Torre del Mar
Velez-Malaga’s neighbouring coastal town Torre del Mar has the second largest population within the Axarquia, but a fluctuating one as well. The number of winter inhabitants (25,000) quadruples in the summer months as largely Spanish tourists flock to its long sandy beaches to bask in the sun. Tourism has been the main income for the town since the 1960s.
What to Expect from Torre del Mar
Torre del Mar is quite different in feel compared to Velez: aside from its coastal setting, it’s made up of largely modern buildings. It’s typical of many costa (coastal) towns in this area, with medium rise apartment blocks to cater for tourists and residents. Torre del Mar’s beach is the closest one to Velez-Malaga and is easily accessible with lots of parking and regular buses to and from the town.
Despite not having the historical and cultural attractions of Velez, Torre del Mar is a very pleasant and practical town which is great for families. There’s a very well kept beachfront area that makes for a good way to spend an afternoon in the sun and sea with everything you need close at hand. Its long promenade, the Paseo Marítimo, runs alongside the beachfront with a great cycle and running lane interspersed with playparks and fountains. During the summer months there are lots activities held on the beach for children from story telling to soft play to dancing classes.
You can rent the padel, football and basketball courts which are buzzing with activity as the sun goes down. On the beach itself there are volleyball courts, sun loungers and all the changing and showering facilities needed pre- and post-swimming or sunbathing.
Dotted along the beach old fishing boats have been ingeniously turned into BBQs where fresh fish are cooked. These beach restaurants are known as chiringuitos. Sardines, seafood and other meats are skewered and the grilled against hot coals. It’s the perfect lunch to devour whilst getting some respite from the Andalucian sun beating down on the beach.
Fiestas & Ferias of Torre del Mar
Two popular events take place in July, beginning with the Weekend Beach music festival (Weekendbeach.es) and ending with the feria which takes place towards the end of July. The Weekend Beach festival spans 4 days with over 33,000 people attending to hear Spain’s biggest acts perform. The feria of Santiago and Santa Ana in Torre del Mar takes place over 5 days featuring the procession of the Virgen del Carmen, traditional folk dancing, performances and competitions.
During the summer (from May to October) the beach clubs of Torre del Mar open for chilled out days on daybeds and hedonistic long nights. The three of note are Café del Mar, Bahia de Tanit and Berebere.
Where to Eat?
There are a lot of restaurants in Torre Del Mar (it’s a whole page in itself – watch this space for updates), here are a few that we visit and enjoy…
Jordi is set back from the beach, away from the beachfront bars. It’s a hidden treasure of Torre del Mar serving delicious tapas, raciones and an extensive changing menu of specials. You can choose to perch at the bar, sit outside, or in the adjoining dining room. Be aware that it’s super-popular and booking ahead is essential.
Address: 10 Calle Azucarera. Tel: 952 54 08 11. Open: Mon-Sat 12:00 – 00:00. Jordi Tapas Facebook Page.
This wonderful restaurant is just off the main drag of Paseo de Larios and has a bustling local atmosphere. There’s a long marble bar with stools to perch on, and tables both inside and outside. If you take a seat at the bar expect to get a free tapa with every drink; there’s even a chance to choose from a changing menu up on the bar. The menu is packed full of local specialities including freshly grilled seafood, presa iberica (grilled succulent pork) and morcilla.
Address: 3 Calle Levante. Tel: 952 54 12 17. Open: Tue-Sun 12:30 – 16:00 and 20:00 – 00:00. Lastablasrestaurante.es.
Marisqueria El Yate
If you catch El Yate on a busy summer’s evening it will most probably be spilling into the streets, with harried waiters running here and there. As the name suggests, it’s a seafood bar (yate meaning ‘yacht’ in Spanish), dishes are simple with the likes of fish or shellfish, served with salad, chips and washed down with a glass or two of cold beer. It’s got loads of Spanish charm, complete with low prices, unfussy food and atmosphere.
Address: 32 Calle Saladero Viejo. Tel: 952 54 07 74. Open: Thur-Tue 12:00 – 17:00 and 19:30 – 00:30. Marisqueriaelyate.es.
Taberna Típica El
Red and white polka dot table clothes and curtains welcome you to this small restaurant just off the seafront. It’s a friendly dining room with seating also outside. The food is hardy and well cooked, scrumptious salads, bulls tail stews and other typically Andalucian dishes are on the menu.
Address: Paseo Marítimo de Pte, 27, 29740 Tel: 951 08 45 95
Torre del Mar Bus Station
Velez has great transportation linking it directly to Granada and Malaga. However, to get to any of the towns just up or down the coast you will need to call in at Torre del Mar. It serves as an easy place to use as a transport hub with buses going onto the beaches to the west including Torrox and Nerja, or further afield to Seville without having to change at nearby Malaga.