Aside from Costa Blanca, Costa del Sol is quite possibly the most-visited of the 10 Spanish Costas. And when you revel in its fantastic beaches, family-friendly amenities and Mediterranean climate, you’ll see why.
Historically, Costa del Sol had a reputation as being a package holiday destination for thrifty holiday-makers. However, this glorious region now has a sophisticated side to it too, with sleek private villas, indulgent spas and a dazzling superyacht culture. Find out more in this Costa del Sol guide.
Best time to visit Costa del Sol
The summer season is the best time to visit Costa del Sol for warm weather, with temperatures approaching 30 degrees in the height of summer.
However, the Costa del Sol lives up to its nickname, the ‘Sun Coast’, enjoying more than 325 days of sunshine each year. So, consider visiting in Spring or Autumn when average temperatures can reach the low 20s. If you’re considering some winter sun, expect daytime temperatures to generally stay in double figures.
How to get there
Airlines such as Ryanair, easyjet, Jet2, TUI, Norwegian, British Airways, Aer Lingus and Flybe all fly direct from the UK to Málaga-Costa del Sol Airport. The flight time is 2.5 to 3 hours. You’ll find plenty of private transfers and car hire options in Málaga, as well as an excellent airport train that links to Downtown Malaga and various coastal resorts such as Fuengirola and Torremolinos. Málaga-Maria Zambrano railway station also boasts high-speed rail links to various Spanish cities.
Why visit Costa del Sol?
Playa del Cristo, Playa El Cañuela and Playa de la Calahonda are just some of the top beaches in Costa del Sol. And alongside these crowd-pleasing favourites, intrepid types will also uncover plenty of hidden bays, worshiped for their super-clear water and more local vibe.
For more top picks, check out our other Costa del Sol guide, all about the region’s best beaches.
Known for its mountainous terrain, white-washed villages and Moorish towns, the Costa del Sol countryside is a sight to behold. Our range of exclusive residences provide a tranquil home-from-home for enjoying Costa del Sol’s stunning rural backdrop.
Food and drink
From sizzling Gambas al Pil-Pil and delectable tapas to the syrupy Moscatel, foodies are in their element here. Don’t miss Malaga Gastronomy Festival – one of the hottest events on the calendar.
History and culture
Costa del Sol overflows with culture, and its Arab palaces, Flamenco music and Spanish festivals are only the start. Get a glimpse of yesteryear by visiting traditional towns such as Mijas or Estepona and see the magnificent palace and fortress of Alhambra.
With aquariums, water parks and world-class beaches, Costa del Sol has endless things to do with kids. The tranquil Butterfly Park of Benalmadena instantly captures children’s imaginations while Fuengirola plays home to a BioParc and breeding centre for endangered animals. Find more family-friendly attractions on our blog Things to do in Costa del Sol.
Visit Juzcar, the Spanish ‘Smurf Village’
One of the top things to do in Costa del Sol with kids is visit Juzcar. This tiny hamlet hosted the film premiere of the movie The Smurfs in 3D and every single building was painted in the cartoon’s distinctive shade of blue. Families with little ones will love exploring its murals, statues and giant mushrooms.
Go wine tasting at Bodega Morosanto
Head to the Cortijo Morosanto Farmhouse in La Cimada and enjoy some wine tasting at one of the oldest wineries in Andalucia. At Bodegas Morosanto, you’ll also explore Roman ruins and learn about the winemaking history.
Relax in a traditional Hammam
Relax your mind and body at The Hammam Al Ándalus, an authentic Arabian Hammam in Malaga’s historic centre. Bathe in thermal baths, enjoy a purification ritual and marvel at the building’s intricate Moorish interiors.
Where to visit
Once a neglected port, the Costa del Sol’s largest city of Malaga – and birthplace of the famed artist Pablo Picasso – has become a destination in itself. The Alcazaba, Roman amphitheatre and excellent restaurant scene are just some of the highlights.
Explore the great outdoors
Head inland from Nerja and discover the Sierras of Tejeda, Almijara and Alhama Natural Park. A 40,000-hectare expanse of caverns, caves and ravines, it’s renowned for its birdlife and towering limestone peaks such as the 2,000 metre-high La Maroma – a dream for hikers and climbers.
Hit the water
The Costa del Sol brims with opportunities to enjoy the Mediterranean waters. Go scuba diving with a PADI-certified diving school, enjoy the region’s excellent watersports facilities or simply float along on a luxurious catamaran and admire the wonderful Costa del Sol beaches.
Costa del Sol boasts some excellent golf courses – around 40 golf courses surround the city of Malaga alone. Autumn is a great time to book a golfing holiday when players can enjoy balmy temperatures and a cooling sea breeze.