Kicking off my series of posts about the Costa del Sol region of Spain (where I recently spent three weeks), here's an overview of the region brought to you by the online travel agency, Destinia.com.
The Costa del Sol is located in the South of Spain. The region is known for its many kilometres of beaches and the small traditional villages peppered along the coast.
Malaga is the region's main city and can be a day trip destination for those who stay in one of the coastal towns. The Cathedral is one of the city's most visited places, known as La Manquita because only one of its two towers was completed.
Near the Cathedral stand two ancient Moorish palaces, the Alcazaba and the Gibralfaro. In the Alcazaba visitors can visit the Archaeological Museum where there are several galleries with Moorish, Phoenician and Roman artifacts. The Gibralfaro is an ancient fortress with views towards the city which is known for its colourful gardens.
To see the more historical structures and the more traditional part of the city visitors will have to visit the Malagueta area. The Plaza de Toros, a large bull ring, is located there.
Malaga is the place to visit for those who want to enjoy the city's architecture, which has ancient Moorish influences. The Pablo Picasso Museum is located in the city, and visitors will be able to see many of the painter's masterpieces.
The Pedregalejo and El Palo beaches are located in the city. If visitors want to enjoy cleaner beaches they can visit the nearby Cala de la Moral.
Beaches, food and small towns
Malaga's coastal towns are visited by thousands of locals and tourists who want to spend a day by the sea. Benalmádena, Fuengirola and Torremolinos are beach towns where visitors can enjoy the beach, practice water sports and relax.
Marbella is the most deluxe destination for a day trip. This jet set city is located a short ride away and is filled with boutique bars, chic bars and restaurants. The Puerto Banus area is known for high end retailers.
The province of Malaga, as most of Spain, is known for its food. There are many traditional chiringuitos and tapas bars where locals and visitors can enjoy pescaíto frito, small fried fish, gazpacho, a cold tomato soup, and sangría.
For those who want to get away from the city and the seaside, the mountains are only a short ride away. The Montes de Málaga Natural Park is a large natural park with several trails where one can take long walks and see the local fauna.
There are several small traditional villages located in the region, and day trips to these traditional white villages can be organized. Most white villages are only a short taxi ride away from the coastal towns. The pueblos blancos are traditional villages a short distance away from the coast known for their Andalusian architecture, small white houses and cobbled streets.
Image used under Creative Commons from Keith Roper
The village of Alcaucin is located in the Sierra Tejeda mountains and is considered to be one of the most ancient towns in the region. The most visited ones are Mijas and Nerja. In Mijas visitors can enjoy a donkey ride around the town, which has views towards the sea. In Nerja visitors can enjoy sea views from the Balcón de Europa, a former castle. The nearby Nerja Caves stretch for more than five kilometres and guided tours are available.
Image used under Creative Commons from isidro2007