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The Costa del Sol is the gateway to some of the most beautiful landscape in Spain, especially in the province of Málaga. Dozens of perfect white villages dot the valleys and hills. Every turn in the road reveals another stunning view of uncrowded countryside. Many parts of the province -Málaga, Antequera, Ronda, Axarquía- are built on layers of history dating back millennia. You'll find surprises wherever you look -local cuisine, wines, shops, fiestas and traditional hospitality.
Short excursions from the Coast lead to still other historic destinations. The Arabic treasures of Granada and Córdoba, Seville, Cádiz, Jerez and Gibraltar with its unique blend of British and Continental cultures. And then there's Africa, just a ferryboat ride away. The Spanish city of Ceuta, combining the best of Arabic and Iberian history, is the perfect start to a Moroccan visit, including the colour cities of Tetuan and Tangier. With the Costa del Sol as your base, it's easy as loading your camera.
Thousands of years of history have left profound traces in every corner of every town in the province of Málaga. it started with the cavemen 20.000 years ago. Later, the Phoenicians, Iberians, Romans and Muslims all contributed to local history and culture. To discover this legacy is a wonderfully rich experience- Acinipo in Ronda, Bobastro near Alora, the Roman baths in Marbella, the Alcazaba palace and Gibralfaro fortress in Málaga itself, the prehistoric dolmens of Menga or the bronze Roman boy in Antequera. Follow any one of a number o paths -prehistoric, pre-Roman, classical, medieval- and you will find a wealth of castles, fortresses, mosques and churches testifying to ancient ways of life.
And now, approaching the end of the 20th century, modern culture is very much alive. The elegantly restored Cervantes Theatre in Málaga is the venue for dance, theatre and music festivals from all over the world, while sophisticated galleries exhibit contemporary art in many centres along the Costa del Sol.
What's your pleasure? Dancing all night, a bit of roulette? How about a roller-coaster ride or some real flameno music or an international theatre festival? The truth is that, whatever you enjoy, you'll find it on the Costa del Sol.
At night, especially in the summer, the entire Coast becomes an enormous pleasure trove. There are hundreds of discotheques, disco-pubs and night-clubs in all price ranges, many offering live music and entertainment. They are also designed for all age groups, from foxtrotters to teeny-boppers. The climate is so perfect, the best in Europe, that a lot of this activity takes place on terraces under the stars.
In the daytime, aside from sports and the joys of the beach, there is an endless variety of ways to enjoy yourself. Aquaparks, amusement parks, or mini-golf for instance. How about taking in a bullfight or a visit to the zoo? The Costa del Sol is made for pleasure, and all you really need is the energy to enjoy it.
Anyone familiar with Spain knows how easy it is to have a party. Just about any excuse will do. Virtually every day of the year a fiesta is taking place somewhere, and the Costa del Sol is no exception.
Each town in the province has its annual "feria", lasting about a week, when work is forgotten and having fun becomes a full-time occupation.
Costumes, processions, music and dance appear as if by magic, and revelry goes on all night. Most of these fiestas have as their basis some sort of religious celebration (the exception is carnival in the springtime, which requires no religious excuse), but in Spain the solemnity is soon forgotten.
Often, they involve pilgrimages into the countryside, with displays of horsemanship, picnics and paella over an open fire. But. whatever sort of party it is, one ingredient is always present, and that is the gracious hospitality local people offer to anyone who cares to join in. That's an Andalusian tradition that will never change.