5 Reasons (besides the beach) to Visit the Costa del Sol

Spain’s Costa del Sol has more to offer than just great beaches. There are lots of reasons to make this your next holiday destination!

The Costa del Sol has long been a vacation destination for Spaniards and Europeans alike. With easy access by train, plane, car or cruise ship, it’s the perfect spot for a little getaway any time of year. However up until recently, the majority of these vacationers have come in search of one thing only: the beaches. While it’s true that the Costa del Sol has some lovely beaches and places for fun in the sun, we can think of several more reasons you might want to think of making a stop on the Costa del Sol for your next vacation.

The Gastronomy

When you visit the Costa del Sol there is a little bit of everything in terms of restaurants. After all, it is a prime vacation destination, so there are plenty of fusion and international restaurants. What makes the Costa del Sol special as a foodie destination, however, is the local gastronomy. You can enjoy food tours in Málaga, visit vineyards in the mountains of Ronda, stop by local markets and try delicious bites at the fried fish restaurants along the coast. There are more and more Michelin star quality restaurants popping up along the Costa del Sol that you can’t afford to miss. This is a region with top quality products and the culinary world is definitely starting to take note.

The History

Málaga is one of the oldest cities in the world dating back 3,000 years to the time of the Phoenicians. Later came the Greeks, Romans, Visigoths, Moors and Christians. Needless to say each group made their mark and Málaga is still one of the most cosmopolitan cities in terms of welcoming visitors. As you visit the Costa del Sol there are small towns tucked into the mountains that were originally founded by the Moors. The architecture, castles and city walls all bear witness to the impressive past of the region, making it much more than a run of the mill beach destination.

Small Town Andalusian Charm

One of the best parts of the Costa del Sol, in our opinion, are the little towns tucked up into the mountains. The white painted houses dot the hills looking out over the mountains and sea in the distance. One of our favorite white towns to visit is Mijas, found in the mountains near Fuengirola. This little town is bursting with charm, beautiful views and tradition. Spending a day in one of the small white towns along the Costa del Sol gives you a real Andalusian experience far removed from the beach and touristy shops.

The Arts

Málaga itself boasts over 20 museums, the most famous among them being the Picasso Museum, the Pompidou and the Carmen Thyssen Museum. However there are museums for every taste in Málaga including the Wine Museum and the Automobile Museum. In general, the Costa del Sol has a very vibrant arts community. There are regular concerts in many of the towns along the coast, as well as many smaller art galleries both Spanish and expat owned. During the summer there are multiple outdoor festivals where people can enjoy the good weather and the sea breeze while listening to music or taking in a play.

An Active Getaway

If you are looking for a way to stay active on your getaway, the Costa del Sol is the perfect choice. With many top notch golf resorts, horseback riding, kayaking and hiking trails you’d be hard pressed to find a better place to get outside and stay fit. We recommend spending a day in nature when visiting the Costa del Sol because it truly gives you a different perspective of just how much this area in the South of Spain can offer. The landscape is breathtaking and the weather is nearly always mild and sunny. What more could you ask for?

Getting there:

The Costa del Sol is easily accessible by plane with Málaga’s international airport connected by light rail train to both the city center and small towns along the coast including Benalmádena and Fuengirola. The AVE bullet train also takes you directly into the center of Málaga where you can find connecting buses and trains to various destinations on the coast. Or if you prefer to enjoy the coast from the sea, you can enjoy a cruise along the Costa del Sol.

From flamenco shows to delicious tapas to white villages and beautiful beaches, everyone is sure to find something they love along the Costa del Sol. This area is completely different from Madrid, Barcelona or even nearby Seville. As one of the top destinations along the Mediterranean for those who love cruises, there is something about the Costa del Sol that has people coming back again and again. Have you ever been to the Costa del Sol? What would you add to our list?

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Abby Roule
I was born and raised in Pennsylvania, USA. I've lived in Reading and Pittsburgh (PA), in New York City for 6 years and in Spain for 5 years (in Madrid, Sevilla, Barcelona, and now Málaga). I designed Rusko!
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