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Torremolinos (Spanish pronunciation: [toremoˈlinos]) is a municipality in Andalusia, southern Spain, west of Málaga. A poor fishing village before the growth in tourism began in the late 1950s, Torremolinos was the first of the Costa del Sol resorts to be developed and is still the most popular in the region.
Location of Torremolinos
|Comarca||Costa del Sol Occidental|
|• Mayor||José Ortiz García|
|• Total||20 km2 (8 sq mi)|
|• Density||3,400/km2 (8,800/sq mi)|
|Time zone||UTC+1 (CET)|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC+2 (CEST)|
On the western shore of the Bay of Málaga and in front of the Sierra de Mijas 13 km from Málaga, it is served by the A-7 motorway, which bypasses the city to the north, the Cercanías commuter train and Avanzabus.
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.
Areas of the town are spotted with older high-rise residential buildings and hotels but height limits on new developments and a significant number of original old town properties have kept the town centre much more open than other popular resorts such as Benidorm and Fuengirola.
As the name Coast of the Sun implies, Torremolinos enjoys one of the best climates in Europe. It has long dry summers with relatively low humidity, and mild winters with occasional, though heavy, rainfall. The town benefits in the summer from cool sea breezes predominately coming from Africa although this does mean a fair amount of Sahara dust. Temperatures normally hover around 30 °C in the summer and the upper teens in the winter. Torremolinos, like San Francisco, sometimes experiences a sea fog that goes as quickly as it appears.
The beach which extends for nearly 8 kilometres, has cycle and skating lanes alongside the fully illuminated promenade and features many chiringuitos and beach bars. The eastern end of the beach, known as Los Alamos, has live dance music events throughout the summer. The easternmost parts of the beach have kite surfing and windsurfing except under the flight path of the airport.
There are two separate beach lifts, a wheelchair accessible footpath and steps from the town centre to the beach.
Though there are many parking spaces on the beach road, it is almost impossible to park in the summer months. The town centre does have many underground car parks however.
In addition to its tourism sector, Torremolinos is known locally for its vibrant and liberal nightlife, particularly its numerous bars and clubs catering to the LGBT community. Torremolinos hosted World Pride in 2017 in conjunction with Madrid and holds its own Pride in June, now the third largest in Spain.
In addition Torremolinos hosts MadBear which caters to bears, Delice Dream, Wonder Beach and the Los Alamos Beach Music Festival.
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.
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). They also built the road joining Cadiz with Málaga, passing through Torremolinos.
With the Moorish conquest of Spain, the mills, from which the town takes its name (meaning "Tower of the Mills"), were introduced. 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.
Around 1300, the Muslim dynasty of the "Nazríes", which governed Málaga 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 revolutionEdit
After the Christians conquered the kingdom of Granada, Torremolinos was attacked by pirates until the 18th century.
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.
During the first half of the 19th century the town was rebuilt and by 1849 there were 14 mills, a fuller mill p 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 centres in the Costa del Sol. In the 1950s many celebrities visited Torremolinos such as Grace Kelly, Ava Gardner, Marlon Brando, Orson Welles and Frank Sinatra. The liberal and cosmopolitan makeup of the town continues today, where drag queens host the children's talent shows, and no one bats an eyelid at semi naked men strutting about at night in the Nogalera clubs and bars.
In 1959, the Art Deco styled Pez Espada hotel was opened, the first luxury hotel along the coast. In the following years, new hotels, nightclubs and other tourist-aimed establishments changed the face of the town and its beaches. By 1965, Torremolinos was already consolidated as a major tourist destination. There are many boutique hotels and since the election of the current Mayor, over 20 million euros has been invested in hotel refurbishments. Room rates are now as high as 1000 euro per night.
As the name implies, Coast of the Sun, Torremolinos enjoys one of the best climates in Europe. Long dry summers with relatively low humidity, and mild winters with occasional, though heavy, rainfall. The town benefits in the summer from cool sea breezes predominately coming from Africa although this does mean a fair amount of Sahara dust. Temperatures normally hover around 30 °C in the summer and the upper teens in the winter. Torremolinos like San Francisco, sometimes experiences a sea fog that goes as quickly as it appears.
|Climate data for Málaga Airport, Torremolinos, Spain (1981–2010), Extremes (1942-present)|
|Record high °C (°F)||26.8
|Average high °C (°F)||16.8
|Daily mean °C (°F)||12.1
|Average low °C (°F)||7.4
|Record low °C (°F)||−2.6
|Average precipitation mm (inches)||69
|Average precipitation days (≥ 1 mm)||6||5||4||5||3||1||0||1||2||4||6||7||42|
|Mean monthly sunshine hours||181||180||222||244||292||329||347||316||255||215||172||160||2,905|
|Source: Agencia Estatal de Meteorología Agencia Estatal de Meteorología|
|Climate data for Málaga Airport, Torremolinos, Spain (1981–2010) Highest and lowest mean temperatures|
|Mean maximum °C (°F)||19.7
|Mean minimum °C (°F)||5.2
|Source: Agencia Estatal de Meteorología|
|Climate data for Málaga|
|Average sea temperature °C (°F)||15.9
|Mean daily daylight hours||10.0||11.0||12.0||13.0||14.0||15.0||14.0||14.0||12.0||11.0||10.0||10.0||12.2|
|Average Ultraviolet index||2||4||5||7||8||10||10||9||7||5||3||2||6|
In Torremolinos over 300 restaurants serving every kind of food, from fast food to gourmet and representing all nationalities can be found. The famous beach Chiringuitos traditionally serve barbecued fish as well as typical Spanish cuisine. In the district of Carihuela, there are many upmarket restaurants catering to the Scandinavians and British who make up a large part of the population.
Easily reachable by public transport or taxi are the very popular all you can eat Asiel buffet-style restaurants, one in Arroyo de la Miel, the other near Ikea. These serve everything imaginable from oysters to pizza for a fixed price. Fresh fish and meats are cooked to order. More choice exists at the Plaza Mayor complex including Foster's Hollywood American Ribs and Burgers.
In the heart of Torremolinos two of the best restaurants are Antoxo and Matahambre. The main fast food outlets are the Good Burger and Telepizza as well as Burger King and McDonald's. Late night outlets are mainly kebab and pizza based.
Because of the huge cave system and the resulting reserves of rain water, the tap water is generally safe to drink. There are also several free wells around the town where people can take their own bottles to fill with totally untreated spring water.
Torremolinos is home to largest water park on the Costa del Sol. Called Aqualand, it is open from May to October. Discount coupons are available at many outlets. Next door is the Crocodile Park, which is open year-round. Nearby is a large wooded area with public barbecue facilities and seating. Very popular with families, there are no restrictions on consuming alcohol.
The botanical gardens "Molino de Inca", are located next to the municipal-run Garden centre which backs onto Aqualand. Here can be seen the original buildings and mills, as well as wildlife and water features. Many wedding photos are shot here.
The local radio station is Radio Planeta on FM 92.8 and only plays dance music in English but with Spanish advertising.
A free English paper, Sur in English, is printed every Friday.
The Bull ring is no longer used for bullfighting and is instead used as a entertainment venue for events such as the Festival of Colors in which participants are covered in paint, specialised children's parties with bouncy castles, etc. and assorted dance and live music acts.
Twice a week next to the Bullring, a public market is held. On Thursday morning it is primarily for clothing. On Sunday morning the range of goods on offer is much wider and includes genuine antiques, electronics, tools, plants, jewellery, shoes, jeans, perfumes, books, records, CDs, DVDs, and used household appliances. Unlike UK boot sales, the sales spots are jealously guarded and rarely become available. Most sellers offer a warranty as they are normally there each week.
Torremolinos has several large municipal-owned venues including a conference, exhibition and convention centre, the Palacio de Congresos, the auditorium Prince of Asturias, and the Pablo Ruiz Picasso cultural centre.
The Parque de la Batería is a large public park which includes a crystal clear blue boating lake, a children's playground, a cushioned running track, free exercise machines, an observation tower, several war time cannons and caverns as well as a wide variety of tropical plants. It is a few minutes on foot from the Montemar Alto train station and access is due to be made easier from Carihuela with the installation of a new lift in 2018.
Torremolinos has some very early shopping centres, most of which are sparsely populated. The main tourist shops are on Calle San Miguel and the stairs down to the beach.
British tourists and residents are able to buy English foods at Dealz which is known as Poundland in the UK.
A Carrefour hypermarket is located in a large shopping mall on the A340 towards Benalmadena. Aside from a wide range of International Foods, it also sells electronics, white goods and bicycles. In the area of Plaza Mayor there is an Ikea and several other home furnishing and electrical superstores. Most of these stores offer low cost delivery services and free parking.
Around town the principle supermarkets are Mercadona, Supersol, Aldi, Lidl and Dia. There are many Chinese stores selling almost everything that is made in China.
In 2016, approval was finally given for a massive shopping and leisure complex to be built by the same company, Intu, that developed the Trafford Centre in Manchester on land next to Aqualand and the A7 motorway and primary ring roads. Costing in excess of 500 million euros, it will be the largest development of its type in the Mediterranean, incorporating a wave pool, indoor snow skiing, and electric go-karting. All major Spanish retailers will be present such as El Corte Ingles, Zara and Mango. Construction work began in November 2017 and is expected to be completed within 2 years.
One of the best sports facilities in Europe, the Stadium "Ciudad de Torremolinos" eight-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 several tennis, badminton and racket ball courts, as well as areas for skateboard and 5 a side football.
There are 2 long jump/triple jump runways and 2 pole vault runways.
The 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 )
Membership costs about 35 euros a month for unlimited access to the gym and pools. All these facilities are controlled by the Municipal Council.
Being a seaside town, there are the usual rentals available of bicycles, mopeds, electric scooters, surf boards, jets skis, parasailing, sailing, paddle, ski boats and snorkelling.
Kite surfing is restricted to the Eastern most areas of the main beach and usually occurs in low season as in high season all the beaches are very crowded with sunbathers. There are yellow buoys marking the limits to which powered craft may come near the beach.
Cycling is very popular and there are many mountain tracks for biking. Bikes can also go on the local trains.
In the winter months, the ski resort of Sierra Nevada is less than 2 hours away.
The coastal towns from Malaga through to Fuengirola are served by Cercanías commuter trains and the fares are divided by zone. One way, all zones normally costs under 5 euro.
Málaga Airport is 10 minutes away by train, which runs every 20 minutes and costs less than 2 euro. It is the 4th busiest airport in Spain carrying over 16 million passengers annually. However, there is no public transport to and from the airport before 6 o'clock in the morning and past midnight. A taxi ride costs approximately 18 euros.
Torremolinos is served by 5 rail stations, all of them wheelchair-friendly except the main station in the town centre square of La Nogalera, which has two exits, one entrance and only one up escalator. This can make travelling with suitcases inconvenient as stairs are involved. There have been several demonstrations over many years for this failing as there are many regulations ensuring the disabled have access to most buildings.
The ticket machines accept credit cards as well as cash and have multiple languages. The first screen asks you single or return, the second screen asks if you have a discount card, then you choose your destination. Where there are no automatic barriers, you should validate your ticket in a machine which sets a time limit in motion for their use.
The air conditioned and security patrolled trains have toilet facilities, have one wheelchair accessible carriage and take push bikes and prams.
There are several Taxi stops, the main one being next to the Nogalera. The normal fare during the day within city limits is under 5 euro and about 6 euro minimum at night. The taxis are metered and most accept credit cards. In 2018, UberX was allowed to operate as well as Cabify.
The main bus services cover the area along the coast but the local services operate on a circular route which can be very slow. Cost is under 1.50 euro.
There are no paid parking zones in the streets of Torremolinos. Instead a voluntary system is operated to provide work for those less able. The fee is 1 euro at during working hours without time limit. You will not get a fine for not purchasing or displaying it. There are many underground parking facilities. The beach area is normally free off peak season. If you park illegally, your car will be towed and it costs over 100 euro to recover it.
In popular cultureEdit
- In the Spanish comedy film Torrente, el brazo tonto de la ley the 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.
- Danny La Rue World-famous female impersonator.
- Damian Quintero Karate Champion of the World
- Alvin Karpis (1907–1979), Depression-era outlaw, lived his last years in Torremolinos after being released from jail by US authorities.
- Gustavo Thorlichen, photographer of the Peróns and Che Guevara.
- Nina Zhivanevskaya, bronze medal winner for Spain in 100 metre backstroke at the 2000 Summer Olympics.
- Brendan Sheerin, presenter (tour guide) on the British television reality show, Coach Trip.
- "Municipal Register of Spain 2018". National Statistics Institute. Retrieved 11 April 2019.
- "Torremolinos History Facts and Timeline". world-guides.com.
- "PLOS ONE". plosone.org.
- 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).
- "Verano del 71: la gran redada contra el ambiente gay de Torremolinos". El Confidencial (in Spanish). 22 October 2014. Retrieved 14 April 2019.
- Malaga, Alberto Gómez | (11 May 2018). "The night the dictatorship put an end to gay life in Torremolinos". surinenglish.com. Retrieved 14 April 2019.
- "Valores extremos. Málaga Aeropuerto". Aemet.es. Retrieved 1 July 2014.
- "Valores Climatológicos Normales. Málaga / Aeropuerto".
- "Highest and lowest means. Málaga Aeropuerto". Aemet.es. Retrieved 20 January 2018.
- "Brendan Sheerin ('Coach Trip')" Digital Spy 9 February 2011 Retrieved 17 October 2011