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Visit Spain: Costa Del Sol Tourist Board

Costa Del Sol Tourist Board logo

The Costa del Sol, situated on the south of the Iberian Peninsula, makes up the 161 kilometres of Malaga coastline.

The capital, Malaga City has a population of 550,000 people, making it the sixth biggest city in Spain. Malaga is more or less in the centre of the province’s coastline, dividing it into the Eastern Costa del Sol and the Western Costa del Sol.


The landscape changes dramatically from place to place, and with 23 protected spaces in the province of Malaga, there is plenty for nature lovers to choose from. 


View an interactive map of the Costa Del Sol



Just five kilometres from Antequera lies the extraordinary El Torcal, a fantastic rock formation of some 20 square kilometres, that rose out of the sea about 100 million years ago.


Between the Guadalhorce region and Antequera is the breadth-taking Desfiladero de los Gaitanes (the Gorge of the Bagpipers), one of the most unusual sights of the province of Malaga.


The Biosphere Reserve of the Sierra de las Nieves has many pinsapo woods. Here you will also find the highest peaks in the province, the Torrecilla peak reaching 1,919 metres above sea level and the third deepest known pothole in the world, the GESM.



One of the main reasons that the Costa del Sol has become a major tourism destination is its Mediterranean climate, with good weather right through the year, and a mean temperature of 18 degrees. The summer temperatures vary between 25 and 30 degrees, and in winter, they rarely drop below 14 degrees. The climate of the interior of the province, however, is more continental, with higher temperatures in the summer and lower temperatures in the winter.


Rainfall in the province of Malaga has much to do with the mountainous landscape, and varies from area to area. The average rainfall on the coast is less than 500 mm each year, and in the interior, between 600 and 800 mm each year. In some areas, such as the Ronda region and the Grazalema mountain region, rainfall can reach 1,000 mm.



The 161 kilometres of Malaga province coastline is mostly beach, with most of the hotels in the province and the finest restaurants within shouting distance of the beaches.

These excellent beaches are cleaned every day and here one can find bars, restaurants, showers, beach umbrellas, beach beds, palm trees, children’s parks, special access for the disabled, lifeguard services, policing, water sports and much more.

Costa Del Sol places of interest banner

Heritage sites

Because it occupies a sizeable part of the extreme western Mediterranean coastline and it's strategic location at the gateway to Africa the many different civilisations who lived here have made the region rich in archaeological remains.


Many Roman remains can be found here especially at Antequera where one can still see the excellent Roman Baths of Santa María.


Remains of the Moorish civilisation include the Alcazaba in Malaga City, the Gibralfaro Castle, which was an exceptional watchtower from which to view the entire bay; the gateway to the Atarazanas market, dating from the 12th to 13th centuries, and the remains of the ancient city wall that once surrounded the medieval city.


Here you will also find Renaissance buildings such as the Antequera Collegiate and the first phase of the Cathedral in Malaga as well as palaces, churches, administrative centres, convents and other magnificent works of Baroque architecture.


Leisure activities



There are eleven marinas on the Costa del Sol, putting the region ahead of the rest of Andalusia in sailing and water sports facilities. All these ports, from the smallest to the biggest, offer all the basic services needed by any sailor, and in some of them, there are sailing schools authorised to grant official skippers’ licences to those that qualify, to learn to sail and navigate, or to simply learn underwater diving.



It has more than 40 golf clubs, most of them beside residential developments and most in the western Costa del Sol area, making this the area with the highest concentration of golf courses in all of continental Europe. quality golf courses, as we can see by the number of international championships that take place on them: the Ryder Cup, the World Championship, the Spanish Open, the Volvo masters and others.


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Other activities and adventure sports

There are few places in the world with such a wide range of fun activities. All four and five-star hotels on the Costa del Sol have their own facilities for tennis, paddle tennis, badminton and squash and many three-star hotel have the same facilities.


The province of Malaga also leads in the practice of adventure sports, with an abundance of high mountain peaks suitable for mountain climbing, rock climbing and hang-gliding. The most important area in the region for these sports has become the Abdalajís Valley.


The geography of Malaga province makes it ideal for the practice of rambling, cycling and horseback trekking, and each of the 101 municipalities in the province has its own routes. Many hotels have special arrangements with local riding stables and wonderful riding routes through mountain and forest regions. There are also two exceptional complexes on the Costa del Sol for lovers of all things equine: the Equestrian School of the Costa del Sol, in Estepona, and the Costa del Sol Hippodrome in Mijas.


Information on these routes can be obtained from local tourism offices or Town Halls, with times and dates of organised trips and specific information on each route.



Potholing is another sport that has found a home in this part of the world, with many deep holes all over the province. The Cueva del Gato, for example, runs in the Guadiaro River area for four kilometres underground, and it is not generally known that the third largest chasm in the world and the largest in Spain is in the Sierra de las Nieves Nature Reserve. This is the GESM, 1,090 metres deep and still not yet fully explored. And in the Nerja Cave, there are galleries that are reserved for experienced speleologists, given the difficulty of exploring them.


Traditional festivals

The festive calendar in the province of Malaga is as wide-ranging as it is surprising, with traditional festivals just about everywhere, from Malaga City itself to the smallest of mountain villages. Most of these festivals take place over the summer period, the most important usually being the so-called ‘feast of the patron saint’ of the locality, better known to us all as the annual ‘feria.’ Holy Week is an important festival everywhere in Spain, especially in Andalusia, and there are many other types of festivals too, among them the various gastronomic festival that have become very popular over the past decade.


View the dates of the popular festivals


Getting there

Most tourists visiting the Costa Del Sol arrive by air to the Pablo Ruiz Picasso Airport in Malaga. A total of 18 international airlines operate into and out of Malaga Airport, with regular flights linking Malaga with the principal cities of the European Union and other continents.

Places that do not have direct flights to Malaga must generally pass through Madrid or Barcelona. As well as scheduled flights, Spanish and international charter flights and low-cost airlines fly to Malaga airport.


After air travel, rail travel is most used to get to the Costa del Sol. Most rail travellers come from Madrid, from where seven Talgo 200 trains link Atocha station with Malaga City. You can reach Malaga by train from any part of Spain, although almost  all the lines run through Madrid, or less frequently, through the Sans and Francia stations in Barcelona, where there is also a direct line to Malaga.


One can also arrive in Malaga by sea. Four shipping companies operate out of Malaga, linking the city with ports in northern Morocco. With the port being very close to the city centre, the sea traveller will find it convenient to make subsequent travel arrangements from the city.


How to get around



All the municipalities in the province of Malaga are linked both to Malaga City and to each other by means of a large bus network. Some are connected by train.

The main Malaga bus station is in the Paseo de los Tilos, beside the Renfe railway station, and all the bus companies operating in the province use it. There is also a smaller bus station on the Avenida de Muella Heredia, beside the port, which is used by buses heading for the various urban centres in the greater Malaga area. 



There is a local train, called the ‘tren de cercanías’ in Spanish, and it stops just a few metres from the airport. This train links Malaga City with the area to the west and northwest of the city



Most people take taxis, which are easily identified in this airport by the blue stripe painted on the white vehicle, the identifying taxi panel and the green light, if it is available.


Car rental

Another frequent means of transport in this region is car rental, with or without a driver. Most car rental companies have offices within the airport building, and will be happy to make immediate arrangements there and then. Malaga has more car rental companies than any other province in Andalusia (more than 380), and they offer a wide range of vehicles, from small run-arounds to large saloons.



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