While it might be famous for its glorious, golden beaches, there are plenty of other things to do in Costa del Sol, if you can bear to tear yourself from those powder-soft sands! If you’re taking a break with the family, you’ll find plenty for kids to do. From the wild and watery slides and rides at the Aqualand waterpark, in Torremolinos, to the startling array of exotic beasties found at Bioparc Fuengirola. History buffs can dip a toe into the region’s rich past, with a visit to the prehistoric subterranean spectacle of the world-famous Nerja Caves, or a serene stroll around Colomares Castle. Fans of the Great Outdoors might enjoy soaking up the scenery on a hike up La Concha Mountain. With so many things to do and see in Costa del Sol, you can tailor your holiday to suit your tastes!

Costa del Sol with the kids

Aqualand, in buzzing Torremolinos, is one of the most popular things to do in Costa del Sol if you’re here with the kids. Older children and adults can choose from high-octane attractions such as the Boomerang and the Speed Racer, while younger children can splash about in safety in Kidzworld. You’ll find similar fun to be had in Aquatropics in Almuñécar, and in Aquavelis, in Torre del Mar. However, if your little ones prefer their attractions to be a bit drier and educational, the Bioparc Fuengirola makes a fantastic day out, where visitors can watch and interact with exotic animals, such as lemurs, orangutan, crocodiles (that’s not such a ‘hands on’ experience, to be honest!) and tigers.

Step back in time

A visit to the Nerja Caves is one of the most fascinating things to do in Costa del Sol, whether you’re a seasoned historian or would-be Indiana Jones. The caves stretch for over 4km and are lined with ancient cave paintings and strewn with prehistoric relics. For something more recent, visit Colomares Castle, which looks like something out of a fairytale. Built in the 1980s, it’s a spectacular piece of architecture, themed around Columbus’ historic journeys and home to the smallest chapel in the world!
Sohail Castle offers a more traditional day out. It was built in the 9th Century and still bears the scars of ancient battles. During the summer, Sohail Castle is transformed into an atmospheric venue and acts as home to concerts featuring some of the best musicians Spain has to offer.

Getting out and about

Those with enough puff to make the hike up La Concha Mountain will be rewarded with spectacular views across Marbella. Hardier types can hire bicycles and make their way up with pedal power, or you can unleash your inner Lone Ranger and hop on a horse to soak up the scenery from your saddle. If that sounds a little too adventurous, then there are more chilled out things to try. Things to do in Costa del Sol don’t get much more laid back than browsing the backstreets in Marbella’s Old Town. Bargain hunters can flex their muscles in the mini-markets and quirky shops that line the maze of narrow, cobbled streets or you can sit in a café or bar, have a quiet drink and just watch the world go by.

1. Clubbing in Marbella

Marbella is famous as the playground of the rich and famous. However, you don’t have to be an A-list movie star to enjoy the glitz and glamour of Marbella nightlife.
Find out more

3. Parque La Bateria

For a day away from the beach, venture inland to visit the Parque la Bateria, which translates to Battery Park and showcases military relics in a beautiful botanical garden. The park is free to enter and well maintained,
Find out more

5. Bioparc Fuengirola

Fuengirola zoo is unlike any other you’ll have encountered. It was purpose-built to create the ideal environments in which animals whose numbers are in danger of dwindling, might be encouraged to reproduce.
Find out more

6. La Concha Mountain

Explore the striking landscapes of Marbella on one of the many walking or hiking trails. Head for the hills and trek up the magnificent La Concha Mountain to see the indescribable views of bustling Marbella
Find out more

7. Marbella Old Town

For an activity away for the sandy shores, venture inland to Marbella’s Old Quarter. Stroll through the narrow, cobbled streets and see the beautiful floral decorations that adorn the colourful buildings.
Find out more

9. Butterfly Park of Benalmadena

Visit the largest butterfly park in Europe, Mariposario de Benalmadena, housed in a quaint Thai temple. Walk in and be welcomed by a warm tropical setting with green plants, wild flowers, cascading waterfalls and more than 1,500 exotic butterflies.
Find out more

10. Teleferico Cable Car Ride

Although they’ve only been up and running since 2003, the Benalmadena cable cars have already established themselves as a must-do on your holiday to this part of the Costa del Sol.
Find out more

11. Colomares Castle

Just outside the old picturesque village of Benalmadena Pueblo is the fairy tale like Colomares Castle. The enchanting structure was built between 1987 and 1994 in honour of explorer Christopher Columbus.
Find out more

13. Enjoy the beaches of Nerja

Nerja is renowned for its beaches and is often referred to as ‘the jewel of the Costa del Sol.’ So if you’re dreaming of a holiday with plenty of sand then Nerja would be a great choice.
Find out more

16. Explore Nerja Caves

The biggest attraction in Nerja is the incredible Nerja Caves or ‘Cuevas De Nerja’ in Spanish. The caves are thought to have been formed millions of years ago by underground streams.
Find out more