Tarifa to Málaga: 159 km, about 2-hours.

The final leg of our journey was back to our point of entry into Spain: Málaga. When we first arrived we drove along the Sunshine coast to immerse ourselves in the country and see some of the white and pink buildings the coast is famous for. It’s a very pleasant drive and easy to avoid the toll highways along the way.

Spain’s Costa del Sol is a haven for movie stars, personalities, and sporting icons; Joan Collins, Sean Connery, Dolph Lundgren, and Andy Gray are all known residents. Antonio Banderas (who owns property in Marbella) was rumoured to be in town during the week of Semana Santa. Hotels here often start at $500 a night and can easily hit thousands of dollars. This is one of the reasons why we opted to head to Granada instead of staying on the coast originally — because we couldn’t find anything within our price range.

That said, Spain is in the middle of an economic downturn and many of the more expensive “spa” hotels are barely used and are facing financial uncertainty.

One of the more known hotels is the Hotel Los Monteros in Marbella, which was in the news while we were in Spain. After decades of catering to the rich and famous, this 5-star hotel was forced to close its doors because management could no longer afford the upkeep needed to keep the hotel open. The hotel then rapidly changed hands multiple times before being purchased by a private buyer. The hotel reopened in March but was still facing an uncertain future.