A shimmering gem of a Mediterranean metropolis along Spain's picturesque southern coast, Malaga's status as the capital of the Costa del Sol has helped it earned its reputation as a vacation hotspot. Every summer, thousands of visitors—from around Spain, Europe, and the world—flock to the city and its surroundings, eager to take advantage of the regions world-class beaches.
Obviously, said beaches are Malaga's main draw, especially in the warmer months. However, the sheer amount of beaches in and around the city can make it hard to narrow down which one is the best fit, especially for newcomers.
Each of the beaches in Malaga has its own special charm, and even if one isn't your scene, there's sure to be another that is.
If you're not too picky, the question of which beach in Malaga to visit can simply be answered by how lazy you're feeling that day. Are you fine with just visiting the closest beach to your hotel? Do you mind a leisurely half-hour walk to something a bit less crowded? Prefer to hop on a bus and visit one of the region's far-flung playas that fewer tourists frequent?
If you answered yes to any of the above questions, you're in the right place. Here are the top beaches in and around Malaga so you can be sure to pick the perfect vacation spot.
Closest Beach to Malaga City
If you're planning on staying local, the most popular beach in Malaga itself is Playa de la Malagueta. It's a 20 minute walk from Plaza de la Constitución, the city's liveliest and most iconic square.
With plenty of chiringuitos (beach bars) and cafes nearby, there's no shortage of drinks and dining options near La Malagueta. However, the sand isn't as fine here as it is at other beaches, and the view of the port just downshore is a bit of an eyesore.
Most Authentic Beach Within Walking Distance
The convenient location of La Malagueta makes it a popular choice among tourists, and few locals will brave the crowds here. Instead, malagueños typically make the short trek out to Playa de las Acacias in the serene suburb of Pedregalejo just east of the city center.
A onetime quiet fishermen's village, Pedregalejo maintains much of its old-world charm while providing all the modern amenities you could ask for. The picturesque town and friendly, local atmosphere at the beach make it worth the extra effort it takes to get here from the center of Malaga.
If you want to stretch your legs, it'll take you about an hour to reach the beach from Plaza de la Constitución, or 40 minutes from La Malagueta beach. If you've got your hands full with beach supplies or prefer not to make the journey on foot, bus number 11 from Alameda Principal will take you out to the beach.
Best Beach in Malaga Province
While Malaga city itself does offer plenty of stunning beaches, they're not the end-all-be-all of summer hotspots in the region. If your itinerary and budget allow, consider taking a trip out to one of the other amazing beaches in Malaga province.
The beaches close to the town of Nerja are the best in the Malaga region. ALSA, Spain's national bus company, runs a service from Malaga's bus station to Nerja, with buses leaving usually every 30 to 45 minutes. The journey takes between an hour and an hour and a half, depending on the number of stops along the route. When booking, note that some buses go to the "cuevas" (caves).
The main bus to Nerja takes you to the center of the town. There are numerous beaches along the coast here that are worth seeing, but the best way to find them would be to rent a car and drive along until you find what is appropriate for you. Whether you're looking for something buzzing and happening or a quieter, more secluded spot, there's sure to be a beach in Nerja where you'll feel at home.