Wednesday, 8th July 2020

This Month's Magazine
Spoilt for choice

Spoilt for choice

The Costa del Sol has more to offer then just golf

The Costa del Sol has an average of 2 million visitors a year and for the majority of those short term guests the main attractions will be the beaches, bars and restaurants. There will of course be the more adventurous tourists who will try out some of the many sports and recreations available all along the coast, but in the main, holiday makers are more inclined to just relax for the short time they are here.

We are home to around 70 golf courses and some of those are classed as “world class” courses; these attract their own visitors all year round and are responsible for a large proportion of the regular visitors.

As well as the vast amount of tourists visiting the Costa del Sol, there are of course the “resident foreigners” and although exact figures would be impossible to predict, there are without doubt many thousands of ex-pats living here on a permanent basis. So what do you do with your free time when you have had enough of the beach?

Luckily leisure time is well catered for and there are countless schools, clubs, academies and training courses available that can teach you a whole host of sports and activities; whether water based sports (for which this part of the coast is renown) or activities that take you a little further inland i.e., hiking, off-roading, horse riding or even taking to the skies in a hot air balloon.

It’s hard to ignore the water living on the Costa del Sol, it’s practically everywhere you look! Scuba diving is one way to enjoy the colourful and fascinating underwater gardens all along the coast. No one knows for certain the exact history of scuba diving, although it is generally accepted that one of the most famous and earliest accounts of a person using artificial breathing apparatus underwater was a Greek called Scyllias, around 500 BC. There are many good schools that can teach you this rewarding pastime and even some that are affiliated to holiday resorts and can therefore offer accommodation, enabling you to prolong your trip.

The Mediterranean shoreline is also ideal for fishing and many of the costal marinas supply everything you will need for a days sea fishing. From boat charter right up to the hire of all the equipment you will need, not to mention coaching for the less experienced angler. From July to September, swordfish are found off the coasts of Almeria, Granada and Malaga and a days fishing for swordfish is seen as an exiting day out. The World Coast Fishing Championships are held at Adra in Almeria, and fishing is a far more widespread recreation along this part of the coast then you might think.

Staying on the water; sailing is probably the most popular water activity in this area. There are sailing schools at practically every port and marina, plus the option of a teacher coaching you on your own vessel. It is most important to have the right training if you do intend buying or hiring a boat for any length of time. If you like the idea of messing around on the water, but your budget doesn’t stretch to owning a yacht of your own, then why not check out one of the many charter companies? It’s a good way of getting introduced to the sport without laying out too much money to start with.


Spending your leisure time on the water isn’t to everybody’s taste and there are those who prefer keeping their feet dry at the weekend. Hot air ballooning is about as far away from the sea as you can get; there can be few better ways of appreciating the breathtaking beauty of the mountains and valleys of Andalucia then from the air. Ballooning is becoming a popular pastime and we are lucky in this area to have some good companies offering this most unusual sport, not too far away. Even if you don’t wish to take up ballooning on a regular basis, why not treat your partner to a romantic trip? Drifting above the clouds with spectacular views spread below.

Andalucia is riddled with natural caves and many of these are open to the public with guided tours. One of the best is situated in the Sierra de Ronda (Malaga) The Cueva del Gato, measures 4.5 kilometres in length and crosses the Sierra de Grazalema; it has high caverns with 21 underground lakes that are perfect for a refreshing and unusual swim. Other smaller natural caves are to be found dotted all over the countryside and if you enjoy hiking in the mountains you are bound to come across them, although it is wise, if you intend to try potholing, to get some expert training first.

Horse riding is another popular sport in this part of Spain and you don’t have to travel far to find some very good stables and trekking centres. Specialist Company’s offer rides lasting all day into the mountains and some even have overnight stops. Whatever your level of competence, you wont have too much trouble finding a stable to suit your needs and some of the best ones offer lessons from complete beginners to competition standard.

Whatever sport or recreation takes your fancy, you should be able to find an outlet for it here; the Costa del Sol has more to offer then just golf, in fact we really are spoilt for choice!

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