Friday, 29th May 2020

This Month's Magazine
It's summer! To the beach!

It's summer! To the beach!

The popularity of the Spanish Costas as a summer destination for Britons goes back many years.

I remember Benidorm being popular back in the mid 60’s, during Franco’s regime, when his oppressive policies were tolerated for the sake of a guaranteed sunny holiday at relatively low cost. Sir Freddie Laker certainly played a part in this.

Things have progressed since then the influx of more foreign residents of all nationalities seeking retirement under the sun, followed by many more seeking a better working life style have changed things somewhat. Moving on from Benidorm, more parts of the coast gradually gained popularity, so let’s cast a glance at the various stretches of coast that still continue to be a major attraction for holidaymakers.

Costa de la Luz
This stretch of coastline in south-western Andalusia boasts long stretches of sand and almost-constant sunshine. The blue, sometimes rough, Atlantic waters are enticement enough for a visit, as is the region’s proximity to several historic cities, including Cádiz and Seville. This area is less developed than the more popular  Costa del Sol, although of late we know that it has gained more popularity due to lower prices.

Costa del Sol
Stretching east from Gibraltar along the southernmost coast of Spain, the Costa del Sol is the most famous, party hearty and overdeveloped string of beaches in Iberia. The beaches feature good sand, and the Mediterranean waters are calm and warm. These charms have brought throngs of visitors, making some parts the most congested coastal resorts in Europe. Look for soaring skyscrapers; eye-popping bikinis; sophisticated resorts and restaurants; lots of sunshine and traffic jams.

Costa Blanca
This south-eastern coast embraces the industrial city of Valencia, but its best known resorts, Benidorm and Alicante, are still packed with northern-European sun-seekers. The surrounding scenery is not particularly enchanting, but the water is turquoise, the sand is white and a low annual rainfall guarantees a sunny vacation.

Costa Brava
Rockier, no long stretches of sand that mark the Costa Blanca. The cliff-edged Costa Brava stretches from Barcelona to the French border. Look for the charming, sandy bottomed coves that dot the coast, a bit like Cornwall, but in a better climate. Although there are fewer undiscovered beaches here than elsewhere in Spain, the Costa Brava still retains a sense of rocky wilderness. One of the more eccentric-looking villas along this coast belonged to the late Salvador Dalí.

The Balearic Islands
Just off the coast of Catalonia and a 45- minute flight from Barcelona, this rocky, sand-fringed archipelago attracts sun seeking urban refugees, jet-set glitterati and exhibitionists in scanty beachwear and it is warmer than on the mainland. Palma de Majorca has the greatest number of high-rises and the most crowded shorelines. Much of Ibiza is party central for young people and gay visitors while Minorca offers more isolation.



Beaches on the Costa del Sol
If you like crowds, shops and souvenirs then do go to the better known locations like Marbella or Torremolinos, where you will also find some nightlife fun after the beach.
However there is a number of other fairly quiet locations along the coast, specially east of Marbella, where you might like to pitch your parasol or even tent, particularly in the mornings, because the natives prefer to go to the beach in the afternoon some because it is hottest, others because it’s when they come off work.

Here is a short list of the better known spots along the Costa, but feel free to drive along the coast and try to spot a nice place to your liking. There are some spots where you can even drive in with your caravan.

A volcanic sand beach, about 225 m. long and 7 m. wide. There is a long walkway over the rocks where you can jog or cycle and an extensive palm grove with a large rock, ideal for fishing.
Another volcanic sand beach. 1100 m. in length and 30 m. wide, situated in the centre of Torremolinos, next to Playamar. This beach is well equipped with facilities and is rather busy, with lots of souvenir shops and cafes to suit all tastes.

This beach is made of a mixture of volcanic and other added sands; it is 1,400 m. long by 20 m. wide. Although there is a number of a rather small beach in Benalmadena, this one is very popular with swimmers, with an extensive promenade that reaches as far as the port. A very popular, busy and active beach in the summer months, with live music, dance shows.

Torreblanca is a golden sand beach 1,500 m. in length by 30 m. This is an ideal location for water sports, especially windsurfing, fishing and kayak racing.

This is a small bay about 120 m. in length and 20 m. wide, enclosed by a breakwater, with white and fine sand. If you did not know any better, you would think that it is part of the Puente Romano Hotel, which is making the most of it. A hammocks and umbrellas hire service is available.

We are back to volcanic sand with a 2,000 m. long beach by 15 m. wide. It is away from Marbella’s centre, past the El Pinillo beach. Sand dunes divide the beach from the housing complex.

Another golden sand beach! This one is 1250 m. long by 40 m wide. It is a remote beach that stretches from the end of the Colonias de Punta Ladrones to as far as Cabo Pino marina beach. Nudist bathers are known to visit some parts of this beach.

This is a long strip of grey gravel 1,700 m. long by 10 m. wide. Although the beach is not well provided with services, it is located in a pleasant and luxurious urbanized area. San Pedro is an extension of Marbella.

A small volcanic sand beach 850 m. long by 15 m. wide, west of Marbella. The stretch of coast west of Marbella is where you will find those nice little quiet spots for that peaceful sun bathe away from the crowds as well as some stunning views of Gibraltar and North Africa on clear days.

A tranquil, small 500 m. long by 20 m wide peaceful beach made of grey volcanic sand and coarse gravel towards the shore. It is ideal for fishing. Steps lead down to the beach from the Bahía Dorada Urbanisation.

The 2,300 m. long volcanic sand beach and 22 m. wide is used by local fishermen who are often seen working. The view across the water to Gibraltar and the Sotogrande marina is outstanding.

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