Costa del Sol: A Taste of Spain

Copyright © Terrie Plowman 2012

Costa del Sol: A Taste of Spain

The Last Forty years

The Costa del Sol has been a popular tourist destination for the last forty years. During those four decades this southern coast has seen many changes, mainly in the expansion of major roads with finance from the European Community, newly built hotels, villas and apartments for both the holiday visitor and ex-pat society and the development of all kinds of restaurants, cafes and bars. Yet it has retained its fishing villages charm.

For the second time in the last twenty years, Spain, like other European countries, is undergoing a recession. Incomplete apartment blocks, villas for sale or rent and empty restaurants are evident in this part of Spain.

Costa del Sol: Everybody’s Jewel

Yet it is still a jewel of an area. There are vast expanses of clean beaches, lots of sunshine, villas for sale at ridiculously cheap prices, apartments to rent at good value prices and plenty of restaurants to sample all kinds of food.
You will still see the Spanish people eating out. If you want to ensure value for money then eat where they eat.
Not only will you be served with an excellent Spanish meal but you will be able to soak up their culture for free!

Costa del Golf

The Costa del Sol is also known as ‘Costa del Golf’ where you can play golf on a different course every week of the year. In conditions that you would find hard to match in your home country, you will need very light golf clothing most of the time. You will need plenty of water to drink in high season, though.

There is a golf course for every level of player. There are practice Par 3’s, 9x hole courses or a choice of 3x 18 hole courses at some venues. Beware of some of the hilly courses inland. If a buggy is advised, then you will need one. If not, you may need crampons fitted to your golf shoes! Some of these hilly courses are very challenging.

Tapas

Instead of a day on the golf course you may wish to sample the food cultures of the area. Tapas are very popular in bars. They are a small snack, usually served with a piece of bread to soak up any juices on the small oval dishes. You can choose from olives, almonds, meat balls, tortilla or chorizo [spicy sausage]. Buy a cold beer to accompany the tapas and you’re satisfied until your evening meal.

Mid morning you could sample churros y chocolate, sticks of doughnut that you dip in a mug of steaming hot thick chocolate. Delicious!

On the other hand, Gazpacho soup is served cold. It is very popular on the Costa del Sol, especially in the heat of the summer. It is a tomato-based soup.
Of course, fresh seafood is a must on the coast and one of the most popular is Prawns Pil-Pil, a sizzling dish of prawns in garlic and chilli with plenty of fresh bread to soak up the juices!

A Variety of Places to Visit

Being on the Costa del Sol is not just about eating or golf; there are plenty of places to see stunning views. Drive up the very bendy road to Ronda to see a place steeped in history or catch the very modern train to Malaga to visit the Picasso Museum. Or you can sit at a table in an outside bar in Puerto Banus watching the world go by, expensive yacht-style, and dream of those who still have the wealth!

The Costa del Sol has so much to offer, and, this is just a small sample.