Top tips for a perfect day at the beach in Malaga

Summer has officially arrived and with it those long, hot days with their long, balmy evenings. Where better to spend them than at the beach? Read our top tips on how to spend a perfect day at the beach in Malaga.

Keeping cool – getting some shade on the beach in Malaga

The summer sun beats down hard in Malaga especially in July and August so you’ll need some sort of shade protection while you’re on the beach. Choose from:

Natural shade – set up your spot in 1 of the palm tree oases along the seafront in Malaga. The trees provide lots of shade and the grass is cooler to lie on than the sand.

visit Malaga for its beaches
Palm trees oases provide perfect shade

Hire your shade – grab a sun lounger and sun shade at one of the beach bars in Malaga. Daily hire starts at €3.50 (and you get 2 loungers for that). If you want a frontline position, book your lounger spot the day before, even earlier if it’s the weekend.

Take your own – the Spanish are beach umbrella specialists and you can pick one up at kiosks or general stores along the seafront or in one of the Chinese bazaar-shops in Malaga. But as with everything in life, you get what you pay for.

Read about when is the best time of year to go to Malaga.

Keeping fed – eating on the beach in Malaga

At a table – there are dozens of beach bars and restaurants in Malaga, and most of them are good. You’ll need to book a table for lunch at weekends and any day during July and August. Try the fried fish and grilled sardines washed down with a glass of chilled gazpacho soup for a perfect (and healthy) lunch at the beach.

Sardines on the beach in malaga
Sardines on the beach in Malaga

On your towel – take your own meal, but don’t limit yourself to sandwiches. Do as the Spanish do and make an occasion of it. Before you go to the beach, visit one of the markets in Malaga and stock up on picnic food – olives, cheese, cold cuts, Spanish omelet, anchovies…

Top tip – for a picnic with a difference, get Pollos San Juan to deliver a roasted chicken and whatever you fancy on the side.

Keeping quiet – finding a peaceful spot on the beach in Malaga

Almost a mission impossible on the Costa del Sol beaches in the summer, but there are some ways of finding some peace and quiet:

Guadalhorce Beach – this beach between Sacaba Beach and the Guadalhorce River mouth is generally quiet all year round. You have to walk (or bike) there and there are no facilities or lifeguards.

By yourself on the beach in Malaga
Guadalmar Beach almost to yourself

Guadalmar Beach – the section around the Parador de Golf is one of the least busy beaches in Malaga in terms of people, but it’s under the flight path to Malaga Airport so it can be noisy especially if the planes are coming in over the sea.

La Misericorida beach, first thing in the morning

Early morning – almost without exception Malaga beaches are quiet first thing in the morning. Pop down for an early morning dip and then spread out as much as you like until the first crowds start to arrive from 11 onwards.

Keeping safe – having a safe day out on the beach in Malaga

Swimming – lifeguards operate on the beaches in Malaga at weekends between Easter and the end of September and daily in July and August. Follow their instructions at all times and if there’s a red flag flying stay out of the water (a green flag means swimming conditions are safe, a yellow flag means be careful).

Sunscreen – apply liberally and frequently, and stay in the shade as much as possible between 2 and 5pm when the sun is at its hottest.

A quiet spot on the beach in Malaga
Early morning peace and quiet

Jellyfish – these unwelcome visitors occasionally appear on the beach in Malaga and although their stings are painful they’re usually mild. For treatment of jellyfish stings read this or ask a lifeguard for advice and help.

Sea urchins – they live among the rocks on the more stony beaches in Malaga such as Sacaba Beach and Guadalhorce Beach. To avoid getting the painful spines in your feet wear foot protection at all times. To treat a sea urchin puncture read this.

Keeping fit – playing on the beach in Malaga

If you want to combine a day at the beach with a bit of exercise, try these:

Keep-fit stations – positioned at different spots along the Malaga seafront.

Keep fit on the beach in Malaga
Keep fit on the beach in Malaga

Volleyball – you’ll see nets up and people playing on the beach. Ask to join in – in our experience most players are more than happy for you to join in.

Football – there are beach pitches at the west end of La Misericordia Beach and in El Palo.

Children’s playparks – some of the best playparks in Malaga are along the beach and there are plenty of them.

children's play parks in Malaga
Play parks on the beach in Malaga

Keeping entertained – watching a film on the beach in Malaga

If you’re at the beach in Malaga in the evening and fancy a bit of cinema, grab a seat at the Festival de Malaga’s Open Cinema programme. Films are showing throughout the summer at three Malaga beaches: La Malagueta, La Misericordia and El Dedo (in El Palo).

Most are in Spanish and aimed at children but some in original version and hey, what can beat watching a film under the stars with the sea lapping the shore in the background. Full programme is here.

Malaga isn’t just about beaches – Guide to Malaga lists lots (and lots) of other things to do in Malaga to suit all ages and tastes. Check them out and choose yours.

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