The centre of Torremolinos has two good beaches - La Carihuela and Bajondillo. The only visible difference is... location, side by side. The first time we stayed in Bajondillo, and, by commodity or by the first good impression, it was my natural preference in the second visit. It is wide, safe, and the restaurants in the sand a good place to eat.
A long stripe of sand, with less people then expected, calm warm water, and the hotel just across the street. What else do I need for a relaxing week?
Carihuela, Bajondillo, Playamar are just names for the different areas of the long sequence of beaches, almost until Malaga.
It's good to forget the car! Even lunch can be in the beach, in one of the many stalls that line it.
This next section was my favourite stretch of beach, we had left Playa La Carihuela and drifted onto Playa de Montemar.
With its palmiere and colourful wooden boats, I was enticed off of the promenade to walk on the beach. One of lifes pleasures- strolling on a near deserted beach!
In summertime, water-bikes, pedaloes and canoes can be hired here. The sea here is usually quite calm.
Were we to have continued walking along the beach/Paseo Maritimo, we'd have come to Playa Del Saltillo, then Benalmadena, but instead we turned off at Calle Chile (At the mini golf) as we wanted to reccy Vinoteca El Elefante for tomorrows VT Meet lunch (Please see my Restaurant tips for more info)
Fed and watered, we returned to the beach, to take more photos of the boats etc. in the late afternoon sun. Sonya took my photo here with the boat, that is now my profile pic.
We then wandered back along the Paseo Maritimo, passing by the many cats at La Roca and back to the Bajondillo Apartments for afternoon tea, before meeting up with other VTers (including Hansi and Lori who had flown in a few hours previously) and spending the evening enjoying a nice meal at Tiki (More info in my Restaurant tips) -
Yes, eating does seem to feature quite a lot at this meet!
Now, strolling on the beach in the dark with warm waves licking your feet - in the moon-light is my all time favourite things to do in Torremolinos. Experiencing 6 months of this was fantastic (the ocean was especially warm in July, August and September). The rise of the moon was awesome there, I had never seen anything like it. The photos don't even begin to do it justice, no matter how much I tried to catch the moon with my camera it always turned out to be just a dot on my screen. At times the moon was big and orange, people were flocking to the beach to see it.
Don´t miss this while visiting Torremolinos, but beware that the lamps are turned off at ca 00:30 and then it gets too dark really to be on the beach.
"Pescaito frito" or spit-roasted sardines are quite a characteristic for Torremolinos and other towns by the beach in Costa del Sol. In the evenings you can see a boat with sardines roasting on a spit at almost every chiringuito (beach restaurant) on the Paseo Marítimo. Quite lovely and the smell is heavenly.
There is even a day in the honour of "pecaito frito" called "Día del Pescaito" and is held in La Carihuela on the 11th of June where spit-roasted sardines are given to people for free.
There are 5 beaches in Torremolinos, Playa de Los Álamos, Playa de Playamar, Playa del Bajondillo, Playa de la Carihuela and Playa de Montemar. I have added tips on all the beaches apart from the first one which is closest to Malaga.
Playa de la Playamar is a lovely beach with golden sands, a palm grove, restaurants and cafés. The ocean is lovely to swim in at Playamar, you can reach the bottom easily just outside the shore and swim just a little bit further for a deeper sea. I stick to the reachable bottom, being a bit afraid of the ocean. There are some beautiful shells to be found in the waves in this area by the palm grove. In the afternoon the anglers put up their fishing gear there, so take care to move a bit further up the beach as they will almost fish on top of you (honestly).
By the Paseo Maritimo there is Hotel Sol Principe and Principito (see my tip on that), Isabel, Don Marco and a couple of other hotels. A lovely area. Last year I watched an outside movie-theater on the beach of Playamar. There are a lot of stores, shops and restaurants in this area, and Avda. de Benyamina with all its big blocks-of-flats which look like pillars.
By Plaza Comunidades Autonómas is "Informacion Turistica", or The Tourist information center, where you can get leaflets and some information on Torremolinos. On the Plaza itself there is the breathtaking homage to Picasso "Mujeres corriendo por la playa" which is the centerpiece of the Paseo Marítimo (see my tip on the statue).
I have added more pictures in a travelogue here as the tips only allow for 5 pictures.
Waves here are fairly small and yet this is a very popular beach. In the past during the 1970’s, a number of movies were filmed on this beach. The beach is not as big as such but it still has its fair share of sunbeds and umbrellas. There are also showers and toilets as well as mats to keep the feet cool enroute to your sun lounger. The facilities here are suitable for the disabled.
You have to really admire the sand artists, they really create some superb sculptures. When I was there Homer and Marge Simpson were the feature. Unfortunately the artist was nowhere to be seen when I walked past but they are certainly worth a donation.
Bajondillo Beach is right in the centre of Torremolinos’ beaches and just next to Bajondillo. The sand isn’t exactly golden, more of a greyish colour but its clean and inviting with the standard beach loungers and umbrellas. The beach also has showers close by. A safe beach which is suitable for not only swimming but other water activities as well.
The beaches stretch for as far as the eye can see. They actually take up around 9 kilometres of pristine coastline. The sand isn’t exactly golden but there is lots of it and it clean and the swimming is safe.
The beach on the other side of the cliff is Playa de la Carihuela. It is lovely, the atmosphere changes a bit when crossing the cliff with all the cats. The beaches at La Carihuela are golden and lovely with lots of shells and sea-gulls line up in one spot of the beach. There are pebbles at only one spot at the beach, apart from that the beaches are soft and lovely.
There are lots of cafés and restaurants both on the beach and by the promenade, and myriads of shops and stores, quite a lovely walk. If you take a right turn into the street above the promenade, called Calla Bulto, you will find a lot of shops, some of which are open into the promenade as well. I added a tip on that under "Shopping".
Wherever I am staying, I always head for the La Carihuela beach and hang out in the waves by a palm grove there and collect shells. It is quite lovely and one can walk far into the ocean as it is very shallow.
La Carihuela is famous for its Andalucian sea-food cousine and it is here that the tourist boom began in the 1950s and people like the members of the Rat Pack apparantly frequented La Carihuela.
I added more pictures from La Carihuela in a travelogue. When I plan my trips abroad I want to see as many different pictures as possible beforehand, so that is why I take many pictures and add them in a travelogue and hope they might be of use to other people planning their trip.
Playa del Bajondillo is the beach next to Playa de Playamar and goes all the way down to the cliff dividing the beaches in Torremolinos. This beach has got a lot of restaurants and cafés, shops and stores. From the Paseo Maritimo in Bajondillo you can reach the city center by the steps to Calla San Miguel and Camino de la Playa (see my tips on that). The hotels in this area are Hotel Bajondillo, Aguamarina, Hotel Don Marco and Don Pedro and Hotel Meliá C. del Sol to name some of them.
The beaches at Bajondillo have got a lot of pebbles in them, especially right at the end of Bajondillo next to the rock, that is all pebbles. The beginning of Bajondillo is the best and cleanest part of the beach, in my opinion. But there is a lot of activity at the pebbly part, see my picture on what there is on offer there.
There is a lovely bright blue boat by the end of Playa del Bajondillo and Camino de la Playa, with TORREMOLINOS written on it, a good reminder that Torremolinos used to be a fishing village before the surge of tourists found out about this lovely place.
I have added more pictures from Playa del Bajondillo in a travelogue here.
Playa de Montemar is the beach next to Playa de la Carihuela. It stretches as far as the marina of the neighbouring town of Benalmádena
It is a beautiful beach with golden sands, lots of shells and lots of sea-sport activities, making it the liveliest beach of Torremolinos and my favourite. It is fun swimming there as the sea is so shallow that you can walk far into the ocean in some places and the sea is only up to your waist.
There are a lot of restaurants and cafés on Playa de Montemar, but less shops than in other areas of the promenade. Instead there is lively business at nights in fake Gucci, Prada, Chanel etc. bags, watches, belts and pirate DVDs. In front of Sol Timor you can see men from Africa laying out their goods on sheets and there is a lot of haggling going on. As soon as the police shows up they pick up their stuff and vanish into the dark beaches. This is a game of cat and mouse, which I watched from my balcony at Sol Timor. Just a word of warning - even though the bags look real they are often glued at the seams making it risky carrying them as they can fall apart when ever - in my case my bag fell apart at the airport in Montréal, causing problems for me, and I had to take it to a shoe-maker in Canada to have it fastened with leather. Don't risk it, I eye the bags when I pass by as they look so pretty, but will not get fooled again.
The hotels by Playa de Montemar are Hotel Aloha Puerto, Sol Timor, Riu Nautilus, Aptos. Buensol, Barracuda, Amaragua and Tropicana just to name some of them. A lovely area, but can be loud at times being so close to the discos by the marina.
Torremolinos has superb choices of beaches and blessed with the widest and one of the longest stretches of beach area on the Med, with a grey beige sand and qbout nine and a half kilometers in length. The main ones are the busy Bajondillo and Carihuela beaches especially during peak season.
Torremolinos beaches has good disabled access, ample choice of sunbed and parasol hire, pedal boat hire, volleyball, loads of free parking along the promenade, and showers and kids play areas. Bajondillo has a lifeguard service, volleyball net, pedal boat, parking, kids area and is popular for fishing, diving, surfing and sailing.
Los Alamos towards Malaga, near our accomodation, has disabled access, sunbed/parasol hire, and kids area and Montemar as well.
There are all kinds of sights to be seen on the Costa del Sol Beaches. I wonder if many of these would be seen back home or this was just the result of the holiday air of Costa del Sol.