The Costa del Sol is a region in the south of Spain, in
the autonomous community of Andalusia, comprising the
coastal towns and communities along the Mediterranean
coastline of the Malaga province and the eastern edge of
the Cadiz province. The name translates as "Sunny Coast"
Formerly made up only of a series of small, quiet fishing
settlements, the region has been completely transformed
during the latter part of the 20th century into a tourist
destination of world renown, with a near-continuous urban
agglomeration of high-rise settlements and resorts running
along the length of the coastline.
It includes the city of Malaga, and the towns of
Torremolinos, Benalmádena, Fuengirola, Mijas, Marbella,
Puerto Banús, San Pedro de Alcántara, Velez Malaga, Nerja,
Torrox, Estepona, and San Luis de Sabinillas, the
community of Sotogrande, San Roque and La Línea de la
Settlement in the region dates back to the Bronze Age, and
it has been colonised and ruled by many cultures such as
the Phoenicians, Carthaginians, Romans, Vandals, Visigoths
and Moors, before the Reconquista.
Historically its population lived in the fishing villages,
and in the "white" villages a little distance inland, in
the mountains running down to the coast. The area was
discovered and developed to meet the demands of
international tourism in the 1950s and has since been a
popular destination for foreign tourists not only for its
beaches but also for its local culture.
The area is particularly famous for its towns like
Marbella, which provides the Costa del Sol with its
reputation for being a playground for its super-rich and
In recent years the Costa del Sol has become known to golf
enthusiasts as the 'Costa Del Golf' due to the number of
high quality golf courses, more than fifty, of which many
are centred on Marbella.
Attracting golfers from all over Europe and the rest of
the world, the Costa del Sol has benefited from the
stimulation provided by this sport to growth in tourism
and to the resulting increase in development of new
complexes to house the number of golfers visiting the
The Costa del Sol is heavily urbanised, with a wide ribbon
of densely-packed buildings running along most of the
coast. Architectural styles are a mixture of low-rise,
whitewashed villas and developments of high-rise apartment
blocks concentrated in the tourist resorts.
While many of the villas and other single dwellings are
designed and built in the local Andalusia-style the
purpose-built multi-dwelling blocks have little harmony
with the geography of the area.