Costa del Sol and Costa de Almería: Places to Explore

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  • Agua Amarga

    Like other coastal hamlets, Agua Amarga started out in the 18th century as a tuna-fishing port. These days, as perhaps the most pleasant village on the Cabo de Gata coast, it attracts lots of visitors... Read more

  • Almería

    Warmed by the sunniest climate in Andalusia, Almería is a youthful Mediterranean city, basking in sweeping views of the sea from its coastal perch and close to several beaches. It's also a capital of the... Read more

  • Almuñécar

    This small-time resort with a shingle beach is popular with Spanish and Northern European vacationers. It's been a fishing village since Phoenician times, three thousand years ago, when it was called Sexi... Read more

  • Antequera

    The town of Antequera holds a surprising number of magnificent baroque monuments (including some 30 churches)—it provides a unique snapshot of a historic Andalusian town, one a world away from the resorts... Read more

  • The Axarquía

    The Axarquía region stretches from Nerja to Málaga, and the area's charm lies in its mountainous interior, peppered with pueblos, vineyards, and tiny farms. Its coast consists of narrow, pebbly beaches... Read more

  • Benalmádena

    Benalmádena-Pueblo, the village proper, is on the mountainside 7 km (4 miles) from the coast. It's surprisingly unspoiled and offers a glimpse of the old Andalusia. Benalmádena-Costa, the beach resort... Read more

  • Casares

    The mountain village of Casares lies high above Estepona in the Sierra Bermeja, with streets of ancient white houses piled one on top of the other, perched on the slopes beneath a ruined but impressive... Read more

  • Estepona

    Estepona is a pleasant and relatively tranquil seaside resort, despite being surrounded by an ever-increasing number of urban developments. The beach, more than 1 km (mile) long, has better-quality sand... Read more

  • Fuengirola

    Fuengirola is less frenetic than Torremolinos. Many of its waterfront high-rises are vacation apartments that cater to budget-minded sunseekers from Northern Europe and, in summer, a large contingent from... Read more

  • The Guadalhorce Valley

    Coming from Antequera, take the El Torcal exit, turning right onto A343, then from the village of Alora, follow the small road north to the awe-inspiring Garganta del Chorro (Gorge of the Stream), a deep... Read more

  • Málaga

    Many tourists ignore the capital of the Costa del Sol entirely, heading straight for the beaches west of the city instead, although cruise-ship tourism now brings plenty of visitors to the city. Approaching... Read more

  • Marbella

    Thanks to its year-round mild climate and a spectacular natural backdrop, Marbella has been a playground for the rich and famous since the 1950s, when wealthy Europeans first put Marbella on the map as... Read more

  • Mijas

    Mijas is in the foothills of the sierra just north of the coast. Long ago foreign retirees discovered the pretty, whitewashed town, and though the large, touristy square may look like an extension of the... Read more

  • Nerja

    Nerja—the name comes from the Moorish word narixa, meaning "abundant springs"—has a large community of expats, who live mainly outside town in urbanizaciones ("village" developments). The old village is... Read more

  • Ojén

    For a contrast to the glamour of the coast, drive up to Ojén, in the hills above Marbella. Take note of the beautiful pottery and, if you're here the first week in August, don't miss the Fiesta de Flamenco... Read more

  • San José and the Cabo de Gata Nature Reserve

    San José is the largest village in the southern part of the Cabo de Gata Nature Reserve and has a pleasant bay, though these days the village has rather outgrown itself and can be quite busy in summer... Read more

  • Tarifa

    Tarifa's strong winds helped keep it off the tourist maps for years, but now it is Europe's biggest center for windsurfing and kiteboarding, and the wide, white-sand beaches stretching north of the town... Read more

  • Torremolinos

    Torremolinos is all about fun in the sun. It may be more subdued than it was in the action-packed 1960s and 1970s, but it remains the gay capital of the Costa del Sol. Scantily attired Northern Europeans... Read more

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