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Costa del Sol Spain
Malaga airport – Costa del Sol
Pablo Ruiz Picasso is the Malaga airport serving the region of the Costa del Sol Spain. It’s the main international airport of Andalucía with access to Malaga city (8 kilometers), Torremolinos (4 kilometers), Benalmádena, Mijas, Fuengirola, Marbella, Puerto Banús & Estepona. The reformed Malaga airport is a glass structure with access to buses, taxis and train service from terminal 3 via the underground railway station. Aside from connecting main cities in Spain, trains depart to Malaga every half hour and also to Fuengirola. The costs is about 2€. Outside the arrivals lounge are buses that run from Malaga airport to Malaga city (7am to midnight) and cost about 1€. Taxis have a minimum fare (around 15€), so getting to Costa del Sol destinations can be expensive; to Fuengirola by taxi costs about 33€.
Costa del Sol weather
Average Costa del Sol weather is 15°C – 29°C with sunshine over 300 days a year. That explains why Cost del Sol holidays are popular year round. January, February & March are cool: 11°C – 14°C; April, May & June: 16°C – 22°C. The hottest Costa del Sol weather comes in July & August with averages of 24°C – 29°C. September & October remain good to plan Costa del Sol holidays because temperatures are 18°C – 22°C. November & December have highs of 12°C –14°C and lows of 8°C –10°C. July & August have minimal rainfall, so beach holidays are best during this time.
Costa del Sol map
Holiday areas of the Andalucia Costa del Sol are spread from Malaga to Estepona. When planning a trip, it may be difficult to decide where to spend the most time. For inspiration, take out a Costa del Sol map and follow the descriptions of Malaga, Torremolinos, Benalmádena, Mijas, Fuengirola, Marbella, Puerto Banús and Estepona.
- Malaga Costa del Sol
- Torremolinos Costa del Sol
- Benalmadena Costa del Sol
- Fuengirola Costa del Sol
- Marbella Costa del Sol
- Puerto Banus Costa del Sol
- Estepona Costa del Sol
Malaga, the city, is a starting point for holidays along the Malaga costa. It’s amongst the oldest cities in the world, with remnants of ancient Phoenician walls in the Picasso Museum basement. While Malaga province boasts several blue flag beaches, the city itself does not. If you’re going to be in Malaga city, consider touring the Museo Picasso, the Fine Arts & Archeology museum, Málaga Museum of Modern Art and the Museum of Wine, but leave beach partying to the smaller towns along the Malaga Costa del Sol.
Torremolinos Costa del Sol – ideal for beach lounging and laidback nightlife. Torremolinos beaches are joined by the Paseo Marítimo and includes Los Alamos (with Maracas Club right on the beach), Playamar (with lounge-bar nightclubs such as Maná and Lömbok Natural Beach Bar), Bajondillo (with a gay community at Beirola Beach and El Gato Lounge). Torremolinos is known for its gay community and the best gay beach along Spain’s Costa del Sol plus hot nightlife centered in La Nogalera. Other Torremolinos beaches inlcude La Carihuela, Montemar and El Saltillo. All the beaches along this section of the Andalucia Costa del Sol have foreign-run pubs and local chiringuitos (café-style bars right in the sand) with lounge chairs and seaside service. Amongst Costa del Sol Torremolinos nightlife hotspots is Atrévete Disco with four different dance halls including one that specializes in Latin rhythms.
Benalmadena Costa del Sol is about 22 kilometers from Malaga. It’s a place for beach party holidays, gambling at the Casino Hotel Torrequebrada, and upbeat nightlife. Unusual bars in Benalmadena Costa del Sol include Boals Ice Bar (-14°C and really made of ice), Celosia with a singular atmosphere, and nightclubs in the yacht-lined harbour. Good places for drinks and snacks at the Costa del Sol Benalmadena Puerto Deportivo include Kaleido and Maracas. Benalmadena costa has the Casino in Hotel Torrequebrada with slot machines, poker tables and events including flamenco shows.
Fuengirola Spain is an ancient town with Sohail Castle, a medieval fortress, situated above the modern center with 8 kilometers of beach and abundant nightlife. It’s about 32 kilometers from Malaga; a popular tourist destination due to having lots of affordable beachfront hotels along Paseo Marítimo Rey de España. Costa del Sol Fuengirola apartment hotels can be rented long-term; one example is Stella Maris Fuengirola Apartment Hotel. The town is relatively small but delivers sizzling nightlife at beachside clubs, bars, pubs and chiringuitos. Fuengirola has discos like Karbon Klub for hip-hop, R&B and House, Mai Tai for erotic shows and flamenco, and Lola’s Bar for lounge music, cocktails and views of the quaint Plaza de la Constitución. Fuengirola is also close to Mijas, where many Costa del Sol golf courses are situated.
Marbella Costa del Sol has the reputation as a “playground for the rich & famous”, especially due to its proximity to Puerto Banús with yachts, luxury shops and elite resorts, clubs, restaurants and glamorous nightlife venues. There are also the Costa del Sol Marbella golf courses including La Quinta and Marbella Golf Country Club, designed by Trent Jones, with views of the mountains and the Mediterranean sea.
Marbella Playa – Good beaches in the Marbella area include Playa La Adelfa, Los Monteros, La Bajadilla, Playa El Faro, Pinomar, El Ancón, El Pinillo, Las Cañas, Costa Bella Marbella, La Venus, El Alicate, Fontanilla, Las Chapas and Playa Nagueles. Costa del Sol Marbella playas include those in Puerto Banús since it’s part of the Marbella municipality. The top rated beaches are Las Chapas, Calahonda, Artola and Cabopino (a nudist beach), and for white sand, Playa Los Monteros.
Costa del Sol Marbella nightlife includes Buddha Marbella and Funky Buddha club, Marbella Casino adjacent the Andalucia Plaza Hotel as well as Vanity Nightclub on Camino De La Cruz, Nikki Beach on Calle de Cádiz, and the famous Olivia Valere.
Puerto Banus Costa del Sol is less than 10 kilometers from Marbella. It’s the area where yachts anchor and celebrities are spotted shopping for luxuries and relaxing at exclusive Puerto Banús resorts. In terms of quality Costa del Sol holiday venues, Banus has some of the best in Spain, as well as world-class restaurants like El Gran Gatsby situated in the Torre de Puerto Banús on Muelle Benabola. La Sala Group has restaurants, bars and clubs that are places “to be seen at” such as La Sala Restaurant, La Sala Beach and Aqua Mist nightclub. Puerto Banús is also home to the celebrated Linekers bars and nightlife venues such as Portside Lounge, Babilonia and the original Linekers sports bar.
Estepona is the most family oriented area of the Costa del Sol. The top places for Estepona Costa del Sol nightlife are located at the Puerto Deportivo de Estepona where you’ll find La Pepa Wine Bar with live jazz. The most popular resort hotel in Estepona is the Kempinski Hotel Bahia with seaside swimming pools, spa facilities, outdoor dinning and evening lounge bars.
Beaches in Costa del Sol
The top beaches in Costa del Sol (including blue flag beaches as of 2012) are:
- Málaga: El Candado; El Chanquete
- Vélez-Málaga: Benajarafe; Torre del Mar (blue flag beaches); Almayate; Chilches
- Rincón De La Victoria: Benagalbón Beach near Añoreta golf course
- Benalmádena: Malapesquera; Santa Ana; Carvajal; Torrevigia; Arroyo de la Miel / Bil- Bil (all blue flag)
- Fuengirola: El Ejido Beach
- Torrox: Ferrara blue flag beach; Calaceite Beach
- Algarrobo: Algarrobo Costa blue flag beach
- Marbella: Artola Cabopino; Costa Bella; Casablanca; Guadalmina; Pinillo (all blue flag beaches)
- Mijas: La Cala; Butibamba; Calahonda; Bombo; Butiplaya (all blue flag beaches)
- Puerto Banús: Río Verde blue flag beach
- Nerja: Burriana; Torrecilla; Maro; Playazo (all blue flag beaches)
- Casares: Ancha Beach (near Estepona)
- Estepona: El Cristo; El Padrón; La Rada (blue flag beaches); Arroyo las Cañas; Bahía Dorada
- Manilva: Sabinillas blue flan beach
Costa del Sol Nightlife
Which place offers the best Costa del Sol nightlife depends on your style. Here’s what the towns offer, from mild to wild Costa del Sol night life.
- Torremolinos nightlife: affordable with lots of bars & dance clubs. It’s one of the best places to find gay nightlife in Costa del Sol and has the main gay beach. Torremolinos is close to the Malaga airport; a good place to start a Cost del Sol clubbing circuit.
- Benalmádena nightlife: good for weekend clubbing & all-night dance parties. It’s one of the areas most loved for hen parties and stag dos. Benalmadena also has upscale nightlife at the Puerto Deportivo.
- Fuengirola nightlife: easily accessible by train; ideal for budget travelers. Fuengirola is a clubbers paradise and a vibrant place for summer beach parties. It’s perfect for soaking up sun, sipping cocktails on beachside loungers and clubbing.
- Marbella night life: upscale nightlife and trendy beach clubs on the Costa del Sol. Bars & restaurants are designed for those with discriminating tastes and unlimited budgets.
- Puerto Banús night life: exclusive Costa del Sol nightlife. Clubs have areas for VIP guests, offer live concerts, international shows & exclusive after-parties. Banús has Spain’s top clubbing venues that attract turntablists & DJs from around the world.
- Estepona nightlife: a low-key nightlife scene. Caters more to golfers seeking music lounges & wine bars and less to clubbers.
Costa del Sol restaurants
Costa del Sol restaurants include beachside chirigüitos, restored Andalusian houses, and chic contemporary dinning with fusion cuisine by distinguished chefs. Amongst the top places to eat along the Costa del Sol are:
- Benalmádena restaurants: Celosia: a quaint restaurant Costa del Sol can be very proud, situated in an old house in Arroyo de la Miel, Benalmádena. Two other top restaurants in Benalmadena include Restaurante La Fuente & Erase Una Vez.
- Marbella restaurants: Bijou Bar & Bistro and Nermans Restaurant Bistro Bar: two excellent little restaurants in Marbella. Costa del Sol visitors have rated another two places to be “the best” in Marbella, namely: Palacio de Babilonia (for being romantic) and Villa Tiberio (for excellent Italian fare) in a garden setting.
- Puerto Banús restaurants: El Gran Gatsby: an impressive place, rated as one of the best restaurants Costa del Sol has to offer; boasting a menu designed by Catalán chef Nandy Jubany. It’s situated on Muelle Benabola in Puerto Banús.