Costa del Sol Beaches – Explore the Top 10 Beaches on the Costa
When we talk about Costa del Sol beaches it is safe to say that with over 100 to choose from, any visitor to this area is going to be seriously spoilt for choice. The beaches vary tremendously from the soft white sweeping sandy beaches of trendy Marbella, to the rugged inlets and coves situated to the east.
So where exactly are the best beaches? Clearly it is down to personal choice as one person’s perfect beach may not be anothers, but since this is what the article is based around, then here is my top 10.
Playa el Canuelo
This beach is situated at the far Eastern end of the Costa del sol between the resort of Nerja and the town of Maro. This area is a designated nature reserve and is flanked by the Sierra Tejada and Almijara mountain ranges. The beach is in essence one long string of coves meaning that the beach is sheltered. The beach is a mixture of sand and fine gravel but the sea is exceptionally clear. There are two beach bars here that offer sun worshipers some excellent food and beverages. This is also one of the best spots for snorkeling and scuba diving.
El Cristo Estepona
If you looked at a map of Costa del Sol beaches, you would see that this one (el Cristo) and the beach above (El Canuelo) are about as far apart in terms of distance as you can get. Situated west of Puerto Banus lies the beach known as El Cristo. It has blue flag status so is very clean. The sand here is fine and darker in colour but contains no gravel and the sea itself is shallow and clear making it child friendly. Again there are a couple of nice beach bars here which serve a selection of tapas and ice cold drinks, which is just what you need on a hot summers day.
Most people know Puerto Banus for the glitzy Marina, however Puerto Banus also has one of the best beaches on the Costa. Situated 7 kms west of Marbella this is a haven for the ‘beautiful’ people, the well-to-do, and of course the celebrities. The beach itself is made up of soft white sand and is perched adjacent to the Marina. It has a scattering of bars and restaurants where you can chill out and sip a cocktail, or alternatively you can slip on something a little less casual and walk around the corner to the Marina to be wined and dined in style.
Punta Paloma Tarifa
Okay so it’s not strictly one of the Costa del sol beaches but it’s only a stone’s throw away and is definitely worth a mention. Situated at km74 along the N340 motorway towards Gibraltar, on the Cost de la Luz this beach remains unspoilt and as a result does not offer the typical Marbella services of showers, toilets and sun lounger rental. But this adds to the beauty of it. The sand dunes are a great place to shelter from the cooling breeze which always seems to blow here and is great for water sports, particularly windsurfing.
Cabopino beach situated slightly east of Marbella is around 1200 metres in length and is one of the finest of all the Costa del Sol beaches. It is everything that you would want in a beach in soft white sand, shallow crystal clear water and plenty of facilities. However because of this it is very popular, so make sure you get here early. Also be aware that the nudist beach of Dunas de Artola, joins it to the far west.
This beach is around 1050 metres in length and is part situated in a small cove complete with shallow water. This makes it great for small children. It is located just 2km west of Marbella at the Guadalpin Hotel. Take this exit off the N340 motorway for the beach turning. There is also plenty of parking.
El Alicate Elvira
Situated west of Marbella the beach at El Alicate is around 1900 metres in length so there is plenty of room to find a space. This is a good job because it can get somewhat crowded in the months of July and August when the Spanish take their holidays. The beach has a good selection of Chiringuitos (beach side bars) to choose from and is a great place for all the family.
Playa de Carvajal, Benalmadena
This beach is around 1600 metres in length and is urbanised. Benalmadena is a popular tourist resort in its own right and as a result when you arrive at the beach there are plenty of facilities including a children’s play area, a selection of restaurants and bars, showers, toilets and disabled access. The waves tend to be moderate, so may not be ideal for small children and babies but for older kids and adults it’s one of the most family orientated of the Cost del Sol beaches.
Playa de Benejarafe
If you are looking to escape the crowds of tourists that flock to the western end of the Costa del sol, then there is only one answer…head east! Playa de Benejarafe is a great beach located at Benejarafe around 20 minutes drive east of Malaga airport. This is a relatively unspoilt wide sandy beach that is very popular with the locals. There are a number of beach side restaurants and bars close by that you can relax and grab some refreshments.
Playa de Torre del Mar
When in Spain why not go where the Spanish go and this is the beach at Torre del Mar. Situated around 35 minutes east of the Malaga Airport along the N340 Motorway, the beach here is long and wide so you will have no trouble finding a space even in the height of the summer. It is also flanked by a mile long promenade that links into the neighbouring town of Caleta de Velez. There is plenty of free parking along the promenade and you can also find a good selection of bars and restaurants located beach side. It is recommended that you should try the seafood, as it is caught just down the road in Caleta. You can’t get much fresher than that.