The Costa del Sol literally translates to coast of the Sun. It stretches for 150 kms on the glorious Mediterranean Sea, falls within the province of Malaga and is one of the most popular holiday destinations in Spain.
It includes the city of Malaga and also the towns of Torremolinos, Benalmádena, Fuengirola and Mijas. The coastline starts from the cliffs at Maro in the east to Punta Chullera in the west and is considered by some to be the most beautiful stretch in mainland Spain. The diversity of the landscapes is what sets the Costa del Sol apart – within a 150 km coast, you would see stunning beaches, near vertical cliffs that rise straight from the sea and peaceful estuaries that drain into the Mediterranean Sea without fuss.
The history of Costa Del Sol stretches back nearly three millennium and has been shaped by its largest and dominant city Malaga. The city was founded by the Bastuli – an ancient Celtic tribe and was home at different points of time to Phoenicians, Romans, Visigoths, Germanics and the Muslim Arab Byzantine Empire. From the 16th century onwards, the economy of the area was dominated by trade due to its strategic location on the Mediterranean Sea. Trade continued unabated till the Spanish civil war which destroyed local industries and forced locals to look to alternative income sources – tourism. A pioneering group of influential businessmen started the society for beautification of Malaga in 1897, the first resort opened at the beginning of 20th century, the first golf course in 1928 and the region has never looked back since then. Today, tourism is the primary driver of economy in Costa del Sol.
Costa del Sol boasts of textbook Mediterranean climate with four distinct season every year – spring (March, April and May), summer (June, July and August), autumn, (September, October and November) and winter (December, January and February). However, even in winters – the average temperature does not drop below a pleasant 10 degrees which makes this area a favourite destination of tourists looking to escape harsh winters in the rest of Europe. The water temperature is a very pleasant 18 degrees Celsius throughout the year.
Since the late 1970’s tourism has been the major income source for most locals and so people are welcoming and friendly. While Spanish is the dominant language, most locals have gathered a crude but effective understanding of English which they would not hesitate to try out on you, given the least opportunity.
The biggest city of Costa Del Sol is Malaga – which was home to Arab traders and Moorish kings for eight centuries who left their indelible mark on the city’s skyline. Arab fortresses and castles still stand at Malaga, Alora and Teba. But you would also find some great examples of renaissance architecture in Ojen.
Few regions in Spain brought so completely into the pre 2008 housing boom as Costa Del Sol. At the peak of the housing boom in 2006, there were more housing developments in Costa Del Sol than all of UK. As a result – the falling prices have created some great opportunities for the intelligent real estate buyer. There are bank owned housing developments which stand empty and are going at upto 60% discounts on the asking price and country estates which are going 40% off their peak prices in 2006. If you are willing to sift through the real estate listings, you will find that your dream holiday home can also be pretty light on your pocket as well.