Rediscover the Costa del Sol

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A Trip to the Spanish Coast Doesn’t Need to be Tacky

The Spanish coastline has a reputation for bawdy, boozy holidays. If you dig a little deeper though, you’ll discover more than that in the Costa del Sol.

Spain is a wonderful location for a holiday, whether you’re travelling there with friends, a partner or with a large group of family members. Unfortunately, in recent years, Spain has gained a bit of a bad reputation. Due to the infamous partying tourists pictured in the papers and featured on TV, some see Spanish destinations as tacky – particularly the Costa del Sol, Costa Blanca and Costa Brava. Well, that’s a myth that needs busting. These areas have plenty to offer travellers, regardless of the kind of experience you’re looking for.

It’s not all about the beaches

The Costa del Sol is famed for its beaches – they are what draw so many tourists to the area, after all. You’ll find more incredible scenery if you head inland as well. If you want to spend some time out of town, go to the JardínBotánico La Concepción, a sprawling botanical garden. The Nerja Caves are a must-visit too. These huge caverns are truly awe-inspiring, and they’re home to the world’s largest stalagmite. The Costa Blanca is home to a wonderful garden in HuertodelCura – a great alternative to the beach for an afternoon.surfing-in-spain Culture and history

The Spanish coast may not strike many as a cultural hub, but you’ll find some incredible monuments, museums and theatres.  The city of Malaga has an art scene as vibrant as Madrid’s and restaurants that are as well regarded as Barcelona’s. Over in the Costa Blanca, Alicante is home to the Santa Barbara castle. An iconic part of the landscape, the origins of this castle date back to the 9th century. The Costa Brava is Dali country – you’ll find a number of museums dedicated to the artist, including his house at Cadaqués. There are also plenty of Greek, Roman and Iberian archaeological sites to explore.

Brilliant Benidorm

There’s no doubt that Spain is popular for families, with Benidorm being particularly loved by British tourists. Thanks to the TV show, which only serves to reinforce the area’s reputation for mass market tourism, it’s been saddled with a label that it doesn’t deserve. The big, all-inclusive resorts offer something for all the family. If you’re planning to stay in one though, consider exploring the other side of this Costa Brava city while you’re there. The old town is charming and is set on a hill between two beaches, making for some incredible views, and you can find some incredible tapas bars if you fancy eating out one night.

Alternative hotels

If you want to give the big hotels a miss but stay close to the action, then you’ll have plenty of locations to choose from. The Costa del Sol is home to some small, unique hotels that are a great alternative to the vast resorts – one of the best has to be Casa de los Bates. In Costa Brava, the Aiguaclara Hotel Begur is a traditional rustic inn that gives you an authentic taste of Spanish culture. Thanks to its great location though, you’re right in the middle of the action. Last but not least is the Costa Blanca’s Art Boutique Hotel Chamarel, a boutique offering that’s a million miles away from the more popular hotels along the coastline.spaintrip_gironaSay Hola! to the Spanish seaside

While the big coastal Spanish resorts may have their detractors, they’re a great place to spend a holiday. With plenty more to do if you head out of town, there’s no reason a trip to any of the three Costas can’t be full of culture, culinary discovery and chances to connect with nature. If you look in the right place, you’ll discover what it is about the Spanish coast that attracted tourists there in the first place.

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