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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" in English.

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 Concepción.

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 famous visitors.

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 area.

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.


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