Sultry southern charm
The Costa del Sol curves around Spain's southern coast and is fringed with miles of golden sand. But although the beaches are a big draw here, the area has plenty more going for it – like its pueblos blancos, the pretty, whitewashed towns and villages that freckle the hillsides, or the rolling sierras that make great walking and cycling territory.
The Costa del Sol also offers plenty of day-trip opportunities. Cross the border into Gibraltar to see its cheeky Barbary apes, explore the sight-packed cities of Seville and Cordoba, or tour the impressive Alhambra Palace in Granada. The often-overlooked city of Malaga is also worth a look – it's had something of a renaissance over the past few years, and is now home to a slew of museums and cultural attractions.
Flights to the Costa del Sol take around 2 hours 30 minutes from the UK.
With a name that translates as the Sunshine Coast, it’s no surprise that this slice of Spain gets over 300 days of sun a year. Things start to heat up in the spring, with temperatures nudging the 20s, while in the height of summer, the mercury often tops 30°C.
Currently visas are not required for UK citizens travelling to Spain.
Restaurant bills include a service charge by law in Spain, so whether you choose to tip further is up to you. If you enjoyed the meal and service, it is customary to leave 5-10%. Hotel porters and maids will appreciate a small tip, and while taxi drivers don’t require a tip, it’s common to round up the fare.
The official language of Spain is Spanish. English is widely spoken too, so getting by is easy.