The Costa del Sol is a popular destination for sun lovers in Spain. Famous for its hot summers and white-sand beaches, this section of Spain’s southernmost coast is undoubtedly a great place to relax. Its largest city, Malaga, is also home to an interesting art scene, being the birthplace of Pablo Picasso.

The easiest way to access the Costa del Sol is via Malaga Airport. However, if you’re planning an adventurous trip across Spain, you can easily get to the Costa del Sol from most major Spanish cities.  

To experience the Costa del Sol, plus Spain’s highlights, check out this family-friendly 16-day itinerary

From Madrid

Duration: 1-7 hours

There are many ways to get from Madrid to the Costa del Sol, from a quick one-hour flight to a seven-hour bus trip through the Castile-La Mancha region.

Flying is the fastest way to do this journey. Many direct flights leave each day from Madrid airport to Malaga airport, operated by Air Iberia and Air Europa. Tickets usually cost under 100 euros.

High-speed train is also a comfortable option. Trains between Madrid and Malaga take only two to three hours.

If you choose to travel by rental car or private transfer, the trip will take a bit longer (about five hours). However, you will have the opportunity to stop in historic cities, such as Toledo, Cordoba, or Granada

From Barcelona

Duration: 2-15 hours

It is a long way from the popular tourist city of Barcelona to the Costa del Sol. However, many quick and economical flights are available. If you’re up for a long drive, there is plenty to see along the way. 

Direct flights between Barcelona and Malaga take about two hours. There is also a high-speed train option that takes six hours. Buses make many stops along this route, so if you choose to travel by bus, expect a journey of over a day. 

By rental car or private transfer, the trip will take a little under ten hours. On the way, you can stop at beaches along the Costa Daurada and Costa del Azahar, or do some historic sightseeing in Valencia, Murcia, and Granada. 

From Seville

Duration: 2-4 hours

Once you’ve seen the sights of Seville, relaxing on the Costa del Sol can be a nice change of pace. The journey is quick and easy, and can be done via rental car, private transfer, bus, or train.

As a bonus, the route between Seville and the Costa del Sol is scenic, and offers you the option of stopping in Ronda and the White Villages for some beautiful views.