East coast route from Malaga to Chilches 20 km each way.
This is one of our favourite routes!
We call it the ‘no-brainer’ and we know that’s exactly the kind of activity you need while on holiday. Always looking for the sea, you can cycle approximately 20 kms without being in traffic.
The majority of the paths are considered shared space with pedestrians. Cycling speed is limited to 10 km/h and pedestrians have priority. When you see an official bike path, you should use it or you may get a fine from the police.
On other parts of the coast, keep an eye out for signs which indicate where you can and can’t cycle.
From the Malaga Bike Tours & Rentals shop you have two options to start this route: either a) Turn left at the end of Calle Trinidad Grund , then turn right and cycle towards El Parque or b) turn right at the end of Calle Trinidad Grund, cross the street at the traffic lights, cycle through the port and then turn left at the lighthouse to reach the promenade
In order to not miss out on anything, we recommend starting with one option and ending with the other or vice versa.
Welcome to EL PARQUE – the park!
They say the park of Málaga is one of the most important outdoor botanical gardens in all of Europe as it has over 300 different varieties of tropical plants, flowers and trees and that’s thanks to a local business man at the end of the 1800s who had a shipping company.
Every time his ships went to different parts of the world he made sure that they always brought back different varieties of seeds and that’s why there is such a diverse collection here. It is also a beautiful monumental garden, lots of statues of local famous people and lovely ceramic fountains dotted throughout the park. We recommend zig-zagging through the park on the trails to see the best of everything.
Did you know? The park of Malaga was built on reclaimed land from the sea.
THE BULLRING (PLAZA DE TOROS)
Finished in 1876, the Malagueta bullring is one of the oldest in Spain and has a capacity for 14,000 people.
Classed as a Category A bullring, you will find only the best (and most highly paid) matadors fighting here. They generally only have bullfights twice a year: during the feria (fair) in August and on special occasions. It is sometimes used for concerts and gastronomy festivals, etc.
In July of 2019, it will be reopened with part of it being used as a cultural centre and it will also house a gourmet restaurant.
Did you know? Bullfighting is banned in the Canary Islands and Catalunya.
This stunning newly- renovated 5-star luxury GRAN MIRAMAR HOTEL was officially ‘re-opened’ in December 2016. The hotel was first opened in 1926. Its original name was el Hotel Principe de Asturias.
While it may be out of most people’s budget to stay here, we recommend going inside to have and enjoy the opulent surroundings.
Don’t forget to go up to the rooftop lounge and enjoy the Mediterranean views while having a refreshing cocktail. (Expect to pay 5-star luxury prices for your cocktail- around 18€ for a gin and tonic at the time of writing).
Did you know? During the Spanish Civil War, this hotel was used as a field hospital.
Cycle down the street next to the Hotel Miramar – Calle Keromnes- to get to the promenade (El Paseo Marítimo).
Turn left onto the promenade
There is no bike path on the promenade. It is considered shared space until near the end where there is a bike path, which you should use if you want to avoid getting fined by police on bikes.
As you cycle along the beach you will first smell and then see one of the most famous dishes in Malaga being cooked on the open boat barbecues – espeto de sardinas.
The espeto is the stick which the fish is cooked on. The espetos are wedged between lumps of burning olive wood which then smoke the fish. You can get sardines all over the Mediterranean- but believe us- not like these!
Did you know? The best- and easiest way to eat sardines is with your fingers. You avoid all the bones and well, they just taste better that way!
At the end of the bike path you will see a big old white building with columns called:
EL BALNEARIO- BAÑOS DEL CARMEN
Built-in 1918 as a bathing station/spa, this was one of the most popular and trendiest places to go: very luxurious with Arabic style pavilions, giant cages filled with tropical birds and a fountain that sprang wine from Jerez- not water- WINE!
Those days are gone alas, but this is still one of the most loved and popular places in the city for the Malagueños – the perfect place to sit back, enjoy the views, listen to live music (at weekends) and hear the waves crashing onto the rocks.
Did you know? One of the first “football grounds” of Malaga F.C. was at Baños del Carmen.
Back in the day, the team only had one football so every time the ball was kicked into the sea, the play was stopped while the ball-boy, who was sitting in a rowing boat in the sea, rowed out to rescue the ball!
After Baños del Carmen, continue along the bike path, then take the sidewalk. Turn right at the first street which will bring you into:
An old fisherman’s’ neighbourhood full of cute little houses, lots of restaurants and colourful wooden fishing boats that they still hand-build on the beach today.
Pedregalejo started off as a very poor fishing neighbourhood in the 1850s with houses made of wood with tin roofs. Those huts have evolved into the quaint one and two-storey homes we can see today. Totally different from the rest of the Costa del Sol coastline, you will find no high-rise apartment buildings or hotels here.
- At the start of the promenade, you can see a big white building to your right: ASTILLEROS NERO- a very old boat yard (they say a boat yard has probably stood here since Phoenician times) and it is also a ‘MUSEO VIVO’- a living museum. If the doors are open, pop inside and travel back in time to see the art of boat-building by hand. (There is no charge to enter but they do appreciate donations).
Did you know? The typical local colourful wooden fishing boats that you see on the beaches here are called JABEGAS and their design probably dates back to Phoenician times.
Cycle along the promenade and over the blue-arched bridge to enter into
A similar old fishing neighbourhood where you can sometimes find the famous espetos de sardinas for as cheap as 1.50€!
Cycle all the way to the end of the promenade to find one of the most popular restaurants in Malaga for tourists and locals alike: EL TINTERO.
A unique place to eat ‘pescaito frito’- the typical mixed fried fish dish. Don’t ask for a menu- there isn’t one!
The waiters come around with the food, shouting out what they have and you just wave at them to get the food you fancy. When you are finished, they count the dirty plates and glasses on the table and write “the bill” on the paper table-cloth.
See our Top 4 Restaurants to Cycle to for more information.
Best to go there when it is busy to get the full experience but also best to get there ‘just’ before the Spanish lunchtime- 1 – 1:30 p.m. to make sure you get a table-especially on weekends. (They don’t take reservations).
Did you know? Maybe you are wondering about the name ‘El Palo’. In Spanish, a ‘palo’ is a stick. The most popular theory for the origin of the name of this neighbourhood is that there was a shipwreck and the mast of the ship stuck out of the water for many years. The sailors used it as a point of reference to communicate their location, for example: We are 3 miles away from ‘el palo’.
If you are in Malaga on July 16th– El Palo is the place to head to for the celebrations of the day of the Virgin del Carmen- the patron saint of the sailors. A truly delightful fiesta!
At the end of El Palo promenade there is a hill. Go up the hill, follow the road around and you will see a REPSOL petrol/gas station. Go BEHIND the gas station and then you get into what we romantically call the ‘cement Factory beach’ as there is a cement Factory behind the beach.
The cement factory is one of the oldest industries in Malaga- over 100 years old. Impressive, eh? But we think the beach and the sea with its protruding rock is much more impressive.
Why not swim out to the rock, climb up and jump into the sea to cool off mid-bike ride?
You will also notice an old stone tower. On this route you will see three of these defensive towers dating from the 14th century. This particular tower was built in 1574.
You can find these look-out towers all along the Costa del Sol. They were built to warn of the arrival of pirates. Smoke signals were used during the day and fires at night.
Did you know? The path here is called EL CAMINO DE LOS CANADIENSES. (The path of the Canadians) named for a Canadian Doctor, Norman Bethune, who was here during the Spanish Civil War helping wounded Malagueños who were bombarded by planes and ships while on this very path trying to escape the fascist takeover of Malaga.
Continuing along the coast you will pass over a (usually) dry river and enter another beach area called La Cala del Moral.
Please take notice of the traffic sign at the beginning of the promenade. It points cyclists to the beach as it is prohibited to cycle on the promenade in this municipality. Cyclists can be fined for doing so.
The sand is prepared for cyclists and runners-nice and compact.
After cycling on the sand, you can then cycle on the bike path which takes you through a series of impressive tunnels blasted out of the rock. The tunnels, which are just before the town of Rincón de la Victoria, were originally built for a train that used to go from Malaga to Vélez. It was both a passenger and freight train.
Did you know? The train from Malaga to Velez was known as la Cochinita, (little pig) because on its first journey it ran over a herd of pigs – the majority of which ended up as chorizo! The train stopped running in 1960.
Just after the last tunnel, take a quick right and go out to the shrine of the Virgen del Carmen in the rock at the end of the path. Take a break with the locals there paying reverence to the virgin.
Did you know? The name Rincón de la Victoria was named by monks who came from a town called La Victoria in Cordoba. They occupied lots of land and houses here and gave the place its current name which literally means the Corner of the Victory.
Up until about 30 years ago, Rincon de la Victoria was still very much a fishing town but has now become a residential and seasonal tourist destination.
Many Malagueños have their summer residence in Rincon as it is about 5 degrees cooler here than in the city.
After the end of the promenade in Rincon de la Victoria, cycle along the gravel path towards Torre de Benalgabón.
And if you are looking for a completely quirky non-traditional lunch spot, why not try el chiringuito Puente Roma- la Quiniela Casa Paca? A beach bar set up in a dry river bed under a bridge!
After Benalgabón, the path turns into a nature trail with informative signs (in Spanish) on the local flora and fauna. The trail ends at the beaches of CHILCHES, which is approximately 20 kms from the Malaga Bike Tours shop.
If you want to go further on from this point on, you will have to cycle in traffic. The seaside town of Torre del Mar is another 16 kms away and the beautiful town of Nerja with its stunning cliffs and white-washed houses is approx. 30 more kms- but well worth the visit!
The route back to Malaga is the same way you came. If you started with El Parque then you should continue along the promenade of the Malagueta Beach towards the lighthouse and return via the port.
THE PORT (Muelle Uno and the Palmeral de las Sorpresas)
In the 1800s, Malaga port was a hive of trading activity.
It was the second biggest port in Spain after Barcelona and was one of the most important ports in Europe.
Its main exports were the famous Malaga sweet wine, raisins, almonds, olives and figs. If you would like to know more about the rise of Malaga as an industrial power- and its fall- then why not sign up for our Malaga Alternative Ride?
For many years, the port was a neglected part of the city, full of abandoned warehouses and derelict buildings.
Today’s modern marina of Malaga is the result of a massive renovation that was finished in 2011. It has completely transformed the area, and indeed, the city- offering a wonderful contrast between the old town and the new modern port.
These days, it is not uncommon to see mega-yachts of the rich and famous docked here, cruise ships all year round and restaurants and bars buzzing with both locals and tourists day and night.
Cycle through the port and back to the Malaga Bike Tours shop underneath the white roof of the Palmeral de las Sorpresas- evocative of being inside the belly of a big fish or riding on a wave, don’t you think?
And did you know? You have just cycled 40 kms and had the most amazing day!