Situated in southern Spain, the Costa del Sol is the gem of Andalusia basking in the southern sunshine. It boasts many miles of coastal towns that provide tourists and locals a wonderful holiday expereince. What used to be made up only of some small fishing settlements has become a favourite tourist destination of world renown with numerous activities and natural wonders waiting to be explored. A widely known port with excellent white beaches is the Puerto Banus. If you like walking, you will find numerous opportunities and exquisite views in the Sierra Blanca, just outside one of Costa del Sol’s glossiest resort, Marbella. The Botanical Gardens at Selwo Aventura is another pole of attraction, where you have the chance to see rare bird species fly freely in a large netted bird house. As for the Safari Park, it is home for 2,000 semi-wild animals.
The key attraction of Costa del Sol is unquestionably its climate and gorgeous beaches. Offering clean and safe waters for sports enthusiasts and bathers, it is allegedly the place where there are more jet skis per capita than any other region in Europe! There are beaches to please every taste, need, and status. You can find quiet coves for your romantic adventures, family beaches with plenty of games and activities, and nudist beaches to feel free and become one with the natural surroundings. Those hungry for some outdoor adventure have the Garganta del Chorro gorge to challenge them. Rock climbers from Europe flock to climb the enormous 180m deep, 10m wide chasm in the rock, exactly where the river cuts through the limestone. For beyond imaginable views, the Camino del Rey pathway is a superb choice for those with nerves of steel. Cable cars or telefericos will take you up all the way to Mount Calamorro (770m) at Arroyo de la Miel to offer you the best views ever, including Gibraltar and the Sierra Nevada (even the Moroccan coastline on clear days). At the top, don’t forget to visit the raptor reserve, the Jardin de las Aquilas (Garden of the Eagles).
One of the main attractions in Arroyo de la Miel is the Tivoli World amusement park. It covers more than 100,000 hectares and is full of fountains and impressive gardens. Speaking of gardens, La Concepción Gardens is perhaps the best tropical garden in Europe and has a place in every tourist’s to-see list for a very good reason. The Selwo Marina aquarium in Benalmádena is where you will see myriads of exotic birds, ice sculptures and sea animals, as well as snakes. Animal-related attractions are far from over though. The Fuengirola Zoo is a popular zoo that runs both day AND night so you get a clear understanding on animal sleeping habits! Interested in historical sites? There is a Moorish castle built into Malaga’s ramparts. You can find the ruins of the Castillo de Gibralfaro, another Moorish castle of the 14th century, at the hill behind Alcazaba, offering breath-taking views. Finally, the Castillo Bil-Bil is another Moorish-style residence of the 1930s with a large number of paintings, textures, and mosaics displayed on its exhibition room. Given that Málaga’s is considered to be Pablo Picasso’s birthplace, you don’t want to miss the Pablo Ruiz Picasso Foundation that maintains a museum and a library of the artist’s (alongside other modern artists) work. The house where Picasso was born, the Casa Natal, is just a breath away, too. Finally, the 16th-century Málaga Cathedral is another magnificent building of historical interest, whose Southern tower was never completed, for reasons no one knows. For some outside fun, you can visit the lovely forested area of Camping Cabopino and enjoy playing golf, swimming (indoor and outdoor swimming pool), volleyball, or football while having your kids in the fantastic children’s play area. The Parque Acuatico Mijas (Fuengirola Water Park) is where you want to take your family to spend an entire day playing tennis or golf, having fun at the waterslides or in the kids’ paddling pool.
The native cuisine of Costa del Sol has many influences from Arabic, Spanish, and Jewish traditions. With an emphasis on seafood, the Pescaíto frito (breaded fried fish served with lemon juice) being their most popular dish, you have a good chance to caress your taste buds! Other distinctive dishes include the Gazpacho (soup made of tomatoes, onion, cucumber, garlic, green peppers, vinegar, and bread), the Tortillas (omelettes made with potatoes), and the Churros (dough pastries, fried and served dipped in hot chocolate). And, if you are at the beach, you will find many Chiringuitos (small, open-air restaurants) right next to you. Don’t be surprised if you get a free tapa if you order a drink at a bar. The Tapas Tour (Ir de Tapas) is a Spanish tradition where you make the rounds of the local bars eating snacks and drinking! Looking for some hidden gastronomic treasures? Restaurants like the La Bodega el Cantinero, La Solana, Paco Jimenez, and Santiago’s Kitchen, are just a few of the countless excellent dining facilities that can satisfy your culinary needs, no matter how demanding.
Apartment Rancho B Miraflores, Mijas Costa resort (Accommodation Code: ES5660.160.1) is a wonderful, sunny, 3-room apartment, nicely situated on an elevated position, just 1.3km from the sea. The shared, well-kept garden with lawn, practical furnishings, exit to the terrace, and the spectacular view of the sea are enough to provide you with the best means for a relaxed time. It is perfect for families, with a playground, a children’s pool and baby equipment on request. There are also plenty of facilities to make your stay comfortable. Everything is nearby, from grocery and supermarket (1km) to restaurant (200m), golf course (500m) and bistro (in the complex). Plus, you are allowed to bring your small pet along so you have a complete family package!