10 Best beaches in Málaga
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Málaga is getting fashionable and famous. It is more commonly associated with the Costa del Sol, the sun and the beaches. These are not your typical tourist beaches. You won’t find row after row of sunbed rentals and the usual bucket and shade crew. Many of them are also home to some reasonably priced and luxury restaurants. According to the official town hall website, there are 15 beaches within Málaga’s city limits. Several of them have been merged into one in this guide. We focused on the more popular, more accessible beaches and the ones that are worth seeing. Here is our top 10 list for you!
1) Playa del Campo de Golf - San Julián. Sitting directly behind the golf course the Parador Malaga Golf, you have an expanse of beach. A popular spot with kite surfers. Wind permitting, you can see dozens of sails in the air from afar. The sandy beach is long, approximately 2,250m and extends from Los Alamos to the Guadalhorce river. Parking is never a problem, even at the height of summer.
2) Playa de Guadalmar is adjacent to the San Julián beach, directly behind the urbanisation with the same name. The beach is approximately 450m in length and runs right up to the Guadalhorce river estuary. Sections of it are frequented by naturists, normally around the sand dunes closer to the river estuary. In fact, its Málaga city’s only official nudist beach. In the area, a visit to the neighbouring Guadalhorce river estuary natural area is recommended. On both the San Julián and the Guadalmar beaches there are showers, toilets and beach bars. The Chiringuito Servando is probably the best. One important point to bear in mind, is the area sits right under the flight path into Málaga´s airport, so expect plenty of low-flying aircraft.
3) Playa de la Misericordia is located towards the centre of Málaga and skipping the smallish Playa de Sacaba. The dark sand beach is 2km in length and approximately 30m wide. One of Málaga’s most popular beaches, it sits midway between Guadalhorce and Huelin. Keep your eyes open for an old industrial chimney that sits just next to it. The beach is regularly cleaned and offers all amenities. The much-loved summertime waves that hit Málaga’s city beaches and the beaches as far away as Rincon de la Victoria. Every evening, around 7.30pm, you´ll see dozens of children with their surfboards at the ready, waiting for a series of waves that seem to appear out of nowhere. Waves that take many unsuspecting tourists and their belongings by surprise.
4) Playa de la Malagueta. The large human-made beach sits adjacent to the neighbourhood with the same name. Bars, restaurants, children’s playgrounds, shops, every convenience is at your fingertips. Its a very short walk into the city centre. The beach is popular with local Spanish families and gets crowded during the summer months. The beach is 1,2km in length and about 45m in width. Playa de la Malagueta is the first beach in the world to offer a new lifesaving device. The ´Punto Naranja,´ literally translated as the ´Orange Point.´
5) Playa de la Caleta. One of Malaga’s most popular city beaches, La Playa de la Caleta sits between Playa de la Malagueta and Baños del Carmen, on the Pablo Picasso promenade. A large beach, its about 1km long and 25m wide. A popular spot with local Malagueños. Beach volleyball, cycling, running and working out on the mini outdoor gyms that adjourn the paseo marítimo. You name it, its being practised. The beach is cleaned daily and is renowned to be the cleanest in the area. All facilities offered, including wheelchair access - for more information see our article on Málaga´s accessible facilities and beaches.
6) Baños del Carmen was home to Málaga’s first spa. The Balneario Nuestra Señora del Carmen was opened to the public on the 16th of July 1918, marking its place in Spanish history as being the first public spa to allow mixed bathing - an almost revolutionary concept at the time. The much loved Málaga landmark has been fiercely protected by local Malagueños throughout the years. All attempts to develop this prime piece of real estate have been successfully resisted. Although slightly run down and decrepit, its still a great place to wander around and have a bite to eat. The beach itself is small and popular with university students and Málaga’s younger crowd. ts not an ideal beach for families, but a great place to visit, have a drink and watch the sunset.
7) Playa de Pedregalejo - Las Acacias. Pedregalejo is one of Málaga’s most happening neighbourhoods. Clean, friendly and traditional. A visit is highly recommended. Although predominantly Spanish, several large language schools ensure there´s a steady stream of foreign language students gracing its shores every year. Home to plenty of good bars and restaurants. The seafront in Pedregalejo is also a popular spot for nightlife. Monday nights are traditionally the busiest, with ‘ladies´ night,’ in most bars and nightclubs. The beach itself is 1,2km in length and around 20m in width. Two restaurants that are highly recommended are the Maricuchi and El Caleno. A couple of Málaga´s best.
8) Playa de El Palo. El Palo is Pedregalejo’s working class neighbour. The stretch of beach that makes up El Palo (an extension of Pedregalejo) is popular with locals and foreign language students. The Paseo Marítimo is a hive of activity, with bars, restaurants and chiringuitos. All facilities offered, including showers and toilets, you can also rent parasols and sun loungers in most places. The beach is 1,2km in length and 25m in width.
9) Playa El Dedo. Going further eastwards from El Palo, the next expanse of beach is known as El Dedo. It extends up to the marina at El Candado. Very similar in layout and facilities as on the neighbouring beaches. There are ample bars, chiringuitos and restaurants along the paseo. The beach itself is 550m in length and around 25m wide.
10) Peñon del Cuervo. A famous Malagueño landmark, el Peñon (the rock) juts out to sea and is clearly visible from numerous spots in Málaga. A popular beach with the younger crowds. It sets the scene for numerous summer beach parties and barbecues, being far enough removed as to not cause problems for the neighbours. There is large picnic or BBQ area, parking and not much else. There are no restaurants and/or facilities, the nearest bars and restaurants are in neighbouring La Araña. The beach is 450m in length and approximately 25m in width.
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