Southern Spain's answer to Benidorm, Torremolinos is a vast purpose-built holiday resort situated 10 miles (16km) west of Malaga on the road to Marbella. According to archaeological finds, the region has been inhabited for a startling 150,000 years. But the resort itself is modern with no evidence of the long history of human habitation. Holidaymakers looking for culture in Torremolinos will be disappointed, particularly in high season when it's noisy, hedonistic, and fast paced. What makes this energetic resort popular is the six miles (10km) of wide sandy beaches, along with numerous water sports, masses of bars and restaurants, and an exhilarating nightlife. Torremolinos attracts tourists of all ages from across Europe, but twenty-somethings dominate in the peak summer months. There is a large gay scene, while the resort is also popular with
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Electrical current is 230 volts, 50Hz. European-style two-pin plugs are standard.
Spanish is the official language, but English is widely understood in areas frequented by tourists. Catalan, Galician and Basque are spoken in the relevant areas.
There are no health risks associated with travel to Spain, and no vaccination certificates are required for entry. Medical facilities are good in Spain, but comprehensive travel insurance is always advised. Spain has a reciprocal health agreement with most EU countries, including the UK, providing emergency health care for EU travellers on the same terms as Spanish nationals. EU travellers should take a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC).
Note that the scheme gives no entitlement to medical repatriation costs, nor does it cover ongoing illnesses of a non-urgent nature, so comprehensive travel insurance is still advised. Travellers should take any medication they require along with them, in its original packaging and accompanied by a signed and dated letter from a doctor detailing what it is and why it is needed.
Hotel and restaurant bills usually include service charges, but additional tips are welcomed for services rendered. In established restaurants, tips of about 10 percent are expected. In Mallorca, value added tax is usually included in restaurant bills, designated IVA, and may be mistaken for a service charge. Drivers of metered taxis expect small tips and it is customary to tip about 5 to 10 percent for most services, including guides.
Most visits to Spain are trouble-free, except for occasional street crime, which is common in the big cities; travellers are advised to take precautions to avoid theft of passports, credit cards, travel documents and money. Crime is usually petty and violent assault is rare. Be wary of strangers offering or asking for help of any kind, as it is often a distraction for accomplices. There are also scams involving letters for outstanding traffic fines or Spanish lottery winnings. If travellers exercise all the normal precautions they should have a trouble-free holiday in Spain.
Smoking in public places is banned and stiff fines will be imposed for smoking in areas such as enclosed public spaces, areas where food is prepared and sold, public transport, non-smoking areas of bars and restaurants, and any places that cater for children. Drinking alcohol in the streets of Madrid and the streets of the Canary and Balearic Islands is illegal.
Once lined with a string of small fishing villages, the Costa del Sol is now dominated by purpose-built resorts and apartment buildings. The beaches are the coastline's greatest attraction, but there are plenty of other things to see and do, with any number of amusement parks and water parks, excellent golf courses, and a very active nightlife at many of the resorts.
Although the historic towns and villages along the Costa del Sol have been somewhat diminished by tourism, it's still possible to get a glimpse of the old Spain. The old town centres in Malaga, Marbella and Mijas are well preserved, and are now home to art galleries, boutiques, and restaurants.
Those seeking a more authentic Spain will need to head to inland, where the small villages remain undeveloped and the spectacular natural parks offer dramatic walking and cycling trails. Ronda is a popular excursion, with its iconic bridge and famous bullring.
Torremolinos is packed with restaurants catering for the tourist trade and menus, usually in a few languages, offer good international staple dishes such as fish and chips, steak, pasta and schnitzel. Popular options include Kate's Cottage and Bistro Europa. However, some excellent Spanish restaurants are also around, particularly those serving tapas. The best seafood restaurants are in the fisherman's district of La Carihuela, which has been relatively undisturbed by high-rise hotels and has retained its Andalucian coastal charm. The upmarket harbour at Puerto Banus is only ten miles (16km) along the coast and is packed with good restaurants overlooking rows of expensive-looking yachts. For something a little different try The Carvery (Italian), The Kathmandu Nepali Indian Restaurant (Indian), and Shang Hai Restaurante Chino (Chinese).
The nightlife in Torremolinos can be fairly intense, with dozens of bars and clubs catering for all tastes and persuasions. A good place to start the evening is in one of the tavernas in Calle San Miguel or in one of the cafés and restaurants that line the promenade. Torremolinos is also home to the chiringuitos beach cafe/bars, focused in La Carihuela. The clubs start to open at around 10pm and the Palladium disco is a great favourite. The best selection of clubs is along Avda Palma de Mallorca. There is a big gay scene in Torremolinos centred on La Nogalera, where the clubs vary from the mainstream to drag bars. Exotic shows are a feature here and are popular with both the gay and straight visitors.
The Costa del Sol enjoys a typical Mediterranean climate, with sunny, hot summer weather and mild winters, which make it a great holiday destination year-round. As the name suggests, the coastline receives more than 320 days of sunshine per year. Summer temperatures reach an average high of 86°F (30°C), and the winter temperatures seldom drop below 50°F (10°C) on the coast.
Inland temperatures have greater extremes, with scorching summers and cold winters. Rainfall is sporadic and pretty much limited to the winter months, with the majority falling in November and December; the rain usually comes in the form of intermittent, light showers which give way quickly to sun and blue skies. The temperature of the ocean seldom falls below 68°F (20°C) meaning that swimming is almost always a possibility and is enjoyed in spring and autumn as well as summer.
Summer, between June and August, when the heat is tempered by frequent sea breezes, is by far the most popular time to visit the Costa del Sol. Spring, especially late April and May, when temperatures average between 73°F and 80°F (23°C and 27°C), is also a glorious time to visit.
Spain is a tolerant and progressive place for LGBTI travellers. There are active LGBTI communities and social venues, particularly in big cities. Same-sex marriage has been legal in Spain since 2005. As of 17 March 2007, the law allows a transgender person to register under their preferred sex in public documents such as birth certificates, identity cards and passports without undergoing prior gender reassignment surgery. Spain does not recognise a third gender.
Details of vaccination recommendations and requirements are provided below.
13 October 2021 - 7 Nights
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What makes this energetic resort popular is the six miles (10km) of wide sandy beaches, along with numerous water sports, masses of bars and restaurants, and an exhilarating nightlife.