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Once a quiet land of fishing villages and whitewashed houses, today the Costa del Sol is known as ‘Sunshine Coast’ and buzzing with tourist activity. The region may have earned itself a somewhat down-market reputation due to cheap flights and package holidays, but don’t let you put this off visiting because it really is a fabulous holiday destination.

June to September tends to be the most popular times to visit due to the hot temperatures and summer holidays. Late April and May, when temperatures average between 23°C and 27°C, is more comfortable temperature and less busy because children are still in school.

Benalmadena, Fuengirola and Torremolinos are some of the most popular tourist spots and each one offers a variety of attractions and facilities. Marbella, and the glitzy waterfront resort of Puerto Banus, are full of glamour and a short drive away are the pretty, white washed villages of Estepona, Istan, Ojen and Rhonda. Set back from the coast and hidden in the mountainside, Mijas is a beautiful old town, where you will find some of the most breath taking panoramic views of Mediterranean.

It goes without saying that one of the biggest attractions of the area are the beaches. The sea temperature in the summer months is rarely less than 23ºC, so jump in and cool down but watch out for the jellyfish. As well as swimming, snorkeling and diving you can also try paragliding, sailing, fishing and for the ultimate treat go dolphin watching at dusk.

The climate and landscape are perfect for walks in the mountains, waterskiing on the lakes, cycling, birdwatching and with over 100 courses, the Costa del Sol is a golfers paradise.

There is a wide range of accommodation across the Costa del Sol. Whether you are looking for self-catering options, city apartments in Malaga or luxury villas complete with pools, there is something for everyone and every budget.

Hotels in the area are big business and options like the Marbella Club offer an amazing five star experience. If you want a hotel but don’t want to spend top dollar, an online search will give you some excellent cost effective options that offer great service, cleans beaches, kids clubs, local cuisine and entertainment.

Speaking of food, the Spanish are passionate about food, so be prepared for some impressive menus. Chiringuitos (beach bars) are a way of life and the food is always fresh and delicious. Whether you go for tapas, fresh fish, pasta or steaks, you really cannot go wrong. Oh, and the wine tend to be exceptional too.

If you are looking for a taste of traditional Spain head to ‘Plaza de los Naranjos’ (Orange Square) in Old Town Marbella. As well as exploring the shop lined cobbled streets and enjoying dinner alfresco under the blossom, you can also enjoy music from local musicians and flamenco dancing.

The flight from London to Malaga is just under three hours and the Costa del Sol is less than an hour from the airport. Travelling around can be done by bike, bus, car, scooter, train and taxi. Hiring a car can be handy if you want to explore the region but use a reputable company, take your license and be aware of the speed limits.

Local time is GMT + 1, Euros are the local currency and remember that you will need a European-style two-pin to plug in your gadgets.

This eclectic mix of old and new, makes the Costa del Sol the ultimate sun, sea, sand and sangria holiday destination.

Happy holidays.