13 Best Beaches in Malaga for Fun Under the Sun

The province of Málaga, heart of the world-renowned Costa del Sol, boasts nearly 180 kilometers of spectacular coastline along the western reaches of Spain’s Mediterranean coast.

From stretches of sand footsteps away from the bustling avenues of Málaga capital to quiet coves tucked between fishing villages, Málaga has no shortage of beach destinations for your coastal getaway. 

Within the province, there are more than 30 blue flag beaches — or beaches that meet certain criteria to be considered excellent. Grab your towel and sunscreen and join me for fun under the sun at the best beaches in Málaga.

1. La Malagueta

Panoramic view of Malagueta beach in Malaga. Costa del Sol, Andalusia, Spain

A mere 15 minute walk from Málaga’s historic center, La Malagueta stretches in a gentle curve along the skyline. The lapping waves of the Mediterranean and shady palm trees meet the hustle and bustle of the city at La Malagueta, where city buses whisk passengers from place to place as locals and visitors alike bask in the sunlight meters away. 

La Malagueta is the perfect quick beach trip from the city’s summer heat, whether you’re looking for a midday swim or a sunset picnic. Kiosks, restaurants and beach lounges dot this stretch of sand, considered one of the top beaches in Málaga. The beach extends into the continuous and equally wonderful La Caleta beach. 

2. Playas Pedregalejo y del Palo

view of a fishing boat in Pedregalejo Beach in Malaga, Spain

The neighborhoods of Pedregalejo and El Palo are old fishing villages that have since been absorbed by the provincial capital and now form the bulk of the city’s eastern districts. They boast a number of the best beaches in Málaga, crescent-shaped between wave-breaking jetties and promenades. 

Cool off from the heat of the beach with lunch at one of the many chiringuitos, or casual beachside eateries, where you can taste the seafood vital to Málaga’s culture. The beaches are also lined with all sorts of other attractions, from hole-in-the-wall dives and rooftop lounges to boutique beach hotels and tapas bars. 

If you time your trip right, you can be lucky enough to partake in the festival of la Virgen del Carmen, an apparition of the Virgin Mary that is considered the patron of the sea. In mid-July, locals flood the streets of Pedregalejo and bear a thronal effigy of the Virgin to the beach. A larger celebration characteristic of Málaga’s Catholic heritage and beach culture follows the parade.

3. La Misericordia 

closeup of some different espetos, a kind of skewers where fish is skewered to cook over a wood fire, a traditional cooking method of Malaga, in La Malagueta beach, Malaga, Spain

On the other side of Málaga’s port, you can find La Misericordia beach. As it extends alongside many residential neighborhoods, La Misericordia is frequented by locals and bordered by many shops, bars and chiringuitos.

La Misericordia is an excellent place to try espetos — or skewered sardines grilled by open-fire on beaches in Málaga. 

This beach is also known for being the site of seaside moragas on the Night of Saint John, where thousands flood the beach to celebrate under bonfires and fireworks. 

4. Nerja

Calahonda beach in the town of Nerja with people sunbathing in spring, Andalucia. Spain.

The small town of Nerja rises above the Mediterranean where the Sierra de Almijara mountains meet the sea. The result is a dramatic coastline that makes Nerja home to some of the best beaches near Málaga.

Hidden beaches dot the rugged coastline, some of them tucked away in coves surrounded by steep cliffs, such as Playa de la Caleta and Calahonda beach.

A trip to Nerja is incomplete without renting a kayak and some snorkeling gear to explore the coastline from the waves. Just over 50 kilometers from Málaga, this cliffside town is easily accessible by car, motorbike or bus. 

5. Playa de Maro 

Picture of the Playa De Maro (Maro Beach) with a big sky with clouds. Tourist resort in Costa del Sol, Andalusia, Spain.

While this beach is located in Nerja, its proximity to a waterfall that tumbles directly into the sea sets it apart from the other spots in the area.

Hidden in a small cove, Maro beach is a perfect destination for the adventurous. Affordable kayak rentals allow you to explore the nearby coast to discover other quiet beaches and, if you’re lucky, watch water tumble over emerald cliffs into the sea at the Cascada de Maro (Maro waterfall). 

This beautiful beach is also noted for its calm, clear waters. Snorkeling and scuba enthusiasts can enjoy the abundant sea life that thrives among the cracks and crevices of the rocky, hidden beach. 

6. Marbella beach clubs  

A view of Nikki Beach Club Marbella in Malaga, Spain
Editorial credit: Wirestock Creators / Shutterstock.com

Come to Marbella and flash your cash on some of the most luxurious beaches in Málaga. Of course a city known for its glitz and glamour offers a number of exclusive beach clubs for you to kick back, relax, and enjoy the sun for which the Costa del Sol is named in high style. 

Enjoy the opulent lunches at world-famous Nikki Beach, where you might share the sun with celebrities and socialites, or dive into the after-dark bacchanalia of party oases like Ocean Club and Opium Beach Club. 

These clubs offer access to Marbella’s beautiful beaches while providing exclusive access to pristine pools and dining, drinking and dancing. 

7. Playa de Cabopino 

Coastal path of Cabopino in Marbella, Costa del Sol, Andalusia Spain

But not all beaches in Marbella are posh and pricey. Located away from the high-rises and glimmering yachts of the city, the quiet beach of Cabopino extends from the protected Artola sand dunes into a wide expanse of natural, golden sand.

It is one of the best beaches in Málaga province, though be aware that many local beach-goers consider it “clothing optional.” 

8. Torrox Costa

Adult couple walking with their dog on the beach promenade at the Torrox Costa in Southern Spain, Malaga Province.
Editorial credit: BigDane / Shutterstock.com

This lesser known corner of Málaga province is a great place to beat the crowds and prices of other locations along the Costa del Sol.

The waterfront is dominated by Playa de las Lindes, a quiet beach that blends the urban convenience you might find in Málaga capital with the tranquility and cleanliness you expect of a destination more off the beaten path. 

Four kilometers inland from Torrox Costa is the eponymous, white-washed village of Torrox. The town’s winding streets offer commanding views of the Mediterranean and make for a perfect day trip from the coastal developments. 

9. Torremolinos

Bajondillo Beach
Editorial credit: nito / Shutterstock.com

Perhaps one of the most famous spots along the Costa del Sol, Torremolinos has a long history of nightlife and beach days. Many of the best beaches near Málaga extend along Torremolinos’ 8 kilometers of seafront, some of which you can access via scenic staircases that descend from the elevated city. 

The most famous beach in Torremolinos is Playa Los Alamos, which extends eastward for several kilometers. During the summer, malagueños and visitors alike dance the nights away at the many live music events along the beach. The beach is also a reputed spot for extreme sports like kitesurfing and windsurfing, due to the strong winds that blow past the city. 

Torremolinos is also a popular beach for the LGBTQ+ community, due to the city’s history of progressive attitudes. The very first gay bar in Spain opened in Torremolinos in the 1960s despite the fascist dictatorship. Since then, members of the community have flocked to the coastal city for its beaches, bars and celebrations.

10. Benalmádena

waves and sunset at benalmadena beach

Adjacent to Torremolinos is the city of Benalmádena, where 17 beaches sprawl for 20 kilometers. Boardwalks run along many of the eastern beaches, such as Playa de Santa Ana and Playa Arroyo de la Miel, where you can find the perfect spot for a cheap drink and fresh seafood. 

Head a little further west and the wide sandy shores are replaced by hidden beaches between rocky cliffs. Las Viborillas is one such beach, where beach-goers lounge in the shade of a jungly copse of palm trees.

This rocky part of Benalmádena is characterized by the seaside restaurants clinging to cliffs and overlooking the beautiful beaches that draw visitors from across the world. 

11. Peñón del Cuervo

Penon del Cuervo beach. Costa del sol, Malaga, Spain

Named for the massive rock that rises from the waves, Peñón del Cuervo is a hidden beach just beyond Málaga capital. From the shore, you can catch panoramic vistas of the city and mountains beyond.

Peñón del Cuervo is the perfect place for a beach gathering, as it offers picnic tables and grills for DIY barbecues. A quiet beach near Málaga, Peñón del Cuervo is a nice alternative to the busier beaches around the city. 

12. Mijas Costa

Picturesque street of Mijas with flower pots in facades. Andalusian white village. Costa del Sol. Southern Spain

Between Fuengirola and Marbella lies Mijas Costa, where you can find some of the best beaches near Málaga all while beating the crowds at the more trafficked destinations. Like Torrox Costa, this stretch of shore is named for the renowned mountainside village of Mijas.

Take a stop at Playa de la Cala, a beach with hammock rentals for those of you who aren’t keen on sprawling on the sand. The beach lies right up against an urban area with plenty of options for food and parking. Another family-friendly beach option along Mijas Costa is Playa El Bombo. 

Anyone can get their beach on in Mijas Costa — both the beaches I’ve mentioned have excellent amenities for disabled access, as does the nearby Playa el Faro. 

13. Estepona

Colourful rowing boat and palm trees on sandy beach on the Costa del Sol in Spain

Right before the Costa del Sol continues into Cádiz province, Estepona offers some of Málaga’s top beaches.

Follow the flower-lined streets of this authentic town to Playa del Cristo, a west-facing cove that offers calm, shallow water and views of the Rock of Gibraltar on clear days. There’s a lot of those in Estepona, which experiences more than 325 days of sunshine each year. 

A short drive from Estepona, you can find some peace and quiet at Playa de La Galera. This spot, named for the small tower that rises at one end of the beach, is one of Málaga province’s lesser-known beaches, but beloved all the same.

Conclusion

It’s as impossible to choose from all the beaches in Málaga province as it is to try to count the sand on any one of them. With all the sun and shore you could ever need, Málaga is a perfect place to seek a beach escape.

Whether you’re a malagueño/a por los cuatro costados or a recent visitor, comment below if you know of any other spots to enjoy the Costa del Sol.

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