Playa de Calahonda - long, relaxed sandy beach, narrow in places
One of the longest beaches on the Costa del Sol in Andalusia is Playa de Calahonda. It extends from the little harbour of Puerto Cabopino in the eastern suburbs of Marbella, past the town of Calahonda and beyond the old tower at Punta de la Torre Nueva, where it merges into the neighbouring beach of Playa del Bombo. The area around Playa de Calahonda is part of the municipality of Mijas. The beach, which consists of fine, brown-grey sand, is around 4.5 kilometres long and an elevated boardwalk, which serves as a beach promenade, runs along large parts of it.
Playa de Calahonda beach runs close to the coastal motorway between Marbella and Málaga, from which it can be reached quickly via several access roads. Coming from the Calahonda exit, there is also a wheelchair accessible entrance at Royal Beach chiringuito. From here the walkway extends in both directions, although not along the entire length of the beach. A number of hotels and apartment complexes lie alongside the beach, mostly with white buildings and beautifully designed, spaciously laid out green areas with pools. Only in a few sections, mainly in the west, do some of the buildings become more cramped, taller and less elegant.
The number of visitors on the beach increases around the chiringuitos (beach restaurants), which also hire out loungers here. There is a rich variety of food and drinks, mostly fish grilled in the open air and delicious cocktails, and sometimes music as well. A few of the establishments organise regular open-air parties. In these sections bathers are generally monitored by lifeguards and there are public showers and toilets. In some places you can also hire pedal boats and kayaks and there are two spots with water play areas with a trampoline, a climbing wall and slides. Along the promenade there is also fitness equipment and a volleyball court. The boardwalk provides a nice trail for walkers, joggers and cyclists.
Away from the chiringuitos, beach clubs and restaurants, the areas in between are quieter. You will find more space to spread out here, where the beach gets narrower, and more privacy when swimming and sunbathing. Because the area is cleaned less, there are also more natural residues - mainly dried seaweed in the sand, which doesn't get in the way when bathing.