Spain — Introduction
The sun-kissed shores of Spain’s south have long lured visitors looking for a relaxing break. The Costa del Sol has something for everyone in the ever-popular resorts of Fuengirola, Benalmádena, Torremolinos and Estepona – each offering a great variety of entertainment. But it’s the cobbled streets of the old towns that really tell of life in Spain.
Here church bells toll in bustling squares and each whitewashed house is bedecked with ornate wrought ironwork and bougainvillea that overflows every window-box.
The orange-tree lined streets of Marbella are home to fine restaurants and a long promenade that hugs its pretty coastline. Nearby you can rub shoulders with the glitterati and shop-till-you-drop at the designer stores in Puerto Banús’ dazzling marina.
Málaga is a jewel in the south coast encrusted with beautiful purple jacaranda and neatly landscaped tropical gardens. This cosmopolitan city, once home to Pablo Picasso, is steeped in culture and history, while its squares make for an ideal place to stop for coffee and people-watching beneath the shade of a palm.
Further along the coast, the striking cliff-top views of the Mediterranean from Nerja are a delight and attest to its grand title as the Balcony of Europe.
For centuries the Moors shaped the landscape here with impressive palaces, temples and defensive forts that are well-preserved features throughout this part of Spain. Their influence in Granada however resulted in something particularly special. Renowned as one of Spain’s most beautiful cities, Granada is crowned by the splendid Alhambra palace with its fanciful arabesques, dramatic vaulted ceilings and outstanding Andalucían art.
Spain’s southern coast may be blessed with more tropical temperatures, but the warm embrace of eastern Spain makes for a charm-filled holiday.
The east coast is backed by a chain of awe-inspiring mountain peaks which nestle great towns and cities like Valencia, tempting beach lovers and culture vultures alike.
Along the coast tiny fishing villages and pretty nature reserves meet resort towns like Benidorm, characterised by casinos, trendy bars and restaurants. Meanwhile places like heady Guadalest perch on the hillside and offer step-back-in-time insights into a traditional way of life.