Escape the Crowds: Lesser-Known Beaches on the Costa del Sol

Publication: 20 Feb. 2024
Back to Blog

The Costa del Sol, of the ‘Sunshine Coast’, is a breathtaking 150km stretch of coastline in Southern Spain’s Andalucía region, extending from Sotogrande in the west through Málaga to Nerja in the east. Famous for its 300+ days of sunshine a year, this area draws countless tourists from all over the world to its resort towns and beautiful beaches.

Yet, beyond the more well-known beaches and glamorous beach clubs, there are hidden gems that offer more traditional and unspoilt beach experiences. Here’s a look at some less well-known but equally beautiful beaches along and near the Costa del Sol that are somewhat off the beaten tourist track.

Playa de la Misericordia, a local favourite near Malaga city centre is less well-known than its near-neighbour La Malagueta, but is nonetheless a great family spot, known for its dark sands and cleanliness which have earned it a coveted Blue Flag. The nearby Parque del Oeste offers a green retreat, while the beach itself is famous for the ‘Ola del Melillero’, a unique wave phenomenon.

On the other side of Málaga, it is worth taking a trip to Cala del Cañuelo in the Natural Park of the Acantilados de Maro near Nerja. It is surrounded by dramatic cliffs and ancient caves that are perfect for snorkelling and kayaking. Boasting clear waters and abundant sea life, it’s a hidden paradise for nature lovers.

Another local spot that is well worth the effort to seek out is Peñón del Cuervo, located about 8kms from Malaga’s centre, and is a small beach known for the enormous rock that bisects it. A leafy walking trail leads to this beach, which is also known as a great spot for BBQs.

Moving further west we arrive at Playa de Cabopino in Marbella. If you leave Andy’s Beach bar behind you, which is lively at all times of the year, you should find a picturesque fine-sandy beach backed with protected sand dunes fringed with Mediterranean pines.

Moving through the well-known beaches of Marbella, we reach the quiet beaches of Guadalmina that offer tranquillity and clear waters, set against the backdrop of the ancient ruins, Las Bóvedas Roman Baths from the 3rd century AD. Featuring seven stone vaults and an octagonal pool, these remains are part of a Roman bath complex, offering a glimpse into ancient civilisations on the Costa del Sol.

Continuing along the coast, we reach Estepona, with its long stretches of wide beaches and golden sand. From here we get to Manilva and Casares, where the coastline transforms, offering quiet and picturesque beaches that remain relatively undiscovered.

Playa Ancha is the natural continuation of Playa Sabinillas, known for its historical watchtower and excellent snorkelling opportunities. Playa de la Sal, a smaller beach in a cove to the west of the Torre de la Sal, even offers the chance to see passing dolphins at play. Playa Piedra Paloma, between Torre del Sal and the large rock Islote de las Palomas, offers a secluded spot with a dog-friendly beach section.

These lesser-known beaches along the Costa del Sol and its vicinity offer tranquil alternatives to the more popular tourist spots. Each beach has its unique charm and natural beauty, providing a peaceful escape for those looking to explore the less-trodden paths of Spain’s famous coast. Whether you’re seeking solitude, natural beauty, or to live life like a local, these beaches promise memorable moments away from the hustle and bustle of the main tourist areas.

We’d love to find your perfect residence so you can start to discover your own favourite spots off the beaten path! Get in touch today to speak to one of our knowledgeable sales experts.