As the weather turns colder, there are plenty of reasons to look overseas in search of somewhere warmer to spend the winter. Spain is a particularly popular destination both for tourists and for those purchasing second homes to use for frequent holidays.
This winter, visitor numbers look set to reach record-breaking levels. Spanish airport operator Aena reports that passenger traffic through Spanish airports was 85.3% higher during the first eight months of 2022 than it was during the same period in 2019. That equated to 159 million passengers between January and August, with Aena projecting a similar uptick over the winter season, compared to the winter of 2019/20.
Spain’s southern coastline, with its beautiful beaches and plentiful sunshine, is a particularly popular visitor hotspot. And when it comes to seeking winter sunshine, destinations don’t get much better than the Costa del Sol – the clue is in the name!
To discover more about the charms of the Costa del Sol and why it makes such a great winter holiday destination, we caught up with the team at Taylor Wimpey España, which has been building properties on the Spanish coast for more than 60 years. They shared their insights into the Costa del Sol’s appeal and pointed out the best places to visit for those looking to keep warm this winter.
“The gastronomy of southern Spain is a major part of the appeal,” explains Marc Pritchard, Taylor Wimpey España’s Sales and Marketing Director. “The abundant seafood, the deep, rich flavours and, of course, the outstanding local wines combine to deliver an exciting and diverse gastronomic experience. The range of dining options is impressive. You can try different tapas in different bars and cafes as you explore local towns. There are also some extremely popular Michelin starred restaurants dotted around the Costa del Sol, which are well worth a visit during the quieter winter months.”
The balmy winter weather in the Costa del Sol is ideal for squeezing every moment of enjoyment out of the day. And when it comes to evening time, there is still plenty to keep visitors entertained. The upscale town of Puerto Banús is the perfect place to enjoy dining in premium restaurants before heading out to a glamorous club to dance until the small hours. Ocean Club, Nikki Beach and Opium Beach are all great places to enjoy good music and good company, and may even offer the chance for a bit of celeb-spotting. And if you’re feeling a little worse for wear the following day, a strong Spanish coffee and a leisurely stroll around the high-end shops of Puerto Banús will soon have you feeling yourself again.
Sports and spas
Keeping in shape in the sunshine is so much more fun than heading to the gym in the rain! Along the Costa del Sol, visitors are spoiled for choice when it comes to enjoying the great outdoors, with golf courses, tennis courts and a wealth of nautical sports all available to enjoy.
Many golf resorts also have superb spa facilities, so you can take care of body, mind and spirit in one hit. In fact, the Costa del Sol is bursting with spas, so you can indulge in luxury treatments to your heart’s content.
Visitors looking to escape the excesses and trappings of modern life are also well served by southern Spain. Walking around old towns and pretty clusters of white houses that make up the region’s hundreds of villages is a wonderful change of pace from modern urban life.
Istán is a great example of this. One of the access points to the stunning Sierra de las Nieves natural park, the centuries-old village sits at the head of the Rio Verde valley. Pure mountain water feeds Istán’s fountains and visitors stop to catch it in jugs as it cascades down the rocks outside the village. The narrow Moorish streets, designed to fit mules and packhorses, mean that motorists have to leave their cars behind. Exploring on foot is peaceful, as visitors discover the couple of restaurants and tapas bars, 15th century Arab tower surrounded by gardens, 16th century Church of San Miguel and the old wash house that is surrounded by bougainvillaea- and rose-covered houses.
Surrounded by hundred-year-old trees and overlooking the La Concepción reservoir by Istán is Taylor Wimpey España’s Almazara Boutique Residences development. The site covers land that was formerly home to a dilapidated house with an ancient oil mill and fruit trees. Taylor Wimpey España has designed the new homes, which consist of townhouses at Almazara Views and apartments at Almazara Hills, to include as many of these original features as possible.
The ancient almazara (‘oil mill’), which was used to produce olive oil, sits in pride of place at the entrance to the development, while the homes themselves feature a sympathetic rustic appearance that blends beautifully into the natural surroundings.
Another major plus for the Costa del Sol when it comes to winter breaks is the wealth of family entertainment on offer there. Children can swing and zip through the trees at Adventura Amazonia, enjoy the waterpark and enormous soft play area at Mundo Mania and run wild in the countless play areas that dot the region.
For older children, the Costa del Sol provides the chance to try wakeboarding, be co-pilots zooming around dirt tracks in mountain buggies, join Segway tours and more. And for the whole family catching a flamenco show is an experience that’s not to be missed.
When it comes to spending the winter somewhere warm, the Costa del Sol is hard to beat.
Written by: Louise Taylor
Louise Taylor is a professional freelance writer whose content covers travel, tourism and languages. She has a particular interest in overseas property and is happiest when writing about Portugal and Spain.