Just as birds migrate to escape the cold during winter, many people who live in the most wintery parts of the world have adopted the same strategy to dodge the gloomy skies and chilly temperatures of their homelands, heading to warm winter destinations like Southern Spain.
One of the most highly regarded destinations is, of course, Costa del Sol in the region of Málaga, where golfers can soak up the Mediterranean sun and play golf on any of the countless golf courses in the area.
More and more golfers from the North of Europe are opting to escape the cold and head south for at least some part of winter. Here are just some of the reasons many choose the Costa del Sol as their destination for a winter getaway:
For many golfers, the end of the fast-passing Autumn season signifies the arrival of the leanest of times for golf, with the weather closing courses or forcing them to resort to temporary measures to allow play to continue. In many locations we are now entering the off season, and with this world pandemic still around, the off season may feel...well...really off!
The Costa del Sol enjoys more than 320 days of sunshine, and whilst all your friends will be taking refuge from the cold you could be enjoying a mild and pleasant winter and average temperatures of around 20 degrees (70º F).
This dreamy winter climate provides plenty of opportunities to get out and explore everything the area has to offer...or even just lay back and soak up some winter sun.
It's low season
Not only can you enjoy great weather, but you will get to experience everything the Costa del Sol has to offer with a fraction of the crowds. Not only are the crowds fractional but so too is the cost; the winter months are regarded as a 'low season' which brings with it reduced hotel rates, Airbnb prices and attraction costs.
The coastal resorts and picturesque countryside are pleasantly laid-back, and there will be very few queues (if any) to slow you down as you wander through the beautiful whitewashed mountain villages, known as 'Pueblos Blancos', like Mijas or Casares.
The winter months are also preferable for anyone looking for a more 'authentic experience' during their stay.
Culture around every corner
The Andalusian region in which the Costa del Sol is located is widely regarded to be the most culturally rich region in Spain. Home to beautiful and unique architecture, not to mention the traditional and authentic art of Flamenco and numerous fiestas, Costa del Sol is steeped in a tradition which remains evident throughout the winter months.
Along the coast, vibrant Málaga has everything from Roman ruins and Moorish fortresses to contemporary museums and art galleries. Marbella’s Old Town is a captivating blend of Andalusian and Moorish architectural styles, while Fuengirola boasts a picturesque Arab fortress and Estepona overflows with brilliant, decorative flowers and authentic old-world charm.
Did you know that Málaga is the birthplace of Pablo Picasso? That's right! The region has always had a strong connection with the arts, and, if that's your cup of tea, you will find a fantastic range of galleries and museums, including the Picasso Museum which has a great selection of Picasso's works, or the Museo Carmen Thysenn - with its collection of predominantly Andalusian art and over 200 works by Spanish artists from the 19th Century.
The opportunity for great winter golf
The warm and temperate winter weather brings with it the chance for golfers to enjoy the area's stunning courses all year round. There are over 70 courses on offer on the 'Costa del Golf' that cater to golfers of all abilities. These include the prestigious Valderrama in Sotogrande, the San Roque Club – designed by architect Perry Dye and famous Ryder Cup player Dave Thomas, as well as La Reserva, with its outstanding 18-hole course, exquisite clubhouse, and majestic sea and mountain views, and of course, Finca Cortesin in Casares, which will host the 2023 Solheim Cup – the world’s most prestigious, and exciting, event in women’s golf!
With such a wide choice of courses set among the beautiful Andalusian landscapes, it's little wonder the Costa del Sol is one of Europe's top winter golfing regions.
There's plenty beyond the course
If you want to spend some time away from the course (however crazy that may sound), the great weather affords plenty of opportunities to get out and explore.
For anyone looking for a little more adventure than simply topping up their tan, there are plenty of Natural Parks nearby, including the stunning Sierra de la Nieves, with hiking and climbing on offer. This natural park has an unusually rich variety of indigenous flora (pine, fir, ash, chestnut, wild olive and oak trees, as well as juniper) and fauna, including mountain goat and mouflon.
Another beautiful attraction in the mountains of Málaga is the Caminito del Rey trail, where locals and visitors alike can enjoy the beautiful nature, fresh air, and amazing views!
Simply put, there are countless things to see and do in the Costa del Sol, so if you want to learn more about what's on offer, during winter or any other time of the year, check out the Visit Costa del Sol Website.