Costa del Sol

Málaga, Spain

Costa del Sol

The Costa del Sol (Spanish pronunciation: [ˈkosta ðel sol]; literally, "Coast of the Sun" or "Sun Coast") located in Spain, in the south of the province of Malaga and in the eastern part of Campo de Gibraltar, in the province of Cádiz, in the south of the Iberian Peninsula. There is no official limit, but it is generally accepted that the Costa del Sol stretches from the municipality of La Línea de la Concepción in the west to Nerja in the east. The Costa del Sol is entirely in the autonomous community of Andalusia, and the term is practically linked to the coastal towns and communities along the coastline of the province of Málaga. Formerly made up only of a series of small fishing settlements, today the region is a world-renowned tourist destination. The term Costa del Sol was coined at the beginning of the 20th century by Rodolfo Lussnigg, to promote the Almeria coastline. Until the late 1960s, it was used in reference to the entire Mediterranean coast of Eastern Andalusia. The name refers to the sunny climate, present in the region most days of the year. The Costa del Sol is one of the most important tourist areas in Spain, concentrating around 35% of tourism in Andalusia and hosting more than 17 million hotel overnight stays per year, according to data from 2009.

The Costa del Sol is a pioneer of Spanish tourism, which was a relatively prosperous commercial and industrial center for much of the 19th century. The tourist boom in the area was born in the 1920s, with the opening of the Baños del Carmen in Malaga and the Torremolinos golf course. The Spanish Civil War and the subsequent World War II, did that the boom of the area as an international tourist destination did not arrive until the 1950s, with the arrival of famous celebrities such as Grace Kelly, Ava Gardner, Marlon Brando, Orson Welles, Ernest Hemingway, John Lennon, Brigitte Bardot or Frank Sinatra. Since then it has been a preferred destination for foreigners, mainly for Britons, Germans, Scandinavian and French. The most populated city on the Costa del Sol is the city of Malaga, with a population of close to 600,000 inhabitants, which is also the backbone of a conurbanization of 18 municipalities, practically continuous, totaling 1,412,541. Malaga is home to the Malaga-Costa del Sol Airport, which is the third busiest airport in mainland Spain, behind Barajas (Madrid) and El Prat (Barcelona).

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