After spending the last four winters in Spain in a small village on the far eastern part of the Costa Del Sol,
bordering Costa Tropical, my best tip is spend less time in the high-rise monstrosity, package-tour areas of the western Costa del Sol like Torremolinos, Puerto Banus , Benalmádena, Fuengirola and Marbella. You will miss the authenticity and awesome natural beauty of this area of Spain and will see little difference between it and the suburban sprawl of Southern California, Miami Beach, Honolulu, Benidorm , Costa Brava or any over built beach area that caters to holidays or vacations in the sun.
Tip number two, skip the summer high season because it is over crowded and hotter than the dickens ( usually well above 100 so you will be dripping sweat even in the shade.) I agree with the Spaniards that it is insane to visit Andalusia in July and August. If you want to visit Spain then, be smart like a Spaniard and head to green Northern Spain which is often rainy, but quite pleasant in July and August and not crowded in places like gorgeous Galicia. Even Madrid is too hot in summer then and the whole government moves to San Sebastian for July and August. Thus, think Galicia, Austrias, Bilbao, or beautiful Santillana and Altamira,the Sistine chapel of prehistoric art.The good news is that prices are also better in the Costa Del Sol when the weather is best. The summer heat is only for the sun-starved Brits and northern Europeans that are desperate for some sun in summer as they often get very little at home even in July and August.
Tip four is come in springtime which is probably the very best time to be here. All of these photos were taken in the last three months. The locals tell me that it is not this green in the summer as the hot sun bakes everything. It's warm enough to go to the beach, but not too warm to also hike around the country side or beautiful little villages. Wild flowers are just everywhere! Fall is another nice time and we enjoy the whole winter here which are mostly sunny, but can get cool at night.
We will really miss our beautiful winter home as we have fallen in love with this area and it's people. We will miss the sounds of the horses clomping by, the oxen carts, the braying donkeys, baaing sheep,roosters and church bells or loud firecrackers announcing another holiday. It has been a little bittersweet this winter knowing we will start wintering in Asia starting this year so that Mozart can immerse deeply in her Mandarin at a school there. Thankfully, we will be back every spring and to pick up our RV to do a summer tour of Europe then back in the fall when we leave it here to fly off on more world wandering. . There is still plenty of the Costa del Sol ( sun coast) that is pure, stunning and authentic. Bargain prices too!