best malaga beaches guide 2022

11 Of The Best Beaches In Malaga (And Close By)

With over 300 days of annual sunshine every year and a rich history brimming with culture, it’s easy to see why Malaga attracts so many tourists from all around the world.

Malaga has some of the best beaches along the beating heart of the Costa Del Sol, translated as the “coast of the sun”, and is home to some of the best beaches in Malaga and the surrounding areas.

Malaga is buzzing with locals, tourists and ex-pats all year round. Combined with the vibrant culture of the city, incredible architecture, thriving nightlife and fantastic food spots, and picture-perfect beaches, it has more to offer here than a lot of other cities put together.

It also has the warmest summers in all of Europe, with winterly averages of around 17 degrees making it a great spot for year-round beach vibes.

Can’t complain about that now can we!

You’re probably still wondering what the best Malaga beach is, so let’s deep dive into this ‘best beaches in Malaga’ guide – all of which I think you can’t afford to miss out on if you plan on making your trip the most memorable one yet.

THE BEST BEACHES IN MALAGA (AND CLOSE BY)

1. PEDREGALEJO - MALAGA

Our Rating: 4.8
4.8/5

Length: 1.2 km | Urban Beach | Wheelchair Friendly

podregalejo beach best malaga beaches in 2022

First up on the list of best Malaga beaches, and one of my all-time favourite beaches in Malaga, is Pedregalejo – also known as Las Acacias beach.

Not only is this beach within super close proximity to the centre of Malaga, but it also feels like a completely different place, buzzing with locals and a welcome escape from the hustle and bustle of the close-by city life.

Pedregalejo is made of several small coves – each with different feels and each more beautiful than the last – so make sure you walk the whole stretch first before settling on your final sunbathing spot of the day.

It’s still a big-time fishing town so you can be sure the fish they’re serving up in the restaurants along the promenade is going to be fresh off the boat.

The promenade really feels alive and it fills up with a younger, lively crowd in the later afternoons and at the weekends. Even though there are a ton of bars and restaurants here, you’ll definitely want to book a table for the afternoon, particularly in the summer months and most definitely at the weekends.

What I Love:

How To Get There:

A taxi will get you there in 10 minutes from the centre of Malaga or 15 minutes by bus from the centre. You could also enjoy the 50-minute walk along the coast.

There is also a bike track that runs the whole length so you could hire a bike or rent an electric scooter from the many places around town. Way more fun!

2. MALAGUETA - MALAGA

Our Rating: 4.3
4.3/5

Length: 800 m | Urban Beach | Wheelchair Friendly

malaqueta beach malaga beach on of the best

This is the most central on this list and it is one of the best beaches in Malaga…and is also one of the busiest. When the days get hot and humid around town, locals and tourists flock in their hundreds to this lovely little beach. You’ll find a real mix of people here, from tourists to locals and everything in between.

In terms of amenities, this beach has it all – showers, toilets, a playground for kids, sun loungers for rent and even a gym. And of course an excellent selection of restaurants and bars next door on Paseo del Muelle Dos.

What I Love:

How To Get There:

10-minute walk from the centre of Malaga

3. LA CARIHUELA BEACH - TORREMOLINOS

Our Rating: 4.7
4.7/5

Length: 2 km | Urban Beach | Wheelchair Friendly

la carihuela beach best malaga beaches

This is definitely one of the most well-known beaches in Malaga and is situated in the tourist district La Carihuela – one of the most popular tourist areas along the Costa Del Sol.

Although it can get pretty busy here, particularly in the peak summer months, it’s still a great spot to come for a swim, soak up the sun and feast in the multitude of restaurants stretching the whole length of the promenade.

The beach is lined with sunbeds and umbrellas, but you can just as easily throw down a blanket and bring along a picnic for the day. The beach sprawls across 2km of golden sand and plenty of width for everyone to enjoy…even at the height of the summer months.

Before tourism struck here in the 1950s, the locals would live off the ‘fruits of the sea’. This same culture still lives on here, and the local dishes served up just behind the beach leave me salivating every time.

The promenade here is bustling with life and there is no end of choices to grab food or drinks. Just behind the promenade is a narrow alley that runs the length of the beach as well, shaded by beachfront accommodation and plenty of shops to peruse in around for an hour or two.

If you’re looking for other fun things to do in Torremolinos, then you’ll be pleased to know it has a ton of fun activities to keep you busy for days.

What I Love:

How To Get There:

15 – 20 minute taxi ride or a 25 minute trip by train from Malaga Centro to Montemar Alto station in Torremolinos. 

You can also hop on a bus which takes around 35 minutes.

4. LA CALETA - MALAGA

Our Rating: 4.3
4.3/5

Length: 1 km | Urban Beach | Wheelchair Friendly

la caleta beach malaga beach

This urban beach is located just a few minutes’ walk from the historical centre of Malaga and also gets incredibly busy during the warmer months.

It’s another city beach just to the east of Malagueta and a little closer than Pedregalejo, it somehow manages to feel like an open space even in the midst of a busy city. With its darker shade of golden sand and palm trees lining the rear you’ll even have a little natural shade on the grassy areas, making La Caleta a beautiful beach to escape to on those hot and sweaty days.

The blue flag-awarded beach also has sunbeds to rent and a small kid’s playground to keep the little ones entertained. Fancy going out on a pedalo? This beach has got you covered there too.

What I Love:

How To Get There:

15-minute walk from the centre of Malaga.

5. PLAYA MALAPESQUERA - BENALMADENA

Our Rating: 4.4
4.4/5

Length: 700 m | Urban Beach | Wheelchair Friendly

playa malapesquera best beach close to malaga

Just 20km south-west just past Torremolinos, you’ll come across one one of the best beaches in Malaga – Playa Malapesquera. This one is a long time favourite with locals and tourists, not just because of the golden sand and clean, lovely waters, and restaurant draped promenade, but because of its close proximity to Benalmadena Marina as well.

You can easily pass a day soaking up the sun followed by a late lunch over at the Marina at one of the many food spots and restaurants. There is also plenty of shops around here too to grab your retail therapy fix.

Oh yeh, and don’t forget to pick up an ice cream from Heladeria Mango whilst you’re there

What I Love:

How To Get There:

Your best bet is to drive the 25 minutes (24km) southwest from Malaga. There is plenty of parking here, but if you fancied a drink in the evening, then you would want to take a taxi, bus or train – Malaga is well connected to Benalmadena

6. PLAYA PENON DEL CUERVO - MALAGA

Our Rating: 4.4
4.5/5

Length: 500 m | Wild Beach

best beaches close to malaga playa penon del cuervo

If you’re still wondering what the best beach in Malaga is, then this one is certainly a strong contender if you like things a little more ‘wild’. 

Playa Penon del Cuervo is one of the more unique beaches in Malaga. The massive rock dividing the beach into two halves is what gives the beach its name and is a popular spot for climbers. The clear water and sandy bottom make it a great spot for swimming and snorkelling.

Set 10km to the east from the Centre of Malaga past and Pedregalejo, you’ll have to take a taxi or a bus to reach this one or cycle down the plentiful cycle lanes. But don’t let that put you off: although it might not have the bustling city life to its rear or a buzzy promenade with restaurants and bars, it does make up for its natural beauty and secluded tranquillity. This is the reason people come to Playa Penon del Cuervo and I totally understand the appeal.

You’ll often find some crowds on the beach well after sunset too, with groups sitting around crackling fires with the flames lapping against their skewers of fish!

There is also an area for BBQs and, believe it or not, a kid’s play area on this natural beach too.

What I Love:

How To Get There:

You can take a taxi or the N340 bus from the centre of Malaga which will take around 35 minutes. You can also cycle the whole way along dedicated cycle lanes in 30 minutes or less

7. PUERTO BANUS - MARBELLA

Our Rating: 4.5
4.5/5

Length: 1.5 km | Urban Beach | Wheelchair Friendly

playa banus unmissable malaga beaches

Puerto Banús is a picturesque marina located just to the southwest of Marbella. It is known for its luxury yachts, upscale shopping and celebrity visitors. The marina was built in 1970 and since then has become one of the most popular tourist destinations on the Costa del Sol.

If you’re looking for a more lively beach scene, Puerto Banus is the place to go. There is a never-ending supply of upmarket bars and restaurants lining the promenade and the beach itself is always busy with sunbathers and swimmers.

The beach here is a real honeypot for the rich and famous, and you’ll pay a little extra for most things around the beach because of its reputation. Nevertheless, it’s still a fantastic beach, super clean with lovely golden sand, and the marina to pass some time walking around too.

Just remember – “No Carbs Before Marbs”. Thanks, TOWIE.

English joke – sorry couldn’t help myself.

What I Love:

How To Get There:

How to get there: You can hire a car and drive the 67km yourself or take a taxi for around €65. You can also take a bus. You can also reach there by bus but you’d need to make a change in between meaning it will take you just over 2 hours to get there.

 

8. NIKKI BEACH - MARBELLA

Our Rating: 4.5
4.5/5

Open From: April to October | Urban Beach & Pool | Wheelchair Friendly

best malaga beach nikki beach marbella

Just before you reach Marbella along the southwest coast you have the famous Nikki Beach. Famous thanks to its high profile visits from celebrities and mentions on some TV shows around the world. Its not so much a beach as it is a global brand these days, with branches popping up all over the world, from Dubai and Thailand to the Caribbean.

It certainly is a bit of a glamorous affair, but if you like the glitz and glam lifestyle, then this might just be the perfect spot for you. Entry is free but unless you have a cool €50 for a sunbed or €300 for one of those fancy white-leather sunbeds you might have seen on the TV, you might want to think about bringing your own!

All of that said, it is a beautiful strip of beach and worth checking out for the day even if you haven’t got money to burn like some of the other visitors.

What I Love:

How To Get There:

You’ll need to rent a car to drive the 45 minutes (52km) from the centre of Malaga or take a taxi which will cost around €55.

9. LA RADA - ESTEPONA

Our Rating: 4.6
4.6/5

Length: 2.4 km | Urban Beach | Wheelchair Friendly

la rana beach one of the best beaches in malaga

The only reason I can think this picturesque beach isn’t as mobbed in summer as some of its more popular neighbours is because it’s the furthest one away from Malaga on this list.

This beautifully idyllic town and its long 2.4km stretch of grey-like fine sand is a one-hour drive southwest of the centre of Malaga. Don’t let that put you off though, and instead allow the charming beach, promenade cafes and restaurants to seduce you and wow you.

You will love the fresh food that’s dished up here from the ample eateries along the beach, and there are numerous kid’s play areas to keep the little ones entertained when they get bored building sandcastles

(actually, I don’t think that ever happens does it…)

What I Love:

How To Get There:

Situated 85km southwest of Malaga, it will take you 1 hour to reach here if you have a car. You can take 2 to 3 buses to get here but it will take over 2 hours and 40 minutes so it’s best to rent a car for this one.

10. PLAYA DE BURRIANA - NERJA

Our Rating: 4.7
4.7/5

Length: 1 km | Urban Beach Yet Still Secluded | Wheelchair Friendly

playa de burriana beach in nerja

Nerja, once a sleepy fishing village is now a blossoming beach town attracting more and more tourists every year.

Located on the eastern edge of the Malaga province, Nerja is home to many beautiful beaches, but Playa de Burriana is the most well-known out of them all. Its stand out qualities are its crystal clear waters and fine golden sand, and a promenade packed full of shops, restaurants and bars only add to the allure.

It’s also home to a very famous paella restaurant – Restaurante Ayo – dishing up wood-fired Paella that’s famous throughout the whole of Spain. Yes, it’s that good.

With sunbeds to rent and plenty of watersports to entice you into the water, this beautiful stretch of the beach really packs a lot of bang for its buck and is well worth the drive here and certainly deserving of its place in our best Malaga beach guide.

What I Love:

How To Get There:

If you are renting a car, you can make the 45-minute drive (57km) from the centre of Malaga and lap up the beautiful scenic route as you drive.

You can also take a bus to Nerja town centre and walk 18 minutes down to the beach, for a total of 1 and a half hours travel time door to door.

11. OTHER WILD BEACHES AROUND NERJA

Wild Beaches | Not Wheelchair Friendly

If wild beaches are more your vibe, you’ll be pleased to know that Nerja is home to some of the best in the region. You won’t find too many wild beaches along the southwest of Malaga, but if you head east to Nerja, you’re sure to find your fix.

Some of the best natural and wild beaches in nerja include:

  • Cala del Cañuelo
  • Cala del Pino
  • Las Alberquillas
  • Molino de Papel

 

As that brings an end to our guide of the best beaches in Malaga, now all you have to do is get out there and go and enjoy them.

Have fun!

LIST OF THE BEST Malaga Beaches and close by:

  • Pedregalejo – Malaga
  • Malagueta – Malaga
  • La Carihuela Beach – Torremolinos
  • La Caleta – Málaga
  • Playa Malapesquera – Benalmadena
  • Playa Penon del Cuervo – Malaga
  • Puerto Banus – Marbella
  • Nikki Beach – Marbella
  • La Rada – Estepona
  • Playa de Burriana – Nerja
  • Cala del Cañuelo – Nerja
  • Cala del Pino – Nerja
  • Las Alberquillas – Nerja
  • Molino de Papel – Nerja
 
 
Be sure to check out my other beach guides below too:

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