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 The A to Z of Rural Andalucia
Costa Del Sol
The Costa del Sol, from NERJA in the eastern coastal region has fine beaches such as Torrecilla, Burriana and Maro and is an old Arab inspired own preserving much of its charm.

The highlight is the BALCON DE EUROPA, a terrace overlooking the coves and cliffs of the sparkling blue Mediterranean. Called Narixa or Narija by Arabs meaning abundant fountain, it is a natural spot on spurs of Almijara mountain range. The landscape in this area is tropical with sugar plantations and Maro is still a fishing village where life goes on as it has for years.

In betweenNERJA and La Herradurra is where you will find EL CHAMBAO DE JOAQUIN, a family run bar since the 1950s. A beach bar with great Andalusian cuisine with an extensive menu of fried fish and grilled meats with specialities such as leg of lamb and Argentinian steak, as well as delicious PAELLAS. Every Monday night from April to October there is a flamenco show and at 2 pm for the customers.
 Caves of Nerja
On January 12th 1969 5 local boys quite by chance found a narrow access to a cave that after having been inhabited for millennia in Prehistoric times, had been closed because of shifting terrain.

Now famous world wide the CAVES OF NERJA is a National Monument, a rocky formation of crystalline dolomite more than 250,000 years old, one of the oldest deposits of soultrean culture in Southern Spain.

The caves consists of 8 rooms and include the room of the cataclysm with the biggest natural column in the world at 49 mts high and a diameter of 18 mts, as well as the room of Cascade.

There is a stage and seating for 600 people and every August the FESTIVAL OF MUSIC AND DANCE takes place with famous performers from all over the world entertaining.
 La Caleta de Velez
TORROX COSTA, a populous Roman city, was settled and reached at its peak between I & IVC proved by Necropolis and 2 ovens for making ceramics, salt containers to fabricate "garum", called "Mansio Caviclum" by the Romans, it has a fascinating arch set of the lighthouse, whose keeper Tomas Garcia Ruiz started the excavations in the first years of 20c.

Two Arab watchtowers dominate the 9 kms coastline and it is possible to walk along the promenade to El Morche, Penoncillo & Calacute, and further along to ALGARROBO COSTA is still a fishing village with fishing boats stranded in the sand or visit LA CALETA, a picturesque fishing port with good beaches.
 Torre Del Mar is one of the main tourist resorts
TORRE DEL MAR is one of the main tourist resorts on the eastern Costa del Sol and has a history dating back to the Phoenicians and Carthaginians with tombs found at the mouth of the river Velez.

There are 4 kms of GOLDEN SANDS, a wide promenade, lots of chiringuitos (typical beach bars), hostels, and a very lively nightlife. On the beach is a daily fish auction so you can be sure when you go to a restaurant that you are eating the day's catch. In July on the fiesta of the VIRGEN DE LA CARMEN is a procession and firework display sending the Patron off to sea.

Nearby is historic VELEZ MALAGA famous for its Medieval quarter, castle and Mudejar churches.

Between TORRE DEL MAR and Malaga are many beaches and small villages all with their own distinctive flavor and very Spanish.
RINCON DE LA VICTORIA. The first historical mention is from Roman times and Rincon dominates the peninsula. Plinio the Roman writer tells about a stronghold which was built to defend the area against attacks of the Berberisque pirates and also mentions a temple dedicated to the Moon and the castle of Bezmiliana built by the Arabs.

RINCON was once a fishing village and is now a tourist resort with 3 kms of fine sand beaches, and further along the well known beaches of Cala del Moral, Bengagalbon, Benajarafe and Valle Niza, characterised by transparent water.
 Costa del Sol
The promenade of LA FAROLA next to the port in MALAGA, is the most tranquil part of the city. Malaga has many beaches, full of students from the local universities and is very cosmopolitan.

The COSTA DEL SOL, the most well known stretch of Andalusian shore, is a world famous vacation destination, the reason being the mild climate, thousands of hours of sunshine yearly and calm temperate waters which have earned the EU BLUE FLAG.

The COSTA DEL SOL extends like an arch along the coastal strip between the province's of CADIZ and GRANADA from the cliffs of TARIFA to the beaches of NERJA. The landscape in this region is very colourful with scenic coastlines sheltered by the dramatic mountain slopes. The Mediterranean coast at Tarifa is studded with rugged cliffs bordering the region of Campo de Gibralter and the capital of the bay is ALEGECIRAS, one of the busiest ports in Europe and the gateway to NORTH AFRICA with regular ferries running to Tangier, Ceuta and Mellia.

MARBELLA is the capital of the Costa del Sol with its charming old quarter displaying local colour and ancestral homes with spacious courtyards. Not far from this tranquil spot another area abounds of opulence and wealth, the famous Golden Mile (Milla de Oro), and includes some of the finest hotels and restaurants in Spain as well as casinos.

The COSTA DEL SOL is protected by a string of mountains dotted with white villages such as Ojen, Coin and Casares. Located on a hill is the picturesque village of MIJAS famous for its donkey taxis and excellent restaurants and the view from the Hermita is simply stunning.

The spacious beaches of Calahonda, La Cala and La Campana, and the lively resort of FUENGIROLA are humming with life during the summer months and BENALMADENA has become an important port and has a brilliant amusement park.

TORREMOLINOS was the pioneer of fun in the sun. There is a fast pace of night life along Bajondilla beach where there are all kinds of night spots.

LA CARIHUELA is a historic district which grew due to its beach bars. In just half a century what was once a poor fishing district has become of of the most charismatic and best-known tourist areas of Europe. The area is synonymous with beaches, shops, restaurants, hotels and chiriunguito beach bars, a place that is visited each year by millions of people who seek leisure activities, sunshine and the seaside.

The fishermen lived in very simple houses which had practically nothing in the way of facilities. Many of those men, restless and enterprising, decided to try to improve their lives and coinciding with the birth of what has become known as the COSTA DEL SOL in 1963 and heartened by the tremendous popularity of the Hotel Pez Espada, they started to open chamboas and merenderos, places to eat beside the beach which gradually began to attract visitors from Malaga and tourists.

Those early establishments started to grow and the first restaurants, hotels, and shops began to appear. Without losing any of its character the fishing district of TORREMOLINOS, the same district which is now home to the heirs of those fishermen who first populated the area, took up a place of honer among tourists from all over the world.

Miguel Gonzalez Ruiz, who founded El Patati, once used to make his own potato crisps and he would then sell them walking dozens of kms between Huelin and La Carihuela. He, along with others, created the first pillars of what later became a true international benchmark, the birthplace of the pescaito frito, fried fish of MALAGA, the place where they fry fish like nowhere else in the world.

Most of the beach restaurants which came into being at the same time as the district are still going strong 50 years later. Nowadays they are run by the children and grandchildren of the first entrepreneurs.

A short distance from Marbella is SOTOGRANDE with the largest and most exclusive marina and many famous people living in gated communities. Nearby is San Roque with its famous golf course, previously home to the Ryder Cup, and not forgetting the beaches of Manilva - Chullera and Sabinillas. PUERTO BANUS, the most famous marina in the world attracting luxury yachts from halfway around the world, is a delight at any time of the year.

Boutique shops abound, excellent restaurants, lots of nightlife and always the chance of seeing that famous face, maybe ANTONIO BANDERAS who has a yacht in the port or JULIO IGLESIAS who lives a few miles inland.

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