the sensitivity towards both music and literature.
Sports enjoy a special distinction. Numerous beaches and various marinas, among them the celebrated pleasure boat harbor of Puerto Banus, provide the Costa del Sol with an exceptional infrastructure for all activities related to the sea. Tennis and golf also deserve special mention. Tennis for the quantity and quality of the facilities available, and golf, with over forty well-equipped golf courses within a radius of about a hundred kilometers, is in itself one of the biggest international attractions, as evidenced by the Ryder Cup ‘97 Championship that was held at Valderrama golf course in Sotogrande, Cádiz.
Regional cooking, shopping, entertainment, and special events are also important attractions on the Costa del Sol. Along with the specialities of the area, among which products from the sea play an outstanding role, one finds a wide variety of restaurants and cuisines, from the famed international establishments to the popular beachside leantos or “chiringuitos”, where you can sample freshly caught fish.
Department stores, specialized shops and sophisticated boutiques open their doors along the entire coast, offering the latest trends in apparel, gifts and handicrafts, while a world of dazzling lights and colors invades every corner when night approaches.
Nighttime on the Costa del Sol offers countless possibilities for entertainment, from dancing to drinks in a fashionable discotheque, typical flamenco music and dance, shows and attractions in theme parks or clubs, gambling at casinos, or simply sitting at an outdoor café by the seaside enjoying the Mediterranean breeze with the outline of the African coast in the distance.
The Costa del Sol, for the sheer magnitude of its resort complex, the variety of attractions, and the superb climate, is a unique destination where every visitor is able to choose among the myriad of options available with the certainty that reality will far surpass even the best expectations.