Beach day in Malaga

Sitting at the tip of Andalusia, Malaga is the heart of the Costa del Sol (meaning ‘coast of the sun’) region of southern Spain and the ultimate destination for adding some extra beach days to the fleeting summer season.

The Alcazaba citadel in Malaga

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With a history stretching back to 770 BCE, it’s one of the oldest cities in Europe. Muslims ruled here for eight centuries beginning in 711 CE, affording the city with distinctive Moorish architecture. This can be appreciated in landmarks such as the Alcazaba citadel and the layout of narrow streets, which give plenty of refuge from the hot sun.

Narrow streets in Malaga

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Malaga boasts approximately 320 sunny days per year, making it one of the sunniest cities in Europe.

In addition, it offers an impressive selection of museums. Some of the highlights include the vibrant outpost of Paris’ Centre Pompidou and the little sister of Madrid’s Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum – the Carmen Thyssen Museum, which takes visitors on a comprehensive trip through 19th-century Andalusian painting.

Yet the museum the locals are proudest of is the Museo Picasso Málaga. The legendary artist was born in Malaga in 1881 and, during his lifetime, expressed a desire to have an exhibition space in his native city. Housed in a stunning 16th-century palace, the museum opened in 2003 and displays around 200 works of art.

Malaga - a perfect leisure destination

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But the city’s main draw is the easy access to the turquoise waters of the Mediterranean Sea.

Malaga and its surroundings offer plenty of options for any beach-goer, from tranquil, stony shores to white, sandy beaches and cave-filled coasts.

We’ve rounded up some of the best options for a perfect beach day.


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Playa de la Malagueta

Playa de la Malagueta with palm-lined promenade
Photo on I loft Malaga

Due to its proximity to the city centre, the Playa de la Malagueta is the most popular beach and is frequented by holidaymakers and locals alike.

It’s a 60-metre-wide, 2.5-kilometre-long artificial beach with sand imported from the Sahara Desert. It’s also well equipped with sun lounge and umbrella rentals, volleyball courts, lifeguards, paddle-boat rentals, and playgrounds, making it a fine destination for families.

Playa de la Malagueta - the most popular beach near the city centre

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The palm-lined promenade is lined with beach bars, or chiringuitos, which offer freshly fried seafood and refreshing drinks.

Don’t forget to take a picture of yourself by the iconic Malagueta sign.

Take a picture by the Malagueta sign

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Playa de El Palo

For a more local experience, head to the Playa de El Palo, a pretty fishing village to the east of the city. To get there, rent a bicycle and ride for 20 minutes along the coast, or hop on a bus.

Take a bicycle ride along the coast to Playa de El Palo

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The diverse coastline with spots of sand, larger rocks, and patches of grass is a relaxing place to enjoy the shallow Mediterranean bay. The traditional boats peppered along the coast remind one of the area’s legacy of fishing. Many of the boats have been reimagined as stands for grilling espetos (fresh sardines skewered on a stick) over an open fire – they’re a must-try gastronomical experience.

Tasta a local dish - espetos - grilled sardines

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After working on your suntan, explore the thriving El Palo area with its colourful houses turned into trendy tapas joints, bars, and restaurants.

Colorful El Palodistrict

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Playa El Salón

Malaga is surrounded by many smaller coastal towns, such as Fuengirola and Estepona.

But ask any local where to find the most serene beaches, and they’ll point to the town of Nerja, located an hour’s ride east of Malaga.

Nerja - village with cobbled streets and whitewashed buildings

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Featuring cobbled streets and whitewashed buildings, the former fishing village boasts twelve beaches, each topping the lists of the most beautiful Spanish beaches. It’s famous for crystal-clear waters and sandy beaches secluded by steep cliffs with serene coves in which to take shelter from the sun.

Visit Nerja to find the most beautiful Spanish beaches

Photo on Unsplash

One of the most popular is the Playa El Salón, situated close to the town’s centre and equipped with all the necessary amenities for a perfect beach day.

For a picture-perfect view, head to the Balcón de Europa – a viewing platform that gives a panoramic view over the Mediterranean Sea.

Picture-perfect view at the Balcón de Europa

Photo on Pixabay


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Read more about authentic travel experiences in Baltic Outlook.

Cover photo on Unsplash
Text by Ilze Vītola

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