Expat first time explorations of Torremolinos, in the sunny Costa del Sol - Andalusian costal region of Spain, shoulder season, spring 2022.
We are staying in a lovely beach front unit in Torremolinos, about 20 minutes from the Malaga airport, which has direct flights from Canada. This helped minimize COVID related complications. Canadian side travel arrangements were all handled online, including uploading the Canadian government vaccination QR code, and also obtaining the Spanish health QR code which is mandatory. We observed two un-fortunate couples who were refused entry at the boarding gate because they didn't have the proper Spanish health QR code. This was a bit surprising, because the airport baggage check did ask to see our codes which we kept in our phone wallet, but they didn't actually scan it at that stage. Biggest delay at the Montreal airport was not security, but was the surge of Air Transat customers checking in over the 3-4 hours prior to departure.
Slide Show with 50 photos: Arriving on a Sunday meant that the beaches and related restaurants were quite busy, since most businesses are closed on Sunday. The mid day temperature was a very warm 26C, with light cooling breezes from the ocean. Evening cooled to a more comfortable 22C for dining in the outdoor market squares. The generally lower humidity than other tropical destinations make the temperature more enjoyable.
There are a lot of fish centric restaurants along the beach strip, as well as a multi cultural collection of others like German/Belgian, Italian, East Indian, and oriental. My beer of choice is Guinness, which is harder to get here, but is available in some Irish pub type places which cater to the UK visitors. I tried a possible local alternative which is a "dark beer" by Leffe (Belgian) called Bruin. Its a little sweet tasting, but ok. Corona seems like a popular choice here. BBQ sardines are popular, with outdoor BBQ pit's arranged as show pieces in old boats near the beach front strip.
Aside from the many public access points to the beach, there are an abundance of daily rental beach palapa's with recliners at beach clubs.
The winding back streets remind me of Greek Mykonos, providing access from the beach strip up to the main business areas. We enjoyed walking up San Miguel Street, to Costa del Sol street, to get to purchase a local mobile phone SIM card at the Vodaphone store. A data plan here was C$20 for 50GB for the month! WOW
Most store keepers have "some" English, but the google translate app became my friend, when I needed to clarify key details. The photo translate feature was very handy for a chalk board menu at one side street restaurant, which had a E9.50 lunch special, with 2 courses, beverage, desert. All were delicious.
Many businesses and schools close in the hot mid day, from 2pm to 5pm. This can be a little frustrating if you are trying to shop then, but if you are living here it really makes so much sense, because the mornings and evenings are a much more comfortable temperature. Also bigger stores in the main street's that cater to tourists don't seem to take the Siesta break as much.