All the reasons we think you should visit Costa del Sol Spain for your next beach holiday! If Southern Spain is on your travel wish list, we’ve pulled together 10 reasons to include the gorgeous Costa del Sol on your itinerary. From year-round sunshine to a wealth of things to do, great food, well-equipped beaches, and plenty of day trips, Costa del Sol is perfect for families, couples, and friends.
(This is a guest post by Silke of Happiness and Things)
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The South of Spain is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Europe. With famous seaside resorts like Marbella, Fuengirola, Torremolinos, and Almuñecar, plenty of things to see and do, and – of course – seemingly endless sunshine, Costa del Sol is a great choice for your next Spain holiday.
After one year of living along the Costa del Sol, I’m not surprised it’s one of the most popular places to visit in Spain – it has a lot going for it! Here is why I think you should consider this part of Spain for your next holiday.
01. Sunshine and Warmth: Costa del Sol Weather is Great Year-Round
With more than 3,000 hours of sunshine per year, Andalusia is one of the sunniest regions in Europe. What makes the Costa del Sol so special compared to other areas in Andalusia is its location on the Mediterranean Sea, which contributes to a more temperate climate.
While inner cities in the south of Spain such as Cordoba and Seville are baking in the extreme heat, temperatures along the Mediterranean Coast are still manageable. And of course, there’s always the option of hitting the beach to cool down!
The averages below are for Malaga, and are sourced from Holiday Weather.
- Costa del Sol Weather in January: Pack for average highs of 17°C (63°F) and lows of 7°C (45°F). January averages 69 mm (2.7 inches) of rain throughout the month, with only 6 days of rain, and you can expect 5 hours of sunshine per day!
- Costa del Sol Weather in February: Pack for average highs of 18°C (64°F) and lows of 8°C (46°F). February averages 60 mm (2.4 inches) of rain throughout the month, with only 5 days of rain, and you can expect around 7 hours of sunshine per day!
- Costa del Sol Weather in March: Pack for average highs of 20°C (68°F) and lows of 10°C (50°F). March averages 52 mm (2 inches) of rain throughout the month, with 4 days of rain, and you can expect around 8 hours of sunshine per day!
- Costa del Sol Weather in April: Pack for average highs of 21°C (70°F) and lows of 11°C (52°F). April averages 44 mm (1.57 inches) of rain throughout the month, with 5 days of rain, and you can expect around 9 hours of sunshine per day!
- Costa del Sol Weather in May: Pack for average highs of 24°C (75°F) and lows of 14°C (57°F). May averages 20 mm (0.8 inches) of rain throughout the month, with 3 days of rain, and you can expect around 8 hours of sunshine per day!
- Costa del Sol Weather in June: Pack for average highs of 28°C (82°F) and lows of 18°C (64°F). June averages 6 mm (0.2 inches) of rain throughout the month, with only 1 day of rain, and you can expect around 10 hours of sunshine per day!
- Costa del Sol Weather in July: Pack for average highs of 31°C (88°F) and lows of 21°C (70°F). July is the driest month in Malaga, and generally there isn’t any rain. You can expect around 11 hours of sunshine per day!
- Costa del Sol Weather in August: Pack for average highs of 31°C (88°F) and lows of 21°C (70°F). August averages 6 mm (0.2 inches) of rain throughout the month, with only 1 day of rain, and you can expect around 10 hours of sunshine per day!
- Costa del Sol Weather in September: Pack for average highs of 28°C (82°F) and lows of 21°C (70°F). September averages 20 mm (0.8 inches) of rain throughout the month, with 2 days of rain, and you can expect around 8 hours of sunshine per day!
- Costa del Sol Weather in October: Pack for average highs of 24°C (75°F) and lows of 15°C (59°F). October averages 57 mm (2.2 inches) of rain throughout the month, with 4 days of rain, and you can expect around 7 hours of sunshine per day!
- Costa del Sol Weather in November: Pack for average highs of 20°C (68°F) and lows of 11°C (52°F). November averages 101 mm (4 inches) of rain throughout the month, with 6 days of rain, and you can expect around 6 hours of sunshine per day!
- Costa del Sol Weather in December: Pack for average highs of 18°C (64°F) and lows of 9°C (48°F). December averages 100 mm (3.9 inches), with 7 days of rain, and you can expect around 5 hours of sunshine per day!
02. Costa del Sol Beaches: Well-Equipped and Family Friendly
While they may not be the prettiest beaches in Spain, there are still a lot to choose from, and comparatively speaking, they are certainly not ugly! You won’t find deserted spots behind high dunes or secluded coves on the Costa del Sol, but you will find beaches that are exceptionally well-equipped, with toilets and beach bars, sun lounges for rent, and shops nearby. There are even massage parlours and seasonal water parks for kids.
If you are looking for an easy holiday destination for your family, the Costa del Sol is a pretty awesome option.
The beach in Nerja
What to Pack for a Beach Holiday with Kids
- Kids Sunscreen: The sun is strong in Costa del Sol, even if it’s cloudy. Make sure your kids skin is protected, try Neutrogena Wet Skin Kids Sunscreen Spray.
- Rash Guard Shirts: Protects against rashes and other types of scrapes and offers UV protections as well, try Tesla Boys & Girls UPF 50+ Youth Surf Shirts.
- Pop Up Beach Tent: take the shade with you! Lightweight (under 3lbs) and easy to set up, try the Alvantor Coolhut Beach Tent Beach Umbrella.
03. Tapas: Andalusia is a Night Owl with Plenty of Tapas
Especially during the summers, Andalusia comes to life after dark. Even kids get to stay up late, as most families only start eating dinner at 10 pm. So as to ensure no one starves before dinner, the Spanish rely on little dishes called tapas, which are highlights of Spanish food!
Tapas can be pretty much anything: cold ham and potato salad, warm meatballs in spicy sauce, grilled octopus, or a taste of paella. The trick is to order multiple plates and share with friends over cold beers. With tapas dishes starting at €1, tapas are a great way of filling up and socializing while tasting everything the Andalusian cuisine has to offer.
If You Love Tapas, You’ll Love Malaga Food Tours
If you’re anything like me, you start planning what you’re going to eat on vacation about ten minutes after you book your plane tickets. Am I right?
If that’s you, then don’t miss out on the chance to take a foodie-centric tour of Malaga. And what’s more Spanish than Tapas? Here are a few of the best Malaga food tours available:
- Gourmet Tapas Tasting – Savor the flavors of real Spanish food on a 3-hour food tour of Malaga, and sample typical tapas at different restaurants. Learn about local wines and the sherries of Andalusia, and sample local beers, Spanish cheeses, and other regional produce.
- Malaga Food Walking Tour – Explore Malaga like a native as you indulge in the city’s food culture and history. Eat like a local on this easy 3-hour walking tour with a licensed guide. Sample the food at the local market and visit the sights in the historical parts of the city.
- Tapas Tasting Tour with Atarazanas Market – Get off the beaten path and experience how the locals of Malaga eat on a 3.5-hour tapas tasting tour. Visit the legendary food emporium of Atarazanas Market, and enjoy tastings of local produce and drinks.
- Malaga Tenements: Colors and Flavors Tour – Have an immersive cultural experience with this tour that takes you far from the touristy crowds of Malaga. With your guide, visit a traditional food market, meet local inhabitants, and finish off with a traditional appetizer.
04. You’ll Stay Busy: There are Plenty of Things to Do and Places to Visit in Costa del Sol
The Costa del Sol began development as a major tourism region in the 1960s, and since then, many businesses have opened their doors specifically catering to international visitors.
Families, in particular, will find a wide range of activities on offer, from zoos, to water and theme parks, to ancient sites. Malaga also has a lot to offer, with an excellent selection of world-class museums and impressive Moorish castles. For families visiting the Costa del Sol, I recommend a visit to the Bioparc in Fuengirola, Aqualand in Torremolinos, and Tivoli World in Benalmadena.
- Bioparc Fuengirola (Fuengirola) 4.7 / 5 from 10+ reviews
- Picasso Museum (Málaga) 4.7 / 5 from 190+ reviews
- Malaga Segway Tour (Málaga) 5 / 5 from 60+ reviews
05. You’ll Love Malaga: Malaga Old Town is a Gorgeous, Overlooked City Worth Your Time
Malaga, in the centre of the Costa del Sol, is woefully overlooked as a destination in its own right. It is said to be one of the oldest cities in the world, and has a lot going for it, including a beautiful city centre with lots of shops, bars and restaurants; over 30 museums ranging from the Centre Pompidou and Carmen Thyssen museums to Picasso’s birthplace; and ancient sites such as the Roman theatre and the Moorish Alcazaba.
Malaga is far more than just a gateway to the Costa del Sol or a cruise port – in fact, it’s my favourite coastal place on the Costa del Sol!
Where to Stay in Málaga
- Gran Hotel Miramar (9.3 on Booking.com) *5-star, ocean view, 2-min from beach, 9.4 locations score
- Room Mate Valeria (9.2 on Booking.com) *4-star, central location, rooftop pool, 9.7 location score
- Room Mate Valeria (9.2 on Booking.com) *2-star value pick, historical center, 9.7 location score
Malaga City Center
06. Adventure is Within Reach: A Caminito del Rey Tour is a Once-in-a-Lifetime Memory
Some of the best outdoor experiences in southern Spain can be found on the Costa del Sol – you just need to leave the coast for a day to explore inland!
Our favourite thing to do is the Caminito del Rey hike. This spectacular cliff walk follows the narrow El Chorro Gorge, which connects two water reservoirs in a nature park in the Malaga mountains. It’s a fun, safe experience which you’ll never forget.
Multiple tour companies offer tours from the Costa del Sol and Malaga to the Caminito del Rey. Alternatively you can catch the train from Malaga station. For both options, make sure you book in advance.
Caminito del Rey Tours from Malaga and the Costa del Sol
There are numerous options for Caminito del Rey guided tours. We’ve pulled out some of the highest-rated options below:
- 1/2 Day Caminito del Rey (from Málaga) 4.7 / 5 from 275+ reviews
- Full Day Caminito del Rey (multiple departure points) 4.5 / 5 from 100+ reviews
- Full-Day with Lunch (multiple departure points) 4.3 / 5 from 15+ reviews
Caminito del Rey Hike path in Caosta del Sol
07. The White Villages of Andalucia: One of the Best Things to Do in the Costa del Sol
There are many white villages in Andalusia, and while the Cadiz tourism board leaves many people with the impression that the best villages in Andalucia can only be found in their province, all you need to do is a catch a bus from the Costa del Sol to see some of my favourites!
I strongly recommend visiting Mijas, some fifteen minutes from Fuengirola and a 40-minute drive from Malaga. Alternatively Frigiliana is also lovely, located just next to Nerja and about a 50-minute drive from Malaga. Both villages are absolutely gorgeous, with white-washed houses, potted flowers and views of the countryside.
A pretty street in Frigiliana, one of the White Villages of Andalucia
08. Beach Food: Sardines on the Beach and Chiringuitos are Costa del Sol Specialties
All along the beaches in Costa del Sol, you’ll find old fishing boats filled with hot glowing olive tree wood. Restaurants use these makeshift barbecues to cook one of the Costa del Sol’s culinary specialities: grilled sardines on a skewer. Rubbed in sea salt, the fish come with a nice smokey flavour and crispy skin that’s simply delicious! For fish eaters, this is a must-do when staying in Costa del Sol.
If fish isn’t your thing, try some of the other local dishes offered in so-called chiringuitos: restaurants set right on the beach, often with lovely sea views!
09. Costa del Sol Hotels: Costa del Sol Accommodation Options are Diverse and Plentiful
This region of Spain offers something for everyone, making it easy work when it comes to choosing the best hotels in Costa del Sol.
For budget options, the (rather ugly) high-rises from the 1970s in Torremolinos are a popular choice. If you’re looking for chi-chi boutique hotels in Costa del Sol, old town Marbella is a great spot to look.
Maybe you’d rather stay in the country and rent a Finca with a pool? Or experience village life in a converted cottage right on the market square?
Costa del Sol is well developed in terms of tourism, making it fairly easy to find what you’re looking for.
Top Hotels in Costa del Sol on the Beach
*according to traveller reviews on TripAdvisor
- Vincci Selección Aleysa, Hotel Boutique & Spa – 5-star
- The Oasis by Don Carlos Resort – 5-star
- Marbella Club Hotel · Golf Resort & Spa – 5-star
- El Oceano Beach Hotel – 4-star
- Gran Hotel Miramar – 5-star
- Marriott’s Playa Andaluza – 3-star
- Hotel Paraiso del Mar – 2-star
- Marriott’s Marbella Beach Resort – 4-star
- Hotel Carabeo – 3-star
- Hotel Fuerte Marbella – 4-star
10. Easy to Get to: There are Plenty of Cheap Flights to Costa del Sol
Malaga airport is one of the largest in Spain, with countless flights arriving year round. Once you’re in Europe — and no matter which European country you’re in — it’s fairly easy to find a cheap flight for your trip. All of the main budget airlines serve Malaga airport, and competition is fierce, keeping prices low. Moreover, Malaga airport is well connected to the Costa del Sol via road and rail, so your savings won’t evaporate the minute you leave the terminal.
Search for Cheap Flights on Skyscanner
Why Wouldn’t You Visit Costa del Sol?
As you can see, the Costa del Sol, Spain offers many reasons for a fun, enjoyable holiday under the sun. While I understand you may be just after some relaxing hours on the beach, I recommend you plan in a day or two for sightseeing and to visit some of the many attractions. For more tips and ideas for the whole region of Andalusia, visit our comprehensive Andalusia Travel Blog Guide.
About the Guest Author
Silke is a book author, travel writer and blogger who spent one year living in the south of Spain. On her blog, Happiness and Things, she shares all the best things to do in the region, including many hidden gems and off-the-beaten-path destinations.
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