Driving on the Costa del Sol is a practical way to explore a wonderfully this diverse Spanish coastline, with a first class road and motorway infrastructure, exploring the Costa del Sol by car is as popular as ever.
Cars are available to hire from many different companies and most offer a pick-up and drop-off service from Malaga airport which will allow you to enjoy hassle free holidays should you decide to explore the Costa del Sol by car.
The Costa del Sol - Spain's Sun Coast
This famous stretch of coastline is approximately 165km long and runs from Nerja at the eastern end to Manilva at the western end, it would take you around two hours to drive the whole coastline using the National 340 highway and the AP7 motorway.
Driving on the Costa del Sol is a perfect way to experience all the wonderful but hidden Andalucian villages that may be difficult to reach any other way. Driving just ten minutes away from the main coastal area will allow you to experiencing beautiful landscapes and stunning scenery with spectacular with a backdrop of the Mediterranean Sea.
The Costa de Sol is a stunning coastline where holidaymakers flock each year to enjoy the enviable climate, bath on blue flag beaches whilst trying out the renowned gastronomy and laid back lifestyle that this part of Spain is famous for.
Top Scenic drives on the Costa del Sol
Driving on the Costa del Sol is a great way to experience all the wonderful but hidden Andalucian villages. Driving just 30 minutes away from the busy coastline will mean experiencing a variety of picture postcard whitewashed villages, many with stunning hills and mountains as a backdrop. There are so many different little towns to explore, each one offering their own unique character. It would be easy to spend a whole day discovering these inland villages and driving is perfect way to do so.
Surely one of the most spectacular towns to visit is Ronda with its stunning gorge and arched bridge. Located just 40 minutes from Marbella on the Costa del Sol, the drive up through the natural park of Sierra de las Nieves is special with breathtaking views.
There are a number of public parking areas, mostly to the north of the town. Once parked its time to explore the town on foot, special places of interest include the Mondragon Palace constructed in 1314 by King Abomelik and the the small historic bullring.
The museum offers visitors a worthy insight into the history of Ronda and of course no trip here would be complete without walking across the Puento Nuevo ( new bridge ) which was completed in 1793 after 40 years of construction and over 50 lives lost. The views though are spectacular, perfect for those holiday snaps.
» The Montes Nature Park Malaga
One of the most spectacular driving routes on the Costa del Sol, Starting from Malaga take the A7000 which skirts the eastern side of the Montes de Malaga nature park. On reaching the village of Colmenar head west along the A356 to Casabermeja, the trip back is quicker as you can use the main A45 dual carriageway. There are a number of country restaurants ( Ventas ) located along the route quality local tapas and main dishes at very reasonable prices. The round trip is around 100kms long treating you to spectacular scenery, typical villages and plenty of places to stop over for those memorable holiday snaps.
» Water routes
If you are looking to combine a drive, stunning scenery and lots of water then the El Chorro reservoir is the place for you. It’s only an hour’s drive up in the hills from Malaga airport and is an impressive site once reached. The lakes are spread out over a vast area between the mountain making it a must place to include in any road trip.
There is an immense gorge at the southern end where you can have fun rock climbing, or spend a more relaxing time having a picnic on the banks of the lake in the cool shade of the pine forest which envelops the area.
» Wine routes
And where there is water, there is surely great Spanish wine, so there a number of wine routes to explore, one that is worth mentioning is to the village of Competa, an hour’s drive east of Malaga. Famous for its impressive architecture and local wine, Competa is home to a special kind of sweet Malaga wine with its distinctive taste of overripe raisins.
» The Sun and Avocado route
This is a hybrid of villages, wineries and spectacular coastal views. The sun and avocado route passes through many towns and circles the towns of Rincón de la Victoria through to Torre del Mar.
The micro-climate which is present in this region makes it ideal for growing not only the staples such as oranges and lemons but more tropical fruits and vegetables such as mangos, avocados and papayas.
» Cultural routes
There are plenty of drives inland in the Costa del Sol area which will entice you with its unique and varied history, try the Mudejar route which is bursting with Moorish architecture ever present in towns such as Canillas de Aceituno, Sedella, Salares, Árchez and Arenas.
Golf Drive !
The Costa del Sol has to be one of the best places in the whole of Spain to enjoy this popular sport. This region is home to around 70 beautiful golf courses that will make anyone who has the slightest interest in the sport, impressed. The great thing being that you can make a road trip out of your interest by visiting different places along the journey to your next Golf course.
Make sure your legally allowed to drive a vehicle in Spain
The law in Spain requires you to carry some form of identification such as a passport. You will also need to carry with your car or the car hire documents, an insurance certificate, your driving licence and a spare pair of glasses if necessary. The minimum age for driving is 18 years and seat belts must be worn at all times by both driver and passengers.
Rules of the road
Remembering that in Spain people drive on the right will serve both the driver and passenger well of course. Drinking and driving is something that isn’t taken lightly with heavy police fines and imprisonment being dished out to offenders. One glass of beer or a glass of wine and you will be over the limit so its very simple, don’t drink and drive.
Speed cameras are used in many locations on the Costa del Sol so be sure to stick to the speed limits which are:
- Maximum 120 kmh on motorways
- 100 kmh on dual carriageways.
- 90 kmh on maximum on country roads.
- 50 kmh on outer urban roads.
- 30 km/h on smaller roads and around built up areas.
One the spot fines will have to pay immediately unless you are a resident of Spain.
The main toll road ( AP 7 ) runs parallel to the main A7 / A340 coastal highway. The toll charge varies depending on the distance travelled. These roads are in the best condition due to their low usage by local residents. Prices can vary between 1.5 to 6 Euros a trip.