Playa de los Baños del Carmen - the food is better than the bathing
Playa de los Baños del Carmen beach lies on the eastern edge of Málaga at the entrance to the suburb of Pedregalejo. The more popular front of the bay is the official part of the beach and consists mainly of pebble stones. A lifeguard is in situ and you have a great view of the port of Málaga, which lies some distance away on the other side of the bay, and of the beach of Malaguetta. The wall in the background, which is painted with graffiti, and the proximity to the adjacent beach makes lounging and bathing somewhat less idyllic here, but the palm trees along the road and the pale rocks that border the beach do at least create something of a holiday mood.
Right alongside, on an exposed spot, stands the traditional bathhouse of El Carmen. It was built in 1918 and appears quite run-down. This does, however, lend it a certain charm. Today it is home to El Balenario de los Baños del Carmen restaurant. The huge terrace, only just above sea level, is a wonderful place to sit, enjoy a drink and allow your gaze to sweep across the horizon. If you want to come here for dinner you should make a reservation, because despite the large number of tables, the well-known restaurant is so popular that it rarely has empty seats. Because of the charm of the location, the tall ceilings and the large windows, weddings are regularly held here too, as well as occasional parties, live music and other events.
Behind the building there is a small grove with a volleyball court and two tennis courts tucked away. The tennis courts can be reserved over the phone for a small fee, but these are also quite run-down. A little further on is the back of the beach, which is sadly very dirty. Only a few visitors come to this spot to bathe. Most of the people on the beach are dog owners, because unlike at the surrounding beaches, their four-legged friends are permitted here. If you walk further, you come to the popular beach of Playa de Pedregalejo with its beach promenade, large number of restaurants and bars, and better bathing conditions.