Holiday Rentals on the Costa del Sol Spain

Costa del Sol area guides

Area Focus – Western Costa del Sol

Many people are unaware of the many charms of the western part of the Costa del Sol and because of that you will find the beaches are less crowded, there’s parking even during peak season and although restaurants and bars are busy, you won’t struggle to get a table like you may do in the most popular area.

There’s a lot to love about the Western Costa del Sol; beaches are great, with many lovely Spanish communities which still follow a very traditional way of life and the cost of accommodation, food and particularly drinks are much cheaper. You can fly into Gibraltar to cut down on travel time and there are some great things to see and do.

Highlights include –

Castellar Zoo, which is a rescue centre and zoo where you can learn about the animals and even pet and feed them!

Sotogrande Port is a great place to see the beautiful boats and enjoy a coffee, a few drinks or a bite to eat in a lovely environment. There’s live music in the evenings most weekends, as well as a market during the summer.

Duquesa Port is a great place to eat out if you fancy something other than Spanish food, as there are Chinese, Mexican, Thai, Indian, American and even Moroccan restaurants all next to each other, as well as lots of great bars.

Sabinillas has a couple of brilliant festivals on the beach which are well worth a visit. The San Juan celebration on the 23rd of June where enormous bonfire sculptures are lit at midnight and there’s live music and a wonderful atmosphere is the best in the coast. Plus there’s the Full Moon Festival in August where everyone dresses in white and heads […]

Recommended Winter Sun Destination – San Pedro de Alcantara

Beat the January blues by booking a winter sun getaway to the Costa del Sol!

It’s hard when the decorations come down, the nights are long and the days cold and wet, but just a few hours away is Spain’s sunshine coast, with lovely weather all year round.

We had a record breaking December with temperatures in the 20s and hardly any rain and predictions are it will be a mild start to the year as well. February is a lovely time to visit, when spring is just around the corner, but prices are still very reasonable and you can feel like one of the lucky locals. Picture yourself strolling along the paseo, enjoying delicious food, walking in the surrounding hills and enjoying some great sports at the beginning of this year, it’s nearer than you think. Also, even if it does rain, you know it’s falling on the nearby Sierra Nevada mountains as snow, so why not pop up there for a day on the slopes? Every cloud has a silver lining you know!!

If you do fancy a winter getaway, the location really counts, as you want a town which is full of life all year round and has plenty to do no matter what the weather. This month we wanted to recommend the lovely town of San Pedro de Alcantara, just west of Puerto Banus. It is becoming more and more popular with locals and visitors alike due to a number of new parks, play areas and facilities, plus a brand new “boulevard” which has brought the town together. The new fame is bringing with it lovely new coffee shops, restaurants and a real buzz, perfect for a winter getaway.

San Pedro has a fantastic […]

We love Malaga – why it should be on your list of places to visit!

If you’re planning a Christmas getaway or drawing up a 2016 travel wish list, don’t overlook the cosmopolitan, cultural hotspot of Malaga on the Costa del Sol. Often thought as simply an airport linking Brits with Andalucia’s best loved beach destinations, Malaga is an amazing destination in its own right with some of the best shopping, nightlife and museums you can find anywhere.

The Independent recently wrote a great article about Malaga’s success story and its incredible transformation which shone a light onto this often overlooked city and the response has been great. Describing Malaga as “hot, hip and happening” and “one of this year’s top-rated city break destinations” it praises the city for the well-placed investment which has changed it into a cultural hub with 30 museums which was nominated as a worthy candidate for the 2016 European Capital of Culture.

We couldn’t agree more! Malaga really has the X-Factor, with very pretty streets and impressive buildings which buzzes with life day and night. The newly developed port area has done wonders for the city, as it’s encouraged people to move around from the fantastic Muelle 1 area with its great shopping and chic bars and restaurants right on the marina, up to the Old Town with the iconic cathedral, striking fort and Roman ruins. Wherever you go, you will be spoilt for choice with bars, coffee shops and restaurants. The best time for dining is after 9pm, but don’t leave it too late as it’s getting such a great reputation as a gastronomic destination that the best restaurants fill up fast.

Just make sure you leave enough time to visit the amazing museums and galleries, as this has really converted the city into a cultural […]

Recommended Winter Sun Destination – Benalmadena

The Costa del Sol is a great place to visit off peak, as the weather is fantastic almost all of the year and there’s still lots going on. However, the key to choosing a winter destination here is to make sure you choose a large enough town with a strong year round population, lots of amenities open during the winter period, with things to enjoy no matter the weather.

Benalmadena is an excellent choice, as it’s a well-developed town with lots to keep you busy! We can recommend a visit to its lovely marina, which has loads of shops, bars and restaurants and stunning boats. You can go on boat trips from the marina if the weather is good and even go dolphin spotting.

Don’t miss the enormous Paloma Park with its lake and animals to feed – take a picnic, hire a bike or go to the café, it’s a lovely place for a relaxing stroll and has been ranked the best attraction in Benalmadena on TripAdvisor. There’s also a butterfly park, ice skating rink, SELWO Marina an aquarium and dolphin show which comes highly recommended and of course lovely beaches. For an amazing view take the cable car up to the top of the highest peak in the area.

An important note is that it’s not a good idea to head to Benalmadena for a party holiday off-peak. It’s fantastic fun during the summer, but in winter months as the legendary “24 Hour Square” and surrounding bars are too quiet, so you’re better off in Puerto Banus. The lack of party tourists and hen and stag groups off peak, makes Benalmadena even more popular with families with young children or retired travellers, as it’s a […]

Recommended Holiday Destination – Puerto de la Duquesa

I am sure that everyone has heard about Puerto Banus, but how many of you know about Puerto de la Duquesa? On the western Costa del Sol, between Estepona and Sotogrande, Duquesa is a stunning little marina, lined with bars and restaurants, and a lot to offer holiday makers.

Whatever food you fancy from the old favourites of Indian, Chinese and Italian, through to Argentinian steak, Thai and Moroccan can be found here. Plus, because there’s so much competition the standard of food and service is actually very high. Popular with English tourists, everyone speaks English and you can get fry ups and watch sport to your hearts’ content. At night there’s a pretty market and the lively bars have live music. If you’re looking to party into the early hours you can find that too!

The great thing about the area is that just a ten minute stroll along the promenade to the west is the charming village of Castillo de la Duquesa, famous for its fish restaurants with a traditional Spanish vibe, plus events in the medieval castle.  Ten minutes stroll to the east is the bustling town of Sabinillas, with shops, bars, restaurants and beautiful beaches, as well as a massive Sunday market. You can also hop on a bus to the large town of Estepona with its great shopping, packed programme of events, excellent nightlife and new botanical gardens, so there’s plenty to do without needing to hire a car.

We have a number of great holiday rentals in Duquesa and the surrounding areas, so please contact us to request the full list. But if you like to be in the middle of the action, we can recommend this 2 bedroom apartment Duquesa […]

Recommended Holiday Destination – Fuengirola, Costa del Sol

Now we know that Fuengirola doesn’t have the best reputation in the UK, but if you get rid of the stereotypes and give this destination a chance then you’ll see why it’s a perennial favourite and has been popular with holiday makers for nearly 60 years!

Here are five facts about Fuengirola which makes it a great holiday destination:

 

 

Beautiful Beaches – Fuengirola has over 6km of lovely wide sandy beaches which have once again been awarded with a blue flag in 2015 and a long seaside promenade perfect for a stroll
Easy Access – The great thing about choosing Fuengirola as your base is it is on the train line to Malaga, for easy connections with the airport and the city, and the destinations in between. It also has a large bus station connecting it up with towns to the West including Marbella, so there’s no need for a car.
So much to do – You won’t get bored in Fuengirola, there’s a lovely zoo (Bioparc), a castle to explore, a water park, large shopping centre with cinema and bowling alley, some really great playgrounds and parks for the kids and the active town hall put on regular festivals and events to enjoy.
Yummy grub – Fuengirola has something for everyone when it comes to food, because it’s such an international area. So you can find British style fish and chips and fry ups on the front, but venture just one line back and you’ll find a pedestrianized street full of great restaurants with loads specialising in fish, explore further and you’ll find tapas bars a plenty – there’s really something to suit every palate.
Affordable holiday rentals – As a well-developed holiday destination it’s a real hub for […]

Great ideas for winter holidays with kids – Fuengirola Zoo

If you are holidaying on the Costa del Sol over the winter months with kids you need to do a bit of research to make sure you can all have fun, even when it’s not hot enough to go to the beach. However there’s lots to do, so there are several blogs written for you about things to do to help!

One wonderful day out is the zoo in Fuengirola, otherwise known as Bioparc Fuengirola. Tucked away in the middle of town is this oasis with hundreds of animals all housed in large enclosures made as close to their natural habitats as possible, for happy, well-treated animals and a much nicer visitor experience.

Although it’s quite a small zoo, it’s really cleverly done with paths winding through plants leading you to different habitat areas. The little ones love exploring and you can see the animals from different levels which works really well. There are shows twice a day and an opportunity to walk through the lemur area through a man-made baobab tree and be within touching distance of these fantastic creatures, as well as a playground and restaurant.

Our favourite animals are the huge gorillas, the two beautiful tigers, the little pygmy hippo and the amazing crocodiles, but for the little ones it’s all about the monkeys and they go wild for the chimps, orang-utans and all the other different species.

Fuengirola has a lot more to offer as well, including a huge shopping centre called Myramar, a striking castle, a range of bars and restaurants and a water park amongst others. It also has stunning beaches, some amazing playgrounds and a long wide promenade, so it is a family favourite destination where you don’t need a car. Check […]

Easter week on the Costa del Sol

We love this time of year in Southern Spain! The towns and beaches receive a spring clean after the winter, and the days start to get considerably warmer! Easter is an important time in the Spanish calendar and is hugely celebrated by the whole country.  If you are lucky enough to be on holiday here during this time, you will be sure to find plenty of things to see and do!

The history of Easter in Spain

Holy week (Semana Santa) is an event rich with culture, celebrations and fantastic processions which have become a big part of Spanish tradition since the 16th century.  You may have already seen various groups of people (nazarenos) wearing tall pointed hats and robes with faces covered; this is all part of the Easter tradition in Spain and has a symbolic meaning. The face cover represents shame for the sins committed throughout the year and mourning for Jesus Christ. The pointed hats are said to bring the penitence closer to heaven and are removed on Easter Sunday to mark a victorious end to mourning.

From every Catholic Church, a local brother hood “costaleros” carries a large antique throne, traditionally to the cathedral then back to the church, with some of them weighing as much as 5,000 kilos! The pain and suffering coursed by carrying such a heavy weight is actually a symbol of what Jesus experienced carrying the cross. In fact, all of the parades from Palm Sunday to Easter Sunday depict the story about the resurrection of Jesus Christ and is a great reminder of why we celebrate this time. Every part of Spain has different rituals to celebrate the Easter story, so where ever you go you are sure […]

Family holidays on a budget

After all the unpredictable weather in the UK, you may be starting to think ahead to your summer about some time away, but with most of us on a tight budget, a sunshine break away for the whole family can seem like a luxury we can’t really afford. Or can we?

The Costa del Sol has been a favourite holiday destination for years due to the excellent climate and choice of things to do for the whole family. Just a few hours from the UK by plane, it can take less time to get here than it does to drive to many places in the UK and thanks to budget airlines, you can be sunbathing in Spain for as little as €25!

All the time, the airlines that regularly fly between Spain and the UK, are trying to expand to have more seats and cheaper fares available for their customers. This means that there are even more reasons to holiday in Spain!

Now you just need to pick somewhere to stay! If you are on a budget this year, renting a holiday home in Spain for a week or two can work out a lot cheaper than staying a hotel, especially if you are traveling with family. For instance, a 3 bedroom apartment in Fuengirola, (based on 6 people sharing) can work out at less than €100 per person for a whole week’s accommodation! There are loads of stunning areas to choose from depending on what you want from your holiday. Whether you want to be near the beach, somewhere with land for the dog, or somewhere tranquil yet not too far from amenities, you can find it all on the Costa del Sol. Here are some […]

Tour Guide app for Andalucia

Gone are the days of buying disposable cameras in bulk for your holiday or lugging around video cameras, as most of us now do it all from our mobile phones and there is an app for just about everything!  Now you can even have  you own personal tour guide on your mobile for those visiting Andalucia, it is called ‘En tu mano’ (in your hand).

En tu Mano was presented by the Junta de Andalucia Councillor for Tourism and Commerce, Rafael Rodriguez at the recent international tourism fair in Madrid and is available on all smart phones.

The useful app provides users with up to date information on local events, history, shopping, dining, activities and lots more in five different languages! En tu Mano uses a GPS signal to pin point your area, so you can easily find out things to do and more about the area with a touch of a button.

So if you are going on holiday to the Costa del Sol this year, make sure you check out the tour guide app, more destinations throughout Andalucia are being added all the time. You can see the list of current destinations on the En Tu Mano website.

Check out our previous blog for more technical tips and apps to use when on holiday in Spain.