Whoever said you can't have it all hasn't been to the Costa del Sol. Skirting Spain's southern coast, it packs in the full spectrum of beach holidays. Take Benalmadena, for example. What families can’t do in here isn’t worth mentioning. The super-sized stretch of sand is the big draw, and then there’s the Sea Life Centre and theme park to think about. There’s no shortage of bars, shops and restaurants, either. And you can go traditional in its cobbled old town, Benalmadena Pueblo.
Torremolinos is another classic beach resort. Its sandy sweeps are dotted with ‘chiringuito’ bars, and the town itself is choc-full of shops and restaurants. The place really comes alive at night. For something a little more slow-paced, head for the old district, El Calvario, and you’ll find traditional markets and countless tapas bars.
Authentic Spain and City Life
If traditional Spain is high on your agenda, try the seaside town of Estepona. It’s still a pretty big resort, but it’s held tight to its whitewashed, Andalusian charm. Wander its steep cobbled streets and you’ll come across no end of unusual shops, pavement cafés and tapas bars. The original fish market is still going strong, too. And if you’re up for venturing away from the coastline, Andalusia’s big three – Granada, Seville and Cordoba – are all within daytripping distance.
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