With sun 300 days year, intense blue sky and an average temperature of 18 degrees, the Costa del Sol is visited yearly by almost 17 million people, making it the prime tourist destination in Peninsular Spain. It is still not clear why this coast is called the 'Costa del Sol', a stretch of coast belonging to the Málaga province and holds 15 municipals. According to some. the paternity is due to an Austrian counsellor who resided in Cadiz. During his trips to Almeria he passed by the coast of Malaga province and Granada, and thanks to its climate, he started to call the area 'Costa del Sol' (coast of sun). The name later became official.
Tourism development, especially international, started in the 1950s in Torremolinos, a phenomenon which caused a domino effect in nearby towns Benalmádena, Fuengirola and Mijas. The international tourism boom mainly happened due to: the area was a popular background for film making with many films being produced here one after the other, the opening of the 'Marbella Club' in 1954 which was 'the' place to be for the 'international jet setters', and the opening of Port Banús.
Nowadays this coast is a popular destination for foreigners principally from Northern Europe, Great Britain and France.
Along the eastern side of Costa del Sol, you'll find Nerja popular for its beaches (Burriana, Calahonda, El Salón, La Torrecilla and Playazo) and also known for Balcón de Europa, the cave of Nerja, Natural Park of 'los Acantilados de Maro' and the Natural Park of Sierra Tejeda, Alhama and Almijara.
Between the Sierra de Mijas and the sea you'll find Torremolinos, originally an old area of Malaga. Its offer of leisure is maybe the best in the Costa del Sol with excellent sportive infrastructure, culture and beaches of high quality allowing to become to one of the tourism leaders in the area. You should take a pleasant walk along the sea front and its charming streets.
In Benalmádena you'll find impressive and varied leisure activities and places to see: with almost 13 million hotel beds this area is dotted with golf courses, attraction parks, a sportive port, auditorium, aquarium, casino, exposition centre and precolombian Art Museum. There are also catholic, protestant, hindu and budist temples/churches, as well as a cable car which goes up to Mount Calamorro.
Fuengirola, frequented by Nordic and English tourists, offers, as well as beaches and delicious cuisine, a large choice of pubs, bars (Irish, English, Spanish) and clubs. The area also boasts an Arab castle and Roman ruins.
The village of Mijas, situated 428m above sea level, has the typical charm of a white washed Andalusian village. This area extends from the Sierra de Mijas until the sea.
7 km from the beach you'll find Benhavís, a mountainous village with amazing views over the coast. This is considered the centre of the 'Golf Coast', an area full of golf courses well known Europe wide.
In Esteponas, as well as tourism, fishing and agriculture are important sectors. There are 21 beaches around Esteponas.