Things to do in Costa del Sol

Once lined with a string of small fishing villages, the Costa del Sol is now dominated by purpose-built resorts and apartment buildings. The beaches are the coastline's greatest attraction, but there are plenty of other things to see and do, with any number of amusement parks and water parks, excellent golf courses, and a very active nightlife at many of the resorts.

Although the historic towns and villages along the Costa del Sol have been somewhat diminished by tourism, it's still possible to get a glimpse of the old Spain. The old town centres in Malaga, Marbella and Mijas are well preserved, and are now home to art galleries, boutiques, and restaurants.

Those seeking a more authentic Spain will need to head to inland, where the small villages remain undeveloped and the spectacular natural parks offer dramatic walking and cycling trails. Ronda is a popular excursion, with its iconic bridge and famous bullring.

Granada and the Alhambra photo

Granada and the Alhambra

Granada is a high altitude city of romance and folklore, boasting one of the most popular tourist attractions in Spain: the Alhambra. A palace-fortress built up between the 9th and…

Granada and the Alhambra

Granada is a high altitude city of romance and folklore, boasting one of the most popular tourist attractions in Spain: the Alhambra. A palace-fortress built up between the 9th and 16th centuries, the Alhambra is the most important and spectacular piece of Moorish architecture in Spain. Set against the backdrop of the Sierra Nevada Mountains, the huge complex includes the Summer Palace with its fountains and gardens, the Palacios Nazaries with its intricate ornamentation, and a hilltop fortress. The queue to get into this UNESCO World Heritage Site gets ridiculously long and tickets should be booked online or booked weeks in advance to avoid disappointment. At least one full day is required to really explore the vast complex.

Gibraltar photo

Gibraltar

This truly incredible limestone formation sits at the end of the Iberian Peninsula, famous for its astounding geology and overly friendly furry friends. Though many countries have …

Gibraltar

This truly incredible limestone formation sits at the end of the Iberian Peninsula, famous for its astounding geology and overly friendly furry friends. Though many countries have claimed the beacon over the years, it's officially owned by the British government and thus it is advised that tourists exchange euros for pounds. The Rock of Gibraltar is easily conquered by cable car, but it's worthwhile to hire a guide to explain the countless caves and rocks, and to entice the wild but sociable monkeys. On clear days, visitors can even view North Africa. St Michael's Cave, long believed to be bottomless, is a thrilling attraction with many myths and stories attached. Part of the massively deep cave is open to visitors and is even used as a concert venue.

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