Whether you are acclimatised or not, as the mercury rises throughout July and August, we all start searching for ingenious ways to keep cool in the summer on the Costa del Sol. Our air-con units simultaneously become our best friends and worst enemies. They keep us close, indoors and dependent. Like a hermit, too scared to venture away from its cooling breeze. Their hum is designed, it seems, to drown out the sound of the euros clocking up the electricity bill, as Endesa rub their hands with glee. We are grateful to them for providing us comfort and stopping our sweats, while oblivious to the fact that every drop of moisture is being drained from our skin.
There must be a better ways to regulate our body temperature? Indeed, yes there are.
Don’t be a slave to your air-con this summer. Think outside the cool air box. There are many alternative ways to keep you and your family cool on the Costa del Sol. Embrace the sun, the warmth and the outside world and start to enjoy the happiness that this season brings.
It always feels like summer has truly arrived when you hit the beach. But sometimes, just sometimes, the beach is too much. It’s too crowded. The sand invades your person and your space like an unwanted door to door salesman. The heat on your feet forces you to skip to the sea like a cat on a hot tin roof, and there is only so long that one can be horizontal. This is where the water park becomes an interesting alternative. You may think this is something reserved only for kids and families, but the water park provides the respite we all crave at some point from the intensity of the beach. There are a few to chose from on the Costa del Sol:
Aqualand Torremolinos- https://www.aqualand.es/torremolinos/
Mijas Water Park- http://www.aquamijas.com/?lang=en
Costa Water Park- http://www.costawaterpark.com/en/
Mundo Mania Splash Park- https://www.mundo-mania.com/
Natural Swimming Spots
If you have already had your fair share of chlorine, and the pool is starting to feel like people soup, then maybe its time to see what mother nature has to offer. The Costa del Sol is often overlooked for its natural surroundings, with the majority blinkered by the views out to sea. There is nothing cooler, more refreshing and invigorating than the water sources found in the natural pools, rivers and streams descending from the mountain springs. Have your own ‘Timotei’ moment and check out one of these hidden jems:
Benahavis- Rock Pools and Canyoning
Benahavis provides a spectacular backdrop to one of the most exhilarating natural water adventures available on the Costa del Sol. Following the path of the Benahavis road, the river meanders through the gorges and canyons, providing shelter and shade throughout the adventure. Starting at the Benahavis roundabout, make your way down to the river bed where you will find a pool, frequented by locals as a bathing hotspot. From here, you can walk, jump, swim, slide and climb your way through rocks, caves and pools. The scenery is breathtaking with lush vegetation, waterfalls and cool clear water. It is easily a 2.5 activity. It can be challenging, but doesn’t require any technique or skill. You must be a strong swimmer however. Whilst the route does not require a guide, however there are some adventure companies that run organised trips, if you prefer the support of an expert.
Mijas- Poza de los Huevos
One of the best hidden and most beautiful natural pools of the Malaga province, provides the perfect setting for a fresh water swim. Located on the outskirts of the town of Mijas you can enjoy plenty of peace and space whilst you are at one with nature, leaving the crowds behind at the tourist hotspots. It is believed that these waters were formerly used as medicinal baths, since the origins spring from a source containing a large amount of manganese. A mineral proven to help with the healing of wounds and relieving the symptoms of asthma, the water holds truly remedial properties.
Coin- Barranco Blanco
Travelling a little further inland, between Mijas and Coin you can find an area of enchanting natural beauty known as Barranco Blanco (or White Ravine). It can be difficult to find, but well worth the effort. This river flows all year round and is the main tributary of the Fuengirola river. It is home to otters and barbels, willows and woodbines. Here you will fine deep pools and cool crystal waters. Bathe in waterfalls, swim through caves and swing from ropes, just for fun!
For something a little more glam than the local ‘piscina’, and without the fuss of the salt and sand, why not try a pool club? There is no compromise when it comes to that ‘holiday feeling’ as you are surrounded by luscious tropical vibes. Providing all the hydration, comfort and service you need, to keep cool by the pool. Usually accompanied by high quality restaurants, DJs, luxury surroundings and outstanding water features, this is where the beautiful people go to chill. There is no need to break into a sweat when someone is on hand to bring a constant supply of fruits, juice and refreshments. Treat yourself this summer:
Relax, unwind and experience an oasis in Nueva Andalucia everyday. Surround your self with life’s natural beauty whilst enjoying your day by the pool, because life is better by the pool!
Ocean Club- www.oceanclub.es/
The ultimate beach club experience in the heart of Puerto Banus beside a huge saltwater pool. Spend the day in style, luxury and glamorous indulgence.
Laguna Village- http://laguna-village.com
Featuring 3 different beach clubs in Estepona, including the famous Purobeach club, set around a beachside swimming pool.
If you need to get out of the house, but simply must dash to the next source of air-con then you wont be disappointed by one of the coasts Shopping Malls. They are one of the few places you can guarantee to restore your body to normal temperature, even if only short lived. What better excuse to indulge in a little retail therapy? Make a day of it and throw dinner and the cinema in as well! It may seem like an odd thing to do ‘when in Spain’ but hey its not like the sun is going anywhere any time soon.
La Canada- just outside Marbella on the AP7, this is the largest shopping centre to be found in Marbella. There are over 150 stores, plus a large Al Campo supermarket, restaurants and a multi screen cinema complex
Myramar- set in the heart of Fuengirola, this commercial centre very much caters for the international customer.
Banus Marina Mall- smaller in size, but plenty to offer combined with the large El Corte Ingles just outside
Hit the H2O
Don’t wilt in the heat. It may be an obvious one, but the most effective method of keeping your cool is through hydration. This doesn’t have to mean guzzling gallons and gallons of water. It turns out that chugging glass after glass of water isn’t the right way to get all its benefits. There are plenty of foods and drinks that aid hydration and many that have the opposite effect. Hydration also goes hand in hand with cleansing and detoxing, giving even more reason to keep your liquid levels up. Surround yourself with some key ingredients, and you will find you feel literally as cool as a cucumber
Water-rich foods- Cucumber contains the highest water content of any solid food. With 96% water, this is the most effective way of increasing your water intake without actually having to drink water. Cold cucumber is also great applied to wrists, ankles and eye lids. Raw fruits and veg, in general, are loaded with water. Enjoy produce as raw as possible throughout the summer and you’ll be hydrating like crazy.
Watermelon Ice Cubes- Watermelon too is high in water content, but also offers the sweet craving we so often need to keep up our energy. It can be a difficult one to store, so chopping into cubes and freezing offers a tasty ice cube alternative, as well as making it last longer. Alternatively, blend your melon and add ice for the tastiest, refreshing drink ever.
Avoid Salt- Salty food is only going to dehydrate, which is not the effect we need in this heat. Dehydrating is dangerous, and ultimately the body will just stop if it is not given the liquids it needs to hydrate and cool down. Keep salt content low during peak heats
Tea (green, black, and herbal) will also hydrate you along with numerous other benefits as well.
Freeze bananas- Aside from being delicious, bananas are full of potassium, which replenishes lost electrolytes from sweating in the heat of the summer. Bananas also contain magnesium, which helps balance and regulate the fluids in your body.
Hot Hacks for the Home
Try some of these hacks to keep cool at home, without reaching for the air conditioning controls:
- Change ceiling fans to spin in an anti-clockwise direction. This pushes the hot air up and cool air down. Most ceiling fans will have a switch to change direction.
- Store cosmetics and creams in the fridge. When its time to use them, they cool while they moisturise.
- Put your bed sheets in a plastic bag and into the fridge during the day. By the evening, you will be desperate to wrap yourself in them
- DIY Cooling Face Mist. Add cucumber, mint or rose petals to a small spray bottle and keep in the fridge, for an instant cooling spritz
- Freeze hot water bottles. Be careful not to overfill. Hug your frozen water bottle at night, or use as a chillow pillow
- Freeze flannels. Apply to yourself, your children or even your pets
- Keep frozen bottles of water in front of fan. As the bottles defrost, the chilled water will fan across the room
- Keep windows and doors closed during the day, to keep cool air in. Open at night, to allow cool air in.
Looking for other ways to enjoy the summer? Check out our suggestions for Alternative Activities on the Costa del Sol