Andalusia, Spain Travel Guide – Edition 1 – Torremolinos

When you think of the Costa del Sol you immediately imagine sun, sea, and surf. With so many beautiful places up and down the coast, it may be a bit difficult to know what location out of the plethora of options to select when planning your holiday, though package holiday companies like Holiday Gems that offer options throught the Costa del Sol do make the process much simpler. On our most recent family holiday and in years’ past we have enjoyed spending time in Torremolinos. Once a poor fishing town, this resort town is now a thriving mecca for tourists from around the globe. It’s been a safe haven for the LGBT community for decades and even co-hosted World Pride 2017 alongside Madrid. You may or may not have Torremolinos on your radar, but with everything this beautiful destination has to offer you definitely should!

How to Get There

Being a short drive from Malaga airport has given Torremolinos a fantastic advantage. With flights departing from locations throughout the UK and arriving at Malaga airport, it’s not too difficult to hop on a flight and start your Torremolinos holiday. Once at Malaga airport you can make your way to Torremolinos and be there in a mere 10 minutes by train! Or you can hire a car, take a shuttle, or even hop on public transportation for the full “local” experience.

If you want to venture away from the sandy beaches the location of Torremolinos within Andalucia is still very accessible. You can experience the Moorish roots of the region in the city of Granada, which is nestled in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada and is only a short hours drive from the coast. Or you can immerse yourself in art in Malaga, the birthplace of Pablo Picasso.

The Moorish Palace of Alhambra in Granada, Andalusia, Spain

The Moorish Palace of Alhambra in Granada, Andalusia, Spain

Malaga, Andalusia, Spain

Malaga, Andalusia, Spain

Beaches

It makes the most sense to start with the obvious – the beaches. With the big-availability of beaches in Spain, the beaches in Torremolinos are nothing to scoff at. The urban beaches are a few minutes walk from many of the most popular hotels and resorts on the coast and offer a few miles of very clean blue waters, freshwater showers, and sunbeds.

Grassy areas in Playamar Beach.

Grassy areas in Playamar Beach.

Playamar

With its location closest to Malaga, Playamar is a unique beach with a local feel. The further east you go (away from the hotels and resorts) the more you feel like you aren’t in a resort town but like you’ve stepped out of your home and onto your personal playground. With green areas dispersed throughout the beach, you can have lunch under a palm tree and then return to taking in the sun.

Playa el Bajondillo

With no clear boundaries between Playamar and Playa el Bajondillo you can easily weave in and out spending time in both. Playa el Bajondillos non-official boundary is “The Three Dancers” a sculpture that pays homage to one of Pablo Picasso’s famous paintings by the same name.

The Three Dancers sculpture in Torremolinos, Spain

The Three Dancers sculpture in Torremolinos, Spain

La Carihuela

The most popular of the three beaches La Carihuela boasts a stunning pedestrianised area lined with some of the best eateries in Torremolinos. Fish and tapas eateries have made La Carihuela one of the best and most famous pedestrianised eating areas in Spain!

Accommodation

From 5-star holiday resorts to self-catering apartments you’ll be spoilt for choice when looking for accommodation in Torremolinos.

Hotel Don Pablo, Torremolinos Spain

Hotel Don Pablo, Torremolinos, Spain

Hotels

One of the many benefits of opting for a hotel stay is the resort experience. With full board and half board options, you have the convenience of having meals taken care of. Of course, one of the best things about being on holiday is sampling the local gastronomical offerings. A perfect option is to go for half board and enjoy the breakfast buffet and the dinner buffet whilst venturing out for some tapas and fried fish for lunch. Half board has always been our go to and it’s proved to be a perfect balance.

The most important part of the holiday experience though are the options for entertainment. We usually opt for enjoying the day at the pool, as you do with little ones. Speaking of little ones, if you are travelling with your kids there are always organised events to keep the children busy. The kids’ club usually has lots of offerings, but in our case, our kids didn’t bother with it. Though, they did love the nighttime entertainment which on our last visit included a mini-disco, a magic show, and even a play that the kids can act in!

If you aren’t travelling with kids then lounging by the pool in a sunbed is a must. If you’re not an early bird you may miss out on a sunbed until people start going for lunch. If lounging is not your thing you can go for a drink at one of the many bars, or join in on an organised exercise event.

Self – Catering

Self-catering accommodation doesn’t vary too much from hotels, particularly when it comes to the entertainment. In my experience, the only negative that I have experienced is having to pay for the sunbeds, something that we didn’t expect until we were comfortably lounging. With it being self-catering accommodation you also don’t have the convenience of room service.

The upshot is that this more affordable option gives you an apartment and much more space than a hotel room and at a really good rate at that. If you like the freedom of having your own living space and kitchen, then this is a great option.

Whatever accommodation option you choose you’ll be able to experience a safe and family-friendly environment.

Food

Grilled Anchovies on the Beach

Grilled Anchovies on the Beach

When you’re on the Costa del Sol, especially in Torremolinos, you just can’t go home without eating some delicious fresh seafood. The fried fish that you can find in Torremolinos is just delicious and you’ll find many seaside restaurants grilling anchovies. They aren’t my favourite fish by any means, but it’s definitely a unique sight. If you’re missing the pubs don’t fret as there are many English pubs, Irish pubs, and all round pubs throughout the town.

LGBT Connection

The link between the LGBT community and Torremolinos is a well established one. Torremolinos’ Toni’s Bar was the first gay bar in the whole of Spain and it opened in 1962 at a time when the country was under the rule of Franco.The Playa Gay Beirola is a must visit location, gay or straight.  Torremolinos has since remained a favourite of the liberally minded and the gay community as a whole.

Other Attractions

If you’re looking for something to do besides lounging on the beach and going for a swim don’t fret as Torremolinos will have you covered. For those days when you are missing the green pastures of Britain, Parque la Bateria is the perfect place to enjoy some greenery. With plenty of green spaces, benches, and a small boating lake it can be a nice diversion from the sandy beaches. The Jardin Botanico Molino de Inca is also a beautiful place to take in the gardens. For those looking for more of an adrenaline rush, you can go scuba & snorkelling, take in the Aqualand Torremolinos Water Park or go to the Crocodile Park.

If you’re looking for a getaway Torremolinos is perfect for location for any length of holiday. As you can tell I do love the place and there is so much to do for young and old, married or single, and gay or straight, families or couples – all around it’s one of the most fun locations on the Costa del Sol.

post in collaboration with Holiday Gems 
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  • I have stayed near Torremolinos a couple of times, once when we were on honeymoon and loved it, we have not been back since then and somewhere we really do need to revisit x

  • Ooo Torremolinos is actually on my list! I think everyone scoffs at Spanish holidays because they imagine Benidorm but it’s not all like that. There are some beautiful places to see.

  • Andalusia is actually my second home since a year ago. I didn’t go to Torremolinos because I find it a bit too touristy but I do love Estepona or Mijas Costa.

  • Jinzo_2400

    That castle in Alhambra is immense! One could probably do a all day tour of that alone! Fried anchovies does sound pretty tasty….

  • I love everything about Spain! I use to live in Madrid! I would love to these cities as well. I love how blue and bright every photo is. The food is incredible and there is so much to do there!

  • Spain is somewhere I have never been, but somewhere I have heard so much about, it seems like there is really so much to do. Perhaps one day I will make it.

  • Joanna

    I’ve never been to mainland Spain before but your photos look amazing and I’d so want to go to that beach.

  • Laura Dove

    Just gorgeous! We love mainland Spain, I spent 6 weeks there every summer growing up and love to go back as much as possible!

  • Aw I love that it is so accepting of the LGBTQ community as it should be and how fresh does the food look in the Spanish region? I would love to go to Spain x

  • Hannah Latoya Bond

    Looks great. I like how its LGBT friendly too. I went through here on the bus on the way to my hotel

  • Laura

    Everything about Torremolinos sounds and looks incredible. This is definitely somewhere I’d love to go to as I haven’t actually been to much of Spain xxx

  • Victoria Hatton

    I love the look of the Moorish palace, it’s so interesting to look at the history of the place.

  • Next year I could really do with a proper summer holiday and this looks perfect. The food sounds yummy x

  • i have been here many times before with my mum and it was so much fun! Defiantly want to go back one day

  • Would love to visit this place for some sun and sea! The boating lake sounds lovely for a day out too 🙂

  • Melanie

    How beautiful is this place! I could just do with a break like this x

  • KGR

    I’ve stayed in Malaga but never visited Torremolinos I would love to go back now and explore! The beaches are of course stunning x

  • Amy Deverson

    Looks absolutely beautiful! The information you have written is so interesting too – I didn’t know that the first gay bar in Spain was in Torremolinos.

  • It looks amazing, I’m so in need of a getaway right now and this sounds perfect!

  • So gorgeous. I’m desperate to get to Spain at the moment, it’s such a beautiful country so this makes me want to visit even more so!

  • Baby Isabella

    We’ve been to Torremolinos before and loved it there! Everything about it was easy 🙂

  • Looks great. I so wish I could afford a holiday especially one in another country x

  • Leanne Dolan

    This isn’t an area of Spain I would have thought about visiting, but it looks lovely!

  • Melanie Edjourian

    I do like Torremolinos. I’ve been numerous times and it’s lovely. I love that there are loads of great beaches there for the family.

  • Mellissa Williams

    I’d love to visit Torremolinos one day – I know plenty of people who have been and loved it.

  • Hungry_Healthy_Happy

    Granada is one of my favourite parts of the world. The scenery is just stunning.

  • I was already pretty keen on the place. Then you added the LGBT connection and now I am all over that!

    • Yes! It’s been such an accepting place for the LGBT community even in the days of the Franco regime. I think it’s fab! x

  • Leah Shafik

    This is a great guide! Thanks for taking the time to share! I haven’t been to school for a while x

  • ive not been to this particular area and it looks really nice so im surprised to be far

    • It is quite a touristy destination, but it’s a lovely place for a summer holiday. I definitely recommend it.

  • Kristine Tsiknaki

    Wow! That place is stunning! I wish I could visit at some point