Co-operative Travel Head 2 Head is back again to answer those tough questions and help you pick your perfect holiday.
The Spanish Costas are a treasure trove of sun-soaked, party-packed, family-friendly cheap holiday destinations. There are so many beautiful resorts and regions that you might wish you could visit them all in a single summer holiday – so how do you pick?
Where are they?
In the south of Spain you’ll find Costa del Sol, then further up the east coast, you’ll find Costa Blanca, leading up to Costa Dorada and finally Costa Brava.
In summary: We’ll award the first round to Costa Brava, because it is the closest to the UK and therefore faster to reach than the rest. However, you’re only looking at a difference of a 2-hour flight to Costa Brava compared with a 2.5 hour flight to Costa del Sol, so they’re all pretty easy to reach.
As you move from Costa Brava down through Costa Blanca, Costa Dorada, and finally Costa del Sol, the average annual temperatures slowly increase. In summer, the weather is generally warm and sunny throughout Spain, but there is a difference of 2-3 degrees between the two furthest Costas.
In summary: There’s not much in it, but those extra couple of degrees Celsius that Costa del Sol offers make this resort the winner of this round.
The nightlife throughout Spain is a sociable, vibrant experience with plenty of variety. Costa Blanca has Murcia and Benidorm, with their colourful nightclubs and amazing bar scenes. Costa Dorada has Salou, which has its own nightlife district that many say makes the region the best place in Spain for a night out. Costa Brava has Girona Old Town, with its seafront terrace bars, jazz clubs, and amazing spots for craft beer. Then Costa del Sol has Malaga, which is rightly famous for its nightclubs and glitzy bars, and Torremolinos with its open-air club nights. There’s so much to choose from!
In summary: Tough choice, but this one goes to Costa Blanca, with its world-famous nightlife. If Benidorm’s wild nights aren’t for you, you can head to Murcia for its vibrant bars in more intimate surroundings.
A short break to one of the beautiful Costas is always a great idea! You can take a short flight to Costa del Sol, a Benidorm break in Costa Blanca, a fun-packed break in Costa Dorada to visit a top theme park, or a quick visit to Barcelona in Costa Brava.
In summary: Costa Brava wins here. Barcelona is a stunning place for a short break, or if you want to avoid the cost of staying in the city you can spend a couple of nights by the beach, but with the option for an irresistible day trip to Barcelona.
The Costas have sensational coastlines! Costa Brava and Costa Dorada are blessed with beautiful Blue Flag beaches, but the spotlight really has to go to Costa del Sol and Costa Blanca. Costa del Sol has enormous beaches with clear waters perfect for snorkelling, while Costa Blanca has a clean new beach promenade offering wonderful bars and restaurants, as well as some of the most picture-perfect beaches in Europe.
In summary: The sheer number of Blue Flag beaches in Costa Blanca (81 in a recent count) marks this region as the winner here, though the competition is very close!
Costa Brava’s picturesque coastlines and green mountains offer a beautiful, romantic setting. Costa Blanca is great for couples looking for a “sun and sangria” holiday. A holiday in Costa Dorada is perfect for sipping cocktails on the beach, visiting a winery, and relishing the breath-taking views from the Cami de Ronda coastal path. Costa del Sol is a top choice for couples too, as it offers adults-only hotels and party spots like Marbella.
In summary: This category goes to Costa del Sol, for its chilled atmosphere, adult accommodation. Places such as Puerto Banus and Estepona have a more sophisticated and mature atmosphere and are perfect for visiting couples.
Any All Inclusive holiday in the Costas will offer up countless attractions. Costa Brava has Barcelona with its many landmarks and museums, making it perfect for a city break. Costa Blanca has fun parks like Terra Mitica and Aqualandia, as well as the amazing ancient fortress Santa Barbara Castle. Costa del Sol has the mountain village Comares for adrenaline junkies and hikers, and countless things to see and do in Malaga City. Costa Dorada has some of Europe’s greatest theme parks in the form of PortAventura and Ferrari Land.
In summary: Costa Dorada wins this round. The theme parks are perfect for families and thrill-seekers, but you will also find beautiful cultural attractions like the Circ Roma, which is the ruins of a 1st century chariot track, and the stunning Tarragona Cathedral.
If you book in advance with Co-operative Travel, you can find a cheap holiday at any of the Costas – however, Costa Blanca and Costa Brava deserve special mentions in this category. Costa Blanca has Benidorm (where a beer will cost about a Euro), and if you are heading to Benidorm for the parties you could find that great-value Room Only or self-catering accommodation is enough for you. Then there is Costa Brava, which is generally the most reasonably priced, as long as you book a hotel outside of Barcelona.
In summary: An All Inclusive holiday to Costa Brava often seems to have the best prices, so we’re giving it this final round.
How they stack up:
This was a difficult decision, but the crown of the Costas goes to… Costa Blanca. A holiday in Costa Blanca has it all: spectacular beaches, thrilling theme parks, a great nightlife in Benidorm and Murcia, culture, natural beauty, and pleasing prices.
There’s no right or wrong answer when it comes to the Costas, though. A holiday in any of these four – or across the rest of Spain – will always be a sun-soaked, siesta-filled pleasure!
Do you agree?
What do you think?
Let us know in the comments!