Snapshot Guide to the Costa del Sol for Prospective Expats


Costa del Sol guide

Since the jet-set discovered Marbella and Spain’s first package tourists arrived in Torremolinos in the 1960s, the Costa del Sol has ranked as one of the world’s favourite holiday spots.

The area received over 11.75 million visitors in 2016, a record year for tourism.

Like the Costa Blanca, the Costa del Sol enjoys a year-round pleasant climate, good connections and excellent services. As a result, it’s one of the most popular places for relocation in Spain.

Costa Del Sol Fast Facts

  • Total population: 1.65 million (2016)
  • Foreign population: 229,102
  • Largest foreign population group: British (46,450)
  • Area: 7,308km²
  • Coastline: 161km
  • Capital: Malaga
  • Main Airports: Malaga Airport, Gibraltar Airport
  • Days of sunshine a year: +320
  • Cheapest property: 2-bed apartments from €52,000
  • Most expensive property: Luxury villas from €1-20 million

Where is the Costa Del Sol?

The Costa del Sol is located in southern Spain, along the Mediterranean coast in the province of Malaga.

It stretches from Nerja, next to Granada province in the east to Sotogrande, next to Cadiz province.

How do you get to the Costa Del Sol?

The main gateway to the Costa del Sol is Malaga Airport, the third busiest in Spain with over 16 million passengers a year. The airport serves 136 destinations, mostly in Europe but also to Morocco, North America in high season (Montreal and New York), Turkey and Israel.

Flights to airports in the UK and Ireland are available all year round. You can also travel to a number of Spanish cities from Malaga Airport.

Gibraltar Airport offers a limited number of flights to the UK.

What’s the weather like on the Costa Del Sol?

One of the main reasons expat residents choose to live on the Costa del Sol is its climate.

The coastline enjoys over 320 days of sunshine a year (and that’s guaranteed) with an average daily temperature of around 19 degrees. Like the Costa Blanca, it has low rainfall (between 20 and 30 days a year), mostly concentrated in the autumn and early winter months.

Which are the main towns on the Costa Del Sol?

The Costa del Sol is home to many well-known resorts and towns. Inland, there are numerous villages and small towns including Ronda, one of the most beautiful in Spain.

The Costa del Sol’s capital, Malaga, is the largest centre on the coast.

With 569,000 inhabitants, Malaga ranks as the sixth largest city in Spain.

In recent years, Malaga has become of the Europe’s most popular city-break destinations.

The eastern side of the Costa del Sol is less populated than the west and considerably quieter.

The main towns and resorts to the east of Malaga city include:

  • Rincón de la Victoria, a busy town, popular with Spanish tourists;
  • Torre del Mar, a busy resort near the pretty town of Vélez-Málaga;
  • Torrox, with its inland village and busy coastal resort area;
  • and Nerja, famous for its caves and some of the most attractive and least developed beaches on the Costa del Sol.

To the west of Malaga city, the Costa del Sol is densely populated and home to a number of very popular resorts.

They include:

  • Torremolinos, synonymous with tourism and busy year-round;
  • Benalmádena, a busy resort and popular with families;
  • Fuengirola, a small high-rise resort with good beaches;
  • Mijas Costa, a long stretch of residential developments popular with expats;
  • Marbella, the most up-market (and expensive) resort on the Costa del Sol;
  • Estepona, a quieter town, famous for its murals; and Manilva, a series of quiet coastal developments with a marina.

Did you know this about the Costa Del Sol?

  • The Costa del Sol is also known as the Costa del Golf.
  • There are no less than 70 golf courses on the Costa del Sol.
  • The Costa del Sol is nicknamed the California of Europe.
  • The Caminito del Rey walkway ranks as one of the most exciting gorge walks in the world.

In winter, you can ski and swim in the sea on the same day.

More information about the Costa del Sol

One of the best sources for Costa del Sol information is on the official website,