Everything you ever wanted to know about the Costa del Sol
Bathed in the waters of the Mediterranean Sea, the Costa del Sol has more than 150km of coastline in the province of Málaga. Its name refers to more than 325 days of sunshine per year, together with the good weather: its average temperature per year is 19 degrees! To find out more about the weather, check our infographics with the monthly weather statistics of the 18 biggest cities in Spain, of course, you will find Malaga. Its beautiful beaches make this place a paradise for anybody. This paradise was discovered in the 50s of the last century with the rise of international tourism, and since then it has become one of the preferred destination for foreigners: mainly British, Germans, Scandinavians and French.
That tourism is attracted by the “Maro” cliffs, the “Balcon de Europa” and the “Cave of Nerja”, the greatness of Málaga, the fame of Torremolinos, Marbella and Estepona among others and the tranquility of Casares, making the “Costa del Sol” an ideal place to enjoy the holidays or buy your dream retreat house since the possibilities in this area are endless.
In addition to that, a large percentage of accommodation options are concentrated in the western part of the Costa del Sol, which means that a large number of tourist services of all kinds are accumulated, such as mooring points for sports boats that are distributed in 13 marinas and yacht clubs, as well as golf courses and other sports facilities where you can practice sports of all kinds.
The tourist consecration of the Costa del Sol
In the 50s, celebrities like Grace Kelly, Marlon Brandon, Orson Welles, Frank Sinatra and Brigitte Bardot began arriving in Torremolinos and helped the area to gain international fame.
Torremolinos fame as a tourist destination made in the late 60s and early 70s nearby municipalities such as Fuengirola and Mijas also began to benefit from the tourism. In the 60s there was a radical change on the coast, with the emergence of new ports and hostels that remain in action until today.
The coastline of Mijas
Cities and transport
The principal city of the Costa del Sol are Malaga (more than half a million inhabitants), Nerja (21,000 inhabitants), Torremolinos (almost 70,000), Fuengirola (over 75,000 inhabitants), Mijas (over 75,000 inhabitants), Marbella (140.000 inhabitants), Estepona (66,000 inhabitants) and Casares (a little more than 5,000 inhabitants).
The Mediterranean Highway, the AP-7, crosses the area. From this highway, it is possible to reach other points of the Andalusian coast, as well as other destinations in Spain. In addition to the AP-7, there are other roads and highways connecting the different towns in the area. Most of them originated in Málaga, which is the main city and the capital of the Costa del Sol.
The railway station “Malaga-María Zambrano” connects the capital with other towns in the Costa del Sol via the commuter rail network. The fast train AVE unites Malaga with Madrid in two and a half hours. It is also possible to go to other capitals of Andalusia through the high-speed line, as well as there are daily services to Zaragoza and Barcelona. There are also long haul train services going to Albacete, Valencia with the final stop at the Catalan capital.
Concerning air transport, Malaga-Costa del Sol airport is the fourth in Spain in term of passengers. More than 50 airlines offer connections to more than 100 cities, most of them in Europe (the UK and Germany in the lead), but also some in North Africa, Middle East and North America (New York, Toronto and Montreal East ), in addition to flights to the main Spanish cities.
By sea, the Port of Malaga communicates with several ports of the Mediterranean Sea. This port is the second port of tourist cruises in Spain after Barcelona.
Leisure on the Costa del Sol
When you hear “Costa del Sol”, undoubtedly you will think of festivals, events and other celebrations. The Costa del Sol has a great attraction for all ages, and there are many things to do that will not leave anyone bored.
For golf lovers, the Costa del Sol is known as the Costa del Golf. It has the highest concentration of golf courses in Andalusia, Spain and Europe. Marbella is the leader of this classification with 21 fields. Other locations that have golf courses are Mijas (11), Estepona (10), Benahavís (6), Malaga (3). Some of the most popular golf parks are the Real Club de Golf Sotogrande, Alcaidesa, Añoreta Golf, Benalmádena Golf Club Padlock, Monte Paraiso Golf and La Quinta.
The Costa del Sol is also a perfect place to enjoy its waters. The main marinas in the area are Puerto Banús, Puerto Marina, Puerto de la Bajadilla, Puerto de Fuengirola, Puerto de La Caleta de Vélez, Puerto de Estepona, Puerto de Cabopino, Puerto de la Duquesa and Puerto Deportivo de Marbella.
The Costa del Sol also has two elite casinos with the most varied leisure offers in southern Spain. The first is the Torrequebrada Casino, located in Benalmádena. It is surrounded by golf courses, shopping areas and the Puerto Deportivo de Benalmádena. The second is the Casino de Marbella, located in the city that bears his name. It is known for hosting major poker tournaments.
On the Costa del Sol there are also activities for the whole family to enjoy. Some of the most popular theme parks are Selwo Aventura (Estepona), Tivoli World (Benalmádena) and Fuengirola Zoo (Fuengirola).
What are the main holidays-events of the Costa del Sol?
- Holy Week (March or April depending on the year): Thousands of people celebrate professions where religious emblems are worn.
- April Fair (between April and May): The cities are filled with traditional Andalusian stalls with all kinds of food, music and events.
- Feria de Málaga (August): The city dresses up to celebrate its festivities, where there are all kinds of activities and events, from food to music for all tastes.
- Marbella Carnival (January-February): Floats and people are evolving in the squares and major streets of Marbella to the sound of music.
Are you going for a city trip in Málaga?
Have a look at the monthly weather statistics for Málaga
An update on the real estate market on the Costa del Sol
Throughout 2017 there has been a real estate spike in the Costa del Sol that translates into a recovery in home sales. For example, in Málaga, the number of transactions has increased by 76%. In other municipalities such as Benalmádena or Fuengirola, the increase has been similar, while in Torremolinos the increase has been higher reaching almost 120%.
In addition to sales, prices per square meter have also increased between 5 and 10% depending on the locations. The price per square meters are very different depending on the cities you are looking for: for example, the price per square meter in Benalmádena is € 1,600 and Nerja is € 1,800. Top locations prices are more than € 3,000 on the promenades of Torremolinos and Mijas and up to € 6,000 in some area of Estepona.
The activity of foreign investors as improved a lot as well for the second homes markets. Buying nationalities are “British, Scandinavians, Belgians, Germans and French, ” as noted by Saskia Handberg Immobilien Malaga.
Check the real estate price evolution for Malaga and Spain since 1995
Are you looking for a local partner: Lawyer, property hunter on the Costa del Sol? Don’t look further check our team and ask us for the correct contact.
Costa del Sol Infographic information
- Airport: Málaga
- Ave stations: Málaga, Antequera
- Cities: Málaga (more than half a million inhabitants), Nerja (21,000 inhabitants), Torremolinos (almost 70,000), Fuengirola (over 75,000 inhabitants), Mijas (over 75,000 inhabitants), Marbella (140.000 inhabitants), Estepona (66,000 inhabitants) and Casares (a little more than 5,000 inhabitants).
- Unesco sites: Antequera Dolmens Site (2016), Find all the UNESCO Sites in Spain on our page: “10 reasons why you should buy in Spain”
- Top beaches: Playa de la Cala Mijas (La Cala de Mijas) Playa La Carihuela (Torremolinos) Playa El Bajondillo (Torremolinos) Burriana Beach (Nerja) Puerto Cabopino Beach and Marina (Marbella) Playa de La Malagueta (Malaga) Del Cristo Beach (Estepona) Playa de la Cala el Cañuelo (Nerja) Playa de San Pedro de Alcantara (San Pedro de Alcantara) Playa Los Alamos / El Canuelo (Torremolinos) Playa Arroyo de La Miel (Benalmadena)Carvajal Beach (Benalmadena)
- Kids Parks : Sould Park (Fuengirola), Tivoli World (Benalmádena), Aqualand Torremolinos (Torremolinos), Aquamijas (Mijas)
- Shopping Malls & Outlets: Valia centro commercial, Centro Comercial Rosaleda (Málaga), Centro Comercial Miramar (Fuengirola), La Cañada Centro Comercial (Marbella) Muelle Uno (Málaga), Larios Centro (Málaga), Factory Outlet Málaga (Málaga), El Corte Ingles (Málaga), El Corte Ingles (Marbella)
- Traditional & Flea markets: Mercado Central de Atarazanas (Malaga), Marbella Food Market (Marbella), Mercadillo de Marbella
- Top golf courses: the Real Club de Golf Sotogrande, Alcaidesa, Añoreta Golf, Benalmádena Golf Club Padlock, Monte Paraiso Golf and La Quinta.
- Natural Parks: Natural Park Alcornocales – Estrecho Natural Park – Doñana National Park -Montes de Málaga Natural Park – Sierras de Tejeda, Almijara y Alhama Natural Park – Sierra de Grazalema Natural Park – Paraje Natural Desfiladero de los Gaitanes -El Torcal De Antequera
- University: Universidad de Málaga (Málaga)
- Hospitals: Hospital Quirón de Marbella (Marbella), Hospital Estepona (Estepona), Hospital Dr. Gálvez, Complejo Hospitalario Integral Privado (Málaga)
Read further on the Costa del Sol and Spain
- TOURIST OFFICES:
- AIRPORTS: All the Spanish Airports and flights info on the official site of AENA
- TRAINS: Renfe website
- BEACHES: Where will you find the top beaches in Spain?
- GOLFS: Reread our Summer paper on the subject What are the top golf courses in Spain? Check the Spanish Federation here: Looking for a Golf Club in Spain?
- KIDS PARKS: Our selection of the Top parks for children in Spain
- MUST VISIT IN SPAIN: Our top 5 UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Spain, Find all the Unesco sites in Spain
Find all our other articles and maps on the Spanish Costas: