Although a warm getaway to southwestern Europe isn’t most travelers’ idea of a winter holiday, the region is constantly exceeding expectations in terms of tourism numbers, even during its low season.

A few of the area’s most coveted hotspots are even breaking all-time records.

The best example of this phenomenon is probably Costa del Sol, a gorgeous, sun-soaked destination nestled in the picturesque coast of southern Spain that’s currently seeing an unprecedented number of visitors entering its boundaries.

This past year, the once-underrated region not only met but exceeded its previous tourism record set in 2019, having welcomed 27.2 million travelers in the first nine months of 2023 alone.

But what makes Costa del Sol stand out among other pretty coastal destinations of its kind?

The Ultimate Mediterranean Haven

With a name that directly translates to “coast of the sun,” the fact that the region promises the ultimate Mediterranean experience should come as no surprise.

Playa Burriana at Nerja, Costa del Sol, Malaga

Out of the 365 days of the year, those lucky enough to spend their time here will see the sunshine for over 300 of them.

And even though the temperatures right now (~59°F or 15°C) aren’t exactly beach-friendly, visitors can still go out and take in the breathtaking views of the azure waters that gently caress the golden coastline.

What’s more, between the lively beaches of Marbella and the tranquil coves of Nerja, travelers will get the full range of the Mediterranean experience, while foodies will have the time of their lives no matter where they’re based.

tapas in Malaga, Spain traditional food

The only thing more quintessentially Mediterranean than the fresh, melt-in-your-mouth seafood, is the spirited yet laid-back atmosphere that has you waking up at noon to enjoy your daily coffee and pastries and up until the first hours of the morning dancing the night away.

Stunning Sights

Those looking to be left in awe during their upcoming trip can’t go wrong with Costa del Sol – a place filled with more remarkable sights than you can count.

Malaga cityscape, view from the Gibralfaro fortress

Beyond its natural vistas, the region also boasts a long history that dates back to ancient times, and the Phonecian, Roman, and Moorish-inspired architecture now stands as stunning proof of what was once a thriving civilization.

The city of Malaga, a record-breaking cultural hub of its own, is a playground for history buffs, featuring some of Spain’s most iconic landmarks, including the Alcazaba fortress and the Gibralfaro Castle.

Aerial View Of Malaga Bullring Harbor, Malaga, Spain

However, those looking to fully immerse themselves in the region’s history can’t miss out on Granada, either.

This is the home of Alhambra, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a masterpiece of Islamic architecture, complete with intricately designed palaces, gardens, and courtyards.

Alhambra, Fortress Built By The Moors In The City Of Granada, Andalusia, Spain

The allure of Alhambra, coupled with the enchanting Albaicín quarter and the now snow-capped Sierra Nevada mountains, creates the types of postcard-worthy views that leave you at a loss for words.

A Destination That Caters To All Travelers

Not only beachgoers, foodies, history buffs, and sightseers will find Costa del Sol to be exceptional (and that’s so many people already!).

The region welcomes all visitors with open arms and a wide array of events and activities to choose from, no matter how unique their interests are.

Golfer about to hit the ball with a driver

For example, Costa del Sol is a renowned, world-class destination for avid golfers, offering an extensive selection of courses set against the most awe-inspiring backdrops (think Valderrama Golf Club) – the almost always favorable weather is just the cherry on top.

Water sports enthusiasts, hikers, dancers, bird watchers, or even those looking for some good ol’ family-friendly fun will find Costa del Sol to be everything they want and more.

Strategic Location

Thanks to its multi-faceted nature, the region guarantees an event-filled vacation that’ll never leave you bored.

Still, for travelers who want to explore Spain as well as southwestern Europe beyond Costa del Sol, the place is the perfect base from where you can reach some truly iconic landmarks and attractions within a couple of hours.

Seville, Spain plaza

The region is not only a short drive away from some of Spain’s biggest hotspots, of which the closest is Seville, but it also serves as a gateway to the rest of the Mediterranean, with many organized boat tours taking travelers to the nearby Balearic Islands.

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