As much as inveterate golfers might find it hard to believe, not everyone visiting the Costa del Sol wants to play the ancient game. And even golfers sometimes need a break from the fairways, to test their skills in other pursuits. To that end, the Costa del Sol is the ideal place to indulge in alternative sporting passions.
Enthusiasts of “traditional” sports are well catered for with tennis and squash courts, lawn bowling rinks, cricket wickets and even a rugby club in Marbella – as well as paddle tennis courts for the increasing number of non-Spaniards taking up the game on the Coast.
Out on the water, the Coast offers the whole gamut of nautical activities, from water skiing, jet skiing and cable skiing to diving, power boating and sailing. Or, for the more placid, superyacht watching at one of the luxury marinas: heading west from Gibraltar’s Ocean Village… Alcaidesa, Sotogrande, Puerto Banús, Cabopino and Benalmádena Puerto.
Meanwhile, the more adventurous can enjoy rafting, caving, mountaineering, ballooning, bungee jumping, karting and paintball, or – for the ultimate adrenalin rush – a spin on the private racetrack at Ascari, near Ronda.
The Coast has an ample choice of stables and equestrian centres, most offering experienced instructors for beginners, and many inland routes for horse-riding in the country – some doubling as hiking tracks for those who prefer to stay on their own two feet.
The sport of kings also adds an air of aristocratic flair to the Coast’s sporting amenities, with Sotogrande’s polo fields hosting a series of international events – and must-be-seen-at social outings for the in-crowd – from spring to autumn.