Many people are surprised to learn that the Costa del Sol offers such a wide range of winter sports facilities. Most of know that the region is renowned for its top class golf courses but many are not aware of the excellent ski facilities less than 2 hours drive from the coast.
The number one location is near Granada in the Sierra Nevada mountain range.
The Sierra Nevada
There are 80km of ski slopes including 45 pistes and 6 off-piste routes. There are also two cable cars and five ski lifts. The pistes include green, blue, red and black runs which range from extremely easy to extremely difficult. Snowboarding is very popular at the resort and there is a snow park featuring jumps and an on-slope half pipe.
The resort is open from 9am to 5pm including weekends and bank holidays and also offers night skiing.
The resort is open from mid November to early April and there are rarely any queues mid-week apart from the main Spanish holidays which are the first week in December, the Christmas period and Easter. Even at weekends queues are fairly short when the whole resort is open allowing skiers to spread out across the mountainside. With so much snow it’s possible to ski almost anywhere on the mountain as the resort is all above the tree line. Experienced skiers should definitely try the Laguna and Valeta pistes, the view of the coast and across to the Moroccan Atlas Mountains on a clear day is breathtaking.
The LoboPark (Lobo meaning wolf) is situated just outside the town of Antequerra which is approximately 47kms north of Malaga. This wildlife sanctuary is unusual and very different from other typical animal parks. The parks’ residents are various different breeds of wolves. The founder of the park is Daniel Weigend has dedicated his life to studying and understanding wolves in their natural habitat without them becoming domesticated by human contact.
LoboPark is surrounded by the stunning Andalucian countryside with the El Torcal mountain range forming the backdrop and fields and olive groves on all sides. The park offers visitors the opportunity to see these majestic creatures up close but still in their natural surroundings with the daily guided tours by wolf experts.
During the tour there will be explanations about the nature of the wolves and the complex structures within the packs. One of the highlights of the tour is the feeding of the wolves and of course the beautiful wolf pups.
From May to October the LoboPark holds a special “Howling Night” over the weekends. This event is held in the evening when it is much cooler and the animals are more active. The evening begins with a barbeque in the amazing surroundings followed by a tour into the night and into the world of the wolves. When Daniel enters the wolf enclosure you will witness the amazing friendship he has established with them as he begins to howl and suddenly the air is filled with the sound of howling wolf packs resounding from the peaks of every hill.
There is more to Lobo Park than just wolves here you will be able to understand and be educated by learning from nature about these amazing animals which we can relate to the domesticated animals we are all familiar with, dogs. To be able to understand dogs we need to look at the behavior of their ancestors.
Within the park there is also the chance to see other animals in the school farm. Here children can learn how to take care of Vietnamese pot-bellied pigs, Iberian pigs, geese, goats, and hens. There are also horses, dogs, peacocks and foxes. You can enjoy the stunning views from the terrace of the cafeteria while you have a drink or snack.
The cost of the guided wolf routes is 8.50 € for adults, children (3-12yrs) 5.50€. Farm school tickets 1.50€.
For those visitors that enjoy nature and peace and quiet, a short drive inland from Malaga can provide stunning scenery and an opportunity to visit small quaint villages and beautiful lakes.
A mere 45 minutes drive from Malaga you will enter the Guadalhorce Valley. The Guadalhorce River runs through almost all of the province of Malaga. The river rises in the mountains of Antequera, through the mountains of Ronda, and ends near Malaga.
In this area you will find pine and fir forests, chestnut trees, and stunning valleys and gorges, the most spectacular being the gorge of Los Gaitanes in the Sierra de Ronda. From here where the river widens you reach the beautiful Valle del Guadalhorce.
Scattered among the mountains and valleys you will find these beautiful villages: Coin, Cartama, Almogia, Ardales, Valle de Abalajis, Alora, Pizarra, Alhaurin de la Torre and Alhaurin el Grande.
These areas of forest, lakes and villages are ideal for rural tourism, particularly the National Park Sierra de las Nieves and the stunning Reservoirs of El Chorro, the gorge of Los Gaitanes, and the mountains of Malaga. From any location along the valley you can appreciate the variety of landscapes. Continue reading
The Costa del Sol is located on the southern coast of Spain in the region of Andalucia. Having over 160km of coastline with a variety of soft sandy beaches, secluded coves and stunning promenades makes the region an ideal holiday destination. However the Costa del Sol has much more to offer than just its stunning beaches, there are many rural villages and towns steeped in history and culture worth visiting for those that enjoy a variety of activities.
Having recently been extended, Malaga airport is now the 3rd largest airport in Spain giving even better access to the Costa del Sol. On arrival at Malaga airport you can be at your holiday destination with a 30- 40 minute drive as most of the major tourist resorts can be quickly reached via the scenic coastal road or the major toll road which offers fast access to destinations such as Marbella, Sotogrande, Estepona, Granada, Ronda, Seville, and Gibraltar.
Enjoying over 300 day of sunshine each year, the Costa del Sol attracts visitors back year after year to the glorious sandy beaches and crystal clear waters. The beach areas are kept pristine, many having been awarded blue flag status for hygiene and cleanliness of public areas. The larger and more popular beaches are usually well served with cafes, bars and restaurants as well as water sport hire facilities, children’s play areas, and during peak season a lifeguard service. There are several nudist beaches in the region, one of which is located in Benalmadena.
Having one of the highest concentrations of golf courses along its coastline is the reason the area is often referred to as the Costa Del Golf. Wherever you stay, you will never be far from a golf course as there are over 40 golf courses on the Costa del Sol. Many of the international championships such as the Spanish Open, the Ryder Cup, and the World Championship are regularly hosted on them.