The best of May in the Costa del Sol

April 19, 2024
Last update: May 28, 2024
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May in the Costa del Sol is filled with great events, interesting activities, blooming flowers and lots of sun. We start this lovely and flowery May 2024 with the FIP in Fuengirola, conclude it with Corpus Christi in Benalmadena Pueblo, and have a lot to do in between! As usual, the Costa del Sol never stops providing entertainment of all types for all groups. What a fantastic place to be!

Events in May in the Costa del Sol - 2024 edition

Weather in May in the Costa del Sol

The weather in May is ideal. Not as hot as in the summer months, that can be a bit (a lot) much, just the right amount of heat to enjoy the beach and the surroundings, with the plus of seeing flowers brightening the space with a burst of strong colors. If I were to recommend a month to come to the Costa del Sol, I’d choose May.

In May, the average high temperatures in the Costa del Sol range from 22oC to 26oC, and happen between 14:00h and 16:00h; the average lows are around 12oC and 16oC, in the early morning, around 7:00h. The weather is starting to heat up fast! There is little chance of rain, but it is still possible; in 2023, we actually had a week of it (the colder days on the graph, around 18/05 and 25/05), though this much rain is uncommon for the month.

May in the Costa del Sol - temperature
Accuweather graphic for the actual temperatures in Malaga in May 2023.

Weather-related data for May in Malaga (data from Weather2travel):
🏊 sea temperature: +17oC
🌅 Sunrise times: 07:23 (May 1) – 07:01 (May 31)
🌙 Sunset times: 21:07 (May 1) – 21:31 (May 31)
🌼 Average number of daylight hours: 14
☀️ Average number of sunshine hours per day: 9

The weather information above is for Malaga (city), but as the towns are so close together, you can extend this information to the surrounding areas as well. Torremolinos, Benalmadena, Fuengirola, Mijas, Marbella and Estepona, as well as Rincón de la Victoria, Torrox and Nerja, should not differ much.

May is one of the best months to come to the Costa del Sol; the weather is hot enough (but not too much) in all Costa del Sol, and you certainly can sunbathe. Actually, bring strong sunscreen with you, because you risk becoming red fast already in May – and we don’t want that, dear reader; it is not healthy. Take care of your skin, light tan is the new good look! 😉

Holidays

May 1st – worker’s day – will be a Wednesday in 2024, and is an international holiday observed in Spain. May also brings mother’s day, which is celebrated on the first Sunday of the month. Other than that, there are two towns in the Costa del Sol with local holidays on May 15: Estepona and Nerja. Hint: these are good times to visit both cities! 😉

May 15 is the day of the Patron Saint of Estepona, San Isidro Labrador, which is also the patron saint of the farmers. Estepona has a long agricultural tradition and celebrates both the saint and its own heritage in a large festival that lasts for days. See more about this tradition in the events section. 😉

May in the Costa del Sol - turismo estepona
San Isidro’s throne. Image from Turismo Estepona

Nerja also celebrates San Isidro on May 15, with festivities starting on the eve – May 14 – in Nerja’s caves. The next day there is a mass celebrated in Nerja’s Balcon de Europa, followed by a procession and a party, which starts with traditional music and progress to modern styles. For more about Nerja’s San Isidro celebration, check this page on Explore Nerja.

May 30 – Corpus Christi is not going to be a holiday, but it is a day observed in the religious calendar. Benalmadena Pueblo has a beautiful Corpus Christi celebration every year, which in 2024 will take place on Sunday, June 2nd.

Events

Events are celebrations, fairs, exhibitions, parades or parties organized, in part or in total, by the local government of the towns of the Costa del Sol. They are usually great, free of charge and very much worth checking if you are around. The only downside is that the towns tend to publish them very close to the event’s date; two weeks before, often less. Therefore, much of what I can publish ahead is based on what usually happens.

The events that mention date, time and location are already confirmed; the others will likely provide more information during the month. So, if you are coming in May 2024, bookmark this post, as I’ll be updating it every time I get some new information! 

Lasting the whole month: Fuengirola’s May cultural calendar

Lasting the whole month: Mijas’ Flamenco and market

May 1 – 5: Feria Internacional de los Países (FIP) 2024, in Fuengirola

The main event this May in the Costa del Sol is the FIP – Feria Internacional de los países (International fair of the countries) in Fuengirola, from May 1 to 5. In this Feria, which is the first of the year, 33 countries will each occupy a booth in the Recinto Ferial de Fuengirola (Fuengirola fairgrounds) and share their culture, music, dances and gastronomy. It is a great opportunity to travel without leaving the Costa del Sol!

May in the Costa del Sol  - fip 2024

Related post:
Feria de los Países, Fuengirola 2024 – culture and fun overwhelm

May 1 – 7: Cruces de Mayo (May crosses)

May is known as the month of the crosses in Spain. Every year, in the beginning of May, cities and towns in Spain decorate crosses with flowers. Some of the localities make a contest out of it, and those who want to participate in the competition can display their creations according to each locality’s rules. Benalmadena had their crosses displayed up to May 5 – each cross in a separate place; Mijas is exposing their crosses up to May 7.

Image source: Mijas comunicación

May 3: Patina en la Calle in Benalmadena

Patina en la Calle (Roller skate in the street) is an event that has been happening for 14 years in Benalmadena. In 2024, it will happen on 3 different dates, and one of them is on May 3, in the evening, from 8:00 pm to 9:00 pm, in the Avenida de la Constitución. The meeting point is in front of the Casa de la Cultura, in Arroyo de la Miel; you can bring your roller or come just to people watch. Needless to say, bus and car traffic will be cut in the main street of Benalmadena for the event, so use the train. 😉

May in the Costa del Sol  - patina en la Calle

A bit of what you can expect to find on May 3 (pictures of the event on April 19, 2024):

May 9 – 15: Festival of San Isidro Labrador in Estepona

San Isidro Labrador is the Patron Saint of Estepona and of the farmers. Given the town’s agricultural origin, the town celebrates both the saint and its heritage in a large festival declared of tourist interest in Andalucia since 2009. During the festival, locals dress like farmers and follow the Saint’s parade through the main streets of the town, which get decorated for the occasion. At the same time, Estepona hosts several events related to the country life: there can be workshops, horse riding exhibitions, tasting of traditional country soups, shooting contests and so on – all related to rural jobs and skills.

In 2024, the festival will happen between May 09 and 15, preceded by religious events in the Church of San José, in Estepona, that will start on April 25.

May 11 – 12: Yoga Festival in Fuengirola

The third Yoga Festival of Fuengirola will take place in the Castillo Sohail between May 11 and 12. Besides yoga, this festival will include vegan cooking, shops, acroyoga, meditation and music, all with free admission. Come check; you may find more than you expect from your trip!

May in the Costa del Sol - yoga festival

May 17 – June 02: Torremolinos Pride 2024

The traditional Torremolinos Pride will happen from May 29 to June 02, but the events start before. The first one – ‘Maricón’ Contemporary Dance Theater, will take place on May 17, at 8:00 pm, in the Pablo Ruiz Picasso Cultural Center – Assembly Hall. It’s for ages 14 and up.

May 17 – 19: Sabor a Málaga in Mijas Pueblo

Sabor a Málaga is set to be in Mijas Pueblo, in the Plaza Virgen de la Peña, from May 17 to 19. This particularly delicious fair promotes goods made in the province of Malaga. You can find prized olive oils, beverages made just in this area of the world, a wide variety of goat cheese, special chocolates and even coffee, among a variety of other interesting goods from small producers. You don’t find these products in the supermarkets because they are produced in small amounts. It’s a delicatesse and gourmet fair with street market prices! 😉 What a find!

I visited Sabor a Málaga for the first time when they were in Torremolinos, in March 2024, and wrote about it here; check the post if you want to know more about the fair and see a few pictures of that event. I went again when the fair happened in Benalmadena and strongly recommend both the post and a visit to the fair. 😉

Related post:
Sabor a Málaga

May 17 – 26: El Circo Encantado en Benalmadena

El Circo Encantado is coming to Benalmadena with a spectacle that mixes light horror and comedy. Clowns, acrobats and trapeze artists mix with actors to bring fun and surprises to the whole family. Reserve your tickets on the Circo Encantado website or buy them directly at their ticket office.

I went there with Kiddo and friends on May 17 and recommend the show. We all had a good time and enjoyed it a lot! The actors do speak in Spanish, but the show is fun even if you don’t speak it, because much of the story can be understood from the context. On top of that, the performances are impressive. Language should not be a barrier for this spectacle. 😉

A few images of the Circo Encantado:

Images: Mama Malaga and Anastasiia

May 18: Primavera Fest in Benalmadena

Watch promising local bands play in the Plaza de la Mesquita on May 18. They’ll play rock, some in English, some in Spanish, starting from 6:00 pm.

May 18: Museum day in Malaga

Most museums in Malaga – and there are many – offer free entrance on Museum Day. These museums are concentrated in the city center, so it is easy to go from one to the next; you can have an idea of this area in our post about the Train stations in Malaga, particularly the part about Malaga Centro Alameda.

The Picasso Museum, that showcases the works of the iconic artist born in Malaga, the Centre Pompidou Malaga and the Carmen Thyssen Museum are amazing options, featuring exhibitions by both local and international artists. Visitors can spend hours admiring diverse collections of paintings, sculptures, and artifacts. Check the page of your favorite and enjoy. 

May in the Costa del Sol - Museum Day; Pompidou
Malaga’s Centre Pompidou. Image by Mama Malaga.

May 23 – 26: II Fiesta Criolla in Torremolinos

Argentinian culture and gastronomy will be the stars in the oasis of Bajondillo Beach from May 23 to 26. The event, that is free of charge, will happen from noon to midnight, showcasing Argentinian dance – tango, cumbia and Argentinian rock – crafts, sweets, beverages and, of course, Argentinian barbecue.

May 25 – 26: FreakCon in Torremolinos

Torremolinos’ Palacio de Congresos will host the 8th edition of the Freakcon, the biggest festival of mangas, TV shows and videogames of Spain. The event used to happen in Malaga and had more than 45.000 visitors last year, but moved to Torremolinos to have more space for their grownig number of attractions – shows, foodtrucks, workshops, conferences, cosplays, contests and more will take place in this large event!

Admission costs 10 euros per day or 18 for the whole event and can be purchased at www.freakcon.es.

May 25: Fulanita Fest in Fuengirola

The traditional Fulanita Fest is a music festival that promotes the work of female artists. It happens on Fuengirola’s Marenostrum, which is a stage for large shows built by the beach, close to the Castillo Sohail. Fulanita Fest this year will happen on May 25; you can buy tickets and know more about the festival here.

May 30: Corpus Christi

Important note: even though Corpus Christi in 2024 is on May 30, the celebration in Benalmadena Pueblo will happen on June 2nd, Sunday! Therefore, the text that was here has been moved to June, with more details on the event.

May 31: Cirque du Soleil in Malaga

From May 31 to June 30, the Cirque du Soleil will be in Malaga performing the show Alegria. The iconic circus brings unforgettable acrobatics, flaming batons, modern clowns and a world of surprises in a perfectly tailored ambiance. Tickets are still available and cost from 48 to 150 euros, depending on date, time and seat within their tent. They can be bought online at Cirque du Soleil.

Activities

May is a particularly beautiful month in the Costa del Sol, because on top of the almost ever blue sky, we have the flowers blossoming at their peak. Imagine a bright pink bougainvillea against the white walls, with strong blue sky on the back; beautiful, right? That’s why we’ll open the activities suggested for this month with a very special one:

Have a photo session with Penelope Russak

Penelope is an Estonian photographer and photography teacher that lives in Benalmadena. She specializes in portraying people, be it in maternity shots, family pictures or individual portraits. Take a look at her work below and in Penelope’s website, fall in love and take home the best of you in your vacations! She doesn’t charge for the photo shoot; you pay only for the pictures you choose, 15 € per picture.

Alcazaba and Roman Theatre Tour in Malaga

If you fancy discovering the Alcazaba and the Roman Theatre in an informative and entertaining tour, this is perfect for you:

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The tour lasts for 1.5 hours, includes entry tickets to both buildings and has received excellent reviews. If you like history and beautiful buildings, come visit the quintessential Moorish monument of Malaga. And the view from there is possibly the best in the city!

Above: the meeting point for the Alcazaba and Roman Theatre Tour. You can get there by train; it’s a 16 minutes walk from Malaga Centro-Alameda.

Benalmadena’s Hop-on Hop-off

If it is your first time in Benalmadena, or if you have not yet explored the city beyond the beaches, I’d strongly recommend the Hop-on Hop-off bus. It takes you to the main places of the city in a comfortable way, and you can make as many stops as you fancy on the way. The ticket lasts for 48 hours, which means you can take your time and even use the panoramic bus as your transportation within the city; you can go from the beach to the cable car, climb up Mount Calamorro and continue your hop-on hop-off excursion later and / or on the next day, for instance.

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The bus departs from the Marina of Benalmadena, passes around La Paloma Park, then to Arroyo, with one of the stops being close to the train station (fancy taking the opportunity to check Fuengirola or Torremolinos as well?) and the other close to the cable cars / Tivoli area / mercadillo. You check our main post about Benalmadena; it may help you choosing where to stop.

Pro-tip 1: the Hop-on Hop-off buses that reach up to Benalmadena Pueblo are the ones that depart at 12:30 pm and 05:30 pm; the others don’t go all the way up there.
Pro tip 2: if you like mercadillos (street markets), take this bus on a Friday, as the stop number 8 is right next to Benalmadena’s Friday market. 😉

May in the Costa del Sol - Street markets
Ceramics in Benalmadena’s Friday Street Market. Picture by Mama Malaga.

Cable Car in Benalmadena

And talking about the cable car… have you ever? It is one of the most beloved attractions of the area, and can be coupled very well with the Hop-on Hop-off bus. It takes you to the top of Mount Calamorro, with amazing views.

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May in the Costa del Sol - Cable Car
The entrance to the Cable Car, in Benalmadena.

Zoo in Fuengirola

Loved by adults and children alike, Fuengirola’s Bioparc is home to 200 species divided in 4 habitats in the heart of the town, very close to Fuengirola train Station. Come enjoy a great time among nature without leaving the town. 😉

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(you didn’t expect the picture above, did you?)

May in the Costa del Sol - Bioparc
The entrance to the Bioparc Fuengirola.

Aqualand in Torremolinos

Nothing makes a kid happier than the perspective of spending a day in a water park. And what could be better, actually? Spend a great and memorable family time splashing in Aqualand’s several slides and swimming pools. I’d recommend you to compare prices; for my family of 3, buying through the link below, with the option of postponing the visit (who knows if it will rain), was more economical than directly at the main site of Aqualand.

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Conclusion

What a lovely month, with so many cool things to do! If you are in the Costa del Sol in May, you are very lucky to have so much to do, to see and to enjoy. You can choose among events and activities of several types: international (FIP 2024); mindful (Yoga festival); gastronomical (Sabor a Malaga); sightseeing (Alcazaba, Cable Car and Hop-on Hop off); traditional (San Isidro and Corpus Christy); cultural (Museum Day); musical (Fulanita Fest); family-oriented (aqualand, Bioparc, Patina en la Calle). I bet this trip will be memorable! It’s worth taking great pictures, then (with Penelope)! Mix and match as you wish; I wish you great days under the sun, fantastic pictures and a lot of fun!

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