Plaza de La Nogalera, July 2016. It would be an understatement to say that the Spanish resort of Torremolinos doesn’t have a great reputation. Disparaged by many as the grottiest of the Costa del Sol towns, I arrived here with staggeringly low expectations. After all, this is a resort that’s picked up unwanted nicknames like Torrid-Molinos and The Armpit Of Spain. Imagine my relief then when I exited the train station out into this sleepy little square. Ok, there was a Dealz pound shop and some tattooed bottom feeders leaning against a lamppost discussing how amazingly pissed they’d got the night before. But other than that the overall vibe seemed rather… pleasant.
Calle Mercurio, June 2016. I’d only been living in the city of Malaga for a few months when I decided to kick off my explorations of southern Spain. With so many of the country’s major highlights lying in wait throughout Andalucia, I decided to begin my wanderings gently with the perhaps unspectacular and often maligned resorts of the Costa del Sol. With Torremolinos, Fuengirola, Benalmadena and Marbella all easily accessible on the train from Malaga’s central station, I simply picked one at random and set off! On arrival I took the escalator up to this long main street stuffed with cafes, shops and bars.
Calle Ancha, December 2016. My first trip to Marbella was something of a mission. Waking up at the crack of dawn, I took the bus over from Malaga City. It was all about getting my repaired MacBook picked up in time for Christmas after a disastrous coffee spill. Meeting a man called Joey at the bus station, I reclaimed my precious Mac and set off into town for a half day of exploring. I’d been hoping to grab some breakfast, but it was barely 9 o’clock and most cafes were still shut as I made my way down deserted Calle Ancha into the historical centre.
Nuestra Señora del Rosario Church, December 2016. You won’t find much online love for the Costa del Sol town of Fuengirola. With a murky reputation as the archetypal Brits-abroad-in-the-sun setting, I’d admittedly been wondering if I should even bother with it. But… ever the completest… I was still curious how it measured up to its sister towns Benalmádena (surprisingly pretty) and Torremolinos (largely uninspiring). Arriving at the central train station from Malaga City, I was soon greeted by the town’s handsome main square, Plaza de la Constitución. Exchanging a chirpy “buenos días” with a somewhat inappropriate balloon-selling Mickey mouse, I ducked inside the square’s pretty church to watch the old Spanish folk go about their daily prayers.