02 October 2017
Say the words Costa del Sol and you will immediately think of glorious sunshine, endless beaches and lovely blue seas. This is what the Costa del Sol is so well known for, but there is so much more to experience and this is the ideal location for those who want guaranteed sunshine while being able to do something a little bit different.
If you’re looking to recharge your batteries and leave a stressful daily routine behind, this could be the place for you. Many think of sipping Sangria while relaxing on a lounger by the hotel pool but the Costa del Sol also boasts an extensive range of health resorts, private clinics and wellness spas and centres, making it an attractive wellness destination.
Spas constitute one of the oldest known forms of medicine and the province’s prestigious spas have elevated the concept of healthcare to the highest level. Nestled among the mountains, many of the area’s resorts serve as a place of retreat where the therapeutic power of water is harnessed to give a positive influence on a person’s sensation of well-being. Hydrotherapy techniques, where the force and temperature of the water is used to provide natural solutions, can help to relieve aches and pains. Similarly thalassotherapy uses sea water and sea products (such as seaweed) in hydrotherapy treatments. Many four and five star hotels in the province offer these types of services.
The therapeutic traditions of the Costa del Sol are also reflected perfectly in the availability of hammams (Turkish baths) across the region. Visiting a hammam is not only ideal for relaxation and recuperation, but it can also transport you to another culture with music, perfumes and massages helping to rid the body of the day’s tensions.
Each and every one of the Costa del Sol’s 103 villages has unique traditions including food festivals offering delicious local products, exciting street parties and religious pilgrimages and festivals featuring vibrant processions bursting with colour.
One particular event in the Spanish calendar is Semana Santa, or Holy Week. During these days, the villages and towns of the Costa del Sol come to life but in none more so than Malaga. Thrones are carried through the streets, the air is filled with the scent of flowers and incense and worshippers sing the ‘saeta’ (sacred songs) from their balconies. This really is a popular spectacle that shouldn’t be overlooked.
One of the most multitudinous (and most popular) festivals is the Malaga August Fair, which transforms the entire city for several days. Taking place over 500,000 square metres, the fair features over 150 stalls and a fairground. Visitors can expect to see many people in typical Andalusian folkloric dress, most commonly the flamenco dress, as well as parades of thousands of horsemen, music to cater to all tastes and dancing abound.
A typical dish in day to day life on the Costa del Sol is without a doubt, tapas. Small portions of the tastiest, most typical local dishes allow you to sample a range of different types of food with room for seconds. But there is so much more to the cuisine of this area.
Many companies across the Costa del Sol are now offering culinary tours where you can experience memorable gastronomic holidays, bringing you closer to a world of extraordinary flavours which are both healthy and creative. No tour would be complete without tasting the popular cold soup; gazpacho and thanks to the fantastic coastal location, there is plenty of pescaito frito (fried fish) which should never be passed up!
The Costa del Sol is also home to 63 olive oil mills across three olive-producing areas, which provide visitors with the ‘liquid gold’ that is the essence of the Mediterranean diet. Many of the mills offer tours and tastings, while visitors can also purchase some of the famous olive oil.
For those looking for a more refined culinary experience, there are many restaurants across the Costa del Sol which have been acknowledged with an infamous Michelin star. Temples of culinary art, these restaurants go beyond satisfying the palate and are a delight for all the senses. Long-standing restaurants combine the best products of the sea and land and offer them with quality and sophistication, while staying true to the Mediterranean diet and the best olive oil as a basic kitchen ingredient.
For something a bit different…
For adrenaline seekers, the Costa del Sol is home to one of the most exclusive sporting venues and the world's first race resort, the Ascari circuit. This is the longest track in Spain and one of the most exciting. Guaranteed to thrill and delight any speed demon, this exceptional circuit is equipped with everything needed for an unforgettable experience. Enjoy the thrill of the ultimate driving experience by driving one of many amazing cars on the main track. And don’t forget the exceptional garage of over 500 sports and collectors’ vehicles…perfect for any motor enthusiast.
Gran Senda de Malaga
The Great Path of Malaga is one of the Costa del Sol’s most spectacular natural landscapes taking in four natural parks, two nature reserves and three natural sites. There are hundreds of points of interest along the way including monuments, museums and various leisure activities. The Senda Litoral (Coastal Path) allows visitors to traverse the coastline on walkways and paths, taking in the sea breeze and all the natural gems of the landscape along the way.