Cycling in Malaga | East Coast Route to Rincón de la Victoria

Undoubtedly, this is one of our favourite routes for cycling in Malaga!

Choose from many of our comfortable city or trekking rental bikes to enjoy cycling in Málaga.

Always looking for the sea, you can cycle approximately 20 kms relatively free from traffic. So obviously, we call this east coast route the ‘no-brainer’. We believe that’s exactly the kind of activity you need while on holiday!

Distances for this self-guided route cycling in Málaga along the east coast from the Malaga Bike Shop to: 

Pedregalejo – 4 km | El Palo – 7 kms | La Cala de Moral – 12 kms | Rincon de la Victoria – 14 kms | Chilches – 20 kms | Nerja – 54 kms

At the time of writing, cyclists can cycle through the port of Malaga and on the 30km/h lanes.

Nevertheless, on other parts of the coast, keep an eye out for signs which indicate where you can and can’t cycle. 

THE PORT (Muelle Uno and the thePalmeral de las Sorpresas)

Cycling along the Palmeral de las Sorpresas in the port of Malaga.
Cycling along the Palmeral de las Sorpresas in the port of Malaga.

In the 1800s, Malaga port was a hive of trading activity.

It was the second biggest port in Spain after Barcelona and was undoubtedly one of the most important ports in Europe.

Its main exports were the famous Malaga sweet wine, raisins, almonds, olives and figs.

In later years, the port was a neglected part of the city. It was full of abandoned warehouses and derelict buildings.

Today’s modern marina of Malaga is the result of a massive renovation. The official opening was in 2011. It has completely transformed the area, and indeed, the city. In our opinion, it offers a wonderful contrast between the old town and the new modern port.

These days, it is not uncommon to see mega-yachts of the rich and famous docked here. Similarly, cruise ships visit here all year round. The restaurants and bars buzz with both locals and tourists day and night.

Cycling through the port in Málaga you can spot an old chapel nestled between all the glamourous shops and restaurants. This was a chapel built for the sailors. It dates from 1531.

“La Farola”- The Lighthouse

La Farola- the lighthouse of Malaga.
La Farola- the lighthouse of Malaga.

This well-loved landmark of the city claims to be one of two ‘female’ lighthouses in Spain. (All the others are “El Faro”). Turn left at the lighthouse to get to the Malagueta Beach- the closest beach to the city. Why not stop for a photo opportunity at the Malagueta “sand sculpture?

Sardines on a stick!

Espeto de Sardinas- fresh sardines cooked on the beach bar boat barbecues
Espeto de Sardinas- fresh sardines cooked on the beach bar boat barbecues

Cycling along beach in Málaga you will first smell and then see one of the most famous dishes in Malaga. Of course, it’s the delicious espetos de sardinas! The “espeteros” cook the sardines on the open boat barbecues. The espeto is the stick on which the fish is skewered on. They then wedge the espeto between lumps of burning olive wood to smoke the fish. Indeed you can get sardines all over the Mediterranean- but believe us- not like these!

Did you know? 

The best and easiest way to eat sardines is with your fingers. This way, you avoid all the bones and well, they just taste better that way!

At the end of the bike path you will see a big old white building with columns called:

Cycling in Malaga to El Balneario – Baños del Carmen

Banos del Carmen
Banos del Carmen

Dating from 1918, it was originally a bathing station/spa. This was one of the most popular and trendiest places to go in Malaga. Along with luxurious Arabic style pavilions and giant cages filled with tropical birds there was even a fountain that sprang wine from Jerez- not water- WINE!

Those days are long gone now. However, this is still one of the most loved and popular places in the city for the Malagueños. Clearly, it is the perfect chill out place. Enjoy the views, listen to live music (at weekends) and hear the waves crashing onto the rocks. 

 Entrance to Banos del Carmen
Entrance to Banos del Carmen

Did you know? 

One of the first “football grounds” of Malaga F.C. was at Baños del Carmen.

Back in the day, the team only had one football. Therefore, every time the ball went into the sea, they stopped play while the ball-boy, who was sitting in a rowing boat in the sea, rowed out to rescue the ball! 

Let’s continue our cycling in Malaga east coast route! Turn right at the first street after the end of the bike path. This will bring you into:

PEDREGALEJO – an old fisherman’s neighbourhood

Well worth a visit, although you will have to push the bike on the promenade in this area and in El Palo.

This is an area full of cute little houses and lots of restaurants. Shallow coves close to the promenade are perfect for young children to enjoy. The colorful wooden fishing boats that you see are typical of this area.

PEDREGALEJO – traditional wooden fishing boat
PEDREGALEJO – traditional wooden fishing boat

Pedregalejo started off as a very poor fishing neighbourhood in the 1850s. For example, the first houses were simple wooden huts with tin roofs. Evidently, those huts have evolved into the quaint one and two-story homes we can see today. Totally different from the rest of the Costa del Sol coastline, you will find no high-rise apartment buildings or hotels here. 

At the start of the promenade, you can see a big white building to your right: ASTILLEROS NERO- a very old boat yard. As far as we know, a boat yard has stood here since Phoenician times.   Today it is a MUSEO VIVO’- a living museum. If the doors are open, pop inside and travel back in time to see the art of boat-building by hand. (There is no charge to enter but they do appreciate donations). 

Did you know? 

The name of the colourful wooden fishing boats here is JABEGAS. Their design probably dates back to Phoenician times. In fact, they still hand-build them on the beach today.

Read our blog for more information about things to do in Pedregalejo.

Continue along the promenade and over the blue-arched bridge to enter into 

EL PALO neighbourhood

A similar old fishing neighbourhood where you can sometimes find the famous espetos de sardinas for as cheap as 1.50€!

And last but not least, at the very end of the promenade is one of the most popular restaurants in Malaga. EL TINTERO is equally loved by both locals and tourists alike.

A unique place to eat ‘pescaito frito’- the typical mixed fried fish dish. Don’t ask for a menu- there isn’t one!

The waiters come around with the prepared dishes. They shout the names of the food and you just take what you fancy. When you are finished, they count the dirty plates and glasses on the table and write “the bill” on the paper table-cloth.

Best to go there when it is busy to get the full experience. However, it is also important to get there ‘just’ before the Spanish lunchtime- 1 – 1:30 p.m. As a result, you won’t have to wait for a table. (They don’t take reservations). 

Read more about El Tintero.

Did you know? 

Maybe you are wondering about the name ‘El Palo’. In Spanish, a ‘palo’ is a stick. A local legend says that there was once a shipwreck in the area. The mast of the ship stuck out of the water for many years. The sailors used it as a point of reference to communicate their location, for example: We are 3 miles away from ‘el palo’.

If you are in Malaga on July 16th– El Palo is the place to head to for the celebrations of the day of the Virgin del Carmen- the patron saint of the sailors. A truly delightful fiesta!

Cycling to Peñon del Cuervo Beach

At the end of El Palo promenade there is a hill.  Go up the hill, follow the road around and you will see a REPSOL petrol/gas station. Go BEHIND the gas station and then you get into what we romantically call the ‘Cement Factory beach’ as there is a cement factory behind the beach.

The cement factory is one of the oldest industries in Malaga- over 100 years old. Impressive, eh? But we think the beach and the sea with its protruding rock is much more impressive. The rock- “el peñon” gives its name to this beach.

Why not swim out to the rock, climb up and jump into the sea to cool off mid-bike ride?

Cycling in Malaga to Peñon del Cuervo a.k.a The Cement Factory Beach is a must!
Cycling in Malaga to Peñon del Cuervo a.k.a The Cement Factory Beach is a must!

Definitely, you will also notice an old stone tower on a hill. Cycling in Malaga on this east coast route you will see three of these defensive towers dating from the 14th century. This particular tower was built in 1574.

You can find these look-out towers all along the Costa del Sol. They were built to warn of the arrival of pirates. For this reason, smoke signals were used during the day and fires at night.

Did you know? 

The path here is called EL CAMINO DE LOS CANADIENSES. (The path of the Canadians) named for a Canadian Doctor, Norman Bethune. He was here during the Spanish Civil War. He helped many wounded Malagueños on this very path. Sadly, they were trying to escape the fascist takeover of Malaga in 1937. Tragically, German planes and Italian ships bombarded them on their journey, causing a terrible massacre.  

Cycling in Malaga to La Cala del Moral

Cycling in Málaga along the east coast you will soon pass over a (usually) dry river and enter another beach area called La Cala del Moral.

The beach at La Cala del Moral
The beach at La Cala del Moral

Please take notice of the traffic sign at the beginning of the promenade. It points cyclists to the beach. Cycling on the promenade is prohibited.

The sand is prepared for cyclists and runners-nice and compact. 

Cycling in Malaga to Rincón de la Victoria

After cycling on the sand, you can then cycle on the bike path which takes you through a series of impressive tunnels blasted out of the rock. The tunnels, which are just before the town of Rincón de la Victoria, were originally built for a train that used to go from Malaga to Vélez. It was both a passenger and freight train.

Cycling through the old train tunnels to Rincon de la Victoria
Cycling through the old train tunnels to Rincon de la Victoria

Did you know? 

The train from Malaga to Velez was known as la Cochinita, (little pig) because on its first journey it ran over a herd of pigs – the majority of which ended up as chorizo!  The train stopped running in 1960. 

Just after the last tunnel, take a quick right and go out to the shrine of the Virgen del Carmen in the rock at the end of the path. Take a break with the locals there paying reverence to the virgin. 

Beautiful shrine to the Virgen del Carmen- patron saint of the sailors
Beautiful shrine to the Virgen del Carmen- patron saint of the sailors

Did you know? 

The name Rincón de la Victoria was named by monks who came from a town called La Victoria in Cordoba. They occupied lots of land and houses here. They gave the place its current name which literally means the Corner of the Victory. 

Up until about 30 years ago, Rincon de la Victoria was still very much a fishing town. Clearly, these days it is a residential and seasonal tourist destination.

Many Malagueños have their summer residence in Rincon. Generally, it is about 5 degrees cooler here than in the city. 

beach-rincon-de-la-victoria

After the end of the promenade in Rincon de la Victoria, cycle along the gravel path towards Torre de Benalgabón in Malaga.  

Lunch stop and beyond

And if you are looking for a completely quirky non-traditional lunch spot, why not try el chiringuito Puente Roma- la Quiniela Casa Paca? A beach bar set up in a dry river bed under a bridge! 

After Benalgabón, the cycling in Malaga path turns into a nature trail with information signs (in Spanish) on the local flora and fauna. The trail ends at the beaches of CHILCHES, which is approximately 20 kms from the MALAGA BIKE shop. 

If you want to go further on from this point on, you will have to cycle in traffic. The seaside town of Torre del Mar is another 16 kms away. The beautiful town of Nerja with its stunning cliffs and white-washed houses is approx. 30 more kms- but well worth the visit! However, we recommend renting one of our trekking bikes for longer rides.

We hope you enjoyed this east coast route from Málaga.

The route back to Malaga is the same way you came.

Why not try out our other self-guided cycling in Málaga routes along the west coast and north to the botanical gardens?

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