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An Idiot's Guide to Costa del Sol!

Your Guide to Costa del Sol

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La Cala de Mijas






Puerto Banus






Puerto De La Duquesa













La Cala de Mijas is well connected to nearby towns and cities, - just 10 minutes from Fuengirola and Marbella, and 20 minutes from Malaga and it international airport. Public transportation is available from the airport to within 3 minutes walking distance from the apartment.


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is a city and a municipality in the autonomous community of Andalusia, Spain. With a population of 568,305, it is the second most populous city of Andalusia and the sixth largest in Spain. Malaga lies on the Costa del Sol of the Mediterranean Sea, about 100 km (62.14 mi) east of the Strait of Gibraltar and about 130 km (80.78 mi) north of Africa.


Málaga enjoys a subtropical climate. Here are some of the warmest winters in Europe, with average temperatures of 17 °C (62.6 °F) during the day and 7–8 °C (45–46 °F) at night in the period from December to February. The summer season lasts about 8 months, from April to November, although temperatures sometimes reach around 20 °C (68.0 °F) in the other 4 months.
The internationally acclaimed painter and sculptor Pablo Picasso and actor Antonio Banderas were born here.

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Marbella. A spray tan is a must if you want to blend in with the local’s in this jet set haven in the Costa del Sol. Marbella has a stunning beach area, esplanade, famous designer shops, trendy bars, restaurants and some of the finest tapas bars in Andalucia.


The old town Marbella has a maze of small boutiques, shops and cafes around “The Orange Square”, named after the profusion of orange blossom trees. Don’t forget your credit card if you’re feeling extravagant.

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Fuengirola, in ancient times known as Suel and then Suhayl, is a large town and municipality on the  Costa del Sol in the  province of Málagaautonomous community of Andalusia in southern Spain. Fuengirola is a major tourist resort, with more than 8 km of beaches, and home to a medieval Moorish fortress. 


The area enjoys a subtropical Mediterranean climate, with annual average temperatures of 18°C and average summer temperatures of over 30°C

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Comares will be one of the first towns we would like to recommend visiting (this is signposted as you travel north) this stunning hilltop town with winding narrow streets, whitewashed walls and barred windows with sills in front displaying a mass of plant pots filled with an abundance of geraniums cannot be missed. Comares has the most breath taking panoramic views, make sure you have your camera to hand as there are plentiful photo opportunities to enjoy around every corner. The views are, quite literally, incredible. From the south, rolling hills of olive and almond trees reach to the sea while, to the north, dramatic mountains ascend in the distance, like an enthralling lunar landscape which shifts and changes according to the light.



The village remains typically Moorish in its layout and design with narrow cobbled streets, interspersed with arches (two of which are thought to date back to medieval time), flanked with simple whitewashed houses.  The Parish church is from the 16th century, with a beautiful coffered/stucco/moulded ceiling. There are also two plazas, two bars, two supermarkets, a post office and a bank.
This is, without doubt, one of the prettiest villages in the province of Andalucía and should be on your “must visit List” in the area.



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Competa is located seven hundred metres above sea level with stunning views of the surrounding mountains, countryside and Mediterranean, Competa is best known to many for its locally produced wine, available both dry and sweet, as well as being very palatable, plentiful and in-expensive.
One of the most popular annual fiestas here is the Noche del Vino (Night of the Wine) on the 15th August which features a programme of flamenco and sevillana music and dance, plus plenty of free-flowing vino and fireworks that will have you spellbound in awe. Apparently, the locals prefer the sweeter wines, while the foreign residents and tourists like the dry. I suggest you try a few bottles of each one to see which wine is your preference, we preferred the dry but each to their own.


This area is very popular with Scandinavians, many of who have renovated old farmhouses and fincas in the vicinity.
It is a charming flower bedecked old town with its main centre, the Plaza Almijara, dominated by a magnificent sixteenth century church. This bustling square is one of the best places to enjoy a break with a choice of several bars and restaurants. We can highly recommend the bar/restaurant La Casona in the Plaza Almijara, The tapas are truly outstanding as was the ambience, the friendly staff make you feel extremely welcome and treat you as one of the locals. Don’t be at all surprised to see the local farmers arrive on horseback for a few cerveza’s in the evening, apart from this novel site the restaurant is also great value for money.
Competa is fascinating to explore with its labyrinth of narrow cobbled streets that date back to Moorish times and spectacular views. The town is located less than an hour from Málaga airport on the Motril bypass, so ideal for a day trip and well worth a visit.

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Nerja boasts 16 kilometres of beaches with powdery sand and sparkling clear water. All major water sports are available here, including water skiing, scuba diving and sailing, surrounded by a dramatic mountain range. The town has, fortunately, managed to avoid being blighted by the concrete high-rise scenario which has been the inevitable result of the tourist boom in some of the coastal resorts. The old quarter of the town is still virtually unchanged with narrow, winding streets, whitewashed houses with painted terraces abundant with cascading geraniums and if you listen carefully you can sometimes hear the melodic singing canaries.


However, the heart of Nerja is its spectacular Balcón de Europa, the "Balcony of Europe", a magnificent promenade along the edge of a towering cliff, with sweeping panoramic views of the Mediterranean and the small coves and beaches below, against an awesome backdrop of hazy Blue Mountains.
There are plenty of restaurants and cafes here to choose from, and the visitor can hire a horse-drawn carriage to explore the most romantic corner of the town.
Nerja's most spectacular attraction is undoubtedly its fascinating caves, located just three kilometres from the centre of town. They include archaeological treasures such as paintings over 20,000 years old and other pre-historic remains. One of the enormous natural caverns has been transformed into a concert hall, where many performances are staged during the summer.
Nerja cuisine includes several specialities including De La Doncella (red mullet) and pescaito frito (fried fish) and ranging from top international cuisine to the ubiquitous sausage, eggs and chips! One of our Favourites is the Spanish restaurant La Taverna not too far from the Balcon de Europa, the food is traditional Spanish fare being a family run restaurant, we have had many a good meal here and look forward to many more.
Nerja is 50 km from Malaga. It is connected to the western end of the Costa del Sol by a dual carriage motorway. The journey from La Cala De Mijas takes about 45 minutes.

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Sabinillas, a traditional Spanish fishing town with seafront promenade, lined with restaurants, tapas bars, and bars. Traditionally a fishing village, Sabinillas has grown into a town, but retained its village character. There is a friendly, very Spanish feel about Sabinillas which we particularly like. When you are sitting amongst the locals in the tapas bars eating the montaditos (little sandwiches), sipping the local rioja, you will feel like one of the locals.


Sabinillas beach is a long expanse of well maintained sands and the play areas along it are great for families.  A few beachfront restaurants have loungers on the beach and will serve you as you refreshingly cool sangria, whilst you soak up the sun’s rays. Be careful though, as some of the bar’s Sangrias pack a mighty punch.
For the children there is an excellent park. Sabinillas is definitely worth visiting, as it has something for everyone.

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Puerto De La Duquesa is beautifully centred around a marina, lined with bars and restaurants. It is truly a cosmopolitan place to stop and watch the world go by. Located to the west of Marbella, the area has managed to retain some of the natural scenery and local character.
Even the fussiest of eaters will find something for their taste buds, with the vast choice of eating and drinking options including Italian, Chinese, Indian, Mexican, and authentic Spanish to name just a few.


Relax and soak up the sun on the beaches on either side of the Marina,  and don't forget to sample the local tapas at the beach bars.  This quaint marina is a haven for boating enthusiast, or those just wishing to relax in one of the many bars, or explore the upper and lower decks. Take a boat trip, a fishing trip, or water sports from the marina.



Estepona. With the Sierra Bermeja Mountains as a backdrop, Estepona is an attractive town, spreading from the sea, up the hill towards the ruins of the Castillo de San Luis. Its narrow cobbled streets wind steeply from the port. Whitewashed houses, their balconies cascading with pots of blooming geraniums, line the alleyways and squares.


The authentic flavor of Estepona is achieved in part by its popularity with Spanish visitors, and the number of traditional tapas bars and restaurants is a reflection of this. There are 23 kilometers of beach in the Estepona area, most of which are of fairly course sand. A modern promenade, with palm trees and flower beds, borders the long stretching sandy beach. The palms trees give shade to the many cafes and bars on the promenade, but also to the children’s adventure playground.
For the golfers there is an excellent choice of eight courses in the area. Remember to take your handicap certificate with you as this is required at most courses.
There is a vast array of excellent fish restaurants in Estepona, especially in the old town, where you must try the local sardine specialty, esparto de sardines, absolutely delicious and plentiful. The Plaza de la Flores has charming pavement cafes and traditional tapas bars where you can sit and people-watch, whilst taking in the beauty of the square. Local wines will suit even the wine connoisseurs amongst us, and are agreeable and inexpensive.

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Casares has to be one of the most picturesque and photographed white villages in the region with something for everyone. From its coastal borders, situated between Estepona and Manilva, the Casares coast offers peaceful beaches and spectacular scenery. The beautiful village is perched high on a hilltop, its whitewashed houses cascade down beneath the remains of a splendid Moorish castle. This is the real Spain; a working village with rich cultural heritage, unspoilt by tourism but central enough to provide an excellent base from which to explore.


The village is surrounded by the stunning Natural Parks of the Sierra Bermeja and Sierra Crestellina, with impressive views around every corner. The rugged mountains and undulating hills provide natural challenges for hikers, birdwatchers and horse riders. The landscape opens up to panoramic views of Gibraltar to the south, across the Rio Genal valley and the neighbouring white villages of Gaucin and Jimena de la Frontera, both of which boast a unique atmosphere of their own.

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Sotogrande. Put on your best bib and tucker and join the jet set in the largest privately owned resort in Andalucia, built up since 1962. Centred around a marina with restaurants, bars and shops, and beaches. Sotogrande is famous for golf and polo fields. Sotogrande is definitely “the place to see and be seen”.



Gaze at the million pound yachts and the odd Ferrari and Lamborghini parked in the harbour front. Have a coffee or a meal at one of the harbour front restaurants or cafes, and dream of which yacht you could buy when you win the lottery.

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Puerto Banus, is one of the swankiest resorts to visit, home to the rich and famous on the Costa del Sol. The most famous marina in the Europe, surrounded by designer shops, boutiques and bars, Puerto Banus is a very popular place to go on the Costa del Sol.


Enjoy a stroll next to the luxury yachts and boats, and watch the tanned local’s with their perfectly pampered pooches strut their stuff on the promenade.

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Ronda. A trip to the region is not complete without a visit to Ronda. If you enjoy driving, you will love the meandering scenic road through the mountain range to Ronda. If you prefer, you can catch a train from Algeciras to Ronda and relax as you view the stunning scenery of the Costa del Sol.



Ronda is a picturesque old town that straddles a breathtaking gorge. Perched high on a rock precipice 150 metres above the gorge, the town sits on both sides of the chasm, with the old Moorish town La Ciudad (literally 'The City') to the South and the newer El Mercadillo ('Little Market') district to the North. Three bridges span the ravine, with the most impressive being the Puente Nuevo (New Bridge) which was built in the 18th Century. This is where most of the tourists can be found and where the most spectacular photos can be taken. There are several quaint cafés and restaurants around the area, enabling visitors to sit back and enjoy the scenery. Some of the narrow side streets present the opportunity to take photos looking back up at the bridge and capture the overwhelming gorge and the bridge 



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Gibraltar is a little piece of Britain, without the high costs, as it has duty free shopping when you cross the Spanish border.


A trip to Gibraltar is not complete without a visit to the Rock of Gibraltar, St Michaels cave and to see the famous Barbary apes in the wild. Keep a tight grip on your bags and anything removable as the apes are notorious for stealing your goods. There is also a new marina well work a visit. Don’t make the same mistake we did on our first visit and remember your passports.

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Morocco, North Africa. If you have time and want to try something a little different why not catch a ferry to Tangiers in Morocco.


High speed ferries cross regularly everyday, just 20 minutes for the 9km journey. See Tangiers, buy a fez at the souk market and wander through the narrow streets, try some lamb and apricot Moroccan stew from a tagine, followed by a refreshing green tea with mint, and enjoy a very different culture to Spain.

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There are plenty more attractions in the area slightly further afield, for day trips. Such as Seville, Cadiz and Granada.  


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Welcome to our Homes


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