The Costa del Sol literally, “Coast of the Sun” or “Sun Coast” is a region in the south of Spain, in of Andalusia, comprising the coastal towns and communities along the coastline of the Provence of Malaga.
The drive to our destination of Fuengirola took over 6 hours from the mountains including stops and we arrived to the campsite which may be the most bizarre camping experience in Spain yet. We arrived to a scruffy field, paid 5 Euros to an Irish man and were subjected to loud live music, which was a mix of Spanish and English for most of the evening from the adjacent bar, there was a hen party at the bar along with people who turned up on horses, got served on horses and finished their drinks on horses. Every now and then all the local dogs would start barking just to join in the general noise and craziness!
We explored Fuengirola by bike and enjoyed the more laid back town and beachfront that we had experienced in Benidorm, the town also has some lovely parks and public art along with a shopping centre that I enjoyed.
Not wanting another disturbed nights sleep we risked staying overnight in the shopping centre carpark and by early evening we were joined by at least 5 other campervans.
The next place to explore which was recommend to visit was Mijas. This town is further in from the coast and up in the hills.
Mijas is only 20 minutes up the hill and we thankfully managed to find a spot to park the van as the main car park is a multi-storey car park with a height restriction….
The town is beautiful with lovely white houses perched on the hillside. We started in the town square where you can catch a ‘Burro taxi’ . I’m not sure that I completely agree with Donkey’s being used in this day and age but the donkeys seemed happy enough so I just petted one instead and only rode the statue for a photo.
We then wandered around exploring the many shops and streets. We visited the Museo de Miniaturas Carromato de Mijas and enjoyed the exhibits but as I’ve been to several Willard Wigan exhibitions the miniatures weren’t quite minuscule enough for me.
We then stumbled across Mayan Monkey Mijas Chocolate shop. We had a Spanish Style hot chocolate which is really thick and like drinking melted chocolate (finally a hot chocolate that tastes like I always imagined it should taste like!) and a slice of chocolate cake with chocolate sorbet. Chocolate sorbet is amazing! We also had a little tour of the ‘factory’ and I got to make three bars of chocolate which I enjoyed immensely.
We really enjoyed Parque La Muralla a park with spectacular views over
Fuengirola and the coast. It is also home to lovely water features and a variety of plants. We then returned to town and had tapas before setting off to Marbella, our last stop on the Costa del Sol.
Marbella is obviously very upmarket, the houses and streets have some gorgeous looking houses and pools, along with a lot of golf courses. We camped over night a few miles out of town then as parking vans in the town is supposed to be a nightmare we parked at the shopping centre just out of town and cycled town to Old Town. Down being the operative word. Cycling back up to the van was more difficult, thank goodness for my electric bike, Dave struggled on those hills.
We enjoyed the beach and I resisted the fake ‘designer’ bags and then wandered the winding streets of old town, looking in the little shops. After a lovely few days on the Costa del Sol the next stop is Gibraltar.