Great Days Out on Costa del Sol

Are you thinking of a holiday on the Costa del Sol? You are probably looking forward to long warm days lounging by the beach and the pool, evening meals out and nights on the town in your resort. But there is so much more to the Costa del Sol than you might imagine. How about breaking up that lazy fortnight with a few days out and about? See what you think about these suggestions?

Ronda

Just an hour from the coast in a mountainous region of Spain lies the beautiful, historic city of Ronda. This unique city is in two parts, perched at the top of cliffs that are separated by a huge gorge – a must-see town that seems to transport you back in time. How about taking in the sights by horse and cart?

ronda

Your guide will take you to…

  • The Plaza de Toros – the oldest and one of the most beautiful bullrings in the world

  • The breathtaking El Tajo Gorge

  • The spectacular Roman Bridge, known as the Puente Nuevo (New Bridge). Look down and you will see the old Roman bridge below

  • Ronda’s two museums

After touring, why not head for a nice meal or tapas…Ronda is well known for its range of fine restaurants and tapas bars.

Wherever you are staying on the Costa, you will find coach tours to Ronda are available. If you have a hire car, it is very easy to find, inland from Marbella. The journey itself, up a winding mountain road is spectacular in itself.

Malaga City

Having visited Malaga several times, it always surprises me that it is not more recognised as a tourist destination – at least that seems to be the case among British tourists. Malaga is a beautiful city, full of interesting historical buildings, wide boulevards paved in marble and a wonderful shopping centre. A great way to take in the sights is on the bus tour which takes place on a red, double decker London bus. This is a ‘hop-on-hop-off’ tour so when you see something that interests you, just jump off for a closer look. There are 14 stops throughout the city and a commentary is provided throughout.

Malaga-ayuntamiento

Are you pretty fit? If buses aren’t your thing, why not take the Malaga Bike Tour? Bikes are provided, as is a guide who will show you the sights at a nice, leisurely place. This tour can take you down the little back streets and plazas that other tours miss. This is a unique way to really get a feel for this great town. Don’t miss…

  • The Picasso Museum (Malaga is Picasso’s birthplace)

  • The Alcazaba – a spectacular fortress

  • Malaga Cathedral – the huge vaulted ceiling is truly amazing. The cathedral took 250 years to build.

  • The Castillo de Gibralfaro – a castle that overlooks the city, featuring breathtaking panoramic views

  • Malaga Park – a sea of tranquillity in a busy city.

Gibraltar

There are dozens of companies on the coast running tours to Gibraltar or you could drive there from Malaga in about 90 minutes. Gibraltar is a little piece of home, right here in the sun. As soon as you cross the border the ‘Britishness’ of the place hits you – from the old-style red phone boxes to British Bobbies. There is also a lively shopping centre featuring many shops that are familiar on the British high street. Gibraltarians are very welcoming to tourists. If you do get to visit Gibraltar, you will want to see…

  • A dolphin spotting boat ride – You are highly likely to see hundreds of dolphins though this is not 100% guaranteed

  • St Michaels Cave – a magnificent natural phenomena

  • The Great Siege Tunnels – Tunnels hewn from solid rock, cannons and a history lesson on the 300 years of British Gibraltar

  • Cable Car to Upper Rock Nature Reserve –visit the home of the famous apes

  • Ocean Village – Bars, restaurants and shopping right on the port side

  • Gibraltar Casino – open early till late, free entry – but be careful, as this is an easy way to become separated from your money.

  • Europa Point – fantastic views across the Gibraltar Straits to Africa

Don’t forget your passport!

Tangier, Morocco

OK, it’s not on Costa del Sol, it’s in Spain and it’s not even in Europe! But Africa is so close, so why not grab the opportunity to get over there and take a look. In many ways it is like another world!

Algeciras is the Spanish port across the bay from Gibraltar and is about one-and-a-half hours from Malaga by car or coach. Then you have the choice of a standard ferry crossing of 90 minutes or a fast 30 minute ferry to cross the Straits to Tangier, a busy and bustling Moroccan port. It is a good idea but not essential, to get yourself a tour guide…there are many available. If you booked a package trip including the bus and ferry, one may be included in the price. Your guide will show you around and keep you from being pestered too much.

There is so much to see and do that a day trip might not be enough. Here are some suggestions:

  • The Grand Socco – the entrance to the medina

  • The Medina

  • The Kazbah – the highest point in the city

  • The Old Spanish Church

  • Mohammed Drissi Gallery of Contemporary Art

  • The Souk – the chance to haggle for a bargain. Be strong but remember it is just their way of earning a living

Wherever you visit and whatever you do during your stay on the Costa del Sol, enjoy your stay!

Article provided by Mike James, an independent content writer in the travel industry working alongside local companies like Penguin Car Hire – who offer great rates for Malaga Airport travel.

Best Exotic Honeymoon Destinations

Gone are the days when honeymooners would book a trip to Hawaii. Newlyweds now have more options when it comes to honeymoon destinations. Whether your idea of a dream honeymoon is at an exotic beach or in a mountain resort, you have lots of places to choose from.

Here are some of the best honeymoon destinations that you might want to consider for that once-in-a-lifetime vacation.

You may also like: Top 20 Islands for Couples

Belize

This small country in Central America is not exactly accessible from Europe, as it is around 10 hours away by plane from London. But it is beautiful and laidback; the type of place you’d want to spend days or weeks after months of preparing for your wedding. It is unspoiled, and it is largely unheard of unlike other Caribbean islands like Jamaica.

belize-coral-reef

This country is home to the second largest barrier reef system in the world. There are lots of diving, snorkelling and fishing spots. Plus the white sand beaches are perfect for sunbathing. And if you want to explore the other parts of the country, there are rainforest reserves and Mayan ruins to explore.

Maldives

If your dream honeymoon is spending time with your partner in a deserted island, then book a flight and accommodation in Maldives. For many years, this country has consistently ranked in the list of top honeymoon destinations.

This is a small archipelago that is located less than 500 miles southwest of Sri Lanka. It sits atop a huge underwater mountain range. It’s a paradise especially for divers who would want to get close to turtles, stingrays, Manta rays and whale sharks.

Like Belize, Maldives is around 10 hours away by plane from London. There are airlines that offer direct flights to Maldives from London such as British Airways.

Seychelles

Another archipelago in the Indian Ocean, Seychelles is blessed with exquisite snorkelling and diving sites. Forty one of the 115 islands are granite. Island-hopping is the activity you’ll most likely enjoy here, aside from lounging around its white sand beaches. It is around 10 hours away by plane from London.

Fiji

If you and your partner would want to get away from the hustle and bustle of urban living, then you should book a honeymoon in Fiji. Sure, you’d spend more than a day travelling to this island-country from London but the sights are sure worth the long trip.

fiji

Because the islands were formed by volcanic activity lots of years ago, there are countless rugged mountains with lush forests on many of the Fijian islands. The beaches are picturesque and you will love the many world-class snorkelling and diving sites.

But if you love golf, you will get excited with the fact that the country boasts of world class golf courses.

Porto Heli, Greece

In case you want to have a memorable and relaxing honeymoon without leaving Europe, then go to Porto Heli in the Peloponnese peninsula of Greece. The calm beaches of the small coastal town are great for sunbathing. You’ll also love the lush olive groves and perfect bays of the town.

Plan your perfect trip in advance or follow your heart and go spontaneously. Either way, have a splendid honeymoon!

Beaches of the Algarve

Welcome to the Algarve, home to some of the most spectacular and cleanest ‘praias’ (beaches) in Europe, mostly featuring soft, golden sand, and of course beautiful weather. Let’s explore!

algarve postcard

Meia Praia / Alvor

Situated near to Lagos, this long, wide stretch of beach is very popular with families. The kids will enjoy playing among the sand dunes that fringe the beach and the bathing here is very safe. There are several beach bars and restaurants nearby but not so many as to take over. As the beach is so large, it is never overcrowded. There is nearby free parking.

Praia da Falesia, Albufeira

Praia de Falesia is another long strip of sand, just 10 km from Albufeira. The beach sits at the bottom of high cliffs made up of the kind of golden coloured rocks that will become familiar during your visit. Perhaps not the best beach for anyone with walking difficulties as you park at the top of the cliffs and have to get down to it, but it is well worth the effort if you enjoy walking.

Praia de Marinha

This sandy little cove is located on the Atlantic coast near to Lagoa, at the bottom of some high cliffs. If it is seclusion you are after, this is for you. There is a large rocky outcrop just a few metres offshore that add to the beauty of the cove. There are lots of steps down to the beach and at high tide there is not a great deal of space down there. Boat trips are available nearby to take you around the coast to other coves, some of which are virtually inaccessible on foot.

Praia dos Pescadores

The beach at Albufeira’s old town is long and wide, with soft sand, great waves and high cliffs. The beach is very popular, partly because it is situated right at the edge of the town. Don’t worry about getting down to this beach and back as there are massive outdoor escalators to take all the hard work out of it. There are several beach restaurants and with the town being so close by you will be spoilt for choice when it comes to taking lunch or a drink. Water sports are on offer at reasonable prices too. This is a busy beach but is so large that you will not struggle to find a space. The kids will love it.

Praia de Rocha

The largest beach on the Portimao coast offers a wide promenade at the top of its cliffs with spectacular views of the beach and sea below. Getting down to the beach involves lots of steps so it may not be suitable for everybody. The beach itself is long and wide and there is a wooden walkway all along its edge – which is served by several beach bars that offer not only great quality, but also great value. There are also many more bars and restaurants at the top of the cliff. Jet skis, windsurfers and pedalos can be rented and there are magnificent rocks and cliffs to explore. You will definitely not be bored.

Praia do Amado

This is one of the best surfing beaches in Europe – often windy and with huge waves. The beach has long been a favourite with surfers but its appeal is now growing among those seeking a less commercial experience. The water tends to be a bit on the colder side here and kids will need supervision due to the strength of the currents. The scenery here is wild and untamed and the beach gets busier at weekends.

Praia de Albandeira

This is a tiny beach surrounded by cliffs and is the definition of the term ‘unspoilt’. In terms of facilities here, there are none…no sun beds, no jet skis, no pedalos…just a great, secluded cove with few visitors – oh and a small wooden bar at the top of the cliffs for a beer or coke. Getting there is a challenge itself due to the journey from top to bottom…but when you get there you will find crystal clear waters, rocks, caves and a small stretch of sandy beach. Paradise!

Praia Maria Louisa

The small resort town of Santa Eulalia, set to the east of Albufeira is home to the wonderful Praia Maria Louisa. Cliffs back the beach and there is a fine restaurant on the beach. The beach can also be accessed from Olhos de Agua Village at low tide and the resort of Quinta da Balaia. This is a 3 kilometre stretch of beach that is great for sunbathing and perfect for kids as there is lots to keep them entertained, including opportunities for sailing, belly surfing, windsurfing and water skiing.

Article provided by Mike James, an independent travel writer working alongside a handful of travel companies, including the complete traveller’s guide to the beautiful region of the Portuguese Algarve – For Airport.