No trip to the capital of the Costa del Sol is complete without paying a visit to at least one of the many nearby beaches. With over 300 days of sun every year, a visit to the beach visit could be on almost any vacation itinerary, regardless of the season. Whether you want to swim, find the best seafood, or simply just relax, there’s a great beach option for everyone—but how do you choose? This guide to the best beaches in Malaga will get you started.
Best Beaches in Malaga
1. Playa de la Malagueta, Malaga
The buzzing, colorful Playa de la Malagueta is the closest beach to the city and the easiest to reach. Here, you’ll find a mix of both locals and tourists here working on their suntans or playing beach volleyball. You can lay in the sand, take a dive in the water, or relax on the grass in the shade of the palm trees. Be sure to take a great photo by the iconic Malagueta sign and hit up one of the chiringuitos (beach bars) for a refreshing drink.
2. Playa de el Palo, Malaga
Feeling active? Rent a bike and follow the boulevard along the coastline of Malaga. You’ll end up in Malaga’s quaint fishermen villages, such as El Palo, as evidenced by the tiny, colorful houses lined up side by side along the beach.
The beaches here are mainly filled with locals, both relaxing on the beach and enjoying fresh fish like the famous espetos. These are sardine skewers cooked on a barbecue on the beach—and the fascinating part is the fact that the grill is made out of an old fishing boat!
Insider’s Tip: If cycling isn’t your thing, bus 11 from the city center takes you there as well.
3. Playa Peñón del Cuervo, Malaga
Keep on going past the old fishing villages and you’ll reach Playa Peñón del Cuervo. You won’t find beach bars and restaurants, but it’s still popular with locals, especially on weekends.
Public barbecue spots next to the beach make this the perfect location for celebrations or get-togethers, and the big rock close to the shoreline adds a spectacular backdrop.
4. Playa de la Misericordia, Malaga
Heading east (in the opposite direction from Malagueta), there are even more beaches. This area used to be Malaga’s main industrial neighborhood, and you can still see the remains of this time, with old chimneys creating an interesting look. It is one of the neighborhoods of Malaga that is not that known by tourists yet.
It’s less popular with tourists, but one reason that locals love this beach so much because of the Ola del Melillero. These are summertime waves that can take you by surprise because they seem to appear out of nowhere, but are actually caused by the Malaga-Melilla ferry (nicknamed Melillero) that arrives in Malaga every night. If your timing is right, you can even surf on these waves!
5. Playa El Salón, Nerja
If you love bright white beaches and crystal clear water, you have to visit Nerja! About an hour by bus from Malaga’s city center, this village is easy to reach. Playa El Salón is right near the city center and very popular among Spanish families due to its ample facilities and beautiful views.
There are no restaurants right at the beach, but the charming city center has plenty of them. Whitewashed houses and cobbled streets give the town of Nerja a typical southern Spanish feeling. Don’t forget to go to Balcón de Europa for one of one of the prettiest views in Malaga, and maybe even one of the best you’ll ever see!
6. Playa de la Carvajal, Fuengirola
Take a train from Malaga’s city center and you’ll reach Fuengirola. Once a small fishing village, this town is now one of the most popular destinations of the Costa del Sol!
This means some of the beaches in Fuengirola can get very busy, but the most isolated beach of Fuengirola is Playa de la Carvajal. It has beautiful golden sand, and the shallow shoreline means that it’s perfect for families with children.
7. Playa El Cristo, Estepona
Estepona is another city near Malaga with many nice beaches, though one of the best is Playa El Cristo. Located in a little cove, this beautiful and clean beach is easy to reach by car. The water is always a bit warmer than at other beaches, and its location means you can enjoy the sunlight until well into the evening.
Not far from Playa El Cristo you’ll find the port of Estepona, a nice area to explore with lots of restaurants, pretty boats, and even an old lighthouse.
Keep Exploring: The most breathtaking white villages in Malaga
Photo Credit: Nick Kenrick