Blissful Beach Pursuits by the Mediterranean
The magnificent Mediterranean Sea – right there on our Costa doorstep. We might have wonderful views of it from our home in the sun. Perhaps we even live within walking distance of it. We might even venture into it from time to time. There is really no escaping the Med – not that we would want to, of course. Wherever you are on the Costa del Sol, its azure waters are never far from the eye. It is a calming constant on the Coast, smoothly caressing the kilometres of sandy shoreline so popular with holidaymakers and locals alike. It is a joy to dip into and cool off on sweltering summer days, and its waters are a popular playground for seasoned swimmers, cavorting couples, frolicking children and gently bobbing pleasure boats.
It is also where the more dare-devilish like to don wetsuits and head out into the surf, challenging themselves and the waves to a spot of sporting fun – some activities loud and fast, other pursuits more calming and serene, but all a great way of making the most of a day at the beach.
The daddy of all water sports and one that garnered a poor reputation in the past due to inconsiderate skiers zooming too quickly and closely to fishermen and bathers. Here on the Costa del Sol, however, designated and clearly marked nautical zones are situated away from the normal nearer-to-shore activity, so jet-skiers can enjoy high-octane skimming across the water without disturbing swimmers or sunbathers.
This one requires a windy day and a good deal of upper-body strength. For the uninitiated, the surfer straps onto a special shortened surfboard and is attached to a large windsail by a harness. Using pulleys in each hand to control the direction of the kite, the surfer can whizz across the surface of the water, occasionally executing spectacular flips and somersaults.
Rent a kayak for a few hours and spend a leisurely morning exploring the coastline from the water – an incredibly peaceful way to enjoy the sea.
Okay, so we realise the waters of the Mediterranean are not as perfectly crystal-clear as those of the Caribbean, but there are still plenty of great diving areas along the coast. Swim with a wide variety of fish in areas such as the abandoned cable tower at Bounty Beach in Marbella or the old sunken galleon in the waters off San Pedro.
A relative newcomer to the water sports field, paddle-surfing is a sublime way to end a hectic day at the beach. The ideal time to try this “more-difficult-than-it-looks” balancing act is around sunset, when the waters are calmer and there are fewer swimmers about. Swim out to sea with your surfboard and paddle, negotiate the tricky task of standing up on the wobbling board, then use your paddle to smoothly propel yourself across the shimmering surface of the Med.
Providing the most spectacular views of the Costa del Sol from the sea (apart from an airplane or helicopter), para-sailing is ideal for those with a head for heights. Let the speedboat take you on a tour while you simply drift through the air with your new-found seagull friends.
Plus so much more for families enjoying a day at the beach: banana boats, pedalos, pedalos with slides, dinghies, canoes, rafts, boogie boards… all can be rented at numerous stations along the Costa del Sol beaches.