Costa del Sol and Costa de Almeria

We’ve compiled the best of the best in Costa del Sol and Costa de Almeria - browse our top choices for the top things to see or do during your stay.

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  • 1. Baelo Claudia

    On the Atlantic coast, 24 km (15 miles) north of Tarifa, stand the impressive Roman ruins of Baelo Claudia, once a thriving production center of garum, a salty, pungent fish paste appreciated in Rome. The visitor center includes a museum. Concerts are regularly held at the restored amphitheater during the summer months.

    Tarifa, Andalusia, Spain

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    Rate Includes: €2, Closed Mon.
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  • 2. Balcón de Europa

    The highlight of Nerja, this tree-lined promenade is on a promontory just off the central square, with magnificent views of the mountains and sea. You can gaze far off into the horizon using the strategically placed telescopes, or use this as a starting point for a horse-and-carriage clip-clop ride around town. Open-air concerts are held here in July and August.

    Nerja, Andalusia, 29780, Spain
  • 3. Caminito del Rey

    Clinging to the cliff side in the valley, the "King's Walk" is a suspended catwalk built for a visit by King Alfonso XIII at the beginning of the 19th century. It reopened in March 2015 after many years and a €9 million restoration and is now one of the province's main tourist attractions—as well as one of the world's dizziest. No more than 400 visitors are admitted daily for the walk, which includes nearly 3 km (2 miles) on the boardwalk itself and nearly 5 km (3 miles) on the access paths. It takes four to five hours to complete, and it's a one-way walk, so you need to make your own way back to the start point at the visitor center at the Ardales end (shuttle buses take you back). A certain level of fitness is required and the walk is not permitted for the under 8s or recommended for anyone who suffers from vertigo.  This is one of the Costa del Sol's busiest attractions; book well ahead.

    Valle del Guadalhorce, Andalusia, Spain

    Sight Details

    Rate Includes: From €10, Closed Mon.
  • 4. Dolmens

    These mysterious prehistoric megalithic burial chambers, just outside Antequera, were built some 4,000 years ago out of massive slabs of stone weighing more than 100 tons each. The best-preserved dolmen is La Menga. Declared UNESCO World Heritage Sites in 2016, the Dolmens offer an interesting insight into the area's first inhabitants and their burial customs, well explained at the visitor center. Regular events include Equinox and Solstice meetings, and the MengaStones Festival, June–Sept. Details are available at the tourist office. Note that gates to the dolmens close 30 minutes before closing time.

    Antequera, Andalusia, 29200, Spain

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    Rate Includes: Free, Closed Mon.
  • 5. Frigiliana

    On an inland mountain ridge overlooking the sea, this pretty village has spectacular views and an old quarter of narrow, cobbled streets and dazzling white houses decorated with pots of geraniums. It was the site of one of the last battles between the Christians and the Moors, whose story is told through mosaics throughout the village. Frigiliana is a short drive from the highway to the village; if you don't have a car, you can take a bus here from Nerja, which is 8 km (5 miles) away.

    Frigiliana, Andalusia, 29788, Spain
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  • 6. Fundación NMAC

    The rolling hills and forest between Tarifa and Vejer provide the perfect stage for this unique outdoor art museum. The sculptures and installations are placed along the guided route and in restored army barracks, and include works by international and Spanish artists such as Olafur Eliasson, Marina Abramovic, James Turrell, Pascale Marthine Tayou, and Fernando Sánchez Castillo. Visit first thing to avoid the crowds and get the best of the birdsong.

    Ctra. N340, Km 42.5, Vejer de la Frontera, Andalusia, Spain

    Sight Details

    Rate Includes: €10 (free 1st Sun. of month), Closed Mon.
  • 7. Los Millares

    This important archaeological site is about 2½ km (1½ miles) southwest from the village of Santa Fe de Mondújar and 19 km (12 miles) from Almería. These ruins, scattered on a windswept hilltop, were the birthplace of civilization in Spain nearly 5,000 years ago. The large, dome-shape tombs are evidence of a fairly advanced society, and the formidable defense walls show that it had something to protect. A series of concentric fortifications shows that the settlement increased in size, eventually holding some 2,000 people. The town was inhabited from 2700 to 1800 BC. Free guided tours are available: email to book. 

    Santa Fe de Mondújar, Andalusia, Spain

    Sight Details

    Rate Includes: Free, Closed Mon. and Tues.
  • 8. Museo Picasso Málaga

    Part of the charm of this art gallery, one of the city's most prestigious museums, is that its small collection is such a family affair. These are the works that Pablo Picasso kept for himself or gave to his family, including the exquisite Portrait of Lola, the artist's sister, which he painted when he was 13, and the stunning Three Graces. The holdings were largely donated by two family members—Christine and Bernard Ruiz-Picasso, the artist's daughter-in-law and her son. The works are displayed in chronological order according to the periods that marked Picasso's 73-year development as an artist. The museum is housed in a former palace where, during restoration work, Roman and Moorish remains were discovered. These are now on display, together with the permanent collection of Picassos and temporary exhibitions. Guided tours in English are available; book at least five days ahead.

    Calle San Agustín, Málaga, Andalusia, 29015, Spain

    Sight Details

    Rate Includes: From €10 (free last 2 hrs on Sun.)
  • 9. Orchidarium

    This lush green space in the middle of Estepona houses Europe's largest orchidarium. More than 1,600 species and over 4,000 plants, from South America and Asia, are exhibited under a futuristic 100-foot glass dome containing a giant cascade. Guided tours are available.

    Calle Terraza 86, Estepona, Andalusia, Spain

    Sight Details

    Rate Includes: €3, Closed Mon.
  • 10. Parque Natural del Torcal de Antequera

    Well-marked walking trails (stay on them) guide you at this park, where you can walk among eerie pillars of pink limestone sculpted by eons of wind and rain. Guided hikes (in Spanish only) can be arranged, as well as stargazing in July and August. The visitor center has a small museum.

    Antequera, Andalusia, 29230, Spain

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    Rate Includes: Free
  • 11. Refugios de la Guerra Civil

    Almería, the last bastion of the Republican government during the Spanish Civil War, was hit by 754 bombs launched via air and sea by Nationalist forces. To protect civilians, 4½ km (2¾ miles) of tunnels were built under the city to provide shelter for more than 34,000 people. About 1 km (½ mile) can now be visited on a guided tour that covers the food stores, sleeping quarters, and an operating theater for the wounded, with its original medical equipment.

    Pl. Manuel Pérez García s/n, Almería, Andalusia, 04001, Spain

    Sight Details

    Rate Includes: €3, Closed Mon.
  • 12. Alcazaba

    Dominating the city is this fortress, built by Caliph Abd ar-Rahman I and given a bell tower by Carlos III. From here you have sweeping views of the port and city. Among the ruins of the fortress, which was damaged by earthquakes in 1522 and 1560, are landscaped gardens of rock flowers and cacti.

    Calle Almanzor, Almería, Andalusia, 04001, Spain

    Sight Details

    Rate Includes: Free, Closed Mon.
  • 13. Alcazaba

    Just beyond the ruins of a Roman theater on Calle Alcazabilla stands Málaga's greatest monument. This fortress was begun in the 8th century, when Málaga was the principal port of the Moorish kingdom, although most of the present structure dates to the 11th century. The inner palace was built between 1057 and 1063, when the Moorish emirs took up residence; Ferdinand and Isabella lived here for a while after conquering the city in 1487. The ruins are dappled with orange trees and bougainvillea and include a small museum; from the highest point you can see over the park and port.

    Málaga, Andalusia, 29016, Spain

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    Rate Includes: From €4 (free Sun. from 2 pm)
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  • 14. Archidona

    About 8 km (5 miles) from Antequera's Lovers' Rock, the village of Archidona winds its way up a steep mountain slope beneath the ruins of a Moorish castle. This unspoiled village is worth a detour for its Plaza Ochavada, a magnificent 17th-century octagon resplendent with contrasting red and ocher stone.

    A45, Archidona, Andalusia, 29300, Spain
  • 15. Bioparc Fuengirola

    In this modern zoo, wildlife live in a cageless environment as close as possible to their natural habitats. The Bioparc is involved in almost 50 international breeding programs for species in danger of extinction and also supports conservation projects in Africa and several prominent ecological initiatives. Four different habitats have been created, and chimpanzees, big cats, and crocodiles may be viewed, together with other mammals such as white tigers and pygmy hippos, as well as reptiles and birds. There are also daily shows and exhibitions, and various places to get refreshments. In July and August the zoo stays open until 11 pm to allow visitors to see the nocturnal animals.

    Av. José Cela 6, Fuengirola, Andalusia, 29640, Spain

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    Rate Includes: €25
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  • 16. Carvajal

    Lined with low-rises and plenty of greenery, this urban beach is between Benalmádena and Fuengirola. One of the Costa del Sol's Blue Flag holders (awarded to the cleanest beaches with the best facilities), the 1¼-km (¾-mile) beach has yellow sand and safe swimming conditions, which make it very popular with families. Beach bars rent lounge chairs and umbrellas, and there's regular live music in the summer. Playa Carvajal is packed throughout July and August and most summer weekends, but at any other time this beach is quite quiet. The Benalmádena end has a seafront promenade and street parking, and the Carvajal train station (on the Fuengirola–Málaga line) is just a few yards from the beach. Amenities: food and drink; lifeguards (mid-June–mid-September); parking (free); showers; toilets; water sports. Best for: sunrise; swimming.

    N340, Km 214–216, Fuengirola, Andalusia, 29630, Spain
  • 17. Casa Museo Mijas

    This charming museum occupies the former ayuntamiento. Its themed rooms, including an old-fashioned bakery and bodega, surround a patio, and regular art exhibitions are mounted in the upstairs gallery.

    Pl. de la Libertad, Mijas, Andalusia, 29650, Spain

    Sight Details

    Rate Includes: €1
  • 18. Castillo de San Miguel

    A Roman fortress once stood here, later enlarged by the Moors, but the castle's present aspect, crowning the city, owes more to 16th-century additions. The building was bombed during the Peninsular War in the 19th century, and what was left was used as a cemetery until the 1990s. You can wander the ramparts and peer into the dungeon; the skeleton at the bottom is a reproduction of human remains discovered on the spot.

    Calle San Miguel Bajo, Almuñécar, Andalusia, 18690, Spain

    Sight Details

    Rate Includes: €4, includes admission to Cueva de Siete Palacios, Closed Mon.
  • 19. Castillo de Sohail

    On the hill at the far west of town is the impressive Castillo de Sohail, built as a fortress against pirate attacks in the 10th century and named for the Moorish term for Fuengirola. Don't miss the views of the valley, sea, and coast from the battlements. The Marenostrum festival featuring Spanish and international artists is held here during the summer months (

    Calle Tartessos, Fuengirola, Andalusia, 29640, Spain

    Sight Details

    Rate Includes: Free, Closed Mon.
  • 20. Castle

    Tarifa's 10th-century castle is famous for the siege of 1292, when the defender Guzmán el Bueno refused to surrender even though the attacking Moors threatened to kill his captive son. In defiance, he flung his own dagger down to them, shouting, "Here, use this"; they did indeed kill his son. The Spanish military turned the castle over to the town in the mid-1990s, and it now has a museum about Guzmán and the sacrifice of his son. There are impressive views of the African coast from the battlements and towers.

    Av. Fuerza Armadas, Tarifa, Andalusia, 11380, Spain

    Sight Details

    Rate Includes: €4, Closed Mon. and Tues.

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