Sailing in the Costa Del Sol
Spain’s Costa del Sol, or Sunshine Coast, stretches along the country’s southern Andalusian shores from Gibraltar in the West to the Cabo de Gato national park in the East, and includes the popular towns of Malaga, Marbella and Torremolinos within its span. With deluxe marinas, golden beaches, delicious tapas and seafood, and yes, lots and lots of sun, the Costa del Sol is a perenial favourite for those looking for a sailing holiday in Spain, be it a skippered or bareboat yacht charter, luxury motor boat hire or perhaps a course learning the ropes on the high seas.Not so many decades ago this sleepy area of Andalusia comprised of little more than historic towns and fishing villages, but word got out of its charms in the 1950s and soon everyone from Saudi royalty to Hollywood superstars were jetting in for the sun, sand and Spanish lifestyle and newly-built five star resorts. During these times there was no where more glamourous in the world than Marbella and even the Duke and Duchess of Windsor took their holidays in this ancient town turned resort of the rich and famous. In 1970 the region became yet more prestigious as the luxurious Puerto Banus marina was built, making the Costa del Sol the most fashionable sailing resort on the Mediterranean. The mega and luxury yachts of celebrities and high fliers called in every summer as Marbella became a byword for the high life.
With the advent of mass tourism in the 1970s and 80s, the rich and famous no longer held a monopoly on the delights of the Costa del Sol and now resorts like Torremolinos, Fuengirola and Benalmedana cater for holiday makers of every walk of life, many who come from the UK and Germany and other Northern European countries in search of guaranteed good weather which they are unlikely to get at home (Spain’s southern shores get over 300 days of sun per year!). Despite being much more democratic these days, there’s still a fashionable vibe to much of the Costa del Sol and with new developments in the pipeline, like the 350 million euro Puerto Al Thani marina in Marbella, if you’re for a glamourous sailing vacation you’ve just found it. But if you bling ain’t your thing, you can still enjoy a relaxing break exploring quieter parts of the Andalusian coastline by boat.Most people arrive on the Sunshine Coast via Malaga airport, although Granada and Sevilla, further inland, are also options and both cities are well worth spending a day or two in if you have time. Once you’ve landed the Costa del Sol’s main marinas are the aforementioned Puerto Banus, Puerto de Benalmadena, Puerto de Sotogrande, Puerto de Marbella and Puerto de Malaga, whilst you might also want to consider searching for yacht charters in Marina Bay in Gibraltar or some of the smaller harbours around. After you’ve boarded your vessel you’ll find plenty to keep you busy, even on a two week sailing holiday. The regional capital of Malaga is a must see, with it’s beautiful Old Town and lively culture and nightlife scenes. Meanwhile Marbella is much more than just a luxury resort… just wander into its historic streets lined with orange trees and full of scenic plazas to discover its original charms. The British enclave of Gibraltar makes for a compelling visit with its military tunnels, Macaque monkeys and tax free shopping. If you’re sailing with kids (or even if you’re not) then there’s plenty of diversions along the coast to keep them excited… the Crocodile Park at Torremolinos, the amazing Bio Parc at Fuengirola,Tivoli World amusement park or the Mijas Aquapark to name but a few! You could also combine your sailing holiday with other marine activities like sports fishing, deep sea diving, plus of course snorkelling, swimming and whale and dolphin watching. Finally if you want to combine your nautical adventures with some golf you’ll find 70 courses in the region!
Costa del Sol Yacht Charter Info
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