This Costa del Sol stretch is divvied up into three. Benalmadena Pueblo – the oldest part – is all about narrow streets, whitewashed houses and cafés that spill out onto the pavements. The Arroyo de la Miel area’s more modern and brimming with bars and restaurants. Then, there's the town’s famous 24 Hour Square, which brings the party people flocking. The final piece of the puzzle is, of course, the coast, with its lively marina and chain of 12 prom-backed beaches.
Torremolinos has put in the hard yards to cement a spot among Spain’s holiday elite. It’s no fluke that it’s leapt from fishing village to up-tempo town over the years – the bar-lined beach, tip-top shopping and late-night party scene have made sure of that. And despite competition from its coastal counterparts and international rivals, the crowds keep coming back for another slice of the action.
San Pedro De Alcantara
San Pedro de Alcantara – or San Pedro, for short – is anchored in the west of the Costa del Sol, about 10 kilometres from Marbella. It’s got a bit of a split personality – along the beachfront, it’s all hotels, cafés and souvenir shops, while the town centre is more like traditional Spain, with sieasta, tapas bars lining narrow backstreets and a big weekly market.
A snapshot of Estepona tells a trademark Costa del Sol story. But beyond the high-rise hotels and soft sands is a toy box of old and new treats. Tapas bars stud the streets of the old quarter, which is home to the pretty Plaza de las Flores, a 16th-century clock tower and easy-on-the-eye churches. Seven ancient watchtowers have survived the test of time along the coastline, and the town’s botanical gardens are holed up in a futuristic, dome-topped building.