The Costa del Sol or “Sun Coast” is a popular strip of coastline and part of the Málaga Province. This tourist hot spot lies on the southern coast of Spain.
This part of Spain is rich in history and culture with a Roman and Arab influence still visible in many areas. There have been many discoveries of Roman remains here over the decades. Some of the ancient buildings of that era have undergone restoration for the rest of the world to appreciate.
The Costa del Sol, Southern Spain
Much of the south of Spain was under Muslim Arab rule for over 750 years. This particular area has retained a lot of that culture and in some ways integrated it. There are many well preserved Arab buildings all along the southern coastline. Some have the reputation of being among the best tourist attractions in Spain. A few examples would be the Alcazaba in Malaga and La Alambra in Granada.
The Costa del Sol is popular for the great beaches and nightlife but it’s also the tapas capital of mainland Spain.
Leading Resorts & Popular Places
The southern coastline of Spain is home to many of the top holiday resorts in the whole of the country. It’s also well known for having some of the best weather in the Spanish mainland. The main resorts on the Costa del Sol include the cities Marbella and Málaga. Some of the leading towns are Torremolinos, Benalmadena, Fuengirola, Mijas and Estepona.
Málaga: The Capital Of The Costa del Sol
Málaga is the capital city of the Costa del Sol and also one of the 8 provinces of Andalucia in southern Spain. According to history this is one of the oldest cities in the world with it’s known roots tracing back some 2800 years. In modern history, Málaga has been the birthplace for many famous people. Antonio Banderas and the acclaimed painter and sculptor Pablo Picasso were born here.
From a tourism point of view, there are plenty of reasons to pay a visit to Málaga. This is the biggest of the southernmost cities in Europe. Here you will find the beautiful golden sandy beaches that the south of Spain is famous for. These beaches include Playa de la Caleta, Playa de la Malagueta and Las Acacias.
The city of Málaga has many museums that display the rich history and culture here. History dating back thousands of years. Two of the most historic structures include the Alcazaba and the Roman Theatre.
The population of Marbella is the second largest of the Costa del Sol. This city also attracts more visitors than Málaga each year. Marbella is truly beautiful and boasts picturesque scenery along the southern coastline.
Here there are several mountain ranges which make the beaches seem more idyllic. The Sierra Blanca mountain range and it’s three peaks are a good example of this. These peaks are called Mount Lastonar, La Concha and Juanar Cross. All three keep a watchful eye on Marbella from the heavens.
Here you will also find over 20 excellent sandy beaches to enjoy. Playa El Alicate, Playa El Cable and Playa Hermosa are a few worth checking out.
Interactive Map & Coastline
Below is the map of the main areas of the Costa del Sol. This coastline covers a distance of 150 km and contains some of the top beaches in Spain.
Like most of the top tourist locations on the Costa del Sol, Fuengirola saw major re-development in the 1960’s. This town is now home to over 75,000 permanent inhabitants. According to the known registered inhabitants list. More than 25% of the population is British, Irish and Scandinavian permanent residents. this figure swells with tourism in the summer months.
The origins of this town dates back more than 2000 years to Phoenician and Roman times. Most of the southern coastline of Spain was under Moorish from the 8th – 15th Century. This added a strong Arab influence to it’s Roman and Phoenician origins. Fuengirola lies around 30 km’s east of the city of Marbella. 15 km west of the popular town of Benalmádena, Mijas is 7 km’s north of here.
The picturesque village of Mijas is set high up on the mountainside, some 430 metres above sea level. The village is particularly striking due to it’s whitewashed walls and houses. These stand out against the surrounding mountains.
Mijas Pueblo lies to the north of Fuengirola. The towns of Benalmadena and Torremolinos are to the east
This small village has a population of around 7,500 permanent inhabitants all year round. These numbers swell during the summer with tourism. The beautiful cobbled streets and mountains speak volumes of the traditional Andalucian culture.
Although not part of the Costa del Sol, many associate the town of Nerja as part of this Spanish costa. This town lies to the east where their are some beautiful sites and ancient caves. The Balcony of Europe or Balcón de Europa offers amazing views of the surrounding mountains. You may also wish to check out the amazing white village of Frigiliana.
More Super Costa del Sol Resorts
Benalmádena is another super town on the Costa del Sol which boast some of the best beaches. Playa de la Carihuela is one such beach which stretches for 2 km from Benalmádena to Torremolinos.
Benalmádena covers an area of 27 km and has 65,000 people living here full time. This town is another whose population has been growing in recent times. This area has great beaches but also it´s fair share of super attractions. Tivoli World, Butterfly Park and Jardin de las Aguilas are the pick.
Built to be a luxury marina and shopping complex, Puerto Banús welcomes over 5 million visitors each year. Aimed at the rich and famous, here there are many expensive bars and restaurants. This exclusive area also boasts top hotels and trendy shopping malls.
The marina is the location for some of the worlds most luxurious yachts. The streets around the marina are usually full of expensive super cars. In fact, the streets of Puerto Banús in summer look more like a car dealership. The top car makers showcase their super cars hoping to catch the eye of the rich and famous.