Sun, Sand, and Serenity: 11 Best Beaches in Malaga
The Costa del Sol of Andalusia is one of the world’s greatest destinations for beach lovers everywhere. With over 160 km of beaches to choose from the ‘Coast of the Sun’ will never disappoint. Here we’ll let you in on the best beaches in Malaga, Spain.
Why should you choose Malaga as a beach holiday destination?
The answer is, of course, that there is so much choice for the beach lover to enjoy. If you go for the watersports, book a catamaran cruise at sunset or you simply crave a visit to a traditional chiringuitos fish shack on the beach, at Malaga there are plenty of options for everyone.
Malaga is a relatively small city, but it boasts plenty of beaches with all the facilities you can think of, with beautiful beach promenade perfect for walks, watching the sunset and sitting down for a drink with a view!
Here’s a pick of the 10 best local — and some not-so-local — beaches in Malaga, our guide to the best spots! We’ve also included a other beaches near Malaga in case you’re looking for a quick day trip.
- 1. La Malagueta Beach, Malaga
- 2. Pedregalejo Beach, Malaga
- 3. Caleta Beach, Malaga
- 4. El Palo Beach, Malaga
- 5. El Peñon del Cuervo Beach, Malaga
- 6. Misericordia Beach, Malaga
- 7. Bajondillo Beach, Torremolinos
- 8. Bil-Bil Beach, Benalmadena
- 9. El Castillo Beach, Ejido, Fuengirola
- 10. Calahonda Beach, Nerja
- 11. Playa El Salon, Nerja
1. La Malagueta Beach, Malaga
Situated in the city of Malaga, between the old port of Malaga and the beach of La Caleta, Malagueta Beach is popular and always crowded in the summer, but has all the facilities you would expect from a world-class destination.
Notably, it was recently awarded a prestigious Blue Flag for its cleanliness and water safety.
In this Malaga beach, you can rent beach umbrellas, sun loungers, and even hammocks to while away the slow days by the Mediterranean Sea. For the little ones, there are several playgrounds, while for older active people there is a fitness trail, popular with locals at sunset. This beach also has great lifeguard coverage and is accessible to those with mobility issues.
The beach is next door to the commercial port at Malaga with its lighthouse and cranes. Close by is the old town with its shopping opportunities, and, should you need a break from beach life, the Picasso Museum is also a short stroll away.
2. Pedregalejo Beach, Malaga
Traditional fishing boats dot this beach over its 1.2 km length, a reminder that Pedregalejo remains a fishing village at its heart.
Pedregalejo Beach is famous for its seafood restaurants. After a day soaking in the sea and enjoying the sunshine, you will likely have built up a good appetite for the grilled sardines or other local specialties cooked right on the beach.
The beach itself is protected with stone jetties and has ramps and walkways which make it one of the most accessible of Malaga’s playas. Divided into a half-dozen coves, the jetties act as breakwaters which makes the sea ideal for swimming.
It has all of the usual facilities, such as showers, toilets, etc, playgrounds for young children, and also a volleyball court, but without Malaga’s high-rise hotels as a backdrop, the beach feels much less urban than La Malagueta beach.
3. Caleta Beach, Malaga
La Caleta Beach is named for the rich 19th-century neighborhood built upon the shore. A broad promenade, lined with palm trees, leads from here to the louder, more crowded Malagueta beach.
While it boasts its own water sports activities, beachside bars, and lifeguard station it is markedly less hectic than its neighbor, but still has great views and clean water. Perhaps because of its exclusive address, the price of everything, from sun loungers to pedal boats is higher than the neighboring beaches!
As it is such a central urban beach it is recommended that you walk or take a bus or bicycle here as there is no dedicated parking behind the beach. While there is on-street parking, finding a space is difficult, so it is best to make other plans.
4. El Palo Beach, Malaga
If you feel the need to escape to a quieter way of life, with perhaps more grown-up attractions, then El Palo, a former fishing village, is smaller and much calmer than the city center beaches.
Here you can relax and watch the fishermen and women cast their reels, or go diving in the warm, clear Mediterranean. A well-established palm tree grove offers shade for when the heat of the day becomes too much.
If the calm of El Palo becomes a little too much, then visit around the 16th of July and the celebration of Our Lady of Mount Carmel, which is an all-day fiesta, with a procession, fireworks, and music.
For the more adventurous souls, there is a bicycle hire service, which opens up the possibility to explore the coastline further to the East along the beachfront boulevard. Sardines, barbequed on skewers (espetos), can be bought and eaten from beachside vendors.
5. El Peñon del Cuervo Beach, Malaga
Right away from the commercial centers and the hustle of hundreds of holidaymakers, you will find El Peñon del Cuervo Beach. Split in two by a huge rock that thrusts up into the sky from the seabed and is bordered by palm trees. By day it is a family favorite, while by night it is popular with younger people barbecuing sardines and partying.
It is situated between a local marina, a cement factory, and a motorway, which doesn’t sound great, but it is one of the highest-rated beaches in Malaga and an ecological hot spot. Notably, the beach is home to a protected white-flowering small shrub.
The best way to get there is by bicycle along the seafront boulevard. Once there you can use the barbecue area set up for visitors. There are no beachfront bars or restaurants here, giving the beach a more rural feeling than it actually is.
6. Misericordia Beach, Malaga
On the seafront here there stands a tall red brick chimney, a monument to the heavy industry that used to dominate this area. Two kilometers of brown sandy beach stretch along the coastline that has become known as a Mediterranean surfing destination.
At the same time every evening, a series of surf waves known locally as the Ola del Melillero, crash onto the beach as the high-speed ferry arrives at Malaga Port.
Misericordia Beach a quieter beach than the city center locations, frequented by the locals who prefer the slower pace and less built-up tourist-centered vibe. The boulevard is favored by joggers, walkers, and cyclists, while the beach is big enough for kite flyers and footballers to coexist in comfort.
The Playa del Misericordia still has a lifeguard service, playgrounds, and restaurants, but is less glitzy. With its gently shelving sand, access to the sea is easy for children.
7. Bajondillo Beach, Torremolinos
A little to the West of Malaga is the town of Torremolinos, a favorite destination for holidaymakers for decades. It is no surprise as the kilometer-long beach is perfect for watersports, swimming, and sunbathing.
It is bordered by a ribbon of restaurants where you can dine on the famous local pescaito frito Andaluz while enjoying the region’s famous colorful sunsets. Moreover, if there’s a new watersport craze coming for the new season, it’s pretty much guaranteed that you will find it right on the sand at Torremolinos.
If you’re looking for inviting beaches near Malaga, Bajondillo Beach should be one of your top choices.
8. Bil-Bil Beach, Benalmadena
Bil-Bil Beach owes its curious name to a fort, the Castillo de Bil Bil, a local Moorish-style landmark popular with art and culture lovers.
It was built in 1927 for a private individual but is now owned and run by the city of Benalmadena. The Fort’s interior is decorated with tiles and it hosts regular exhibitions.
Bil-Bil is an accessible beach with good parking nearby, lifeguarding, and a red cross first aid station on the beach. At 40 x 400 meters, it is by no means large, but it is probably the finest in the town of Benalmadena, with a popular restaurant and several food shacks.
9. El Castillo Beach, Ejido, Fuengirola
El Castillo Beach, as its name suggests, is protected by the Castle of Sohail which sits on a low hill behind the beach. It is a tranquil spot, further from the city center than most beaches, and has a section reserved for dogs, while preserving a Blue Flag status.
The sand at El Castillo is paler than that found closer to Malaga but is of similarly fine quality, and the beach boasts all the usual facilities. What sets it apart is the fact that it is less busy than the city center urban playas, even though it is just a short walk to all amenities.
The 10th-century castle holds regular events, such as medieval markets, concerts, and arts festivals, providing variety to your beach vacation.
10. Calahonda Beach, Nerja
To the East of Malaga is the city of Nerja, famous for its caves and for its Balcony of Europe that looks out over the Mediterranean Sea from the clifftop viewpoint. Below this spot is the tiny city beach of Calahonda at Nerja.
At just 150 meters long it is probably the smallest beach on this list, but it makes the list for many reasons. The beach is part of a linked series of town beaches.
There is an hourly bus service direct from Malaga, and parking is easy too. What makes this one special is the fact that it is so accessible with direct access to the beach for wheelchair users with walkways to the shoreline across the top of the sand.
11. Playa El Salon, Nerja
With white sands and crystal clear water, Playa El Salon is one of the best beaches near Malaga. It is located next to the famous Balcon de Europe in Nerja, surrounded by cliffs and rugged rock formations, giving it a secluded ambiance.
This beach is cozy with the shore spreading 200 meters in length, but it’s popular among locals especially during the summer. Aside from its beautiful views and refreshing water, this beach is also a convenient place to visit since it is near the town center and is close to a promenade lined with restaurants, bars, and cafes where you can grab a snack and enjoy refreshing drinks.
Whether you prefer to relax in a secluded cove or visit a lively urban beach, you’ll find breahtaking Malaga beaches to suit your taste. Do you have other recommendations for best beaches in Malaga or beaches near Malaga? Let us know in the comments section below!
Lucia is a travel blogger living in Southern Spain, sharing her discoveries of beautiful locations and hidden gems on her blog Viva La Vita.