Torremolinos and the Costa del Sol are beach areas on the Mediterranean Sea which are extremely popular as a vacation resort for Europeans. Torremolinos makes a good location for a base of operations because it is small enough to retain some charm, yet developed enough to satisfy the hedonists. The city has an adorable pedestrian-only area crammed with shops and restaurants. The beach is broad and long, with many concessions for renting a chaise lounge and umbrella. Note that many women are topless on the beach, if that is an issue.
Marbella, west of Torremolinos, is a bit more upscale, but its Old Quarter is nevertheless pleasant to stroll. Admire its Moorish walls and Town Hall.
Mijas is an adorable white-washed village high above the coast with narrow, cobblestone streets and great views.
Malaga, east of Torremolinos, is a larger city and boasts a fortress, the Alcazaba, an imposing Cathedral, and the ruins of an ancient Moorish Castle.
Nerja, further east, is known for its secluded beaches and its famous cave, Cueva de Nerja, with its Paleolithic paintings.
Sample the world-famous seafood at Casa Juan, a friendly restaurant in Torremolinos which offers delicious, local dishes such as, adobo (fried shark), Boquerones (anchovies in vinegar), sardines, and mercado (grouper).