6 beaches near Malaga: Where to go for sun, sand, and surf

Published by: BouncePosted
Best beaches near Malaga

It's no secret that Malaga, located on Spain's legendary Costa del Sol, is a great destination for beaches. This city in sunny southern Spain is packed with seaside resorts, restaurants, beach bars, and everything you need for a memorable vacation next to the water. And the huge variety of Malaga beaches brings millions of tourists here from across Europe and around the world every year to soak up the sunshine, swim in the warm waters of the Mediterranean, and enjoy what has been one of Spain's most outstanding beach destinations for generations.

To be fair, there's more to Malaga than just its beaches. The city centre is also home to some great cultural attractions and museums, not to mention the excellent restaurants and nightclubs you'll find here. But the appeal of Malaga as a tourist destination is inseparable from the beaches of the Costa del Sol, so why fight it? Sooner or later, you're going to find yourself looking for the best beaches near Malaga to spend some time by the water.

It's much easier to do that if you're not carrying more than you need to. Whether you arrive in the city via Malaga Airport or get here through Malaga Bus Station, you'll want to find a place to drop off your bags so that you don't need to carry more than the essentials to the beach. Take advantage of Bounce suitcase storage in Malaga so that you won't be weighed down as you head to the water to enjoy these exceptional beaches.

La Malagueta Beach in Malaga

La Malagueta Beach

When talking about the best beaches in Malaga, you can't fail to mention La Malagueta Beach. The main beach in the city, La Malagueta is as much Malaga's communal living room as it is one of the city's best beaches. With over a kilometer of dark sand facing the ocean, this popular beach is the closest beach to Malaga city center, and as an urban beach has an astonishing variety of things to do when you visit.

This beach shares the coast with other favorites like Pedregalejo Beach, Playa de la Caleta, and Playa de el Palo.

Travel distance from Malaga

La Malagueta sits on the city's southern edge, just one kilometer from the historic center of Malaga, and can be reached on foot in about 15 minutes. It's also easy to get to via public transport, as many of the city's bus routes travel next to Playa la Malagueta. After all, this is one of the city's top tourist attractions, too.

Activity recommendations

Beach clubs: Many of the beaches near Malaga have private beach clubs that will rent you sun loungers and other beach gear to make your stay more enjoyable and also provide restaurants and bars. But maybe none of the other Malaga beaches have quite as many options for beach clubs as La Malagueta does. There are plenty of free areas of this beach open to the public if that's more your thing. But if you want to pay a little extra for a more luxurious experience, this urban beach has tons of options. The beach clubs here vary from laid-back places to enjoy the sun to busy bars that transform into nightclubs once the sun goes down, so you have your pick of how you want to spend your time on this most famous of Malaga beaches.

Centre Pompidou Malaga: Located in an iconic glass cube, this branch of the famous Parisian art gallery is one of the top cultural centers in the city, and it's only a few steps from La Malagueta. If you want to soak up some culture along with the sunshine or just take a break from the beach itself, this is a great place to come to see intriguing works of modern art.

Food: Because this is one of the most popular beaches near Malaga, dozens of restaurants have sprung up along La Malagueta to serve locals and tourists alike. You can find just about every cuisine imaginable in the beach bars and restaurants along this stretch of sand, making this one of the best beaches near Malaga for foodies and anyone who likes a lively atmosphere.

Playa de la Misericordia

Playa de la Misericordia

Although not quite as close to the city centre as La Malagueta, Playa de la Misericordia is not exactly far away, either. Easily reached from central Malaga, this urban beach gives you a taste of what the Costa del Sol is all about without straying too far from the city. With lots of things to do here, this beach is a great alternative if La Malagueta is a little too crowded, but you don't want to travel too far to sample Spanish beach life. And if this beach seems crowded to you, you can easily head a little further down the coast (15 minutes) to Bajondillo Beach.

Travel distance from Malaga

Playa de la Misericordia is located well within the city of Malaga, not far from the historic center. From Malaga's Zambrano train station, it's only an 11-minute drive to reach this beach. Alternatively, bus route 7 will take you straight here from the station.

Activity recommendations

Swimming: Although it may be in the city, Playa de la Misericordia is a proud recipient of a Blue Flag for the quality of its water. That makes it a great place to swim and cool off from the sometimes oppressive heat of summer in Malaga. Be warned, though, that this beach experiences a phenomenon called 'Ola del Melillero.' This happens when the ferry from Melilla docs at the nearby port, causing a slight swell in the sea level when it does. Make sure you don't sit too close to the water's edge. Otherwise, your towel may get wet!

Parque del Oeste: Right behind the beach itself, you'll find this lovely urban park that makes a great place to relax. Centered around a lake, the park offers a series of waterways and walking paths where you can stretch your legs and admire the public art. There are also sports fields if you want to burn off some energy, plus picnic areas that are a great place for an affordable lunch if none of the beach bars in the area are to your liking.

Playa de la Caleta in Malaga

Playa de la Caleta

Another urban beach that's easy to access from the heart of the city, Playa de la Caleta is an understandably popular place. Located in an easily reached neighborhood of the city, this beach offers clear water for swimming, swaying palm trees for shade, and plenty of things to do, making it easily one of the best Malaga beaches to visit on your trip.

Travel distance from Malaga

Playa de la Caleta lies to the east of the city, just beyond the more popular La Malagueta. You can drive here in around 10 minutes from the center of the city, or take bus route 3 from the central train station to bring you to this beach in around half an hour. That makes it one of the best beaches to visit if you want to stay close to the city on one of the more accessible beaches on the Costa del Sol.

Activity recommendations

Parque de ejercicios del Paseo Marítimo: If swimming the Blue Flag-certified waters of Playa de la Caleta isn't enough exercise for you, head to this exercise park that features free gym equipment where you can work out with a view of the ocean. Located in the shade of tall palm trees, this park allows you to keep up with your exercise regimen while still enjoying the beautiful scenery of the Costa del Sol. However, it's best to get here early, as this popular location soon fills up.

Hiking: You might not expect an urban beach like this one to have such great access to hiking trails, but it does. Playa de la Caleta is surrounded by parks that offer some great walking opportunities, including the hike up to Mirador de El Morlaco, an observation deck that offers an incredible view over the beach and the beautiful coastline of Malaga.

Playa Peñón del Cuervo

Playa Peñón del Cuervo

Malaga is a city blessed with some incredible urban beaches, so you don't need to leave the city itself to enjoy beach life on the Costa del Sol. However, sometimes it's nice to get away from it all, and if you want more of a natural environment without having to travel too far, Playa Peñón del Cuervo may be the perfect Malaga beach for you. Although it's not too far from the city, Playa Peñón del Cuervo feels like more of a natural beach, with its tall palm trees and iconic rock jutting out into the sea. With great amenities and a laid-back vibe, this beach is an excellent alternative to the busier city beaches.

Travel distance from Malaga

Playa Peñón del Cuervo is about a 20-minute drive from the heart of Malaga. You can also reach this beach by public transport, with a bus ride from Malaga train station taking just over half an hour.

Activity recommendations

Swimming: Part of the appeal of this beach is its natural environment, and there's nothing quite like taking a swim in these incredible surroundings. Raven Rock splits Playa Peñón del Cuervo into two beaches, so you can take your pick of where to swim, and there are lifeguards on duty and showers where you can rinse off after you've taken a dip.

Biking: This beach is close enough to the city that you could also consider biking here. There is a dedicated bike route that hugs the coast and gives you incredible views as you ride, and it's easy to hire a bike in Malaga and head out to this beautiful beach. You'll see lots of Malaga's best beaches along the way, and a refreshing dip in the water is the ideal way to cool off once you arrive.

Playas de el Palo near Malaga

Playa de el Palo

This family-friendly beach is just one of a series of beaches on the outskirts of Malaga that makes a fantastic place to bring the kids. Playa de el Palo is an excellent choice to enjoy the coastal scenery in a more laid-back area.

Travel distance from Malaga

A 15-minute drive from the center of Malaga, you can also get here by taking bus number 3 from the train station. Alternatively, rent a bike in the city and ride along the coastal path. It's mostly flat and only takes around 20 minutes, and you can always take a swim to cool off once you arrive.

Activity recommendations

Swimming: This is one of a series of beaches that have been carefully shaped to provide sheltered waters for swimming. With lifeguards on duty, they are ideal if you want to take the kids for a paddle in perfect safety.

Restaurants: El Palo was once a quiet fishing village, and although it is gradually being absorbed into the greater Malaga area, it still retains the colorful houses and quaint charm it once had. This is a great place to try local dishes and seafood in any of the many restaurants along the beach.

Nerja beaches near Malaga

Playa de Maro

If you're looking for unspoiled scenery with some historical interest, this is where you'll find it. Follow the winding path down to Playa de Maro from the road above, and you'll feel much further from the city than you really are.

Travel distance from Malaga

One of the best beaches for isolated charm near Malaga, Playa de Maro can be reached with a drive of around an hour from the city.

Activity recommendations

Water sports: The water clarity of this gravelly beach is truly exceptional, and that makes it a great place for water sports. Kayaking, snorkeling, and scuba diving are popular activities here, so bring your gear and explore.

Hiking: This beautiful beach is surrounded by nature, so it's a great place to take a hike. Explore the 16th-century watchtower or visit scenic viewpoints along the coast to get the most out of your trip.


These urban beaches make great things to do when visiting Malaga on a budget. And spending time on the beach is part of the culture of the city, so you'll be enjoying the place like the locals do. But really, Malaga is just a gateway to all the Costa del Sol has to offer. Some of the best beaches in the region also make great destinations for the best weekend trips from the city.

Leave your bags behind and explore some of these incredible locations. There's nothing quite like the perfect beach to recharge your batteries while you explore the city.

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