5 reasons for a beach holiday in Malaga province

With more than 8,000 km of coastline, Spain has long been a primary destination for European sun and surf seekers. In fact, Spain is set to overtake the United States this year as the second most visited country country in the world, thanks in no small part to its expansive beaches and virtually endless sunshine.

Since 1987, the internationally renowned Foundation for Environmental Education (FEE) has been designating “Blue Flag” beaches around the world. The Blue Flag recognition is an eco-label awarded as a sign of excellence based on varied criteria and closely scrutinised. After 30 years of these global rankings, Spain has been at the top of the table every year.

So a beach holiday in Spain is bound to be enjoyable, but there are particular reasons to spend your Spanish beach holiday in Andalusia, and in Malaga Province specifically.

Quality, cleanliness, facilities and access

The Blue Flag designation relies on an analysis of water quality, environmental education and information, environmental management, plus safety and access including for people with disabilities. It’s a comprehensive and trusted evaluation, and Malaga now boasts no fewer than 25 such beaches within its boundaries – just part of the much wider breadth of Andalusian coastline treasure.

Malaga gained one more Blue Flag award in 2018, with the municipalities of Fuengirola, Estepona and Marbella logging in as the most successful of Malaga Province with four flags each along their beaches. An added flag award for Fuengirola means that the entire coast along that municipality is covered by the prestigious Blue Flag designation.

Something for everyone – what’s your fancy?

Simply because a beach has been honoured with a Blue Flag designation doesn’t mean it’s right for everyone; we all have our preferences. Some will insist on a secluded, quiet beach with few others to share the waters with. Others will prefer a variety of nearby facilities, restaurants and even the society that some would avoid. The diversity of beaches along the Malagueña coast offers everything within a relatively short distance.

For example, the aforementioned beaches of Fuengirola, all awarded Blue Flag status, link a fairly populated boardwalk lined with cafes, restaurants, hotels and bars. It’s ideal for family convenience and for those that don’t want to pack the car full for a daylong outing. And in the city of Malaga, the unique beach known as La Malagueta sits just minutes walk from the bustling city centre, while offering a genuine feeling of Mediterranean sophistication. It sometimes has the alternative touch of Venice Beach in Los Angeles, with athletic types jogging, cycling or blading past others more occupied with juggling or even practicing their tight-rope balancing skills!

Those who prefer a quieter piece of beach will want to head east of Malaga, where such Blue Flag beaches as those at the far eastern end of Velez-Malaga and beyond see fewer visitors and tourists, but have wide sandy stretches of uninterrupted beach. Even further to the east at the border of Malaga and Granada Provinces, from Maro onward, the cliffs fall into the sea in the absence of residential developments. Here, only the waves break the silence and the shadows of the passing sun tell the time.

The party!

Sooner or later, everybody loves a good beach party, and the revelry of the Andalusian Spaniards is legendary. It’s no big surprise then that there is always an upcoming beach party on the calendar. Any given weekend is fair game for an impromptu beach party on the more populated and city central beaches such as La Malagueta or between Torremolinos and Marbella, but there is a full schedule of more formal events that draw people of all stripes.

The annual weeklong fiesta of Malaga each August opens with fireworks and music on the beach at midnight, for example; while in Torre del Mar to the east, a newly founded music festival has taken the coast by storm. This year the simply named “Festival Weekend Beach” takes place from 5 to 8 July; billed as the most eclectic music festival in Spain, the acts include more than 90 artists for this, the fifth anniversary. Headliners include David Guetta, The Offspring, Fatima Hajji and Wyclef Jean.


There are numerous additional annual beach fiestas with a bit less fanfare, such as the Fiesta del Carmen to honour the patron saint of the sea (July 15-16), and the nightlong fiesta de San Juan. The celebration of San Juan takes place on the summer solstice, June 21 (or the nearest weekend) and is decidedly more pagan than religious in all reality. It starts as a family affair but goes on and on until sunrise, with bonfires, car boot DJ’s and lots of sandy dancing.

The food!

Virtually every beach along the Malaga coastline, even surprisingly including many of the more secluded beaches, has a quaint and cozy little restaurant/bar sitting right on the sand before the beach. These “chiringuitos”, as they are known, have a long history and include some of their own culinary traditions. The “espeto de sardinas” is the most common and typical of the region. The “espeto” is a method of cooking fish and seafood on a bamboo skewer, essentially, and the sardine is the most common product served in this way. A little fishing dingy is the usual vessel for the fire, built right on the sand as the waves massage the beach beyond.

On the Malaga coast it is not necessary to plan lunch or dinner around your beach visit. Here, fresh seafood is quietly celebrated as an essential fact of life and standard luxury to be enjoyed by all. And where better to enjoy the fruits of the sea but on the beach? A list of fine “chiringuitos” is entirely unnecessary, as the vast majority are more than adequate and there’s another one to be found every few hundred metres along, so if one seems questionable, the next is sure to be better.

Simply sun

With more than 300 days of sunshine in Malaga, there’s really no bad time to visit the beach. Sure, in winter the sea will be too chilly for most, but on any given day you could still spend a midday repose on the sand with the sun on your face and the waves kissing your toes on the shore. Meanwhile, in the intense heat of summer, there’s nowhere better to beat the heat and enjoy the rays than on the coast with a cool Mediterranean breeze and temperate waters underfoot. In between it’s a no-brainer… perfect air temps and comfortable swimming both day and, even more luxuriously, at night.

Alan Hazel is Owner and Director of Cortijo El Carligto. Cortijo el Carligto is a private Andalucían hideaway and luxury rental estate in the hills of Malaga, Spain, overlooking the Mediterranean.

If you would like to be a guest blogger on A Luxury Travel Blog in order to raise your profile, please contact us.

Comments (2)

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  1. 8 KM is quite a bit of beach Alan. But with those dazzling colors and dramatic views it seems like covering even a wee bit of shoreline in Spain would be an absolute breeze. Super images and nice breakdown too :)

    Ryan

  2. Francois says:

    Malaga is an amazing city: typically spanish, always sunny and warm weather, ancient arena, beautiful beaches, so… Andalucia !! And some great places are nearby, like Cordoba, Grenade or Marbella.

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