Gay Torremolinos Guide & Map 2021

Upcoming Events in Torremolinos

|  6 – 16 August 2021
Mad.Bear Beach Torremolinos 2021: annual bear summer week.
Bar crawls, pool party at Hotel Ritual, clubbing, beach parties and election of Mr. Mad.Bear Beach.
|  16 – 22 August 2021
Matrix Sun Festival 2021: anual gay party week by Matrix (Madrid). Among others, with DJ Juseph Leon.
|  8 – 13 October 2021
Delice Dream 2021: annual gay party festival with beach parties, various clubbing events and a pool party.
|  12 October 2021
Fiesta Nacional de España: the national holiday of Spain.
Bars, clubs, shops etc. may operate like on a Sunday and in the night before like on a Saturday night.

Accommodation Tip

Hotel. ****, from 70 €
With air-conditioned rooms, sun terrace, outdoor swimming pool and turkish bath. Very close to the seaside promenade.
@ Avenida del Lido
Torremolinos 29620

About Torremolinos and its gay life

Hundred years ago, Torremolinos was still a small, picturesque fishing village, while today it is one of the best-known holiday resorts on the south coast of Spain, the Costa del Sol. With its Mediterranean climate and kilometres of wide beaches, Torremolinos is a popular destination for sun-seeking beach holidaymakers, but its location also makes it ideal for excursions to Andalusian cities such as Seville, Cordoba and Granada, which are famous for their unique historical sights. And not to forget Málaga, just ten kilometres from Torremolinos, the biggest city in Andalusia on the Mediterranean, which has become one of Spain's most popular destinations since the turn of the century, with important art museums such as the Museo Picasso and the new Centre Pompidou Málaga.

Torremolinos itself is characterised at first glance by the hotel ghettos typical of unbridled mass tourism. For interested visitors, however, it is well worth taking a closer look. The tourism-based boom since the 1960s – still during Franco's fascist, right-wing conservative dictatorship – also led in part to a departure into modernity, especially in terms of architecture, design and a more liberal nightlife. The recent history of Torremolinos therefore holds some interesting details and surprises.

The Hotel Pez Espada, for example, built in 1959/1960, was the first address in Torremolinos for countless international film stars, singers and other celebrities in the 1960s. Designed in the so-called »Relax« style (a modern architectural style on the Costa del Sol at the time), it was added to Spain's official list of protected goods of cultural interest in 2006. Other buildings of architectural interest include the Colegio de Huérfanos de Ferroviarios (1935, today Centro Cultural Pablo Ruiz Picasso), the Art Deco inspired Bazar Aladino (1953) and the Palacio de Congresos y Exposiciones (1967-1970). The architectural ensemble La Nogalera (1963-1966) in the centre of Torremolinos was a real sensation at the time (even if it looks a bit ailing today).

International tourism also brought a relatively liberal nightlife and cosmopolitan, hedonistic atmosphere to Torremolinos in the 1960s (by Spanish standards of the time). Among the many celebrity visitors to Torremolinos in its heyday were Jean Cocteau, Sara Montiel, Anthony Quinn, Ava Gardner, Rock Hudson, Brigitte Bardot, Marlon Brando, John Lennon and Brian Epstein. Hippies and dropouts discovered the place for themselves, as well as gays, lesbians and transsexuals.

This also explains why Spain's first gay bar – Tony's Bar – opened in 1962 here in Torremolinos, Andalusia, of all places, and not in Madrid or Barcelona, as one might expect. Gay tourism to Torremolinos became an economic factor and foreign exchange earner, even during the years of dictatorship, but also an increasing challenge to the moral concepts of the authorities and the police. In the early 1970s, raids with hundreds of arrests and deportations of foreign tourists became more frequent. Several bars were forced to close.

Torremolinos gay couple at the beach

In the 1980s and 1990s, the gay scene recovered and attracted mainly European tourists and locals from the surrounding area in Andalusia. With the completion of the high-speed rail line from Madrid to Malaga, Torremolinos also became a popular summer vacation destination for gays from Madrid and other parts of Spain. The gay scene has been experiencing a real upswing since around 2010. Every year a big Gay Pride takes place, new bars and a gay hotel have been opened, and gay party organizers from Madrid and other metropolises have started to come here during the travel season.

Most of the gay bars in Torremolinos today are located in the aforementioned La Nogalera complex, in a small maze of bars and clubs, some a bit worn and aging, others ultra-modern and chic.

Annual highlights and queer events in Torremolinos are the Torremolinos Gay Pride in May/June, the bears week Mad.Bear Beach Torremolinos in August and various gay party weekends and festivals from Easter till end of the season.