Coves on the Costa del Sol: 7 magical spots on the Andalusian coastline

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Do you want to know which are the best coves on the Costa del Sol? These hidden paradises invite you to explore landscapes of incomparable natural beauty, far from the usual hustle and bustle of the busiest beaches. Here you can immortalise unique moments and enjoy the peace and quiet that only nature can offer.

The coastline of the Costa del Sol is characterised by crystal clear waters, golden sandy beaches and a unique biodiversity that distinguishes it from other destinations. With a warm and sunny climate for most of the year, these coves that we are going to introduce you to are ideal for relaxation and adventure. Come and discover the serenity of its landscapes, the rich marine life that inhabits its waters and, of course, to enjoy the authentic Andalusian essence in every visit.

From Quadratia, we invite you to continue reading this article to discover more about the incredible coves of the Costa del Sol. Here you will find all the information you need to explore these magical corners and learn how to reach them, ensuring an unforgettable experience of relaxation and adventure. 

After getting to know them, you’ll want to visit them!

Best coves on the Costa del Sol: natural spaces to discover between cliffs and crystal-clear waters

Image of one of the Costa del Sol's coves to enjoy in summer.

The Costa del Sol is one of the most emblematic destinations in Spain. Its golden sandy beaches and crystal-clear waters are perfect for those looking to relax or enjoy water sports. The region is also famous for its rich gastronomy, which includes fresh fish, seafood and traditional dishes such as espeto de sardinas.

In addition, the Costa del Sol, also known as the “Costa del Golf”, is home to numerous world-class golf courses. These courses attract enthusiasts from all over the world thanks to their panoramic views and challenging courses, providing a perfect environment that combines natural beauty and technical challenges.

Among its cities, Malaga has been recognized by Forbes as the best city to live in the world. This city stands out for its high quality of life, vibrant cultural life and excellent services. From museums and art galleries to theaters and festivals, Malaga offers a wide range of cultural activities that enrich the lives of residents and visitors alike.

In the following sections, we will explore the seven best coves on the Costa del Sol, each selected for their natural beauty and their ability to transport visitors away from the daily grind. Discover the magic of places like Cala del Cañuelo in Nerja, famous for its marine biodiversity, to the idyllic Cala de Maro, surrounded by cliffs and turquoise waters. 

Are you ready for it? Here we go!

Cañuelo Cove (Nerja)

Cañuelo cove (Nerja) on the Costa del Sol.

To start this route, nothing better than the Cañuelo Cove in Nerja, located in the impressive natural setting of the Maro-Cerro Gordo Cliffs and situated on the border between the provinces of Granada and Malaga. This cove is the last beach in the municipality of Malaga and stands out for its steep and spectacular cliffs.

Cala del Cañuelo is a cove of sand and gravel, whose crystal clear waters are perfect for snorkelling or scuba diving and where you can also observe endemic Mediterranean species such as the orange coral, classified as an endangered species.

As for the services available, the cove has nearby restaurants such as “Chiringuito Las Piedras” and “El Paraíso del Cañuelo”, where you can enjoy the local gastronomy. In addition, there are public toilets and showers, lifeguard and lifeguard service, ensuring a comfortable and safe experience for all visitors. 

Without a doubt, Cañuelo cove is one of the most peaceful places on the coast of Malaga. Even in winter, it is one of the best places to disconnect and relax under the sunny blanket of the Costa del Sol.

How to get to Cañuelo cove in Nerja and access restrictions

To get to Cañuelo cove from Nerja, you have to drive about 13 kilometers east. Follow the signs to the N-340 towards Almuñécar and take exit 402 on the right. Another option is to take the new highway towards Almeria and exit at La Herradura. From there, follow the road towards the coast and take the N-340 towards Malaga.

Once in the cove area, you will have to leave the car at the top of the cliff. From the parking lot, you can take a bus provided by the Junta de Andalucía and Environment that will take you to the beach and back for a cost of only 2€ (round trip). If you want, there is no problem to access the cove on foot.

This service is necessary due to traffic restrictions in the area, which is protected for its high ecological interest. The minibus operates from 10 am to 10 pm, facilitating access especially for those with children, the elderly, or people with reduced mobility. This service avoids the effort of walking to the beach.

Del Pino cove (Nerja)

Del Pino cove (Nerja) in the Costa del Sol.

The “Del Pino” cove is located 6 kilometers east of the municipality of Nerja, between the Alberquillas beach and the Torre del Pino (very close to the Cañuelo cove); in an authentic natural spot surrounded by pine trees and prickly pears.

This cove is known for being a place where nudism is practiced, especially in the areas near the rock formation that divides the two sections of the beach. Unlike many more accessible beaches, Del Pino cove remains unspoiled and is protected by the surrounding vegetation. For this reason, visitors should be prepared and bring everything necessary for their stay, as the lack of facilities contributes to its quiet and secluded atmosphere.

The waters of Del Pino cove are clean and crystalline and this makes it an ideal place for snorkeling and scuba diving. Visitors can enjoy exploring the rocky outcrops and underwater formations that offer a rich and varied experience.

How to get to Del Pino cove in Nerja

To get to Del Pino cove from the center of Nerja, you must head north and follow the signs to the N-340. Then, you must head towards the A-7 and take exit 295. Continue along the N-340 until you see the signs indicating the entrance to Del Pino cove.

It is important to note that access to this cove must be made on foot once you have parked in a nearby area. The paths leading to the beach are steep, which can be inconvenient if you are traveling with children, adults, as well as if you are carrying a lot of luggage. Access is not recommended for people with reduced mobility. 

However, this means that the cove has a low occupancy rate, even in summer, which allows you to enjoy its quiet and secluded environment.

Barranco del Maro cove (Nerja)

Barranco del Maro cove (Nerja) on the Costa del Sol.

Barranco de Maro cove is located at the mouth of the Barranco de Maro, surrounded by reed beds and subtropical crops. This quiet corner is an oasis of peace that is protected by a thick reed bed and bathed by crystal clear waters. These waters have been moulding the pebbles of its sand and its fine grey pebbles, which may require the use of special footwear (booties). 

Barranco de Maro cove is also close to Maro Beach and the impressive Maro waterfall, a spectacular waterfall that flows directly into the sea. This area is popular with kayakers and paddle surfers who enjoy exploring their water routes.

It is important to bear in mind that Barranco de Maro cove is a natural and isolated cove, so it does not have minimum services. Visitors should be prepared and bring everything they need to enjoy its natural and preserved environment.

One of the best coves on the Costa del Sol for those seeking peace and quiet and direct contact with nature!

How to get to Barranco del Maro cove

If you are wondering how to get to Barranco de Maro cove, just follow the N-340 in the direction of Nerja-Almería. Once past kilometre 294, take the old national road just before a sharp bend. After about 300 metres, you have to turn off to the left, just before crossing the bridge. From here, a track starts descending down the Barranco de Maro ravine.

You have to drive until you reach a tool shed and this is where you will have to leave the car. From this point on, access is on foot. The path becomes a narrow path surrounded by reed beds and subtropical crops. 

It is important to be prepared to walk, as the path can be steep and slippery, which adds to the difficulty. This route can be tricky if you are travelling with small children or carrying a lot of belongings. Access to this cove is not recommended for people with reduced mobility.

Doncellas cove (Nerja)

Doncellas cove (Nerja) on the Costa del Sol.

Located between the Peñón del Fraile and Punta Caleta, the Cala de las Doncellas in Nerja is an almost inaccessible enclave. Guarded by high cliffs that jealously protect its natural beauty, this cove is a truly special and solitary place. Its isolation gives it a unique charm and makes it a perfect destination for those seeking peace and quiet.

In fact, the only way to explore Cala de la Doncella is by following the circular route that bears its name. This route allows you to enjoy spectacular views of the natural environment of the Maro-Cerro Gordo Cliffs, where the beauty of the sea combines with the splendour of the cliffs and the surrounding vegetation.

Therefore, the Cala de la Doncella lacks basic services, which reinforces its wild and preserved character. Visitors should bring everything they need for their stay, as there are no facilities on the beach. This lack of services contributes to keeping the cove in its natural state, offering an authentic and uncrowded experience.

How to get to Doncella cove in Nerja

From Nerja, take the N-340 road towards Almuñécar. After a few kilometres, look for the signs to the Maro-Cerro Gordo Cliffs. You should park your car in a designated area and continue on foot along the circular route to Cala de las Doncellas.

During the walk, you will pass through uneven terrain and paths surrounded by Mediterranean vegetation, which makes the hike both challenging and challenging. It is important to wear suitable hiking shoes and bring enough water and provisions. Since, as mentioned above, the access to the cove is of high difficulty, it is not recommended for children, the elderly or people with reduced mobility.

Viborillas beach (Benalmadena)

Viborillas Beach (Benalmádena) on the Costa del Sol.

Viborillas beach in Benalmádena extends 500 metres in length and averages 30 metres in width. A series of small, intimate, and quiet coves characterize it, making it perfect for those looking to relax in the middle of nature.

Protected by cliffs and surrounded by lush vegetation, the beach offers an incomparable sense of seclusion and tranquillity and makes visitors feel like they are on an island paradise. In fact, this makes it almost invisible from the road.

Moreover, Viborillas beach provides essential services such as showers, public toilets, and sun lounger and umbrella hire to ensure visitor comfort. Regular cleaning keeps the beach in optimal conditions for everyone to enjoy.

La Viborilla Restaurant, situated among the palm trees, is the only gastronomic establishment on the beach. It offers breathtaking views of the sea and spectacular sunsets and specialises in fish and paella, according to local tradition. And if that wasn’t enough, the restaurant also has its own parking area.

Do you want to spend a family day out in a natural setting? This is one of the best coves on the Costa del Sol for that.

How to get to Viborillas beach in Benalmádena

The access to Viborillas beach is made up of quite steep steps and this makes it a beach that is not recommended for people with reduced mobility. However, its beauty makes up for this challenge for those who can visit it.

To get to the beach, you can either take the M120 bus route (Benalmádena – Fuengirola) or the car. Parking will not be a problem, as the beach has a large car park.

If you are coming from Torremolinos or Malaga, take the old coastal road MA-21, which becomes Av. Antonio Machado as you enter Benalmádena. Follow the signs to Fuengirola, passing through several roundabouts. Just after the Torrequebrada Casino (on your left), you will see a sign for ‘Nueva Torrequebrada’. Turn left at the roundabout and park. From there, the beach is only a short walk away.

Peñón del Cuervo beach (Malaga)

Peñón del Cuervo beach (Malaga) on the Costa del Sol.

In Malaga, located between El Palo and La Araña, the Peñón del Cuervo Beach owes its name to the imposing rock that emerges from the sea and causes the astonishment of all bathers. El Peñón is home to a surprising diversity of animal and plant life: anemones, sponges, mummies, gobies and blennies are just some of the living creatures that inhabit this marine ecosystem.

This small bay, about 500 metres long, has several areas specially prepared for visitors to enjoy their stay. The beach lacks bars or restaurants, but a barbecue area equipped with tables and benches makes it an ideal place to spend a day with family or friends. In addition, the little ones will be able to have fun in a children’s area especially designed for them. This cove is accessible for people with reduced mobility.

It is interesting to note that in the surroundings of the beach, among the rocky outcrops, the Malaga everlasting evergreen (siempreviva malagueña), a native plant in danger of extinction, still survives today, despite the threat of different invasive botanical species.

How to get to Peñón del Cuervo Beach (Malaga)

Although it is somewhat complicated to explain how to get to the Peñón del Cuervo beach by car, we will try to do so. A useful reference would be the sewage treatment plant with the same name as the beach. If you are travelling in a westerly direction, you will see that there is a detour to access the EMASA facilities. For those coming in the opposite direction, towards Rincón de la Victoria or La Cala del Moral, it will be necessary to turn onto the N-340 at La Araña.

Once at the waste water treatment plant turn-off, go straight on and turn right towards the sea. You will pass through an unlit tunnel before reaching the area set aside for parking, which can get busy at weekends and on public holidays in summer.

If you prefer to cycle, access is easier. The beach has wide lanes that form part of the Senda Litoral and the Gran Senda de Málaga, making it accessible from El Palo and La Cala del Moral.

Molino de Papel Beach (Maro)

Molino del Papel beach (Maro) on the Costa del Sol.

With an approximate length of 400 metres, the Molino de Papel Beach is distinguished by its mixture of sand and pebbles. Its waters, of an intense blue colour and fed by the La Miel River and the Colmenarejos Stream, make it an ideal place for swimming and water sports such as snorkelling and scuba diving.

This beach, in addition to its natural beauty, stands out for its rich industrial history. In the 1920s, people built a paper factory in the area, harnessing the water power of the nearby stream. However, economic difficulties arose, forcing them to close the factory doors a few years after opening. Today, its remains still survive where it once stood and have become a tourist attraction.

Also near the beach are the remains of the Río de la Miel watchtower, built in the 18th century for the surveillance and defence of the territory. This tower connects the beach with the neighbouring Las Alberquillas, providing a historical link between the two beaches.

Occupancy is usually low due to the difficulty of access (it can only be reached on foot) and the lack of minimum services. Nevertheless, it is an ideal haven of tranquillity for those seeking to escape the hustle and bustle in one of the best coves on the Costa del Sol.

How to get to the Molino de Papel Beach in Maro

First, take the N-340 road towards Maro. Once you reach this town, follow the signs to the beach. Wear comfortable and suitable footwear, as you must access the final path on foot. Avoid this route if you are elderly or have reduced mobility due to its steepness.

From the road you will see the signs that will guide you to a small, unguarded car park near the beach. You should bear in mind that there will not always be room to park there, especially in high season, so it is advisable to arrive early.

Homes for sale in Málaga

Aerial view of what to see and do in Malaga.

After discovering these stunning coves on the Costa del Sol, you may be considering a move to this beautiful coastal area of Spain, where there are many options available in newly built housing. From luxurious penthouses with sea views to cozy apartments in quiet residential areas, as we said, the offer is very varied. 

If the Costa del Sol has captivated you, we invite you to explore our exclusive developments: Isea Calaceite, Isea Estepona I and Isea Estepona II. In these homes, designed to provide maximum comfort and luxury within an incomparable natural setting and environment, you will find a perfect combination of modern style, spacious terraces, swimming pools, gyms and common areas.  

However, if the Costa del Sol does not convince you and you want to consider other alternatives, Quadratia has analyzed which are the best cities to live in Spain, proposing equally attractive options in the Costa Blanca (Alicante) and the Costa Calida (Murcia).

Make your biggest dream come true, discover the perfect home with Quadratia!

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