Planning a golf trip isn't easy. Most golfers start with the weather. But then there's budget, golf courses, flights, car rental, hotel, things to do off the course, food and so on. Fortunately, there is a place that ticks all of the boxes: the Costa del Sol. To help you plan your trip, we've created this Ultimate Guide to Golf in the Costa del Sol. It answers all the questions you might have (well, at least a whole lot of them) and we'll give you some inside tips as well.
The Costa del Sol is a region in southern Spain in the province of Andalucia. It stretches from La Línea de la Concepción in the west (right next to Gibraltar) and Nerja in the east. The Costa del Sol has a coastline of well over 150 kilometres.
Back in the days, before the Costa del Sol existed, the region consisted of just a number of small fisherman's towns. But in the 1920's - when Real Club de Campo (Today Parador de Golf de Málaga) was the first golf course that opened - the Costa del Sol became a real tourist destination. The Costa del Sol is situated between the lesser-known coastal regions of the Costa de la Luz and the Costa Tropical.
Most golfers want to play golf in a country or region where they have some assurance that the sun will shine during their trip, and we can't blame them. Golf is so much nicer in shorts and polos than in rain gear.
Fortunately the Costa del Sol - translated as the "Sun Coast" - boasts more than 320 days of sun each year and an average temperature of 18 degrees. That means you won't even need warm clothing in wintertime as long as you stay near the coast. If you're planning to travel inland and visit some of the beautiful mountain villages, bring a jumper just in case.
Getting to the Costa del Sol is easy. Málaga-Costa del Sol airport is the official airport for the Costa del Sol. It's located only 8 kilometres from the city centre and is perfectly connected to the whole of the Costa del Sol. There are many international flights to the airport, the most coming from London-Gatwick, followed by Manchester. Dublin, Amsterdam, Brussels and Copenhagen are also popular destinations to fly to the Costa del Sol from. In 2021 Málaga-Costa del Sol airport welcomed almost 9 million passengers.
At the airport are many options for car rental by all the well-known suppliers. It's even possible to rent cars or vans with a driver.
The excellent road network in the Costa del Sol road connects golfers with other cities throughout Andalusia via motorways and toll roads. Due to its location in the south of Spain it has to be said that getting to the Costa del Sol by car does mean a bit of a road trip. Unless you're coming from the nearby Portuguese Algarve (4,5 hours) it will take you at least 11,5 hours (from Perpignan in southern France) to get to the Costa del Sol.
Getting to the Costa del Sol by bus is also very easy, as Málaga Bus Station provides connections to practically all areas of Spain and all the towns and villages within the province.
The Port of Málaga is located to the south of the Iberian Peninsula, on the coasts of the southern Mediterranean, sheltered by a natural bay. The Costa del Sol's capital is a destination for luxury cruises with Mediterranean routes. The Port of Málaga also provides direct connections with North Africa, with daily ferries to Melilla, which is an autonomous city of Spain located in North Africa.
Right, now we're getting to the good stuff. The Costa del Sol is very proud of having the greatest concentration of golf courses in Europe, and rightly so. With more than 70 golf courses spread out along the coastline, it's a true golfers' paradise. The good thing is that there is a golf course for everyone in the Costa del Sol. Whether you're looking for a high-end course or something a bit more accessible, no doubt you will find it here.
This would become an extremely long blog post if we were to write about all golf courses in the Costa del Sol, but we have made some selections that might help you plan your next golf trip.
Some of the world's best golf courses are located in the Costa del Sol. Most of these courses are close to Sotogrande in the southeast of the region. View the top-10 golf courses in Andalusia (where the Costa del Sol is located).
1. Real Club Valderrama
Valderrama is considered one of the best-maintained courses in the World and has been regularly included among the Top 100 courses in the World since 1989. The course was designed by Robert Trent Jones Sr in 1974 and has hosted many professional events, including the 1997 Ryder Cup. Quality does come at a price here as green fees for visitors (if you can get one)are € 450. Put that one on your bucket list.
2. Finca Cortesin Golf Club
Finca Cortesin is the official venue for the 2023 Solheim Cup and is considered one of Spain’s best golf courses and absolutely Spain's Best Golf Resort. As you would expect of a resort featuring one of the world’s top 50 hotels, delivering outstanding customer service is at the heart of the Finca Cortesin experience.
3. La Reserva Club Sotogrande
Located less than five kilometres from Valderrama, La Reserva Club Sotogrande is another must-play for any golfer visiting the Costa del Sol. The course was designed in 2003 by American architect Cabell B. Robinson and has wide fairways that lead onto large greens with gentle but challenging undulation.
We know that there are a lot of golf courses on offer in the Costa del Sol, but sometimes you might just want to stay in one place and take it easy. That's when these golf resorts come in handy. They all have 36 holes or more, so you don't even have to leave the premisis if you don't want to.
1. Villa Padierna Golf Club
Villa Padierna golf club features three 18-hole golf courses, Flamingos Golf, Alferini Golf and Tramores Golf. You'll also find the Tramores Golf Academy (led by 2005 US Open Champion Michael Campbell) and practice facilities.
The beautiful Anantara Villa Padierna Palace Resort features 125 rooms, suites and villas.
2. La Cala Resort
La Cala Resort is very popular amongst golfers. With three 18-hole courses (America, Asia and Europa), a 107-room four-star hotel, Spain’s leading Hydrotherapy Health Spa, four restaurants and multiple bars, La Cala truly is a golfing mecca in the heart of the Costa del Sol.
3. San Roque Club
Located between Jerez and Marbella, almost at the tip of the Iberian Peninsula, San Roque Club is one of the best Golf & Country Clubs in Europe. San Roque first opened its doors in 1991 with the opening of the Old Course. In 2003, another 18 holes course was opened and so the New Course was born. Currently, there is one luxurious villa you can stay in, but four more are constructed in the next two years.
Playing the best courses in a country or region usually means having to pay a lot for that quality as well. Even though the Costa del Sol isn't the cheapest region to play golf in due to its popularity, it's good to know that there are many courses with great price-quality. Below are the three courses with the highest rating for "Value for Money" by reviewers on Leading Courses.
1. Benalmádena Golf
Benalmadena Golf, designed by Marco Martin & Blake Stirling, is a great 9 hole Pitch & Putt par-27. It's ideal for beginners, but also for experienced golfers to improve their short game. "Fantastic 9 hole Par3 course, really useful to test the delicate short game, plenty of hazards to keep you on your toes", as one of the reviewers says.
2. Miguel Ángel Jiménez Golf Academy
Miguel Ángel Jiménez Golf Academy is a golf academy with its own style, with the philosophy of one of the most important players in the world of golf, Miguel Ángel Jiménez. "Very funny and enjoyable, challenging par 3 perfect to improve the short game and to spend a good day with the children."
3. Calanova Golf Club
Calanova Golf Club is situated in the beautiful golf valley behind La Cala de Mijas at Costa del Sol - only 5 minutes from the Sea. The course is easy accessible and the golf buggy is always included in the green fee. "I find myself returning to this course over and over again. It has such a lovely layout and beautiful views all around."
Whether it's a hotel, campsite, rural house, hostel or parador, there is no shortage of great places to stay in the Costa del Sol. Below is a selection of places to stay in the Costa del Sol suited for golfers. We've focussed on areas with the most golf courses nearby.
Located on the outskirts of Sotogrande right next to Almenara Golf Club and around the corner from San Roque Golf Club, La Reserva Sotogrande, Valderrama and many more, SO/ Sotogrande offers stylish rooms and luxurious suites. With outdoor and indoor swimming pools, a state-of-the-art spa and fitness facilities alongside landscaped gardens, beaches, polo and golf opportunities galore, there is no end to the amount of fun and pampering to experience. Although, with four restaurants and bars offering some of the finest cuisine in the region, you may never feel the need to leave the resort.
Kempinski Hotel Bahía Beach Resort & Spa
Kempinski Hotel Bahía Beach Resort & Spa is located in the charming fishing town of Estepona. It offers amazing views over the Mediterranean and features numerous exclusive guestrooms and suites. The hotel also offers a selection of restaurants where you can savour the best Andalusian dishes. Relax in the spa or in the three outdoor pools. An impressive hotel that will indulge you in total luxury.
Anantara Villa Padierna Palace Resort
Anantara Villa Padierna Palace Resort is a tremendous five-star luxury hotel located in a quiet and picturesque setting between Marbella, Benahavís and Estepona, just a few minutes from Puerto Banús. Surrounded by three golf courses and a calm lake, it guarantees a unique experience of serenity and disconnection.
If you're looking for something a bit more central in Marbella, Hotel Claude Marbella is the best boutique hotel in town. The tones of colour and light that define the Costa del Sol come together here to create elegant and sophisticated spaces that you can enjoy with your loved one, family or friends.
La Cala Resort
The enchanting beauty of the rolling Spanish countryside, the warm Mediterranean sun on your skin and the scent of wild mountain flowers. The La Cala Resort sure is a place to remember. It has a breathtaking view of the stunning Andalusian countryside and feels worlds away from the hustle and bustle of the coast, yet it's just 20 minutes from Marbella and only 30 minutes from Malaga airport.
Gran Hotel Miramar 5*
Live the very finest of the Costa del Sol at Gran Hotel Miramar Málaga, a luxury hotel whose superb location guarantees an unforgettable holiday with the best restaurants, museums, beaches and shops on its doorstep. Its 190 unique guestrooms have been designed down to the last detail to make you feel extremely pampered.
When you're not on the golf course, there are many other activities and attractions in the Costa del Sol. Some popular things to do include visiting the many beaches, exploring the historic city of Málaga, visiting the Picasso Museum, hiking in the Sierra de las Nieves Natural Park, and tasting the local cuisine.
Some of the most popular and picturesque villages in the area include Mijas, Ronda, Frigiliana, and Moclinejo. Mijas is a traditional white-washed village with narrow streets and stunning views of the Mediterranean. Ronda is known for its dramatic setting and historic sights, such as the Puente Nuevo bridge and the Plaza de Toros bullring. Frigiliana is a pretty village with a rich history and colourful streets, while Moclinejo is a charming rural village with panoramic views of the surrounding countryside.
The Costa del Sol offers a variety of delicious seafood and other local dishes. Tapas are very popular but there are many other popular foods to try in the Costa del Sol.
In addition to these dishes, the Costa del Sol is also known for its fresh fruits and vegetables, as well as its olive oils and wines. So be sure to try some of the local produce and enjoy a glass of wine with your meal.
How much a golf trip to the Costa del Sol will set you back of course depends on many factors. Starting with which time of year you plan your visit. High season in the Costa del Sol is from February-May and October-November. During that time of the year green fee prices, hotel rooms and flights all rise to their peak. But in the remaining months you can get a much better bargain.
Another factor is whether you're looking to play the top courses like Valderrama, Finca Cortesin and La Zagaleta or if you settle for courses that are less famous - but still very well worth it.
If you're a bit more on a budget, there are several ways to save money on a golf trip to the Costa del Sol. Some tips:
Overall, the key to saving money on a trip to the Costa del Sol is to plan ahead, compare prices, and be open to alternative options. By doing your research and being flexible, you can find ways to save money without sacrificing the quality of your trip.
The Costa del Sol is a popular destination for golfers due to its beautiful weather and abundance of high-quality golf courses. The region has a Mediterranean climate with mild winters and warm, sunny summers, making it a great destination for golfers year-round.
Add a wide range of other attractions and activities, such as the beaches, historic towns, and delicious local cuisine, and you've got an attractive destination for golfers and non-golfers alike.
Copyright © 2007-2023 — leadingcourses.com