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An Idiot's Guide to Costa del Sol!

Your Guide to Costa del Sol

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The 'Costa del Sol' News Without the Boring Stuff

Spanish Vacation Rental's blog is a good place for information about upcoming events, things to do, places to see, and restaurant/bar reviews.

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sardina espeto festival in La Cala de Mijas Each and every year you will find over 3,000 people of various nationalities attend the Sardine Festival in La Cala de Mijas. During the course of the festival 680kg of sardines are made into 1,200 espetos. It happens each and every year on May 1st. Will you come this year? 

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Learning spanish on Mijas BeachIn Scandinavia we have a saying “to take the customs (of the place) where you come". This proverbial is something that I live by wherever I travel or live in the world. So, part of having two holiday rental homes in La Cala de Mijas, Spain is to actually learn Spanish.  Both my husband and I are very task oriented and language doesn’t come as easily for us, as for some other people that I know. Learning another language can be challenging, even if you are living and breathing the culture, with sounds and accents constantly surrounding you. Hence, I am still trying to figure out the basic idioms after 7 years in the U.S. Luckily for us is that today there are plenty of language aids out there to utilize.

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costa del sol activitiesWe have created a quick link, reference guide for you, of all of the major towns in Costa del Sol. It encompasses attractions, activities, nightlife, shopping, and restaurants, all up and down this beautiful, sunny, and historical coastline. Pick a city, pick what you are looking for, and you will have review after review at your fingertips. What are you waiting for? Get searching now! Plan your next trip well. The more you research ahead of time, the more exciting it is to finally see it and experience it when you get there.

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mijas costa top 10 activitiesTripAdvisor is known for their review engine online. You can see end user reviews about everything from Hotels and Vacation Rentals, to Restaurants and Attractions. In this article you will find a list of the Top 10 attractions in Mijas, Costa del Sol, Spain. Personally I think this list is missing a ton of items, so our personal Top 10 List will follow shortly. However, until then, use this list to get excited about your next trip to Costa del Sol.

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top restaurant reviews in La Cala de Mijas, SpainTripAdvisor is the world leader when it comes to reviews of hotels, activities, and holiday rentals. They have recently also started reviewing restaurants. This is a great feature of the website. You just pick a place of interest, then go from tab to tab, to find the top rated items.  Since this is a fairly new service from TripAdvisor you cannot expect the overwhelming number of reviews that you could find on Zagat or even Yelp in the US, but it is a start. Give it another year or so and you’ll see a ton of pictures from the restaurants, the food, and great advice on what to try, and what to possibly avoid.  Read on to get the current top 16 restaurant list in La Cala de Mijas.

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VIK Gran Hotel Costa del Sol - dated exterior

In one of the most beautiful, cozy, coastal towns in Costa del Sol, called La Cala de Mijas, you will find an eye sore known as Vik Gran Hotel. It has been there for decades, and it is showing. A lot of people are still choosing to stay at this and other hotels these days, even though much better alternatives are available. Other than being uninformed, having a lack of imagination, and the old “we’ve always stayed at hotels”, I really cannot see any reason why you would continue doing this to yourself. In this article we will dive into the current reviews of Vik Gran Hotel, to see what people are complaining about, happy with, and what the superior alternatives are.

 

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malaga international airportTOURISM on the Costa del Sol is set to be boosted with 22 new airline routes to Malaga.

Seven of them are to Germany, specifically to Dortmund, Cologne, Nuremberg, Hannover, Munich, Munster and Hamburg. There will also be flights to Oslo and Bergen in Norway; Copenhagen (Denmark), Brussels (Belgium), Paris (France), Warsaw (Poland), Knock (Ireland) and to Belfast, Gatwick and Cardiff.

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bus shuttle to and from Malaga international airportWe have great news! You now have yet another way to get to and from Malaga Airport to our self-catering holiday rental apartments in La Cala de Mijas. Malaga Shuttle Bus is now offering bus service 24/7. In addition to Bus service they also offer more personal service, with smaller shuttles.

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la cala de mijas mapWe have received a lot of interest in our holiday rental homes' GPS units, with our favorite places to see, things to do, and restaurants to visit in Costa del Sol. To give you an idea of the places added to the Garmin GPS units, you can have a look at our new Google Map of La Cala de Mijas, Spain.

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homeaway winter beach holidayWe received great news today: We have been chosen to be featured in HomeAway.co.uk’s “Winter Beach Holidays” catalog! Right on the first page! Not too bad. We are extremely proud and hope we will get to stay there. Please check it out and read more info HERE.

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James Branch New Holiday Rental ApartmentWe might be able to assist you with your holiday in La Cala de Mijas, Spain, after all. As you know, both Coral Reef and Sandy Beach apartments are already book. However, we have taken over the booking service for a friend of ours in the same apartment complex. James Branch is an electronically challenged owner, who has just figured out how to check emails. We are therefore helping him out, getting his apartment rented. So far, there is only 1 week rented the entire summer, so this is your chance!

Read more HERE!

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new featuresWe have had 2 wonderful years of renting out our self catering holiday rental homes in La Cala de Mijas. After having listened to our previous guests, we have added many new items to our apartments. Read on to get the complete list explained, HERE.

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global blue - tax freeIt doesn’t sound bad, does it? Getting over 20% back on clothing, handbags, electronics, or anything else you buy while you visit Spain is not too good to be true. It is something we do every single time we visit Spain, and we recommend you try it as well. It is fully legal and you just have to know how it is done. Every time you are at airports you see the Tax Free stores. Following this guide is how you make every store a Tax Free store. 

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SIM card from SpainTwo days before I left the US for Spain I purchased a new cell phone. I even switched carrier. The reason? Europe has a GSM network, while a lot of North America uses CDMA.  I have no idea what that means, or how they are different, except for that a CDMA only phone does NOT have a SIM card and therefore won’t work in Europe. My cell phone carrier (AT&T) said they would gladly allow me to use my new mobile  phone in Europe, as long as I paid their outrageous rates for roaming abroad, with my US phone number. This is the story of how I (and in the future: you) unlocked my cell phone, got a Spanish SIM, and currently receive calls and data on my smartphone, saving me a LOT of money!

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Oasis Cala de Mijas - Holiday Rental ApartmentsA new year has begun, and a very exciting year has ended. Spanish Vacation Rental saw major changes, with expanded guest servies and accommodations. We have many new and exciting features and improvements for 2013, so please read on to see some of the things have to look forward to.

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golfer in costa del solAnyone who has experienced winter on the Costa del Sol will agree that it is a very different experience from the long months of cold and darkness typical of Northern Europe. Where evenings in the UK can start at four in the afternoon, the Mediterranean winter night starts at six at the earliest – so outbreaks of the dreaded Seasonal Affective Disorder are pleasantly rare. Though famous as a summer destination, the Costa del Sol continues to draw people during the winter months too. These include golfers, elderly visitors who prefer the mild temperatures, cultural tourists to the region and homeowners who spend several months a year here.

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no to hotelsMost people who go on vacations to a foreign country wants to experience a different culture, the local gastronomy, see new sites, and try out some of the regional activities. Why is it then that some of these adventurous people decide to stay with large hotel chains, such as Vik Grand, Hyatt, Hilton, Wyndham, Marriott, or Best Western? Sure, you get a sterile, predictable experience, no matter where in the world that you go, but is that really what you want? You can get that experience in your home town! A large number of travelers have therefore gone in a completely different and much more authentic direction: Vacation Rental Homes (or Holiday Letting Homes, if you are from the UK). Read on to see why this is by far the superior choice for that regional experience.

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tripadvisorTripAdvisor is known for their review and recommendation lists. Next time you travel to Mijas, why not check out the restaurants that have been voted as the best in the region. Read on to get the list of the Top Mijas Restaurants, as reviewed by travelers. 

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fuengirola hop on hop off tourist trainIt is time to check out Fuengirola in style! In October 2012 a new hop on / hop off train was introduced in the city. You have 5 stops to choose from, and you can get on and off the entire day long, for one low price.

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HPensioner in La Cala de Mijasere at Spanish Vacation Rental we have seen a surge of Scandinavian pensioners, or retirees, who are picking up all the best deals for the fall and winter months. They are coming down to warm up old bones, play many rounds of golf, eat the Spanish food, and see the historical sites. One day in early November we met up with Sissel Edvartsen, a retired school teacher from Norway. She has been spending many winter weeks and months in the warmer, Mediterranean countries, along with her husband. For the past few years she has been almost exclusively staying in La Cala de Mijas, located in Mijas Costa, Costa del Sol, Spain. We asked her how she got all the best deals on travel, car rental, and vacation rentals, and why she has favoring our homes. Here are her answers.

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Welcome to our Homes

welcome

Thank you for your interest in our Two Vacation Rentals in La Cala de Mijas, Spain. Both are in the same complex, have private Jacuzzis on the terrace, 28000 square meters of Sub-Tropical gardens, 2 saltwater Swimming Pools, and all within walking distance to the beach!

About Us

about us

Sophie and Einar are the proud owners of Spanish Vacation Rental's 2 holiday homes in La Cala de Mijas. They are born and raised in Scandinavia, but currently reside in the US. 

Where are we?

la cala de mijas1

Our 2 Vacation Rental homes are located in La Cala de Mijas on Costa del Sol in southern Spain. La Cala is an old fishing village, with tons of charm, cobblestone streets, Moore ruins, an excellent "Blue Flag"-rated Beach and Restaurants from around the world