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For a 2017 holiday that promises sun, sea and sand, it has to be the Costa del Sol. For decades, Spain's 'Sun Coast' has been the go-to destination for vitamin D-deficient visitors looking for some fun in the sun. 300,000 ex-pats have moved to the area from Ireland and the UK, so there’s plenty of familiar faces mingling in the bars and on the beaches. The region’s appeal is obvious the minute the plane lands. After just a three hour flight, you can relax on the beach or by the pool before heading out in search of Spanish culture.

With road trips giving you the option to explore the coast or head inland to soak up the cosmopolitan atmosphere in Seville, holidays on the Costa del Sol are a great opportunity to see some of Spain’s best sights. Go on winding drives along the coast. Explore the tasty treats on offer in the tapas bars. Or hit the beach to get to work on that all-important golden tan. Whatever you’re expecting from a Costa del Sol holiday, prepare to be pleasantly surprised. This Spanish treasure’s best gems are waiting to delight you.

Top resorts in Costa del Sol

Benalmadena Holidays to Costa Del Sol Benalmadena
Deposit from €29 per person

Benalmadena

from €155 pp

Torremolinos Holidays to Costa Del Sol Torremolinos
Deposit from €29 per person

Torremolinos

from €178 pp

Fuengirola Holidays to Costa Del Sol Fuengirola
Deposit from €29 per person

Fuengirola

from €194 pp

Most popular hotels in Costa del Sol

Roc Costa Park
Roc Costa Park
Roc Costa Park

Torremolinos, Costa del Sol

from €325 pp
Fuengirola Park
Fuengirola Park
Fuengirola Park

Fuengirola, Costa del Sol

from €238 pp
Vik Gran Hotel Costa Del Sol
Vik Gran Hotel Costa Del Sol
Vik Gran Hotel Costa Del Sol

Mijas Costa, Costa del Sol

from €265 pp
Marconfort Beach Club Hotel
Marconfort Beach Club Hotel
Marconfort Beach Club Hotel

Torremolinos, Costa del Sol

from €343 pp
Holiday Polynesia
Holiday Polynesia
Holiday Polynesia

Benalmadena, Costa del Sol

from €213 pp
Kristal Hotel
Kristal Hotel
Kristal Hotel

Torremolinos, Costa del Sol

from €205 pp
Muthu Grangefield Oasis Club
Muthu Grangefield Oasis Club
Muthu Grangefield Oasis Club

Mijas Costa, Costa del Sol

from €318 pp

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Shortest flights to holiday sun

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At a glance

  • Currency: Euro
  • Language: Spanish
  • Time Zone: GMT +1
  • Average flight time: 3h 0m

The best water parks in Spain

If endless sun, sea and sand ever get dull (yes, it’s hard to imagine!), Spain also provides thrills and spills for all the family at its countless water parks. Cool off and have fun on the crazy slides and wave pools with our guide to the best water…
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10 things to do in Costa del Sol

There is a lot more than just plenty of sun over here! Choose Costa del Sol and you get everything from fine dining and historic sites to pumping nightlife and sandy beaches! Here are the first ten things to do here…
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When to go

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Top Attractions

Top Attractions

Taking a holiday to the Costa del Sol is a chance to explore some of Spain’s very best coastal towns and villages. From the rich and diverse culture of Malaga to the smaller villages, such as the picturesque Nerja, every stop-off has its own unique appeal. Glitzy Marbella is the region’s playground for the rich and famous, but thankfully you won’t need a bulging bank account or yacht to visit.

With national parks, beautiful beaches and welcoming waters, the Costa del Sol’s real beauty can be found in its natural scenery. And with waterparks, amusement parks and wildlife attractions, there’s also plenty of days out to enjoy alongside hiking, biking and driving around this beautiful Spanish region. Adventurous visitors will love the range of extreme sports, water sports and activities on offer. With all that and more, the Costa del Sol offers so much more than a fortnight by the hotel pool.

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Wine and Dine

Wine and Dine

You might expect an extensive offering of roast dinners, fry ups and Irish watering holes, but a holiday to the Costa del Sol offers so much more. Foodies will be delighted to find the Costa del Sol’s cuisine is rich in variety and flavours. Michelin-star chefs are serving up delicious morsels in chic restaurants, while beach bars and tapas bars offer a more laid-back dining experience. With the region’s wine industry soaring, vineyard tours are a chance to taste the very best wines.

For a true taste of Spain, the fried fish served in the typical chiringuitos (beach bars) is the highlight of many menus. The freshest catch char-grilled over open coals and served al-fresco – it’s a must when you’re on a Costa del Sol holiday. For families holidaying together, small tapas dishes are a great way to enjoy a shared meal. With familiar favourites on a tapas menu, such as Spanish omelette, to innovative new dishes being created in local haunts, tapas are a real feast you can savour on this sunshine coast.

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For Families

For Families

Families are guaranteed a warm welcome on a Costa del Sol holiday. With a huge amount of child friendly, purpose built attractions alongside the fantastic beaches and natural wonders to explore, every day offers a new and exciting adventure. Nature lovers will want to visit Benalmadena’s aquarium, where the star attraction is the sharks. Children can get close to marine creatures and hold starfish and crabs too.

Don’t miss the nearby Butterfly Park. With 1,500 beautiful butterflies, it’s a tropical oasis of plants, waterfalls and animals. With a huge choice of waterparks, plus water sports on the coast, there are also plenty of chances to take a refreshing swim or enjoy something a little more active. Inquisitive explorers will love a trip to El Torcal Nature Reserve. This prehistoric untouched wilderness is just waiting to be explored.

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Action and Adventure

Action and Adventure

How do you like your action and adventure? Do you love the great outdoors or does crazy golf push you to your limits on holiday? However far you’ll go to get the adrenaline pumping, a Costa del Sol holiday can make it happen. Water parks are a huge draw, with dizzyingly high slides, spills and thrills never far away. With lazy rivers a welcome respite for less adventurous fun-seekers, everyone can enjoy the day.

To really get your heart pounding, head to the El Caminito del Rey. Vertigo sufferers need not apply for this one - rumoured to be the most dangerous path in the world, 4kms of trails take you through a narrow gorge 100m high up in the craggy rocks. Back on the ground, some safer exploits include enjoying a round at Fuengirola’s 19-hole adventure golf course, hiking through El Torcal Nature Reserve and go-karting in Miramar. If you take to the warm, coastal waters, you can enjoy a huge range of water sports including sea kayaking. Or take an unforgettable dolphin-spotting boat trip from Fuengirola port. For an adventure the whole family can enjoy, try the river walk in Rio Chillar. Navigate your way along the shallow flowing waters, taking in waterfalls and river pools along the way.

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Life's a Beach

Life's a Beach

Spain’s sunshine coast has built its reputation on its beaches, and a holiday to the Costa del Sol offers beach fun by the bucketload. With so many different coastal landscapes to explore, there’s a huge variety of scenic spots to build a sandcastle or enjoy a lazy day on the shore.

On the western side of the Costa del Sol, the beaches are renowned for their fantastic facilities and provide everything you need for a fun-filled day on the beach. To the east, things get more rugged. While the west lays on the hospitality, the east’s beaches are more secluded, offering a chance to avoid the crowds and bag a spot on the sands all to yourself. 

Malaga’s central beaches are close to the city centre, meaning you’re never too far away from the convenient amenities. With some of the regions best beach bars here, you can also enjoy a cocktail on the sands and the local speciality, espeto de sardinas - chargrilled sardines cooked fresh on the shore.

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Nightlife

Nightlife

Each resort on the Costa del Sol has its own unique ambience. There’s a place for wild party nights and laid-back evenings with a cocktail or two on this sunny stretch of coastline. If you’re on holiday in the Costa del Sol to party until dawn, you won’t be disappointed. Malaga is the region’s hotspot for the very best clubs and internationally renowned DJs. With a variety of clubs and bars, Malaga has the perfect cosmopolitan mix. There’s always a lively buzz about the streets, making it perfect for holidaymakers wanting to feel part of the action.

During summer season, the Costa’s nightlife really kicks off. Outdoor discos and huge beach parties set the tone and are a summer highlight. For glitz and glamour head to Marbella, where famous faces hit the clubs before retiring to their yachts for the night.

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For Couples

For Couples

Nothing sums up a ‘romantic getaway’ better than a holiday spent enjoying the very best a region has to offer. A holiday to the Costa del Sol more than delivers. Whether you’re taking a road trip to discover the delights of quiet whitewashed villages, strolling on warm sands hand-in-hand or browsing in a Malaga art gallery, there’s ample opportunity to enjoy memorable moments together as a couple.

While some of the region’s beaches can get quite busy, the beaches on the east of the costa del sol are usually quiet places where you can enjoy a secluded picnic on the sand. Rugged rocks and beautiful seas create a dramatic, scenic backdrop for those all-important holiday photos. The Costa del Sol was made for spending idyllic days lounging by the pool, exploring the coast’s natural wonders or wandering around a bustling marina. With chic restaurants and tapas to try, candlelit meals are the ideal way to sample the region’s very best cuisine.

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Culture

Culture

This beautiful stretch of Spanish coastline is home to some hidden gems that are well worth digging up. A road trip to some of the lesser known villages unearths culture, heritage and art by the bucketload. Nerja, a picture-perfect town to the east, is an unspoiled resort brimming with sights to see. Don’t let the scenic streets distract you, the real beauty is hidden underground. Stalagmites and stalactites line the walls of a labyrinth-like network of caves. The Cuevas de Nerja’s impressive acoustics see the venue used for a summer festival of classical music and flamenco dancing.

Malaga is another highlight for culture lovers on a Costa del Sol holiday. Recently undergoing a period of renovation, this historic city centre is a must-see. Malaga’s art mile, gourmet dining and mix of urban chic alongside historic architecture is fast making it a contender to Barcelona’s culture crown.

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