Costa del Sol Golf Guide
Travellers Guide Turismo Costa del Sol / www.visitacostadelsol.com
Nobody from any country in the western world will find any fundamental differences between southern Spanish society and the one they left behind. The real difference will probably be the climate, since few western countries outside the Mediterranean basin enjoy such a luxury. The people are, of course, different, and they speak a different language and have different customs, but it is the marked friendliness of the Andalusians, their gastronomy and their traditions – all different from ours - that prompt most people to come here in the first place. The climate on the Iberian Peninsula is generally stable, and as far as meteorological science permits, weather forecasts are reliable. The seasons are fairly predictable, with periods of rain in the Costa del Sol from the end of September to the end of November, and in March and April. Rain and sunshine can alternate on any given day during these periods, and it is rare to have rain falling for more than two or three days at a time.
The beaches on the Costa del Sol are largely sandy, but there are also many pebble beaches where foot-ware is advised. Tourists coming to the Costa del Sol in winter are advised to take umbrellas and raincoats, although such items can be purchased cheaply in local shops. Opening hours for shops tend to change from winter to summer. In general, summer shopping times are from 10 in the morning to 1.30 or 2 in the afternoon, and from 5.30 to 9 at night. In important tourist areas, many shops open later than nine in the morning, and remain open during siesta time and until quite late at night. Spanish law permits supermarkets to open on Sundays in large tourist areas during the summer period. Bars, restaurants and cafeterias have more flexible opening hours, generally in accordance with the requirements of their clients.
Public institutions and banks open only in the mornings, although more essential services may be available in the afternoons as well. The banks close on Saturdays only in summer, while savings banks (cajas de ahorros, to all practical purposes, similar to banks) always close on Saturdays. Health care is comprehensive on the Costa del Sol, with a complete network of hospitals and health centres all over the province of Malaga. Tourists from the European Union should carry the new European health card, which substitutes the old E-111 form. In any case, emergency treatment is immediate, with or without a card, which is necessary only for subsequent paperwork. Public safety in the province of Malaga, as in all of Spain, is in the hands of the National Police, the Guardia Civil, the Autonomous Police and the Local or Municipal Police. These police forces work together, and people with problems that require immediate police attention can call on any of them. The easiest way of calling the police is by phoning 091, the National Police number, or calling to any police station in person. English is the second language on the Costa del Sol, and it is spoken to some extent by most people in positions of authority in the province of Malaga, especially in the coastal areas. English is less widely spoken in the interior of the province, except in large towns or tourist areas. Tourism offices usually have personnel capable of communicating in English, French and German. Electrical current in Spain is 220 volts, and the electrical plug used is two-point. Adaptors must thus be used for any electrical appliance that does not use the two-point plug, and transformers must be used with appliances that use a different voltage. It is advisable to take these with you.
All Town Halls have a lost-objects department, although found objects are frequently handed in at the nearest police station. If handbags or wallets have been left in bars or restaurants, it is worth going back to check with the management: they generally keep them for a week or so before handing them over to the police. Given the cosmopolitan character of the Costa del Sol, there are places of worship for most major religions, with Catholic, Protestant, Jewish, Muslim, Buddhist, Hindu and other minority religious centres on the coast.
Useful Contacts Costa del Sol Tourist Board Office hours are from 9 am to 6 pm from Monday to Thursday, and 9 am to 3 pm on Fridays. Tel.: (+34) 952 126 279 email@example.com www.visitcostadelsol.com Andalucia Tourist Board Jose Lázaro Galdiano, 6, 28071 Madrid Tel.: (+34) 951 29 93 00 www.turismoandaluz.com www.andalucia.org Spain Tourist Board Jose Lázaro Galdiano, 6, 28071 Madrid Tel.: (+34) 913 43 35 turespaña@turespaña.es www.tourspain.es www.spain.info Spanish Golf Federation C/ Provisional Arroyo del Fresno Dos, 5, 28035 Madrid Tel.: (+34) 91 555 26 82 Fax: (+34) 91 556 32 90 firstname.lastname@example.org www.golfspainfederacion.com Andalucian Golf Federation Calle Sierra de Grazalema, 33 - 5 - 1ºB. 29016 Málaga Tel.: (+34) 95 222 55 90 Fax: (+34) 95 222 03 87 Email contact via website www.golf-andalucia.net