Costa del Sol Torremolinos, Fuengirola, Benalmadena - famous places that trip off
the tongue. Long time favourite, the Costa del Sol, still packs more sun-powered punch per inch than most other Mediterranean
Meccas. It goes without saying a lot of people head to the region on holiday solely for the sands and it only takes one look
at the beaches here to see why. From Estepona in the west to Nerja in the east, this scenic Costa is overflowing with them.
Fuengirola boasts the longest, with five miles of sand, Torremolinos follows hot on its heels and in Nerja, picture-postcard
coves cry out for your towel. Most of the resorts are backed by palm-dotted promenades, family amusements and glitzy marinas
filled with restaurants and cocktail lounges. Of course there is a more traditional side to things, too. Turn inland for a
slice of authentic Andalucia, cue fairytale 'pueblo blancos' like Frigiliana and Mijas, together with snow-tipped
mountains and rolling hills. Spanish cities await, like Seville, Granada and Ronda with their Moorish palaces, cobbled lanes
and fiery fiestas.
Fuengirola Fuengirola's main attraction is its five miles of Blue
Flag beach. Edged by a spacious promenade lined with palm trees and flower beds, it's the perfect spot for some serious
sun time. Then there's the restaurants, serving everything from traditional Spanish to English, you're bound to find
something that tickles your tastebuds.
Benalmadena Benalmadena is a lively seaside town that's
a real hit with the british holidaymaker. Looks-wise it's a bit of a mish-mash - 1970's high rises give way to a pretty
whitewashed marina that takes its cue from Moorish Andalucia. Packed with millionaires yachts, the marina sits at the very
heart of Benalmadena's social scene. With no shortage of bars and restaurants, you'll definitely be coming back here
most evenings to mingle with holidaymakers over a cocktail, or to get ready for a night on the tiles with the clubbing kids
from nearby Malaga.
Nerja If you were to land in Nerja not knowing it was on the Costa del
Sol, you might be surprised, because unlike much of this famously tourist-focused coast, its managed to retain every scrap
of its Spanish charm. Perched on cliffs and backed by the dusky Sierra Almijara mountains, its feel is distinctly home-grown.
Yet the nerve centre of Nerja lies elsewhere on the charming Balcon de Europa. Flanked by lush palms, this picturesque promenade
ends in a spectacular view.
Estepona Hidden away in the Costa del Sol's wild west, Estepona
is one of the area's most traditional Spanish resorts. With palm-roofed chiringuitos rather than British-style bars lining
the beachfront, its held tight to its roots. However, it's far from being a backwater, and has everything you need for
a relaxing and comfortable beach holiday. The main beach is La Rada, a large expanse of sand and shingle which stretches two
miles or so to the marina, and there's also El Cristo beach, a cove which catches the sun until late in the evening.