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Playamar, Torremolinos.JPG
Flag of Torremolinos
Official seal of Torremolinos
Location of Torremolinos
Location of Torremolinos
Torremolinos is located in Andalusia
Location in Andalusia
Torremolinos is located in Spain
Location in Spain
Coordinates: 36°37′18.43″N 4°30′0.98″W / 36.6217861°N 4.5002722°W / 36.6217861; -4.5002722Coordinates: 36°37′18.43″N 4°30′0.98″W / 36.6217861°N 4.5002722°W / 36.6217861; -4.5002722
Country  Spain
Autonomous community Andalusia
Municipality Málaga
Comarca Costa del Sol Occidental
 • Mayor Pedro Fernández Montes
 • Total 20 km2 (8 sq mi)
Population (2013)
 • Total 69 389
Demonym(s) Torremolinenses
Time zone CET (UTC+1)
 • Summer (DST) CEST (UTC+2)

Torremolinos is a municipality on the Costa del Sol of the Mediterranean, immediately to the west of the city of Málaga, in the province of Málaga in the autonomous community of Andalusia in southern Spain. It belongs to the comarca of Costa del Sol Occidental. A poor fishing village before the growth in tourism beginning in the late 1950s, Torremolinos was the first of the Costa del Sol resorts to develop.

It is located on the western shore of the Bay of Málaga and behind the Sierra de Mijas. It lies at a distance of 13 km from Málaga and is served by the A-7 motorway, which bypasses the city to the north, and by the Renfe commuter train.

In 2013 it had 69,389 inhabitants, making it the sixth largest city in the province. The township has an area of 20 km² and a population density of 3153.85 inhabitants/km², which is multiplied during the summer months.

It is very popular with British and Irish tourists and has a large British expatriate population. In the past the influx of younger British tourists has caused controversy.[1] Areas of the town are dominated by high-rise development.

In addition to its tourism sector, Torremolinos is known locally for its vibrant nightlife, particularly its numerous bars and clubs catering to the LGBT community.[2]


Map of Torremolinos from 1889
Torremolinos in January 1960
Sculpture in Parque de la Batería
Stone bench in Torremolinos

Archaeological finds including human bones, tools, and pottery prove that the Torremolinos area was settled as early as the Neolithic Age. Some remnants are neanderthalians and dated 150,000 years old by radiocarbon dating.[3]

According to the Egyptian Greek geographer Ptolemy, the Phoenicians had founded here a colony named Saduce, but the Romans are the most likely to have founded the current town, as shown by findings of edifices and a necropolis (from whose size it has been deduced that the settlement had around 2,000 inhabitants[4]). They also built the road joining Cadiz with Málaga, passing through Torremolinos.

With the Moorish conquest of Spain, were introduced the mills from which the town takes its name (meaning "Tower of the Mills"). However, at the time the population was reduced; the tower was built by the Nasrid rulers of Granada starting from 1300. After the fall of Granada, the town remained subject to North African pirate attacks which lasted from the 18th century; during the War of Spanish Succession, the town was attacked by an Anglo-Dutch flotilla under the British admiral George Rooke and almost entirely destroyed. A document dated 1769 lists a town population of 106.

The mills and the city were rebuilt in the early 20th century, but the mill industry started to decline in the 1920s. It was largely replaced by an increasing tourist interest from 1928, particularly British visitors. Hotel Pez Espada opened in 1960. The first gay bar in Spain, Toni's Bar, was founded in Torremolinos in 1962. The Spanish regime reacted to the free lifestyle of the city with arrests of homosexuals and other repressions during the 1970s.

Torremolinos first appeared on the map of the Ensenada’s Marques in 1748. The name comes from the words Torre (Tower) and Molino (Mill). Water mills covered all this area of which only one survives (Molino de Inca) and one tower which forms part of a restaurant. Historians believe that moulded stones discovered at beaches and mountains in Torremolinos indicate the existence of the village 150000 years ago. Further evidence of its pre-history are nine skulls, some bones, clay pots, axe heads and arrows, ornaments of necklaces and bracelets, a ring and some animal bones discovered in the excavations of the caves: cueva del Tesoro (treasure cave), cueva tapada (cover cave), cueva del encanto (charm cave), cueva del tejón (badger cave). The study of these items places them at the Neolithic in the Quaternary period, around 5.000 years before Christ at the period when man learned to cultivate, the land. It is estimated that the skeletons found at the caves and at the cape of Torremolinos were 1.5 or 1.6 meters tall (4’9 ft. or 5’2 ft.).


According to Ptolemy, Phoenicians built the city of Saduce next to Torremolinos. The Romans constructed a road to connect Gades (Cádiz) with Malaca (Málaga). In the 1990s a Roman necropolis was discovered with 23 graves at the "San Luis build" at Cantabria’s square, which confirm the existence of village with 2000 years old.

Middle Ages[edit]

Around 1300, the Muslim dynasty of the "Nazríes", which governed Malaga between the 13th and 15th centuries, built the defensive tower that can be seen at the end of San Miguel Street. The tower is 12 meters (39’37 ft.) tall and was built with earth. It is composed of two floors and watch windows to the sea and a terrace.

Before French revolution[edit]

After the Christian conquered the kingdom of Granada, Torremolinos was attacked by pirates until the 18th century.

Later, the Arabian piracies were changed by the British piracy. During the War of Spanish succession, an Anglo-Dutch fleet, commanded by the British Admiral George Rooke, looted and burned the houses and mills and destroyed all of Torremolinos. A census of 1769 shows a population of 106 people.

Modern age[edit]

During the first half of the 19th century the town was rebuilt and by 1849 there were 14 mills, a fuller mill Kraft paper and 785 inhabitants. With the demise of the mill, Torremolinos became a small fishing village until the end of the 1950s when it became one of the first tourist centre in Costa del Sol. In the 1950s many celebrities visited Torremolinos such as Grace Kelly, Ava Gardner, Marlon Brando, Orson Welles and Frank Sinatra.

In 1959 Pez Espada hotel was opened, the first luxury hotel along the coast. In the following years, new hotels, nightclubs and others tourist establishments changed the face of the town and its beaches. By the year 1965, Torremolinos had become consolidated as a major tourist destination.

Malaga International airport is 10 minutes away by train, and is the 4th busiest airport in Spain carrying nearly 14 million passengers annually.


In Torremolinos you can find their famous Chiringuitos (restaurants on the beach) from the Carihuela, Bajondillo, Playamar, Costa Lago. At these bars you can eat fresh fish and seafood typical of the area; some of their people were traditionally fishermen.

By 2012 McDonald's in the heart of Torremolinos had closed its doors, following KFC and Pizza Hut not least because of competition from native companies such as Telepizza and Matahambre. Only Burger King remains.


In 2014, Poundland opened its first store in Spain in the centre of the town under the name Dealz. It sells items for €1.50 and carries almost exactly the same product line as in the UK.

The Chinese have many stores and warehouses in the area selling almost everything imaginable at very low prices. This has put many traditional shops such as ironmongers and gift shops, out of business.

Torremolinos has some very early shopping centres, most of which are sparsely populated. The main tourists shops are on San Miquel and the stairs down to the beach.

A Carrefour hypermarket is located in a recently built shopping mall on the A340 towards Benalmadena.

Around town the principle supermarkets are Mercadona, Supersol Aldi, Lidl and Opencor.


Torremolinos has probably the most impressive sporting and leisure facilites of any town, regardless of size.

The Stadium “Ciudad de Torremolinos” 8 lane Mondo Sportrack athletics track, forms part of the Sport Village of Torremolinos and is located on the edge of the town. This complex was built in 1997 and has since been refurbished within the last year. Facilities also include a sports hall and an adjacent gymnasium with weight training equipment: free weights and machines. The infield is used for football so no hammer throwing is permitted but discus, javelin are allowed in the afternoon.

There are 2 long jump/triple jump runways and 2 pole vault runways.

The throwing areas include Discus, Javelin and Shot.

The new solar and gas heated outdoor Olympic pool and diving pool which are open all year around, were built in May 2011 and form part of the wet complex that hosts 2 indoor swimming pools, one with a wheelchair ramp and body lift to assist disabled swimmers. Swimmers can also use the steam room and a 30-man jacuzzi. There is a specialised water jet therapy pool. It is possible to use flippers and goggles in the full size pools.

Pool 1 Outdoor, 50 metres x 8 lanes, 21.5 metres (2 metres deep) Pool 2 Indoor, 50 metres x 8 lanes, 21.5 metres (2 metres deep) Pool 3 Outdoor, fully equipped diving pool 25 metres x 12.5 metres Pool 4 Indoor 21 metres x 6 lanes (1 metre deep )

All these facilities are controlled by the Municipal Council.

In popular culture[edit]

  • In the Spanish comedy film Torrente, el brazo tonto de la ley, the main protagonist after stealing a suitcase full of money and being taken into an ambulance, offers ambulance drivers cash to take him to Torremolinos rather than ER.
  • Part of James A. Michener's 1971 novel The Drifters takes place in Torremolinos.
  • Monty Python's Flying Circus had a sketch called "Travel Agent", which aired November 16, 1972, that makes a reference to Torremolinos in the context of visiting British package tourists.
  • The Belgian band Sttellla wrote a song about Torremolinos (simply called "Torremolinos"), which is their biggest hit to date.
  • Terrormolinos (a play on Torremolinos) is a text adventure game for various 1980s computer platforms.
  • The end of the movie Torremolinos 73 was filmed in Torremolinos. Torremolinos 73 in the movie means the name of an adult movie shot in Torremolinos in 1973.
  • The Soft Cell song "Memorabilia" mentions Torremolinos.
  • German filmmaker Doris Dörrie's 2014 dramedy Alles inklusive partly takes place and was filmed on location in Torremolinos.
  • Spanish 1960s Trio Los Zafiros released a single named 'Torremolinos ' written by Dorothy Squires who also performed the song.

Famous residents[edit]


  1. ^ Delaney, Paul (3 September 1988). "TORREMOLINOS JOURNAL; Spain's New Cry: 'Shove Off, Mate' - New York Times". The New York Times. 
  2. ^ "Torremolinos History Facts and Timeline". 
  3. ^ "PLOS ONE". 
  4. ^ Baldomero Navarro, Ana; Encarnación Serrano Ramos; Juan Antonio Martín Ruiz (1993). "Necrópilis romana del Castillo de San Luis". Baética: Estudios de arte, geografía e historia (15). 
  5. ^ "Brendan Sheerin ('Coach Trip')" Digital Spy 9 February 2011 Retrieved 17 October 2011