IT is known for its year round sun.
But as this week is proving, not even the Costa del Sol is safe from downpours all the time.
We’ve rounded up some of the best easy-reach, rainy day spots to prove there is much more to do here than just hit the beach.
If there ever needed to be an excuse to visit a bodega, a rainy day is surely it.
And with around hundreds of them both in Malaga province and in Jerez, there is enough space for all the wine and sweet wine lovers amongst us.
You may be best booking a hotel to fully enjoy the sherry triangle towns of Jerez, El Puerto de Santa Maria and Sanlucar de Barrameda.
Head to Malaga to sample the sweet, fortified wine Malaga Virgen at Fuente de Piedra, the varied selection at Quitapenas near the airport or enjoy a glass with a view at Ronda’s Bodegas la Sangre.
Museums and art galleries
Flamenco, Picasso and Moorish heritage are just some of the cultural wonders Malaga province has to shout about.
Malaga city itself is spoilt, with many centres within touching distance of each other.
The Museo Picasso is an ideal introduction to the life and work of the influential artist and is close to the intriguing Museo de Arte Flamenco de Malaga and Museo Interactivo de la Música .
The free to enter Centro de Arte Contemporaneo is a great place to view cutting edge art on the cheap.
Catch the city’s temporary Pompidou Centre and La Colección Museo Ruso (Russian art collection from St Petersburg) while you have the chance.
Or head out of the centre to La Termica, a melting pot of off the wall exhibitions and special cultural events or the science museum Centro de Ciencia Principia.
Many more worthwhile museums and galleries abound further afield.
Marbella’s Museo Ralli contains one of the most important Latin
art collections in Europe. Miró, Dalí and Wilfredo Lam’s works are all within its walls.
For something quirky, visit the Museo del Bandolero (bandits) or the antique heavy Museo Lara in Ronda, Estepona’s Orquidario, the biggest Orchid house on the continent or Benalmadena’s Barbie museum (house of the B-Fashion Doll) .
The Museo de la Miel (honey) in Colmenar and the Museo Dcoop olive oil museum in Antequera are perfect for foodies.
Numerous towns also have their own museum which display the rich history of the local area.
Going underground is a surefire way to escape the drizzle.
There are several easily accessible caves on the Costa del Sol.
One of the most majestic and largest is la Cueva de Nerja, whose
visitor chamber stretches five kilometres and contains the world’s largest stalagmite.
Others worth visiting include Cueva del Tesoro in Rincón de la Victoria and Cueva de la Pileta in the hills near Benaoján.
Dolmenes de Antequera
Step inside a piece of 5,000-year-old history for free at these prehistoric UNESCO-protected burial chambers.
The three individual sites-Menga, Viera and El Romeral-make up one of the largest and most complete megalithic structures in Europe.
Cathedrals and churches
Some of the finest examples of Andalucian architecture can be found in its cathedrals,
thanks to the importance of the Catholic church in the country’s historical heritage.
A good place to start is in Seville, whose UNESCO status gothic cathedral is the largest in the world.
Cordoba’s Mosque-Cathedral is unique in that it was historically used as a place of worship for both Christians and Muslims simultaneously.
If the heavens really open, catch a flick at one of the region’s many cinemas.
A must for cinema buffs is the characterful Cine Albeniz, which showcases the best in forward thinking Spanish and European cinema.
US and UK blockbusters tend to be shown at the bigger chain cinemas, with certain films shown in English or with English subtitles.
Some of the multiplexes include Teatro Goya in Puerto Banus, Cinesa in Marbella, Cinesur Miramar and Multicines Afil in Fuengirola, Yelmo Plaza Mayor near Malaga Airport, Yelmo Vialia in Malaga, Yelmo Rincón de la Victoria and Cine Sur in Torre del Mar.
Get all the family involved at Que Bowling in Fuengirola or make a day of it at DiverNostrum Málaga, an indoor magic land for kids that also includes a soft play area, arcade games, miniature golf, pool and go-karting.
The large Mariposario Benalmadena butterfly house is a great way to find some much-needed colour and heat on a dull day.
More than 1,500 butterflies from tropical areas all over the world fly free inside the dome, which boasts a constant balmy
temperature of between 24-29ºC.
At the other side of town is the Sea Life aquarium, which takes visitors on an journey of discovery around 36 tanks including sharks, giant turtles and rays.
Got a brolly? Andalucia’s best towns are beautiful whatever the weather and full of places to shelter from the rain.
Visits to the region’s eight provincial capitals, which all ooze with
culture, should go without saying.
For somewhere rich in history, architecture and tapas, try Jaén’s Úbeda, Cadiz’s Setenil and Jerez and Vejer de la Frontera, or enchanting Antequera.
Head to the hill top towns of Ronda or Priego de Córdoba to add some stunning views into the mix.
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