Former Huddersfield gymnast and pub landlord Brian Hayhurst and his wife Elaine are ex-pats who have lived just outside Fuengirola on the Costa del Sol for 20 years. He writes a regular blog for Huddersfield Hub.

Spain is bouncing back robustly, especially in the hospitality sector with hotel occupancy reaching record levels.

But those looking forward to their sun-drenched holiday here will be shocked to find hotel prices have risen by 10% passing pre-pandemic levels.

With many holiday hotspots now becoming hostile to overcrowding caused by too many tourists there could be local protests.

There are no signs of anti-tourist disruptions here – yet. But in several major popular cities and the Balearic Islands – a 10,000 crowd protest took place in Palma last Saturday – this is becoming a serious problem and could affect future holidays.

One growth sector on the Costa del Sol and in Spain generally, is golf. Amongst the 70-plus superb courses here, a prestigious award from The Golf Tour Operators (IAGTO) was handed this week to La Cala Resort.

It was chosen as the best golf resort in Spain for its commitment to providing an exceptional golf experience.



Some might not agree with the choice, as there are many immaculate courses, and we have several friends who are marshals, proud of their courses to be savoured. But the La Cala resort is indeed very luxurious.

Some decades ago this region was going to be called Costa del Golf as the incredible growth of the sport began to bring in players to the vast range of quality courses from around the world.

But authorities decided that including the essential word ‘sun’ was more important to a wider range of visitor.

The first golf course here in 1926 was The Royal Club del Campo – Malaga. Now it’s called Parador del Golf.

I have tried to master even the basics of this unpredictable game, having played two 9-hole games with mates.

But my efforts reminded me that it requires hours of dedicated practice. I did keep a few clubs and I occasionally wander up to a local course with well preened putting greens and a driving range for a quiet, cost-free fun session.

I was quite shocked to see both the putting greens very busy and people queuing at each of the bays to get a crack at their driving ability.

I have frequently mentioned chiringuitos (beach bars) – the popular cafe bars offering a range of drinks and some with typical Spanish delicacies.

In our region it has become more evident that those laid back, sometimes family-owned, bars have been taken over by wealthy consortiums or groups, making them more sophisticated and raising prices dramatically.

They have lost their antique, rather old-fashioned atmosphere, and I feel are losing their character.



Those deciding to visit this peninsular via Gibraltar airport can still expect lengthy queues getting in and out of the Rock.

Negotiations about resolving the immense border numbers entering and leaving will continue until an agreement between the UK and Spain has been reached.

Discussions have been on-going since Brexit. The Rock’s chief minister, Fabian Picardo, has kept King Charles informed about the latest negotiations. The King apparently showed great interest in the situation there.

Now, weeks before the official beginning of summer, places like Seville – the largest city in Southern Andalusia – baked under 30 degrees last week, and visitors are told to prepare for even more blistering conditions in days to come.

I hope sun-seekers have a wonderful time on the Costa del Sol with no immediate drought worries.

Building goes on at pace, extending the one-time sleepy La Cala, with cranes and developments in progress above the already crowded hillside.

Finally, indulge me a personal message. Happy 21st birthday to grandson Jack Armitage from Grumps and Grandma.

READ MORE: Catch up on Brian’s previous blogs HERE