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5 secret beaches in the Costa Del Sol only locals know

Translating to ‘Coast of the Sun’, Costa Del Sol is 150-kilometres of sun-soaked coasts. It stretches from Sotogrande (in the west) through Málaga to Nerja (in the east) in Southern Spain’s Andalusia region. And with over 300 days a year of soaring heat drenching coastal towns and beautiful beaches – it’s no surprise huge swathes of tourists visit every year. But away from the swarm for sun loungers and busy beach clubs, 5 unspoiled beaches in the Costal Del Sol hide from sight and afford a lucky few their own personal slice of paradise.

5 hidden beaches in the Costa Del Sol

Forget searching for a spot, we’re going off-the-beaten-track.

Playa de la Misericordia

Playa de la Misericordia beach is a long-time local favourite. This 2 kilometre beach sits 3.7km away from the Malaga city centre – making it a welcome break from inner city culture. Dark sands (hot enough to make you skip across them) greet you here, as do cosy restaurants and the Parque del Oeste (a green park with gardens, ponds and wildlife) a short walk away. On the same note, it’s no shock Misericordia has a Blue Flag sticker for its cleanliness.

As you gaze at the crystal-clear ocean, keep an eye out for the local phenomenon ‘Ola del Melillero’ – when the ferry from Melilla docks arrives, it pushes the sea level up giving you a surprise soaking. A welcome refreshment.

Cala del Cañuelo

Cala del Cañuelo beach is perhaps Costa Del Sol’s best kept secret. Set in the bright green Natural Park of the Acantilados de Maro (10 kilometres from Nerja), travellers step into the beating heart of nature. If you visit here, you will be welcomed by warm, untouched sands, dramatic striking cliffs and caves containing 600 rock paintings up to 40,000 years old (some of the oldest in the world). Elsewhere, it would be rude not to snorkel in the impossibly clear waters, while enjoying the company of colourful fish and bright orange coral on the seafloor.

Situated on the border of Málaga with Granada, this secluded paradise is only accessed by a specialist bus or on foot. And it’s gorgeous enough to keep a secret from even your closest friends. Ready to find out for yourself?

Rincón de la Victoria

Dotted on Malaga’s less crowded east coast 17 kilometres away from the city centre, Rincón de la Victoria is definition of tranquil. Local atmosphere bubbles away here, and you’ll rarely hear any English speakers. We recommend roaming the 7 kilometre stretch of spotless sand (yes, it’s really that long). Then cooling off in the crystal-clear swallow waters. Fear not: there are shaded spots for a welcome sun-break. Plus exquisite seafood restaurants nearby offering a taste of local food culture. Rincón is a firm favourite with families looking for one of the quietest beaches in the Costa Del Sol. And somewhere you’ll never visit just once.

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Peñón del Cuervo

At 450 metres long by 25 metres wide, Peñón del Cuervo is one of the Costa Del Sol’s smallest (and most secretive) secrets. About 8 kilometres from Malaga’s centre, it’s accessed via a leafy walking trial that unlocks a different coastal view by the second. A colossal rock a short distance out in the sea splits the beach in two and gives the beach its name. Despite its small size, you have good space to unwind here… and spot one of the most heart-throbbing sunsets in all of Spain. Note: there are no restaurants around – so remember to bring water and snacks. And if you want to stay later, we recommend joining a ‘moragas’ (night time bonfire parties). A local treat.

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Cala Barranco de Maro

Tucked under Nerja’s cliffs, Cala Barranca de maro is a stunning place to escape it all. Travellers must walk down a winding, rocky trail surrounded by sugarcane to touch this tranquil spot. And once here, you will feel your heart rate slow in seconds as you immerse yourself in what feels like a different world. The only audible sounds come from the delicate ripple of the flat waves and gentle crackle of the pebbled beach underfoot. To cool off from the southern Spanish sun, there’s no better place for kayaking and ultra-clear snorkelling. Just don’t forget a towel.

Have you visited any of these hidden beaches in the Costa Del Sol? Tell us your favourite in the comments below!

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