The Costa del Sol is a great holiday destination at any time of the year, but here's why autumn may be the best time to see its sunny beaches
The end of the school summer holidays means travellers can once more enjoy cheaper flights to a range of sun-kissed destinations—and peace and quiet once they get there. Here’s why autumn is the perfect time to visit the Costa Del Sol.
Beating the crowds
The Costa del Sol is one of the most visited areas of Spain. Credit: Taylor Wimpey España
The Costa del Sol is a hugely popular holiday destination. According to the area’s tourist board, it welcomed over 12.4 million visitors during 2022. British visitors account for 30 per cent of all international tourists to the region (as per data from INE, Spain’s National Statistics Institute). They are drawn to its stunning beaches, world-class golf courses and charming, white-washed towns, as well as its rich gastronomy.
Visiting during the shoulder season, when the frenetic summer pace dials down dramatically but there’s still plenty of warm sunshine to enjoy, is the perfect way to beat the crowds while enjoying the very best that the Costa del Sol has to offer.
Let’s talk temperatures
Holiday Weather reports that the average temperature in the Costa del Sol in September is 23°C, dropping to a still-very-pleasant 19°C in October (even in the depths of winter, the average only dips as low as 12°C). September visitors to the region can enjoy eight hours of sunshine per day on average, while those taking a dip in the sea can look forward to an enjoyable average water temperature of 22°C.
"If you’re looking for mountainous scenery, blue flag beaches and a subtropical landscape, Torrox could be the perfect spot"
While we’re on the subject of weather, it’s worth noting that the municipality of Torrox, in the eastern part of the Costa del Sol, is reputed to have the best climate in Europe. If you’re looking for mountainous scenery, blue flag beaches and a subtropical landscape, this could be the perfect spot.
Beaches at their best
Costa del Sol literally translates to "coast of the sun" or "sun coast" Credit: Bareta
As well as the ‘sol’ that gives the area its name (“sol” is the Spanish word for ‘sun’), the Costa del Sol is famous for its glorious sandy beaches. The coastline of Malaga province stretches for 161 km from Nerja to Manilva, providing plenty of space for visitors to enjoy, particularly once the summer tourists have headed home.
You can find everything from stunning serenity to exciting nightlife when exploring beaches along the Costa del Sol. Artola—Cabopino Beach in the town of Marbella is one of the best if you’re after peace and quiet, as it’s surrounded by the beautiful Dunas de Artola nature reserve. If fashionable beach clubs are more your thing, head to Los Álamos Beach in Torremolinos for some of the best.
"The Costa del Sol is wonderful because it has a beach for everyone"
What’s so wonderful about the Costa del Sol is that it has a beach for everyone. Whether you’re looking for the perfect spot for scuba diving or a city beach on which to top up your tan before hitting the shops, the Costa del Sol has what you need (try the beaches of Maro for the former and Malagueta Beach in Malaga city for the latter).
Gorgeous golf courses
If you're not a beach person, the Costa del Sol has many golf courses for you to relax at. Credit: Taylor Wimpey España
It’s no coincidence that the Costa del Sol is nicknamed the "Costa del Golf". The area is home to more than 70 golf courses, including fairways graced by some of the world’s top players. Autumn is the perfect time to enjoy them, with plentiful sunshine but far fewer players than during the peak of the summer season.
Estepona Golf, near Marbella, is a lovely course for visitors looking for breath-taking views while they play. La Cala Golf Resort is another popular choice and has lovely spa facilities for those looking to ease weary muscles and soak away the stresses of everyday life.
The autumn season is a great time to buy a house, following the busy summer period. Credit: Taylor Wimpey España
Summer’s gentle segue into autumn is also a great time to explore the Costa del Sol’s property market. Marc Pritchard, Sales and Marketing Director at leading Spanish homebuilder Taylor Wimpey España, explains:
“Summer is always developers’ busiest season for viewings in the Costa del Sol, with tourists charmed by their holidays here keen to discover how affordable life in the area is. As visitor numbers decrease, property viewings take on a more relaxed pace. It’s a great time for buyers to discover more of the local area as well.”
Second homes in the Costa del Sol encompass everything from golf-front apartments and penthouses (properties at Sunny Golf in Estepona cost from €245,000 plus VAT, if this is your cup of tea), to homes with privileged sea views. At Solemar at Casares Beach in Malaga, for example, the light-filled apartments provide stunning, unobstructed views of the Mediterranean from their impressive terraces.
The local gastronomy is another delight in the Costa del Sol. Autumn is still plenty warm enough to eat al fresco and with restaurants no longer bursting with summer tourists you have every chance of bagging the best table, whether you choose fine dining or the salty simplicity of fried fish on the beachfront.
"Autumn is still plenty warm enough to eat al fresco and with restaurants no longer bursting with summer tourists"
Nibbling char-grilled sardines while curling your toes in the warm sand is a must. If budget allows, be sure to check out the Michelin-starred José Carlos García in Malaga as well, for a modern take on time-honoured local flavours.
Banner credit: Palm trees (Taylor Wimpey España)
Read more: Spain's best-kept secret
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