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Tourism and Information

General guide to the Costa del Sol

The Costa Del Sol is the name given to the almost , 300 kilometres of coastline stretching from Gibraltar in the West, to Almunecar in the East. Although' officially the Costa Del Sol falls within the three provinces of Cadiz, Malaga and Granada, it is that bit, stretching from NeIja to Estepona, all within the province of Malaga, which is best known. The coast consists of a series of large beaches, coves half hidden amongst cliffs, sports harbours and fishing grounds. It is protected from cold north wipds by the mountains and has a mild climate with scant rainfall and sea breezes. This weather results in subtropical vegetation with frequent palm-trees, cypress, oleander and hibiscus and other colourful plants. Oranges, lemons and olives grow in abundance and it is often a surprise to visitors to find streets in towns lined with fruit bearing orange trees! Away from the coast the scenery is largely mountainous but with pretty, typically Spanish, villages, valleys full of orchards and spectacular views.

Malaga, the fifth largest city in Spain is situated practically in the centre of the Costa bul with the major tourist an.:as 10 Ihe West. Like the whole of Ihe coast Malaga has been int1uenced by the different cultures which have populated it. Founded by the Phoenicians in the 7th Century, it later became a Roman munici~ pality until it was conquered by the Moors and finally re-conquered by the Christians in 1487. With such a varied hislory it is no surprise lhallhe City contains a wealth of nteresting features including fine gardens, a magnificent Cathedral, the Alcazaba (11 th century Moorish castle) and numerous museums and galleries.

To anyone not familiar with the Costa Del Sol it may seem that each tourist resort and town is the same as the others. This is certainly not the case and, in fact, each town has a different character dependant on what it was like before the days of tourism and how it has been developed still. Torremolinos, the first resort heading west from Malaga was the pioneer for resorts in the area and many people slill associate it with it's reputation of 30 or more years ago. Whilst it still has it's discos and high rise apartment blocks the old fisherman's quarter has been developed into a an area of wonderful shops and restaurants and, with it's two main beaches, Bajondillo and La Carihuela it has everything for a wonderful holiday.

Still heading west is Benalmadena Costa a modem resort built as an extension of the older towns of Arroyo de la Miel and Benalmadena Pueblo. Between them these three areas provide every facility from one of the finest pleasure ports on the Mediterranean, to a modem seaside area and, in Benalmadena Pueblo, a typical "white" Spanish village.

Another name synonymous with the Cosla del Sol is Fuengirola which has the longest sea front promenade on the coast logether with an older lawn centre and all the attractions that you would associate with a good holiday resort. Mijas is another "white" village famed for it's donkey taxis and now spread down to the coast as Mijas Costa. Continuing further west we come to the well known town of Marbella. Unlike many of the other towns along the coast this was never a little fishing port but has always been \ a thriving trading town. Along with Puerto Banus and Estepona, further to the west, Marbella has been very successful in attracting up market guests with exclusive developments, luxury hotels and five star shopping.

The area to the east of Malaga is less well developed with the main resort town being Nerja, a small town built on a ledge where the mountains meet the sea. Nerja is famed for it's protected climate, clear air, famous caves and if's magnificent views over the sea. For those who are prepared to travel inland, the area is full of small white villages with their narrow winding streets and each with their own character and history. There are several areas of incredible natural beauty and the two inland towns of Ronda and Antequera are each extremely interesting in their own way. Ronda is a particular favorite with visitors with it's deep gorge, ancient bullring and magnificent mansions.

Another outstanding feature of the area is it's numerous golf courses. The Costa del Sol with it's alternative name of Costa del Golf, is a must for golfers who will find everything they need for just a round or two or a full golfing holiday. Finally, of course the Costa del Sol is rightly acclaimed for it's way of life, with plenty of small bars to relax in, superb food, wonderful people and, of course it's ferias and fairs. '

Every town and village has at least one feria to celebrate it's patron saint. These ferias usually last fur a week and are an excuse for residents and visitors alike to really enjoy themselves from early morning to early the following morning! If there is a feria on whilst you are on holiday - why not· visit?

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