Are you looking for a holiday that has it all? From beaches to wildlife parks, and restaurants to marinas; the Costa del Sol is a destination that offers fun for the whole family. If you’re planning the perfect holiday for you and your kids, the Costa del Sol is a great place to base yourself.
When planning a holiday in the Costa del Sol, the main attraction is undoubtedly the beaches. With over 320 sunny days per year and hundreds of beaches to choose from, it’s no surprise that the area is a favourite for families looking for some fun, sand, and sun.
As a parent, the main things that you’re looking for when choosing a beach holiday destination is safety, convenience, facilities, and fun. So, with that in mind, we’ve compiled a list of the top three beaches to visit as a family in the Costa Del Sol:
If you’re based in Marbella, then the best beach to visit with your family is Playa de Zaragoza. The wide, open beach with its fine golden sand is the ultimate destination for families. The beach is always immaculately clean, and there are toilets and showers available. And, during high season, there are always lifeguards on duty, which mean a couple of extra pairs of eyes helping you keep your children safe.
You don’t have to arrive fully prepared for a day at the beach either; there are many different restaurants and kiosks to order food and drinks from and it’s easy to rent a sun lounger and umbrella for the day. And to sweeten the deal, the parking area is very close to the beach.
If your children are a bit older, Playa Malapesquera is a great beach to base yourself at as there are beach football and volleyball areas set up, as well as many different water equipment options for rent including kayaks. This beach is particularly popular for water sports.
The beach is 700 metres long, which makes it easier to find an open patch of sand to set up, and there are sunbeds and umbrellas available to rent. Then , once you’ve had enough time on the beach, it’s an easy ten-minute stroll back into the town where there are many different restaurant options for a light lunch or early dinner.
If you’re in Estepona, chances are you’ll spend most of your time on Playa El Christo, the best beach in the area. The beach is west-facing making it sheltered from the wind on most days. With dark sand and shallow water perfect for paddling safety, it’s not surprising that El Christo is popular with both tourists and locals with small families. This blue flag beach is conveniently located next to the marina and offers ample close parking for easy access to the beach. It has a lifeguard on duty during the summer months to help you keep your children safe while they play in the water.
If you’ve had enough of beaches and want to do a bit more exploring, there are hundreds of family-friendly activities to choose from, including:
The Biopark zoo in Fuengirola is a well-designed zoo with tigers, crocodiles, snakes, gorillas and more. Spend a morning learning about the different animals as you explore the different cages and exhibitions.
If you happen to be in the Benalmadena area, Paloma Park is a ‘must-see.’ The park is 200 000 m2 with beautiful gardens and a large lake in the middle. Located in the centre of town, it’s the perfect place for children to run around, enjoy the climbing frames and slides and feed the fish and the turtles. As you explore the park, you’ll find many different animals roaming freely, including hens, chickens and peacocks, as well as rabbits and hares.
You’ll find Selwo Marina located next to Paloma Park in central Arroyo de la Miel. It’s the only Dolphinarium in Andalucía and one of the Costa del Sol’s most popular attractions. With dolphin and sea lion shows, penguins and up-close dolphin encounters, Selwo Marina is not to be missed.
This is the largest wildlife park on the Costa del Sol and is an amazing place to discover some of Asia and Africa’s most interesting animals in the wild.
The Sealife Aquarium in Benalmadena Marina is a perfect place to spend a morning or afternoon learning about jellyfish, sharks, turtles and more. It’s a great way to escape the heat of the day enjoying the peaceful, majestic animals of the sea.
Whether you’re looking for local delicacies or something more traditional to remind you of home; you’ll find it in the Costa Del Sol. But, if you’ve had your English breakfast for the day and are looking to branch out, these are three local meals that you must try:
A summer holiday in the Costa del Sol isn’t complete without Gazpacho. At the temperature outside continues to rise, gazpacho is the one meal that will help you cool down. It’s a cold soup with tomato, cucumber, garlic, onion and pepper as a base; topped with bread, olive oil, and vinegar.
Treat yourself with a local, delicious prawn dish on your holiday in Costa del Sol. Gambas al pil-pil are prawns served in a spicy sauce that contains garlic, paprika, chilies and white wine. It’s traditionally cooked in an oven-proof dish and served piping hot straight out of the oven.
To finish off, why not try Andalusia’s interpretation of rice pudding. Served cold with cinnamon, this is the perfect way to end a meal (or enjoy as a sneaky mid-afternoon treat!)
If you’re planning a trip to the Costa del Sol with your family, there’s a lot to look forward to. Basing yourself in Marbella, Benalmadena or Estepona close to one of the top family beaches is a good place to start, and from your base, it’s easy to explore more of what the Costa del Sol has to offer. And when you need a break from the beach, treat your kids to an outing at Paloma Park, Sealife Aquarium, Selwo Marina or Wildlife Park or the Biopark Zoo. Then to end off your day, sample some of the top local delicacies that the region has to offer, you won’t be disappointed!
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