Well established with credentials that stretch right back to the 60’s and &0’s Torremolinos is one of the best known resorts across the Spanish Costa del Sol, although not quite as lively as in its peak the resort remains popular and fiercely guards its reputation as the gay capital of the region; there is no division here though, and families searching for that sun sea and sand holiday are welcomed with open arms.

It may not be the prettiest resort with the high rises of that early boom still dominating the skyline, but Torremolinos more than makes up for this lack of charm with fantastic beaches and a traffic free esplanade in the traditional La Carihuela district, this is where the locals head to unwind, ignoring the English bars and crowded beaches of the main resort. Always warm, always welcoming, Torremolinos has far more than you expect, and richly rewards those that look beyond the obvious.

If you are looking for a hotel that perfectly captures the spirit of Torremolinos look no further than Tropicana Resort Hotel, low rise this is one of the more aesthetically pleasing of the area’s hotels, everything here is bright and cheerful with a distinctly exotic feel, the restaurant on the beach front serves great local fish and adds to the fantastic ambiance that surrounds the hotel.

Although less attractive from the outside Hotel Amaragua is actually a stylish and chic oasis, the interior is filled with marble giving a sense of calm and the rooms all boast large terraces with sea views, those that want a bit more relaxation will love the well equipped spa and Turkish baths. Budget travellers are also well catered for in Torremolinos, Hostel Flor Banco makes a great base without costing a fortune, close to the beach and just a quick walk to the lively spots in town, catering perfectly for the independent minded.

Eat like the Spanish at one of the many tapas restaurants, with La Alternativa being perhaps the best known of all, dine amongst the flamenco and matador posters, enjoying the varied inexpensive tapas, local seasonal produce is used so the menu is ever changing; seafood is also popular in Torremolinos, Casa Juan dates back to the 1950’s and is somewhat of an institution, serving the very freshest of the day’s catch, but do be aware thatthe fish is often sold by weight and the costs can soon add up.

If you want something special head just north of Torremolinos to La Consula Cookery School, a beautiful historic building set in its own tropical gardens, for this is where the Spanish cookery stars of the future train, the students preparing the most amazing dishes based on the very best of the region’s produce; opt for the tasting menu, an absolute bargain and filled with the innovation and flavour that makes this a stand out restaurant.

The beach at Torremolinos is over 5 miles long, water-sports are widely available along with sunbeds, beach bars, and perhaps most importantly highly trained lifeguards, for some the beach never loses your appeal but if you want to experience a little more of the region why not join the golf tourists that flock to the Costa del Sol to enjoy the many championship courses, or head to the forests just outside the town to one of the riding schools that cater for all levels of riders.

If you are travelling with a family party you shouldn’t miss Aqualand, the largest water park on the Costa del Sol and filled with rides, flumes, waterfalls and fantastic pools, this is oddly right next door to Crocodile Park which is home to hundreds of these majestic reptiles. Parque de Paloma is the newest attraction in the region, home to dolphin, penguin, and sea lion displays, don’t miss the opportunity to swim with the sea lions, or the unusual but very entertaining parrot show.

Torremolinos enjoys a warm Mediterranean climate, and like the rest of the Costa del Sol lives up to the name of ‘sun coast’, summers are long, hot, and dry, whilst the winter months although warm can experience quite high rainfall, the sun shines for somewhere in the region of about 300 days a year although the early mornings can be shrouded in the fog that is typical of the region.

The peak summer months especially during the school holiday period do see a hike in the prices of flights and accommodation, those that can travel outside this short period can still enjoy fabulous weather and the lively vibe of the resort particularly during June and September; there is also a spike in visitors during the mid-winter months, as those that can make the most of the Mediterranean climate to escape the blues of the British winter.