Fodor's Travel Talk Forums

Fodor's Travel Talk Forums (
-   Europe (
-   -   Costa del Sol (Spain) versus Cote d Azur (France) ?? (

mikenicky Dec 4th, 2013 11:27 PM

Costa del Sol (Spain) versus Cote d Azur (France) ??
Advantages and Disadvantages please and comparison in all areas for six month holiday rental??? Feb to July.

Rubicund Dec 5th, 2013 12:04 AM

"comparison in all areas" "Advantages and Disadvantages"

This is a very broad question and one that we can't answer. You're going to have to explain what you look for in a holiday, weather, food, architecture, budget etc. before we can can remotely hope to give any advice. You should be aware that preferences are subjective only and reflect the respondents preferences, e.g. I prefer the Costa del Sol!

You need to do some research and narrow it down.

sprogster Dec 5th, 2013 01:17 AM

A major consideration is the climate as in the south of France the winters are surprisingly wet and cold and daylight hours short, being on a similar latitude to Toronto. Also in recent years the Spring has been extremely wet, so I would avoid the south of France in Feb and March being the wettest time of year, as the warm weather does not really start until early May.
Also the Cote D'Azur, outside Nice, can be dead in winter with many restaurants and other establishments shut until late April.

mikenicky Dec 5th, 2013 01:20 AM

Thank you. I guess we kept it broad because we want to know everything about people's individual preferences and experiences. So why do you prefer Costa Del Sol??

To be more specific, I could ask about Accommodation and Costs, Things to do, Access to means of Travel. Don't care about weather or food.

Thanks again.

Mike and Nicky

sprogster Dec 5th, 2013 01:26 AM

Generally speaking Spain is a lot cheaper.

hetismij2 Dec 5th, 2013 02:32 AM

The Costa del Sol doesn't close down for winter - it is full of (older) northern Europeans escaping the cold, and enjoying the cheap accommodation and food. It is often cheaper for them to move to the Costa del Sol for three months than stay home and heat their homes.
The weather is not always great, but certainly is better than in northern Europe. It is actually quite a lively area in winter.
Car rental is cheap in Spain as a rule, so you can decide to rent a car occasionally to get out and about a bit too.

kimhe Dec 8th, 2013 08:51 AM

Costa del Sol:
If you want it small and quiet, take a look at wonderful Maro (pop 800):

If you want city, I recommend genuine Málaga (pop 570 000).

Nerja (pop. 22 000) would be something in between. Has retained much of its Andalucian small town charm, but has got all the amenities that also makes it popular with tourists. I would stay in the old town, perhaps try to find a place along seaside Calle Carabeo, the oldest street in town. Runs along the cliffs on this picture:

Old town street in Nerja:

Some rentals in Calle Carabeo: (I've stayed in this one, excellent!)

Excellent public transportation in the area. You are close to Granada with the spectacular Alhambra:

Close to Córdoba and the famous Mezquita (50 min with the high speed AVE train from Málaga). "The city that changed the world":

Antequera is a personal favourite, just 45 min by bus North of Málaga. Known as "the heart of Andalucía" or "the crossroads of Andalucía". Almost right in the middle of the Sevilla, Córdoba, Granada, Málaga rectangle. Here you'll find dolmens (some 5000 years old burial chambers), Roman baths, a Moorish Castle, Gothic churches, Renaissance fountains and Baroque bell towers. Antequera was the first of the Granada emirate towns to fall to the Christians in 1410.

I love the terrace in the corner of the peaceful square in front of the Real Colegiata de Santa María la Mayor, the first partly Renaissance-style church in Spain (built 1514-1550). Up here it's totally peace and quiet. Next to the recently excavated Roman baths beneath and looking up on the 13th century Moorish alcazaba/fortress. Great views over unique landscapes (the spectacular Torcal limestone mountain etc.).

If you decide for Costa del Sol, I can highly recommend Michael Jacobs book "Andalucia" as an introduction to the regions immensely rich Phoenician, Roman, Moslem, Jewish, Christian and Gypsy history and culture. Also lots of great tips about places outside the beaten tourist track.

Or you can start here:

National Geographic on Andalucía:

mikenicky Dec 9th, 2013 12:00 PM

Thanks so much for your replies..... "Kimhe" in particular for your huge amount of detail. Certainly looks like Spain is a better bet in terms of both warmth and cost.



PalenQ Dec 9th, 2013 12:22 PM

I've been to both more than once and would take the French Riviera in a heart beat because IMO it is in easy reach of so so many great places - to nearby Italy - to Avignon/Arles/Aix by train or car in a few hours and places like Antibes, Saint-Tropez, Vence, St-Paul-de-Vence, Grasse and lovely drives to train into the heart of Provence like to Annot - a sleepy backwater.

Yeh the weather may not be quite as warm and it may be a bit more dear but at least to me and want I want - I found the Costa del Sol basically a string of modern hotels catering to an at times loud British lager lout crowd - English seems to be the lingua franca in the Costa del Sol.

Well there are nice day trips from the Sol too - Granada, Gibraltar perhaps Seville, Ronda, etc.

The two are not peas in pods but have great similarities - I wonder how much warmer the weather is in Sol than Azur in most of the winter?

StuDudley Dec 9th, 2013 02:52 PM

I've never visited the Costa del Sol - and everything I've read or heard about it from friends has convinced me that I've made a good choice for my tastes in travel. We've spent 16 weeks n the Cote d'Azur. We were in Andalucia for 2 weeks this past October - Cordoba, Granada, Ronda, Seville, and Cadiz.

Here is what Rick Steves has to say about the Costa del Sol:

Stu Dudley

kimhe Dec 10th, 2013 05:10 AM

Costa del Sol east and west of Málaga city are two different things. Málaga city, Nerja and Maro to the east are far from the tourist machines west of the city. All are fairly close to fabulous Sevilla, Córdoba and Granada. Beautiful landscapes and lots of small villages just inland in the Axarquía region, and in the Alpujarras. You also have one of the most sunny ski resorts in the world in Sierra Nevada close to Granada.

Axarquía (inland between Málaga and Nerja):
Alpujarras inland towards Granada:
Sierra Nevada, skiing close to Granada:

sprogster Dec 10th, 2013 06:37 AM

It is not just a case of the Riviera being less warm than the Costa del Sol in winter, it is much, much colder and wetter, with below freezing temeratures at night and snow right down to the Med in recent years. Also large parts of the Riviera close up shop for much of the winter, as business owners de-camp to their other businesses in the French Alps.
If you could delay your arrival until April, I would say the Riviera, but February and March can be very depressing there.

Odin Dec 10th, 2013 08:42 AM

Anywhere can be depressing in Feb & March. I was in Provence past Feb and despite it being unusually cold, it was sunny and quite beautiful. If you are in a touristy area of Provence businesses might close down, but villages/towns where local people live year round are open for business, all year round.

StuDudley Dec 10th, 2013 09:22 AM

I can imagine Nice or Aix closing down.

Stu Dudley

StuDudley Dec 10th, 2013 10:09 AM

Oops - I can't imagine Nice or Aix closing down.

Stu Dudley

All times are GMT -8. The time now is 07:39 PM.