Have you ever found yourself looking enviously at friends’ cheap holidays to the Costa del Sol, but asking “yes, but aside from the gorgeous weather and golden beaches, what is there to do in the region?” If you answered yes to this highly specific question, then let me be the first one to tell you that actually there are many attractions surrounding Costa del Sol. Holidays to the Costa del Sol have something for everyone. From culture vultures to sports enthusiasts, there will be something for you.
Here’s a list of some of our favourites:
February – The Carnaval de Cadiz
This Costa del Sol attraction certainly won’t be for everyone on paper, but really is a fun event once you get there. Open your Wooden Venetian Blinds and take a look! Cadiz’s carnival is a menagerie of singing, drinking, fancy dress and dancing filling a massive 10 days. Over this period, the city is filled with costumed groups (“murgas”) singing satirical songs and performing sketches. There are around 300 officially recognised murgas, so you’re sure to see a few – especially as there are countless other ‘unofficial’ groups, who try to join in the festivities. If taking a cheap holiday to Costa del Sol in February, this is well worth checking out.
March/April/May – Various Motor Racing Events
Jerez’s Circuito Permanente de Velocidad plays host to a number of motorbike and car races throughout the year, including one of the Grand Prix races in the World Motorcycle Championship. Around 150,000 Spanish spectators love to take in motorcycle racing, and it has found a home in Jerez since 1987. Racing enthusiasts should check the schedules to know when these Costa del Sol attractions are running.
August – Feria de Malaga
Music fans should aim to take a cheap holiday to Costa del Sol in August, when they will fall in love with Malaga’s Feria – a 9 day festival launched by a massive fireworks display, where the city is alive with vibrant music and dancing. During the day, you’ll find the places to be are the Calle Marques de Larios, Plaza de la Constitucion and Plaza Uncibay, but at night the music fades (slightly!) to make way for large fair grounds! Those who haven’t got their fix of exotic beats and rhythms for the day can still head to the Cortijo De Torres, which hosts nightly flamenco and rock performances.
In addition to these annual events, there are some attractions surrounding Costa del Sol available all year round…
Malaga City has enough of Costa del Sol’s attractions and culture to warrant several visits. Our top picks are:
This imposing Moorish fortress was built in the 8th century, and is very hard to miss right in the centre of the city. The views are stunning, and those in to their Spanish history will delight in seeing this throwback still well maintained against more modern scenery.
On the hill next to the Alcazaba is the Gibralfaro Castle. The sight is again a special one for history buffs, and it overlooks Malaga’s bay and the city’s bull ring. The castle was left in ruins by the French army in 1812, but thankfully the remaining structure has been left to the delight of Costa del Sol holiday makers with a yen for architecture and historical discovery.
With a growing international reputation, the Teatro Cervantes is the place in Malaga to take in the best opera, concerts and plays. Although it was originally opened in 1870, it didn’t last long before it was devastated by fire. Indeed, renovations weren’t begun until the 1980s.
Constructed in 1528, the Cathedral’s most notable feature is that it has never been finished! One of the towers is still absent, explaining its local name as “La Manquita”. The structure is stunning, and this Costa del Sol attraction is well worth a visit for those with an interest in historical church architecture.
Perhaps Malaga’s biggest claims to fame is that it is the birthplace of one of Spain’s most renowned artists: Pablo Picasso. One of only three museums in the world dedicated exclusively to the innovative artist, this popular Costa del Sol attraction houses a great number of his works, and has the distinction of being inaugurated by King Juan Carlos and Queen Sofia.
The Roman Theatre
At the foot of the Alcazaba fortress is the city’s Roman theatre. It was actually hidden underground until relatively recently – 1951! The theatre was built during the reign of Emporer Augustus, and was in use for two centuries. This is definitely one for those interested in ancient history on holiday in the Costa del Sol.
So, don’t be fooled into thinking that cheap Costa del Sol holidays offer only sun, sea and sand. Far from being a sunnier Blackpool, you can rest assured that there is a great deal of culture and education for those who want to find it!