A busy beach in Marbella over the weekend. Josele
Costa del Sol beaches, hotels and restaurants packed for long May Day weekend

Costa del Sol beaches, hotels and restaurants packed for long May Day weekend

Between Friday and Tuesday a record 2,351 flights are expected to operate on the runways at Malaga Airport

Nuria Triguero


Monday, 1 May 2023, 11:26

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This long May Day public holiday weekend has more a flavour of August as beachgoers flock to the seaside on the Costa del Sol to get some relief from summer-like temperatures.

Madrileños have packed the AVE high-speed trains to Malaga and national and international travellers have stepped off planes in their droves at Malaga Airport heading straight into a blast of heat from the terral wind sweeping in from the northwest.

There has been an almost 90% occupancy rate at hotels along the coast, with a bumper 97% in Benalmadena being the leading the Costa del Sol destination with the highest number of bookings.

A total of 92% of reservations have been made in hotels in Torremolinos, Mijas had 89.5% and Malaga city had 87.7%, according to data from the Aehcos association of hoteliers of the Costa del Sol.

The trade organisation for the sector said bookings for the long 'puente' holiday weekend in May "show that tourism is recovering to pre-pandemic occupancy levels".

Similar occupancy levels were expected at tourist apartments, in line with the records of this past Easter and above those of 2019.

Record flights at Malaga Airport

Between Friday, 28 April and Tuesday, 2 May the runways at Malaga Airport are expected to handle 2,351 flights, 152 more than in 2019, the best year for tourism in the history of the Costa del Sol.

Even some campsites have needed to stop taking in more visitors over the weekend, while long queues for beach bars in Malaga, Marbella, Torremolinos and Benalmadena snaked along for metres.

"Do you have a reservation? Sorry, we are full" repeated a waitress constantly antly at the door of the Tropicana, in Malagueta.

Scenes similar to Semana Santa, that are sure to be repeated until Tuesday.

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