Places to visit on the Costa del Sol

Málaga

MÁLAGA - Explore the city ...

Malaga port


Explore Málaga, the city with so much to offer! It has beautiful beaches, fantastic shopping, a multitude of bars and restaurants and many cultural attractions from the cathedral to the varied and diverse museums. Where else can you find all of this in one city!

Shopping

The main marble paved shopping street in Málaga is Calle Larios which is situated just off the main tree lined avenue, the Alameda. There are other smaller streets and squares radiating off this which give the area a distinctive atmosphere of its own. With a mix of small trendy boutiques, designer shops, high street stores along with tapas bars and simple to chic upmarket restaurants surrounded with old carefully restored buildings it is a pleasure to take a stroll here and enjoy the area.

Eating & Drinking

Food and drink of every kind from the small tapas bars, "teterias" Moorish tea rooms, "chiringuitos" restaurants situated on the beachfront as well as restaurants of every quality through to those with Michelin stars. You will find them all in Málaga!

Calle Larios is a good place to start by branching out into the smaller streets around it. You will find many different kinds of bars and restaurants here to enjoy here. If you head to the beachfront in the El Palo area, situated a little further east along the coast, you will find many of the typical beach restaurants, the chiringuitos. These serve the fresh fish dishes typical of this area from the local delicacy of barbecued sardines (un espeto), alongside a myriad of fish choices and of course the wonderful, colourful paella! Everything tastes fresh and delicious and generally these restaurants are excellent value for money.

A very new area to the city is Muelle Uno which is situated in the port area. This is a contemporary complex of upmarket bars and restaurants situated along the waterfront with yet more shops and things to do ...

Málaga Cathedral

The Cathedral, is known as "La Manquita", the one armed woman because only one of the two towers originally planned were built. Construction began in 1528 but the building was not completed until 1782. The beautiful interior has Baroque and Renaissance styles along with beautiful mahogany and cedar wood choir stalls.

Malaga cathedral


The Alcazaba (The King's Palace)

This, the best preserved Moorish fortress in Spain, is the most important landmark in the city being built on the hillside overlooking the city, the port and the sea. It was originally built on the site of a Roman fort around 756AD as a defence against marauding pirates and was then later rebuilt starting in 1056 AD. Restoration work started in 1933 and is still ongoing today.

It is an interesting place to spend an afternoon where apart from the fortress, you may also visit the small Archaeological Museum, beautiful gardens with patios and fountains and Roman ruins.

Museums

Picasso Museum - This museum opened in 2003 and is housed in the 16th century Buenavista Palace (Palacio de Buena Vista). The Picasso exhibits date from his earliest works in 1892 right through to 1972. All of these exhibits have been donated by Picasso's family. It was always Picasso's dream that a museum would be opened in the city of his birth. Museum Picasso, C/San Augustin 8, 29015 Málaga.

Museo Casa Natal - Fundacion Picasso. The house where Pablo Picasso was born on 25 October 1881 is situated in the Plaza de la Merced, 15, Málaga.

The Carmen Thyssen Museum - This museum opened in 2011 in the 16th century palace, Palacio de Villalon. It is now home to around 230 permanent exhibits from the owners personal collection, of mainly Spanish works, amassed over many years. There are also additional temporary exhibitions throughout the year. Calle Compañia 10, 29008 Málaga.

Museo Automovilistico de Málaga - This museum was opened in 2010 in the old tobacco factory (Fabrica de Tabaccos) and houses a large vintage car collection reputed to be worth over 25 million Euros. Avenida Sor Teressa Prat 15, 29003 Málaga.

CAC Málaga - This modern art museum (Centro de Arte Contemporáneo), located in the Soho de Málaga, is situated in an old wholesale market which now makes a fabulous huge warehouse space in which to exhibit a collection of over 400 permanent exhibits which have been loaned by private collectors. There are also further temporary exhibitions, guest lectures, courses and workshops. Calle Alemania s/n, Málaga.

The Museum of Popular Arts & Customs - This small museum is located on the site of a former 17th century inn (Meson de la Victoria) and showcases the old customs and traditions of the local area. Pasilla de Santa Isabel 10, Málaga.

Benalmádena

Overview of Benalmádena

Puerto Marina


Covering an area of almost 30 km², and with an official 30,000 inhabitants, Benalmádena is just 15 km from Málaga Airport. It's easy to reach from both Málaga capital and the International Airport by car, train or bus and is located in a privileged position overlooking the Mediterranean Sea. It is little wonder that it has grown so rapidly in size over the last 20 years and become so popular - especially with the British. The city of Málaga is about 18 km to the west with Marbella being around 40 km to the East. It is always lively, but the busiest time of year is during the hot summer months, when holidaymakers swell the population by more than triple - up to 100,000 people.

This area offers an ideal destination being just a two and half hour flight away from the United Kingdom with a comfortable year round climate (minimum temperatures of 10° C and a summer maximum of 38° C) with the light sea breezes.

Benalmádena Costa is home to the majority of the areas attractions, the foremost of which are the golden sandy beaches along the Mediterranean Sea. There are a wide range of restaurants and bars here to suit every taste and pocket. The whole area retains a relaxed friendly atmosphere all year round. With such a wide and varied array of activities and things to do any visitor will be hard pressed to find a moment of boredom when visiting Benalmádena, a town which is truly more than just a resort.

Benalmádena is split into three very distinct areas:

Benalmádena Pueblo (The old village)

Despite the influx of foreigners, the Pueblo has managed to maintain a certain degree of decorum in the midst of the massive amounts of building works and construction developments that now surround it, where as not so long ago it was rough countryside. Benalmádena Pueblo is the original village, set back from the coast at the foot of Mount Calamorro. The heart of the village still retains a traditional Spanish appearance with white-washed stone houses and labyrinth alleys all resplendent with a riot of colour from the numerous flowering plants which makes for a very pleasant stroll to enjoy this typically Spanish atmosphere. The village now has a much more cosmopolitan feel and visitors can enjoy fine dining in picturesque squares as well as enjoying the typical "tapas" all with backdrop of awe-inspiring views of the coast and across the sea.

Arroyo de la Miel

Arroyo de la Miel translates to Stream of Honey and was formerly a sleepy village but has turned into a small but bustling commercial town situated between Benalmádena Pueblo and the Costa. Arroyo de la Miel has grown rapidly, mostly due to the train station which offers an excellent service running to Fuengirola and Málaga including a direct link to the airport, as well as having excellent road connections. It has grown over the years into a fantastic area for enjoying a leisurely coffee, finding the myriad of "tapas" bars, enjoying an excellent meal or shopping to your hearts content. The popular local market is held here each Friday offering a vast array of things to buy!

There is a cable car station situated close to the train station and Tivoli World. The cable cars will then take you up to the top of the mountain that overlooks Benalmádena where you can enjoy the breathtaking panoramic views inland and out to sea where North Africa is visible on clear days.

Benalmádena Costa

This coastal area is where the majority of the hotels are situated with beautiful beaches, fantastic nightlife and the award winning Puerto Marina with a multitude of fabulous restaurants along with the Sea Life Aquarium.

Benalmadena beach


Places to visit:

Puerto Marina - Benalmádena promenade stretches along the coast to the Puerto Marina (Marine Port), which boasts excellent shopping and dining. The Marina is also home to The Sea Life Centre, home to all manners of marine wild life, and has its own petting tank where you can get personal with the Rays.

You can take a stroll around to look at the floating hotels and millionaire's yachts and when the sun goes down Puerto Marina becomes one of the coasts best party destinations.

La Paloma Park - La Paloma Park is a gorgeous location in the centre of Benalmádena Costa. There is a stunning array of flora and fauna, plus a menagerie of animals including hens, rabbits, goats and exotic birds. There are also a couple of lovely children's play areas for those with young children. The park is beautifully landscaped with themed gardens and rocky waterfalls, which run down to the lake. There are three bars within the park where you can take a break and enjoy a coffee or bite to eat from morning until well into the evening.

Selwo Marina - Selwo Marina is situated next to Paloma Park and is a fabulous day out for those with children or the very young at heart! With dolphin, sea lion and exotic bird displays, penguins, giant turtles and monkeys and lots more. There is also a small children's park and food outlets so it is a great way to enjoy a day and keep the children amused and happy.

Tivoli World - Opposite the cable car station you will find Tivoli World a theme park of many diversions. Aside from its multitude of rides and games there are bars and restaurants aplenty so there is always something to do if you don't like the look of the log flume or go-karts. There are also daily shows normally with local artists and dance schools.

Golf - Near Benalmádena you can play golf and like most golfers you might want to stay close to a golf course!

Sunset Beach Club Resort offers an onsite Golf and Leisure desk to help you organize courses and tee times. The experienced hotel staff and dedicated golf coordinator will be pleased to assist you before your visit or whilst you are here by booking your tee-times, car hire, club hire, golf competitions, excursions, and anything else you may require to ensure that your holiday on the Costa del Sol is a success!

Climate

Benalmádena enjoys a sub-tropical Mediterranean climate, with hot summers and warm winters. Cooling breezes from the sea make the summer heat manageable and the temperatures are an average of 32 °C in summer and 18 °C in winter.

Beaches in Benalmádena - Benalmádena is a great choice for people looking for that perfect beach holiday. It is ideally located on the Costa del Sol and offers many different kinds of beaches to choose from. The majority offer ample facilities, with showers, sunbeds, water-sports and are often located close to restaurants and other amenities.

Fuengirola

Fuengirola, in old times known as Suhayl, is a large town on the Costa del Sol in the province of Málaga in southern Spain.

In the 1960's Fuengirola started to become a main and important tourist centre. Fuengirola has approximately 70,000 registered inhabitants with 25% of the population coming from mainly other European countries.

Located just 25km from Málaga International Airport and approximately 25 minutes away by car makes Fuengirola one of the most popular destinations on the Costa del Sol. You can easily access Fuengirola by car, train or bus.

Fuengirola beach


Previously, a small fishing village, Fuengirola has become a vibrant and cosmopolitan town with character. The many up-market tapa's bars, nice cafes, gourmet restaurants and the typical fried fish beach restaurants, mixed with elegant shops, boutiques and souvenirs shops, as well as the fabulous beaches. With more than 8 km of beaches and an exceptional Paseo Marítimo (seafront promenade) Fuengirola makes the perfect holiday destination any time of the year. Fuengirola's seafront promenade is the longest promenade in the Costa del Sol. In 2009, Fuengirola became the only town on the Costa del Sol with 100% of its beaches awarded the coveted blue flags.

There are 6 main beaches in Fuengirola: Carvajal, Torreblanca, Las Gaviotas, Los Boliches, San Francisco and Santa Amalia.

The Marina (Fuengirola Port)

Located in the heart of the Paseo Marítimo, (seafront promenade) you feel the ambiance of the ancient fishing Port with cosy cafes with terraces and many nice restaurants. The marina offers the possibility of going on cruises to watch dolphins or to try out all manner of nautical sports, scuba diving, sports fishing, etc ... Even though it's not of the same high standard as Puerto Banús Marina in Marbella, it's still a very relaxing place to watch the fishing boats head out to sea.

If you're travelling with kids, they'll surely appreciate a visit to the Fuengirola Zoo. This small Zoo is famous for hosting a natural environment for all of its animals. Bioparc Fuengirola is a great place to spend a day enjoying a whole host of animals from tigers, leopards and orang utans to the crocodiles, snakes and hippos! There are shows during the course of the day with displays of birds, otters and boar to name a few, along with entrance to the natural habitat of the fabulous lemurs where you see them in situ. The kids will love them! You are so close you can virtually touch them!

Every Tuesday, the Fuengirola Market (Mercadillo) takes place in the town's fairground and opens early in the morning until around 3pm. This is actually one of the biggest markets on the Costa del Sol selling a whole variety of produce from clothing, handbags and shoes to fruit and vegetables.

Climate

The weather in Fuengirola is excellent!

Fuengirola enjoys a sub-tropical Mediterranean climate, with hot summers and warm winters. Cooling breezes from the sea make the summer heat bearable and the temperatures are an average of 32 °C in summer and 18 °C in winter. Rarely does the sun stop shining!

Marbella

Marbella really needs no introduction as it is known worldwide as a beautiful tourist destination and a popular haven of the rich and famous celebrities who choose to holiday here. This sophisticated resort is nestled on the wonderful Mediterranean Sea and has over 26kms of beautiful beaches as well as stunning views back over the mountains of the Sierra Blanca. With its great year round climate, fantastic golf courses in the immediate vicinity, great shopping opportunities, excellent gastronomy including Michelin starred restaurants and fabulous nightlife there is something here for everybody! A great holiday destination and yet it is just a 40 minute drive from Málaga airport!

Marbella Beaches

Marbella beach


The Marbella coastline stretching from Cabopino through to San Pedro de Alcantara has a variety of beaches to cater for everybody. The stretches of beach in Puerto Banús, Rio Verde, El Ancon and Nägueles all have great facilities on offer with plenty of parking, beach bars, chiriginguitos, world-famous beach clubs and water sports. There's something here for everybody whether you just want to chill out and relax on the sand in the sun, take a paddle or swim, try out a new water sport, enjoy the wide variety of gastronomy on offer including the local fresh fish, appreciate the views out over the Mediterrean with a quiet sangria or cocktail or if you just want to party the day and night away choose one of the many exclusive beach clubs on offer! You cannot fail to enjoy yourself!

Marbella Promenade & Ports

This lovely landscaped sea front promenade (Paseo Maritimo) with its beautiful palm trees, shrubs and flowers is a beautiful place to enjoy a stroll and appreciate views out to sea along its entire length. If you prefer to opt for a walk rather than a stroll you can walk through to Puerto Banús which is around 6km! You can stop off and enjoy a drink or meal at one of the many bars and restaurants, drop into the one of the many gift shops or check out the Plaza del Mar shopping complex.

There are two ports, the most famous one being Puerto Banús, which is home for many of the luxury yachts of belonging to many of their rich and famous owners. A great place to while away the afternoon and people watch from one of the many bars and restaurants or if you prefer to shop until you drop you can call in at all of the luxury boutiques on offer. The second port, the Puerto Deportivo, is situated in the middle of the town and this really caters for sporting activites and of course fishing.

Marbella old town

Marbella bridge


The old town is a charming and quaint area and you will always find it humming with life whatever time of day or night you choose to visit. From its narrow streets with beautiful old buildings and typical Spanish homes to the well known Plaza de los Naranjos (Orange Square). This beautiful square dates back to 1604 and houses the original town hall which was built in 1572 alongside a myriad of tropical plants and trees. The ambience here is great, so make sure you take time to stop for a coffee or meal as there are a great variety of traditional Spanish, international restaurants and cosy bistros to enjoy. The shopping in the old town is great too from the small shops, art galleries and boutiques including all of the famous designer names such as Gucci, Boss, Escada and Versace to name a few!

Marbella Shopping

El Corte Inglés is the largest department store chain in Spain and has a store located in Puerto Banus. The goods on offer include everything from luxury designer brand clothing, perfumes and cosmetics, books, music, dvds, furniture, groceries, portable and household electrical appliances through to cars! Anything you need to buy you will find here!

The shopping centre La Cañada is situated just off the CN340 at the junction for Ojén out of the city centre. This is one of the largest shopping complexes on the coast and contains over 150 shops. The local weekly street market (Mercadillo) takes place every Monday from 9-2 pm at the fair site (Las Albarizas area). Goods on offer here vary from clothes, leather goods, souvenirs right through to the very freshest of locally produced fruit and vegetables.

Mijas

Mijas Village

Mijas Pueblo

Nestled in the mountains at 428 meters above sea level, Mijas Pueblo is a charming little village that is cherished along the Costa del Sol by tourists and locals alike. Featuring narrow cobbled streets and beautiful white washed houses, Mijas Pueblo is a typically picturesque Andalucían mountain village that clings to the hillside and emerges from the pine trees, offering panoramic views of the Costa del Sol below. This is one of the most renowned "white" villages in all of Andalucia and has managed to retain its old Spanish character.

Shopping

Mijas is a thriving hub of traditional Spanish arts and crafts and has one of the largest collections of shops dedicated to traditional hand-crafted objects on the Costa del Sol. The squares and streets are lined with a variety of shops selling unique ceramics, leathers, jewellery, paintings, linen and wicker items.

Eating and drinking

Mijas Pueblo has a rich culinary tradition and offers a variety of charming tapas bars, cafes and restaurants nestled along the cobble-stoned streets of the village, with plenty of sitting areas outside, characteristically dotted along steep streets and secret outside gardens.

Main attractions

Donkey Taxis were originally used to transport workers to and from the fields and have also since become a unique experience for visitors who often come to take a trip around the village. You have the choice between a donkey ride, donkey pulled carts or even horse drawn carriages.

Carved out of the rock by the Mercedarian Order in 1548, the shrine dedicated to the Patroness of Mijas is a comprised of a nave and two aisles and features a remarkable coffered ceiling and a belfry tower.

The village is also home to three chapels, San Sebastian, Nuestra Señora de los Remedios built in the eighteenth-century and San Anton which was built in the nineteenth century by a group of sailors who were spared from a shipwreck and built the monument as a token of their gratitude.

The Mijas Bullring was inaugurated in 1900 and is an oval-shaped arena set within a square building elevated on a rock. The bullring has hosted some of the best bull-fighters in the world who are commemorated in tiles along the walls.

Mijas - Coastal View

The "Muralla Gardens" is a beautiful park located next to the bullring and is a great view point to enjoy the scenery of both the coast and village.

Mijas is home to six hiking routes that suit a variety of skill levels allowing visitors to explore the beautiful surrounding natural areas of the region that offer marvelous views of the Mediterranean below.

Museums

El Carromato de Max (Max's Wagon) is located in a caravan and exhibits curiously unique miniatures from 50 countries.

The Town House Museum is home to the ethnographic collection of Mijas and displays trades and objects of bygone eras revealing the rich cultural history of the region.

The Mijas Bullfighting Museum invites the viewer into the history and art of bulls and matadors.

Sierra Nevada

Skiing Spain


The Costa del Sol frequented by visitors for its beautiful beaches and its many hours of sunshine are often stunned to find that in less than a couple of hours they can reach the resort area of Sierra Nevada, just 32 km from Granada, to ski, sledge, snowboard or just enjoy the stunning mountain scenery. It is a great place for the experienced and novices alike and everybody is well catered for with around 2,500 hectares of snow. This is the southernmost ski resort in Europe as well as being one of the finest winter resort areas in all of Spain with the Mulhacén peak being the highest point of the Iberian peninsula.

This is a lovely, stunning area of natural beauty and is a wonderland for all snow lovers with the high altitude almost guaranteeing excellent quality, plentiful snow all winter. Equipment can be rented if required and private or group ski or snowboard lessons are available too. As well as day to day activities there are many different competitions hosted here which have made this region a very well renowned destination with the international community. All slopes are colour coded so it is easy to locate the ones that are suitable for your ability: Green, easy for beginners - Blue, easy - Red, difficult - Black, extremely difficult and only for experts!

There are numerous bars and restaurants catering from just a quick drink and tapa right through to excellent quality cuisine after a day enjoying the snow or for those who prefer just to sit and relax and take in the atmosphere.

For those wishing to spend more than a day here there are a wide range of hotels, apartments and youth hostels to suit every pocket allowing you to enjoy the lively "après ski" night scene with drinks, discos and concerts.

Torremolinos

Torremolinos is a busy resort area popular with tourists of all nationalities because of it's stunning beaches and great year round climate. Situated just 12km from the city of Málaga and just 6km from Málaga airport makes this an ideal resort area to travel to by plane or train. Years ago this was just a small fishing village but it grew in popularity and then during the 1960's turned into one of the most popular holiday destinations in Andalucia. At different times of the year there is something here for everyone, but the two constants are the glorious sunshine and the stunning beaches on this part of the coast. That is why the tourists return year after year to this area.

Climate

Torremolinos beach


The weather in Torremolinos is excellent! Torremolinos enjoys a sub-tropical Mediterranean climate, with hot summers and warm winters. Cooling breezes from the sea make the summer heat manageable and the temperatures are an average of 33 °C in summer and 19 °C in winter. Rarely does the sun stop shining!

What is there to do?

There are more things to do in Torremolinos than you can possibly imagine! Torremolinos offers its visitors a variety of things to do from being able to enjoy a relaxing beach holiday, the ability of being able to swim and sunbathe practically all year round, to a multitude of sports including golf, as well as the opportunity to try out as many restaurants as possible to experience Málaga's traditional fried fish dishes known as "pescaíto frito".

Beautiful Beaches

Many of the hotels and apartment complexes are situated on or close to the fabulous beaches on this part of the coast: Bajondillo, La Carihuela, Los Alamos and Playamar. These beautiful sandy beaches total around 10 km and have a promenade running the entire length right through to the Marina in Benalmádena making this a popular choice for those who enjoy to walk, jog, run, swim or just enjoy some time in the sun!

Town Centre

Calle San Miguel is a lovely pedestrian shopping street with lots of small shops, bars and restaurants. It is a great place to buy your souvenirs, have lunch or just have a coffee and people watch. You can then take the steep steps at the end of the street down to the El Bajondillo area and the beach or wander into the surrounding streets and plazas leading from it.

Night Life

Torremolinos, Malaga cuisine


Torremolinos is full of discos and nightlife if that is your passion! The clubs are open until sunrise in the summer so if you like to party 24/7 this is the place for you. If you are not a party person and prefer it a bit quieter head for La Carihuela with its many tapas bars and sea-food restaurants (Chiringuitos) to enjoy a pleasant evening by the sea. Take a stroll around the old fishing village of La Carihuela. It has a distinctive old world feel with its original picturesque cottages with bouganville clad patios giving you a feel of what the area was like many years ago when it was just a village before the influx of tourists.

El Calvario

This area is located to the north side of the main road on the edge of Torremolinos so is not so well known to tourists. It offers a quieter local area giving the ambience of a small village with all of the little streets with bars and small shops. This will appeal for those wishing to be away from the busy main centre to just relax and experience a slower pace of life.