There’s few things more idyllic than a summer holiday: walking through sun-baked streets, watching the kids play in the sand while you sunbathe, and slurping up ice creams. However, picking a destination can be hard, especially when you want to keep travel time down: as a father of three myself, I know only too well how a long car ride from the airport can put a damper on the start of the holiday. |
That’s why I’ve picked my five absolute favourite places to take the family on the Costa del Sol, all reachable in a mere 40 minutes or less from Málaga Airport.
Of course, I couldn’t tell you about great destinations near Málaga airport without mentioning the city itself. Málaga is one of those towns that has everything you could want in a summer holiday. Culture enthusiasts can spend their days wandering through the city’s architecture, beach lovers have miles and miles of white sands to choose from, and night owls are well catered to as well: the city lays claim to some of the best nightlife in Europe.
With the kids, I’d recommend taking morning or evening walks (take a leaf out of the locals’ book and dodge the roasting heat that dominates the early afternoon) through the city. It’s a fantastic place for pedestrians, with plenty of characterful streets and lots to see. When the heat gets too much, there’s nothing that can beat a lazy lunch and a cold drink until the late afternoon. The beaches are also wonderful, although if you’re going in the height of summer I can’t say I’d recommend spending full days on the beach: it’s hard to persuade kids to stay in the shade! Better to go for a swim early or late in the day, when the aggressive heat of the day is replaced with a gentler warmth.
It’s around a 20 minute drive to Málaga, and Shuttle Direct run pre-booked taxis from Málaga airport from about £20 each way.
2. Marbella & Puerto Banus
Although technically two resorts, I’ve grouped these together as they’re so close to each other, and people frequently stay in one and hop between the two in a matter of minutes. Marbella is better for day trips with the kids, with a large number of child-friendly areas on the beach and all kinds of bars, cafes and restaurants. There’s a lovely relaxed atmosphere to the place as well, helping you really get into that summer holiday spirit.
Puerto Banus is more enjoyable for the grown-ups, and is especially worth a trip if you can get a babysitter to watch the kids for the day. There’s a wealth of beach parties and if celebrity culture is your thing, you stand a good chance of spotting some celebs here. I’d also suggest taking a moment to drool at some of the boats and cars you’ll see in this resort.
The drive takes a little less than 40 minutes, and private taxis from Málaga Airport with Shuttle Direct will run you just over £44 each way.
This is a town I can’t help but bring up whenever I’m discussing the region: there are just so many charming little places to step into for a bite to eat and a drink. My favourite thing about Fuengirola has to be the castle, however: it holds gigs and music festivals all summer long, and if there’s nothing on during your visit it’s well worth taking the kids to explore the old castle.
It’s a quick drive: plenty of times I’ve done it in under 20 minutes, and Shuttle’s top notch taxis from Málaga airport will set you back around £27 each way.
This old fishing village has become very popular with holidaymakers, and it’s easy to see why: it overlooks one of the most idyllic stretches of beach you could ask for, and it’s very close to the airport. This is a real beach lovers’ holiday destination, with loads of places to enjoy the sun and sand, and plenty of chilled out little beach bars. Somewhere like Málaga is better if you like to fill your holiday with exploration and activities, but Torremolinos is unbeatable for those times when you just want to unwind and think about absolutely nothing.
Taxis from Málaga airport take only 15 minutes to get to Torremolinos, and will run you just over £15 each way.
Benalmadena is a perfect place to take the kids: it’s replete with theme parks, play areas and pools. The little ones will be spoiled for choice when it comes to exciting places to visit and new things to try, and it’s probably best for young kids who tend to have little patience for walks, scenery and restaurants.
That’s not to say that Benalmadena has nothing for older members of the family too: it’s only a short distance to the kind of little Spanish village you’ve dreamed about, with winding little pedestrian streets, plazas and a gorgeous church. If you know where to go, Benalmadena also boasts stunning vistas of the region.
It only takes around a quarter of an hour to get to Benalmadena, with pre-booked taxis from Málaga airport costing around £25 each way.
So, that’s my top five for the region! Here’s hoping you find your perfect destination among them.
Lukas Johannes is a driver for Shuttle Direct, the number one provider of shared and private airport transfers all over Europe and northern Africa. If you’re looking for affordable taxis from Malaga airport, Lukas and his colleagues can make sure that you and your luggage get to and from the airport swiftly and safely.
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