Situated on the southern Mediterranean coast of Spain, the Costa del Sol is a prime holiday destination for British holidaymakers in search of some guaranteed fun in the sun. With extensive sunshine hours, and the amount of rainfall rarely a hindering factor, the hotter and milder temperatures attract hordes of tourists year-round.
Nightlife in Costa del Sol is lively and varied, the choice of eating establishments across the region is endless and there are numerous lovely sandy beaches for some serious R&R.
The capital of Costa del Sol is Malaga, and the towns of Benalmadena, Marbella, Torremolinos and Fuengirola have also become very popular holiday hotspots. Smaller destinations include Nerja, Estepona, Mijas and Velez-Malaga.
Malaga is the place to head if you're a culture vulture and love fine food and good wine. Malaga has more museums over 30 at last count - than any other city in Andalucía, plenty of quirky little streets and squares to explore, plus a lively café culture and an array of stylish boutiques and shopping centres.
Marbella has bucked the trend of other venues suffering in terms of tourism since the start of the global economic recession in 2008, and has become an increasingly cosmopolitan and appealing holiday destination, especially popular with Brits.
What's The Weather Like in Costa del Sol in January?
How Warm Is the Costa Del Sol In January?
The Halcyon Days
January is typically cold, rainy and windy. There is however a one-week period fittingly called the Halcyon Days - during January when the weather is good on the whole and the winds cease.
Rain and Sea Temperatures In Janaury
With 83mm of rainfall over the month, holidaymakers should expect to see some rainfall on their holiday in January. However, intermittent precipitation is expected and won't last long in the winter months. Sea temperatures hover in the range of 16ºC which is still a decent temperature for the time of year, so swimming for short periods isn't unheard of.
Costa del Sol Hotels in January
For tourists wanting to stick to a budget, Benalmadena Palace is an ideal place to stay. A large heated indoor pool is open all year round, so you can even enjoy a dip in January. The hotel is located just 150 metres away from the nearby promenade, and all rooms come with an en-suite bathroom.
For an even cheaper deal, hostels offer a comfortable and affordable stay, and the small town of Nerja has plenty on offer. One that stands out is Hostal Avalon. 50 metres away from the nearest beach, this popular Andalusian hostel has spectacular views of Nerja, a restaurant, and on-site bar, which is open all day. Pets are allowed within the grounds.
Meanwhile in Torremolinos, the modest sized Apartamentos Plazamar is a good find. The apartments don't offer a mammoth amount of space, but they do offer plenty of adequate comfort and are clean and well equipped. They're based near the very popular La Carihuela beach, and now is a good time to come before the resort picks up with tourists flocking in.
A newer and more upmarket hotel is Florida Spa in Fuengirola. Located beside Fuengirola's main port, the view overlooking the Mediterranean Sea is rather lovely. This 4-star property offers 184 rooms complete with air-conditioning, satellite TV, heating and tea and coffee making facilities. This hotel is popular with couples looking for somewhere suitably special.
Tranquil and private, La Vina del Laero is a pretty villa situate in the tiny district of Frigiliana. The villas provide double and twin bedrooms that can sleep up to four people, so great for families and small groups of friends. Staying here will require some form of transport, as the shops and nightclubs in Frigiliana are a fair distance away; however, the oval-shaped swimming pool in each villa should more than make up for that.
Costa del Sol Beach for January
Playa Las Acacias is a popular beach located in the Pedregalejo district and measures 1,200 metres in length and 20 metres in width. The beach is divided into lots of beaches and sandy coves, which offer calm and sheltered swimming. This beach attracts a younger crowd and families, thanks to the lively promenade nearby, plus its good range of facilities and play areas. There are some good, cheap seafood restaurants nearby, too.
La Cala beach is sitting pretty between Fuengirola and Marbella. Despite its lovely setting, this semi-urban beach is fairly quiet all year round, making it a great location for couples and families who prefer to stay away from crowded beaches. La Cala also has the coveted European Blue Flag status, meaning it is safe to swim in the clear seawaters.
There is a pretty promenade and plenty of good beach bars and restaurants nearby, plus sun loungers and parasols for hire, toilets and clean changing facilities available, as well as showers at various points along the beach. In the summer months there is a lifeguard service and plenty of water sports activities to enjoy, so families are well catered for. There's plenty of parking and the beach is accessible by wheelchair.
Bars and Restaurants
Great food and wine can make a holiday extra special; fortuitously, Costa del Sol provides plenty of great places to dine.
La Alcazaba in the quieter Mijas region is a traditional Spanish restaurant popular with both locals and tourists alike. The varied menu includes Spain's most popular dish, paella as well as a variety of fish dishes, and the intriguing sounding almond and garlic soup.
Fancy a burger? Go stateside and head to Jacks American Restaurant in Benalmadena. This is a superb option for families as kids are well looked after. They receive a specialised children's menu, along with crayons and balloons to keep them happy. Main dishes at Jacks include tasty homemade burgers, Mexican fajitas and freshly made salads.
Nightlife activity is never drab in the Costa del Sol, with an eclectic mix of laid-back bars, lively entertainment venues and rocking nightclubs.
One of Marbella's most popular clubs is La Comedia. Located within the Plaza la Comedia area of the town, this is one of the area's older clubs, however, there's nothing aged about its party reputation; this place is open and packed well into the early hours. A fab place to drink, dance and make some holiday buddies.
Bar Ole in Benalmadena is more chilled out, but still provides a good atmosphere. This is a cocktail bar, so prepare your liver and work your way down the extensive cocktail list. The English hosts are also very welcoming, and this place is popular with fellow Brits.
Things to do in Costa del Sol in January
Museo Automovilistico De Malaga is in Costa del Sol's capital, Malaga, and showcases 85 vintage cars from motoring history, divided into groups, and accompanied with information explaining how they became so iconic. Among those exhibited: a 1966 Rolls Royce called Flower Power in direct reference to the swinging sixties, and an Excalibur USA model, which earned its famous stripes by ferrying movie actors like Arnold Schwarzenegger around.
The four-person Benalmadena Cable Car offers some of the finest sights of the Costa del Sol from a heady height. On a clear day, tourists might be lucky enough to see the sights of the North African coast, as well as the island of Gibraltar. The ride, which is based next to the Tivoli World theme park, takes 15 minutes, but it is well worth it for the amazing view.