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Areas on the Costa del Sol

The Costa del Sol ranges over 200 km along the coast with around 1,5 mio., who live here permanently. Costa del Sol has been the most popular destination in Spain, as many choose to settle permanently, buy holiday apartments or consider taking a charter holiday to the Costa del Sol. Maybe you’re considering the same but don’t know the best areas for you and your requirements. This little guide will hopefully give you an overview of the areas and their characteristics.



Málaga is the capital of the province “Málaga” and the 6th biggest city in Spain. Málaga is one of the oldest European cities with history from the 700 B.C.. Besides historical attractions, Málaga offers an authentic atmosphere with good opportunities to explore culture and gastronomy in the charming streets. Culture enthusiasts can visit the Picasso museum or some of the other museums and historical buildings in Málaga. It is also possible to experience street art in the town and on the harbour “Muelle 1”. If you prefer relaxing and enjoying the good weather on the Costa del Sol you can spend the day on one of the lovely beaches along the coast. The harbour in Málaga is also a popular meeting point and recommended place to visit – experience cruise ships and smaller fishing vessels sailing to and from the port.


Torremolinos was one of the first fishing villages on the Costa del Sol but the city has evolved to a modern tourist city. The climate makes it obvious to enjoy the beaches and the high number of different restaurants and bars along the beaches – also known as ”Chiringuitos”. If you want to get away from the tourist area around the beaches, you can go from the centre to the older and local part of Torremolinos in the district “El Calvario” for example. There you will experience a more authentic Spanish culture where lots of Spanish people still live their daily lives.


Benalmádena is split into 3 areas – Benalmádena Pueblo, Arroyo de la Miel and Benalmádena Costa. Benalmádena Pueblo is known as “The Old Village” and placed in quiet surroundings withdrawn from the coast. Because of its mountain location you will get an amazing panoramic view over the coast and the Mediterranean Sea. Benalmádena Pueblo is a nice city with narrow streets, where you find tapas bars, restaurants, and white houses decorated by flowers and diverse decorations. More and more foreigners choose to live in Benalmádena Pueblo, but the Spanish style and atmosphere is preserved. Arroyo de la Miel is the centre of the city with lots of shops and restaurants. There is also a train station and bus station, which give you opportunities to travel to Fuengirola or Málaga and the smaller cities around. On the coast you will find Benalmádena Costa, where you can experience a lively promenade with a high number of hotels, restaurants, and bars. The marina in Benalmádena is big and has received the award for the best marina in the world several times. From the marina you can book different boat trips.


Fuengirola is one of the most touristy areas on the Costa del Sol. This is because of the wide beaches, historical places and many different opportunities to go shopping and explore the nightlife. If you are hungry or thirsty, you can visit one of the “Chiringuitos” or more local restaurants in the side streets, which offer everything from Spanish delicacies to international dishes. In the centre you find weekly markets with food, clothes and much more. In the outskirts of the city, you can see the castle “Castillo Sohail”. Besides, there are sometimes concerts and other events in the castle or outside. The beach in front of the castle is also a popular location for surfing. Fuengirola is ideal for travellers and citizens, who don’t have a car because of the many bus-routes from the local station. For example you can go to Marbella by bus or Málaga by bus and train.


Alhaurín is located in the mountains but not far away from the coastal areas in Mijas and Fuengirola. It creates perfect opportunities to live in more rural surroundings close to beaches and major cities. Alhaurín is split into the areas “Alhaurín de la Torre” and “Alhaurín el Grande”. Alhaurín de la Torre is more modernized but there are still old buildings and a Spanish style to appreciate. As a part of modernizing, the infrastructure has been optimized. From Alhaurín de la Torre it is now easy to go to Málaga by the A7. In Alhaurín el Grande you also find new developments, but the area has kept more from the Andalusian style and history. Common for both areas is the nature and surroundings with obvious opportunities for playing golf, go hiking, or enjoying the view over nearby olive- and citrus plantations.


Mijas is an area that stretches almost from Fuengirola and to Marbella both on the coast and further inland. In the mountains you can experience the village of Mijas Pueblo, which is located in the mountain range “Sierra de Mijas”. Mijas Pueblo is known as “The White City” with whitewashed buildings in Andalusian style and narrow cozy streets. Here you are guaranteed to experience a real Spanish atmosphere. If you move further towards the coast, you can experience areas in Mijas Costa such as La Cala de Mijas, El Faro, Las Lagunas and Calahonda. In these areas it is possible to find both new buildings and modern properties as well as neighborhoods with Spanish-style properties and more authentic surroundings. In Mijas Costa there are also plenty of opportunities for shopping, restaurants and activities for the whole family. On the square in La Cala you can visit the market every Wednesday and Saturday, which has a large selection of exciting things.


The city is known as an exclusive area with luxury villas, designer shops, and wealthy visitors and newcomers. But Marbella is much more than that. If you are looking for an exclusive lifestyle, areas such as “Golden Mile” and “Puerto Banús” will probably live up to your expectations. Both areas are located along the coast and address luxury properties, exclusive shops, clubs and restaurants. On a walk in the area and on the port “Puerto Banús”, you will see high-end cars and boats that show off the luxury life that some want or are living. If you want to experience Marbella as a charming Mediterranean city, you can visit the old district “Casco Antiguo”, which addresses cosy streets in Andalusian style with floral decorations and a Spanish atmosphere.


Benahavís is a smaller village in the mountains – but only 7 km from the coast. The city has around 8.000 inhabitants, some of whom are also foreigners. Even with many foreigners of different nationalities, there is a good community about the city and the Spanish culture. The citizens in Benahavís also sometimes arrange different events. You can also find an incredible riverwalk here. It is called “barranquismo” which is a sport where you make your way down the river by walking, swimming, climbing. It is great fun and something the whole family can do. Benahavís is an obvious choice to settle down if you are a foreigner but prefer the Spanish living and culture.


The city is located between Málaga and Gibraltar on the coast. Estepona is a port city with a former fishing industry, and the city has retained its charm and history from here. Estepona has a good infrastructure for families in relation to transport and activities. Estepona is a growing city with a lot of new luxury developments. It is a great option if you are looking to settle down and get away from big cities, yet still appreciate that big city vibe. Costa del Sol is known for its fantastic golf courses and this is no exception for Estepona. If you want good opportunities to play golf nearby, we recommend areas such as Atalaya, El Paraiso og Los Flamingos. But Estepona and the areas provide much more than golf.


Manilva is located at the westernmost area of Málaga province. It is a small town of approx. 17,000 residents and approx. another 14,000 who own holiday properties. The town offers charming and cozy areas such as the fishing village “San Luis de Sabinillas” or the white village, located more inland. In general, Manilva is characterised by Roman-style in the inland area, while the coastal area consists of newer residential complexes. In Manilva you can also experience the cultural life through several of the area’s sights and their annual city festivals. In addition, Manilva offers unique natural surroundings with golf courses, vineyards and much more.

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