27 JUN 2018: When your clients say they would prefer something different in a long stay sun destination this winter, suggest Spain as an alternative. Tourists are nothing new along Spain’s Costa del Sol - in a way they’ve been coming to this part of Andalucia since ancient times. Phoenicians, Greeks and Carthaginians were early visitors.

The Romans came too and left behind considerable traces, traces your clients can still admire in provincial and municipal museums.

Then it was the Moors, and they left some of the deepest footprints. You can see them in the atmosphere of the villages, the crafts where the Islamic roots of the techniques and designs are always evident, the music and the magnificent Moorish buildings. And foreigners are still coming. These days most of the visitors are tourists who come from all over to enjoy life in one of Europe’s favourite playgrounds.

The Costa del Sol stretches along approximately 300 kilometres of Spain’s Mediterranean Coast in the provinces of Granada, Malaga and Cadiz, although Granada’s portion is sometimes called the Costa Tropical, because it’s protected from the northern winds by mountains that can reach down to the edge of the sea.

This privileged coast consists of a series of large beaches, coves half-hidden among cliffs, sports harbours and fishing grounds.

The mild climate, scant rainfall and the sea breeze produce semi-tropical vegetation with frequent palm trees, cypresses, oleander and hibiscus. The proximity of very different countryside, mountains and valleys full of orchards, is one of the area’s prime attractions, along with all the attraction of the Mediterranean scenery and culture.

You can sell this, can’t you? Getting there is simple; your clients can fly into Malaga and stay on the coast in resort towns like Torremolinos, Benalmadena or Fuengirola. There is lots of accommodation to suit various tastes, and lots to do.

Golfers, for example, should know that Spain is Continental Europe’s leading golf destination, and the Costa del Sol, with more than 40 championship calibre courses is often called “Costa del Golf”.

Andalucía is a region with corners that fit everyone’s romantic image of Spain: Bullfights and flamenco music, women like Carmen, complete with gypsy dresses and carnations behind their ears, and swaggering Don Juans.

The great climate allows life to take place out of doors, and eating tapas at outdoor cafes is a must.

Andalucía’s villages- both along the coast and in the mountains, are wonderfully white-walled, and there are red geraniums and purple bougainvillea everywhere.

The major cities are ancient and their old quarters- especially the Santa Cruz district of Seville-still evoke their Moorish and Jewish pasts. If your clients settle on the Costa del Sol, a day trip to Seville, the glorious Moorish capital of Granada, is well worth the effort. Or how about a jaunt to Gibraltar, and the rock that guards the entrance to the Mediterranean?

Many of the villages near the coast have become fashionable resorts, while still conserving their ancient charm, whereas others, lost in the highlands, remain rough-and-ready olive-farming towns, with a special appeal for those who want a taste of adventure.

Most towns began as fortresses and over the centuries, many have developed into thriving agricultural centres producing olive oil, fruit and vegetables, and goat milk.

These whitewashed mountain villages, with their sleepy, easy-going way of life, show glimpses of Spain as it was 100 years ago.

Your clients can enjoy the local food and local wines grown on village vineyards and prepare themselves for what Spain is all about, a touch of the past hidden amidst a bustling cosmopolitan future. They’ll meet real Spaniards, who work the land and surprisingly, seem hardly aware of the millions of tourists thronging the Costa del Sol beaches just on the other side of the mountain.

The booming resort of Torremolinos provides every amenity - offering more than 300 restaurants and some of the most experienced and mature resorts on the entire coast.

The six beaches and their facilities including a seven-kilometre promenade have everything imaginable in the way of a sun-sea-and sand holiday. The town has excellent shopping, great nightlife and yes, a water park. Aqualand Torremolinos is the oldest and largest of the three water parks along the coast.

Transat, J.M. Vacations, Air Canada Vacations and Exotik Tours all offer programmes.

So, when your client is looking for a change - you can suggest Spain.

email icon facebook logo twitter logo

author

Sam Ion

The expert on All Inclusives, Sam delivers up-to-date info on alternate Wednesdays in her column Not Just All Inclusives.

Read more from Sam Ion

comments powered by Disqus