The Best Beaches near Malaga – My Absolute Favourites

Calling Malaga home for over two years, I have truly been spoiled when it came to the quality of beaches. No wonder that hundreds of thousands of tourists come here every year to enjoy the award-winning beaches and the warm waters of the Alboran Sea.

In this article I want to tell you all about my favourite beaches near Malaga. I’ve chosen beaches that are a maximum one hour drive from each side of the city. I have also included different types, so that there is something suitable for every type of traveller. The truth is that the best beaches near Malaga are a distance from the city. However, don’t be disappointed if you don’t drive, as the city itself has a gorgeous beach within walking distance of the old town centre.

About the Beaches of Malaga

A photo of a sandy beach, in summer. The sea is on the left hand side of the photo. There are no people on the beach, just a few hobby cat type of boats. Most of them are packed away, except for a white one.

No matter what kind of beach you are looking for, the Malaga province has something for everyone. The beaches here can be golden sandy, rocky, secluded, and even naturist. I have personally tested every single one of the beaches that I have listed below.

Most of the beaches have facilities such as lifeguard cover, toilets, chiringuitos (rustic beach bars), and loungers and umbrellas rentals. As a local, I bought my own chair and umbrella and took them with me to the beach, as it is a much more affordable option than renting. You would be spending around 20-30 euros for a beach kit at a big supermarket such as Carrefour, which makes it much more cost efficient than renting every day. So, if you are spending a longer time on Costa del Sol, consider buying your beach accessories and then donate them at the end of the trip. If you rent an apartment on Costa del Sol, you will probably have access to beach gear as well.

If you prefer to go to the beach the old fashioned way, with only a towel to lie on the sand, I would still highly recommend that you take an umbrella with you as well. The sun on Costa del Sol is extremely powerful, even in early spring or late autumn.

If this is your first trip to Costa del Sol, I must tell you about the chiringuitos. These rustic beach bars with plastic chairs situated directly on the sand make the best grilled fish you have ever tasted. They are also perfect for taking a break from the sun and enjoy a bit of lunch, and cool off with a pint of local beer.

Some of the chiringuitos rent loungers and umbrellas and will bring food and drinks to your spot on the beach. The system is simple, they usually have a green and red card, which you hold up when you want to order something, and a waiter will come to you.

How to Reach the Best Beaches near Malaga

A tall rock spreading from the shore into the sea, in the right hand corner of the photo. The water of the sea is very clear and you can notice the rocks at the bottom. The beach is covered with grey shingles.

The easiest way to reach some of the best beaches in Malaga which can be quite remote, is by car. Malaga is great when it comes to car rentals, with a massive hub at the airport. Even if I have my own car here, when I travel I usually use Holiday Extras to hire a car because they show all the hidden fees – which other booking engines will not. Don’t let yourself be fooled by the 3 euros a day car hire – that is never the real price you will pay for a rental on Costa del Sol. You can read more about my experience about hiring a car in Spain with Holiday Extras, in this article.

If you don’t drive or you don’t want to hire a car, there are quite a few beaches near Malaga that can be accessed via public transport. If you want to choose a beach between Malaga and Fuengirola, the C1 train is your friend. The commuter train stops at most of the resorts along the coast between the two cities, including Torremolinos and Benalmadena.

The local buses are quite good as well, especially if you are travelling from Malaga to Marbella, or Rincon de la Victoria. For destinations further away, such as Nerja or Almunecar, book a ticket on the fast ALSA bus.

The Best Beaches in Malaga

La Malagueta

Click for Directions

The sign on Malagueta Beach Malaga, spelling the name of the beach with sandy coloured letters

La Malagueta is the closest beach to Malaga city centre. If you are in Malaga for only two days, this is where you will want to come to sunbathe. The beach is long and extremely wide, with plenty of space even during the high season. La Malagueta doesn’t have the greatest sand on Costa del Sol, but because it’s sat inside a bay, it’s a great choice for families with children, as the water is quite shallow and warm.

The beach has all the facilities you would expect from a beach, including a volleyball court, paddle boat hire and a playground for children.

Facilities:

  • Showers and toilets
  • Lifeguard
  • Reduce mobility access
  • Green areas
  • Playground
  • Sport courts
  • Sun loungers and umbrellas rentals
  • Paddle Boat rentals
  • Chiringuitos
  • Security
  • Public transport

Playa de la Misericordia

Click for Directions

Playa de la Misericordia is on the opposite side of the city to La Malagueta. This is a much smaller beach, frequented mostly by locals rather than tourists. Whilst the beach is not as wide, it is very long and has a lovely promenade dotted with palm trees, and a cycle path. It’s a great beach to visit if you only have one day in Malaga but want to lay in the sunshine for a bit.

Facilities:

  • Showers and toilets
  • Lifeguard
  • Reduce mobility access
  • Green areas
  • Sun loungers and umbrellas rentals
  • Chiringuitos
  • Waterpark during the summer
  • Public transport

Best Beaches Near Malaga – To the East

In general, when you choose a beach east of Malaga, you will experience a slightly higher temperature of the water than in the west. This is because of the slight incline of the land which slows down the cold currents coming from the Atlantic Ocean through the straights of Gibraltar, together with the proximity of the Sierra Nevada mountains to the sea. 

Rincon de la Victoria

Click for Directions

Rincon de la Victoria is known all over the province for its massive shopping centre. A lot of people who come to enjoy a day out sunbathing here also choose to do a little shopping at the end.

Rincon de la Victoria is also home to the only sea grotto in Europe that can be visited. Inside there are remains of cave paintings by prehistoric man.

The beach in Rincon de la Victoria is wide and sandy, very popular with locals during the peak season. Along the 3.6 kilometres of beach there are plenty of chiringuitors, restaurants and beach bars.  As a former fishing village, it is believed that Rincon de la Victoria has the best boquerones in the entire Malaga province. So don’t miss having lunch or dinner at one of the chiringuitos on the beach.

Facilities:

  • Showers and toilets
  • Lifeguard
  • Reduce mobility access
  • Green areas
  • Sun loungers and umbrellas rentals
  • Chiringuitos
  • Sports area
  • Public transport

Playa de Torrox

Click for Directions

Playa de Torrox has a lovely promenade dotted with many shops, cafes, restaurants and bars. The beach is very clean and well maintained, with facilities such as lifeguard service in the summer season, toilets and showers, and plenty of places renting sun loungers and umbrellas.

Facilities:

  • Showers and toilets
  • Lifeguard
  • Reduce mobility access
  • Sun loungers and umbrellas rentals
  • Chiringuitos
  • Water sports
  • Golf course nearby
  • Public transport

Playa de Burriana

Click for Directions

The photo has been taken from above and contains mostly water, which looks like a blue velvet as it is very calm. In the left hand corner you can see some people sunbathing on towels. Towards the middle of the photo there is a child playing in the water, on the shore.

Playa de Burriana is one of the most famous beaches on Costa del Sol. Located in Nerja, the Burriana beach has won the blue flag award year after year due to its high standards. In fact, going to the Burriana beach is considered one of the best things to do in Nerja, and I can’t disagree, as it is indeed a lovely beach.

The beach is long, wide, and offers all facilities, including lifeguard watch during the high season, toilets and showers, and plenty of food options. If you sunbathe here, you must have an open fire cooked paella at the Chiringuito de Ayo. They are also famous for their avocado salads.

Burriana beach is a great option for families with children because it offers safe swimming conditions.

Facilities:

  • Showers and toilets
  • Lifeguard
  • Reduce mobility access
  • Sun loungers and umbrellas rentals
  • Chiringuitos
  • Security
  • Pedal boat rentals
  • First aid
  • Water sports
  • Playground
  • Public transport

Playa de La Caleta

Click for Directions

A wild corner of the beach. The cliffs are very close to the water, and covered with green, untidy vegetation. The sea is a bit rough, with three waves coming towards the shore. The beach is rocky.

Playa de La Caleta is a wild beach, only accessible by foot from Maro. To reach the La Caleta beach you need to climb down a lot of uneven stairs, through overgrown vegetation. It is not that well sign posted either. However, it is well worth visiting as the water is crystal clear and the sea is very calm. This makes is a great place for snorkelling, so bring the gear with you. 

Being one of the wild beaches, Playa de La Caleta is covered in pebbles and has big boulders on each side. There are no facilities here, and the beach is also home to a small hippie community. At the end of the beach is the famous Maro waterfall, which many people come to see on kayaks or SUPs.

Facilities:

  • No facilities here, it’s a wild beach
  • No public transport

Playa Cantarrijan

Click for Directions

A photo of the beach taken from the cliffs above it. The beach is in a small cove and it is flanked by tall cliffs on each side.

Playa Cantarrijan is another hidden beach near Malaga. This is a naturist beach that is accessible only by minibus in summer, due to its location in the Cerro Gordo National Park. Out of season you can drive down and park in the small off road car park near the beach.

The Cantarrijan beach is located in a small bay, below the tall cliffs of the coast. Most of the beach is rocky. There are two fantastic restaurants on the beach, but you do have to book first thing when you arrive if you want to have lunch here. They are both very highly rated.

If you like hiking, the Cero Gordo National Park has plenty of opportunities for you. I hiked part of the path that connects the old watchtowers which used to protect the coast from pirates attacking from the sea. The views from the path were breath-taking, especially the colour of the sea, which is the most beautiful turquoise that you will ever encounter.

Facilities:

  • Showers and toilets
  • Chiringuitos
  • Sun loungers and umbrellas rentals
  • Massage
  • Free parking out of season
  • No public transport

Playa la Herradura

Click for Directions

A close-up of a couple of yellow kayaks on the beach

Playa la Herradura is a small beach famous for the water sports. Here you will find plenty of places where you can hire gear for snorkelling, kayaking, or SUP-ing. There are a few companies that organise guided kayaking trips as well, which go to the hidden caves along the coast, accessible only from the sea.

I visited Herradura to take such a kayaking excursion, about which you can read in this article. I also spent a couple of hours sunbathing before the tour started. The beach is small and rocky, but the sea is warm and the water very clear.

Facilities:

  • Showers and toilets
  • Lifeguard
  • Reduce mobility access
  • Sun loungers and umbrellas rentals
  • Chiringuitos
  • Water sports
  • Playground
  • Free parking
  • Public transport

Playa San Cristobal

Click for Directions

This photo has been taken from the hotel in front. The sun in shining into the sea, making it sparkly. The beach is flanked by tall palm trees, behind which there is a wide paved promenade.

This is one of the main beaches in Almunecar. It is a mixture of sand and pebbles, and it offers beautiful views over the cliffs along the bay. The beach has a few chiringuitos on it and plenty of bars and restaurants along the promenade. In the summer evenings this area of the town is very lively.

This beach is great for swimmers but not for families with children.  After just a few steps into the sea, there is a steep drop. 

This area of Almunecar is popular with hotels, and there are quite a few reasonably priced ones where you can book a room with a sea view. You can read my review of the Helios Hotel, which is located on this beach, here.

Facilities:

  • Showers and toilets
  • Lifeguard
  • Reduce mobility access
  • Sun loungers and umbrellas rentals
  • Chiringuitos
  • Playground (in summer)
  • Pedalo boat hire
  • First aid
  • Paid car park
  • Public transport

Playa de la Caletilla

Click for Directions

A tiny beach between white villas and a rock with a cross on the top.

The other main beach in Almunecar is La Caletilla. It is a much quieter beach, smaller, and not as popular as other nearby beaches. As the beach is inside a cove, the water is calm and warm.

The beach has a chiringuito from where you can also rent a lounger and an umbrella.

Facilities:

  • Showers
  • Sun loungers and umbrellas rentals
  • Chiringuitos
  • Public transport

Playa de la Charca

Click for Directions

This photo has been taken from the water. All you can see is the clear water and the blue sky above it. In the middle, where they meet, there is an inflatable water playground, with red, white and blue elements.

Another great beach near Malaga that is close to my heart is Playa de la Charca, in Salobrena. I have visited Salobrena quite a few times, especially in summer, when I’m escaping from the tourists of Costa del Sol. The beach is wide enough and is covered with pebbles. The water is so clear that you can easily see the sandy bottom.

On the western edge of the beach there is a rock you can climb, which adrenaline junkies like to jump into the sea from. 

Playa Charca is a great beach for families with children as well, due to the water park on the sea. There are plenty of restaurants along the beach, most of them offering free tapas when you buy drinks.

There is plenty of free parking along the main road leading to the beach, Avenia Mediterraneo and along Paseo Maritimo, which runs parallel to the beach. For more information about Salobrena, check out my article about the town by clicking here.

Facilities:

  • Showers and toilets
  • Lifeguard
  • Reduce mobility access
  • Sun loungers and umbrellas rentals
  • Chiringuitos
  • Water park
  • Pedalo boat hire
  • Water sports
  • First aid
  • Free Parking
  • Public transport

Playa de Granada

Click for Directions

A photo of the beach from afar, taken from a boat. Behind the beach you can see the snowy peaks of the Sierra Nevada mountains.

Another great beach close to Salobrena and to Motril is Playa de Granada. The beach is wide and covered with gritty black sand, which might not be to everyone’s taste. However, I am adding Playa de Granada to my list because it is a dog friendly beach, and because it has a great beach bar where I had some amazing food.

Sunhara beach club has a chilled vibe and a relaxed ambiance, and serves some of the best food I have had on Costa Tropical. They use local ingredients and add their twist to classic Spanish tapas such as croquettes or carillada. When in season, the custard apple cheesecake is a must! 

As I stayed at the Playa Granada resort, which is right on the beach, I have witnessed some gorgeous sunsets.

Facilities:

  • Showers and toilets
  • Lifeguard
  • Reduce mobility access
  • Sun loungers and umbrellas rentals
  • Chiringuitos
  • Free Parking
  • Golf course nearby
  • No public transport

Best Beaches near Malaga – To the West

Playa de los Alamos

Click for Directions

I like this beach because it is in between Malaga and Torremolinos, and most of the beach goers are locals. There are quite a few chiringuitos and beach clubs along the sand that offer loungers and umbrellas for hire, at affordable prices.

This beach is quite unique as it is very close to the airport and you can see the planes taking off or landing, depending on which direction the wind is blowing. This is also a popular beach for windsurfers.

Playa de los Alamos has a large car park where you can leave your vehicle all day for a fee of just a few euros. 

Facilities:

  • Showers and toilets
  • Lifeguard
  • Reduce mobility access
  • Sun loungers and umbrellas rentals
  • Chiringuitos
  • Pedalo boat hire
  • Water sports
  • Paid Parking
  • Public transport

Playa de la Carihuela

Click for Directions

Playa de la Carihuela is one of the most popular beaches in Benalmadena. It is sandy and offers a great range of places to eat, shop and have fun. It features a long promenade perfect for strolling along in the evenings, to watch the sunset from.

The beach starts just off the harbour in Benalmadena, where you will find a large car park. There are several sand artists along the beach, who make some really impressive creations. The water is quite shallow and the sea is calm. 

Facilities:

  • Showers and toilets
  • Lifeguard
  • Reduce mobility access
  • Sun loungers and umbrellas rentals
  • Chiringuitos
  • Pedalo boat hire
  • Playground
  • Marina
  • Paid Parking

Playa de Carvajal

Click for Directions

A photo of the sandy beach, taken just after the sunrise. There is nobody on the beach, except for lined up sun loungers, underneath hay covered umbrellas. The sun loungers are white and are covered with light coloured mattresses.

In my opinion, Playa de Carvajal is one of the most beautiful beaches near Malaga. It is wide with fine soft sand, and it has all the facilities you would expect from a beach on Costa del Sol. Every year the Carvajal beach is awarded a blue flag, in recognition of its high standards.

The beach is very popular with locals and can get a bit crowded during summer. It is also very popular with families with children because the water here is very calm.

There is plenty of parking close to the beach, and plenty of restaurants and bars along it. There are a few chiringuitos on the beach too. Dogs are allowed on one section of the beach.

Facilities:

  • Showers and toilets
  • Lifeguard
  • Reduce mobility access
  • Sun loungers and umbrellas rentals
  • Chiringuitos
  • Free Parking
  • Public transport

Playa de los Boliches 

Click for Directions

A photo of the beach that highlights how wide it is. A man is walking his dog along the shore. Behind the beach there is a row of tall buildings, and behind them you can see the mountains.

Playa de los Boliches is a wide, accessible, sandy beach. It is a blue flag awarded beach due to the high standards offered to its visitors: clean water, safe for swimming and spotless sand. The beach is also suitable for families with children, and features a dedicated play area.

Los Boliches beach has a rental centre for pedal boats and kayaks.

The nearest parking to the Los Boliches beach is at the fairground area. It is free of charge, but unavailable on market days. 

Facilities:

  • Showers and toilets
  • Lifeguard
  • Reduce mobility access
  • Sun loungers and umbrellas rentals
  • Chiringuitos
  • Playground
  • Pedalo boat hire
  • Free Parking
  • Golf courses nearby

Playa de Fuengirola

Click for Directions

A photo of the quiet beach in Fuengirola taken at sunrise. There is nobody on the beach. The water is on the left hand side of the photo

The main beach in Fuengirola is not very wide, but it’s a great place to sunbathe if you are based in the city. Living just outside Fuengirola, I often came here to sunbathe. The beach is observed by a lifeguard during the peak season, it is clean, and has plenty of beach bars and chiringuitos.

Towards the west end of the beach is the Sohail Castle, which makes a nice visit in Fuengirola. If you are here in September, make sure to attend the medieval festival which is held inside the castle. On the beach in front of the castle there are also a few barbecue areas.

Parking close to the beach in Fuengirola is not easy though. However, the beach is only a few minutes’ walk from the bus and the train stations. 

Facilities:

  • Showers and toilets
  • Lifeguard
  • Reduce mobility access
  • Sun loungers and umbrellas rentals
  • Green areas
  • Chiringuitos
  • Pedalo boat hire
  • Water sports
  • Fun Park & waterpark nearby
  • Paid Parking
  • Marina
  • Golf course nearby
  • Limited paid parking
  • Public transport

La Cala

Click for Directions

The beach in La Cala. The photo was taken in winter so there is nobody on the beach, but the sky is still blue. The sea is on the right hand side of the photo.

La Cala is my local beach and I love it dearly. It is long, wide and clean, with soft golden sand, and plenty of free spots even in high season. The promenade along the beach is filled with restaurants, chiringuitos and more recently, a beach bar with a lovely pool.  

The water is warm but becomes deep quite quickly, close to the shore. Towards the west end of the beach the sand becomes rockier. This is a great place for snorkelling, as the water is crystal clear.

The beach has all facilities, including a little massage parlour just next to the terrace of El Torreon restaurant.

Many afternoons, just before the sunset, I have seen dolphins swimming close to the shore.

The village of La Cala is lovely, with many great places to eat about which I’ve written here. Just outside there is a massive free parking lot, so you don’t need to enter the village with your car. The walk from the parking to the beach takes about 5 minutes.

Facilities:

  • Showers and toilets
  • Lifeguard
  • Reduce mobility access
  • Sun loungers and umbrellas rentals
  • Chiringuitos
  • Water sports
  • Massage
  • Free Parking
  • Golf course nearby
  • Public transport

Playa Riviera

Click for Directions

The beach is split from the sea by a layer of big rocks.

The beach at Riviera is quite small, but very clean. Here you will find a combination of sand and rocks, and a fancy beach bar which has a pool and frequent DJ parties. Just down the path, towards la Cala, you will find the hidden Garden Bar – a lovely oasis where you can cool off from the heat whilst still having the view of the sea.

I like that the Riviera beach doesn’t get very crowded. If you come here by car, the parking options can be quite limited, along the uphill Avenida del Golf. You can also walk to Riviera from La Cala on the promenade.

Facilities:

  • Showers and toilets
  • Reduce mobility access
  • Beach club
  • Public transport

Playa de Cabopino

Click for Directions

I am sitting on the sand and pointing with both my arms towards the sea. The sand is golden. I am wearing a black pair of jeans, a blue tshirt, white trainers, and a grey jacket tied around my waist.

Playa de Cabopino is located at the far east of Marbella. It is a clean, white sandy beach next to the small harbour of Cabopino, where you will find some good restaurants. Part of this beach is naturist as well. The water here is quite shallow, making it a good choice for families.

Near the beach there is a walk along the dunes, which are a natural protected monument.

Facilities:

  • Showers and toilets
  • Lifeguard
  • Reduce mobility access
  • Sun loungers and umbrellas rentals
  • Chiringuitos
  • Pedalo boat hire
  • Water sports
  • Marina
  • Public transport

Playa del Pinillo

Click for Directions

A line of palm trees on the left hand side of the beach. The sea is on the right hand side of the photo. The photo was taken at sunrise, and the sky is slightly orange.

If you want to practice kitesurfing or windsurfing but don’t want to go all the way to Tarifa, the Pinillo beach in Marbella is the place to go. This beach is often chosen for the big concerts and events that take place in Marbella.

The beach is covered with soft, white sand. 

Facilities:

  • Showers and toilets
  • Lifeguard
  • Sun loungers and umbrellas rentals
  • Chiringuitos
  • Water sports
  • Public transport

Playa de la Fontanilla

Click for Directions

Beach chair lined up one next to the other, waiting for tourists, in front of the sea. Each chair has a white umbrella, which is closed.

Playa de la Fontanilla is one of the main beaches in Marbella, overlooked by a line of seafront hotels and bars. There are plenty of places renting sun loungers and umbrellas – at a higher price than everywhere else though.

The beach is very nice, even if not that wide. It has fine, white sand, and it’s very clean.

Facilities:

  • Showers and toilets
  • Lifeguard
  • Reduce mobility access
  • Sun loungers and umbrellas rentals
  • Chiringuitos
  • Pedalo boat hire
  • Water sports
  • First aid
  • Free parking
  • Marina
  • Public transport

Liked it? Pin it!

The best beaches near Malaga pin

Disclaimer: Some of the links on this website are “affiliate links.” This means that if you click on the link and do a purchase, I will receive an affiliate commission at no extra cost to you. This helps me keep my website running and continue to share my travelling knowledge with you. I thank you for booking your flights or hotels using the links on my website. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers.

2 thoughts on “The Best Beaches near Malaga – My Absolute Favourites

  1. Pingback: Where to Eat in Salobreña – My Favourite Restaurants - Andalucia In My Pocket

  2. Pingback: Best Spots To Enjoy The Summer Sun • Dalton's Destinations

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.