The Mediterranean Costa del Sol to the east of Malaga, along southern Axarquia, is much less developed than the western Costa del Sol. The Axarquia is one of the few areas to still feature coastline and beaches that have managed to escape the all-consuming urban development that has invaded other parts of the Mediterranean coast. Malaga Beaches are very varied and range from small pebbles and fine shale to white fine sand.
In this area there are still secluded rocky coves and long stretches of sandy beaches undiscovered by all but a few lucky tourists. In between there are relatively large resorts at Rincon de la Victoria, Torre del Mar, Torrox and Nerja, providing a wealth of water sports and other facilities. The area´s main fishing port at Caleta de Velez provides daily catches of fresh fish and shell fish which can be bought from the fish markets, fish mongers, supermarkets and restaurants. This is an area of Spain popular with the Spanish, where the towns with their huge variety of restaurants and shops do not close down during winter. In fact bathers can be seen on the beaches and swimming in the sea all year round.
The map and key to facilities above are a quick guide to just some of Axarquia´s and Malaga’s beaches. Below we fill in the gaps plus give additional information. From west to east, we begin just east of Malaga City at La Cala del Moral.
Cala del Moral
Between Malaga City and Rincon de la Victoria with a long sandy beach, an attractive partly urban with facilities, partly cliff backdrop.
Rincon de la Victoria
The beach at Rincon de la Victoria has a pedestrian promenade and a host of bars and restaurants. There are toilets and showers, watersports and childrens playgrounds situated along the beach which runs parallel to the town´s main street and shops. Rincon has a wide, sandy beach and only gets busy during the Spanish holiday season during July and August.
Torre de Benagalbon
Still within an urban zone, sandy beach for families or singles with lots going on.
A peaceful sandy beach, more than a kilometre in length, with little urbanisation in the area.
Beach at Benajarafe, Chilches
A wide sandy beach with lots of good restaurants, no water sports, mostly undiscovered. Do your own thing and enjoy!
Benajarafe an unspoilt town, with no high-rise, bordering a beautiful sandy beach with promenade. Lots of fabulous restaurants but few shops.
Few facilities as yet save a fabulous Spanish restaurant complex. Those that live in the urbanisation that overlooks this sandy beach have an unspoilt world to themselves.
Beach at Bajamar off Almayate Playa
One of the most unspoilt beaches on the Costa del Sol, reminiscent of third world. Access is via an unmarked track to the tiny white village of Almayate Bajo bordering the sea. Totally bizarre beach bars where banana trees and vibrant flowers grow out of sand and a backdrop of bamboo and sugar cane. It was a difficult decision whether or not to divulge this particular sandy secret.
Between Almayate and Torre del Mar, a turn off from the N-340 signposted for Camping Almanat leads to a naturist beach and campsite, open to the public. Facilities include a reception office, car park through barrier (charged), and a nudist restaurant/bar with toilets open every day. This is a secluded stretch of narrow sand and pebble beach, flanked by farmland and set aside for naturism.
Beach at Torre del Mar
Torre del Mar is a large coastal resort with an enormous, predominantly sandy, beach flanked by a wide and attractive promenade (the Paseo Maritimo), at four kilometres this is a very long beach and the longest promenade on the Costa del Sol, with lots of parking. Facilities include sunbeds, showers, toilets and numerous bars and restaurants.
Caleta de Velez
The promenade from Torre del Mar extends to the delightful fishing village of Caleta de Velez. There are sandy beaches either side of the harbour and marina, with a low-rise urban backdrop and facilities including restaurants, bars, shops and disabled access. Year round Boat Trips run from the marina.
Beach at Lagos Algarrobo
The beach at Algarrobo has a high-rise urban background with all facilities.
Playa de Mezquitilla
Mezquitilla is a small coastal village with a very pleasant unspoilt beach. There are several restaurants and bars and few shops.
Lagos is a small coastal village within the municipality of Algarrobo, situated 38k east of Malaga. There are no new developments here as yet, just a scattering of one and two storey village houses facing out to sea, several excellent restaurants and hidden bars and a few shops. Lagos Beach is a narrow mix of sandy coves for sunbathing and a rocky shoreline making it popular for snorkeling.
Beach at El Morche
Facilities at El Morche include sunbeds, showers, toilets and a couple of restaurant/bas. A wide sandy beach that continues eastwards into Playa Ferrara.
Torrox Costa: Playa Ferrara
Torrox Costa´s main beach, which runs for almost two kilometres eastwards along a promenade to the lighthouse. Numerous restaurants, bars and shops open all year, plus sunbeds, showers, toilets and a kids playground. In summer there are also pedaloes and lifeguards.
Torrox Costa: El Penoncillo
The beach at El Penoncillo, which runs eastwards from the lighthouse towards Nerja, is wider and stonier than the beach at neighbouring Playa Ferrara. Facilities include a few beach bar/restaurants providing sunbeds, showers and toilets.
Between Torrox Costa and Nerja, along the N-340, there are a dozen or so sandy coves. Some have a restaurant alongside or perched on the cliffs above, while others have no failities other than parking.
El Calaceite is a new resort with golf complex situated above the cliffs and coastline between Torrox and Nerja. No direct facilities as yet, but that is the main attraction.
Nerja: El Playazo
At two kilometres in length, El Playazo is Nerja´s longest beach. Rugged and undeveloped, partly sandy and partly pebbles; a favourite with wind surfers. Its located at the west end of Nerja accessed via Calle Merida beside Hotel Marinas de Nerja from where you can drive along the beach. Facilities include a few beach bar/restaurants, showers and a kids playground. If you are looking for English bars, Sky Sports, Internet cafés and sophisticated restaurants, then this certainly isn´t the beach for you. If, on the other hand, you are looking to swim, sunbathe, play games on the beach and enjoy a good meal at normal Spanish prices, then El Playazo is the place for you. At Playazo, you can go horseriding under a Full Moon or listen to the area´s best live bands play in the chiringuitos – check out Guiri who play here regularly.
Nerja: El Chucho
El Chucho is a small beach between Playazo and Torrecilla. Facilities include toilets and showers but for bars and restaurants you need to go to either Torrecilla, just a few metres walk, or to Playazo.
Nerja: Playa la Torrecilla
Torrecilla Beach, just around the corner from El Playazo, is a soft sandy, wide and sheltered beach with very shallow water in the west of Nerja accessed via steps from Calle Merida beside Hotel Monica and running along to Plaza Fabrica de los Cangrejos at the bottom of Calle Castilla Perez. Facilities include toilets, showers, a number of bar/restaurants, sunbeds, sunshades and pedaloes for hire.
Nerja: El Salon
Although located in central Nerja and accessed via Calle Salon beside Iglesia el Salvador, El salon is Nerja´s best kept secret. A cobbled walkway leads to a quiet, sandy beach which is a favourite with the locals and feels a million miles away from the bustling and busy town centre just a few steps away. At the back of the beach are a number of dwellings, built partly or completely into the cliff face. Some are used as vacation retreats by Spanish holidaymakers, others are used by the local fishermen.
Nerja: Playa La Caletilla
A small sandy beach located in central Nerja at the foot of the Hotel Balcon de Europa. Accessed via steps next to Tourist Information Office and following the path around the Balcón. Although the beach is public the facilities, which include sunbeds, showers, toilets and a bar/restaurant, belong to the hotel.
Nerja: La Calahonda
A sandy, scenic fishermen´s beach in a quiet bay, just 120 metres long. Located in central Nerja immediately next, and left of, the Balcon de Europa and accessed via the steps next to the Tourist Information Office. Facilities include sunbeds, showers and toilets provided year round by the beach restaurant.
Nerja: Playa Carabeo
A small, quiet sandy cove, about 120 metres in length, between Calahonda and Carabeillo beaches. Accessed via steps halfway along Calle Carabeo. Faciliites include a beach shower but are otherwise limited.
Nerja: Carabeillo Beach
A small beach joining Playa Carabeo and Burriana.
Nerja: Playa Burriana
Burriana Beach is in eastern Nerja accessed via the Paseo Maritimo at the foot of Calle Filipinas or, from the town centre, a scenic path winds its way through the rocks bordering the seashore leading to Burriana Beach. The walk takes about 20 minutes and the views along it are fabulous. Facilities include sunbeds, showers, toilets, beach volleyball and a kids playground plus numerous restaurants, bars and shops open all year. In summer there is also diving, snorkeling, kayaking, pedalos, a banana boat and lifeguards. Burriana is Nerja’s main beach and the most commercial; just short of one kilometre long, wide and mainly sandy, and gets very busy during summer.
Beach at Maro
Maro is a small village east of Nerja with no commercial pretences. Its a ten minute drive from Nerja and also served by the local bus service. Maro beach is signposted as Playa de Maro from the village centre and is a five minute drive or fifteen minute stroll winding down the cliffs. The beach is a mixture of sand and shingle, in a sheltered cove. Maro Beach has one beach bar/restaurant and no other facilities. If walking back, remember what was an easy walk down is a long walk up.
Between Maro and the border of Malaga and Granada Provinces, there are a series of sandy coves below the cliffs one of which is a nudist area.
Cala del Pino
Six kilometres to the east of Nerja accessed only by boat or on foot. The beach at Cala del Pino is in a Nature Reserve and, due to its difficult access, not often visited.