With swathes of beautiful coastline, a fantastic gastronomy scene and a rich melting pot of cultural and historical sights, there are endless things to do in Costa del Sol. Activities here range from adventurous treks across deep ravines and fun days out with the kids to languid strolls through idyllic Andalusian villages.
If you’re wondering how to fill your itinerary, here are our top picks of things to do in Costa del Sol for an adventure-filled holiday.
Visit The Alhambra
While away an afternoon marveling at The Alhambra, an Arabic fortress and ancient citadel of six awe-inspiring palaces that dates back to the 13th-century AD. Get your tickets early, as entry to this spectacular World Heritage Site is in high demand. Occupying the pretty city of Granada, it boasts beautiful landscaped gardens, once used to host royalty.
Get a soaking on a jet boat ride
One of the best things to do in Costa del Sol if you’re the type of family who likes a thrill, is to have a go on the jet boat rides. Adults and older children are all welcome to get their pulses racing with this high-adrenaline boat ride that promises 360-degree spins and high speeds across the water. It leaves from Marbella and treats you to fabulous views of the mountains and beaches.
Go wine tasting
Whether you’re with a group, travelling solo, or holidaying as a couple, wine tasting is a great way to socialise with locals and get under the skin of the Andalusian culture. Moscatel and other sweet, fortified wines are particularly popular here and Antigua Casa de Guardia in Malaga is one of the most authentic places to try it.
Kick back at a Marbella beach club
Marbella, or Marbs, as it’s also known, has fast become known as the chicest place to go in Costa del Sol, with glitzy Michelin-starred restaurants, high-end shopping and dazzling superyachts in the nearby Puerto Banús marina. Check out Mahiki Beach, Nikki Beach and Estrella del Mar – just a few of the best beach clubs in Marbella for enjoying cocktails, pool parties and kicking back on luxurious Balinese beds. Explore more of the best Costa del Sol beaches in our blog.
Explore Andalucia’s Pueblos Blancos
If you’re keen to escape the beach and see ‘the other side’ of the Spanish Costas, drive inland and explore the region’s glorious whitewashed villages, known as pueblos blancos. Orjen, Arriate, Frigliana and Cortes de la Frontera are just some of the must-visit hamlets, where authentic tapas bars, charming narrow streets and beautiful valley views await.
Explore the Pompidou
If modern art is more your thing, don’t miss the Pompidou Centre, a pop-up cultural venue dedicated to 20th-century art. It’s a fun place to explore with its colourful cuboid structure, occupying a prime position on Malaga port. Plus, with loads of lively film and dance events, interesting market stalls and children’s workshops held here, it’s a fantastic place to visit if you’re here with kids.
Hike the El Tajo Gorge in Ronda
You’ll probably recognise the Puente Nuevo as soon as you clock eyes on it. This breathtaking bridge is one of the most photographed bridges of its kind in Spain, which you can capture on camera yourself when you hike the spectacular El Tajo gorge. Carved into the landscape by the rio Guadalevín, you’ll reach the canyon via a cobbled footpath from Ronda’s Old Town.
Visit the museum of Pablo Picasso
If you’re interested in Andalucia’s native artist Pablo Picasso, one of the top things to do in Costa del Sol is visit The Museo Picasso Malaga. Housed in the 16th-century Buenavista Palace, this impressive venue pays homage to the great painter, with sketches, sculptures and paintings spanning his illustrious career.
Ride the Benalmadena cable car
For spectacular birds’ eye views of the Costa del Sol coastline – and on a clear day, even the tip of Africa – hop on the Teleférico Benalmadena, a cable car which takes you to the peak of Monte Calamorro, 769m above sea level. If you’re feeling fit, enjoy walking trails at the top, or even descend the peak on foot. If you’re looking for more family-friendly activities, combine it with a day exploring the Tivoli World theme park and SEALIFE centre of Benalmadena.
Enjoy a traditional Spanish fiesta
Time your Costa del Sol holiday right and you could experience one of Spain’s finest festivals. In August, Malaga hosts its annual Feria de dia (day fair) and Feria de noche (night fair), while in May, the town of Jerez hosts the Feria del Cabello. This traditional horse festival overflows with Andalusian food, lively celebrations and – yep, you guessed it – lots of horses. Plus, it’s one of ‘flamenco’s spiritual homes’, so you can expect lots of colourful dance performances.