The best beaches on the Costa del Sol that you won’t want to miss once you know about them

Home » Blog » The best beaches on the Costa del Sol that you won’t want to miss once you know about them

Have you ever dreamed of a place that awakens all your senses and makes you fall in love instantly? The Costa del Sol – with its dazzling fusion of blue skies and golden sands – is exactly that paradise. This charming coastline is not only a favourite destination for travellers from all over the world, but also a dream place for anyone looking to establish a home by the sea. Knowing the best beaches on the Costa del Sol will not only let you experience moments of leisure and relaxation but also enable you to witness utopian sunrises and sunsets where beauty is at its finest. Sounds great, doesn’t it?

We are not the only ones saying it; the prestigious magazine Forbes also says that Málaga has crowned it as the best city in the world to live in in 2023. And right on its heels, we find Alicante, another Spanish city that we know and that shines with its own light. Both towns – with their combination of beauty, history and exceptional quality of life – have firmly established themselves as premier destinations for anyone looking for a home in Spain.

At Quadratia, we understand that discovering the Costa del Sol is a unique experience. That’s why we’ve dedicated ourselves to developing a comprehensive and detailed guide to the best beaches in this fascinating region. Our guide will take you through a trip along the Costa del Sol’s impressive coastline, which extends from Sotogrande to Nerja, covering some 170 km of idyllic landscapes.

Are you ready? Let the adventure begin!

The 10 best beaches on the Costa del Sol

Undoubtedly, the Costa del Sol is renowned for being home to some of Spain’s most beautiful and charming beaches. In fact, many of them have earned the Blue Flag distinctive. This is an international recognition that is a testament to the region’s commitment to excellence in environmental aspects, water purity, visitor safety and the provision of high-quality services.

On this tour, we’ll introduce you to the 10 best beaches on the Costa del Sol, selected not only for their beauty and perfect harmony with the natural environment, but also for the wide range of services and amenities they offer.

However, in a future article, we’ll dive into and explore the most impressive coves on the Costa del Sol, where nature and tranquillity come together to create dreamlike settings.

1. La Malagueta Beach (Malaga)

Malaga's Malagueta beach, one of the best beaches on the Costa del Sol.

La Malagueta beach, located in Málaga, is one of the top beaches on the Costa del Sol and one of the province’s iconic spots. Located near Málaga’s centre and at the foot of the iconic Mount Gibralfaro, this beach is a vibrant meeting point for everyone.

Famous for its fine sand and calm and transparent waters, La Malagueta maintains exceptional quality in its services, which is evidenced by the Blue Flag that adorns its shore every year. 

The seafront promenade of La Malagueta is a hive of activity, where you can enjoy Malaga’s famous gastronomy and, in particular, its sardine skewers. The beach also offers services such as the rental of hammocks and umbrellas, showers, playgrounds for children and sports spaces, as well as adapted access for people with reduced mobility and lifeguard surveillance, ensuring a safe and pleasurable experience for all its visitors.

The fantastic location of La Malagueta beach, just a stone’s throw from Málaga’s centre, makes it extremely accessible on foot and by public transport for anyone who wants to enjoy a day at the beach and at the same time explore Málaga’s urban attractions. That’s why, if you’re interested in discovering what to do or see in Málaga, don’t miss this article

CharacteristicsLa Malagueta beach
Blue Flag 2023Yes
Beach typeGolden sand
ParkingDifficulty: high. Quite busy area with free parking and often full private parking. We advise public transport.
Public bathsYes, and adapted to reduced mobility
Beach bars or restaurantsYes
Children’s play areasYes
Recreational-sports play areasYes

2. Pedregalejo beach (Málaga)

Pedregalejo beach, one of the best beaches on the Costa del Sol.

Pedregalejo beach is a charming coastal spot that combines tradition and modernity to perfection. Approximately 1,200 metres and with an average width of 20 metres, this beach is notable for its historical seafront promenade, the oldest in the city.

So, Pedregalejo, with its bohemian atmosphere, attracts both locals and tourists. Its calm waters and soft sand make it ideal for families, as well as for anyone looking to enjoy water activities such as paddle surfing. In addition, the beach is easily accessible from Málaga’s centre and has the Blue Flag award. 

Málaga’s seafront promenade on Playa de Pedregalejo, offers a complete sensory experience, with impressive views of the Mediterranean Sea and a vibrant social atmosphere. Here, every visitor finds his or her ideal space: from those looking for a moment of relaxation on the beach, to gastronomy lovers who can delight in the diversity of restaurants and beach bars on the seafront, which offer typical Malagueño dishes and fresh seafood.

At nightfall, the promenade becomes a magical place, ideal for romantic walks or enjoying the sea breeze. Pedregalejo is not only one of the best beaches on the Costa del Sol due to its natural beauty, but also for the complete experience it provides, combining leisure, culture and tranquillity.

CharacteristicsPedregalejo beach
Blue Flag 2023Yes
Beach typeGolden sand
ParkingDifficulty: medium. Quite busy area with free parking and private parking. 
Public bathsYes, and adapted to reduced mobility
Beach bars or restaurantsYes
Children’s play areasYes
Recreational-sports play areasYes

3. Burriana beach (Nerja)

Burriana Beach, in Nerja (Malaga), one of the 10 best beaches on the Costa del Sol.

We’re not lying to you when we say that Burriana beach, located in Nerja, is one of the best beaches on the Costa del Sol and one of the most popular and visited. It’s ideal for families, groups of friends and individual travellers. Its proximity to other Nerja attractions, such as the Balcón de Europa, an emblematic viewpoint with impressive views of the Mediterranean, significantly enriches the visitors’ experience.

Whether you’re looking to relax in the sun, enjoy water sports or simply experience the local gastronomy in a spectacular setting, Burriana is the perfect choice. From there, you can enjoy a kayaking or paddle surfing experience through the Cascada del Maro waterfall that is totally recommended. 

It also offers rental services for hammocks and umbrellas, accessible showers and changing rooms, in addition to a variety of water activities. The beach bars and restaurants along the seafront promenade offer local delicacies. In addition, the beach is known for its cleanliness and security, having been awarded the prestigious Blue Flag

CharacteristicsBurriana beach
Blue Flag 2023Yes
Beach typeGolden sand
ParkingDifficulty: medium. Free parking and private parking in the area. Busy in summer. 
Public bathsYes, and adapted to reduced mobility
Beach bars or restaurantsYes
Children’s play areasYes
Recreational-sports play areasYes

4. Maro beach (Nerja)

Maro Beach, in Nerja (Malaga).

Maro beach in the town of Nerja is a true treasure for lovers of adventure tourism and water sports. Its impressive natural environment surrounded by cliffs and crystal-clear waters distinguishes this beach.

This beach is a fantastic starting point for exciting guided kayak routes, allowing adventurers to explore Maro’s impressive cliffs, various hidden caves and the opportunity to contemplate the mouths of two waterfalls that fall directly into the sea: the River de Sanguino and the River Maro

Similarly, for snorkelling lovers, at Playa del Maro you can find an underwater world rich in biodiversity where it’s possible to observe a wide variety of marine life. However, if you prefer to complement your beach day with mountain activities, you can enjoy the beach from the viewpoint of Playa de Maro or from the Torre de Maro tower.  

We recommend you go to this beach early. If you do, you’ll be able to contemplate the most spectacular sunrise you’ve ever seen. In summary, Playa de Maro in Nerja is one of the best beaches on the Costa del Sol for nature and adventure lovers. It has also been awarded the Blue Flag distinction.

CharacteristicsMaro beach
Blue Flag 2023Yes
Beach typeGolden sand
ParkingDifficulty: high. The city council has imposed limitations, especially in summer when a shuttle bus service was enabled (in the past).
Public bathsYes, and adapted to reduced mobility
Beach bars or restaurantsOne beach bar.
Children’s play areasNo
Recreational-sports play areasNo

5. Puerto Banús beach (Marbella)

Puerto Banús beach in Marbella (Málaga) one of the best beaches on the Costa del Sol.

Luxury yachts, dreamy boutiques and high-end restaurants… welcome to playa Puerto Banús! Located next to the luxurious marina, this beach is a key spot to experience Marbella’s glamour and sophistication. Let yourself be seduced by its elegant beach clubs and learn about its vibrant nightlife. 

Extremely comfortable and spacious sun loungers, umbrellas and VIP areas extend along the coast, offering a perfect place to relax in the sun. For water activity enthusiasts, this beach is a true paradise, offering options such as jet skiing, paddle surfing and boat rentals.

Close-up image of Puerto Banús in Marbella.

With all this and more, it’s no wonder that Marbella’s beach at Puerto Banús is considered one of the best beaches on the Costa del Sol. Awarded the Blue Flag, it attracts visitors from all over the world in search of sun, sea and sophistication.

CharacteristicsPuerto Banús beach
Blue Flag 2023Yes
Beach typeGolden sand
ParkingDifficulty: high. Quite busy area with free parking and usually full private parking. We advise public transport.
Public bathsYes, and adapted to reduced mobility
Beach bars or restaurantsYes
Children’s play areasYes
Recreational-sports play areasYes

6. Cabopino beach (Marbella)

Cabopino beach in Marbella, one of the best beaches on the Costa del Sol.

Playa Cabopino beach in Marbella is known for its impressive natural dunes, which offer a unique landscape on the Costa del Sol, providing a serene atmosphere and an opportunity to reconnect with nature.

A distinctive aspect of playa Cabopino beach is its nudist area, one of the few in the region. This area is secluded, offering privacy and tranquillity to those who prefer it while being respectful and discreet.

In terms of services, the beach is well-equipped to ensure a comfortable and entertaining stay. Visitors can enjoy the nearby beach bars and restaurants, as well as sun loungers and umbrellas for a relaxing day in the sun.

In addition, the beach’s proximity to renowned Cabopino Golf is an additional attraction, especially for golf lovers who are looking to combine their favourite sport with the enjoyment of the beach. 

CharacteristicsCabopino beach
Blue Flag 2023No
Beach typeGolden sand
ParkingDifficulty: medium. Paid parking near the beach and free parking in the surroundings. 
Public bathsYes
Beach bars or restaurantsYes
Children’s play areasNo
Recreational-sports play areasYes

7. Cristo beach (Estepona)

Cristo beach in Estepona (Malaga), one of the 10 best beaches on the Costa del Sol.

Are you looking for a family beach? Estepona’s Playa del Cristo is an ideal coastal destination for visitors of all ages. The soft sand and calm waters compose this beach, which is characterized by its shell shape, making it especially attractive for families with children.

In terms of services, it offers rental of hammocks and umbrellas. It also has play areas for children, which guarantees fun for the little ones. In addition, the beach is accessible for people with disabilities, ensuring that everyone can enjoy its beauty and services. 

For lovers of good food, Playa del Cristo is flanked by a variety of beach bars and restaurants ideal for enjoying its gastronomy on the seafront. There’s nothing better than ending a day of sun than enjoying the relaxing strolls through Estepona’s nearby Puerto Deportivo y Marina, where port life is combined with one of the best beaches on the Costa del Sol.

CharacteristicsCristo beach
Blue Flag 2023No
Beach typeGolden sand
ParkingDifficulty: medium. Free parking, usually attended in summer.
Public bathsYes, and adapted to reduced mobility
Beach bars or restaurantsYes
Children’s play areasYes
Recreational-sports play areasNo

8. Bil Bil beach (Benalmádena)

Benalmádena beach (Málaga) among the 10 best beaches on the Costa del Sol.

Benalmádena’s Bil Bil beach is a true oasis, both for its natural beauty and for its rich offer of services. This beach, which is near the El-Bil-Bil castle, an iconic structure displaying Moorish architecture that has undergone a transformation into a museum and exhibition hall, has become a focal point for both tourists and locals.

Playa de Bil Bil has all the amenities you need for a full day at the beach: from sun loungers and umbrellas to beach bars where you can enjoy the local gastronomy. In addition, itsproximity to Arroyo de la Miel beach expands options for leisure and strolls along the coast.

Bil Bil Castle in Benalmádena (Málaga).

Its easy access to and proximity to points of tourist interest, such as the castle itself and the marina, as well as the combination of its privileged location, quality services and a charming landscape, make it one of the best beaches on the Costa del Sol.

CharacteristicsBil Bil beach
Blue Flag 2023No
Beach typeGolden sand
ParkingDifficulty: medium. Free parking, usually attended in summer.
Public bathsYes
Beach bars or restaurantsYes
Children’s play areasYes
Recreational-sports play areasYes

9. Los Álamos beach (Torremolinos)

Los Álamos beach in Torremolinos is renowned for its liveliness and festive atmosphere. This extensive beach attracts both young people and families, offering a perfect mix of relaxation and fun.

The services at Los Álamos beach exceptional, including modern beach bars with chill-out music, ideal for enjoying a refreshing drink or a meal by the sea. The fine sand and moderate waves make this beach a perfect place for sunbathing and swimming, while the wide range of water activities – such as beach volleyball, paddle surfing, kitesurfing and windsurfing – guarantee entertainment for the most athletic of visitors.

This semi-urban beach under the Blue Flag distinctive is the perfect balance between tranquillity and entertainment. Its proximity to the charming seafront promenade and a variety of recreational facilities makes it an excellent option for all types of visitors.

CharacteristicsLos Álamos beach
Blue Flag 2023Yes
Beach typeGolden sand
ParkingDifficulty: high. Free and private parking in the normally busy surroundings.
Public bathsYes, and adapted to reduced mobility
Beach bars or restaurantsYes
Children’s play areasYes
Recreational-sports play areasYes

10. Fuengirola beach (Fuengirola)

Fuengirola beach in Malaga.

Fuengirola beach is one of the most outstanding beaches in the region because of its perfect integration into the city’s urban landscape. The crystal-clear waters and fine sand characterize this extensive eight-kilometer stretch of coastline, making it ideal for both swimmers and water sports fans.

Recognised for its excellence with distinctives such as the Blue Flag and the Q for Tourism Quality, Fuengirola beach strives to maintain a high standard in its services. Visitors can enjoy numerous amenities such as showers, public toilets, access for people with disabilities, rental of hammocks and umbrellas, and a wide range of beach bars and restaurants where you can enjoy the local gastronomy.

Additionally, Fuengirola has received awards for its innovative beach management, with projects like the implementation of coastline sensors. This initiative enhances swimmer safety and overall beach experience by effectively monitoring beach conditions. All this makes Fuengirola beach a can’t-miss destination for anyone looking to enjoy the sun and sea in an urban atmosphere that is quiet and boasts all the facilities that one of the best beaches on the Costa del Sol can offer.

CharacteristicsFuengirola beach
Blue Flag 2023Yes
Beach typeGolden sand
ParkingDifficulty: high. Free and private parking in the normally busy surroundings.
Public bathsYes, and adapted to reduced mobility
Beach bars or restaurantsYes
Children’s play areasYes
Recreational-sports play areasYes

Homes for sale on Málaga beaches

After discovering the best beaches that the Costa del Sol has to offer, it’s natural for you to feel tempted to take the next step and consider residing in this charming region. Homes for sale in Málaga Playa include a diversity of options that range from exclusive penthouses with impressive sea views to comfortable apartments located in quiet residential areas and on ground floors close to outstanding golf courses.

These homes offer you the possibility of living in one of the most exclusive spots on the Costa del Sol, while enjoying the proximity to some of the Mediterranean’s most spectacular landscapes.

However, if you believe that the Costa del Sol isn’t your favourite area, Quadratia has looked at the best cities to live in Spain. We offer alternatives on both the Costa Blanca and the Costa Cálida

Regardless of your decision, a future full of unprecedented experiences, amazingly beautiful natural settings and the hospitality inherent to Spain’s culture awaits you. Dare to explore it!

What do you think of our article on the best beaches on the Costa del Sol? Share our post and follow us on our social networks!

Subscribe to our newsletter


    * I have read and accept the legal notice