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How to Spend 3 Days in the Costa del Sol

How to Spend 3 Days in the Costa del Sol

Spain’s southernmost coastline, the Costa del Sol unfurls golden sands, glam marinas, and classic seaside resorts along around 100 miles (160 kilometers) of Mediterranean coast. It’s also a gateway to Andalucia’s whitewashed villages, mountains, and guidebook-worthy cities. Here are our tips for three days along the Costa del Sol.

Day 1: Sands, Sights, and Local Specialities

Most Costa del Sol visitors make straight for its beaches. From Mijas and Malaga to Nerja, you’ll find golden sweeps lined with shops, restaurants, whitewashed old towns, and yacht-filled marinas. Lounge on the sands, swim in the Mediterranean, or take a boat trip. In the afternoon, board a Malaga hop-on hop-off bus to see landmarks such as Gibralfaro Castle, the Alcazaba, and the Picasso Museum. Alternatively, join a Segway, bike, or walking tour or sample the city’s rich culinary scene with a tapas-tasting stroll. In the evening, take in a flamenco show, dive into one of the Costa’s chic bars or dance spots, or stroll along a palm-lined promenade.

Day 2: Cuisine, Culture, and Countryside

Today is perfect for delving deeper into the Costa del Sol’s culture, cuisine, and countryside. Chart the life of Malaga’s most celebrated son, Pablo Picasso, on a Picasso walking tour in the city. Foodies will enjoy a paella cooking class or tour of the wineries nestled in Andalucia’s hills, while spa lovers can indulge at Malaga’s opulent Arab baths. If you’re in the mood for something more active, take an off-road buggy ride or hike along the King’s Walkway (Caminito del Rey)—a spectacular cliffside path high above the Gaitanes Gorge near Malaga. Visit the pretty villages of Frigiliana and Nerja, the latter famous for its prehistoric caves; or explore Ronda, perched above a soaring gorge. Cap your day by enjoying a live show or some of the Costa’s legendary nightlife at its glitzy clubs and pubs. 

Day 3: Day Trips

Devote your last day to a day trip deeper into Andalucia or even farther afield. In Andalucia, visit Granada to see the exquisite Alhambra palace, a UNESCO World Heritage Site; head for Cordoba to admire its UNESCO-listed Great Mosque; or take in the delights of Seville, Cadiz, or the sherry-making town and region of Jerez de la Frontera. Bring your passport for a day trip to Morocco, or cross the Strait of Gibraltar to Tangier and absorb the North African atmosphere of its old souk. Alternatively, travel to the British territory of Gibraltar to climb its Rock, meet its Barbary monkeys, and enjoy its duty-free bargains and British-style pubs.

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Costa del Sol Tours & Activities (13)
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Gibraltar Express: Sightseeing Full Day Tour from MalagaDay Trips

Gibraltar Express: Sightseeing Full Day Tour from Malaga

star-3
Discover the scenic and shopping highlights of Gibraltar on this full-day trip from Malaga. With an expert guide, journey from Malaga to Gibraltar by air-conditioned coach and experience the best of this famous British territory. Meet the fabled Barbary ‘apes’ on the Rock of Gibraltar, visit St Michael’s Cave, and much more. Then, enjoy time to explore Gibraltar’s center independently. Perhaps have lunch at a British-style pub, browse the big-name stores, and snap up duty-free bargains.
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  • 11 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From  
US$69.73 
From  
US$69.73 
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  • 11 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures

Alhambra trip from Marbella or MalagaDay Trips

Alhambra trip from Marbella or Malaga

star-5
Experience Granada’s incredible UNESCO World Heritage-listed Alhambra with the help of a private guide during this half-day trip from Marbella. Travel back in time 600 years to the era of Muslim Spain, as your expert guide helps you explore the intricate stonework, detailed ceilings, and lush gardens of this famous military fortress turned royal palace.
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  • 7 hours
  • Taking safety measures
From  
US$408.78 
Price varies by group size
From  
US$408.78 
Price varies by group size
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  • 7 hours
  • Taking safety measures

Frigiliana and Nerja Tour Direct from MalagaDay Trips

Frigiliana and Nerja Tour Direct from Malaga

star-3.5
Explore the beautiful coastal villages of Spain on a half-day tour of Nerja and Frigiliana from Malaga. Gaze at the seaside splendor of the Mediterranean as you travel to the whitewashed houses and rich cultural tableau of Frigiliana. Visit an ancient Moorish fortress, and browse local shops for rustic pottery before navigating the labyrinthine lanes of Nerja, a gorgeous village replete with sandy coves and inviting beaches. Upgrade to include a tour of the prehistoric Caves of Nerja with an expert guide.
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  • 9 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From  
US$45.69 
From  
US$45.69 
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  • 9 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures

Seville Full Day Trip from Costa del SolDay Trips

Seville Full Day Trip from Costa del Sol

star-3
Let the beguiling beauty of Seville seduce you on an explorative full-day excursion from Costa del Sol. With a knowledgeable guide, immerse yourself in the rich cultural and architectural tapestry of the city and explore colorful neighborhoods like Santa Cruz and Triana. Stroll along the picturesque banks of the Guadalquivir River and marvel at UNESCO World Heritage-listed attractions like the Cathedral of Seville. Enjoy some leisurely free time to discover Seville at your own pace and relax with convenient round-trip transportation from Costa del Sol.
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  • 12 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From  
US$81.70 
From  
US$81.70 
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  • 12 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures

Malaga Tapas Walking TourDining Experiences

Malaga Tapas Walking Tour

star-5
Get a taste of the delicious food culture of Malaga during this walking tour of the city’s numerous tapas bars and artisan culinary creators. Come hungry as you experience the gastronomic culture of this southern Spanish city as told through its chefs and shopkeepers, savoring hand-crafted foodstuffs like local-style marinated olives, fried fish, and regional wine. You also visit the bustling Atarazanas Market and learn how a local chef is reinventing traditional cuisine with a modern twist. Additional attraction include a local expert ‘food sherpa’ guide, as well as seven tastings and four drinks.
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  • 3 hours 30 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From  
US$84.83 
From  
US$84.83 
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  • 3 hours 30 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures

Jerez and Cadiz Day Trip from Costa del Sol with Winery Tour, Andalusian Horse Show and Sightseeing CruiseDay Trips

Jerez and Cadiz Day Trip from Costa del Sol with Winery Tour, Andalusian Horse Show and Sightseeing Cruise

star-3.5
Enjoy an authentic cultural experience of southern Spain on an enriching full-day excursion to Jerez and Cadiz from central Malaga and Costa del Sol. Accompanied by an expert guide, pleasure your palate with a tasting session at an established winery and watch an exhilarating equestrian show typical of the region. Admire breathtaking panoramas of the Andalusian countryside; cruise along Cadiz’s curvaceous coastline by ferry; and conclude your cultural day with a guided tour of the city’s historical heart.
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  • 10 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From  
US$67.33 
From  
US$67.33 
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  • 10 hours
  • Free Cancellation

Malaga Highlights Bike TourMountain Bike Tours

SPECIAL OFFER

Malaga Highlights Bike Tour

star-5
Pedal your way through Malaga and check off the port city’s key sights on this bike tour. Accompanied by your tour leader, you’ll cycle through the charming historic center on beautiful pedestrian streets. See the Renaissance Cathedral of Malaga, the Roman Theater, Alcazaba and other showstopper landmarks. After stopping at Malaga’s bullring, continue along the waterfront pausing for a drink at a beach bar (own expense). On the way back to the city, cycle through the beautiful marina and take in the spectacular skyline of Malaga.
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  • 3 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From  
US$32.47 
US$36.09
US$3.62 savings
From  
US$32.47 
US$36.09
US$3.62 savings
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  • 3 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures

Arabian Baths Experience at Malaga’s Hammam Al AndalusHammams & Turkish Baths

Arabian Baths Experience at Malaga’s Hammam Al Andalus

star-4.5
Immerse yourself in the sublime serenity of Malaga’s heavenly Hammam Al Ándalus during a session in the opulent Arabian baths. Venture within and sip fresh mint tea while soothing mind body and soul in thermal pools and relaxing Jacuzzis. Stimulate your senses in the icy plunge pool; inhale the aromatic scents of the steam room; then indulge in a massage with exfoliating scrub. Upgrade to enjoy a purifying Midra massage that stimulates blood circulations and exfoliates.
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  • 1 hour 30 minutes
From  
US$56.51 
From  
US$56.51 
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  • 1 hour 30 minutes

Ronda Day Trip from MalagaDay Trips

Ronda Day Trip from Malaga

star-5
Discover the dramatic mountains and historical landmarks of Ronda on a full-day trip from Malaga, led by a professional guide. Travel through the sublime Spanish countryside, admiring olive groves and vineyards, and then embark on a guided walking tour on arrival in Ronda. See the 15th-century Mondragon Palace; step inside the ancient bullfighting arena; and gaze at the iconic New Bridge that connects the old town with the new. Stop off at the charming village of Setenil de las Bodegas on your way back to Malaga and enjoy the convenience of round-trip transportation from your Malaga hotel.
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  • 12 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From  
US$284.94 
Price varies by group size
From  
US$284.94 
Price varies by group size
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  • 12 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures

Panoramic Buggy Tour from MalagaHalf-day Tours

Panoramic Buggy Tour from Malaga

star-4.5
The Axarquía hills outside Málaga boast gentle valleys and spectacular countryside scenery, but the rugged terrain makes access challenging. On this tour, spin through the Costa del Sol countryside by powerful 4-wheel drive buggy and explore the landscape with ease. With your guide to lead the way, follow ancient cattle tracks past olive groves and vineyards, and enjoy a refreshing drink in pretty Comares.
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  • 3 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From  
US$269.18 
per group
From  
US$269.18 
per group
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  • 3 hours
  • Free Cancellation

E-Mountain Bike & Wine Tour from Marbella to Sierra BlancaMountain Bike Tours

E-Mountain Bike & Wine Tour from Marbella to Sierra Blanca

star-5
Combine outdoor adventure with a touch of luxury on this half-day guided tour. First, board an electric mountain bike (e-MTB) and climb the hills of the Sierra Blanca mountain range. Visit the “Pueblos Blancos” (White Villages), named for their simple hilltop whitewashed homes. The take an exhilarating downhill ride to Marbella to fuel up on tapas and wine.
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  • 4 to 5 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From  
US$119.03 
From  
US$119.03 
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  • 4 to 5 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures

Cordoba private trip from Marbella or from MalagaDay Trips

Cordoba private trip from Marbella or from Malaga

Experience the UNESCO World Heritage city of Cordoba on a private tour from the Costa del Sol. After a convenient hotel pickup in Marbella or Malaga, travel in an air-conditioned vehicle to Cordoba’s historic center for a tour highlighting the city’s rich cultural diversity. Visit sites important to Muslims, Jews, and Christians, including the Cathedral-Mosque and the Jewish Quarter. Stop at the craft market and enjoy free time for lunch.
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  • 7 to 9 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From  
US$495.26 
Price varies by group size
From  
US$495.26 
Price varies by group size
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  • 7 to 9 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures

Paella Cooking Class in MalagaCooking Classes

Paella Cooking Class in Malaga

star-5
Learn the art of making perfect Spanish paella direct from a chef in a 3.5-hour cooking class and market tour in Malaga. Pick out the ingredients at a vibrant food market, make a traditional paella and 'gazpacho' (chilled soup) with expert instruction, and feast on your creations with your fellow cooks, accompanied by beer or wine. Tastings of popular local snacks are included.
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  • 3 hours 30 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From  
US$92.49 
From  
US$92.49 
Learn More
  • 3 hours 30 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures


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