Torremolinos is a well-known resort that endures from something of an identity crisis. Not within the town itself – the resort is perfectly at peace with what it offers to visitors and residents – but from farther afield. In fact, Torremolinos grew from a quaint and simple fishing village and turned out to be the first town in the whole of Spain to open up to international mass tourism. Its success story began in the 1950s, when the European travel market turned its eyes to the sunny, cheap and simply fantastic area of southern Spain – the Costa del Sol. Its closeness to the capital of the region, Malaga, (in fact, Torremolinos started out as a westerly suburb of the city). By the 1970s, tourism in the area was booming, with hundreds upon hundreds of visitors flow each week in quantity of hotels that sprung up instantly, especially with package deals and all inclusive offers. Thus, quite a lot of prejudices about Torremolinos: "it is where the underclass head to when their giro gets increased; is one of garish hotels, dirty beaches, shabby old bars and a faded grandeur that is forever yearning for the 'glory days' of the early 1980s..." How confusing and wrong that image is!
Firstly, the infrastructure was modernized, followed soon by bigger and better hotels and a greater choice of attractions. Soon, Torremolinos became a popular gay resort (it still is) and has, in recent years, improved itself further, adding family-friendly attractions, traditional charm and a wider choice of commercial and investment opportunities than before.
The stretch of beach that runs the entire length of the resort is dotted with thousands of sun loungers and parasols. Having recently been refurbished, the promenade is flanked by a number of restaurants, all invariably Spanish in character and cuisine, while the street-side promenade is home to a more international offering of cafés, restaurants, bars and shops.
The resort's La Carihuela district is built around the old fishing village and remains a wonderfully charming section of town. Here lies some of the very best fish and seafood restaurants you are likely to find anywhere along the coast, the produce freshly caught and grilled every morning.
Torremolinos also boasts a number of excellent attractions. The Torremolinos Aqua park boasts one of the tallest waterslide in Europe. Next to here is the Crocodile Park, while weekly magic shows can be enjoyed at the Magic Palace.
Surprisingly, Torremolinos' previously famous nightlife has now been usurped by almost all of its major competitors to the west. Benalmádena's close proximity, 24-hour square and Puerto Marítimo combine to draw most late-night revelers away from Torremolinos, leaving behind...a pleasantly peaceful atmosphere, actually.
Then there's the excellent location. Just a couple of kilometers from Málaga airport, Torremolinos is extremely accessible, and boasts arguably the coast's finest stretch of beach.