COSTA DEL SOL INFORMATION + Map of Costa del Sol
The Costa del Sol is probably the best known of all the Spanish Costas. Situated in the most southerly province of Andalucia, it stretches along about 300 kms of Mediterranean coastline – approximately from Estepona in the west to Nerja in the east.
This is an attractive stretch of coastline with many fishing villages and towns which have now become holiday resorts. Much of this coastline has high hills or mountains very close, creating some dramatic locations.
The City of Málaga is the capital town of Andalucia and looks out over the picturesque coastline. The costal tourist centres on the Costa del Sol include: Nerja to the east of Málaga and to the west, Torremolinos, Benalmádena, Fuengirola, Estepona and of course Marbella with it’s Puerto Banús which was built in the 1970s and considered to be the most sophisticated and exclusive seaside resorts along the Costa del Sol. Yachts and leisure-craft owned by the international ‘jet set’ are moored in the harbour.
The proximity of very diverse countryside of the Guadalhorce Valley – full of orchards, the mountains and the sea is undoubtable one of the main attractions of this coast.
The airport servicing The Costa del Sol is conveniently located in Málaga which is roughly central to the costa and within 1hr drive to all parts.
COSTA BLANCA INFORMATION + Costa Blanca Maps
The coastline is dotted with marinas and Alicante has an international harbour from where you can take boat trips to the island of Tabarca, which was fortified and settled in the 18th century as a prison island for Genoese captives. At Torrevieja harbour, an ingenious system of underground conveyor belts delivers salt to waiting cargo ships, straight from the salt processing plant on the salt flats.
Alicante is the airport for Costa Blanca and you can reach all parts of the costa within an hour’s drive
COSTA CÁLIDA INFORMATION + maps
In the north of the Mar Menor is Lo Pagán which is famous for it’s causeway containing healthy grey and black mud baths which attract many visitors from across Europe. People suffering from rheumatism and arthritis come to smear their bodies to alleviate their pain.The salt dunes form a shelter for the nature reserve where there are more than a hundred species of birds, including many flamingoes.
The Costa Calida has it’s own small airport at San Javier where there are regular flights from the UK.
THE ALMERIA PROVINCE
In the far southeastern corner of the Iberian peninsula is this sun-baked province, with the highest hours of sunshine and lowest rainfall in Europe. Given Almeria´s climate, it´s no surprise that much of the province is comprised of semi-arid desert-like landscape. Due to the dry weather, much of this area is a sparsely populated wilderness.
Almeria´s skies are also the clearest in Europe, meaning that Europe´s most powerful telescope has been installed here, near Gergal. With an annual average of 3,000 hours of sunshine, it is also home to Europe´s largest solar energy plant, the Solar Platform of Almeria (PSA), an EU solar energy research centre. Even if you´re not allowed in, you can peer over the wire fence and marvel at the rows of futuristic heliostats reflecting the sun´s rays into the towering solar oven and many other devices for turning the sun´s energy into electricity.
This hot climate and the natural protective barrier of the Sierra de Gádor also means that Almeria is one of the most productive agricultural zones in Europe, with more than 10,000ha of land cultivated commercially for fruit, vegetables and flowers. Although bringing new wealth to an area of Spain that used to be economically depressed, this intensive agriculture means that a good chunk of the coastal territory is under wraps, swathed in field after field of plastic greenhouses.
Fortunately, an equally sizeable area has so far escaped being swamped by invernaderos (greenhouses) by virtue of its protected status as one Andalucia´s most outstanding wildlife areas and its largest coastal reserve, the Cabo de Gata-Níjar Natural Park.
The Costa Almeria is as varied as any of the Spanish Coasts. The coast is completely unspoilt. To the east of Almeria we find the rugged and desolate coast of the Cabo de Gata – Nijar natural park. This is an arid desert landscape and the annual rainfall here is less than 200mm. It is sparsely populated, few villages and a very low population density. Visitors feel a sense of exploration here as many of the coves can only be reached on foot. This area is particularly popular with nature lovers and back-packers. The most popular coastal village is San José.
West of Almeria is the highly developed tourist resorts of Roquetas de Mar and Aguadulce. These have all the facilities of any modern resort to support the package holiday market.
At the north of the Costa de Almeria is the naturist beaches of Vera, a number of new complexes are being constructed here. A little further south is Mojacar which successfully combines the popular beach holiday with the hillside white village that tourist love to explore.
Almeria City is worth a visit with the Alcazaba castle overlooking the metropolis.
To the west we find the developing complex of Almerimar with Marinas, golf, hotels and many other facilities.
The old fishing port town of Adra lies further west. In spite of the interesting castle and assorted archeological remains, it is often missed by tourists traveling along the coastal motorway to or from the Costa Tropical.