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Reproduction of Picasso's Two Dancing Ladies, Torremolinos, July 2007.

Torremolinos is a tourist sandy beach town on the Costa del Sol in southern Spain. It appeals to domestic tourists, Northern Europeans, families and LGBT people (and probably LGBT families, too). It is approximately 12 km south of Malaga between Malaga Bay and the Mijas Mountains.


Torremolinos was a fishing village back in the 1920s, but has been rapidly overtaken by tourism. Its nominal population is around 43,000 but this can rise to 250,000 during the tourist season.

Tourists will be most familiar with the beaches of Torremolinos and the pedestrian-only Calle San Miguel, which is lined with shops, and runs from the centre of town down to the beach. The lower half is a winding stair-stepped path, and is fun to descend and fortifying to climb!

Beginning in the late 1980s, Torremolinos developed a well-deserved reputation among tourists as being the armpit of the Costa del Sol. An angry, tourism-dependent community affected some changes at Town Hall, and new priorities were put in place. Today, Torremolinos is once again an attractive, clean, safe haven for northern Europeans escaping the fiercer climes for the sunniest spot in Europe. It is also one of the most popular resorts for Spanish tourists, with some of the districts (especially La Carihuela) having as much of a Spanish feel as an international tourist one.

The beaches are the main sight in Torremolinos

Torremolinos is made up of several distinct districts stretching either side of the Town Centre: El Bajondillo is the beach area closest to the town, east of here are the commercial tourist area of Playamar (home of the infamous high-rise hotels from the 1960s and 70s) and then the pleasant beach-side district of Los Alamos. West of the Town Centre lie La Carihuela - the old fishing village, of which some architecture survives, and then Montemar which adjoins the neighbouring municipality of Benalmádena.

La Carihuela is famous throughout Spain as a major centre of Andalucian cuisine, with the emphasis being heavily on seafood of all kinds. The old fishing village has been pedestrianised and runs parallel to one of the best beaches on the Costa del Sol. It is in La Carihuela that the tourist boom began in the 1950s with the arrival of the jet set, including Frank Sinatra and friends.

While summer is the peak season for visiting, winters here are also mild by European standards, with temperatures rarely falling below 10 °C. For those who want peace and quiet, winter is a good time to visit as Torremolinos turns into a ghost town, but with temperatures comfortable enough to offer respite from the bitter winters in the rest of Europe.

Gay life[edit]

Since the beginning of its tourism surge in the late 1950s, Torremolinos has been a safe haven for Europe's gay and lesbian holiday makers. Even under Franco, while gay people elsewhere in Spain were being brutalized, imprisoned and executed, the value of the solid currencies that the so-called vacationing "deviants" brought into Spain's faltering economy trumped whatever personal feelings Franco had about same-sex relationships and kept Torremolinos a gay Mecca, long before the word "gay" evolved into common usage.

Today, gay life in Torremolinos centres on the Nogalera complex in the very centre of town where there is a gay bar to suit just about every taste one can imagine. The complex is very mixed, with gay and family restaurants, bars and shops, all jumbled together, making for a nice, comfortable ambiance. Given the "macho" reputation of Spanish culture, many first-time lgbt visitors are surprised to discover the general indifference of the locals to sexual orientation.

Get in[edit]

Map of Torremolinos

The train service connecting Torremolinos to Malaga and the Airport to the East and West to Fuengirola , runs every 20 minutes from the early morning to late evening. Contactless and rechargeable tickets are bought at the vending machines in train stations. The journey to Malaga takes about 20 minutes and the airport 10 minutes. There are 5 stations in the Torremolinos area. An interactive map of this train line is available at the Renfe Web site: [1]

Get around[edit]

Torremolinos has 5 wheelchair accessible railway stations and the airport is just 10 minutes away. Trains run every 20 minutes in each direction. There is a regular local bus service that serves most of Torremolinos allowing you to get to the town centre from the outlying parts which can be up to 2 km away. Buses are approximately every 40 minutes and cost around €1.25. The Portillo Bus Company operates routes out of the Torremolinos Bus Station that connect to just about anywhere you'd want to go on the Costa del Sol. Detailed schedules are available here: [2]. Car rentals are widely available.


  • La Carihuela. fishermans quarter
  • La Carihuela. beach
  • Crocodile park, C/ Cuba, 14, +34 952051782, .
  • Municipal Auditorium Principe de Asturias, C/ Pedro Navarro Bruna s/n. It is one of the biggest auditoriums in Andalucia. Used mainly for classical concerts, ballet, theater and all types of cultural events.
View from Torre Mirador in park La Bateria to south.
  • Parque de la Batería, Ramal del Carmelo. Inside the park is tower Torre Mirador, from which is a good view towards the sea/town.


  • Parish church of San Miguel Arcángel.
  • Torre de Pimentel.
  • Casa de los Navaja.


  • Aqualand - A water park claims to be the biggest in Andalucia. It is located about 10 min from the town centre.
  • Windsurfing
  • Kitesurfing
  • Water skiing
  • Pedal boats
  • Boat trips - These can include dolphin watching and tend to depart from Benalmádena marina

Events and festivals[edit]

  • Semana Santa (Holy Week) the week before Easter Sunday. Processions through Torremolinos on Maundy Thursday and Good Friday. Torremolinos is a good base for visiting the spectacular daily Semana Santa processions in nearby Málaga (the largest outside Seville) as the frequent train service means avoiding the traffic-chaos in central Málaga.
  • Fried Fish Day (Dia del Pescaito) takes place every year on the first Thursday in June. It takes place on La Carihuela Beach on the south western side of the resort.
  • Festival of the Virgen del Carmen de La Carihuela on July 16 every year. The climax to the Feria de La Carihuela this includes the procession of the image of the Virgen from the small church in La Carihuela through the streets and down to the seafront, from where she tours the other beaches of Torremolinos.
  • Festival of San Miguel Arcángel. Last week in September, culminating on St Michael's Day, September 29. A very busy week-long festival of processions, parades and events. San Miguel is the patron saint of Torremolinos.


The revitalized Torremolinos Town Centre is now home to many national and international chain stores as well as the usual tourist shops. Its increasing popularity with Spanish tourists means that many of the old 'tat-shops' have now been replaced with designer boutiques. A surprisingly good variety of shopping is available if you explore the little side streets and alleys off Calle San Miguel, the main shopping street. The "upper" part of town for shopping and eating only has a few places with steep staircases that allow you to get to the "lower" beach area.


  • There are hundreds of restaurants, especially in the La Carihuela district. Just walk along the coastal Maritimo street. You will find every type of food. Local seafood (Mediterranean), Italian, Indian, Greek, British, Scandinavian, etc.
  • Outdoor Sardine barbeques are common in many of the seaside restaurants. Eat the heads and all.
  • Fresh pescaíto frito stands can be found along the beaches


As a major Spanish and international tourist destination Torremolinos has cafés, bars and café-bars to suit all tastes. It is also the home of the famous 'chiringuitos' - beach café-bars which offer beach-side drinks and meals throughout the year. The best of these are to be found in the district of La Carihuela.

Sample the local vino de Málaga, a fortified wine similar to sherry.

  • [formerly dead link] La Cervezateca, Calle Casablanca 22 (opposite Pueblo Blanco). 18:00-02:00. An oasis in the Spanish Beer Desert. More than 100 beers from around the world, including 6 trappist beers.


A major 10-year programme of hotel upgrading funded by the EU, the Junta de Andalucía and Torremolinos Council is nearing completion. This was designed to rid Torremolinos of its old 'cheap package' image and its success can be seen by the fact that Torremolinos now has one of the highest hotel occupancy rates in Europe (well over 80%) and the highest on the Costa del Sol.

There are a wide range of hotels available on all the usual websites. Torremolinos also has many small hostal/pensions and a wide range of self-catering apartments and houses available to rent, many of them owned by British or Dutch ex-pats.

Go next[edit]

Torremolinos is well-placed as a base for visiting the various sights of Andalucía, connected by efficient public transport to much of the Costa de Sol. There are many excursion shops offering 'all-in' day trips too.

  • The mountain village of Mijas — famous for its white-washed houses.
  • The city of Málaga with its Moorish Castle, Picasso Museum, etc.
  • Marbella with its famous Old Town and chic shopping.
  • The marina at Benalmádena with yacht-hire, fishing trips etc.
  • Seville, Granada, and Córdoba are all easily reached by connecting train from Málaga
  • Modern Castle complex, built as tribute to Columbus is about half hour drive away. Castillo_de_Colomares - Wikipedia
  • The Alhambra in Granada, the huge mediaeval Moorish Palace is less that 2 hours away is well worth a day trip visit.


This city travel guide to Torremolinos is a usable article. It has information on how to get there and on restaurants and hotels. An adventurous person could use this article, but please feel free to improve it by editing the page.