Best Sights of Torremolinos
Torremolinos has a very long history. This city is located 12 km west of Malaga. The first foreigners to arrive were the Phoenicians, followed by the Romans and the Moors. They found a good climate here, with water, fishing and hunting. After the Christian conquest, the area joined the city of Malaga. It was called Torremolinos because there was a tower with a mill. Torre means tower and molino means mill. Before the 1950s the town was very small and only had fishermen’s shacks around Calle San Miguel and the beaches of La Carihuela and El Bajondillo.
In 1959 the Hotel Pez Espada was built, which was the first high class hotel in the town. This attracted many movie stars, celebrities, and writers from abroad. They found the beaches wonderful places to relax in. Publicity followed people like Frank Sinatra, Ava Gardner, the empress Soraya from Iran, Orson Welles, and James Michener. This attracted more people. Old buildings were torn down to make way for more hotels, restaurants and bars. The builders overbuilt in some places. The beaches are still beautiful though and the new constructions are more aesthetic in appearance. In 1988 the town became independent of Malaga, after many years of wanting to go its own way. Today the city has a population of 63,000.
The Sierra de Mijas Mountains shelter Torremolinos and gives it a microclimate that is hard to beat. There are 320 days of sunshine a year and the average temperature is 19C. Torremolinos gets many foreign tourists, but the majority of tourists are Spanish because it is the favorite resort of the Spanish, according to national polls. Today Torremolinos has 40% of the hotel beds in the Costa del Sol.
Torremolinos is known for its beaches, La Carihuela and El Bajondillo, which continues now all the way to Playamar and Los Alamos Beach. These beaches are very long and very wide, with many fish restaurants along its length. The paseo maritimo is well taken cared of by the city and there is new ceramic tile along this walkway. The whole area is very clean and has daily maintenance, to keep the area attractive to tourists. One area has a grove of palm trees on the beach to give shade and there is a play area for children. Along some parts of the beach walk, there are large blue potted plants to make the walkway attractive. All along its length there are many wrought iron benches where visitors can sit and contemplate the sea. There are also many inexpensive stores across the beach, and these are open everyday all year long.
b. Calle San Miguel
Calle San Miguel is a little street in downtown Torremolinos and is only for pedestrians and is one of the best shopping streets in Spain. There are all sorts of shops, such as leather, clothing, shoes, jewelry, and they have prices from the most inexpensive to the most expensive. There are about seven jewelry stores owned by Indians from India, with quality jewelry at reasonable prices. One can bargain at these stores. There are also souvenir stores, pastry shops, restaurants and bars. Calle San Miguel has the small town feel because all of the buildings beside the street are low rise, all of them only two stories tall. One end of the street is the Costa del Sol Plaza on the main coastal road. This street is one of the streets in Spain with the most pedestrian traffic.
c. Casa de los Navajas
The Casa de las Navajas is located in Calle del Bajondillo, on a hillside near the Bajondillo Beach. It is a beautiful Neo-Mudejar building that was built in 1925 by Antonio Navajas Ruiz. It is one of the most beautiful buildings in Torremolinos and declared in 1991 as a site of historic interest. The architect was Francisco Fernandez Fermina. The city owns the building now and there are plans to turn it into a cultural center.
d. Church of Nuestra Señora del Carmen
The Church of Our Lady del Carmen is located in Calle Carmen in the Barrio de la Carihuela and its facade has two big anchors and a beautiful ceramic tile panel that shows the Virgin. The ceramics were made in the Ceramica Santa Ana in Seville in the 1960s.
Aqualand was the first water park built in Spain. It is located in the northern part of the city, at Calle Cuba, 10. It covers an area of 70,000 square meters and has very modern facilities. Among the attractions are the Kamikaze, a water slide that is 24 meters high. There are also the Fast River and Twister, pools with waves, cascades, rapids, and tropical lagoon and gardens. There is a special zone for small children and many bars, restaurants, cafeterias and stores. The architect of the complex was Francisco Peñalosa.
Crocodile Park is located by Aqualand at Calle Cuba,14, and was finished in 2003. It is the only park of its kind in Europe. The park has an area of 16,000 square meters and has a lake of 6000 square meters with five large islands. There are about 300 crocodiles from all parts of the world.
g. Torre de Pimentel
The Tower of Pimentel is located at the end of Calle San Miguel and is the symbol of Torremolinos. It was built in 1300 by the Nazari Dynasty to protect the coast and in the 15th century it was used as a mill. The tower has two floors and a height of 12 meters. In 1497 when it was used as a mill, it got the name of Torre de los Molinos. Later it was also named after Don Rodrigo de Pimentel, Conde de Benavente (Zamora). He helped the Catholic Kings in their conquest of Malaga and Granada by giving them 2000 horses and 4999 soldiers. The tower was constructed with adobe and earth and is not in a very good state today.
h. Palacio de Congresos
The Palacio de Congresos is the exhibition hall of Torremolinos. It is a very modern building whose architects were Rafael de la Hoz Arderius and Gerardo Olivares James. It has a huge hall that has a capacity for 2500 persons. The grounds of this exhibition hall are beautifully landscaped. Many cultural events and congresses are held here.
i. Jardín Botánico Molino de Inca
The Molina de Inca Botanic Garden is located near Aqualand and the Palacio de Congresos, in the northern area of Torremolinos. There is a mill called Molino de Inca inside the gardens, dating from the 15th century, giving its name to the gardens. There are more than 500 varieties of trees, a large variety of plants, cascades, lookout points, fountains and a labyrinth in the garden. There are all sorts of exotic birds also. The gardens were inaugurated in 2003. Malaga gave a license to Joseph de Inca Sotomayor in 1700 to operate two mills on land that had a natural spring. Today the mills are not only still there, but they are still operating using the water from the same spring. Today the mills are the centerpiece of the botanical garden. There are classical statues of the Four Seasons that symbolize the passage of time during the year. The gardens have very well maintained paths that bring one from one vista to another.
j. Los Manantiales
Los Manatiales are the spring waters of Torremolinos located at Los Pinares de los Manatiales, near the Recinto Ferial, in the northern part of Torremolinos. The spring waters have been known for a long time in Andalusia as a place where the water tastes the best. There are four springs, San jose, La Pellejera, Inca, and Manatial del Rey. This green zone has many trees and barbecues, tables, and chairs, where one can have picnics. There are places also where one can exercise and keep fit.
k. Church of San Miguel Arcángel
The Church of San Miguel Arcangel is located at the Plaza de San Miguel, at the end of the Calle San Miguel. It is a small church with a Neoclassic style. On Sept. 29 there is a procession in honor of this saint.
l. Sculpture of Picasso's Two Dancing Ladies
Picasso painted "Two Dancing Ladies", one of his more famous paintings in the 1920s. Someone sculpted the figures of the two women in the Plaza de Lido, beside the Tourist Information Center. The big sculpture shows two women dancing, but it also looks like they are running to the beach. This is a very beautiful sculpture.
m. Monument to Europe
At Plaza de la Union Europea, there is the Monument to Europe, which is a white marble sculpture of Zeus as a white bull with Europa on his back. According to Greek Mythology, Europa was the beautiful daughter of the King of Tyre, a Phoenician king. Zeus saw her gathering flowers by the sea and fell in love with her. Zeus turned himself into a white bull and knelt before her very gently. Europa climbed on his back and the bull rushed toward the sea and kidnapped her. He revealed his true identity and brought her to Crete where he made love to her. The legend is that she later married the King of Crete. The plaza has many benches made of light blue tiles with the flags of different countries of the European Union and there is a roundabout with the flags of all the member countries.
n. Picasso Statue
There is a square called Plaza Pablo Ruiz Picasso that has a beautiful sculpture of Picasso. Picasso was born in nearby Malaga and this sculpture and square are dedicated to him.