The Spanish Costas still have plenty to offer the discerning holidaymaker. These are established holiday resorts where good bars and restaurants and plenty of entertainment can easily be found. Factor in the excellent beaches and the superb climate plus an abundance of history and culture and you have pretty much everything you need for a great holiday.
Resort Guide to Benidorm
Benidorm is the Costa Blanca’s holiday capital – upfront, upbeat and up all night! Here you’ll have the choice of two beaches – Levante and Poniente each with the reassurance of the EU’s Blue Flag. There’s a myriad of entertainments: restaurants and bodegas where you can sit down to paellas and tapas, countless bars, pavement cafes, and souvenir shops.
British-style amenities are also thick on the ground, with pubs and tea rooms buzzing with life. At night, choose from discos and music bars or take in a cabaret at the Benidorm Palace Nightclub. For a gentler pace, explore the huddle of narrow streets and whitewashed houses, along to the Balcon del Mar, the famous view point. Take a boat trip to Peacock island bird sanctuary, or travel inland to Guadalest. Cala de Finestrat is only 4 kms from Benidorm’s Old Town and promises to offer relaxation.
Transfer time from airport: 1 hour 30 minutes approx.
Resort Guide to Isla Canela
Isla Canela is located in a tranquil and unspoilt area of the Costa de la Luz on the western part of the Andalucian coastline. It is connected by a road bridge to Ayamonte in the province of Huelva. Situated very close to the border of Portugal, in an area also known as the Spanish Algarve, Isla Canela shares the charms of both Spain and Portugal with all their advantages.
It is a fantastic region for enjoying the sun and boasts vast sandy beaches, sailing, a modern marina, along with a superb golf course, cycling, culture and it’s also home to a small fishing village as well as a large protected bird sanctuary. You’ll find small commercial centres and a smattering of restaurants serving exceptional fish and seafood.
You will also have a good base from which to explore the local province of Huelva, or to venture further into the heart of Andalucia with a trip to Seville being an absolute must! The city of Huelva offers surprisingly modern architecture and fashionable shops.
Journey time from Faro airport: 1 hour 30 minutes approx.
Resort Guide to Islantilla
The picturesque resort of Islantilla is a developing area, built around a small fishing community and makes for an ideal base for exploring the beautiful region of the Costa de la Luz – home to bright buildings, beautiful towns, villages and dramatic varied scenery. It boasts a 12 kilometre long stretch of glorious sandy beach and is bathed by the clear waters of the Atlantic Ocean.
Islantilla is a popular base for golfers with a superb golf course. For night-time entertainment you will find a number of bars and restaurants serving up local delicious delicacies including plenty of exceptional fish and seafood dishes.
Islantilla is the perfect base for exploring the real Spain with Huelva Province, sleepy white-washed villages and a trip into Seville being a must! Venture further afield and you’ll find the village of Ayamonte around 10 kilometres away – steeped in history.
Journey time from Faro airport: 1 hour 40 minutes approx.
Resort Guide to Benalmadena
This modern resort grew out of a sleepy inland village, but is now buzzing with activity and attractions. The daytime fun focuses on the new Moorish-style port area which features several small beaches. All around, you’ll find a good variety of restaurants, shops and cocktail bars where you can tuck into some tasty tapas or enjoy a long, lazy supper before enjoying the town’s lively nightspots, bars and casino.
For sport enthusiasts, there are plenty of facilities, including a scuba-diving centre with beginner’s courses. Children love to go to Benalmadena’s exciting Tivoli Park, where you’ll find funfair rides, amusements and restaurants open til late at night. In mid summer, you’ll get the chance to join in the festivities of the resort’s annual romeria.
Transfer time from airport: 40 minutes approx.
Resort Guide to Fuengirola
This well-designed and bubbly resort is ideal for families and couples seeking a sun-filled, fun-filled break. There’s a ribbon of pale sand which stretches for seven kilometres, and are some of the best beaches in the area.
There’s a wealth of shops and sporting activities to get into, a waterpark for the kids, as well as the ever present opportunity to meander around the yacht-filled marina and enjoy a typical local meal of paella, or even a few British dishes at the many good restaurants. The town’s weekly market is another bustling attraction, and if you want to venture to other resorts, Marbella and Mijas can be reached by bus or you can reach Torremolinos by train.
Transfer time from airport: 45 minutes approx.
Resort Guide to Nerja
Unrushed and informal, this picturesque, whitewashed fishing village is backed by stunning mountain scenery and is ideal for lots of souvenir shopping and exploring. The tiny, twisting streets have shops catering for all tastes and the town is strong on cafe-life, with friendly spots to sit and enjoy a morning cafe con leche.
The Moorish-style architecture adds an attractive touch and if you want some dramatic views, the Balcon de Europa is a wide, palm-lined promenade that will take you out to sea above two of the town’s sandy coves. By night the pace speeds up somewhat and you will be faced with excellent waterfront restaurants as well as lively tapas bars. If you ever want to venture further afield, then Nerja’s famed underground caves are a nearby tourist hotspot and make a spectacular sight.
Transfer time from airport: 1 hour approx.
Resort Guide to Puerto Banus
This very smart resort has an ultra chic marina and is fringed with fine beaches, where some hotels can be found strung along the sands. The marina is a magnet for the jet-set, so if you like the idea of people-watching, just take a seat at one of the waterfront cafes. Shopping is on the stylish side too and when you want something slightly more strenuous, there’s a full complement of watersports.
Set on what is best described as a millionaire’s stretch of coastline west of Marbella, on the Costa del Sol, it offers some true golfing opportunities, with magnificent golf courses nearby tucked away amid the rolling hills. As darkness falls, the place livens up even more, with several nightclubs.
Transfer time from airport: 1 hour 15 minutes approx.
Resort Guide to Torremolinos
Torremolinos is the most lively resort on this upbeat stretch of coast. If you can drag yourself away from the sandy beach, there’s a wealth of enjoyment just waiting for you. The town’s old El Cavario quarter is well worth a tour if you want a taste of real Spain.
Elsewhere, the town is jam-packed with gift shops, outdoor restaurants and bars, as well as excellent leisure amenities, so you can play tennis, ten-pin bowl or splash out at a brilliant waterpark. And naturally, the whole place is jumping at night, with lively discos, nightspots and British pubs galore. If you want a breather Gibraltar is easily accessible, an ideal day trip out.
Transfer time from airport: 35 minutes approx.
Resort Guide to Salou
The biggest resort on the Costa Dorada, Salou is totally geared to a family seaside holiday, modern, well-designed and blessed with mile upon mile of golden sands. Apart from the vast, gently-shelving beach with an exciting range of watersports, there are pleasures aplenty. A tree-lined ribbon of promenade fronted by shops, cafes and eateries, and a modern resort centre packed with lots more, including lively night-time bars and discos.
Make your way here as dusk falls and you can watch as the town’s famous illuminated fountain springs to life, a signal that the evening revelries are about to begin. Salou is home to the world famous PortAventura with two thrilling parks and plenty of fun. Slightly quieter than its sister resort lies Cap Salou – ideal for a relaxing family holiday.
Transfer time from airport: 20 minutes approx.