Spain stops point blank in August. Everyone leaves their desk, their office and heads to the beach, entire family in tow. We’re currently enjoying a blisteringly hot summer here on the Costa del Sol. August sees the longest, sunniest days, with eleven hours a day of sunshine. It’s high sun protection cream month, as the mercury continues its steady rise. If you like doing more than topping up your tan all day long, then consider these six options for avoiding the August heat, on the sunshine coast.
A cool river walk
The Guadalhorce river basin and El Chorro Gorge make an interesting day out, inland. If you have a head for heights you can choose to tackle the Caminito del Rey. These days it’s a doddle, having been made much safer and reopened, to the disgust of many thrillseekers! A picnic in the cooler interior, with a chance to splash around in the river, or close to a cooling waterfall, will soon take the heat out of August.
A shopping mall
A day’s shopping for pleasure is a must in August. Choose a large, air conditioned shopping mall, and walk around without breaking into a sweat. Flex your credit card at Marina Banús, Calle Ramon Areces, 29660 if you’re situated close to Marbella. Outdoor shopping is good too, but wait until the evening draws in a bit, shops are usually open until 8 or 9pm, later on certain evenings.
Galleries and Museums
Gain a little culture and spend a day or two touring the city’s galleries and museums. Art appreciation under the cool blast of air conditioning while the city heat stays on the street. There’s always something new to see, as well as permanent exhibitions. Try the Pomidou, the Thyssen Museum, the Picasso Museum, CAC in Soho, or for car enthusiasts try the Automobile Museum of Málaga.
Cool foods for the August heat
Don’t opt for a hot plate of fish and chips. Try icy cold Gazpacho, Salmorejo, or deliciously silky Ajo Blanco instead. These chilled soups are not just a taste of Andalusia, they’re also made to cool you right down. Russian salad, Pippirana, all chilled, delicious dishes. The perfect, easily digestable lunch when the August temperatures are high. Have you eaten in Benahavis? It has a great reputation for fine dining.
Eat late like a local
Do as the locals do, and enjoy a long, leisurely dinner late at night. Locals rarely eat before 10pm, with good reason. You’ll have escaped all the day’s heat, and feel the benefit of a warm evening sea breeze. Get up late, eat a late breakfast out, don’t have lunch before two or three in the afternoon, and save the late, late dinner for when you’re hungry.
Siesta before Fiesta
Another local custom that should be abided by is the siesta! When you’ve had lunch, come off the beach and take to the cool interior of your home instead. Forty winks at the hottest part of the day is ideal, and will energise you for the long night ahead. Shops and many businesses are closed anyway, and it’s the best time to wind the kids down and let them take a nap. Wake up, take a long cool shower, and prepare for the rest of the day. Either go back to the beach for the late afternon and early evening, or head for town and party on…