While the Costa del Sol may have the reputation of being something of a modern-day British colony, with thousands of UK residents invading the area each summer, the town of Torremolinos in Andalusia is perhaps the last Spanish stronghold in the region. As is the case throughout the coast, tourism is booming here, but what makes this small seaside resort stand out is the fact that it’s as popular among Spanish holidaymakers as it is among foreigners.

As one would expect from the southern coast of the Iberian Peninsula, golden sandy beaches are the main attraction, although there’s more to Torremolinos than meets the eye. Having only gained its independence from the nearby city of Malaga in 1988, this traditional fishing village has a culture all of its own that is quite unlike the other towns of the Costa del Sol. In this brief guide we’ll give you some tips on how to spend a week in Torremolinos.

Hit the beach

Just because the town offers more than just sunbathing doesn’t mean the beaches here aren’t of the highest quality. Shaded by the mountains of the Sierra de Mijas, Torremolinos is one of the driest and sunniest spots in Spain, with around 320 days of glorious sunshine a year, so it would be a real shame not to pick up a tan while you’re here.

The two main beaches are La Carihuela and El Bajondillo, with the former being part of the old fishing village. It’s here that you’ll find some of Andalusia’s best cuisine, with beachside shacks selling freshly caught fish and plenty of restaurants offering delicious seafood dishes. Among them is Casa Juan Torremolinos, which is famous throughout the region for the high quality of its menu. Those visiting in early summer will also be able to celebrate Dia del Pescaito, or Fried Fish Day, which takes place on the first Thursday in June.

El Bajondillo is the larger of the two beaches and runs all the way to the relaxed resort of Los Alamos. It’s along this stretch that you’ll find the best hotels in Torremolinos, with all the amenities you could ever want nearby.

Discover the town’s history

The name Torremolinos means Mill Tower, and as you have probably guessed the town is home to both a tower and a mill. The Torre de Pimentel dates back to the beginning of the 14th century and was used as a mill for the first few hundred years of its life. Visiting this charming landmark is a great way to learn more about the town’s history, while more mills can also be found at the Molina de Inca Botanical Garden, which was created in the 15th century and contains more than 500 species of plants, as well as a host of exotic birds. A small mill – or molino in Spanish – can be found at the center of the garden, hence the name.

Art lovers will also be interested to hear that Pablo Picasso was born in Malaga, and a sculpture of the famous painter can be found in the Plaza Pablo Ruiz Picasso, which itself is dedicated to him.

Get active

If you find yourself getting a little restless sitting on the beach then a trip to Spain‘s first water park, Aqualand, will certainly sort you out. Boasting a number of high-speed slides and rides, as well as gentle wave pools, lagoons and bars, this is the perfect place for splashing around and having fun. The Crocodile Park can also be found nearby, with more than 300 of the terrifying reptiles living in its swampy waters.

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