The Mediterranean Sea is a vital part of the Costa del Sol, providing stunning views, warm waters and a wealth of activities for tourists and locals alike. This beautiful sea stretches along the southern coast of Spain, offering endless opportunities for relaxation and adventure.
Whether you’re looking to soak up the sun on one of the many beaches, try your hand at water sports or simply enjoy a leisurely stroll along the shore, the Mediterranean Sea has something for everyone. In this guide, we’ll take a closer look at this magnificent body of water and explore its many features and attractions.
History of the Mediterranean
The Mediterranean Sea has a rich history. It’s often called the incubator of Western civilization. This intercontinental sea stretches from the Atlantic Ocean to Asia. It separates Europe from Africa. Geological evidence shows that around 5.9 million years ago, the Mediterranean was cut off from the Atlantic. It was partly or completely desiccated over 600,000 years during the Messinian salinity crisis. It was refilled by the Zanclean flood about 5.3 million years ago.
Throughout history, the Mediterranean Sea played a central role in trade and naval development. When Augustus founded the Roman Empire, the Mediterranean sea began to be called Mare Nostrum (Latin for “Our Sea”) by the Romans. Their empire was centered on this sea and full of commerce and naval development. For the first time in history, an entire sea (the Mediterranean) was free of piracy.
One of the many attractions of the Mediterranean Sea is its warm and inviting waters. The average sea temperatures are around 15°C (59°F) from November to June and 20°C (68°F) from July to October. However, due to the proximity to Atlantic currents, the water is often cooler.
From March to September, water temperatures gradually increase. This makes it a popular time for tourists to visit and enjoy the coastal sun. In October and November, water temperatures begin to cool down again. But it’s still possible to enjoy a refreshing swim.
Some people pride themselves on the fact that they bathe daily throughout the year, but most residents don’t go in before May or after September. Whether you’re a seasoned swimmer or prefer to dip your toes in the water, the Mediterranean Sea offers a refreshing and invigorating experience.
Wondering when to visit Malaga? We also cover that topic on our blog.
Another important aspect of the Mediterranean Sea is the quality of its water. The water is generally clean and in the summer months the water is tested weekly.
Occasionally however, strong currents or storms bring rubbish and seaweed to the shore. But these instances are rare and for the most part, the waters of the Mediterranean Sea are clear and inviting .
One way to ensure that you’re swimming in clean waters is to look for beaches that have been awarded a Blue Flag. The iconic Blue Flag is one of the world’s most recognised voluntary awards for beaches, marinas, and sustainable tourism boats. In order to qualify for the Blue Flag, a series of stringent environmental, educational, safety, and accessibility criteria must be met and maintained.
The Mediterranean is generally a much calmer sea than the Atlantic but you should never underestimate the power of the sea. On windy days waves can be strong with powerful undercurrents. Some beaches slope down very quickly from the shore and you can be out of your depth after just two metres.
On beaches with lifeguard services a coloured flag is flown indicating the state of the sea:
- Green – good conditions for bathing
- Yellow – exercise caution
- Red – bathing is prohibited
It’s important to always pay attention to these flags and follow their instructions for your own safety .
Mediterranean sea wildlife
The Mediterranean Sea is home to a dazzling diversity of marine wildlife. Though it covers less than 1% of the ocean surface, it holds 1 in 10 known marine species. Notable residents include 8 species of whales, dolphins and porpoises; loggerhead and green turtles; monk seals; and more than 80 species of sharks and rays.
Jellyfish are sometimes found near the shore in late summer and autumn. The Cotylorhiza tuberculata, also known as the Mediterranean jellyfish or fried egg jellyfish, is commonly found in the Mediterranean Sea. Although their sting isn’t fatal, it can be painful. If you’re stung, wash the sting with fresh water and apply cream .
In conclusion, the Mediterranean Sea is a magnificent body of water that offers a wealth of attractions and experiences for tourists and locals alike. From its warm and inviting waters to its diverse and fascinating wildlife, there is something for everyone to enjoy.
Whether you’re looking to relax on the beach in Malaga, explore the underwater world or simply soak up the coastal sun, the Mediterranean Sea is the perfect destination. So why not plan your next trip to the Costa del Sol and discover all that this beautiful sea has to offer?