Washed by the mild Mediterranean Sea, Costa del Sol has more than 150 kilometres (80 NM) of coastline and more than 325 sunny days a year, which makes it a perfect sailing destination, and almost any season can be a sailing season.
Arriving in Malaga
If you want to rent a boat in Malaga, the easiest way to reach it is by plane and the closest airport to the departure point is The Airport of Malaga – Costa del Sol, with regular and charter flights from all over Europe’s major cities.
Malaga Marina, Spaincapetanos.com
Weather in Malaga
Costa del Sol has a typical Mediterranean climate with dry, hot summer and mild winters that are rainy and humid. The weather on the coast is generally warm most of the year, but summer can bring record-breaking heat waves that can reach 44 ºC (112 ºF). July and August have an average of 26 ºC (80 ºF), being the hottest months of the year. From December to February, the average is around 12 ºC (54 ºF).
A good practice before sailing away is to check the weather forecast with the marina, keep the VHF radio open for weather updates or you can check one of the many apps which offer weather forecasts, like meteoconsult.co.uk or Windy.
Weather in Malagacapetanos.com
Planning the itinerary
The starting point for this sailing week around Costa del Sol is in Malaga, La Marina del Real Club Mediterraneo, located rather close to the airport, from where you can take a taxi to reach the marina. Around the marina and the cruise terminal you can find plenty of restaurants, accommodation and retail stores to provision your yacht, and even rent-a-car possibilities for your return in Malaga.
For this itinerary, you will sail around 65 nautical miles and you should consider spending more than one week on this itinerary to have enough time to explore other cities around the Costa del Sol.
You must prepare in advance, consult the weather forecasts and choose your own pace and itinerary. Depending on your yacht type, pace, skills and other factors, the information below might vary.
- Leg 1 - Malaga to Fuengirola - 16 nautical miles - 3 hours
- Leg 2 - Fuengirola to Marbella - 16 nautical miles - 3 hours
- Leg 3 - Marbella to Benalmadena - 21 nautical miles - 4 hours
- Leg 4 - Benalmadena to Malaga - 10 nautical miles - 2 hours
Costa del Sol itineraryPicture copyright: navionics.com
1. Malaga to Fuengirola - Leg 1
Sailing to Fuengirola
After checking in and provisioning the yacht is time to set sail and head to Fuengirola. This leg is quite short, only 16 NM to sail, and depending on your yacht type and weather conditions you should reach the marina in Fuengirola in about 3 hours.
The marina is close to the commercial port of Malaga so you should keep an eye on the traffic, because it could be quite heavy during season months.
Puerto Deportivo de Fuengirola is the only marina in Fuengirola, with good amenities, well sheltered and surrounded by many bars and restaurants where you can try the amazing local food.
Sightseeing in Fuengirola
The city will welcome you with lots of plazas, castles, restaurants and amazing beaches. If you decide to visit the old town, one of the stops should be in the Plaza de la Constitucion, the first plaza built in the city. Here you can also visit the modern church - Parroquia de Nuestra Senora del Rosario, where you can admire the sculpture - Monumento a las Tres Generaciones – by Fernando Gomez Lobato, dedicated to the three generations usually coexisting in every Spanish family.
Another point of interest is the Sohail Castle, located at the very mouth of Fuengirola river, on an isolated hill and only 30 minutes by foot from city centre. The first stones were set by Phoenicians around 956 B.C. Starting with 1485 the castle was occupied by the Christian army, and it was rebuilt and improved, such as the replacement of the crank axle entrance for a direct entrance, the demolition of one of its eastern towers and replaced with a platform for cannons, or the re-ordering of the south-eastern angle of the wall, with a bastion wall, after its demolition by the Napoleonic army in the War of Independence.
- Address: C/ Tartesos. 29640 Fuengirola (Málaga).
- Opening hours:
- Monday – Closed
- Tuesday – Friday: 10:00 – 14:00
- Saturday, Sunday: 10:00 – 14:00/ 18:30 – 21:30
Accommodation when sailing to Fuengirola
Sohail Castle, Fuengirolacapetanos.com
2. Fuengirola to Marbella - Leg 2
Sailing to Marbella
Raise the anchor and head West to Marbella, which is only 16 nautical miles away, and you should reach the destination in about 3 hours. In Marbella you have two possibilities to find a berth, in Puerto Deportivo de Marbella or Puerto Deportivo Marina La Bajadilla.
Sightseeing in Marbella
Marbella is not just known as the playground of reach and famous, but also for its climate, picture perfect natural landscapes, breath-taking coast, amazing beaches, important sports complexes and above all the local’s hospitality.
One of the top things Marbella is known for, its beaches. With more than 24 beaches awarded with the Blue Flag, is mandatory to visit them and why not, join the parties around the beach bars. The parties last all night long along with good music, cocktails and friends. Some of the best beaches are:
With its bling nightlife reputation, it’s no surprise that Marbella is the best place to party in the south of Spain and the clubs have definitely got what it takes to compete on the world arena.
If you just want to discover the city, then the old town is a real find. The buildings are whitewashed with terracotta roofs, dating back to the Renaissance period and wrapped in bougainvillea flowers.
Accommodation when sailing to Marbella
If you don’t want to sleep onboard of your yacht, Marbella has lots of accommodation alternatives like The Westin La Quinta Golf Resort & SPA***** with starting price from 436 € / night or Hotel El Faro Marbella*** from 249 € / night.
Marbella Marina, Spaincapetanos.com
3. Marbella to Benalmadena - Leg 3
Sailing to Benalmadena
This is the longest leg and you should reach Benalmadena in around 4 hours. Consult the weather forecast before departure and head E-NE to reach the Puerto Deportivo de Benalmadena. On your portside you should admire the amazing coast which will delight you with picturesque landscapes.
Sightseeing in Benalmadena
Benalmadena is one of the most popular destinations for skippers sailing in Spain. The city has 3 main districts, each having something different to offer. Known for its outstanding sandy beaches, historic Old Town and great nightlife, Benalmadena is a place where everyone will find something to enjoy.
If you want to discover the city, a good idea would be to start with the Old Town, situated on a hilltop and looking down to the Mediterranean Sea, it retains the authenticity of an Andalusian mountain village amazing you with the mesmerizing labyrinth of narrow streets. Have a stop in Plaza Espana for a coffee or a cold drink and enjoy this small but busy square.
For an outstanding view over Benalmadena, you must take the Cable Car to the top of the Mount Calamorro. From the top you can admire the two parts of the city, Arroyo de la Miel and Benalmadena Costa.
Accommodation when sailing to Benalmadena
Benalmadena Marina, Spaincapetanos.com
4. Benalmadena to Malaga - Leg 4
Sailing to Malaga
Malaga is quite close and you should reach your port of departure in around 3 hours. Approaching Malaga Marina, keep an eye on the marine traffic.
Sightseeing in Malaga
Even though the sailing week is over, if you have more time to spend in this amazing location, take your time to discover the city, because has plenty astonishing places to offer. Known as the capital of Costa del Sol, Málaga is more than a seaside city. You can have the possibility of learning about Spain’s Islamic past at the majestic Alcazaba fortress palace. If you didn’t know, Pablo Picasso was born here, so there are museums that shed light on his early years.
Speaking of Alcazaba Fortress, it is impossible not to spot it, because it’s visible from almost anywhere in the city. The Moorish fortress is a valuable monument from the Islamic era, built in the 8th century and improved gradually over the years. Inside there are two sets of walls protecting the inner and the outer citadel. The outer citadel contains the palace’s stunning gardens with fountains and gateways built by the Arabs.
Down the hill, outside the Alcazaba Fortress, you will find the best-preserved monument of the city, the Roman Theatre. The structure was only rediscovered and excavated beginning with 1951 and considering that it was buried for more than 1.600 years, it is quite in a good shape.
Accommodation when sailing to Malaga
Capetanos sailing and general recommendations
For an amazing sailing week around Costa del Sol, we recommend to plan in advance, consult the charts, weather conditions and choose the most suitable time and boat, according to your sailing skills.
We hope that information in this guide will contribute to your decision for your next sailing holiday in Spain. Costa del Sol will give you the opportunity for great memories to take back home with you.
Sailing bugdet calculator / rent boat calculator Costa del Sol
These calculations are performed for one-week charter on a 38-foot catamaran in mid-august and crew of 8. The total may differ depending on many factors like boat amenities and construction year, mooring fees, dinner out, etc.
|1-week total||7.942 €|
|4 cabins catamaran||3.872 €|
|Skipper (optional)||1.900 €|
|Food out||850 €|