Sunshine Coast Attractions Costa del Sol
The Costa del Sol ("Sunshine Coast") extends along almost the whole of the Mediterranean coast of Andalusia, from Cabo de Gata, where the Costa Blanca ends, to the most southerly point in Spain at Tarifa, where the Costa de la Luz begins.
The mild climate of this region (with an average annual temperature of over 18°C/64°F) has led to the development of a densely populated holiday and tourist region almost 300km/190mi long which attracts hosts of foreign visitors. The stretch between Málaga and Manilva is particularly developed but in 1993 sewage plants were installed to improve the water quality and other measures were introduced to clean up the beaches. This is not the place to come for peace and quiet as the night life comes right up to the beach and there is no shortage of discos and bars. Inland the vivid coloring of the landscape and the luxuriant flora give the Costa del Sol its particular stamp. With its whitewashed houses, its agaves and cactuses, its farms and its cheerful villages, it is the very image of Andalusia.
The seaside resort of Fuengirola on the Costa del Sol, 29km/18mi from Málaga on N 340 and 25km/16mi from the Torremolinos airport, occupies the site of the Roman settlement of Suel. Fuengirola is sheltered on the north by the Sierra de Mijas. Above the town are the ruins of the Moorish stronghold of Sohall, built in the 10th century by Abderrahman III.Fuengirola is now an international holiday resort, conveniently situated and offering a great range of attractions - 7km/4.5mi of beaches, hotels and restaurants in all categories and recreational facilities which include golf courses, a zoo and training courses in many forms of sport and leisure activity.
9km/6mi north of Fuengirola is Mijas, a little village which has been dressed up to cater for the needs of tourists, with many of its whitewashed houses now occupied by restaurants and craft shops. On the way to Mijas there are fine views of the Mediterranean from the southern slopes of the Sierra de Mijas. There is a Museum of Miniatures and water lovers will enjoy the Aqualand Mijas Costas with numerous long water slides.
The port of Algeciras lies near the southern tip of the Iberian peninsula on the west side of Algeciras Bay, opposite Gibraltar. It is an important ferry port, with services to Ceuta and Tangier in North Africa. The Roman Portus Albo was re-founded by the Moors in 713 under the name of al-Gezira al-Khadra (''green island''). It was captured by Alfonso XI of Castile in 1344 and destroyed by Mohammed V of Granada in 1368, so that it has preserved only scanty remains from that period. After 1704, when Gibraltar became a British possession, Algeciras was resettled by Spaniards from Gibraltar.
The only building of any note in Algeciras is the Casa Consistorial in Calle Regio Martínez, built in 1897, in which the international Conference of Algeciras was held in 1906. The conference met after the first Moroccan crisis of 1905-06 which was sparked off by the German Emperor Wilhelm II's provocative visit to Tangier. Germany was seeking to counter French policy in North Africa and win influence in Morocco, but at the Algeciras conference these aspirations were rejected and France and Spain were recognized as having control over Morocco.
Estepona, the most westerly resort on the Costa del Sol, lying at the foot of the Sierra Bermeja on the coast road, has a history going back to Roman times. Nearby are the ruins of the thousand-year-old aqueduct of Salduba, and in the town itself are remains of an Arab fortress and medieval watch-towers. The old part of the town has retained something of its Andalusian character; otherwise Estepona is a typical modern tourist and holiday center catering for an international public, with a boating marina, high-rise hotels, restaurants and bars surrounding the old town center.
Sport and Recreation
With 21km/13mi of beaches, Estepona offers a varied range of facilities for bathing and water sports. Some of the beaches have earned the European Union's blue flag. The modern boating marina has moorings for 900 boats, and there are also a sailing club, good sea angling, regattas and water skiing facilities, as well as three golf courses and numbers of tennis courts.