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 Spain, Costa del Sol, Torremolinos

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NannyJen
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PostSubject: Spain, Costa del Sol, Torremolinos   Tue Mar 06, 2012 7:42 pm

Torremolinos is quite difficult to describe, both in layout & character ……. But, here goes.


It’s a working town, not particularly “pretty” & with a large, permanent Spanish residency - but it also caters well for thousands of tourists all year round (the highest numbers, obviously, in the summer months). The town centre sits on a cliff above the sea with long, broad beaches (quite dark, coarse sand) on either side of a rocky headland. A paseo runs from the most easterly point alongside the Eastern beach, round the headland & then alongside the Western beach all the way to the border with Benalmadena at the Marina. I have stayed on the Eastern side a couple of times but much prefer the other side, especially in Winter, as it's busier & has a nicer atmosphere in my opinion.

The main coastal road runs parallel to the sea & through the centre of town which has a good selection of “real” shops as opposed to touristy ones (I like both!!). There are some pretty squares &, of course, lots of bars & restaurants for pit-stops when you’re shopping!

There is a pretty, residential, Spanish area behind the main road (leading up to the Town Hall, Water Park, Crocodile Park, Bullring & weekly outdoor market) but I didn’t manage to get that way this time - maybe next year?


The town centre











Running down from the main road is Calle San Miguel, a narrow pedestrianised street, lined with shops (some nice up-market ones as well as the usual tourist ones) & bars. It’s always busy & bustling with a couple of big squares each side about halfway down. It takes you down to a steep, zig-zag, wide, stepped pathway (nearly 200 steps) which brings you out on to the paseo (eastern side). There is a public lift before the steps (50 cents each way) which takes you almost to the bottom - I never use it to go down but, I’m ashamed to say, always use it if I need to go up to town from that area. Also, I always get a bus up from La Carihuela rather than walking uphill on the main road (public transport in the area is excellent - clean, cheap, regular & punctual).


Calle San Miguel, squares and steps























The paseo is perfect for nice long walks beside the sea with lots of places to stop & “people watch”. There are lots of “chiringuitos” (fish restaurants built on the sand), their speciality being fresh sardines, usually grilled outside in old converted fishing boats. The other side of the paseo is lined with bars, restaurants, shops & a few hotels. As mentioned, I prefer the Western side of Torremolinos which consists of La Carihuela (where I usually stay) and Montemar which is a bit more “British” & rather run-down in places. Montemar ends at the border with Benalmadena at its Marina which is quite up-market with some nice shops & restaurants &, of course, hundreds of boats of all shapes & sizes.

My hotel this year was in a perfect location - about 5 minutes stroll to La Carihuela village in one direction & 10 minutes the other way to the Marina.


The Eastern paseo.














The headland.





The Western paseo & Benalmadena Marina.



































La Carihuela “village” is the old fisherman’s area where a few still go out in small fishing boats every day. The street behind the paseo is pedestrianised & again, lined with shops (touristy & others) and lots of bars & restaurants - a few British & Dutch places but predominantly Spanish. Some shops & bars are closed during the winter but the vast majority stay open. It’s well known as a “foodie” spot & famous for its fish restaurants. At weekends, especially, many families from Malaga & inland towns & villages visit for lunch - it’s lovely to see (& hear!) them all having a great time. Afterwards, they all stroll along the paseo together, babies to grandparents - a wonderful tradition, I think.

Further back, there are some narrow old streets with pretty cottages, some small apartment complexes etc. I didn’t take many pics of the village - again, next year?


La Carihuela village.








Prices of drinks & meals vary according to location & style of bar/restaurant (much cheaper, obviously, in small local places away from the front) but, on the whole, cheaper than Mallorca, I think. Approximate costs - glass of wine/small beer from 1 - 2.50 euro, Menu del Dia from 6 - 15 euro, coffee from 1 - 2.50 euro, toasted sandwich/salad etc from 2 - 6 euro, small tapas from 1.50 - 3euros. Sorry, I didn’t take note of Strongbow, specific beers etc - will try to do better next time!!

To sum up, Torremolinos (& the surrounding area) is not for everyone - but I love it & visit every January/February & occasionally in May. I like staying in lived-in places with lots going on & not just somewhere solely geared up for tourists - but that’s not to say I don’t enjoy the many tourist facilities available! For me, it’s a good balance. What’s not such a good balance is this review, I suppose, as I haven’t commented on the evening/night life which is important to most people - but when on my own, I have a late dinner in my hotel, usually a drink or two in the bar & then off to bed! When my sister comes with me, we often have a wander out after dinner (or for dinner, if self-catering) & have found it to be quite quiet - for a variety of reasons, I think. The majority of tourists at this time of year are of the more “mature” age group ( ! ) & prefer to stay in their hotels for entertainment - and many (especially the locals) don’t like the very chilly evenings & tend to have big, long lunches out together rather than dinner. It’s very different from the summer time when the weather is good & the place is full of tourists of all ages. I believe Torremolinos town centre & Benalmadena Marina are busy & lively at weekends all year round, just like here at home, but my “partying/clubbing” days are over, I’m afraid!!

As usual, I forgot to take my camera with me on some of my “walkabouts” (I’m definitely not a dedicated photographer!) so missed out on quite a few good opportunities (Malaga in particular). Also, I didn’t go to many of my usual haunts as I made the most of the lovely weather & spent quite a bit of time lazing by the pool!! Never mind - there’s always next year!







Last edited by NannyJen on Tue Mar 06, 2012 8:11 pm; edited 1 time in total
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beeech
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PostSubject: Re: Spain, Costa del Sol, Torremolinos   Tue Mar 06, 2012 7:51 pm

Jen - fantastic review !


Photo's are fantastic - anybody looking at here as a place to go will be VERY impressed by it all.

rep Very Happy


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delboy
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PostSubject: Re: Spain, Costa del Sol, Torremolinos   Tue Mar 06, 2012 8:03 pm

absolutely brilliant Jen, your a real natural at doing these reviews, another rep from me cheers
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roamer
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PostSubject: Re: Spain, Costa del Sol, Torremolinos   Tue Mar 06, 2012 8:21 pm

Excellent review again. The skies looked really blue. Looks like an interesting place to visit.
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Mick
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PostSubject: Re: Spain, Costa del Sol, Torremolinos   Tue Mar 06, 2012 10:18 pm

That brought back some very happy memories Jen, of my time out there. Seeing it in your review I wish I was still out there now. Another well earned rep. clap clap clap clap

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Daryn
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PostSubject: Re: Spain, Costa del Sol, Torremolinos   Tue Mar 06, 2012 10:31 pm

Ohhhhhhhhhh what a surprise didn't see these, brilliant photos and brought back lots of memories for me as Ive been there twice. The bar with el mojito canopies over it is where me and Graham used to drink with the girls, If I remember rightly it has lots of photos of gangsters inside. Thanks for sharing these, Im going to look through them again. This was the first place my little girl went on holiday and actually learnt to walk whilst there.
Rep on the way Jen x

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beeech
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PostSubject: Re: Spain, Costa del Sol, Torremolinos   Tue Mar 06, 2012 10:46 pm


Enough about Debbie, Daryn..........

where was Kate when she 1st walked ?................



smile

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Daryn
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PostSubject: Re: Spain, Costa del Sol, Torremolinos   Tue Mar 06, 2012 11:01 pm

beeech wrote:

Enough about Debbie, Daryn..........

where was Kate when she 1st walked ?................



smile


Hahahahaha eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee that made me chuckle hehehehe brilliant lol rolling laughing

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NannyJen
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PostSubject: Re: Spain, Costa del Sol, Torremolinos   Tue Mar 06, 2012 11:03 pm

Mick wrote:
That brought back some very happy memories Jen, of my time out there. Seeing it in your review I wish I was still out there now. Another well earned rep. clap clap clap clap


You know what Mick ..................... I can picture you there.

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NannyJen
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PostSubject: Re: Spain, Costa del Sol, Torremolinos   Tue Mar 06, 2012 11:05 pm


Daryn wrote:
Ohhhhhhhhhh what a surprise didn't see these, brilliant photos and brought back lots of memories for me as Ive been there twice. The bar with el mojito canopies over it is where me and Graham used to drink with the girls, If I remember rightly it has lots of photos of gangsters inside. Thanks for sharing these, Im going to look through them again. This was the first place my little girl went on holiday and actually learnt to walk whilst there.
Rep on the way Jen x

Where did you stay when you were there Daryn?

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Daryn
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PostSubject: Re: Spain, Costa del Sol, Torremolinos   Tue Mar 06, 2012 11:17 pm

We stayed at the Sol Aloha Peurto. We also stayed at the Hotel Natali in the town years later when we went with Graham and his lovely wife Ali for a three night break

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Mark
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PostSubject: Re: Spain, Costa del Sol, Torremolinos   Wed Mar 07, 2012 12:13 am

Another excellent review Jen, and a rep from me.

We've stayed in Torremolinos, and have done those steps down AND up! But plenty of places to stop on the way Very Happy

Maybe I should mention that the pedestrianised area in the centre has an 'underground' train station? Which runs from Malaga to Fuengirola (?)(I think that's the extent of the line. So as it stops at Malaga airport, it's a useful transfer at just €1.50 each or something like that.

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TheHighlander

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PostSubject: Re: Spain, Costa del Sol, Torremolinos   Wed Mar 07, 2012 8:01 am

Excellent review, Rep from me. Really enjoyed it. I'll have to pull my finger out your all getting good at this now! lol!

Really informative, loved the photos in your other review (checked them out at home last night) will check these out tonight. Not sure how this works as in work I can see some pics (Mick's "Have you seen this in Maga") for example but not others like these?? strange.

Good start to the day reading this. Thanks
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Mick
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PostSubject: Re: Spain, Costa del Sol, Torremolinos   Wed Mar 07, 2012 10:11 am

Mark wrote:
Another excellent review Jen, and a rep from me.

We've stayed in Torremolinos, and have done those steps down AND up! But plenty of places to stop on the way Very Happy

Maybe I should mention that the pedestrianised area in the centre has an 'underground' train station? Which runs from Malaga to Fuengirola (?)(I think that's the extent of the line. So as it stops at Malaga airport, it's a useful transfer at just €1.50 each or something like that.

That really is a brilliant train service Mark, right into the centre of towns, Malaga City & Airport & a big retail outlet all along the route. Like you say it is so cheap & it runs until just after midnight, & from about 6 in the morning. That was talk of extending it down to Marbella, but apparently that has been ongoing for years.

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