Going on holiday with your family can prove to be quite expensive, so you should always be on the lookout for things you can do together that won’t cost a lot of money. With that in mind, we have compiled a list of five must do things on the Costa del Sol that parents and children can do together without breaking the bank.
The closest many people get to Malaga is passing through the airport to and from their holiday destination. However, Malaga is an impressive city not to be missed. It has embraced the 21st century by renovating its old port area to welcome the largest cruise ships afloat. From the port, it’s a pleasant 10-minute walk to the historic centre of the city where you can visit three of Malaga’s greatest attractions in a single afternoon.
Sitting in the shadow of the imposing 10th century Castillo de Gibralfaro is the Moorish Alcazaba Palace and a Roman theatre built by Emperor Augustus. All three sites offer free admission on a Sunday afternoon and are well worth a visit. Put some comfortable shoes on though, as it’s a bit of a slope up to the castle, but once you are there you are rewarded with magnificent views of Malaga and the Andalucían coastline.
A good place to base yourself is the pretty seaside town of Nerja where you can pick up a rental car at the airport. If you don’t want to hire a car and need to save money, there’s a direct bus from Malaga to Nerja. Of course, walking to the bus stop may not be an option if you have lots of luggage or are travelling with children. The direct alternative would be to book Malaga airport transfers each way. The kids will be pleased as the option takes less than 60 minutes to Nerja
What is particularly lovely about Nerja is that it isn’t over commercialized and remains a true working Spanish town. Nerja’s claim to fame is the enormous underground caverns, the “Cuevas de Nerja” that contain the world’s largest natural column formed when a stalactite and a stalagmite join together. It’s best to do some research on these famous caves before your visit so you can take full advantage of the tour. Considering the adventure, prices weren’t too bad either; adult prices are just 10€ each, kids are 6€, and children under the age of six get in free of charge. Locals proudly tell of the group of five adventurous school boys (who are now all grown up), that stumbled upon this now famous icon that they call Cuevas de Nerja.
Maro for marine life
Just outside Nerja and minutes from the caves, you will come across the town of Maro. I has a wonderful beach which is often referred to as the best beach in Spain due to its spectacular location in a secluded cove below towering cliffs.
Part of the Cerro Gordo Natural Area, Cala de Maro is one of the best places for snorkelling. As fishing in the area is strictly out of bounds, marine life flourishes allowing you to swim amongst all kinds of colourful fish. Maro is also the starting point for an adventurous hike up the Rio Chillar an ankle-deep stream that has naturally formed pools perfect for cooling off on a hot summer day. Take a picnic with you and you will have a tremendous time getting close to nature. Respect the beautiful scenery and be sure not to leave any waste so other people can enjoy the area as well.
How can you visit the Costa del Sol and not see Gibraltar? Distinctly British since 1704 the “Rock” as it is known, is a little slice of England surrounded by Spain. Famous for its colony of Barbary Apes, which are actually monkeys, but mistaken for apes because they have no tails. The monkeys are everywhere you look and make for some great photos. While in Gibraltar be sure to ride the cable car to the top of the rock and view the coast of North Africa, a reminder of how strategically important Gibraltar is at the mouth of the Mediterranean Sea.
Considered as being one of the most dangerous pathways in the world the Caminito del Rey is a narrow walkway fastened to the walls of a gorge high above the above the Guadalhorce River. Closed for 15 years after falling into disrepair the “Kings Walk” opened again in 2015 and is “guaranteed to get your heart racing” according to National Geographic. This we can vouch for! Unfortunately, children under the age of eight are not permitted due to safety reasons, but for everyone else, it’s a memory that you will remember forever.