Málaga City Beach Guide

Málaga city is becoming one of the most fashionable cities in Spain. More and more people are choosing Málaga city for a city break due to it's cultural and historical offering. It is home to some of the best museums in Spain, great restaurants, fantastic tapas bars and many fun things to see and do

As for the more traditional attractions, the ones we more commonly associate with the Costa del Sol; the sun and the beaches. 

Here is a guide to the best beaches in Málaga city, they all have their own special charm and if looking to break up a morning’s sightseeing and have a quick swim to cool off, you will be spoilt for choice. 

Being a coastal city, a beach is never far. Nearly all the ones mentioned below are within an easy walking distance from the holiday rentals in Málaga city

These are not your typical tourist beaches. You won’t find row after row of sunbed rentals and the usual bucket and shade crew, in fact, you’ll be hard-pressed to hear anything other than Spanish on Málaga's beaches. Which just adds to their appeal. Many of them are also home to some reasonably priced and good restaurants. 

According to the official town hall website, there are 15 beaches within the cities limits. Several of them have been merged into one in this guide. Discover the most popular, most accessible and the beaches in Málaga that are most worth seeing. 

View of the Malaga coastline east

Playa del Campo de Golf - San Julián

Sitting directly behind the golf course that belongs to one of Málaga’s two Parador Hotels, the Parador Málaga Golf Hotel, you have an expanse of beach, that is known as the Playa del Campo de Golf - San Julián. A popular spot with kite surfers. Wind permitting, you can see dozens of sails in the air from afar. 

This sandy Málaga beach is long, approximately 2,250m and extends from Los Alamos to the Guadalhorce river. Parking is never a problem, even at the height of summer. 

Playa de Guadalmar 

The Guadalmar beach sits adjacent to the San Julian beach, directly behind the urbanisation with the same name. The beach is approximately 450m in length and runs right up to the Guadalhorce river estuary. Sections of it are frequented by naturists, normally around the sand dunes closer to the river estuary. In fact, its Malaga city’s only official nudist beach

If in the area, a visit to the neighbouring Guadalhorce river estuary natural area is recommended. On both the San Julián and the Guadalmar beaches there are showers, toilets and beach bars. The Chiringuito Servando is probably the best. One important point to bear in mind, is the area sits right under the flight path into Málaga's airport, so expect plenty of low-flying aircraft. 

Playa de la Misericordia 

Playa de la Misericordia, Malaga

Going further eastwards, towards the centre of Málaga and skipping the smallish Playa deSacaba, you have the Playa de la Misericordia, Misericordia beach. The dark sand beach is 2km in length and approximately 30m wide. One of Málaga’s most popular beaches, it sits midway between Guadalhorce and Huelin. 

Keep your eyes open for an old industrial chimney that sits just next to it. The beach is regularly cleaned and offers all amenities. A recommended place to have lunch would be the Restaurante Vicen-Playa

Misericordia is one of Málaga's best beaches to experience the Ola del Melillero. The much-loved summertime waves that hit Málaga’s city beaches and the beaches as far away as Rincon de la Victoria. 

Every evening, around 7.30pm, you'll see dozens of children with their surfboards at the ready, waiting for a series of waves that seem to appear out of nowhere. Waves that take many unsuspecting tourists and their belongings by surprise. The phenomenon is caused by the approach of the high-speed Málaga - Melilla ferry (nicknamed the Melillero) that arrives in Málaga’s port every night. 

Playa de San Andrés

The San Andrés beach is forever ingrained in Málaga’s history as being the spot of the execution of General Torrijos, Boyd and fellow revolutionaries in 1831. The tragic event has been commemorated by the obelisk in Plaza de la Merced. 

History aside, it is an increasingly popular beach, with children’s playgrounds, grass areas and all amenities. The dark sand beach is 650m in length and approximately 50m wide. The chiringuito Restaurante Gutiérrez Playa is probably the best around. 

Playa de la Malagueta 

Playa de la Malagueta

This large man-made beach sits adjacent to the holiday apartments in Malagueta. Bars, restaurants, children’s playgrounds, shops, every convenience is at your fingertips. It is a very short walk into the city centre. The beach is popular with local Spanish families and gets crowded during the summer months. 

There are ample bars and restaurants to choose from, including the exclusive La Moraga restaurant. For a more reasonably priced and traditional option, the Chiringuito Tropicana, on neighbouring La Caleta beach is recommended. The beach is 1,2km in length and about 45m in width.

Playa de la Malagueta is the first beach in the world to offer a new lifesaving device. The 'Punto Naranja,' literally translated as the 'Orange Point.' After extensive testing, three devices have been in operation since the beginning of April 2014. 

The 'orange point' is a concrete structure that houses an electric motor and 400 metres of rope. One end is attached to a harness and the other back into the base. Lifeguards and members of the public can quickly attach someone who is in danger of drowning and have them pulled back to safety, quickly and effortlessly. The machines are also 'Smart' with an integrated GPS system that can pinpoint accidents to the emergency crews. 

Playa de la Caleta

One of Málaga’s most popular city beaches, La Playa de la Caleta sits between Playa de la Malagueta and Baños del Carmen, on the Pablo Picasso promenade. A large beach, it is about 1km long and 25m wide. A popular spot with local Malagueños. Beach volleyball, cycling, running and working out on the mini outdoor gyms that adjourn the paseo marítimo. You name it, it is being practised. 

The beach is cleaned daily and is renowned to be the cleanest in the area. All facilities offered, including wheelchair access - for more information see our article on Málaga's accessible facilities and beaches.

Baños del Carmen

Banos de Carmen, Malaga

Baños del Carmen was home to Málaga’s first spa. The Balneario Nuestra Señora del Carmen was opened to the public on the 16th of July 1918, marking its place in Spanish history as being the first public spa to allow mixed bathing - an almost revolutionary concept at the time. 

The much loved Málaga landmark has been fiercely protected by local Malagueños throughout the years. All attempts to develop this prime piece of real estate have been successfully resisted. It is a great place to wander around and have a bite to eat. 

The beach itself is small, popular with university students and Málaga’s younger crowd. Topless sunbathing and deep water it may not be suitable for families, but a great place to visit, have a drink and watch the sunset. The smallish sandy cove is 550m in length and 15m in width. 

Playa de Pedregalejo - Las Acacias

Playa de Pedregalejo, Malaga

Pedregalejo is one of the most up and coming neighbourhoods in Málaga. Clean, friendly and traditional. A visit is highly recommended. Although predominantly Spanish, several large language schools ensure there's a steady stream of foreign language students gracing its shores every year. Home to plenty of good bars and restaurants. 

The seafront in Pedregalejo is also a popular spot for nightlife. Monday nights are traditionally the busiest, with ‘ladies' night,’ in most bars and nightclubs. The beach itself is 1,2km in length and around 20m in width. 

Two restaurants that are highly recommended are the Maricuchi and El Caleno. A couple of Málaga's best. 

Playa de El Palo

Playa de el Palo, Malaga

El Palo was once known as Pedregalejo’s working-class neighbour. The stretch of beach that makes up El Palo (an extension of Pedregalejo) is popular with locals and foreign language students. 

The Paseo Marítimo is a hub of activity, with bars, restaurants and chiringuitos. All facilities offered, including showers and toilets. You can also rent parasols and sun loungers in most places. The beach is 1,2km in length and 25m in width.

Playa El Dedo

Going further eastwards from El Palo. The next expanse of beach is known as El Dedo (the finger). It extends up to the marina at El Candado. Very similar in layout and facilities as on the neighbouring beaches. There are ample bars, chiringuitos and restaurants along the paseo. 

There is one in particular, that should be high on any visitor’s wishlist, El Tintero, which has become an institution over the years. Plates of fish and salads are shouted out by waiters, you just point and choose the ones you want. People are charged by the plate at the end. The beach itself is 550m in length and around 25m wide. 

Playa El Candado

El Candado is a small exclusive beach in Málaga that is linked onto the Club Náutico El Candado and the El Candado marina. Only 200m in length and 30m in width. 

The restaurant Candado beach has terraces and tables backing onto the beach and serves gourmet traditional dishes. The food is fantastic, although can be a little pricey. The three course set menu at 18€ is a cheaper and better option. 

Peñon del Cuervo

Penon del Cuervo, Malaga

A famous Malagueño landmark. The Peñon (the rock) juts out to sea and is clearly visible from numerous spots in Málaga. A popular beach with the younger crowds. It sets the scene for numerous summer beach parties and barbecues, being far enough removed as to not cause problems for the neighbours. There is large picnic/BBQ area, parking and not much else. There are no restaurants and/or facilities. The nearest bars and restaurants are in neighbouring La Araña

The beach is 450m in length and approximately 25m in width. A beautiful spot, the only blight on the landscape is cement factory just behind it. Notwithstanding, its one of the best beaches in Málaga. 

Getting there is fairly tricky, you need to come off at the exit for the cement factory, double back on yourself and eventually go through a tunnel that leads back to the beach. If you get lost, ask….everyone in the area knows it.

If wanting to discover some of the beaches just outside of Málaga city's limits, the beach at neighbouring La Cala del Moral is recommended. Stay on the old N340 heading eastwards, driving past the cement factory and the beach at La Araña. Take the next exit off for La Cala del Moral. The beach was awarded a Blue Flag in 2013 and makes a great place to spend the day.