Holiday on the Costa del Sol
by Veronika Vymyslická
At the end of June, my partner and I left for our first holiday of the year. This time, we decided to visit south of Spain, the area called Costa del Sol. I checked the weather forecast ahead of our departure, and it looked great – sunny weather was guaranteed! So the next morning we were pleased to leave grey Berlin behind, and three hours later we landed at a sunny Malaga Airport.
How to Get There
If you want to visit the Costa del Sol and travel by plane, the best option is to take a flight to Malaga. You can continue from there using various means of transport, but I would recommend traveling by train. The train station is situated in front of the airport building, and it makes frequent stops during its journey along the cost. The connection is excellent, the train runs every 20 mins. We booked the accommodation in Los Boliches and for a single ticket paid 2.70 Euros.
We checked in at Apartamentos Nuriasol and got a spacious apartment on the sixth floor of a big apartment complex. It had a balcony and a well-equipped kitchen (there were even a dishwasher and a washing machine). All the guests were free to use a large pool with sunbeds and umbrellas, but there was also a smaller wading-pool, gym, and a sauna.
Although we didn’t cook very often, we were thrilled to discover the supermarket on the ground floor of the apartment complex. I can eat only gluten-free products, traveling to a foreign country and finding a shop selling these products is always a bit stressful. This time, however, it was easier than we had expected.
Costa del Sol
During the first couple of days, we were just relaxing, enjoying the beautiful weather and exploring the town. There is a long promenade lining the seashore along the Costa del Sol, going on for many kilometers. Walking there was a real pleasure, and the promenade was busy with tourists. From the early morning when it flooded runners in bright outfits through the day when people were trying to find the best spots on beaches, till the late night when merchants offered a variety of goods from their stalls.
The promenade was also filled with restaurants and beach bars which serve various Mediterranean dishes, including the specialty of the Costa del Sol – “Espeto de sardinas” (sardine skewer). The preparation is a little peculiar – the sardines are skewered on a stick and stuck in sand in an old boat with charcoal and grilled on an open fire. It is served salted, sprinkled with various herbs and with a side dish of your choice. We loved their salads.
The coast consists of many beaches which are regularly cleaned, and there is usually a possibility to rent a sunbed (5 euros a day) or just to lie down on your own blanket. There are public toilets, and most of the beaches have a shower as well. The sea is shallow near the shore and suitable for small children. However, at the time of our visit, the sea was still quite cold.
Things to Do or See
During one of our tours of the neighborhood, we walked to the town Fuengirola and then even further along the cost to the Sohail Castle (Castillo Sohail). It is on a hill right behind a beautiful bridge over the Fuengirola river. The top of the hill provided excellent views and inside the castle was an exposition describing its history. Under the hill was a park with an auditorium and we saw a program advertising multigenre concerts during the summer. On the walk back we bought an ice cream and agreed that it was a great day out.
Another place of interest we visited was Finca del Secretario (Secretary’s Estate) – Roman Archeological site situated in Los Boliches. Its size is not extensive, and it didn’t seem to be very popular among tourists, but I would still recommend paying a visit, if only to the part with the Roman baths. You can see excavations of the rooms with hot and cold pools, including the original floor mosaic. The admission is free, and there is a pleasant café in one of the corners of the site.
Benalmádena Cable Car
We went on a hiking trip in the Sierra de Mijas and used the cable car from Benalmádena – Arroyo de la Miel to the mount Calamorro (770m). The return ticket cost 15 Euros, but it is cheaper when buying online. Single ticket cost 9 Euros. The peak offers beautiful panoramas of the Costa del Sol and the Bay of Malaga. You can also watch a falcon show, which is held twice a day. There is also a restaurant with a view, but everything is overpriced. To get back down you can use the cable car again or follow one of the marked hiking trails as we did.
Malaga City Centre
The center of Malaga is easily accessible by train. The journey from Los Boliches takes about 50 mins and return ticket cost about 8 Euros. There is a lot to do and see, and I would recommend getting there early in the morning to have at least one whole day. This is what we managed to see during our visit to Malaga:
- Mount Gibralfaro – it is a 130m high hill with paths, flowers, and greenery providing excellent views of Malaga and the seaside
- Alcazaba Fortress – medieval fortress overlooking the sea and remainings of a Roman theatre
- Museum of Picasso – as Malaga is a birthplace of Picasso, there is a museum presenting his work in chronological order
- Malaga Park – this park is situated in the city center and includes fountains and variation of tropical and subtropical plants
- Malaga Port – a port of an international significance with a pleasant promenade to walk by and admire all the shiny yachts you wish were yours
Selwo Aventura and Selwo Marina
Sadly, there wasn’t any time left for us to visit either of the parks. They both look great, although I favor the Selwo Aventura a bit more, as it promises to provide an experience of the wild nature of Africa. Selwo Marina is a maritime world with dolphins and sea lions, located in Benalmádena (as the cable car) and there is a ticket with a significant discount available if you decide to visit both parks and the cable car.