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emiller444 Mar 19th, 2010 07:45 AM

torremolinos spain - winter
My husband and I are looking to escape the cold and snow of New England for a month this winter - either January or February. We are not looking for beach weather but we would like to be able to comfortably walk around during the day - and even at night with a light jacket. We would mainly be sightseeing. Has anyone had experience with Torremolinos during January or February? Are most restaurants and other activities closed for the winter? We would also like to rent a car so that we could do day trips - to Granada etc. I would really appreciate any advice or suggestions about Torremolinos or other places for this time of year. Thanks

hetismij Mar 19th, 2010 08:13 AM

I haven't any personal experience of it, but I do know that a lot of older Dutch people got to Torremolinos and similar places for the winter. They get very good deals on accommodation, and seem to enjoy themselves enormously.

jubilada Mar 19th, 2010 08:13 AM

We are from NE too so have explored this. temps this last Jan, according to, which I find reliable, were in the low 60's in the day, high forties in the night. Not bad, eh?

Jeff801 Mar 19th, 2010 08:18 AM

I like the Costa Del Sol in the winter, and have been there several times at the time of year you are thinking about. It will be cool, a jacket will be required at all times. Storms are a possibility, and you would be best advised to have rain gear with you. We have never experienced more than a few days of rain, but a full week of cold rain is possible. That slows down only the driving.

That said, I can't recommend Torremolinos. It is largely filled with high rise hotels and condominiums, and suffers greatly from a lack of any charm or authenticity. You may wish to consider Mijas, NOT Mijas Costa, which still retains some of its charm and has many tourist facilities.

If you are willing to go east of Malaga, consider Nerja. We were very happy with the Parador there, not least of which because you can't see the Parador from the verandahs overlooking the sea.

Further west, we liked the Marriott vacation club, "Playa Anduluza" just west or Porto Banus. (Speaking of Porto Banus, try the pizza at Picasso, on the north side of the marina.) Because there is still a large inventory of unpurchased time shares, it is a considerable bargain in winter and has very nice facilities.

You will find most of the restaurants open, but because there are relatively few tourists at that time of year, there may not be special opening hours for American eating times. That means they may be opening late. A call ahead is always a good idea.

A car is a necessity. You will have about a two hour drive to Granada, nearly three to Seville. Both are worth the trip. We've taken guided tours of the Alhambra and used the acoustiguides available at the entrance. Perhaps because we had already taken a guided tour, we liked the acousitguides better. (You can't turn off a snippy tour guide.) We think we would have enjoyed Seville more if we had some kind of guide.

Be certain to drive at least to Ronda, and perhaps some other of the "white villages." Lunch at the Parador of Ronda is a particular bargain and has wonderful views across the valley.
If you search "Costa del Sol" on this board, you will find a lot of very good information on the area.

Cowboy1968 Mar 19th, 2010 09:21 AM

There are enough hotels and restaurants open in Torremolinos for the European snowbirds, so you won't starve, but the overall impression is a bit deserted. Frankly, it is not a really nice place when people are around, and it gets a bit more depressing w/o people.
In wintertime, most resort towns are running on the back burner. During that period, I find the "real" cities much more suitable, like Málaga or Sevilla, because you won't sit in a half-dead pile of concrete all day.
Or rent a finca/house somewhere near the coast (for really little money during that period), but make sure that it got some proper heating.

emiller444 Mar 19th, 2010 09:58 AM

I really appreciate these responses. Does Seville have about the same weather as Torremolinos in winter? I appreciate any suggestions about where to go for the best chance of warmer weather and also someplace that offers things to do. I have been to southern Spain before but not in winter.

Alec Mar 19th, 2010 10:35 AM

Take historical weather data with caution. Winter 2009 was mild, last January was the coldest and snowiest Spain has experienced in a generation, with Costa del Sol literally shivering in ice and snow, and flooded out through torrential rain. There is no way of knowing whether such an exceptional weather is going to return in 2011 or not.
On the whole, coasts tend to be sunnier and milder than inland. Seville in January can be sunny and mild, or overcast and cold, with temparature close to freezing at night. While that's nothing compared to New England, remember heating is often inadequate in Spain, with central heating virtually unheard of except in the newest of constructions, with stone floor adding to discomfort.

halfpint Mar 19th, 2010 11:05 AM

Not the last 5 years or so, however before that, spent MANY months (2 at a time) usually February and March in Torremolionos at the Bajondillo with Grand Circle Travel, using their usual 2 week trip and adding the additional weeks. Enjoyed each and every year, it was wonderful getting acquainted with folks from much of Europe and the U.S., have so many memories of it and never did rent a car, used the train between Fuengirola one way and Malaga the other, then local bus trips to Seville, Ronda, Mijas, Granada, etc so it is all right at your beconing. The weather had a lot of variety, usually between 50's (almost always higher), 60's and 70's and enjoyed the walking for many miles along the waterfront, especially on Sunday observing all the Spanish families out with their families at their waterfront outdoor (fish) restaurants. And the SUNSHINE, which we don't get too much of in the winter here in Upper Michigan. You should try it, you just MIGHT find it as wonderful as we always did, along with the so many folks who came back year after year. Enjoy. Halfpint

jubilada Mar 19th, 2010 12:48 PM

We've thought also about Cadiz . Any feedback?

kimhe Mar 19th, 2010 03:50 PM

I think you should consider Nerja, a nice little town on the coast some 30 miles east of Málaga (pop. 20 000). All amenities that goes along with being popular with tourists, but it's still very much a Spanish town with a local flavour.

Great restaurants and tapas bars open year around, ranging from a huge selection of local restaurants/bars (some of the seafood places are to die for) to high quality italian, indian, chinese, thai etc. places to two or three gourmet restaurants. Totally different climate on the coast than in inland Andalucía, especially in winter. Average temperatures in Nerja, Max/Min in Celsius: January: 16°/7°, February: 17/8.

45 mins by car to Málaga and 1h 30 mins to Granada. By the way; Málaga is a great city with lots of ambiance and interesting sights:

jubilada Mar 19th, 2010 04:34 PM

I have been interested in Nerja; some people make it wonderful and some people say it has say has been overrun. That is a great size too,IMO, smallish but not tiny.

amsdon Mar 19th, 2010 07:22 PM

I like Cowboy's idea too.

josele Mar 20th, 2010 01:58 AM

Malaga coast shall probably have better weather than other locations.
Being Torremolinos a touristic place, in these months you mention there'll be little activity, if any at all, the same happens with Nerja, with the extra drawback of the distance. I'd opt for Malaga City.

emiller444 Mar 20th, 2010 05:46 AM

I really appreciate all the help about spending a winter month in the south of Spain. I would like to go where there is some activity. I have not spent any time in Malaga so I appreciate the suggestion. I was interested in the Seville suggestion as well - but not if I am less likely to run into good weather. Halfpint's letter was very encouraging about Torremolinos and we were interested in the idea of meeting people - if only one could control the weather. Please keep your suggestions coming - I really don't want to play it semi-safe and spend a month in Florida.

ribeirasacra Mar 20th, 2010 09:04 AM

Weather?...totally unpredictable:
This year very wet.....
You do not always here the truth.....
And read though this lot...pick you area and it will give you some statistics....but statistics is not the same science as weather prediction.

Egbert Mar 20th, 2010 11:02 AM

If you are spending a month why not split in two? I too agree that most of the Costa del sol is poorly developed concrete high rises. If I had to spend time there I guess it would be Nerja. You may feel as if you're in England or Ireland at times. I love the old part of Malaga but that's it for the Costa for me. Seville has the same weather and is one of the world's most beautiful and fun small cities. 2 weeks there and 2 weeks near Malaga would be great. I much prefer Cadiz area to Costa del Sol but at that time of year it will be colder.

jubilada Mar 20th, 2010 11:38 AM

I think mid Feb to mid MArch would be safer, really, looking at all the various weather resources. But in any case, it will probably be warmer than New England. And as for Florida, this week it is warmer in my high elevation home in Western Ma than in Florida, which has had record cold all winter, thousands of fish dying, etc.
Perhaps Belize or Costa Rica for sureness of weather, Spain for wonders of Spain!

josele Mar 21st, 2010 09:52 AM

Though it's been several years since, I used to go to dine at a Torremolinos restaurant, and I recall there was some activity on weekends and nothing at all in midweek (in winter months). Malaga evenings are very busy Thu to Sun, and there is much more to see duruing the day than Torrem.

amsdon Mar 21st, 2010 01:54 PM

Malaga is Spanish though and through.
Torremolinos certainly does not feel Spanish to me. In fact the majority of the Costa del Sol feels "non-spanish"

I did enjoy my day in Malaga very much and in retrospect would have stayed several days there instead.

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