Costa del Sol, or the Sun Coast, is the coastline and beach areas all along The Andulucia region of Southern Spain, in the Provincia de Malaga. It is nestled between two other lesser know coastal regions, the Costa del Luz or the Coast of Light and the Costa Tropical or the tropical coast. Like with many other beach towns and communities, the region started off as a local fishing and farming community, and was known for its raisins back when Malaga was a major trade destination. In the late 19th century Malaga suffered a severe economic downturn that affected all the trade in the area. But the idea of turning this area in to tourist destination was born even in these tough economic times, and thus the Costa del Sol region as we know it today, was born. Costa del Sol is very reminiscent of California in looks, and temperature. On average, the Costa del Sol region gets about 3000 hours of sunshine per year. The warm sunshine and the beautiful coastal areas had all the necessary ingredients to make the region the major tourist destination that it has become today. People from all over the world flock to the Costa del Sol to bask in the sunshine of Spain. It is lined with beautiful homes, trendy shops and restaurants galore.
After leaving Almeria, we headed straight for Costa del Sol, which was about another 350-400 K or 300 mile drive. We stayed in Estepona, we dived out of Marbella and went in all different directions for the various activities we did for the week.
Our first stop on the coast was Puerto Banus. We were looking for our dive operator, took in the sights and dined in front of the marina. It was most definitely a place to see and be seen. The whole region, but particularly Puerto Banus, is most definitely the playground for the rich and famous, as well as those who want to be rich and famous. We saw so many beautiful and expensive luxury cars and yachts, as well as plenty of people who thought they were all that. We learned later that a lot of people rent out those specialty cars for the day or for the week. We were definitely in the observer roles. This is so NOT us at all, but every now and then it is fun to see how the other half lives.
The most unusual and impressive thing we saw was the Rolls Royce SUV or sport utility vehicle. Yes, you read that right, a Rolls Royce SUV. It got a ton of attention and was very popular indeed. We were eating dinner right across from where the driver parked his car and saw everything. The funniest thing though was when someone was taking a picture of the car and the owner snuck up on him and asked if he would like a picture with him as well. We googled it and the starting price for the bare-bone basic model STARTS at $250 K, and goes up to about $400 K. I think I’ll just run right out and order us a couple so we can drive around in style. NOT!
The people watching proved great entertainment. It was fun to watch everyone ogle over this new, expensive, exotic toy while we were enjoying dinner. We ate quite a few very good, very tasty meals in Costa del Sol. Other times we just made sandwiches and took the on the run with us for a picnic lunch.
This is our first meal, at the Azul Mar. There was a great meal deal that included one first, one entrée, and one dessert for about 16 E each. How could we pass that up?!
As soon as we sat down, they brought a loaf of bread with some olives and sauces.
Our “firsts” as they are called, were garlic shrimp and a shrimp and avocado salad.
Then came the mains. Larry ordered the fried fish platter and I had seafood marinara.
And for dessert, I had a pear poached in a red wine sauce and Larry had the flan. Everything was fabulous!
By the time we finished dinner, it was already about 9:30 PM and we had had a long day of driving and sightseeing. All we could think of us was getting checked into our timeshare and calling it a night. Things did NOT work out as planned though. We got so lost looking for our timeshare. We drove around through the hills of Estepona for about 2 hours, in the dark since there were no street lights, on very narrow, winding roads, before we finally found our place. Needless to say, we had more than reach our limits, at this point. When we finally got checked it, we were told there was no air conditioning. ARRRGGHHH!!!! It was an adorable little apartment, but it was very hot with no air conditioning. We weren’t there to much though, but when we were there, it made it very difficult to sleep.
This is where we called home for the next week. Our unit was the bottom unot on the left, at the end. My next few posts will be about our adventures in Costa del Sol. Ciao for now.