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Costa del Sol Guide

 

Costa del Sol Cities

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SAN ROQUE/SOTOGRANDE

Sotogrande is a luxury residential resort, located in the municipality of San Roque in the province of Cadiz, in Andalusia.

The exclusive residential development incorporates a wealth of leisure amenities, such as the Santa Maria Polo Club, world-class golf, spa facilities and a luxury marina, which are coupled with excellent beaches, restaurants and a central location.

If you are seeking a sporting holiday, Sotogrande is a good choice. Here you can partake in lots of outdoor activities, including polo, tennis, golf, sailing and water sports.

Sotogrande is located close to the Guadiaro estuary, a protected natural reserve of marshland. Here you can enjoy rambling, hiking and bird watching.

The resort of Sotogrande lies close to the Straits of Gibraltar, where you can enjoy a contrast of beautiful, quiet beaches, rugged Atlantic coastline and charming hidden coves.

Sotogrande is definitely a first choice destination for golfing holidays; the resort is home to the world famous Valderrama, which plays host to the Volvo Masters and Ryder Cup. The Real Club de Golf Sotogrande is another option, as are Almenara, San Roque, Alcaidesa Links and La Cañada clubs.

Sotogrande is well situated to visit both the Costa del Sol and Costa de la Luz, with easy access to Marbella, Jerez, Tarifa, Cadiz and Gibraltar.

The climate in Sotogrande is typical of the Mediterranean, with long, hot summers and mild winters. The area boasts over 300 days of sunshine each year. The lowest temperatures in the winter are around 8ºC-9ºC, whilst the maximum in during the summer months is 40ºC.

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MANILVA

Manilva is located at the southernwestern edge of the province of Malaga, on the border with Cadiz. The town is split into two parts, the seaside resort and the charming white-washed, sleepy village, located just 3 kilometres up a hill from the coast.

The village itself, which is the original Manilva, is bordered by a wonderful vineyard of Moscatel Grapes, which are mainly used for making sweet wine.

Down on the coastal resort, Manilva has managed to retain its small village mentality, opting out of excessive development.

The urbanisations of Sabinillas, Puerto Duquesa and Estepona are all located within a few minutes drive. Malaga is 97 kilometres away, with Gibraltar airport being closer.

Also in the village is an interesting 17th century church and at the foot of the village there are two remaining pieces of aqueduct, in good condtion.

The beaches in the Manilva area are some of the best on the Costa del Sol, and remain fairly uncrowded during the summer months.

The area offers a good selection of beach-side restaurants and options located in the urbanisation and commercial area. There are a few bars, but no discos and late night-bars.

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Casares Guide

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CASARES

Casares is a picture postcard village with a population of just 3000 and the view from the approach is definitely worth a photo.

To say that Casares is beautiful is an understatement. Most of the white villages are beautiful but there is something very special about the sight of Casares that causes the visitor to park the car and simply stare or take a photo. There are the sugar cubes again, piled precariously high and just nudging the battlements of an Arab castle. It is hard to believe that this enchanting, typical village is only nine miles from the hustle and bustle of the coast and somehow succeeded in avoiding the coach tour circuit.

Casares is a pleasant white village to stroll around. Visit Blas Infante birthplaceIglesia de San Sebastian, near the square or climb up via Puerta Calle Arrabal, to the Castle, ruined church, Iglesia de la Encarnación now Centro Cultural Blas Infante, old cemetry.  There are also  number of signed walks just outside the village.  Further afield there are beaches such as the Playa de la Sal which allows dogs and are beautiful and well kept. There are also  golf courses in Casares and neighbouring towns.

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ESTEPONA

With an population of 70,000, Estepona is one of the few coastal towns that has succeeded in maintaining its pueblo charm and character. Notwithstanding, all the tourist facilities are here, including hotels, restaurants, leisure and cultural activities, and shops.

The numerous street cafes and tapas bars still serve traditional Spanish delicacies. In the ‘old town’ the steep, narrow streets are pedestrianised and decorated with different colour flower pots.  It is a delight for photographers.  You will find bars and small shops in Estepona, where you’d least expect them, all very inviting and friendly. 

Estepona is one of the most popular destinations for both tourists and foreign residents alike on the Costa del Sol. It is located at the western end of the Costa del Sol at the foot of the Sierra Bermeja mountains.

Estepona’s cobbled narrow streets, fishing port, Spanish cafes and bars spilling out higgledy piggledy on the pavements, and the quaint shops and bodegas, all combine with the modern Puerto Deportivo (leisure port) and marina, the tourist facilities and golden sandy beaches, to make this a comfortable and interesting place to stay for holidaymakers.

For many years Estepona’s main economic industries were fishing, agriculture and cattle, and even today, remain an important income for many in the area. Nevertheless for over a decade now tourism has become an important economic factor, due to the town’s redevelopment, wonderful climate, well kept sandy beaches, such as La Rada and Cristo Beach, and an extraordinary touristic offer, which incorporates golf, a pleasure craft harbour, excellent dining options, and of course the development of urbanisations, apartments and villa complexes, which all in all makes Estepona the chosen city for thousands of tourists every year.

Estepona is located closer to Gibraltar airport, whose destinations are starting to open up now. There are a several flights from the UK and EasyJet fly into Gibraltar. However, Malaga is just 50 minutes to one hour’s drive away.l

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BENAHAVIS

To many Andalucíans, native and expatriate alike, Benahavís is synonymous with food. It has the highest concentration of high class restaurants in the region and draws visitors by the thousand who come simply to savour the cuisine.

It also has an high percentage of resident expatriates who have found its situation and ambience irresistible.

The village has remained remarkably unspoiled, with winding narrow streets ill-suited to the motor car, and a picturesqueness which almost makes it seem like a specially-created film set.

The village stands 500 metres above sea level, 7 kilometres inland from A-7 coast road and the Guadalmina Golf Course, and is reached by driving alongside the River Guadalmina through the gorge up into the hills. It is a no through road so you will return the same way.  The municipal district extends behind the higher parts of east Estepona (Los Flamingos and Atalaya) and Marbella including the upmarket ‘Ronda road’ districts and La Quinta on the mountain side of the AP-7 motorway.

Its Moorish heritage is emphasised by the existence of the ruined 11th Century castle of Montemayor.  This ruined Arab stronghold sits on top of the distinctive mountain of the same name. Anyone wishing to make the climb to visit the ruins and experience the truly sensational views of the coastline should be prepared for a strenuous but rewarding effort.

There are 7 fabulous golf courses and clubs in the municipal district of Benahavís for all abilities and they are all featured on our Benahavís Golf page.

Inevitably, Benahavís is growing quickly. On its outskirts new urbanisations are springing up like mould forming rapidly on an over-ripe peach.

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MARBELLA

Marbella is known as a glamorous resort town and is a favourite location with the rich and famous, boosted by foreign residents who are seduced by the lifestyle. But there’s plenty for ordinary folk to see and enjoy too in southern Spain’s answer to St Tropez.

The old town with its narrow cobbled streets and flower-filled plazas is packed with delightful shops and art galleries selling pretty clothes and accessories, and handmade wares. One of the prettiest spots is the fabled orange tree-filled Plaza de los Naranjos, which is located just off the main street and is home to the 16th-century town hall and tourist office, where you can pick up a detailed map and other visitor information. For more contemporary fashions, Puerto Banus has all the top international designer stores.

Marbella’s history stretches back to Roman times – you can see beautifully preserved mosaics at a villa and baths near the town.

In terms of eating out, Marbella’s gastronomic scene is second to none, with everything from vegetarian and vegan cafes, to beachfront chiringuitos, and Michelin-starred restaurants.

And of course the beaches are second to none – most visitors come to Marbella to enjoy the sun, sea and sand, which has been drawing expatriate communities since the 1950s when Prince Alfonso de Hohenlohe fell in love with the place and built a beachfront house, drawing all the starriest Hollywood celebs.

If your visit inspires you to consider living in Marbella, have a look at the neighbourhoods or districts that make this such a charming place to live or perhaps visit on an excursion and decide afterwards. Don’t miss Puerto Banus.

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Mijas Guide

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MIJAS

One of the jewels of the Costa del Sol is the beautiful little village of Mijas, which nestles comfortably in the mountainside at 400 meters above sea level about 10km from the coast. Of the ten thousand population, there are so many foreign and English speaking residents in and around the village that the Town Hall has a very helpful Foreigner’s Department, which caters for the needs of those residents who do not speak Spanish.

When you wander through the narrow cobbled streets of this Andalucian village, you can understand what has attracted foreigners over the years. Many artists and writers have made it their home, enjoying the benefits of an excellent all year round climate, without being part of the busier, more commercial coastal towns just 7 kilometres down the mountain side.

Despite its huge popularity with tourists, Mijas Pueblo has somehow managed to retain much of its traditional Andalucian way of life, the locals displaying their unabashed passion for all things festive and an unmistakable relaxed outlook.

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FUENGIROLA

Only 25km from Malaga International Airport is the town of Fuengirola – one of the most popular destinations on the Costa del Sol.  Easily accessible by road, rail or bus, it is not difficult to see why this buzzing cosmopolitan town on the Mediterranean is the number one choice for so many.

Previously, a tiny fishing village, Fuengirola has become a vibrant metropolis with character.  The advent of many up-market tapa bars, good cafes and restaurants, interspersed with chic boutiques and other shops of interest, as well as fabulous beaches makes it the perfect holiday destination.  The main square, Plaza de la Constitución, has been re-designed but still retains its unique enchantment.  It looks pretty especially at Christmas, when it is decorated with very attractive lights and ornaments.  It is also attractive during the Fuengirola summer feria, when the whole town takes part in the annual street celebrations.  A walk down the narrow, pedestrian streets leading off the main square is a voyage of discovery for the many visitors, who come across some of the hidden secrets and delightful corners of this friendly, Andalucian town.

One of the Fuengirola’s main attractions is, of course, its wonderful seven kilometres (five miles) of sandy beaches, stretching from the Sohail Castle to the west and Torreblanca to the east.

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BENALMADENA

The town of Benalmádena covers an area of almost 30 kilometres and extends from the Sierra de Mijas down to the coastline of the Mediterranean.

Situated between the towns of Torremolinos and Fuengirola, Benalmádena is just 19 kilometres from Málaga Airport and is connected to all of the coast’s major resorts by the local train and bus services.

Rich in attractive beaches, gardens, theme parks and a stunning marina, Benalmádena is one of the most popular tourist resorts on the Costa del Sol.

The population (67,000 according to the INE census of 2018) is concentrated in three main centres: Benalmádena Pueblo, Arroyo de la Miel and Benalmádena Costa.

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Torremolinos Guide

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TORREMOLINOS

The seaside resort of Torremolinos is one of the best-known resorts in southern Spain, and although it hasn’t always had the best image, thankfully in the last few years it has outgrown its tacky image and evolved into a mature and exciting resort.

Situated just 7 kilometres from the city of Malaga and its international airport, it neighbours the attractive resort of Benalmadena.

Although old, the town has a happy, fun atmosphere and appeals to both young and old visitors. There are an abundance of shops and boutiques, and the best place to head is the main pedestrianised street of Calle San Miguel, where shops line up to sell you goods of all kinds.

The town is also awash with colour in the summer, with over a thousand species of trees and flowers being planted in and around the towns streets, plazas and parks.

The old fishing district of El Bajondillo is found at the end of Calle San Miguel, at the bottom of a steep flight of stairs, here you will find some excellent seafood restaurants, souvenir shops and at the bottom is the beach of El Bajondillo.

The seafront promenade of Torremolinos stretches all the way to Benalmadena Marina and makes for a pleasant evening stroll, where you pass the old fishing village of La Carihuela.

There is a lesser known area in Torremolinos called El Calvario, which is located to the north of the main road, this is a quieter urban zone, where there are some cute traditional bars where you can mix with the locals and get away from the main crowds.

There are some interesting art galleries and museums in Torremolinos itself, but the real beauty of the town is its close proximity to the capital city of Malaga, where you can enjoy a wide assortment of cultural attractions, including the Picasso Museum and Alcazabar Fortress.

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