We have been fortunate to have visited Spain’s best beaches a number of times. My wife Maureen and I consider the Island of Palma de Mallorca and the Beaches of Malaga (Torremolinos and Benalmadena) some of Spain’s finest beach destinations.
Our first beach trip to Spain this year was to the beautiful Island of Palma de Mallorca. We flew Delta Air Lines to Frankfurt, then Lufthansa to PMI/Palma, and returned directly to New York/Newark via United’s first direct non-stop flight to the United States ever from PMI/Palma.
The first perception you feel arriving in Palma is the massive size of the airport and the number of passengers traveling to Palma. However, you can virtually go to any major European city via PMI/Palma. The island is quite large and very easy to drive. The downtown area is beautiful and highlighted by the famous Catedral-Basilica de Santa Maria de Mallorca and a large harbor.
For our second visit, we concentrated on the southern town of Colonia St. Jordi. From this town, you are easily within walking distance (a pretty long walk to the central part of the beach) or a short 10-minute drive to the famous Es Trenc Beach. The beach is beautiful and virtually without waves, just very blue and perfectly clear water, similar to the beaches of Formentera. Just a caution, once exiting off the highway to the road to this beach, driving can be a hair-raising experience, in that most of this road is a “single lane” for two lanes of traffic. During the week, it is fine, but on the weekends, watch out.
The Town of Colonia St Jordi is as cute as it gets. It is an excellent beach town with plenty of terrific restaurants, first-class hotels, and a beautiful harbor area. Excellent walking and jogging paths encircle the town on its beaches. There are many Universal Hotel Brand Hotels in Colonia St. Jordi, and we stayed at the Universal Hotel Marques on the beach. The hotels are not expensive and offer breakfast and dinner buffets at very affordable rates. The Downtown and Harbor Restaurants are also inexpensive. A rental car is necessary and, again, very affordable.
By far, our love of Spanish beaches is in the Malaga Area. Malaga is a beautiful city with a major airport and has lovely beaches, a famous fort, and a terrific Old Town. The beach towns of Torremolinos and Benalmadena are what attract the tourists. Both cities are connected to Malaga and the AGP/Malaga Airport by a very efficient and affordable train and bus system. The hotels in these areas are excellent, not expensive, and the restaurants are fantastic and downright cheap. The best part of this area is that you are guaranteed perfect, hot, cloudless weather from June through September. You also must remember that the sun does not set until at least 9:30 pm, and we laughed that we had to rush to get to our 11:00 pm dinner reservation, as many restaurants serve until midnight.
We have often stayed at the charming Melia Costa Del Sol Hotel in Torremolinos across from the beach, which has three hotel pools. There are seven Melia hotels in Torremolinos.
In Benalmadena, we have stayed at the Best Hotels Brand Triton Hotel on the beach many times and on the Ocean Promenade Walkway to the famous Benalmadena Marina; there is a large area with many restaurants, bars, and shops on the water within the Marina. A car is not necessary in Malaga or any of the beach cities. Still, if you want to experience other area beaches, a drive to Marbella (65 miles away) and Puerto Banus is definitely recommended.
You may also want to consider visiting the city of Gibraltar and even taking a hydrofoil over to Tangiers, Morocco, for the day. All in all, you can’t miss with either of these very European beach areas in Spain.