Do not be restricted to beaches in Malaga city. You have good options around Malaga city
- For swimming: pretty much all of the ones in Nerja, like Calahonda, Burriana or Maro.
- For families: Playa de Burriana in Nerja, El Rincón de la Victoria in Málaga or Carvajal in Fuengirola
- For nightlife: if you’re going to be in Costa del Sol during the night of the 23rd of June, every beach on the coast will have bonfires, drinking and some sort of party going on, celebrating San Juan. Playa de la malagueta is especially popular on this date. During the rest of the year, playa de Puerto Banús (Marbella) is known for its beach nightlife.
- For watersports: you can do kayaking in playa de Burriana or Maro (in Nerja), diving is also popular in Nerja’s coast in general, you can go surfing in Los Lances (Tarifa), or you can try kite surfing in Guadalmar (Málaga)
- For couples: beaches in Marbella like Cabopino, or Maro in Nerja.
The best beaches in Málaga will be east of the city. You can go to Pedregalejo and El Palo or even to Rincón de la Victoria and Cala del Moral. The most secluded will be in Rincón de la Victoria, I’d say, as well as the cleanest, though you can never know for sure. These beaches are also great for taking walks or eating out in the many chiringuitos and bars along the shore.
Best beaches near Malaga in order of preference:
- Nerja: Picturesque beach town of Costa Del Sol. It is best to go by car so that you can hop between many small beaches that dot the area. Blessed with crystal clear water, it is perfect for diving and snorkeling (young and old people).
- Marbella: Choose between the two beaches, Cabopino (this beach of light gray sand and not very deep waters, is considered semi-nudist) and Puerto Banus (the luxury beach often billed as the playground of the rich and famous.)
- Fuengirola: You can have a long walk along the sea and jump into one of the beach bars that dot the town.
- Benalmadena: The "Bil-Bil beach" and the nice sea promenade are key attractions at Benalmadena.
- Malaga city beaches: Not very picturesque, but the beach bars make up for the lack of beauty. I would choose "la Malagueta beach" near the center. For sunset, head to Los Baños del Carmen beach. From the Carmen beach, you can witness one of the best sunsets in the Costa del Sol on the fringes of an old spa.
How to get to the beaches
From Málaga, your best option for going to Nerja and Marbella would be taking a bus. You take these buses from the bus station just outside María Zambrano. No advance reservation needed. You can check for timings and fare here or here.
For Benalmádena, Fuengirola, and Torremolinos, however, I recommend taking the “cercanías” train, which will be cheaper. You take them in the María Zambrano train station and you can look up the times and fares here
There are a ton of beaches along the Costa del Sol! The only beach close enough to walk to from downtown Malaga, however, is Playa de la Malagueta. And trust me, if there’s one within walking distance, you’d want it to be this one. Malagueta Beach spans a little more than a kilometer, and unlike a lot of European beaches that are rocky, Malagueta is comprised of beautiful sand.
Another must-see beachtown just an hour’s drive from Malaga is Nerja. Nestled right under the gorgeous mountain range of Seirras de Tejeda Natural Park, its beach, Playa Burriana, has it all. Showers, a kids’ play area, watersport activities, and a lovely promenade lined with delicious restaurants adorn the pristine shoreline. It’s a perfect way to spend the day playing and then reward yourself with a nice dinner and a sunset! There’s plenty of accommodation in Nerja as well, so make a little trip out of it.
If you’re looking for a more secluded, quiet beach, you don’t need to look far. Just 30 minutes’ drive from Malaga you’ll find a little town called La Cala del Moral. There’s a small beach there that feels like it was made just for you! There are a few restaurants close by as well.