Southern Spain does everything late, and the clubs are no exception. Many open at 2am, get busy by 3am, and finish at 9am the next day. And then there’s the ‘after hours’ parties, of course.
I’m very aware that one person’s idea of a good night out busting moves until the sun rises to one of the world’s hottest DJs is another person’s idea of hell on earth. I love the club scene, but sometimes you just want a few beers in rustic pub or couple of glasses of rosé while catching up with friends in a contemporary, beachside lounge, right? The Costa del Sol probably has more bars than any place in Spain, so something will tickle your fancy.
All towns on the coast have a host of bars with live entertainment offering everything from gospel-influenced house divas to authentic flamenco shows, from five-piece Irish rock bands to Westlife impersonators (seriously), and from cool jazz pianists to rowdy karaoke.
I find the bars are at their best straight after dinner, say around 11ish but there are a whole different set of pre-dinner bars too, where people inevitably look slightly more sober. And, if you’re feeling lucky, there are several world-class casinos, including Casino Marbella (Hotel Andalucia Plaza, Puerto Banus, Marbella; +34 952 810 919; www.casinomarbella.com) in Puerto Banús and Casino Torrequebrada (Hotel Torrequebrada, Benalmadena Costa; +34 952 44 60 00; www.torrequebrada.com) in Benalmadena.
For those wanting a more high-brow affair, most galleries and museums stay open until 9pm and there are many opera, classical music and jazz events held in unique locations, such as the Nerja Caves (Cuevas de Nerja, Carretera de Maro, Nerja;+34 952 529 520; www.cuevadenerja.es), the Gibralfaro Castle in Malaga (Monte Gibralfaro, Malaga; + 34 952 221 902), and the amphitheatre at the Hotel Villa Padierna, Marbella (Urbanizacion Flamingos, Marbella; +34 952 819 150; www.hotelvillapadierna.com).