Thursday, November 23, 2006

Spain - Costa-del-Sol



Hercules cave - Tangier

Hercules Cave - Tangier

Monkey of Gibraltar

Rock of Gibraltar

Sunrise in Marbella

Esplanade - Fuengirola

November in the Costa del Sol in Spain is highly recommended. The weather at this time of the year in this part of Spain ranges from 20 – 28 deg C, although rain could be a problem. During our week in Spain we had only one rainy day.

Our holiday resort, the Club La Costa, situated just outside Fuengirola on to road to Marbella, was impressive. It was a very large well equipped holiday resort suitable for retirees, young couples and families. The apartments were very comfortable, clean and well maintained. The facilities within the resort cater for holiday makers of all age group. I guess the resort would be the sort of place the British holiday makers would go for their summer vacations. We were there in November and although it was off season the resort was quite crowded with holiday makers from United Kingdom, Europe and the United States.

This part of Spain is popular with summer holiday makers from the UK. The surrounding beaches and the esplanades in coastal towns are magnets to the sun seekers who enjoy the abundance of sunshine and alcoholic beverages. Suitable also for family with young or teenage children, this part of Spain offers guaranteed summer sunshine and a whole host of other activities.

The nearby towns from the Club La Costa resort are worth visiting. From the resort one could go on day excursions to some popular town.


This is a typical Spanish coastal resort town with a long esplanade lined on one side by restaurants and bars. The beach was quiet during our visit. Along the esplanade one can also find luxury apartments for rent during the summer season. I guess this town would probably be extremely busy and crowded during the summer months. The town or Fuengirola is quite a busy place with shops, restaurants and bar. The bus station which is the heart of town is always crowded. From here one can take bus rides to other nearby towns in the area. The bus services are efficient and a very cheap mode of transport.


Marbella is a bigger holiday town than Fuengirola. The esplanade stretches for more than a mile with the usual bars, cafes and restaurants. Luxury apartments line the seafront with a sandy beach. Even in November the place seem to be quite crowed with tourists and Spanish holiday makers. Away from the beach front the town of Marbella is picturesque and well planned. The streets are clean and the traffic smooth flowing. There is a large section of the town reserved for pedestrians. This is the shopping area with restaurants and cafes. There are park areas within the town. These are well kept and there are numerous clean garden benches for weary tourists. On the whole a pretty town, well worth a visit.


Mijas is a small Spanish town nestling on the slope of the hill behind Fuengirola. It is a typical Spanish town with white buildings along narrow streets. It is a very beautiful little town with friendly people. The scenery from this place is just unbelievable. The weather on the day we were in Mijas was clear and we could see all the way to Fuengirola and out to the blue sea beyond. Sitting outside one of numerous cafes, drinking lovely coffee and looking out over the valley to the sea was just so peaceful and out of this world. Of all the towns along Costa del Sol, Mijas must be one of the best places to visit.


A trip to Gibraltar when at Costa del Sol is a definite must. Only an hour and a half away from the resort the rock of Gibraltar offers tourists a view of the famous rock that has been a bone of contention between Spain and the UK for so long. A drive up the rock to view the town below is another attraction. Up near the top one must visit the cave which offers a view of the famous stalactites and the stalagmites. Also near the top there are the permanent residents of the rock, the apes of Gibraltar. These are actually not apes but monkeys. They are friendly and have no objection to being photographed.

Tangier in Morocco

To get to Tangier one has to travel by coach to Tarifa near Gibraltar. From here there is a fast ferry to Tangier. The crossing takes 45 minutes. The day of our journey to Tangier was rainy and windy and the crossing was very rough. A visit to the restroom verified the roughness of the sea. The storm got worst later that day and our ferry for the return journey was cancelled. We had to return to Spain via Algeciras on the car ferry.

In spite of the rain Tangier is an interesting city. Here we could see the mixture of cultures from Arabic Islam to Western Christianity. Churches and mosques exist side by side. Spoken language is mostly Moroccan although Spanish and French are also common.

The souk of Tangier is an interesting place to visit. Here they sell everything from Moroccan clothes, shoes, artifacts, carpets, spices to the modern TV, DVD players etc. A very interesting place to visit with its little narrow alleys. When in the souk one must be prepared to be followed by a whole string of vendors of local brass and wooden souvenirs.

Near Tangier there is a cave called Hercules Cave. This is an interesting place where mill stones were mined in days gone by.

Unfortunately our day in Tangier was wet. Had the weather been nice we would have had a better experience.

Our week in Spain was good. Enjoyed the trip and the experience.