The 10 best beaches in Malaga


With over 300 days of sun per year and its 160 kms of coastline, the province of Malaga is without a doubt a little heaven for those seeking to enjoy the beach. Throughout the province of Malaga, beaches vary greatly in shape, size and atmosphere. Whether you are looking for a beach to take your little ones to, one that allows furry friends, or one where clothing is completely optional, Malaga offers a wide array of choices.

On the western part of the Costa del Sol, there are 90 kilometers of beaches that encompass coastal towns and cities such as Torremolinos, Benalmadena, Fuengirola, Mijas, Marbella, Espepona, Casares and Manilva.

On the easter part of the Costa del Sol, in the region of the Axarquía, you will find beaches that are different in shapes and atmosphere with unique features, many of them with rugged cliffs, beautiful coves, lush vegetation. When driving East from Malaga city, this ecompasses the towns of Rincon de la Victoria, Veléz-Málaga (Torre del Mar), Algarrobo, Torrox and Nerja). This area is known to have the best climate in Europe. In Malaga city itself. there are a total of 16 beaches. In our selection below, we have included beaches in the entire province of Malaga for those of you interested in discovering the area outside of the city limits.

Playa Peñón del Cuervo (East Malaga)

If you don't want to go too far outside of the city, this is the perfect spot for you. This singular beach is located right after the old fishing neighborhoods of Pedregalejo and El Palo. The beach is named after the large rock that emerges from the water that towers over the area. You won't find beach bars and restaurants there, but there is an area for barbecues and picnics as well as a children's play area. The absence of food establisments give it a more tranquil, familar surrounding perfect for those looking for a more quiet day away from the hustle of bustle of Malaga city. In late afternoons and at night, you will often find live music and moragas (traditional night-time barbecue parties) where locals spend quality time with friends and family.

Playa Peñón del Cuervo at the East end of Malaga

Cabopino Beach (Marbella)

This little gem is definitely one of locals' favorite beach. It is a large golden-sand, mostly virgin beach (1.5 km) bordering Capobino harbor on one side and the protected Artola sand dunes on the other (the dune is classified as a National Monument" with striking indigenous vegetation. This stunning beach features a wide range of "chiringuitos" (beach restaurants) and bars as well as a wide selection of watersport related activities. Thanks to its idyllic setting, this natural paradise offers a bit of everything for all tastes. Please note that the Artola section of Cabopino beach has a "clothing optional" area. In general, beach goers in Capobino mix between textile and nudists.

Cabopino Beach in Marbella

Playa de Maro (Nerja)

Maro beach is considered by many as one of the best beaches in the area; it is nestled under the cliffs of the Tejeda moutain range close the picturesque village of Nerja. Crystal-clear water, lush tropical vegetation and calm sea awaits you. This beach is renowned for kayaking and snorkeling activities to discover this little litte piece of paradise. Being located in a national park, fishing is prohibited, therefore fishes are especially abundant in this area of see-through blue water, a perfect spot for snorkeling and to explore the amazing ecosystem hiding in the reef such as corals, sea anemones, natural sponges etc. Access may not always be the easiest during peak time (e.g. Sundays) but it is well worth the experience.

Maro Beach close to the town of Nerja

Playa del Bil Bil (Benalmadena)

The "Bil-Bil" is a reddish Moorish-style castle surrounded by palmtrees, one of Benalmadena's most emblematic artchitectural structures. The beach that is located right under the castle is one of tourists and locals' favorites thanks to its fine dark sand and very moderate waves, making it the perfect spot for a safe and pleasant day with the family. The beautiful beachfront promenade right next to it offers a wide range to restaurants, bars and shops. The nearby Benalmadena marina (Puerto Marina), which was voted at one point as one of the best marinas in the world, is definitely worth a visit as well. If you want to enjoy live music or have a cocktail, there are a couple of famous beach bars right on the beach.

Playa del Bil-Bil in Benalmadena with its Moorish-style castle

Playa de la Malagueta (Malaga)

This urban beach is by far the most famous beach for both locals and tourists in the city of Malaga. It is located right behind the port of the city in the Malagueta neighborhood next to the Pier One (Muelle Uno) cruiseship and luxury yacht promenade. This area offers a wide range of leisure and entertainment areas where one can enjoy a youthful and relaxed atmosphere. There are several Chiringuitos nearby (beach restaurants) where you can enjoy local specialties such as grilled sardines, fish or octopuss. Malagueta beach is the Malaga beach par excellence due to its location, only a few minutes walk from the historic centre. Out of the 16 beaches located in the city of Malaga itself, this is probably the most liked and visited beach.

La Malagueta, Malaga's city main beach

Playamar (Torremolinos)

Given its proximity to the center of the seaside resort of Torremolinos, this is one of the favorite beaches in the area. With dark sand and moderate waves, it's a perfect spot to enjoy watersports such as sailing, kitesurfing or windsurfing. The beachfront promenade is famous for its numerous chill-out beach clubs, which often feature live music and entertainment, day and night. The beach forms a long strech of approximately one kilometer with easy parking and ideal for families who enjoy urban beaches and the proximities to their hotel or holiday rentals. This area is usually very popular with younger crowds as several beaches feature trendy beach clubs with music and entertainment.

The Playamar beach in Torremolinos

Playa El Cristo (Estepona)

Estepona is a beautiful town located at the western end of the Malaga province. Due to the proximity to the Atlanctic Ocean, it offers some of the best beaches in the area with whiter, finer sand, somewhat different from the typical Mediterreanan beaches in the area. The Playa del Cristo is located in a little cove with shallow water, sunbed rentals and a grove of trees that provide natural shade to cool off from the summer heat. The beach features a wide range of bars and eateries where you can try regional dishes and listen to live music on weekends.

Aerial view of El Cristo Beach in the town of Estepona

Rio Verde Beach (Puerto Banús, Marbella)

The town of Marbella (and the port of Puerto Banús) is known worldwide for its glamourous nightlife, luxury establishments and beach clubs. If you are looking for some peace and quiet a little bit outside of the main tourist areas, this beach is the perfect spot. It is located right next to one of the most luxurious sea resorts in Europe, Puerto Banús is an old fishing port that has become one of the largest and most exclusive areas of Spain and Europe with a large concentration of luxury yachts, cars and hotels. Why not experience in person how "the other half" lives?

Rio Verde beach in Puerto Banús, Marbella

Calahonda Beach (Nerja)

This has got to be by far the most photographed beach in Nerja. A small sandy beach with small fishing boats and a couple of immaculate white-washed sheds which turns the place into a living postcard. This tiny little beach located right in the heart of the village of Nerja will take you back in time as it is still used by local fishermen in early morning to go at sea, surrounded by their old traditional cottages. The beach is easily accessible from the famous Balcón de Europa. If you'd like to stay for a few days in the area, check-out our breathtaking Horizonte Club which offers luxury holiday rentals in Nerja with breathtaking views over the Med. A holiday experience you will certainly not forget.

Calahonda beach near the Balcon de Europa in Nerja

Almayate Beach (Torre del Mar)

For those of you who prefer not to wear any type of textile on the beach, there are a total of 6 offical nudist beaches in Malaga (some beaches are of a mixed-use). Located in the stunning region known as La Axarquía, The Almayate beach is one of locals' favorite. It is divided in four sections with one that is fully nude. For many nudits, this is considered one of the top three nude beaches in all of Spain. As a general rule, topless is allowed in all beaches in Spain and is quite common among locals. Almayate is a natural beach with dark sand with stands out for its surrounding nature and silence. People come far and wide to spend the day at Almayate. Come and find out why.

Almayate nudist beach in Velez-Malaga

We could not possibly finish this post without a special mention to our furry friends who also enjoy playing on the beach and in the sea.

There are currently 8 beaches in the province of Malaga that officially allow dogs, namely:

  • Playa del Castillo Sohail (Fuengirola)
  • Arroyo Totalán (Rincón de la Victoria)
  • Playa de Piedra Paloma (Casares)
  • Playa Canina (Torre del Mar)
  • Playa El Pinillo (Marbella)
  • Playa de Ventura de Mar (Marbella)
  • Playa Canina (Torrox)
  • Playa Arroyo Hondo (Benalmádena)
There are 8 dog-friendly beaches in the province of Malaga

If you are considering visiting Malaga and its wonderful beaches, check out our holiday rentals in Malaga here. Most beaches are within an hour's drive of the city of Malaga itself.

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