I really wasn't sure what to expect when I booked a few dive courses on the south coast of Spain with Simply Diving. I hadn't visited the area yet, and I had quite a bad perception about the area becasue of the 'Brits abroad' attitude that many people take to Malaga and the Costa del Sol area. English pubs, drunken football fans and nothing Spanish is what I was expecting. I was completely wrong in almost every way.
One of the most surprising part of the region for me was the scenery. I think I was expecting flat sandy beaches and nothing else. In reality, the landscapes are wild, rugged and ragged, as well as beautifully mountainous and rocky. I was there over the Easter week, and so in terms of heat and dryness it was an in between time. Plenty of green and lush vegetation with a little bit of sunshine as well. In the summer these areas are bone-dry and yellow and lose some of their beauty.
The beach where I spent most of the week was called Marina del Este, in the village of La Herradura. this beach was about a 45 minute drive from Torremolinos and Malaga, and is a little cove surrounded on three sides by towering cliffs. This cove is wonderfully protected from the wind and waves and so is one of the best dive sites in the Malaga area. There is a small restaurant here as well as a toilet but really this is a beach to visit to get away from the more built up parts, not to find too much convenience. Diving here was quite surprisingly good, and there were clouds of sardines and small fish, as well as some great little rock formations, swim through zones.
I also did a few dives at a beach called Sunset Beach in the Benalmadena area. This was a more commercial beach just 10 minutes down the coast from the dive shop (Simply Diving) and accordingly had a lot better facilities and options. This beach was a fantastic, with a long sandy stretch of open space, and some nice little beach bars and easy to find food places. Although this area can certainly be overcrowded with foreign tourists, if you can visit during April, you will find a lot of space to yourself, lower apartment prices and you won't have to sacrifice on weather! If you are a diver and like then idea of some southern Med diving, I would say wait until the really nice weather starts. For me, diving in March, the water was a bit wavy and the wind was up, so the visibility was not amazing at all!
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