The Costa del Sol is one of Spain’s most famous holiday destinations, known for its sheltered scenic beaches and gorgeous weather. These credentials in themselves imply the region is a great place for a romantic holiday, but I think there are some attractions to visit and day trips to make that will really add an extra sprinkle of romance to your break.
Of course, the kind of hotel you pick is also important. After all, it’s a little difficult to strike a romantic note if you’re staying in a cramped room with a lumpy bed and poor views! Because of this, I think it’s best to book through a tour operator that specialises in luxury holidays (Sovereign is a good example); this way, you can be sure that you’ll get the basics right and can concentrate on choosing the best activities.
Spend a day in Malaga
My first suggestion is to spend a day exploring the beautiful city of Malaga. This metropolis has a fascinating mix of the historical and the modern, and I think enjoying a day strolling around the old quarter discovering the amazing buildings that have stood the test of time is the perfect way to begin your romantic holiday.
You’ll find one of the city’s most impressive attractions, Malaga Cathedral, in the centre of the historic quarter. My favourite fact about this place is that it’s also called La Manquita, which means ‘one-armed’, owing to the fact that its right tower is unfinished. Despite this, the building overall is a beautiful example of Renaissance architecture.
Another place I’d recommend visiting as you amble around hand in hand is the Gibralfaro Castle, which dates back to the 14th century. One of the best things about coming is the views you get across the city, which are truly stunning.
Explore the Nerja Cave
There’s nothing like a magical landscape to add a splash of romance to your trip, so my next two suggestions are to visit some of the region’s most memorable natural wonders. The first is the Nerja Cave, which is around 4 km outside the town of Nerja.
So, what’s so special about this site? Well, an awful lot, actually – not least that it’s said to be home to every kind of known natural formation. At first, this might sound more scientific than romantic, but you’ll find the breathtaking scenes of stalactites and stalagmites you’re greeted with will tell a different story.
While every chamber in the cave is spectacular in its own way, there are some that really stand out. In terms of sheer scenic value, the Chamber of the Elephant’s Tusk particularly springs to mind, while in the Torca Chamber you can see cave paintings.
Discover natural wonders at the Torcal de Antequera Natural Area
My final suggestion is the Torcal de Antequera Natural Area, which is around 12 km from Antequera. Spanning approximately 12 km, this reserve is famous for being the most impressive karstic landscape in Europe – and it really does have to be seen to be believed.
It is divided into four main areas, and I recommend focusing your attention on Torcal Alto – especially if you are short of time. You see, it’s here that you can head up to the Las Ventanillas viewing point. On clear days, you can actually see the African coast from here. Nevermind if you visit on a cloudier day, though, as you’ll still be able to admire vistas across the province of Malaga.