The beach town of Torre del Mar, in the municipality of Vélez-Málaga, has a charming beach and a past dating back to the time of the pirates, which is attractive to tourists and locals. In this article I will tell you what are the best things to do in Torre del Mar, a beach area in the Province of Malaga, Andalusia, the 12 things to do in Torre del Mar:
Spend a day at the beach
First things first, walk along the sandbank and swim in its rich beach. It is easy to enter Torre del Mar beach from the promenade. An urban beach of dark sand, 2 kilometers long and 40 meters wide, which, due to its moderate waves, has a family atmosphere. Restrooms, showers, kiosks, litter bins, first aid station, rental of umbrellas, hammocks and boats, are some of the services in the sandbank. Added to these are a yacht club, surveillance, danger signs, parking for 100 vehicles and a public transport stop. Torre del Mar beach ratified its Blue Flag status in 2019, a badge with which the European Foundation for Environmental Education recognizes the beaches with the best facilities and environmental conditions. It also has the Q for Quality awarded by the Institute for Spanish Tourist Quality.
Nearby there are food establishments such as Chiringuito El Boquerón, where they serve generous portions of fish and other seafood, with good service, excellent views and prices.
Tour the Castle of Torre del Mar
Torre del Mar’s mission was to monitor the coast to spot possible enemy ships during the Middle Ages, both from Spain’s adversary nations, and from pirates who devastated the Andalusian Mediterranean coast. Another responsibility was to protect the boats that anchored in the natural harbor. Therefore, the history of the town is closely linked to the castle. The fortress corresponds to the concept of castle-fort. It was the original nucleus of Torre del Mar, although only the eastern tower and remains of the central trapezoidal bastion remain from the first architectural complex.
In the 1730s a major reform was carried out that gave it its present appearance, one that originally had much smaller dimensions. During the expansion and renovation, a second compound front was added and two turrets were built at either end. The castle was made up of the military building and the warehouses, since another of its functions was to protect the products destined for export, among these, wines, raisins and citrus fruits that grow so well in Andalusia. Of the things to see in Torre del Mar, the castle is one of the most iconic.
Visit the main temples
The patron saint of Torre del Mar is San Andrés Apóstol, venerated in the town in a modernist-style temple that replaced a small Mudejar church, demolished in the 1960s. The interior of the temple is clear since the use of columns and pillars was minimized, to achieve a more diaphanous environment and without visual impediments to the altar. An imposing and recently restored image of San Andrés and a figure of the crucified Christ carved by the image maker, Francisco Buiza Fernández, stand out. There is also a beautiful sculpture of the Virgen del Carmen revered by Torreno fishermen for being their patron saint. The Hermitage of Las Angustias was erected in the middle of the 18th century by the founder of the brotherhood, Pedro González, but it disappeared almost completely at the end of the 19th century to allocate the space to the construction of houses. Its beautiful cover was preserved, which testifies to the historical and artistic value of the hermitage. It is a classic doorway from the Baroque period with stone ashlars, 2 composite pilasters, a small niche and a brick lintel added when it was restored.
Admire the towers of Vélez-Málaga
The history of Torre del Mar and the municipality of Vélez-Málaga is linked to 3 towers (manganeta, right and lopsided), which together with the castle formed the warning and defense device against the aggressive Berber pirates, who had their bases in the north of Africa. The manganet tower, 3 km southwest of Torre del Mar, was built in the 16th century on the right bank of the mouth of the Vélez river. This emblematic masonry and brick structure is also known as the Tuscan tower, by the name of the sector of Vélez-Málaga where it is located and due to the sedimentary contribution of the river partially below the ground. It is 800 meters from the coastline. The lopsided tower, also known as the portachuelo tower, is from the 16th century and, like the right tower, is in the municipality of Algarrobo, a short distance from Torre del Mar. Both towers were declared Assets of Cultural Interest in 1993. Among the things to do in Torre del Mar, they are obligatory stopovers on tours about the local historical past.
Photograph the lighthouses of Torre del Mar
Torre del Mar’s first lighthouse began operating on the beach near the mouth of the Algarrobo River, in 1864. It was an 11 meter high stone tower that used paraffin and olive oil as fuel. It collapsed 16 years later due to the instability of the terrain. Provisional structures of wood and stone were in service until 1930 when they began to illuminate an 11-meter-high masonry tower, equipped with an acetylene lamp. This signal lost effectiveness because the lighthouse progressively moved away from the coast, due to the fact that the area between the structure and the sea was filled with detrital materials. Now it is a curiosity surrounded by buildings. The signal returned to the seashore in a tower similar to the previous one located next to the new lighthouse, in 1969. It came into operation 7 years later in a 26-meter-high tower that lit with acetylene until its electrification in 1998. It is located on the Paseo Marítimo and its visit is one of the first things to do in Torre del Mar.
Get to know the old Sugar Factory
The region of La Axarquía was a pioneer in Spain in the cultivation and industrialization of sugar cane and one of the main testimonies is this symbolic building, which stands out in the history and architecture of Torre del Mar since the mid-19th century. Sugar production began in Torre del Mar around 1796, although the modern (for the time) factory was built to the industrial standard with steam engines used by Cuba in the 1840s. After suffering economic problems, the sugar mill passed into the power of the wealthy Larios family, being baptized as Fábrica Nuestra Señora del Carmen. The sugar factory was a fundamental factor in the economy of Torre del Mar for almost 150 years, until it carried out its last sugar campaign in 1991. Two years later, the property was rehabilitated and converted into a cultural center and tourist attraction. From the original industrial complex, 2 chimneys and a blemish are preserved, a name given in sugar jargon to the cylindrical container in which the sugar mass crystallizes. A replica of one of the steam engines used in the manufacture of sugar is also on display.
Visit the Virgen de la Victoria Home
The Hogar Virgen de la Victoria was built for charity during the first decade of the 20th century by the Larios family. At first it was called the Ave Maria Building. In 1936 it was ceded for a school and since then it has its current name. The building with 2 floors and a semi-basement has a rectangular body, in the center of which a patio with plants was developed where there is a small chapel. The large windows allow for magnificent natural lighting. This building, owned by the Junta de Andalucía, was included by the city council in 2016 in a list of protected buildings, in an attempt to obtain its ownership to dedicate it to cultural activities.
Go through the old train station
The old Torre del Mar train station dates back to 1904. It is made up of a rectangular central body with two floors and a nave, to which are attached two side bodies of one floor that make up a compact volume and maintain the harmony of the whole. The decorative elements show an interesting syncretism with the use of brick in the openings, corners and door projections, which is related to the neo-Mudejar style. Green glazed tiles were used on the overhanging eaves and gabled roofs. In the lower body of the center there are 2 access doors with raised openings aligned with each one. In each side body there is a door similar to the two in the central body. The building served as a station for the Vélez-Málaga / Málaga suburban railway line and currently functions as a local bus station.
Stroll through the Casa de la Viña farmhouse
La Casa de la Viña is an old farmhouse built at the foot of Monte de la Viña, the original urban center of Torre del Mar until it was abandoned by the settlers who moved to the vicinity of the old castle, which ceased to serve when the middle of the century XIX. The building was articulated around a central patio that communicates with the rooms, dependencies and warehouses. To the west is the elongated main façade in two heights and to the east and south, are the houses and warehouses. On the north side there is a pavilion with 3 heights and a 4-water roof. Among the things to do in Torre del Mar, a tour of the Cortijada Casa de la Viña will take you back to the time when the peasants and their families formed these agrarian villages with the sole concern of caring for their fields and raising their livestock.
Get to know Casa Larios
House built in 1888 in a regionalist style with Mudejar elements and home to the engineer of the sugar factory. It has 3 bodies, 2-pitch roofs and 2 floors with the same number of pavilions, which join a transverse nave and in which the wooden footings and glazed tiles are appreciable. It is distinguished by its height and its large openings that gave it freshness in hot seasons. Also for its beautiful garden areas. The elegant house has a small entrance porch supported by iron columns and an image of the Immaculate Conception made with Sevillian tiles from the 19th century. Casa Larios is one of the best examples of civil architecture in Torre del Mar. It is currently the headquarters of several municipal offices and institutions, including the music conservatory.
Have fun at the Aquavelis Water Park
The Aquavelis Water Park offers the most exciting water entertainment on the Costa del Sol, such as an attraction called the Kamikaze that has a dizzying drop of 80 meters. Other fun attractions are the slopes for slides in descent; the Tirabuzón, a closed slide with devilish curves in which you don’t know where you will fall and the Colina Slide, in which you will have to find your way out of a maze. In Río Rápido you will descend at full speed down the current alone or sharing a raft. Other park attractions are Spiral, Aquasplash, wave pool and its lakes. The place also has the Mini, a children’s area for children under 8 years of age and the Spa Zone, for the recreation of adults. To eat and enjoy your favorite drink, there is the American Corner (hamburgers and hot dogs), the Coffee Shop and the Oasis Restaurant & Lounge. The Aquavelis Water Park is on Ruta del Pomelo Street, in the El Tornillar Urbanization. Read our guide on the 12 best Water Parks in Mexico that you need to visit
Enjoy Malaga gastronomy
In Torre del Mar you can taste the best typical dishes of the town and the region of La Auxarquía, such as sardine skewers, salmorejo and fish emblanco. Torreños are fond of lighting a fire on the beach to roast sardines on a rod, a simple way to eat these tasty and nutritious little fish that they call espeto. The Night of San Juan, celebrated between the last hours of June 23 and the early morning of June 24, extending through the day of the Baptist, is the occasion for a few sardine skewers. Salmorejo is a cold cream prepared with tomatoes and breadcrumbs that is usually eaten as a starter, decorated with cubes or shavings of Serrano ham and pieces of hard-boiled egg. It is another typical dish from Torre del Mar. The emblanco is a fish soup with potatoes and carrots seasoned with lemon, a magnificent restorative and remedy for hangovers. Its main ingredient is white fish such as hake and red species such as horse mackerel.
Cozy restaurants in Torre del Mar
Mi Mundo is a cozy and romantic Torreño restaurant on Avenida Toré Toré 16. Although they prepare Mexican crepes, they specialize in sushi, Japanese and Mediterranean cuisine. Bahía Beach Jazba is located on the Paseo Marítimo. Its menu is Mediterranean and European cuisine. It has a lot of demand, so on weekends they attend with prior reservation.
What to visit in Torre del Mar
Among the things to do in Torre del Mar, knowing Villa Mercedes is an option. It is the only regionalist and neo-Mudejar style house built at the end of the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th, on Paseo Larios. The villa is a 2-storey building with an attic with a 3-storey tower, reminiscent of the towers of the 16th century. Its porch is supported by two Tuscan columns and its façade includes a main balcony and several windows with wrought iron grillwork.
Activities to do in Torre del Mar
Visits to the Yacht Club and the Casa Recreo complete a tour of the main architectural attractions of Torre del Mar. The first of these is an example of the modernist current of the second part of the 20th century, with a structure that highlights an inverted cone-shaped glass turret. Casa Recreo is a manor building from the 19th century that consists of 2 floors. It is the headquarters of the Torre del Mar Tourist Office.
What to do in Torre del Mar at night
On the night of San Juan you just have to do the same as everyone else: take part in the frenzy of festivals and bonfires that are lit on the beach. For any given night, Torre del Mar’s bars and clubs offer enough venues to party until dawn. Among these are Discoteca Acero, Anticuario Café Bar, Carpe Diem Café & Pub and Bar La Caverna.
What are the best restaurants in Torre del Mar
In the Typical Tavern El Pozo they prepare delicious and healthy Mediterranean food, with a special touch enhanced by magnificent wines. It is on Paseo Marítimo 27. The Restaurant Bar Italia, on Avenida Duque de Ahumada 7, is listed as the best Italian restaurant in Torre del Mar. It is cozy. Greek cuisine has its best expression in Torre del Mar at the Pikilia Restaurant, located on Avenida Toré Toré 22. The food is spectacular and at very good prices.
Tips to enjoy Torre del Mar
The coldest season in Torre del Mar is between May-June and October-November, with an average temperature between 17 and 23 °C. The mercury marks between 25 and 26 °C with peaks close to 30 °C in July and August. The beaches are sunny, warm and with a large influx of bathers during these days. In Torre del Mar, as in all of Spain, the institution of tapas works, an inexpensive way to have a few drinks and eat.
Curiosities of Torre del Mar
Torre del Mar and Vélez-Málaga lived in anxiety due to the danger of pirate attacks from the Berbers, the castle and the manganeta watchtowers, right and tilted, being their surveillance and defense system. The towers sent smoke signals to communicate with the castle by day; at night, they lit fires. Smoke and fire were effective communication methods several centuries before technology.
What is the Torre del Mar promenade
It is one of the most complete and pleasant promenades in Europe, 4 km long, in front of the Levante and Poniente beaches of Torre del Mar. It includes beaches, restaurants and nightlife spots. Other of its attractions are the lighthouse, numerous sculptures, the sector called Paseo de los Poemas, the Temple of Music, the Solidarity Fountain and the representation of famous works by Picasso, born in Malaga.
Where is the Torre del Mar lighthouse
The Torre del Mar lighthouse came into operation in 1976 and with its 26 meters high it presides over the town’s promenade. Inside the city and enclosed by buildings was the 1930 lighthouse.
What are the best hotels in Torre del Mar
The BQ Andalucía Beach Hotel is a 4-star establishment on the Paseo Marítimo in front of the Poniente beach, with an outdoor pool, a small spa and a restaurant serving traditional Andalusian cuisine. Its rooms have balconies with sea views. Another excellent lodging option in Torre del Mar is the Hotel Mainake (4 stars), located on Calle Los Fenicios.
What are the best hostels in Torre del Mar
Hostal Don Juan is on Calle Patrón Veneno 14. It is a small, clean and cozy place with an excellent location close to the beach. The Hostal Mediterráneo is a central establishment located on Calle Bernabé Fernández 2. Other hostels and guest houses in Torre del Mar where you can stay at convenient rates are Rincón 13 Guest House (Pasaje Manuel Rincón 13) and Hostal Loimar (Calle Santa Margarita 7).
What are the best places to camp in Torre del Mar?
The most complete campsite in Torre del Mar is Laguna Playa, on Paseo Marítimo de Poniente 69. It has a 20,000 m 2 camping and caravanning area , which is rented in 25 and 70 m 2 plots equipped with all services. It has electricity, a supermarket, a restaurant, a cafeteria-bar, swimming pools, a playground, bathrooms, showers, laundry rooms, Wi-Fi and garbage collection. They also allow pets and have 24-hour surveillance. Another excellent place to camp is Camping Torre del Mar, in the extension of the Paseo Marítimo.
What to do with the family in Torre del Mar
Torre del Mar beach is family friendly and as it has all the services, it is ideal for spending a pleasant beach day in the company of loved ones. The Aquavelis Water Park offers fun for children and young people. Adults can spend the whole day in the pools, lakes and in the spa area. The mayor’s office organizes festivities for the whole family, especially children, on emblematic dates such as Christmas and the Three Kings.
Outdoor Restaurants in Torre del Mar
In Torre del Mar there are restaurants with great terraces that have magnificent views. Some of them are:
- Indialucía (Hindu, Paseo Marítimo Levante).
- Padre Pio (Italian, Paseo Marítimo Levante).
- Caramba (Mexican cuisine, Manuel Azuaga Street).
- Fogón del Pibe (Argentine steakhouse, Avenida Toré Toré).
- La Sastrería Playa Poniente (seafood restaurant, Paseo Marítimo Poniente).
Best meals in Torre del Mar
Ajo blanco, the cold soup prepared with garlic, almonds and breadcrumbs; Cod cakes with honey, maimones, ropa vieja and ajobacalao are other dishes to enjoy in Torre del Mar apart from salmorejo, sardine skewers and fish emblanco. For dessert, nothing better than traditionally dried raisins from La Auxarquía.
Torre del Mar Air Festival
The sky is filled with planes in Torre del Mar during the International Air Festival, an aeronautical, sports, cultural and family event, held in July of each year. The free event is organized by the municipality of Vélez-Málaga. It brings together the best aerobatic pilots in Europe and the world. It’s an occasion to admire jet fighters, historic aircraft and aerobatic patrols, as well as the latest designs in fascinating aerospace technology.