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Area Info Guide

Benalmadena
Cabopino
Calahonda
Estepona
Fuengirola
La Cala de Mijas
Málaga City
Marbella
Mijas Pueblo
Miraflores
Puerto Banus
San Pedro
Torremolinos

Other areas of interest
Córdoba
Gibraltar
Granada
Nerja
Ronda
Seville
Sierra Nevada

map of Costa del Sol

Benalmadena
Benalmadena is just 19 kilometers from Malaga Airport and enjoys a privileged position looking out onto the Mediterranean Sea. It is a very popular tourist resort. The promenade stretches several kilometers and is one of the smartest of the Costa del Sol and stretches across the Benalmadena area. There are many bars and restaurants all along the sea front, where you can enjoy a pleasant time looking out across the Mediterranean or watching the world go by.
Benalmadena is split into three main areas areas: top

Arroyo de la Miel
The busy commercial town centre separating the Pueblo on the hill from the sea front. Arroyo town is well worth a visit with its multitude of shops, bars and restaurants. There is an excellent train service that runs through Arroyo between Fuengirola and Malaga, so spending a day out is easy.

Benalmádena Pueblo
The beautiful white washed Pueblo is the old village which looks down over the Costa. There are a number of excellent restaurants and bars in the Pueblo and you can pass a number of hour’s people watching from the cafes in the quaint streets.

Benalmádena Costa
The coastal area, with many beaches and the award winning Marina with its excellent facilities, fantastic nightlife and the fabulous Aquarium Sealife.

Every type of cuisine imaginable is catered for in Benlamadena and there are many English, Scottish and Irish pubs, most of which have live big screen sporting events. You can also find nationality restaurants, including, Chinese, Japanese, Italian, Dutch,etc and you should also try out the local dishes in one of the beach "Chiringuito" (Beach Bar) where fresh fish dishes are served up with your choice of drinks be it a glass of the local sangria a local beer or a chilled glass of white wine.
If you are looking for nightlife Benalmadena is one of the best places on the Costa del Sol with a large selection of different types of bars, clubs, restaurants that there is always something to suit all tastes. The two main areas for nightlife are Plaza Solymar also known locally as 24hr square or the Puerto Marina. top


Cabopino
Cabopino is unlike anywhere else on the coast with its fabulous marina and beautiful beaches. An old fortified watchtower still stands proudly by the sand dunes alongside the beach. From its privileged position it is possible to see all along the coast to Marbella and Gibraltar and Africa beyond, a spectacular backdrop for a spectacular beach.
Puerto Cabopino provides mooring for boats and a variety of water sports, as well as a lovely beach. It is just twelve kilometres from Marbella and fourteen kilometres from Fuengirola and is a real hidden gem. The fabulous stretch of beach with its numerous beach bars and quality restaurants is well worth a visit. The atmosphere in the marina is very relaxed with people sitting taking coffee watching the world go by.

Cabopino is well sheltered and protected from the elements, and artificial reefs on either side of the beach keep the waves and wind at bay. Lifeguards - on duty throughout the summer - combined with the beach's gentle slope into the sea, make Cabopino child-friendly and safe. The sand is well maintained and clean and Chiringuitos (beachside bars and restaurants) are plentiful here and are renowned for their excellent quality. Costa del Sol residents come from far and wide to sample Cabopino's specialty, superb seafood at prices that won't break the bank. There is also a nudist section on the beach.
Cabopino is also home to Cabopino Golf one of the many excellent golf courses on the Costa del Sol and there are many other courses in the close proximity of Cabopino. top

Calahonda
Calahonda is also between Marbella and Fuengirola and is just a thirty minute drive from Malaga airport. Calahonda is easy to find just of the main A7 motorway that serves the Costa del Sol.

While the vast majority of Calahonda is devoted to villas, townhouses and space for four golf courses, there are, three commercial centres which house most of the development's forty plus restaurants, cafes and bars as well as banks, several supermarkets and a wide variety of other businesses including:, furniture, travel agencies, car hire, and much more.

If you are sporty then Calahonda is the place for you. There are ten golf courses within a ten kilometre radius of this urbanisation and a large sports centre which houses tennis courts and a fitness centre. You will also find an array of water sports offered on the beach. top

Estepona
Estepona is a beautiful coastal town that has succeeded in maintaining its pueblo charm and character, but also succeeding in providing tourists facilities, restaurants, leisure and cultural activities, and shops.

Estepona town has cobbled, narrow streets with numerous street cafes and tapas bars that serve traditional Spanish delicacies and you can of course also find your more traditional English and Irish fayre.

Estepona Marina is a very pleasant place for a stroll and there are some excellent bars and restaurants to sample both during the day and later on at night. The port comes alive at night and there are numerous night clubs and discos for the young and energetic to enjoy.

If you enjoy shopping most of the shops are situated in the town centre on Calle Real or Calle Terraza. Right in the centre of Estepona is the town’s most popular beach, La Rada Beach. It has a modern sea front promenade and numerous Chiringuitos (beach bars), are located throughout the seafront and serve traditional fayre, such as paella and fresh sardines, or a choice of international-style dishes. To the west of the Marina is El Cristo beach which is in a delightful sheltered cove, ideal for children, serious sunbathers will love El Cristo beach as its ideal location means longer hours of sunshine. It has a good atmosphere with music playing at two of the beach bars.
Quieter beaches can be found a few km to the east or west of the town. Try Playa del Castor just to the east or Rio Castor at km 160.5. Spain's first purpose built naturist complex is located to the east of the town at km 151. The complex is for members only, but temporary membership is available for touring naturists and the uninhibited curious. The beach here is, of course, open to the public and is officially classified 'naturist'. top

Fuengirola
Fuengirola is just a twenty minute drive from Malaga airport along the main A7 motorway. It is most famous for its sandy beaches and magnificent views over the Mediterranean. There is an excellent bus service from the main station in central Fuengirola and the local train station serves places along the coast including Benalmadena and Torremolinos and ends in Malaga City.

The promenade stretches the length of Fuengirola and has many bars and restaurants to sit and relax in and watch the world go by. You will find restaurants of all description ranging from traditional tapas bars and shellfish dishes to more traditional British food .Shopping in Fuengirola is excellent and people come from far and wide to browse around the shops and boutiques that cater for all tastes. It also has a large shopping centre on the outskirts “Myramar”.

Annual fiestas here include the feast of the Virgin del Carmen in July when local fishermen carry an effigy of the Virgin out to sea, while the colourful feria takes place in October and is the time when the town really comes to life with flamenco and fun which carries on for a week.
Whatever you look for in a holiday destination, from quiet evenings out or family orientated venues, to full on bars and clubs, Fuengirola has it all. top

La Cala de Mijas
La Cala de Mijas lies between Fuengirola and Marbella approximately twenty five minutes drive west from Malaga International Airport. The long blue flag beaches are well cared for, clean and have soft golden sand. Whilst La Cala has maintained a level of the real Spain it has also taken on, in a small way, something of an international flavour. La Cala has a number of excellent restaurants ranging from tapas bars, chiringuitos to haute cuisine and there are also many bars and shops to choose from. For the keen golfer there are a multitude of courses in the area to name but a few, La Cala Golf, Calanova Golf, Mijas Golf, Santana Golf and El Chaparral all of which are within a five to ten minute drive. top

Malaga
The City of Malaga is fascinating with a rich and unique history which gives visitors a great variety of interesting things to do and see. Well worth a visit the castle which was rebuilt by the Moors and is today a traditional parador (state hotel) with superb panoramic views. The impressive park on Calle Alameda has some of the most celebrated botanical collections in Europe. During the winter, open air concerts are held here. Pablo Picasso is the city's famous son and there are several galleries showing his work, including the 16th century Museum of Fine Arts, adjacent to the Cathedral. The old sector of Malaga is full is well worth a visit with its fabulous architecture & al fresco eating with a multitude of tapas bars and restaurants. For those shopper’s amongst you Malaga is a dream with designer shops, boutiques and many shops for those of you with a more moderate budget. There are also two shopping centres, Larios centre and Maria Zambrana at the train station.

Malaga has a new main train station and shopping centre which runs to numerous locations in Andalucía and has a local service (Cercanías) which includes Malaga airport, Torremolinos, Benalmadena and Fuengirola. If you fancy seeing the city by open top bus there is a fabulous tour that you can take around the city’s which stops a all the major hotspots. top

Marbella
Marbella is a truly luxurious resort which seems to have it all and is a favourite location with the rich and famous, as well as more ordinary folk who are willing to pay just a little bit extra for southern Spain's answer to St Tropez. Marbella has a down to earth side as well which can be best appreciated by exploring the back streets in the old part of town. When visiting Orange Square, or "La Plaza de los Naranjos", as it is called in Spanish, you will find stately buildings, small shops, art galleries, bars and restaurants which are alive with activity both day and night. There are numerous excellent restaurants to choose from, ranging from those specialising in cordon bleu to the backstreet Spanish bar where you can experience a huge selection of tapas or taste Serrano ham gently cured by tobacco smoke.

The Marbella coastline stretches along some 26 kilometres of sunny beaches from Guadalalmina to Cabopino bathed by the Mediterranean and where you can enjoy traditional fish and seafood favourites like Paella, sardines on a spit, and fried fish to name but a few. If you feel like some peace and quiet to take time to watch the world go by or read a book the there are two large parks in Marbella which provide some welcome shade. The amphitheatre at Constitution Park is frequently used for concerts and plays in the summer. Casinos, clubs and just about every sporting activity under the sun, few places can match Marbella for world class tennis, sailing and golf. There are also three pleasure craft harbours here. top

Mijas
At an altitude of 425 metres above sea level, amongst the lush vegetation of the foothills and the pine forests on the side of the Sierra de Mijas, Mijas is one of the most famous pueblos blancos (white villages), offering a superb view over Fuengirola and the Mediterranean.

The narrow streets are filled with ceramic shops and artesian crafts and the area has become a favourite with artists. You can sit and relax at one of the many restaurants and take in the spectacular views. The children can also take a donkey ride, or the whole family can enjoy a horse and carriage ride through the town. top

Miraflores
Miraflores sits on the coast midway between Marbella and Fuengirola and is situated only a few minutes from the A7 motorway allowing access to Malaga airport in 25 minutes. Miraflores is a mixed residential and holiday area enjoying every facility and services needed to enjoy life comfortably. Banks, Restaurants, Shops, Supermarket, Chemist and a health shop are all to hand. Riviera del Sol runs down to the beach and is adjacent to Calahonda.

Miraflores also has its own golf course, golf School, tennis Club, lawn bowls and there are numerous other golf courses including La Cala golf and Mijas golf are within a 10 minutes drive. Bus routes lead to all areas and there are bus stops either side of the A7 motorway going to Marbella (a fifteen minute drive away) one way and Fuengirola (ten minute drive) the other. top

Puerto Banus
Puerto Banus is located between Marbella and San Pedro, and world famous for its marina and luxury yachts moored there. Puerto Banus is now a landmark on the Costa del Sol as a place to see and be seen in. The marina is magnificent with its array of bars, restaurants and designer boutiques and there is no better place to sit and watch the world go by. The yachts moored here really do have to be seen to be believed. If you enjoy deep sea fishing you can charter a luxury yacht for the day. There is also a boat bus that leaves the marina in Puerto Banus and goes to Marbella. There is also the chance to walk along the Paseo or Promenade on the left hand beach all the way to Marbella. Great for joggers and walkers alike!!

Since its inception some forty years ago, the port has steadily grown and now features a casino, commercial shopping centre, a Corte Ingles department store, marine observatory and a multi cinema with films shown with their original soundtrack.
Nightlife buzzes at Puerto Banus with your choice of alfresco bars, piano clubs and discos while during the day this is a window shoppers dream with several of the world renowned fashions houses featured here, in addition to small, interesting shops and boutiques.

There are two main beach areas to Puerto Banus, one to the left of the Marina, the other to the right. Each beach stretches out at least 150 m in length and both areas are very clean and well organised with lifeguards on duty in the summer months.
The alleys and lanes from the front-line marina area back are lined with yet more boutiques, bars and clubs which cater for every budget and every nationality. If some of the exclusive boutiques are a little too expensive for your budget you can check out the Centro Commercial Marina Banus. This is where the majority of regular high street brands have their stores. Opposite Marina Banus is El Corte Ingles the magnificent department store where it is possible to buy literally anything!! To the left of El Corte Ingles is another Centro Commercial, Cristomar. This centre has many individual boutiques and antique shops.

Central to Puerto Banus can be found Plaza Antonio Banderas, a large area dedicated to fountains and a great place to sit and relax. Throughout the summer there is an Artisans market here with wonderful stalls offering creative and innovative gifts and souvenirs. top

San Pedro
San Pedro is just ten kilometres west from all the glitz and glamour of Marbella, yet just a few minutes drive away from the natural beauty of the Sierra de Ronda mountain range and twenty kilometres from the town of Estepona. An ancient farming community, once famous for sugar cane, today San Pedro is a refreshingly unspoilt pueblo with an appeal all of its own. San Pedro is approximately sixty Kilometres from Malaga airport.

Be sure to head for the central plaza here with its gracious parish church and surrounding narrow streets which are packed with intriguing small shops, sidewalk cafes and bars. Thursday is street market day with all the associated hustle and bustle; a veritable bargain shopper's paradise.

A pleasant walk is from the centre of town to the beachfront along the Avenida del Marques del Duero which is a particularly attractive wide avenue flanked by palm trees. And the modern wide promenade is ideal for continuing your stroll (or skateboarding!) with several excellent chiringuitos (beachside restaurants) specialising in fish dishes. Visit Bora Bora if only for a drink at the bar. It is one of the best beach clubs on the coast, with a superb restaurant and all the usual beach facilities, a tropical paradise.
San Pedro also has the last summer fair (feria) in Andalucía being in the second week in October. top

Torremolinos
The popular resort of Torremolinos is just a ten minute drive from Malaga International airport.
In the last few years the local authorities have made major improvements to Torremolinos which has a newly modelled town centre and very clean beaches. The town has regained some of the charm of the fishing village it once was. Torremolinos has evolved as an attractive and appealing resort noted for its clean sandy beaches, wide choice of hotels and restaurants and unparalleled variety of entertainment, activities and nightlife available. There is a wide range of water sports on offer in the summer months.
The Romería de San Miguel open-air festival, at the end of September, is considered to be one of the best in Andalusia.

There are plenty of beach front cafés (called Chiringuitos) selling fried fish, snacks and refreshments. Calle San Miguel is a pretty little street lined with small shops and cafés, it provides a glimpse of the old Torremolinos, as a small fishing village, and is worth the walk. top

Other Places of interest

Cordoba
Cordoba lies in the geographical centre of Andalucía. In the course of its history, Cordoba has been a meeting place of people, races, cultures and religions of different kinds which have left behind an important legacy of popular architecture and historical sites. Cordoba was founded by the Romans and became a port city of great importance. The Romans built the mighty bridge, now called El Puente Romano, crossing the River Guadalquivir but their greatest glory came when it became the capital of the Moorish Kingdom of El-Andalus and this was when work began on the Great Mosque, which became one of the largest in all of Islam. When the city was reconquered by the Christians in 1236, the new rulers were so in awe of its beauty that they left it standing, building their Cathedral in the midst of its rows of arches and columns and creating the extraordinary church-mosque that we see today. Other treasures include the Alcazar, a fortress built by the Christians in 1328, the Calahorra Fort, built by the Arabs, which guards the Roman Bridge and the ancient Jewish Synagogue. The medieval quarter is a labyrinth of winding narrow streets, shady flower filled courtyards and picturesque squares such as La Plaza del Potro. top

Gibraltar
Gibraltar, or the famous ‘Rock’, can be visited by car or by coach trip. It is basically a limestone rock formed on millions of small shelled animals which died and settled on the seabed.

Gibraltar is joined to mainland Spain by a narrow isthmus (strip of land) and is rightly famous for its wildlife and the upper parts have been designated as a nature reserve. Other attractions include the Moorish Castle; the convent now used as the official residence of the Governor; the Shrine of our Lady of Europe and the great siege tunnels being just a few.

There are many dolphin and fishing trips available and of course there is the tax and duty free shopping. You will need to check how much duty free can be brought back into Spain. top

Granada
Granada sits at the foot of the Sierra Nevada Mountains and it sits on two hill tops. It is a city full of romance and folklore and was the last stronghold of Moorish Spain. It is a wonderful place to visit providing much to see, including the world famous Alhambra Palace. It is essential to book tickets for the palace in advance. Immediately adjacent to the Palace is one of Granada’s other treasures, the Generalife, with its wonderful gardens and courtyards. Another good place to visit is the popular district of Sacromonte with its fine architectural white villas and flowery terraces. top

Nerja
Nerja is on the seashore some fifty kilometres from Malaga on the N340 (A7) coastal highway, and marks the eastern tip of Malaga's Costa del Sol. Nerja boasts some sixteen kilometres of beaches with powdery sand and sparkling clear water. All major water sports are available here, including water skiing, scuba diving and sailing.
Flanked by a dramatic mountain range, Sierra Almijara, to the east, the town has, avoided being blighted by the concrete high-rise scenario that some towns have witnessed. The old quarter of the town is still virtually unchanged with narrow, winding streets, whitewashed houses with wrought iron terraces overflowing with geraniums, on which a canary can sometimes be heard singing.

However, the heart of Nerja is its spectacular Balcón de Europa, the "Balcony of Europe", a magnificent promenade along the edge of a towering cliff, once the site of the great Moorish castle, with sweeping panoramic views of the Mediterranean and the small coves and beaches below, against an awesome backdrop of hazy blue mountains.
There are plenty of restaurants and cafes here to choose from, and the visitor can hire a horse-drawn carriage to explore the most romantic corner of the town.
The town's monuments include the 17th century Church of El Salvador, in a style which is a charming mixture of baroque and Moorish, or mudéjar, and the beautiful Gardens of Capistrano Playa, which descend to Burriana Beach. top

Ronda
Ronda is only a short distance from the coast and is one of the most spectacular places in Spain. Situated some 2,300 feet up in the Serrania de Ronda Mountains, this town has been described as equal parts of art, history and beauty.

The best known attraction is the El Tajo or The Gorge, which is some 500 feet deep and separates the old part of the town from the new. The gorge is spanned by three bridges, one of which is the famous Puente Nuevo. On both sides of the gorge are cliff-hanging houses and hotels which look as if the slightest push would plunge them into the gorge.
Other buildings worth visiting are the Palacio de Mondragon, the Palacio del Marques de Salvatierra and the Casa del Rey Moro. The new part of the town is home to the Plaza de Toros which is open to the public and contains a museum of bullfighting. top

Seville
It has been said that if you only visit two Spanish cities then Seville should be one of them. It is famous for its beauty and romance. Everything associated with Spain and Andalucía comes together in Seville with its orange trees, mantillas and flower filled patios.

The major sights in the city are the Cathedral, the Giralda tower, the Alcazar palace, the barrio de Santa Cruz and the Parque Maria Luisa. There is also a wonderful theme park on a 540 acre island in the river Isla Mágica. The city is full of picture postcard images from the Torre del Oro above the Guadalquivir, to the buildings that were influenced from the period during the height of the renaissance, when the city was doing prosperous trade with the Indies, such as the Town hall, the Hospital de las Cinco Llagas, the Palacio de las Dueñas and the Cas de Pilatos. top

Sierra Nevada
This is the southern most ski station in Europe and is otherwise known as “Sol y nieve’ (sun and snow) precisely because you can go skiing and enjoy great weather at the same time. It has over fifty kilometres of slopes with innumerable routes and difficulties. In Spring it is quite possible to spend half of the day sunbathing on the beach and the other half skiing on the slopes. Outside of the ski season, the National Park has an incredible botanical diversity. In the southern areas there are Alpujarras, very picturesque white villages that cling to the hillsides. top


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