A Costa del Sol holiday with your dog

A Costa del Sol holiday with your dog

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Bring your canine companion for holidays in the Costa del Sol

Why should the human members of the family get all the fun? Next time you go on holiday, take your four-legged friend with you. You'll be delighted to discover just how much the Costa del Sol region of Spain welcomes pets. A huge number of dog beaches, canine-friendly cafés, wonderful dog parks and great trails will make this a holiday to remember, for both you and your beloved pooch.

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Planning a pet-friendly holiday in the Costa del Sol

Why should I choose the Costa del Sol for a holiday with my dog?

One of the best things that the Costa del Sol can offer dog owners is variety. If you're tired of always going on the same old walks, this will be a pet lover's paradise. There are a number of dog-friendly beaches that welcome canines all year round, as well as trails that will lead you out into the mountains.You'll also enjoy all the advantages that come from staying in a dog-friendly country like Spain. Most restaurants are happy for your four-legged friend to sit with you on the terrace, and in Málaga, even the Car Museum welcomes canines.

Where should I stay with my dog in the Costa del Sol?

If you're travelling with your dog, take a look at pet-friendly holiday lettings in the Costa del Sol. You'll probably want to stay in a villa with a garden, so your puppy pal can have lots of space to explore, play or just chill out. Most towns around the Costa del Sol are very welcoming to dogs. The only place that you might want to avoid is the upmarket resort area of Puerto Banús, where the restaurants and bars are not quite as dog-friendly as in other towns. Small towns like Nerja, Benalmádena and Torremolinos are all good choices for dog-friendly towns in the Costa del Sol, and Málaga city has plenty of open spaces.

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Things to do in the Costa del Sol with your dog

Play around on the beach

No family holiday in the Costa del Sol would be complete without some time on the beach - and your dog is part of your family! Most beaches in Spain do not welcome dogs during the summer months, but there are several year-round dog beaches in the Costa del Sol. One of the best is in Torre del Mar: the dog beach is 4 km long, with a dedicated canine play area. Benalcán in Benalmádena is another popular choice. This is a wilder beach, with lots of rocky outcrops that adventurous dogs will love to explore. Even the luxury resort town of Marbella has its own dog beach, El Pinillo, complete with benches for owners to sit and relax.

Get tails wagging at a dog park

As well as dog beaches, the Costa del Sol has plenty of dog parks where your pet can make friends and play. During your Costa del Sol holiday with your dog, pay a visit to El Morlaco Park in Málaga. The city's Botanical Garden of La Concepción is also dog-friendly, and the human members of the family will enjoy admiring the lush collection of plants from around the world. In Marbella, Nagüeles Park has spaces for your dog to run around. Best of all is the Guau Guau Park in Fuengirola. The name literally means "Woof Woof", and it includes a dedicated space for dog training.

Enjoy a walk surrounded by nature

Take your dog on a hiking trip to the Costa del Sol for walks with a difference. There are plenty of great options for trails that run along the beach, mostly along the lengthy Senda Litoral or coastal path. If you'd rather go inland, check out the hikes in the area of Nerja. This mountainous zone has several peaks for you to explore. El Chorro National Park offers gentler trails, with lots of vegetation and a good variety of green landscapes. If you're hiking with your dog, remember to bring plenty of water. Even in the colder months, the Costa del Sol is sunny, and many of its best hiking trails do not have any shade to offer protection.

Have lunch at a dog-friendly café

In Spain, dog-friendly restaurants are standard, at least if you're sitting on a terrace. Only the most upmarket restaurants will turn a well-behaved dog away, so you'll usually have no problem letting Fido sit under the table while you eat. The Costa del Sol also has some specific dog cafés. The most famous is the Rosas Café in Marbella, which has a full dog menu of organic food, ranging from treats and snacks to full meals for your pampered pooch.

FAQs: Pet-friendly holidays in Costa del Sol

What's the best time of year to visit the Costa del Sol with my dog?

It's best to travel from April to October. In the summer months, the Costa del Sol is extremely busy, which can be overwhelming for humans, let alone dogs. The weather is also very intense in July and August, with daytime temperatures regularly topping 30°C. Visit in the off-season to keep panting to a minimum.

How can I get around the Costa del Sol with my dog?

Málaga has several different types of public transport. Only small dogs are allowed on the metro, while buses will usually only accept dogs in a carrier - although this is down to the driver's discretion. If you are taking a suburban train between the towns of the Costa del Sol, your dog can travel with you. Ensure they are kept on a leash and, in some cases, muzzled. Prefer something more private? A taxi company just for dog lovers, Pet Taxi Costa del Sol, offers vehicles specially designed for canine passengers.

What are the Spanish laws about dogs I need to know before I travel?

You should keep your dog on a leash in public. Before travelling, consult the Spanish list of dangerous dog breeds. These dogs require a muzzle in addition to a leash. You are obliged by law to clean up after your dog.

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