Explore the beaches of the Costa del Sol from West to East using our comprehensive guide.
Costa del Sol is the most developed part of the Coast. The Mediterranean water is warm and safe. Many towns have recently modernised “paseo maritimos” (promenades). Most locations are backed by development. More jet skis per capita than anywhere else in Europe. No shortage of bars, restaurants and nightlife. Sand tends to be grey and coarse-grained.
The Costa del Sol is a well-known holiday destination that receives millions of international tourists every year. It is no surprise that the southern part of Spain is so popular, as the literal translation of the coast´s name is ¨Coast of the Sun¨. With more than 325 sunny days per year, the Costa del Sol is a great destination all year round.
Apart from the delicious food, friendly Spanish people and the rich culture, there is another reason why the Costa del Sol is so popular amongst travellers all over the world: The beautiful beaches and the Mediterranean sea. With more than 125 beaches on a coastline that stretches out over 161 kilometers, it can be challenging to pick the perfect destination for your holiday in Spain.
This guide will therefore tell you all there is to know about the best Costa del Sol beaches; from the facilities to the locations. Whether you are looking for the craziest beach parties or rather a family-friendly holiday, the south of Spain caters for all tastes. We selected the best Costa del Sol beaches to help with your selection process – starting west.
BEACHES IN HUELVA
Huelva province is the other part of Costa de la Luz, and you can give us the benefit of the doubt. This province has indeed the highest number of sun hours per year in whole Europe, which makes it the perfect spot to rejoice some incredible beaches.
Beach of Cuesta Maneli (Almonte)
Between the more renowned beaches of Matalascañas and Mazagón, this virgin beach is part of the National Park of Doñana. The 1200-metre-long wooden path takes you from the nearest parking (located at km. 39 of the A-494 road that connects Matalascañas to Mazagón) up to the sand dunes, to end with a steep descent right in front of the 5-km-long seashore. Golden sand and clean water make you rejoice choosing the Playa de Rompeculos for your family.
Beach of Matalascañas (Matalascañas)
The urban beach of Matalascañas stretches 5 kilometres between the Torre de la Higuera and El Coto. It has numerous facilities, and it has been awarded the Blue Flag for the cleanliness of its waters. Remember that this beach is the closest to Seville, as well as the only walk-in access to Doñana for which it is highly attended by tourists, in particular on the weekends. We’ll let the cat out of the bag: stay at the beach until sunset, and you will thank us for that
Beach of Mazagón (Mazagón)
Another public beach is that of Mazagón, whose 9 km provide the inhabitants of Huelva with day trips. The best way to enjoy this landscape surrounded by cliffs is during a horse ride at sunset. Moreover, the farther from the port, the better, as the water is cleaner and less crowded.
BEACHES IN CADIZ
Beach of Bolonia (Tarifa)
A picture is worth 1000 words, and there’s probably nothing more to be said regarding this heaven on earth in Cadiz province. This 4 km long beach and the 30-metre-high Duna de Bolonia are landmarks of the Costa de la Luz. Imagine lying down on the white, Caribbean-like sand, while the salty breeze blows gently from the Atlantic Ocean. And if it weren’t enough, you can also spend some time wandering in the 1st century Roman ruins of Baelo Claudia or windsurfing on the sea.
Beach of El Palmar (Vejer de la Frontera)
One of the best beaches in Andalucia, this virgin beach close to Conil de la Frontera is 8-km-long, and you can bet you have enough space to roam and find the perfect spot where to sunbathe. The crystal-clear water is this beach’s most noteworthy feature, as well as the facilities provided. In fact, despite the fact that it is one of the least crowded beaches in Andalucia, you will find chiringuitos offering seafood dishes, and horse-riding companies.
Tip: the wooden paths that connect the main road with the beach were created to preserve the dunes, which helped the beach of El Palmar receive the Q de Calidad Turistica, highlighting the quality in the Spanish touristic sector.
Beach of Los Alemanes (Zahara de los Atunes)
The name of this 1500-metre-long beach comes from the German troops that would use this bay as material supply during WWII. One of the reasons is that this beach is particularly hard to reach, due to the closeness of a mountain, which shelters the beach of Los Alemanes, away from prying eyes. The proximity to the town Zahara de los Atunes provides this uncrowded virgin beach with facilities.
Beach of Caños de Meca (Barbate)
Caños de Meca is the name of a district that belongs to the bigger area of Barbate. It comprises various beaches, stretching from the Trafalgar lighthouse to La Breña Natural Park. Different features characterise them so that you can enjoy your favourite one, depending on what you feel like doing. During the low tide, you have the opportunity to walk along the seashore, through the rocks to get to virgin little bays.
BEACHES IN ALCAIDEA
Playa Hacienda is the expansive 4km beach to the west of Alcaidea, extending towards the town of La Linea. There is only access from Alcaidesa and La Linea, and it runs into Playa Atunara at the west and Playa Alcaidesa at the east. Being an isolated beach, it is quiet all year round. There are no facilities.
This is the beach in front of the urbanization, which extends 4km to the east where it fronts the Alcaidesa Links Golf Course. There is only access at each end. At one end, in front of the Alcaidesa resort at Avenida de la Hacienda (GPS: 36.232851,-5.316482), you can find toilets, lifeguard huts and a chiringuito with sunbeds. The urbanization has a few cafes and shops. Parking at the seafront can be tricky on summer weekends, but is always possible if you don’t mind a short walk. Parking at the Paseo Maritimo at Avenida de la Hacienda (36.232851,-5.316482) is easier. The beach is popular in the summer but always quieter if you walk eastwards (or westwards along Playa Hacienda). Alternatively, you can access the west end by car, following signs for the Golf Club and then the Faro (lighthouse), which is reached by an unmade road. Before reaching the lighthouse, a track to the right winds down to access the east end of Playa Alcaidesa. Park just above the beach (36.244775,-5.30593) where there is a shower, toilets and lifeguard huts, but no chiringuito or sunbeds. The beach has been awarded the Blue Flag by the European Union for its high standards of cleanliness and facilities.
This beach is by the Punta Mala headland where the lighthouse is located. It is 1.3km long and about 50m wide, separated into several coves. At low tide lines of rocks are revealed. Access is by car into the Alcaidesa urbanization, keeping to the east and following signs for the Golf Club and then the Faro (de Torrecarbonera). An unmade roads leads to a future urbanization of the same name. Park at one of several locations on the heath behind the beach (GPS: 36.246384,-5.29762), and walk down. The odd-looking modern lighthouse, Torre de Carbonera, is a reconstruction of a tower built in 1588, and restored in the 18th century and then again in 1990. Its other name is Torre de Punta Mala. There is a small ruin of the Casa de Carbonera (charcoal-maker’s house). There are no facilities here, but at the east end of Playa Alcaidesa there is a shower, toilets and lifeguard huts. It is quiet most of year and moderately busy on summer weekends. Parking is always available. It is also known as Playa Balñario and is classified as a naturist beach.
Playa Guadalquiton is the 5km beach in front of a private estate located between Sotogrande and Alcaidesa. It is very isolated and one of the quietest in Andalucia; it is even almost deserted in the summer. There are no facilities. Its name come from the small river that crosses the beach. This estate boasts the last remaining cork-oak trees (alcornoques) next to the Mediterranean sea in Europe. Access on foot is from the Playa Torrecarboneria to the west and Playa Sotogrande to the east.
BEACHES IN SOTOGRANDE
Playa Guadalquiton is the 5km beach in front of a private estate between Sotogrande and Alcaidesa. This beach is very isolated and one of the quietest in Andalucia, and is almost deserted even in the summer. There are no facilities. Its name come from the small river that crosses the beach. The estate boasts the last cork-oak trees (alcornoques) which grow adjacent to the Mediterranean sea in Europe. Access on foot is from the Playa Torrecarboneria to the west and Playa Sotogrande to the east.
Playa Sotogrande is the beach that fronts the estate and is 2km long, situated to the west of the Guadiaro river estuary and natural protected area. The only car access is by the road that runs to the beach from Paseo del Parque to the west of the urbanization. Parking is difficult on summer weekends. Facilities include toilets and lifeguard huts, but no showers, chiringuito or sunbeds. The Sotogrande Beach Club fronts the beach – you can get day membership. Pedestrian access is possible from the urbanization. To the west is Playa Guadalquiton, while the east end is backed by the River Guadiaro estuary protected wetlands. The river can be crossed in summer at the beach or via the road bridge 200m inland. An older name of this beach is Borondo.
PLAYA PASEO DEL MAR
A small beach, 1km long, between the mouth of the Sotogrande marina and the Guadairo river. Triangular shaped, it is reasonably popular in the summer. This beach fronts the Paseo del Mar section of the urbanizations and the Octagon Beach Club, where day membership is available. Parking is difficult here in the summer. Facilities include a shower, toilets and lifeguard huts, a chiringuito and watersports centre.
In the summer a free service water taxi takes visitors to the beach from the other side of the marina opposite K bar. Operating summer 11.30 to 15.00 and 16.00 to 19.00 Mon to Sat.
This semi-urban beach lies between the village of Torreguadiaro and Sotogrande port to the east. It is about 1.3km long and gets quite busy – parking is limited in the Marina. The best car access is from the old N-340a west of the village at km134, with a tarmac car park near the 16th-century watchtower (Torre Vigias). The chiringuito, sunbeds, showers and lifeguard posts are towards the village end of the beach. There is also access to the west end from the Sotogrande port, with steps over the retaining wall. This beach is also known as Playa de las Conchas
To the east of Torreguadiaro, near an isolated hotel, this is a small cove which cannot be seen from the road. Some parking is available by the Hotel Milla de Plata (36.306013,-5.262344) and a steep path leads down to the cove. This beach is surprisingly quiet even in the summer, and has no facilities, although the trees behind the beach offer shade. On the headland above (east side) the beach are some ruins of a Guardia Civil barracks.
PLAYA EL CABRERO IN CALA TARAJE / CALA SARDINA
This interesting cove has a 900m-long crescent-shaped beach and is moderately busy. There are showers, toilets and a lifeguard point as well as two chiringuitos open in the summer. In the winter access is by a track from the ‘old’ coast road to Torreguadiaro village at km137 (36.309592,-5.259554). Camper vans often park here overnight. It is also known as Cala Sardina (Sardine Cove) and there is a protected monument ‘Casa Fuerte de Cala Sardina’. This beach was used as a location for the film Deuce Bigalow: European Gigolo. Following the road improvements and construction of the Torreguadiaro bypass, a large quantity of risings were dumped in this cove and never properly landscaped. This cove is on the boundary of Malaga and Cadiz Provinces.
PUNTA DE LA CHULLERA
There is a small, 100m-wide cove hidden by cliffs and rocks each side. Thanks to a good chiringuito it’s an ideal getaway in the summer. The beach is fairly crowded during the summer and especially at weekends; parking access is especially difficult. On the A7 heading west at km138, just before the footbridge, is a small access road. Follow this to the left and, off the small turning area at the end, a path leads to the beach.
Historically Punta de la Chulera was an important landmark and there are still two watchtowers. One, 500m inland from the Moorish Nasid era and the other Punta Chullera watchtower from the 15th century.
This refers to a series of four beaches locally named Playa de las Arenas, Cala Sardina, Playa del Negro, and Playa de los Toros in a straight, flat part of the coast totalling 10km, from Punta de la Chullera in the west to La Duquesa marina in the east. The beaches are generally very quiet. The A7 coast road runs parallel to the beach, one block away, and the spur roads that lead down to the beach offer a number of access points and parking areas. The beach is on average 60m wide, gently sloping and backed by rough heath in some places, with few chiringuitos with sunbeds, as well as showers and lifeguard points. The beach is so expansive that in the areas furthest away from access points, it is very quiet – even on summer weekends. The beach is cleaned in the summer, but to a lesser degree than the urban beaches to the east, resulting in more driftwood and pebbles amongst the sand – like all on the Costa del Sol, this is course and dark-coloured. The flora and fauna on this stretch of coast is a protected as an ecological reserve under law 2003/8.
PLAYA LAS ARENAS
Las Arenas beach is also known as Playa Gobernador or Tubalitas and is backed by steeply rising headland where the A7 coast road has a lay-by with a beach bar which afords splendid views of not just the the beach below but right along the coast.
PLAYA LA CALA
Playa La Cala de la Sardina is only 150 m wide and bounded by two rocky piers and backed by an long established development.
PLAYA DEL NEGRO
Playa del Negro has an important dune vegetation.
PLAYA DE LOS TOROS
Playa de los Toros which runs for 2.4km from the Aroyo Alcorrin was named after the area the cattle were driven from La Cañana Real of Los Barrios to Estepona. It is the most open of the beaches and the least urbanised. The natural dunes vegitation includes ‘Hairy Tare’.
PLAYA DEL CASTILLO
Playa del Castillo is named after the ruined fort nearby. A small but interesting fishing hamlet called El Castillo de la Duquesa (or El Castillo for short) with little plazas is located here. The castle is used for occasional municipal exhibitions and a couple of fenced-off adjacent areas hold partially excavated Roman ruins. To the east of Castillo, and surrounded by modern apartment blocks, is the marina Puerto de la Duquesa. The beach runs up to the harbour wall. This beach has chiringuitos with sunbeds, and shower and lifeguard points. The chiringuito nearest Duquesa is called Chiringuito La Gaviotas . The beach is moderately busy, but more crowded towards the Duquesa harbour area at the east. Car parking is usually available in the village streets. The small village has a rock-supported sea wall, so the beaches are either side of the village. Playa de la Chullera is to the west and Playa del Castillo and Playa de las Gaviotas to the east.
Playa Sabinillas is another extensive straight beach, 2km long and about 40m wide, to the east of Puerto de la Duquesa as far as the Rio Manilva. The west end of the beach is also called Playa de la Colonia after the summer school of the same name. Playa Sabinillas is now supported by a new seafront promenade for most of its length and a new apartment block, making it an urban beach. This busy beach has chiringuitos with sunbeds, along with showers and lifeguard watchtowers and points. Behind the promenade are many bars, restaurants, corner stores and kiosks. The beach is frequented by the local residents of Manilva and San Luis de Sabinillas (known as Sabinillas) – you’ll find very few hotels or international tourists on this part of the coast. Sabinillas is the original fishing hamlet for the village of Manilva. Whilst very few fishing boats are pulled up on the beach these days, the original fisherman’s cottages can still be seen. This beach is well cleaned in the summer, while car parking is usually available in the village streets. This beach has been awarded a Blue Flag by the European Union for its high standards of cleanliness and excellent facilities.
East of Sabinillas village is the natural continuation of Playa Sabinillas. The Rio Manilva is the municipal boundary of the inland white village of Casares. The village only has a few km of Mediterranean boundary and beach. Until recently, when Marina del Casares was the only urbanization behind the beach, it was very quiet here. Today, with more beachfront apartment blocks it is busier; car parking is available on the streets of the urbanizations. This beach has a few showers and lifeguard points, with the popular Chiringuito Sal moved in 2016 from the beach itself up onto the headland. This headland features has a 16th-century square plan watchtower called Torre de la Sal. Around this headland, the rocks offer good snorkeling possibilities. The access to the beach and Chiringuito Sal is from the roundabout where the Casares road heads inland. There is a small but ample car parking even in summer. The road in the seafront urbanization Perla de la Bahia on this headland also leads to Torre de la Sal, another Chiringuito and the Finca Cortesin, the nearby five-star star luxury hotel and spa, has a private beach club here.
PLAYA DE LA SAL
This is the name given to the smaller beach in the small cove to the west of the old watchtower tower. On the 8th August 2012 Casares town hall demominated this beach as “Zona habilitada para peros” or dog beach. This was is the first and only beach in Andalucia where dogs are permitted. However in June 2015 the environment department of the Junta de Andalucia (regional Government) ordered that all dog beaches in Andalucia authorised by town halls be suspended from 1 June to 30th September. However in June 2016 it was replaced by Playa Piedra Paloma in June 2016. Access to Playa de la Sal is either walking around the rocks from Playa Ancha at low tide or by descending the seafront promenade path that links the watchtower and the car park. .
PLAYA PIEDRA PALOMA
Between Torre del Sal and a large rock in the sea called Islote de las Palomas (Little Island of the Doves) or simply Piedra Paloma (Dove’s Rock) is Playa Piedra Paloma. The rock mark the municipal boundry with Estepona and the continuation of the beach in Estepona is called Playa Galera. In 2016 the eastern end (or by the Piedra Paloma rock) became an authorised Dog Beach replacing the previous Playa del Sal dog beach. Access to Playa Piedra Paloma is via the Urbanizacion Casares del Mar.
This 2km beach is bounded at the west by the Torre de la Sal headland and runs to the next headland at Bahia Dorada; it is about 40m wide. Not overly busy, this is mainly used by the residents of the urbanizations that straddle of the coast road. There is a chiringuito at the western end near Torre del Sal. There is a pedestrian promenade for part of this long beach and little dedicated car access except roads in the urbanizations.
About halfway along is a large rock called Piedra Paloma (Dove’s Rock) just out to sea. This marks Playa Piedra Paloma, which is actually in the municipal district of Casares and in 2016 became an authorised Dog Beach replacing the Playa del Sal dog beach. Access to Playa Piedra Paloma is via the Urbanizacion Casares del Mar.
PLAYA BAHIA DORADA
This beach is similar to the others in the area. Bounded by the two headlands it is about 700m long and 40m wide. The established urbanization Bahia Dorada fronts the beach. A seafront promenade was constructed recently, to protect from land erosion in the winter storms. There is no car access to the beach. On the Bahia Dorada headland at the east and interestingly within the estate is an old circular watchtower. (Torre Vigia)
PLAYA ARROYO VAQUERO
This beach is to the east of the Bahia Dorada headland, and where the Arroyo Vaquero river reaches the sea. The car access is a roundabout into the Fuerte Estepona Suites Hotel which fronts this beach Upon entering the turn right and wind your way through the houses near the Arroyo Vaquero river. The beach is about 1km long and 50m wide and is quiet, with ample parking space and a chiringuito. Access is also provided on the other or west side of the Fuerte Hotel.
PLAYA COSTA NATURA
The beach is a continuation of Playa Arroyo Vaqueros, but the 500m section in front of the Costa Natura resort is officially classified as ‘naturist beach‘. Costa Natura, Spain’s first purpose-built naturist complex, is located to the east of the town at km151. The complex is for members only, but temporary membership is available for touring naturists and the uninhibited or curious. The 400m stretch of beach is, of course, open to all members of the public. You can rent sunbeds and a small kiosk sells soft drinks. Parking is available on the service road to the south of km151 on the coast road. Walk around the Costa Natura urbanization down to the beach. More>
This is the name given to various stretches of beach in the area of the river Guadalabon. Some areas, such as that in front of Gran Hotel Elba (with promenade walkway), or in front of H10 Estepona Palace Hotel, are wider, but much of the rest of this 2km seafront is not overly interesting.
PLAYA EL CRISTO
Situated just outside the town of Estepona, to the west of the Marina, El Cristo beach is situated in a delightful sheltered cove, ideal for children, with two chiringuitos. Its ideal location means longer hours of sunshine, making it a particular favourite with serious sunbathers. This beach has become increasingly popular in recent years and tends to get quite crowded on summer weekends. It has a good atmosphere with music playing at two of the beach bars. The cove and the outer protection wall ensure the sea is warmer than the surrounding waters. It slopes very gently and is very safe for children. There is a lifeguard station and showers in the summer. There are two good beach bars, the trendy Havana Beach and the moore traditional Chiringuito Lolailo. Car access is by a narrow, steep road from a roundabout to the west of Estepona marina or town. Summer parking at the back of the beach is chaotic, so it’s best to continue a little further to the open ground, where is always ample parking and some wild camping. The car exit route is in this direction via Estepona Marina. Its high standards of cleanliness and excellent facilities have been recognised by the European Blue Flag award.
PLAYA LA RADA
Right in the centre of Estepona is the town’s most popular beach, La Rada. It is long and backed by a modern seafront promenade for the entire length (2.6km). Chiringuitos (beach bars), are located all along the seafront and serve traditional seaside fare, such as paella and fresh sardines, as well as a choice of international-style dishes. The Marina and lighthouse are located at the west end of La Rada beach. The entire length of beach runs parallel to the ‘old coast road’. There are two large underground car parks here; otherwise parking can be found in the town. Disabled access is better here than at other nearby beaches. The seafront prom and the beach terminate at the eastern end with a headland known as Punta de la Plata.
PLAYA PUNTA DEL PLATA
A 4km stretch of narrow low-quality beach, stretching from the Punta del Plata headland which terminates La Rada beach the west to El Padron Beach to the East.
PLAYA PUNTA PINILLOS
This is another name for the beach slightly to the east of Punta del Plata. A narrow quiet sand and pebble beach.
PLAYA EL PADRON
The popular beach located just to the east of the Rio Padron, near the Kempinski Resort Hotel. The beach has a large car park and two beach bars, making it particularly popular in the summer. Laguna Village is located here, a small upmarket Balinese-style shopping centre with fashion and decoration shops, open 11.00 to 20.00. A selection of restaurants includes Terra Sana, Camuri Grill, Carmen (traditional Spanish) with small roof terrace, La Pappardella (Italian), as well as tapas bar ¡Que Arte! and Spanish Star Cafe – restaurants are open 10.00 to 24.00. Also here is Puro Beach restaurant and beach club with large swimming pool, white sun loungers and fusion music DJ. Car Parking. Km 159. Its high standards of cleanliness and excellent facilities have been recognised by the European Blue Flag award.
PLAYA DEL CASTOR
Named after the river that flow to the sea where the beach is located. This 2km stretch of narrow, quiet beach is hidden behind a series of older properties and urbanizations. Try the chiringuito at Punta del Castor just to the east of Rio Castor at km 160.5. A track leads down to the beach past the allotments.
PLAYA EL VELERIN
Named after the river that flow to the sea where the beach is located. Here is Chiringuito Torre del Velerin near the old watchtower of the same name.
PLAYA ARROYO DE LOS CAÑAS
‘Environmentally funky’ Tarifa-style chiringuito (chill-out area, salads and smoothies, DJs, clothes store) Sonora Beachis near Urbanization Hacienda Beach at km 162; alternatively, you can park at Urb Los Granados Playa, after the Selwo turn off near Rio Velerin.
Quieter, narrow, rocky beaches: Playa Bella is next door to the upmarket beachfront of Health House Las Dunas and the TikiTano restaurant and lounge, with preserved old watchtower and ruins in a large, beachfront area with lawn and seafron promenade.
West of Rio Guadalmansa is Playa Guadalmansa with the offen missed Playabella Spa Gran Hotel. East of Rio Guadalmansa, there is a popular and amusingly named Chiringuito Heaven with nearby Kite and other water sport school facilites.
PLAYA EL SALADILLO
Unremarkable semi-urban, narrow beaches in this part of Estepona, near El Saladillo and Costalita and other urbanisations. This beach is nominally 3km long, but is broken into many stretches with a few beach bars. Access is by the roads through the urbanisations. Torre de Saladillo is an old watch tower ‘hidden’ here.
Unremarkable semi-urban, narrow beaches in this part of Estepona. Nominally 2km long, this beach is broken into many stretches.
Being a coastal town on the Costa del Sol, Marbella is certainly not short of beaches. Marbella has it all: beaches for familes, couples, friends and singles alike. Marbella beaches include some water sports centres, all have chiringuitos (beach bars), there are a handful of luxury beach clubs, many beach-front restaurants and beach-front hotels. Some of the beach have been awarded Blue Flags. Many provide life-guards seven day a week from Easter to end September. This list below to help you to select your perfect beach. Click on the title for more info. The beaches listed below run from west to east.
PLAYA DE GUADALMINA
Playa de Guadalmina is a quiet beach approximately 1km long.
It lies just to the east of the Guadalmina River, and bounds the Guadalmina Urbanisation of Marbella it is close to the Hotel Guadalmina Golf and Spa Resort. If you fancy a cultural break from the sun and sea whilst you are there, you can visit the nearby Roman Baths: Las Bovedas. just behind its eastern end of the beach by Arroyo de Chopo.
It is a quiet and tranquil family beach used by those living in Guadalmina, with a lack of tourist facilities. However it provides a great view for golfers; it is backed by the Guadalmina Baja Golf Course Green Number 9 sits right behind the beach and offers a classic Costa del Sol / Costa del Golf view.
It is often awarded the Blue Flag award for its high standards of cleanliness.
For access leave the coast road at km 170 (at the wast end of the San Pedro underpass) and enter the Guadalmina Baja urbanizacion. Follow signs for Guadalmina Hotel (Calle 8, Calle 9) which sits on the west end of this beach. There are not any formal public car parks (except the hotel) but as this is a quiet residential area on can find street parking not too far from the beach. At the west end, by the 9th Green, there is ample parking at the back of the beach.
For access to the east end of the beach proceed down Calle 3 to the Guadalmina Beach Club and Tennis courts. There is a very small car park here and it is a short walk to the Roman Baths: Las Bovedas
At the west end of Playa Linda Vista is wooden chillout Chiringuito Macaao just by Arroyo de Chopo. Wooden Chiringuito Sol is on the beach access from Calle 13 and Guadalmina Beach Club restaurant and Spa is located here at the end of Calle 3. Hotel Guadalmina’s restaurant and terrace is from line on the beach.
Playa LindaVista is in the San Pedro de Alcántara area of Marbella at the western end of the seafron promenade.
It is a very narrow beach, and quite small. The beach is accessible by road via the coppice of trees area that lies next to it.
To access the beach leave the coast road at km 170 and drive through the El Ingenio quarter of San Pedro and follwo signs for LindaVista area. There is ample parking in the wooded area, which also houses the ruins of an ancient Necropolis – La Basilica de Vega del Mar. There is also parking on the sand just behind the beach.
At first sight, the area is a bit of a mess with the fishing boats and equiptment and winches to pull the boats up onto the shore, not to mention the caravans and huts.
There are no facilities on the beach itself, many locals have family pic-nics in the shade of the trees.
At the west end of Playa Linda Vista is wooden chillout Chiringuito Macaao just by Arroyo de Chopo and Restaurant El Ancla with its large swimming pool for guests. The best direct access to El Ancla is via Call Jose Echegarai.
At the east end there are two beach bars, Guayaba Beach is a wooden chiringuito offering drinks, sardines, food, music is a semi tropical open surroundings. Sunbeds are an economic 4€ (2013). Next door is the upmarket Boro Bora with full restaurant facilities Prince William and Harry came to the Bora Bora beach in 1997 to ride on the jet skis. Best access to Bora Bora is from the Paseo Maritimo of San Pedro.
PLAYA SAN PEDRO DE ALCANTARA
This is the long straight and wide beach backed by a seafront promenade, cycle path and a quiet urban access road. This beach is never croWded due to its size.
The beach offers full services including a Red Cross first aid post.
Its high standards of cleanliness and excellent facilities are often recognised by the Blue Flag award.
There is no car park specifically for this beach but there is ample parking on both sides of the street that runs along the entire length of the beach. There are also cycle paths alongside the roads.
The San Pedro and Marbella Seafront Promenade now nearly 12km. From the Bajadilla fishing port – Marbella town centre – El Ancon – Rio Verde – Puerto Banus – San Pedro. It is part of the Senda Litoral de Malaga (Malaga Coastal Path) a projected 163km path following the entire coast of Malaga province from Manilva to Nerja. Once completed, this long-distance path will be a major tourist attraction for the Costa del Sol, and for Andalucia.
There are a number of chiringuitos, or in to be more correct restaurants which are built on the Paseo Maritimo. From west to east, the upmarket Bora Bora with full restaurant and swimmming pool facilities (Prince William and Harry came to the Bora Bora beach in 1997 to ride on the jet skis). Restaurant Pescera de San Pedro from the popular Marbella chain built in early 2000’s. Reataurant El Nini, Restaurant El Abrevadero, Restaurant Flamingo Beach, Restaurant Hawaii – Kai, Alabardero Club de Playa with swimming pool, and finally at the east end on the beach wooden Chiringuito Kala Kalua.
PLAYA CORTIJO BLANCO
Playa de Cortijo Blanco lies at the east end continuationi of the long Playa de San Pedro de Alcantara.
The beach is approximately 500m long and wide and forms a slight headland. It is backed by the mature Urbanisation Cortijo Blanco.
To the east is the clear boundary of the River Guadaiza rivver which can only be crossed in summen and by vehicles on the maim A7 coast road.
There is no car park specifically for this beach but the there some parking in the urbanizacion. If busy in the summer park at Playa de San Pedro Alcantara.
Alabardero Club de Playa with swimming pool, and finally at the east end on the beach wooden Chiringuito Kala Kalua.
PLAYA NUEVA ANDALUCIA
Playa Nueva Andalucia is the name of the length of a number of diverse small connected beaches facing the area known as Nueva Andalucia, and just west of popular celebrity haunt Puerto Banus and up to the Guadaiza river.
At the west is a small quiet beach in front of the Ventura de Mar complex. This is where the Marbella boardwalk promenade ends. You need to cut inland a block to cross Guadaiza river to join the seafront promenade of San Pedro. Ventura del Mar beach is accessed by a wooden board walk in front of Malibu complex built on the site of the famous “Casa Malibu” where the Marbella Jet Set held parties in the 60’s and later became the home of Sean Connery.
The San Pedro and Marbella Seafront Promenade now nearly 12km. From the Bajadilla fishing port – Marbella town centre – El Ancon – Rio Verde – Puerto Banus – San Pedro. It is part of the Senda Litoral de Malaga (Malaga Coastal Path) a projected 163km path following the entire coast of Malaga province from Manilva to Nerja. Once completed, this long-distance path will be a major tourist attraction for the Costa del Sol, and for Andalucia.
The main section of beach is known as ‘Los Espigones’ or breakwaters due to the several breakwaters that have made some pleasant coves. It is very busy here in summer, parking is almost imposible. This beach is very popular with younger people as it is where you will find La Sala Beach Club (previously Buddha Beach Club) favourite of celebrities including TOWIE´s Ellie Redman.
This beach attracts glitz and glamour and you might to spot a celebrity or two in the summer months.
Access by road is from the A-7 is a road called ‘Urb EL Rodeo’ but parking near the beach is very dificult. The road connects to the Urbanisations to the west where there will be parking. The construction of the sea front promenade for pedestrians only has denied vehicle access to this section of beach.
At the end of ‘Urb El Rodeo‘ is the popular (Chiringuito) Mistral Beach beach bar. This was the first beach bar in Marbella to have a web camera in 1999 but it was removed before the end of the season as the guests complained. Next door and within in the now demolished Andaluz style urbanisation was located the popular “Babaloo Beach Club”. More traditional beach bars are also located on the beach here here. One is called Chiringuito Los Espigones (established 1982) and the slightly tropical Chiringuito Pedro’s Beach and next to Puerto Banus (Cheringuito) Tramps
On the land side of the promenade the facilities of Hotel Guadalpin Banus can be enjoyed and these include a Champagne bar and the very white Blue Ray Beach Club and La Sala Beach Club The Marbella districts that front Playa Nueva Andalucia are Los Rodeos, Villa Marina, Las Gaviotas, Playas del Duque.
Hollywood watersports is found here here and the yellow buoys indicate the section of shore dedicated to access for motor sports.
Playa Nueva Andalucia is often awarded the Blue Flag award for its high standards of cleanliness and great facilities.
The east end of Playa Nueva Andalucia is the most crowded at it runs right up to the Puerto Banus Marina. Near here you can see the large public ‘lido style’ swimming pool which was abandoned for many years before becoming the very successful Ocean Beach Club.
PLAYA PUERTO BANUS
Playa Puerto Banús is just over 1km long with a width of 50m and boasts fine sand and a protected cove due to the construction of a breakwater. The water is calm and shallow with a warm temperature, making it very popular with families with young children.
A paseo maritimo ‘Paseo Alberto Vidiella Tudores’ starts follows the entire length of the beach. It has several play areas for children and in the summer a craft market. You can then cross the Rio Verde on the wooden footbridge and continue your seafront walk all the way to Marbella, 6km away.
The beach is well equipped with showers, public toilets and plenty of sun loungers and parasols for hire, with lifeguards on duty throughout the summer. There are also several chiringuitos the best known is the upmarket La Pesquera beach restaurant.
PLAYA RIO VERDE
Playa Rio Verde is just to the east of Puerto Banus, next to the Rio Verde itself; to access the beach from Puerto Banus you cross over the river on a stylish wooden footbridge where you can watch wader birds in the reeds of the river.
“Playa Rio Verde” has been awarded the Blue Flag by the European Union for its high standards of cleanliness and excellent facilities. However this probably refers to the now named Playa Puerto Banus on the other side of the River.
There is street parking near this beach but in the summer months it can be difficult as it gets very busy, arrive as early as possible to secure a space. This beach is also popular with younger people, but not a popular as Playa de Nueva Andalucia.
There is a trendy beach bar called Playa Fantastica Las Cuchis here with full dining and lounging facilities. The original beach bar here dates from 1986. It was run by two sisters Cuchi and Ana, who known locally as Las Cuchis. Their previous bar was founded at Playa La Carolina in 1980. The present 1994 ochre coloured building is interesting design by architect Luis Alberto Gálvez. The business is now run by Cuchi’s sons Itziar and Aco.
Close by you will find the relics of an ancient Roman Villa, the Rio Verde Roman Villa.
The beach is also backed by the Paseo Maritimo called “Paseo de Las Cuchis” which continues all the way to Marbella town.
This stretch of Playa Rio Verde the beach is quite narrow and generally quieter. Beach Club Sea Soul and Cafe del Mar are located here near the Iberostar Marbella Coral Beach hotel and the Museo Ralli.
PLAYA EL ANCÓN
is a beach situated between Marbella and Puerto Banus, next to the El Ancón Urbanization.
El Ancón beach is approximately 1km long and quite narrow being 15m wide. It is backed by a pedestrian seafront promenade. It has the typically dark Mediterranean sand found all over the Costa del Sol.
It can be a busy beach, especially during the summer months. It has ususal facilites, including two nearby beachside restaurants and a number of other chriringuitos. One is the long standing Victors Beach which as vehicle access from the Golden Mile down a short road near the lookout tower Torre Almenara El Ancon where there is a little parking in the trees.
Other facilities include WC´s, parasols, pedalos and sun lounger hire. There are life guards keeping watch in peak season and a first aid point. There is no parking specifically to serve this beach, you may have to park in the Urbanization El Ancon and walk down to the beach.
Nagüeles beach is a very popular beach found on Marbella´s famous “Golden Mile” along the paseo maritimo. It is approximately 1.5km long and thank to a espigon (breakwater) at the west end, it is wider than others in the area as the sand is retained. Due to its massive popularity this beach is always very busy, especially during peak summer months.
Nagüeles beach is very popular with the rich and famous, and if you want to do some celebrity spotting, this is the beach for you. It is next to the Hotel Puente Romano and Marbella Beach Club so there are always a lot of people around and often there are events going on. There is a wooden jetty for small boats that belongs to the Marbella Club hotel. You can wander along it and look back a the beach and the Concha mountain behind Marbella
It has ample facilities including showers, WC´s, Chiringuitos including the famous Trocadero Playa, sun loungers, parasols and pedalo´s for hire. This beach is monitored by life guards in summer. The east part of the beach is also called Playa Casablanca.
Playa Fontanilla is a beach located to the west of Marbella Marina – the Marbella Puerto Deportivo.
The beach is approximately 1km long. It backs onto the paseo maritimo which has multiple facilities; it is full of restaurants, cafés and shops. This beach offers a wide variety of water sports, including jet skis.
There are ample facilities including showers, WC´s and a public telephone.
There is also a Red Cross first aid point and life guards monitoring the beach in summer. There is disabled access to this beach.
PLAYA EL FARO
Playa el Faro is situated just to the west of Marbella Port and enclised by the breakwater. It is a very small stretch of beach only 200m X 30m and is very sheltered.
This is a very busy beach because of it´s convenient location in the centre of Marbella, close to a number of hotels and not far from the Old Town. The number of facilities surrounding this beach make it a very desirable location. This beach is very popular with families as it has a large children’s play area (unsupervised) and the sea is shallow and sheltered providing calm waves and a safer environment for younger children.
It has all the usual facilities such as WC´s, showers, parasols and sun loungers.
There is parking, but it can be very busy at peak times, especially during summer. There are lifeguards monitoring this beach during summer. Water sports are available.
PLAYA LA VENUS
La Venus beach is also known as Playa el Fuerte as it is situated right next to the Fuerte (Castle) and later the Fuerte Hotel.
It is another relatively small beach, at just 400m x 50m wide. The beach sits between the Puerto Deportivo and the Represa River where a arteficial breakwater has been constructed.
This is a family beach, it has become very popular with families as it has childrens play area close by (however the play area is unsupervised). It also has access to a wide variety of watersports. This beach is backed by the paseo maritimo and so is very busy, especially during the summer. This is the beach closest to the centre of Marbella and can be thought of the the Marbella tow beach.
There is parking at La Venus beach but it fills up quickly especially during busy summer periods. There are ample facilities at this beach, including restaurants, WC´s, showers, sun loungers, parasols, a public telephone and life guard surveillance in summer.
Its great facilities and high standards of cleanliness it is usually recognised with a Blue Flag award. Since the tradgedy when there Turkish students on holiday drowned in April 2015 we are reminded that out of sason, there can be strong currents on this and other Marbella beaches. There are also no coloured flag warnings out of season. If in doubt you will find the Playa El Faro to the wast is more sheltered.
La Bajadilla beach is situated to the west of Marbella´s Fishing Port. At one end it is very wide as it ocupies the triangle against the breakwaters of the port. It is 700m long and on averge 40m wide It is backed by the paseo maritimo so it is accessible from a number of front line hotels and accomodations. It is only a short walk from the Old Town. there is one main chiringuito called Restaurant Puerto Playa.
This is a busy beach because of its very desirable tranquil waters and its access to multiple beach bars, restaurants, shops and other facilities. There is a Red Cross point at this beach and it is monitored by life guards in summer.
Other facilities include a public telephone, parasols, sun loungers, WC´s and showers. There is some parking available for this beach, but it will fill up quickly at peak times.
The beach’s high standards of cleanliness and excellent facilities are often recgnised for the Blue Flag award.
Playa El Cable is the next marbella beach to the east.
PLAYA EL CABLE
El Cable beach is approximately 400m long. It is situated to the east of the Fishing Port whose breakwater bounds the beach.
This beach is very busy as it is a popular destination for summer holiday visitors, it has slightly less Marbella glamour than other beaches in Marbella. It is a popular spot for younger people. It is a wide beach and does not have a paseo maritimo yet. It is backed by the more light comercial side of Marbella and light industrial operations and car garages and showrooms.
This beach itself has many different facilities including WC´s, showers, parasols, sun loungers and pedalos for hire. There are a number or beach bars and restaurants including Chiringuito El Cable, Cafe del Sol. The beach is often awarded the Blue Flag for its high standards of cleanliness and excellent facilities.
This beach takes its name from the overhead cable “El Cable Teleferico” runway that transported buckets of iron ore from the mines on the Sierra Blanca. If you look out to the sea you can see the anchor end of the line tower which was a pylon that used to support the cable and distcharge into ocean going ships. Untill 2005 there were two other pylons here. One in the sea, listing to such an angle that occasional dare devils would climb up and dive off. There was another pylon in the middle of the beach. They were demolished and removed. Here is a photo of the cable in operation showing another pylon next to the main road. It was taken shortly after the cable way was constructed in 1957. The cable way was built as an alternative to the port jetty vwhich had become too small to take the larger ships. Prior to this ships had been loaded from an elevated iron muelle (jetty) like those conserved today in Huelva City and Almeria City.
Banana Beach is the Marbella beach to the east.
Banana Beach is the common unoficial name for the stretch of beach at the east end of Playa El Cable. This beach is popular with young people and a number of bars play music. It is referenced as being just down from the Marbella arch and there is some parking available.
The name originates from a popular plot of land set aside in the early 1990’s where live music was played and a number of beach bars were thriving, especially on a Sunday afternoon. It was very much a place to be. Times change and an apartment block also called Banana Beach was constructed on this land in the late ninetees. Apartments in this block are much sought after as they is a front line luxury property. It has been at the centre of much controversy, over planning permissions due to its location; the proposed site of the would-be Marbella train station.
There is a rought terrain car park with access from the petrol station by the Marbella Arch. On the beach is a chiringuito called Babaloo Beach. This beach bar has relocated from the other side of Marbella in an older urbanisation near Mistral Beach with was demolished to make way for newer apartments.
Banana beach is now backed by a boardwalk that form paft of the Senda Litoral de Malaga ( Malaga coastal footpath)
Funny Beach is the next Marbella beach to the east.
Funny Beach is so called because it hosted a karting track of that name on the land just behind the beach. The official name for this beach is the west end of Playa el Pinillo. Funny Beach is just east of Banana Beach, and lies just outside of Marbella town central area.
The karting track which opened in 1993 and has been popular since. It was closed from August to October 2015 by Marbella town council as the karting track still only had a temporary licence. The owner of the complex Horacio Helmann and the council disagreed on whether the karting is a race track or an outdoor sporting and entertainment venue. A court ordered the track to be re-opened unill the dispute resolved. However the ‘landlord’ chose not to renew the contract in favour of a beach club and the complex closed at the end of September 2016. Perhaps over time the name ‘Funny Beach’ will become depreciated.
These attractions made the beach very popular with families. As well as the Go Karting track there were trampolines, and bungee cables and watersports. Children’s parties and other group entertainment events are hosted here. It is very busy in summer so it is advisable to organise trips in advance. On the beach itself is a kiosk which rents out the sunbeds. Funny beach is also a large watersport centre which rents out inflateable dingys, peddle boats with slides and sometimes there is also stationed a large inflatable raft in the water to bounce, and crawl on and dive into the water. Jet skis, paddle boards, Fly boards and hovver boards can also be hired. Other activities such as flying fish or banana or para sailing are conducted by being towed by a motorboat.
The location, which is close to the Marbella east slip road, can be recognised by a large red inflatable “Coca Cola” can. There also used to be a red double decker bus parked up as well. If visiting leave the A7 coast road (access only from the easterly carriageway) swiftly and carefully negotiate the steep track leads down to a car park, which is attended in the summer. There is a popular chiringuito called Dolce Vita nearby.
Playa el Pinillo is the next Marbella beach to the east.
PLAYA EL PINILLO
El Pinillo beach is a relatively large stretch of beach; it is over 1.5km long. It is an attractive beach with large areas of sand dunes. The land behind the beach is only built.
To access to Playa el Pinillo either walk from Funny Beach or turn of the A7 coast road at the Torre Realand take the road down past Urb. Rio Real Playa to the beach. There is a small car park, but be advised that spaces fill up very quickly in summer. This is partly due to the upmarket beach front restaurant set in ample gardens called Trocadero Arena. (This was previously ‘Silks by the Sea‘, the sister to the Puerto Banus restaurant Silks popular in the ’90s and 00’s; now closed)
There is also Kite Surfing and other watersports training centre located at the eastern part of this beach. Walk along to where the Rio Real Golf course comes right down to the beach front. This beach crosses the Rio Real river, for this reason this eastern part of Playa el Pinillo is often refered to as Playa Rio Real.
For a quiet day at El Pinillo beach keep to the west end where the access is wlking from Funny Beach. At this west end there are a number of football pitches marked out in the sand. There also used to be a camp site on the narrow and sloping strip of ground between the beach and the coast road but this closed some years ago. At this west end there is a beach bar called Bounty Beach.
This beach also is often awarded a Blue Flag.
Playa los Monteros is the next Marbella beach to the east.
PLAYA LOS MONTEROS
Playa Los Monteros is a relatively quiet beach; it is a fine sandy and pebble free beach and the sea shore is quite shallow.
This is the area where you are most likely to spot Antonio Banderas, as he has a summer villa on the front here.
Los Monteros beach has all the services and facilities you would expect: there are a number of restaurants and beach bars, other facilities include WC´s and First Aid; life guards are present in summer in certain location near the beach bars.
At the western limit near to the River Rio Real is Restaurant Palm Beach, this section of beach is also calledPlaya Realejo. In the cental section at the end of Avenida del Poniente, where the beach is also called Playa Adelfa is the gaudy deep red brick and tiled El Mangaleta restaurant Both restaurants or the beach around them can be conveniently accessed by parking in the urbanisation which remains surprisingly quiet even in the summer. At the east limit is the upmarket La Cabane Beach Club which is associated with the Hotel los Monteros.
The boundary in the east is the interestingly named stream Arroyo de Siete Revueltas.
El Alicate or Pinomar is the next Marbella beach to the east.
PLAYA ALICATE / PLAYA PINOMAR
Playa Alicate is also known as Playa Pinomar, it is 850m long and 25m wide. It is one of the surprising busy beaches in the Marbella area. This is because it is relatively narrow and it is backed by a number of large urbanisations such as El Rosario, Urb. Playas Andaluzas, Urb. Costabella, Urb Andasol.
The sand is fine and slightly lighter that other beaches nearby. Parts of the beach are backed by housing, other parts are backed by small sand dunes. The narrow beach does slope quite steeply down to the sea here.
There is a beach club called South Beach and 18 beach bars along this strip. Perhaps more beach bars per km than any other part of the Andalucian coast. Look out for Los Sardinales at the western end, well established and set in a shady group of trees at the end of Avenida Gaviero. Heading east nearby is Restaurant Los Cano on the beach itself. South Beach is the Beach Club located on a plot of land facing the beach. Restaurant Las Flores, Restaurant El Arenal, Bono’s Beach, Poco Loco, Restaurant el Rinconcito, Miguel y Maria Restaurante, Chiringuito Fernando y Encarni, then on the west of Aroyo el Sequillo, Los Olas del Embarcadero, Restaurant Aqui te quiero ver, Chiringuito Sylt Marbella, Chiringuite Ranchon Cubano, Chiringuito Las Mimosas.
Other facilities include showers, WC´s, parasols, sun loungers, boat and watersport rentals and facilities. Parking is limited to parts of the complexes that lead down to the beach. There is a life guard on duty in summer at this beach at distinct points.
Near the Arroyo el Sequillo, there is a watersports facility called Marbella Jet Ski and also in the summer a giant floating island rather like a bouncy castle on the sea. Pleanty of fun for the children and the parents.
The beach is bounded by the river bed Arroyo Real de Zaragosa and the beach around this point is also called Playa Real de Zaragosa.
East of here a section of the beach has another name, which is Playa la Vibradora and on the front line there is the Beach club for the Vincci Seleccion Estrella del Mar and nearby the up market The Beach House Restaurant.
Las Chapas is the next Marbella beach to the east.
PLAYA LAS CHAPAS
Las Chapas beach is about 750m long and 50m wide.
The famous Nikki Beach club in the gardens of the Don Carlos Hotel is located here, so there is no shortage of celebrities and glamourous folk on Las Chapas beach. It is very popular and busy in summer. The main access to the western end of the beach is via the urbanisation roads that lead down tot he beach from the Elveria shopping centre or Alanda club or Don Carlos Hotel. Parking in the summer close to the beach fills up from early morning. For the most part this beach is wide and not backed by housing which makes it more pleasant.
There are a number of restaurants and bars surrounding the beach. Chiringuito Los Tony’s by the entrance to Nikki Beach, Merendero Cristina, Restaurant Carlos y Paula.
Arroyo de las Cañas forms a natural divide, especailly as there is only one little bridge to cross the stream below the coast raod. Camping Caravaning Marbella Playa is a well established site in this natural and wooded enclave. Despite the name it is a few hundred metres back form the beach.
The eastern part of the beach is accessed via Urbanización Las Chapas, some parking is available at the end of the roads that lead down tot he beach but it can fill up quickly. The beach is much narrower in this section where the urbanisations (Marbesa and Carib Playa) front right down to the beach and is also called Playa de las Cañas. Restaurant Le Papillon is here at the mouth of the Arroyo, further east is Reataurant Ra-Maat the end of Avenida Aregon that leads down from Avenida Andalucia which is the connecting road in the Urbanisation one bloc back from the seafront.
The Torre de Lance de los Cañas has been recentently restored. It is closer to a small fort than a watchtower. Next to it, protected land serves as a car park for beach goers and for customers of Restaurante Simbad el Marinero. A little further, at the east limit of this beach is another small car park and Restaurant Triana All these chiriinguitos are well established and are open all year round. Well worth a visit away from the madding crouds on a fine blue sky winters day.
Facilities include restaurants, bars, WC´s, showers, parasols, sun loungers, boats for hire, first aid and life guards in summer.
Playa Artola is the next Marbella beach to the east.
PLAYA ARTOLA / PLAYA DE LAS DUNAS – CARIB
Playa Artola is the beach situated to the west of Cabopino Marina. This is on a promenant part of the coast called Punta Ladrones. One assumes ladrones (robbers) prefered to come ashore on promentaries rather than inlets. A very early partly restored square plan watch tower bears testiment to this and is also called Torre Ladrones watch tower. For those interested in the watchtowers that form a chain along this this coast, the square based ones are the oldest and of Moorish origin, the round bsed ones were constructed in the nineteenth century.
Playa Artola is a unique beach in Marbella. It is the only beach in Marbella that is not backed by an urbanization, this makes it one of the most attractive beaches in the area. Construction is prohibited on this site because it is home to the Dunas de Artola (sand dunes) which are protected as a natural monument. Those enjowing the dunes and the beach should thank a group of local residents who managed to keep the constructors at bey, even during the excess years of the 1900’s and 2000’s.
The beach has been recognised for its cleaniless and excellent facilities and it generally awarded a Blue Flag. The award actually only applies to the est end of the beach towards the Cabo Pino Marina which is where the life-guard and first aid point are located.
To access this beach exit the A7 coast road at the Cabopino junction, drive towards CaboPino port and before here turn right and park with the other cars on the scrub land close to the pines. There is road down to a very small car park near the watch tower, so if it is summer save yourself the bother of turning round and park near the trees.
On the other side of the coast road is Camping Cabo Pino and als Cabo Pino Golf Course.
This beach is also a naturist (nudist) beach, particularly at the west end. the central section is mixed and the centre and the east section near the port is for textiles.
Until about year 2006 cars used to drive on a sort of track through the dunes and park and get stuck in the sand over looking the beach. A consession to the official protection was a ban on the cars and the eviction of Andy’s Chiringuito to a new location on the fine wide beach close to the Cabopino Harbour wall and next to Chiringuito La Lonja which can also be accessed from the Cabo Pino Marina where there are countless restaurant and bars to choose from as well as Apartments to stay.
Mijas Beaches to the East.
MIJAS COSTA – BEACHES
A villa on the beach could not be more of an ideal option when going on holiday. Have a look at our page on beach villas in Mijas Costa for more information.
This is the longest of the Mijas Costa beaches at over 4,500 meters long and 25 meters wide. Since it is right at the foot of the large Sitio de Calahonda urbanization, it is a very popular beach, with ramp access, many beach bars and lots of activity, but it also has some quieter corners for those who prefer a bit of piece and quiet. This beach is perfect for the whole family and caters for sunbathers, scuba divers and fishermen alike. It is a fairly straight line beach with light sand and plenty of beach beds and parasols for rent and a good choice of lively beach bars for refreshment and entertainment. The west end of the beach is wider and straighter and quieter, nothing to do with it actually being in Marbella municipal district, the beach terminates with Cabo Pino Marina.
EL CABO ROCOSO
This rocky beach is clearly defined by the ancient watchtower which marks natural border between Calahonda and La Cala. The beach is next to the Playa Marina urban complex and it is somewhat quieter than the other Mijas Costa beaches, probably due to the rocks at the water’s edge. This is a very pleasant beach for morning walks all year round and is also frequented by those who like to snorkel or go underwater swimming and surfing. As well as the hire of such watersports equipment, there are beachbeds for hire and there is a kiosk selling snacks and drinks.
Along from La Cala Beach is Butiplaya (sometimes referred to as Torrevieja Beach) at 35 meters wide and over 1,500 meters in length. Its orientation is southwest and, like La Cala, Butiplaya has lifeguards during the summer months. This is a safe beach and is in a semi-urban area, where there are usually holidaymakers or residents around during the whole year. This beach was awarded the Blue Flag in 2012 (but not since), for its high level of cleanliness and good facilities. There are showers all along the beach, as well as public toilets and changing facilities. The beach is accessible to the disabled and there is a parking area reserved for beach goers.
The usual beach beds and sunshades are available for rent, as well as lots of fun watersports from the humble ‘pedalo’ to the more exciting jet skis, water-skiing and all the latest in marine activities.
PLAYA LA CALA DE MIJAS
This 35 metre wide and almost 2,000 metre long beach, with south and south-west orientation. It is a lovely semi-urban beach in summer and winter alike, with a delightful promenade and plenty of good beach bars and restaurants. La Cala de Mijas has a village feel about it. The beach used to be called Cala de Moral. There is always parking somewhere. The Torre de La Cala fort adds interst.
There are beachbeds and parasols for hire, public toilets and changing facilities available, and showers at various points along the beach, as well as numerous public telephones.
In the summer period there is a lifeguard service and the beach is accessible to the disabled. There is plenty of parking, but it can sometimes become difficult and congested at the peak of the high season in July and especially August. The hire of watersports gear is in abundance in summer, but less evident in from the end of October to Easter, when the beach is quieter. However, a warm December day sees many Christmas holidaymakers and residents soaking up the pleasant sunshine after a fine turkey lunch!
This 320 metre-long beach is wide and curves round slightly into a large bay.El Bombo beach ends in a small (130-metre) rocky cliff which is ideal for scuba, snorkeling and underwater swimming. You can hire sunbeds and there is a beach bar for snacks and drinks.
PLAYA DEL CHAPARAL / PLAYA NATURISTA DE PLAYAMARINA
In the next sandy cove oposite Urb Playa Marina is Playa del Chaparal. It is about 300m long and hidden from the road, which is a good thing as this beach was selected by Mijas town hall as their Playa Naturista (Nudist beach). A large blue sign by the road declaires the nature of the beach. it is now called Playa Naturista de Playamarina. It is actually a nice spot and a good place for snorkelling. There as a friendly beach bar which serves food and rents the sunbeds down on the beach. There is parking on the other side of the busy coast road and a footbridge to cross over.
At the Calaburra point, El Faro beach has two steep rock face areas and over 1,000 meters stretch of sandy beach. You can see most of the beach from the main road. It is popular with underwater swimming enthusiasts. There is a beach bar and sun beds for hire. This is also a favourite beach for people who like to fish from the shore and you will often see the long fishing rods set up late into the night and tents set up for an all night vigil, ensuring a fresh fish breakfast. Like other beaches in along Mijas Costa, this one is kept as clean as possible with regular collection from the litter bins.
EL CHARCÓN / PLAYA DE LA CAMPANA
This quiet 940 metre stretch of beach where you can hire a beach bed to enjoy a quiet corner of sun is just to the east of El Faro. There are litter bins, with regular collection, but it is always appreciated if you take away as much rubbish as you can to keep up the high standards of cleanliness. The beach is sandy and is south facing.
PLAYA PEÑON DEL CURA / PLAYA MARE NOSTROM
This is a rugged, rocky part of the coastline and leads into the El Faro beach to the west. It is 195 meters long and is a very popular area for scuba divers and underwater swimming. The conditions are excellent for this type of sport, but it is always advisable to take safety precautions, using the correct apparatus and never swimming alone. The beach is well maintained and kept clean by regular rubbish collection from the litter bins available.
EL EGIDO / PLAYA DEL CASTILLO
The beach which meets up with the mouth of the river Fuengirola (below the castle Sohail) is the Egido Beach. It is 300 meters long, with safe swimming conditions, a beach bar and the hire of beach beds. There are litter bins and the beach is kept clean and tidy by the Mijas Town Hall authorities.
Next, east to Fuengirola beaches.
BEACHES IN FUENGIROLA
Fuengirola is famous for its seven kilometre (5 mile) stretch of sandy beach, beginning at the Sohail Castle to the west (at the Beatriz Spa Hotel) and ending at Torreblanca to the east. The promenade is officially called Paseo Maritimo Rey de España. (Promenade).
All along the beach and the sea front, you will find every kind of water sports and seaside amenity. The watersports areas are segregated from the bathers, head for the Marina office if you want to book a motorboat, waterski or parasail. The paseo maritimo is wide and extensive, reflecting the town’s growth in importance during that time. Front line hotels and apartment blocks are prime locations for the perfect Mediterranean beach holiday.
All along the beach, there are excellent ‘chiringuitos’ (beach bars / restaurants), where fresh fish and seafood is usually the star of the menu, even though most places also cater to the first time visitor to Spain who prefers plainer fare, such as chicken and chips. Other restaurants, representing foods around the world. There are also plenty of small mini-markets and news agents along the sea front selling toys, beach items, gifts, books, and drinks.
In high season (June to September) the whole length of the beach has ‘hamacas’ (beach beds) and parasols for hire at daily charge of around 12 euros (for two beach beds and 1 parasol). There is usually a sign up on the beach, with the price clearly marked.
The main sections of beach in Fuengirola from west to east are:
EL EJIDO / EL CASTILLO (NEAR SOHAIL CASTLE)
This is the beach at the far end of Fuengirola (west) is in sight of the impressive Beatriz Palace Spa Hotel, whose beautiful beach bar has the privileged position of opening out on to beach and the wonderful expanse of blue Mediterranean. You will see the new suspension bridge spanning the river (on your left coming from Malaga) – easily spotted from the main road and right at the turn off for the beach.
You can reach this beach by car from Malaga, taking the last exit for Fuengirola off the A7 (formerly the N340) at the Castle and park right next to the beach or beside the river. Although everywhere is busy in high season, at any other time there is usually parking space available in the area and this beach is also accessible by local bus. Because this is one of the furthest points from the town centre, it is often quieter than other beaches. Thanks to the castle and its fortifications dominating the area, there is also an absence of the otherwise ubiquitous tall modern buildings that line the rest of the sea front. There are very good beach bars and restaurants in this area. .
This beach is historically a popular beach with locals as well as foreign holidaymakers and is almost one kilometre long and also very wide. There is also a first aid point. A section of Playa Castillo has been authorised a dog beach.
From the centre of Fuengirola, take Calle Marconi off the main road, Condes de San Isidro, right opposite the old Town Hall building. Now follow the street straight down to the sea. This beach is about 1.5 kilometres in length, very central and has many restaurants, bars, hotels, apartments, and shops all close at hand. There is also a first aid point and easy access on the beach by neat lines. There are many places to hire pedal boats, jet-skis, and there are children’s play areas where the smallest members of the family can have fun. The beach bars in this area are excellent. It is worth trying to the “pescaito frito”‘ (fried fish) and the traditional “espeto” (fresh, grilled sardines on a skewer over an open fire on the beach), an Andalucian summer tradition).
Since this beach is so central, it is also an area where some of the clubs and dance bars are located. No doubt, during the day as you relax on the beach or stroll along the sea front you will be offered tokens for free entry or complimentary drink to many of these clubs and trendy bars. This is a good way to get to know what’s on once the sun is down.
After the Santa Amalia beach is a shorter section (just over 300 metres) known as San Francisco beach. It has all the amenities you would expect from a central beach area. As with the other Fuengirola beaches, during the summer months it can be very crowded, while at other times of the year, it can be the perfect place for a peaceful day on the beach, or a stroll along the shore. It is very close to bars, restaurants and shops.
Between San Francisco and Los Boliches beach is the Fuengirola Port – a hive of activity for local fishermen on one side and a modern marina for sailing enthusiasts on the other. The excellent restaurants, bars and clubs in the marina, make it a very popular place to eat out and meet friends.
Coming from Malaga on the A-7 take the Fuengirola / Los Boliches turn-off and go as far as the Plaza de San Rafael and then continue down to the sea front. There is also a local train station at Los Boliches (coming from Malaga), which is about a 10-minute walk from the beach. Los Boliches is a district of Fuengirola
This is one of the most popular beaches in Fuengirola, with all the amenities you would expect of a busy resort, especially during the busy seasons of Easter, July and August. The beach has plenty of public showers, beach beds, parasols, water sports, and children’s areas.
This beach has been awarded the Blue Flag on several occasions. It is also one of the widest areas of the beach and has easy access from the sea front right to the water’s edge with lines of wooden decking which is easy to walk on – especially when the sand is scorching hot. Couples, families and young people all enjoy coming to this beach, with its very wide range of facilities at hand. For those who prefer staying active instead of simply soaking up the sun, there are volleyball nets on this beach and a Red Cross lifesaving post is also close by, beside the mouth of the river. Parking on the sea front road or one of the side roads can be very difficult in the summer months due to the popularity of this beach.
This is the most central beach area of Fuengirola and it has many amenities close at hand. Travelling by car, come in from the A7 from Malaga. Take the Los Boliches/Fuengirola turn off and head down towards the sea.
In the busy summer months, parking on the sea front or roads nearby is very difficult, but there are several underground parking buildings within easy walking distance. There are public showers, toilets, sun beds, children’s play areas, boat hire, restaurants, bars, and hotels all in the area. There is also a safety lookout point and the area is manned by life guards. This is a very long and wide stretch of beach (approximately two kilometres long by 60 metres wide) and is very popular with the multitude of foreign visitors, many of whom are British and who enjoy spending their holiday on these well-kept area with such fine amenities.
The bars and restaurants in this area have an excellent reputation for quality and service. There are also many opportunities to try out jet skis, sailing, and pedal boats. This is a great family beach, which can be very crowded in July and August.
Come off the main A7 at the Fuengirola / Los Boliches turn-off or come along the old coast road from Benalmadena and at the Torreblanca roundabout. Now take a left down to the sea front. There is also a train station at Torreblanca if you are coming from Malaga, from which you can walk down the hill to the beach. Torreblanca is a district of Fuengirola.
This beach is on the border of the municipality of Fuengirola with that of neighbouring Benalamadena. Due to its position on the limits of the town; it tends to be quieter than the more centrally located beaches. However, it is still well-serviced with all the amenities you could want. It is normally possible to find a parking space near the beach, except during the high season (July and August) when this becomes quite a task. There are public showers and toilets, a look-out point and life-saving post, sun beds and parasols for hire, nearby kiosks for cold drinks and snacks, and many excellent bars and restaurants. There is also plenty of hotel and apartment accommodation in this area. On this one kilometre stretch of beach, there are also many different ways to have fun like jet skis, windsurfing, fishing (which is not allowed from the shoreline in high season) and kayaking. Many people prefer this beach to the more central ones. It offers some tranquillity while still having all the important facilities close at hand.
Benalmadena Costa also has almost 10 kilometers of beach to chose from. From the quiet cove, to the family focused beaches with plenty of activities. The beaches are a mixture of man-made, golden sand and shingle, all are generally well maintained and clean.
Carvajal Beach is a favourite family beach and usually very busy, with plenty going on. There are many beach bars and beach activities and amenities to hand. It is just off the main A7 highway, and accessible also by train to Carvajal. It is dominated by many high-rise buildings and is also close to shops and restaurants. It is at the start of the Fuengirola/Los Boliches. Its high standards of cleanliness and excellent facilities have been recognised by the European Blue Flag award.
This busy beach is around 700 meters long and 50 meters wide and the promenade runs along the top, leading into the main built up area. It is beside the Benalmadena Marina area and is where the Festival of the ‘Virgen del Carmen’ is celebrated each year in mid July, when the local sailors pay homage to the Virgen, whose effigy leads a procession into the sea.
Due to its central location, this beach is accessible by foot, road and bus. There is car parking, facilities (including ramp) for the disabled and Red Cross presence in the event of emergencies. It is beside the Nautical Club where you can hire boats or take advantage of the many water sports facilities. There are sunbeds and parasols for hire as well as beach showers.
Its high standards of cleanliness and excellent facilities have been recognised by the European Blue Flagaward.
This beach is named Arroyo de la Miel, because of its position at the foot of Arroyo de la Miel village. This is a very popular beach amongst serious swimmers. The beach has a long promenade, which runs right along to the port and the Marina. Its high standards of cleanliness and excellent facilities have been recognised by the European Blue Flag award.
TORRE BERMEJA BEACH
This is a beach where the whole family can have fun. Boats and jet skis can be rented out. There is even a beach football pitch set up, complete with goalposts. Whether as player or a spectator, the football adds to the lively, family atmosphere. Volleyball is another option on this lively beach. You can also try windsurfing and sailing or try your hand at fishing.
There are several beach bars and restaurants to chose from and other amenities include; car parking, sunshades and beach beds, showers, public toilets, a children’s’ park and facilities for the disabled.
This beach is compact (around 600 metres) and is close to the town and all its amenities.
SANTA ANA BEACH
A man-made wall separates the 500-meter long Santa Ana beach with that of Torre Bermeja. Santa Ana is offers many facilities; such as beach beds and sunshades, showers and public toilets, as well as facilities for the disabled. Access to the beach is easy on foot, by car or by bus. There are also many beach bars and restaurants to choose from. This is a fairly busy beach, especially in the high season, but there is parking close by. There is plenty to do, with many water sports to choose from. This beach was awarded the Blue Flag in 2012 and the Red Cross is present in case of emergencies.
This beach is sandwiched between the two housing complexes La Hidalga and Valdeconejos. This grey sand beach is not up to much, but its one saving grace is the beach bar – Paco, which is very popular and has many regular clients all the year round.
ARROYO HONDO BEACH
Set between ‘Las Viborillas’ and ‘Torremuelle’ this beach is named after the river, which flows into the sea at this point. This stretch of beach takes in the area commonly known as the ‘Hotel Costa Azul Beach’. It is very easy to reach, since it runs alongside the main road and is split into two parts, one that follows the natural line of the sea and the other, which has been regenerated to make a wider beach area. This is beach offers fewer facilities and is quieter that others in this area, especially in the mid to low season.
This is a very popular beach and if you like plenty of people around you, this could be the place for you. Unlike some of the other more urban beaches along Benalmadena Costa, this one is surrounded by green vegetation.
This is a large beach in view of the Hotel Torrequebrada. It has plenty of beach facilities, such as sun beds and parasols for rent and it usually a very popular beach, particularly in high season, because there is so much space. The sand is quite course and slightly gravely. Historically, Benalmadena was the watchtower of the coast – ‘Vigia de la Costa’. Today the three watchtowers remain in evidence are; Torre Bermeja, Torre Quebrada and Torre Muelle. Its high standards of cleanliness and excellent facilities have been recognised by the European Blue Flag award.
For the naturists, there is a small cove and nudist beach, accessible from the A7 coast road. Driving from Benalmadena along the coast in the direction of Fuengirola, double back at the roundabout after Torrequebrada and before Torremuelle. There is limited parking in the summer. You will see a sign “Benalnatura” indicating a steep concrete path down through the trees to the beach. There is a beach bar. Naturist only.
LA PERLA BEACH
La Perla Beach is protected on either side by large man made walls of stone. Access to the beach is through the large La Perla apartment building. It is usually quieter than in the other surrounding beaches.
LA MORERA BEACH
This beach is frequented mainly by locals, as well as by young people who often camp out here too. Large family groups of local people usually set up for the whole day, cooking their own food and making their own entertainment. If you’re looking for quiet seclusion, this would not be your choice of beach. If you want a taste of real Andalucian family beach life, then this is for you.
TAJO DE SOGA BEACH
This is a quiet and more secluded beach and if the first of a series of smaller beaches. There are fewer facilities but it has an altogether more tranquil atmosphere.
There are six main beaches in Torremolinos: Los Alamos, Playamar, Bajondillo, La Carihuela, Montemar and El Saltillo. The 7 km main promenade has recently undergone improvements with additional landscaping and wider pavements. Now all the beaches are linked.
EAST OF THE HEADLAND OF CASTILLO DE SANTA CLARA
Flanked by massive hotels, apartment blocks, bars and restaurants, this area is packed during the summer. Playa de Bajondillo gives way eastwards to the beaches of Playamar and Los Alamos.
The further you walk east the quieter the beaches become. This beach is backed by a Golf Course belonging to the Parador Malaga Golf Hotel and sits right under the Airport flight path. It is an official Malaga nudist beach, and frequented by mixed bathers. Facilities include: showers, off road parking, beach bar and a public telephone. Malaga Beaches
WEST OF THE HEADLAND OF CASTILLO DE SANTA CLARA
Here lies the beach areas of La Carihuela and Montemar.
La Carihuela is a favourite and offers pleasant sea views and some dramatic rock formations, plus the old fishing village of La Carihuela which is a delightful area of picturesque simple houses and bourganvillea clad patios where old men play dominoes and drink anis.
The seafront promenade, extends west behind the expansive and popular beaches of Montemar and El Saltillo, now continuing as far as Benalmadena Marina. This is the area also known for its excellent seafood restaurants and chiringuitos (beach bars).
BEACHES IN MALAGA CITY
Malaga City has much to offer a tourist, not only is it the cosmopolitan capital of the Costa del Sol it also has kilometres of beautiful sandy beaches. The beaches are all situated along the Promenade of Pablo Ruiz Picasso which is lined with bars and restaurants where you can sample Malagueño produce and culture at its best. Malagueta and La Caleta are the busiest beaches.
All beaches are accessible via the Nº 11 Bus from Paseo del Parque.
This beach is family friendly, the shoreline has been reconstructed to maximise the space, and improve the beach area. Facilities include: showers, bins, bar restaurants, parking and a public telephone. Sunbeds and parasols are available to hire. It is accessed by the promenade. It is a very popular beach for diving and fishing. Restaurants offer locally sourced fresh fish.
LAS ACACIAS – PEDRALEJO
This beach is clean and family friendly. It is a Blue Flag beach. Facilities include: disabled access, hire of sunbeds and parasols, showers, first aid point, life guard, warning advice bins, parking, public telephones, and a childrens play area
BAÑOS DEL CARMEN
This beach is situated on the Seafront of the city. It is a small beach, found along the Promenade of Pablo Ruiz Picasso. It´s facilities include: Bins, Parking, and Chiringuitos (beach bars). It is a popular fishing beach as there is a slight promentary. It is the location of the 1933 Baños del Carmen bathing pavilion and restaurant.
This beach is adjacent to La Malagueta, it is 1km long and paralell to the high rise flats of Malaga City, it is fully accessible for wheelchair users. Facilities include: First aid centre, hire of parasols and sunbeds, showers, W.C, Parking, Pedalo hire, warning advice and a public telephone. This beach is famously very clean.
This is a very large man made beach, it is accessed via the Pablo Picasso promenade whose bars and restaurants are busy day and night. It has a view of the fishing area where you can see the fisherman untangling their nets. There are a number of Chiringuitos offering a selection of drinks and Tapas. Facilities include: disabled access, warning advice, hire of sunbeds and parasols, parking, public telephone, showers, W.C and a children´s play area. This beach is the closest to the city centre located to the east of the port.
PLAYA SAN ANDRES
This long 2km beach lies to the west of port and the mouth of the river Guadalmar. It can be seen miles away for the tall chimneys of the old sugar factories. Backed by a promenade and seafront highway. Ample number of beach bars, Dubious distinction of location of the execution of Torrijos and Boyd and fellow revolutionaries in 1831.
SAN JULIAN GUADALMAR
This beach is backed by a Golf Course belonging to the Parador Malaga Golf Hotel and sits right under the Airport flight path. It is close to the Guadalmar Uranization. It is an official Malaga nudist beach, and frequented by mixed bathers. Facilities include: showers, off road parking, beach bar and a public telephone.
BEACHES IN NERJA
The Beaches of Nerja are one of the towns´s biggest assets, the crystal clear waters and rocky outcrops the pepper the coastline make it a haven for snorkelling and scuba diving. The steep cliffsides offer breath taking views; of course none as spectacular as that of the Balcon de Europa. The shape of the coves mean the waters are tranquil and the beaches protected from harsh winds. Restaurants, kiosks and chiringuitos scattered along the shoreline ensure that the beaches of Nerja are unmissable and well catered; a haven for both tourists and locals.
El Playazo beach lies to the West of Nerja town centre, between Urbanización La Tropicana and the mouth of the river Higueron; approximately 1.8km long. it is accessible from the N340 via the Rambla de Chillar.
The sand is typically mediterranean; dark with course grains.
Facilities include: showers, sunbeds, parasols and number of beach side restaurants located on the paseo, to the East of the beach, on the edge of the town. The excellent facilities and high standard of cleanliness have been recognised by the European Union who awarded it the Blue Flag.
Due to it´s size this beach remains relatively quiet even through the summer months, with tourists preferred to stay within the town centre.
La Torecilla is a small beach on the Western perimeter of Nerja town, at the end of Avenida Castilla. This beach is backed by urbanizations and the Paseo Maritimo which goes part of the way around Nerja´s coast; due to the undulating and rocky terrain the paseo cannot go all the way around the shoreline, to get to El Salon beach you have to walk slightly inland along the road.
Facilities include: beachside cafés and kiosks and a few parasols and sunbeds, but the size of this beach makes it difficult to add more facilites. This beach has also been awarded the Blue Flag by the European Union. It is mostly used by neighbouring urbanizations.
The beach takes it´s name from the nearby tower La Torrecilla. It is a small tower that was built to protect Nerja from raids by North African pirates. The tower was actuall destroyed by a British ship during the The War of Independence (much like the Balcon de Europa) but has since been restored.
El Salon beach is flanked on either side by rocky cliffs, making it a little difficult to access. It is a small beach backed by urbanizations and hotels, as such it does not have many facilities, as it is mostly used by residents of the hotels or accomodation.
This is a very small beach which is situated to the West of the Balcon de Europa. In spite of it´s size it actually offers better services than the Salon beach because of it´s central location, it has sun lougers, parasols, cafés, kiosks and parking you can even rent pedalos. It is surrounded by rocky outcrops which make it a very attractive beach, it has crystal blue waters and it’s right in the centre of town, close to the tourist office and other main sites.
CALAHONDA, CHORILLO & CARABEO
There are three very small beaches to the East of the Balcon de Europa, they are all separated by boulders and rocky cliffsides. The beaches are accessible via a footpath which passes along the cliff at the back, it is not an easy walk making it difficult for families with prams or wheelchair users. These beaches are ver picturesque and share beautiful blue waters, protected by the natural coves. They also have the added advantage of being situated in the centre of Nerja town, visible from The Balcon de Europa. These beaches are particularly popular for snorkellign and scuba diving because of the tranquil waters and clear shoals.There are basic facilities here: restaurants, chiringuitos, sunbeds and parasols for hire.
Playa Burriana is the most famous of Nerja’s beaches it is very popular with families because there is a childrens play area and a volley ball net. In spite of how busy it gets it is surprisingly spacious and clean. Like the rest of Nerja it is picturesque, flanked by cliffs on either side backed by some urbanizations but also wooded areas and gardens, as a result of this it retains a rustic feel and has few services. There are pedalos, sun lougers and parasols to hire, also there are some showers and restaurants set back off the beach itself, along the promenade. It is accessible from the N340 via Calle Bajamar, which links the main road directly to the beach car park. The beach has received many awards, including the Blue Flag and the Spanish equivalent “Q” for quality.
Just east of Nerja is a village called Maro, whose Blue Flag beach is aptly named Playa de Maro, or Caleta de Maro. This secluded cove is widely considered one of the best beaches in Andalucia, and indeed in all of Spain.
Playa de Maro is very beautiful – off-the-beaten-path, backed by cliffs, with turquoise waters, and surrounded by beautiful wild vegetation; it’s well worth the effort of getting there, despite the tricky parking plus a short walk (see below). The beach is popular with snorkellers and scuba-divers, due to the clear waters inhabited by an abundance of fish, the sheltered situation, and the rock formations around the headlands either side. It’s also a great spot for swimming in the warm Mediterranean currents. Maro beach has showers and public toilets (bring your own loo paper, just to be safe), and sunbeds and sunshades can be hired. The beach has been recognised by the Blue Flag award for its cleanliness and good facilities.
The beach also has a kiosk, and a beach bar called Los Acantilados. A family-run chiringuito serves all kinds of delicious meals, from fresh sardines to lubina (sea bream) and langostinas (big prawns). Steaks and chicken are also served along with salads, and the famous egg and chips for veggies.
Kayaks can be hired from March to October – the popular one-hour kayak route is heading west, to see the spectacular cliff-face waterfall, and around a small rocky outcrop island to the next cove and beach called Playa de la Caleta. The waterfall is beautiful, with its green moss and interesting rock formations – (spoiler alert!) it’s a great surprise when you come upon it, yet it is located only five minutes’ kayaking from Maro beach. Playa de la Caleta, which is quieter, can also be reached on foot from the village, but access is complicated weaving between very ugly plastic greenhouses.
Playa Maro was voted best beach in Andalucia and number 2 in Spain (a close runner-up to La Granadella in Alicante) in an Antenna 3 poll in July 2013. It has been recognised by the Blue Flag award for its cleanliness and good facilities.
The small cove is accessible by car, down a steep and windy tarmac road. There is a very small car park at the end of the road, which soon fills up in the summer, overflowing with cars parked up the steep access road. If you are driving down and reach the beginning of a line of parked cars, it’s best to leave your car and walk down the rest of the way.
A little further east the next beach is part of the Acantilados de Maro-Cerro Gordo Natural Area. This is a unique stretch of near-virgin coastline, which runs for 12km east of Nerja to La Herradura. Its dramatic rocky steep cliffs (acantilados) plunge down to the sea, leaving a few sheltered bays with beaches in between. Due to the protected natural area status it is not possible to drive down to track to the beach in motor vehicles. The athletic may walk or cycle. This beach is served in the summer by a shuttle minibus. Park your car just of the N340 at 36.750473N,-3.783031W (map) and wait with the other tourists in the green tin shelter for the minibus. Return ticket is €2 per person, pay the driver. There is a popular beach bars ‘Chiringuito La Piedras’ where drinks, snacks and full lunch menu is served.
LA HERRADURA BEACH
Impressive large (2km) bay sheltered and dominated by two large headlands. The beach is supported by a typically Spanish town which started out as a fishing village. Popular with the young and old alike, La Herradura is a bastion of national tourism, and is a popular summer retreat for residents of Granada city. It is less well known among non-Spanish visitors.
The beach has plenty of chiringuitos where you can try some locally caught fish and seafood, as well as many restuarants on the road alongside the beach, so you don’t need to worry about packing a picnic. Pedalos and small boats are available for hire and there is a play area for children.
CANTARRIJÁN – NUDIST BEACH
Cantarriján naturist beach is situated in the Acantilados de Maro-Cerro Gordo Natural Area just west of La Herradura near Almuñecar. Access is down a steep windy track and from mid-June to mid-September you must leave your vehicle in the car park (free) at the side of the N-340 and take the minibus (€1 each way). You won’t regret the hassle or the expense: the two shingle bays are protected by vertiginous cliffs and the sea is Caribbean clear. The first beach has sunshades, sunbeds, showers, two restaurants, and tends to be a naturist-textile mix, while the second is wilder, stonier and nuder.
Coming from Nerja on the N-340 coast road, the turn-off to Cantarriján naturist beach is well sign-posted, just past the ‘Provincia de Granada’ sign and before the Cerro Gordo tunnel. Alternatively, follow the A-7 motorway until the Almuñecar Oeste-La Herradura exit and then backtrack 8km along the N-340 towards Nerja. Cars are not allowed in this protected area so you should park along the A-7 road and catch the authorised shuttle bus down to the beach.
BEACHES IN ALMERIA
Home to one of the most spectacular natural parks, Almeria’s coast welcomes stunning virgin beaches, which don’t fail their visitors. Some were the sets of famous movies, other are hard to reach but will compensate with views out of this world. Go ahead and know the Almeria part of the best beaches in Andalucia.
Beach of Los Muertos (Carboneras)
The beach that can’t but appear in each list of the best beaches in Andalucia is the spectacular beach of Los Muertos. One might die for visiting this heaven on earth, but that’s not what this beach owes its name to. The literal translation would be Beach of the Dead Men, referring to the corpses brought on the seashore by the tide, following shipwrecks. But don’t let this grim name deceive you.
This 1-km-long, 30-metre-wide virgin beach is completely unattended by tourists, as the path leading to it is steep and a 20-minute-walk from the nearest parking. Don’t take our words for granted and see for yourself what this secluded beach in the Natural Park of Cabo de Gata has to offer. Just remember that there is no service whatsoever, so you’d better bring something to eat and drink (since trash bins are also absent, bring a garbage bag to leave the beach the same way you found it).
Beach of Monsul (San José)
This beach’s iconic landmark is a lava formation right in the middle of the seashore. This rock and the marine fauna that you can see below the crystal-clear water surface makes it an unmissable stop if you’re in Cabo de Gata. You don’t want to leave the set of famous movies out, do you? Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade and The Neverending Story had some scenes filmed here.
Beach of Los Genoveses (San José)
2.4 km from the beach of Monsul, there lies the wobbling virgin beach of Los Genoveses. You can leave your car in the nearby parking, which, however, has limited capacity. Hence, you can soak up an unspoilt atmosphere and let your eyes wander. Make sure to visit this beach on a windless day, since the thin sand can get a little annoying, and carry your own garbage bag.
Beach of Las Negras (Las Negras)
Despite being located in the same Natural Park, the characteristics of the beach of Las Negras are diametrically opposed to the beach of Los Muertos. As a matter of fact, Las Negras is a small fishermen’s village that owns a beach of the same name. Name that comes from El Cerro Negro, the black volcanic rock flanking the town, whose pebbles fill the beach of Las Negras. However, if you look for a more secluded beach, pay a visit to the Cala de San Pedro, 4 km north of Las Negras. Naturism is allowed here, due to the rocks that shelter this 225-metre-long