Beach front Resorts of the Costa del Sol
A guide to the resorts towns of the Costa del Sol, as you drive to Malaga from Gibraltar, Spain.
Sotogrande is found within the province of Cadiz and is situated near the Straits of Gibraltar which can offer quiet beaches and coves although the hustle and bustle of the Costa del Sol is only half an hour away. It is within easy reach of Malaga, Marbella, Cadiz and Gibraltar.
Sotogrande is an exclusive sports and residential development which has developed over the last 30 years. It is a quiet area based around a substantial marina which will have over 1,000 berths once the second phase is completed. Sotogrande is also home to the famous Valderrama golf club as well as many others.
Sotogrande is an all year round resort offering golf, sailing and tennis with lots of good bars, restaurants and large hotels for relaxing and enjoying the atmosphere.
Estepona is a coastal town on the Costa del Sol which, despite its expansion, has maintained its character and ‘old town’ feel. There are still numerous places where one can find traditional Spanish food amongst the narrow cobbled streets.
Estepona has good, sandy beaches but is also within easy reach of Puerto de la Duquesa and also close enough to visit some of the lovely inland towns and villages such as Gaucin, Casares and Genalguacil. It is just an hours drive to Malaga from Estepona. The Plaza de las Flores and the Clock Tower (Torre de Reloj) are attractive places to visit within the town and there is a popular market on Wednesdays. There are many golf courses in the area which makes it a popular destination as well as the fact that the average temperature is 18C.
The port and harbour are just a short walk from the town centre and is mainly centred around fishing although there are modern marina facilities and aside from the market in the town centre on Wednesdays, it also has its own market on a Sunday.
Just a few kilometres to the west of Marbella, Puerto Banus is famous for its marina full of luxury yachts as well as offering expensive bars, restaurants and designer shops. The beach, the Playa Levante, is to the north of the town and is very clean, long and wide. There is a market on Saturdays near the bullring. Puerto Banus has a busy nightlife with a wide choice of bars, clubs or discos to visit, or maybe you just want to sit in the open air with a meal and a drink and watch the world go by.
Marbella is probably one of the most well known resorts along the Costa del Sol. It has a wonderful climate with over 3000 hours of sunshine per year. It is close to Malaga airport, has an impressive yacht harbour and many golf courses within easy reach.
Away from the glamour of the harbour area the old town still retains some character. The Plaza de los Naranjos (Orange Square) is a popular place to take a breather before setting off to explore the many streets and alleyways full of shops selling anything from local produce and crafts to designer clothing.
El Fuerte and El Fontanilla are two of the largest beaches in Marbella or you may just wish to take a stroll along the promenade, the Avenida del Mar.
Lots of people choose to holiday in Marbella because of the busy nightlife which offers a wide variety of bars, restaurants, clubs, theatres and cinemas to suit everyone. There are many quality hotels to choose from as well as numerous self catering apartments and villas.
Fuengirola is a coastal town on the Costa del Sol situated partway between Malaga and Marbella. It has been a popular tourist resort since the 1960’s to the extent that tourism has now replaced fishing as the main industry. It has a lot of high rise hotels and apartments adjacent to the long, sandy beaches although it is still possible to find smaller, more traditional accommodation. It is a very busy resort, full of entertainment in the summer months but can also be the ideal place to visit out of season when it is much quieter. Fuengirola is truly an international resort with approximately 25% of its inhabitants coming from other countries, although in the summer it is still very popular with the Spanish and British alike.
Fuengirola offers all the facilities which you would expect to find in a major tourist resort as well as a zoo, Zoologico de Fuengirola, an Arabic Castle, the bullring and open parks. The old port is still used by local fishermen and the sports marina can provide berths for boats of all sizes.
Two of the suburbs of Fuengirola Los Boliches and Torreblanca are worth visiting. In Torreblanca there are thermal baths and in Los Boliches the remains of a Roman villa can be seen. Los Boliches also has its own beaches and is a little bit quieter than Fuengirola itself.