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Costa del Sol

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Costa del Sol is the name of the southern region of Spain that comprises the coastal cities of the Malaga Province. It is usually said that the Málaga Province is like a miniature continent. When travelling around, visitors can see that the province holds a wide array of landscapes in 7,272 square kilometres.
Málaga's weather is extraordinary –and famous the world over. Its average annual temperature is 22º C and over 300 sunny days a year.
The province comprises 101 municipalities, the coastal area spans the territory from Manilva to Nerja.

BEACHES
The Costa del Sol has always been famous for its beaches. There are over 120 of them along the 160-kilometre coastline, and the area has the highest concentration of hotels in Málaga and Andalusia as a whole. Visitors can take a bath on these spacious beaches, which are fully equipped and provide a wide range of services (showers, sunshades, deck chairs, beach bars, etc.), or at secluded, less noisycoves, some of which feature special areas for nudists.

MARINAS
The Costa del Sol has eleven marinas, which gives it a leading place in Andalusia in terms of yachting and sports infrastructure. The marinas on the Costa del Sol are internationally renowned. Many of them have been granted the Blue Flag eco-label for water quality, environmental management, and safety and other services, and the Benalmádena Marina has twice been chosen as the Best Marina in the World.
All the marinas offer a wide array of services, including restaurants, shops, or security.

GOLF AND SPORTS
Málaga Province has the highest concentration of golf courses in Continental Europe: about 70.
Most of the golf facilities are resorts including residential areas. With 300 sunny days a year, the Costa del Sol is an ideal place to play this sport all year round, as shown by the increasing number of golfers coming to the region every year. Golf's growing popularity has aroused an effective response in the province, where the high number of golf resorts available is one of the main attractions.
There are many other sports beyond golf that can be played on the Costa del Sol: paddle tennis, tennis, badminton, squash, and so on.
Moreover, most three-, four-, and five-star hotels in the area feature fitness studios with instructors and physiotherapists. Horse racing and outdoor sports –mountaineering, hiking, cycle touring, horse riding– add to the wide range of sports activities available. Some of the best known international sports teams choose the Costa del Sol for their winter training, given the top-rate facilities of town sports centres for athletes and other sportspeople.

HEALTH AND BEAUTY
The Costa del Sol is also a great travel destination for those who want to look after their bodies. The best hotels along the coastline offer services that include thalassotherapy, sauna, whirlpool tubs, massage, and so on in their spas.

COUNTRY TRAVEL
Málaga's hinterland –a very different landscape from coastal towns– is a place worth visiting too.
The winding streets, whitewashed houses, and green areas of its villages are a true picture of genuine Andalusia. Most interior towns have fully equipped country retreats accommodating visitors all year round. Málaga Province comprises 101 municipalities. One of the hinterland's main attractions are the protected natural areas, such as Sierras de Tejeda, Almijara y Alhama Nature Park, whose 46,000 hectares make it the third largest one in the province.

CULTURE
Málaga's privileged geographic location has endowed the province with an extraordinary historic and artistic legacy, marked by richness and diversity. There are lots of museums in Málaga, including the newly-opened Picasso Museum, displaying over 200 works by the famous artist. Moreover, furthermore there is the old Villalón Palace that houses the Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum.

LANGUAGE TRAVEL
Over the last few decades, a change has emerged in socialisation patterns, as youngsters move countries to improve the language skills they have learnt in university. This segment is known as language travel or language tourism. As a matter of fact, Spanish has become the second most popular language among European and American students, whose growing number has turned Málaga into the province with the largest number of language travellers in Andalusia.

FOOD
The Costa del Sol has the largest number of restaurants in Andalusia. They range from prestigious venues included in the Michelin Guide to popular, inexpensive bars. Many beach or coastal bars serve "pescaĂ­to frito" (fried fish).
Typical dishes include gazpacho, gazpachuelo, Málaga-style soup, porra, and fish soup or stew.
They are prepared in many different ways, following recipes handed down from generation to generation.

POPULAR FIESTAS
Málaga's calendar includes a wide range of fiestas and celebrations. From Málaga City to the smallest towns, there are popular fiestas everywhere, most of them in the summer. For instance, festivals dedicated to patron saints or Easter.

LEISURE
For family leisure, there are some unique attractions like Selwo Aventura, Selwo Marina, the Benalmádena Cable Car, Tivoli World, or the Fuengirola Zoo.
Theme parks, water parks, zoos, equestrian centres, yachting, motor racing, casinos, music shows, and restaurants make the leisure offer of the Costa del Sol, where your stay will certainly be an unforgettable experience.

WINE AND OLIVE OIL
Wine and olive oil are two staples of Mediterranean culture and economy. And they are two basic ingredients in the healthiest diet in the world.
Wines made in Málaga have a 25-century history, from the Greeks and Romans to the present.
There are 120,000 hectares grown with olive trees in Málaga –many of which are over 100 years old, and they are still standing in towns like Periana (Axarquía) or Alameda.

SHOPPING
Málaga Province and the Costa del Sol are busy commercial areas. You can go shopping in huge shopping centres or just walk along the streets in any town to find antiques or curiosities in street markets or buy homemade foods and drinks.

FLAMENCO
As a cosmopolitan, open-minded setting, the Costa del Sol has managed to combine its deeply-rooted traditions with a modern cultural offer. The former include flamenco, one of the richest cultural expressions in Málaga, thanks to the efforts made by flamenco clubs, organisations, and enthusiasts.

CRUISES
Cruises are becoming an increasingly popular choice for holidays. Their popularity would have been unbelievable a few years ago. Experts in tourist flows believe the "age of cruise voyages" has just begun, so it is expected to keep growing and to do it even at a faster pace, although this segment's evolution has traditionally been slower than traditional holiday styles.
The Costa del Sol has never been indifferent to cruise travelling. In fact, the Port of Málaga has always been remarkable for the number of cruise liners calling at it. However, the growth it experienced in the past two decades is completely unprecedented. The rise in the number of big ships as a response by cruise operators to non-stop demand has consolidated the Costa del Sol as a leading cruise travel destination, while Málaga's geographic location as a gate into the Mediterranean has led to improvements in the port, which is now ready to welcome these majestic boats.
The Port of Málaga, which not long ago was a traditional, almost romantic, nineteenth-century facility, has risen up to the challenge to become one of the most modern in Europe after renovation and development work. Its exclusive 2,500-metre-long East Dock for cruise ships has become the second most important one in Spain in terms of recreational boat traffic.

WINTER HOLIDAYS

There is much more to Málaga Province than just sun and sand. The picture of holidaymakers coming in the summer to lie under the sun is only one of many that can be taken in the province. On the other hand, autumn images are becoming increasingly popular, with tourists walking around, visiting museums, or eating out. Málaga's travel offer has diversified to offer more products all year round, capitalising on the province's natural resources, weather, and hotel quality.
Málaga and the Costa del Sol boast one of the mildest climates in Europe. Standing between mountain ranges and the Mediterranean Sea, the province has an average annual temperature of 18º C. Coming to Málaga from October to March can be a pleasant experience: fewer visitors, nice weather, and as many culture, leisure, and entertainment activities as in the peak season.
Winter is a great time to visit the most beautiful spots in Málaga Province and the Costa del Sol.
101 charming towns that have managed to keep lots of traces of their past: the Phoenicians, the Romans, the Moors, and the Christians have all left their marks in the province's culture, folklore, and traditions. The interest this has aroused in foreign visitors has been one of the key factors to fight peak travel in the region.

BULLFIGHTING
Bulls are closely linked to Andalusia's history and culture, and bullfighting is deeply rooted in Málaga.
In fact, Ronda is the birthplace of one of the most famous bullfighting schools in Spain and of many of the greatest bullfighters. All cities in Spain and most towns or villages in the country (even those with a few thousand inhabitants) have their own bullrings. In Andalusia there are so many of them that it is impossible to list them all. The situation is no different in Málaga.
Ronda's Armoury of the Royal Cavalry was inaugurated in 1785 with a bullfight starring two of the key figures in the history of bullfighting: Pepe Hillo and Pedro Romero. This Neoclassical stone bullring features the largest ring in Spain –66 metres in diameter– holding up to 6,000 spectators. Moreover, it is considered to be one of the most beautiful bullrings in Spain. In early September, it plays host to the famous Goyesque bullfight, which owes its name to the clothes worn by bullfighters, similar to those painted by Francisco de Goya. The first Goyesque bullfight took place in 1954. Since then, they have been held every year, as a tribute to one of the forerunners of modern bullfighting: Antonio Ordóñez, the man who organised the Goyesque bullfight for many years. The Goyesque bullfight is an art and social event as well, drawing celebrities and people from all over the world. Goyesque Ladies can be seen in it, representing the town at the fair and throughout the year. Many girls in Ronda want to become Goyesque Ladies.
The bullfighting season on the Costa del Sol is from spring to autumn, summer being the busiest time of year. Big bullrings hold the largest number of events, which are advertised with huge posters that are then kept by bullfighting lovers.

SENIOR TOURISM
The fact that the Costa del Sol can be a good travel destination for most types of holidays is reflected in the wide array of options available to visitors.
Moreover, Málaga Province is ready to meet the needs of all kinds of travellers, thanks to its natural resources and to the amazing range of products and services available –a range that has become increasingly wider as a response to various demands.
As a result of this process, the Costa del Sol has become the favourite destination for social groups seeking products and services especially designed to meet their needs. For instance, senior travellers, who have found in Málaga an interesting mix of all the things they need. Thus, pensioners from around the world come to Málaga to relax and have fun, age being no barrier at all.
What is more, they rent or buy houses, flats, and cottages, which has led housing developers to create senior resorts (residential areas for people aged 55 or over), where residents can find healthcare services, sports and leisure activities, and many additional advantages within walking distance of their homes.

NATURISM
Málaga has become one of the capitals of international naturism, featuring lots of different places for nudists –beaches, campsites, naturist centres, country villas, nature spaces– and having a population respectful of all lifestyles.
There are many naturist centres in Málaga. Costa Natura is perhaps the most famous, as it was the first of its kind in Spain. It is close to Estepona, and it has one of the best nudist beaches. In fact, Costa Natura is like a miniature town, including 2- to 6-bed apartments and lots of facilities: swimming pools, whirlpool tubs, sauna baths, beach bars, a club, a fitness centre, a healthcare unit, restaurants, a supermarket, sports courts, and so on. The apartments can be rented or bought. In Almayate, 2 kilometres away from Torre del Mar, there is Almanat, just by the beach. Almanat is a campsite, comprising 172 lots and a bungalow area. Its facilities include a fitness centre, a whirlpool tub, a sauna, an outdoor and an indoor swimming pool, a solarium, a playground for children, a restaurant, an Internet zone, a cinema theatre, a room for social events, a supermarket, a recreational area, a barbecue area, sports courts, and others.
Naturists can also engage in country travel in Málaga. There are many places where you can practice nudism in the countryside –fully-equipped country houses and residences, some of which even have organic gardens.

GETAWAYS
Málaga is the perfect destination when you want to get away from it all for a few days. It breathes the pure essence of the Mediterranean: kilometres of beaches, over 300 sunny days a year, golf facilities, cultural activities, delicious food, sports, fun and leisure, and many other things. Málaga is a cosmopolitan city, open to the world and yet preserving its deeply-rooted traditions. It is a place, in sum, where all factors come together for an unforgettable experience.
The Costa del Sol boasts countless hotels, ranging from luxury resorts to charming accommodations and boarding houses. In Málaga City, there are newly developed business hotels, whereas the hinterland features country retreats offering quality service and maximum comfort in traditional areas.
There are so many options that every tourist is bound to find the one that best suits their needs and budgets. Finally, there are several campsites or bungalow areas. Affordable accommodation is available in coastal towns and in interior villages alike.

CITY BREAKS
Long weekends are an ideal time to take a break, enjoy yourself, and get to know new places. Málaga Province and the Costa del Sol have all you need for a city break: sun and sand, sports and fun, traditional food, and an interesting cultural heritage.
Málaga's hotel infrastructure is ready to welcome city break visitors, and its transportation network efficiently connects the province to anywhere in Spain. The city's international airport, Pablo Ruiz Picasso, is being expanded with a new terminal and runway. Trains are a comfortable means of transport, too. The recently-renovated main station is in the heart of town, and the high-speed train (AVE) connects Málaga with Madrid in only 2.5 hours. There are also direct services for the provinces of Seville and Córdoba.

CITIES AND VILLAGES
Some well-known places on the Costa del Sol are:
Costa del Sol - mapMalaga
Torremolinos
Marbella
Puerto Banus
Estepona
Nerja
Mijas
Monda
Alhaurin el Grande
Manilva
Sotogrande
Ronda
Casares
Antequera







Source: Costa del Sol – Patronato de Turismo www.visitcostadelsol.com.


Costa del Sol - Patronato de Turismo

Costa Blanca - Alicante

logo-1The Costa Blanca (Spanish for white coast) is located in south-eastern Spain.

Over 218 kilometres of coastline packed with soft sand beaches washed by calm waters, 2,800 hours of sunshine per year, a privileged climate and a warm sea have been the main attractions for our millions of visitors for decades.
Over time, the development of modern tourist infrastructure and communications routes has made it easier to reach the Costa Blanca.

The landscape is not just defined by the sea, but also by the mountains that overlook it. Alicante is the second most mountainous province in Spain and it is here that we see the grandeur of the Mediterranean landscape. From valleys that are home to crops grown on terraces originally created by the Moors to a horizon packed with oaks, pines and carob trees perfumed by a wide variety of aromatic plants. Those who love mountains and hiking are sure to enjoy the well-signed paths that run through the inland districts. In the south, the mountains give way to palm groves and the smallholdings stretch as far as the eye can see.

The region is also dotted with archaeological sites that give some idea of the rich history of an area that has been populated for thousands of years. Phoenicians, Carthaginians, Romans and Muslims have all left their mark and the remains give us a glimpse of how they lived. Whether on the coast or inland, you'll be able to discover our rich local dishes and the quality wines from the local vineyards.
If you want, you can visit tiny villages hidden among the mountains and modern coastal towns with a lively nightlife. History and monuments mark the landscape of our inland villages and towns. Along the coast there are numerous marinas and countless facilities to allow you to enjoy the sea and water sports.
Golf lovers know that many golf courses have facilities that are second to none.

costa blancaSome towns on the Costa Blanca:

Denia           Javea           Calpe
Benissa           Moraira           Altea
Benidorm           Villajoyosa           Alicante
Santa Pola           Guardamar           Torrevieja
Orihuela                        

Mazarron

mazarron-1The bay of Mazarron is 35km long and runs from Bolnuevo in the south, known for its Ciuda Encantada -"Enchanted City"- which is a rock formation cut out by wind and erosion, to La AzohĂ­a in the north.
La AhozĂ­a is famous among underwater speleologists.

The underwater tunnels and hallways stretch for miles and are enormously complex. It is strongly recommend to only exploring these caves when equipped with a good map.

A little further is a charming village where they still fish for tuna with the traditional fishing nets called "almadraba".
If you like rest and relaxation there are many small and quiet beaches like Reya, Bahia, Nares or El Castelar, or small bays such as Cala Amarilla, Percheles or Punto Calnegre. If you're lucky you might catch a glimpse of some dolphins or maybe even a small whale.

More than 20 well explained travel routes that can be done on foot, by bike or on horseback gives you an amazing view of the coast and the lands beyond.
At the centre of the bay you will find Puerto de Mazzaron, a tourist centre with excellent hotels,
terraces and an animated nightlife.

Worth visiting is the old roman salt facility, which reminds us of Mazarron's history as the production centre of salted vegetables and fish.

The city of Mazarron itself is found 3km from the coast. Eye-catchers are the monastery-church of La Purisma.

Legend has it the Virgin Mary appeared here right before the Berber tribes assaulted the city and as such miraculously allowed the citizens to evacuate the city in time. The town has a long history, and every street corner has its own story to tell.


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Mar Menor

mar menor-1The Mar Menor, "small sea" is the largest salt water lagune of Europe and together with the Meditteranean sea the area counts more than 230 kilometers of sandy beaches, also known as the Costa Calida.

Near this coastal area everything is possible. You can swim, sail, windsurf, enjoy a waterbike or just relax on one of the sandy beaches on the coast or on one of the islands in the Mar Menor.

The water of the Mar Menor has a high therapeutical value because of it's high concentration of mineral salts and jodium. Many bathhouses and hotels populate the coast and offer al sorts of therapeutical treatments, but if you prefer you can keep it simple and dig up the healing mud on your own.


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La Manga Strip

la manga strip-1La Manga del Mar Menor is a stretch of land 22km long that divides the Mar Menor from the Mediterranean.
It's riddled with many villas, apartments, hotels and stores. The largest marina of the Mar Menor is Tomás Maestre with more than 1000 places to lay anchor and surrounded by all possible sorts of restaurants.

In summertime the place is filled with life and a guaranteed place to find an animated nightlife.
Behind the port, at the end of the land stretch is Veneziola, a zone of canals and moats that connects the 2 coasts.


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