Alhaurin de la Torre is a large town set among the vast plantations of citrus and avocado in the province of Malaga, Andalusia.
Some portions of the town still show its Moorish past with traditional houses exuding a whitewashed terrace facade, scattered in wonderful mazes that seem like fireflies that have fallen from the evening sky.
Over the last couple of years, the town has seen a tremendous growth brought by improvements on the major highways in the area.
With a booming infrastructure, the town’s economy is undoubtedly on a flourishing phase, rapidly transforming the area as a commuter town.
As a result, Alhaurin de la Torre seemed to have lost huge evidence of its ancestral heritage unlike its neighbor, Alhaurin el Grande, which still charms visitors with its Roman and Moorish mystique.
Although Alhaurin de la Torre isn’t a sea side resort it is close enough to enjoy a beach holiday all the while with the ability to enjoy a vacation from the high rise tourist resorts of Torremolinos and Malaga.
Where is Alhaurin de la Torre?
Although the town itself is around 15 kilometers away from Alhaurin el Grande, it is actually better-located and has a comparatively bigger land area. It is situated to the east of the Mijas mountain range and boasts a natural landscape made up of lush gardens, towering pine trees and booming residential areas.
While it is true that the town itself is not on the coast, it is a short 15 to 20 minute distance away from the popular beaches of Torremolinos as well as in close proximity to Malaga City. Likewise, the suburbs of Cortijo Molina and La Alquería are also good location landmarks as far as history and its remnants are concerned.
Málaga Airport – 10km/6m (14 min)
Gibraltar Airport – 130km/80m (88 min)
Málaga Train Station – 18km/11m (21 min)
Beach (Torremolinos) – 13km/8m (19 min)
Below is a map of Alhaurin de la Torre so you can find your way there and explore the nearby area.
What is the nearest airport to Alhaurin de la Torre?
Alhaurin de la Torre is very near the Malaga Airport with a distance of 9.5 kilometers via Av. Malaga. Other routes are also available such as A-404 (Carretera Coin) and Av. las Americas which have distances of 11.3 kilometers and 10.9 kilometers respectively. Whichever route you take, you can expect to travel between 12 to 18 minutes from the airport so long as the roads have light traffic.
What type of transportation can I take to Alhaurin de la Torre?
Coming from the Malaga Airport, you can easily reach the town by car which can take between 15 and 20 minutes and is highly recommend for that added comfort in your journey. There are cars and SUVs that you can hire with a budget model starting at only €6 a day.
You can also opt to take a taxi from the Malaga Airport as it has a well-signposted taxi rank that you can find right outside the arrivals area of the airport’s Terminal T3. When taking the taxi, remember to ask the taxi driver to start the taximeter at the start of your journey. It is also advised that passengers request for a receipt which can come in handy should there be any complaint or claim.
Taxi fare from Malaga Airport to Alhaurin de la Torre is estimated to cost between €19 and €23 for traveling a total distance of 10.66 kilometers or up to 17 minutes of travel time.
Alternatively, many private companies run their own taxi services which you can easily book online. One example is Malaga Taxi which charges a starting fare of €35 going to Alhaurin de la Torre from the Malaga Airport.
The town can also be accessed using any of the several bus lines which all connect with Alhaurin de la Torre. These include the urban lines (M-101 and M-102); Malaga – Alhaurin de la Torre line (M-132); Pinos de Alhaurin – Alhaurin de la Torre line (M-133); Malaga – Santa Amalia line (M-135, a single ticket costs €1.65); Cartama – Alhaurin de la Torre line (M-136); Cartama – Alhaurin de la Torre – Torremolinos line (M-140; available only in the summer); Alhaurin de la Torre – Teatinos line (M – 143; available only from October to June); and Malaga – Coin line (M-230).
There are no train lines available at Alhaurin de la Torre. However, you can find one nearby at the Plaza Mayor outdoor shopping center.
GPS/Satellite navigation co-ordinates
Geographical coordinates are at 36.6599˚ North and 4.5599˚ West.
What is there to see and do?
The biggest attraction for anyone who’s visiting Alhaurin de la Torre for the first time is without a doubt a place called “Gardens of El Retiro,” founded by Fray Alonso de Santo Tomas, Bishop of Malaga, in the 17th century. The name is inspired by the fact that the gardens were originally used as a retirement home (Retiro is the Spanish word for retirement.). The gardens show a stunning variety of plant and wildlife with several sections designed according to each of the housed creature’s natural habitat. These include semi-desert and tropical swamp sections.
You can also see some of the town’s interesting monuments such as the old church of El Alamillo which dates back to 1875 and the Finca el Porton which boasts a diverse collection of flora and fauna within its gardens.
Other notable sights include the Church of San Sebastian; the niche of Santo Cristo del Cardon; Torrijos Shelter; Arcos de Zapata Aqueduct; and El Porton Estate which is the town’s cultural and social center and has become a popular venue for art exhibitions, dance performances and concerts.
What are the best hotels in Alhaurin de la Torre?
Guests who are traveling to Alhaurin de la Torre will have several options on where they can stay which include hotels, inns, hostals and bread and breakfast. There are even some which have been regularly used as venues for weddings and other large gatherings.
For a memorable stay, you can try the following venues.
Hotel Cortijo Chico (Avenida de las Americas, s/n Carretera MA-9001) – Guests are raving about this hotel because of its proximity to the Malaga Airport as it takes around 20 minutes of traveling by car. There are also tennis courts, supermarkets, 6 cafes and a free gym at only 300 meters away from this 4-star hotel. If you want to go to the Malaga town center or to the center village, you can simply go to the bus stop at the main gate where you can take a bus for only €1.
Hostal El Patio (Alamos 45) – This hostal is located in the town center where there are a number of cafes, taxis and supermarket nearby. Compared to hotels, the rooms in this hostal costs much cheaper with each one offering amenities such as Wi-Fi, freeview TV, air conditioning, overhead fan and en suite shower.
What are the best bars in Alhaurin de la Torre?
People at Alhaurin de la Torre also enjoy going to the town’s local bars where they can have a chitchat while taking a sip of their favorite drink. Some of the bars had been existing for decades that guests who have been able to visit had always felt like they were lucky enough to have such an iconic experience.
You can find:
Bar La Baranda (Calle Ermita, 1, Tel. +34 677 760 469) – Located in the heart of Alhaurin de la Torre, this family-run bar has been established since 1945 and is known for its various tapas at reasonable prices. Guests can enjoy spending time with friends at the bar’s large terrace or they can choose to stay at its cozy interior where they are further entertained with some music while watching their favorite national and international soccer games.
What are the best restaurants in Alhaurin de la Torre?
The town has a good selection of restaurants, most of which had managed to keep a wide number of loyal customers who make it a point to visit whenever they are in the area.
For a unique dining experience, we recommend the following restaurants.
- Cienfuegos Restaurant (Calle Isaac Peral 4, Tel. +34-951-251-546) – Located on the outskirts of town, this Spanish restaurant is well-loved by guests because of its superb choice of Spanish cuisine. It also exudes a professional appeal with its modern decorated interior made up of huge circular tables, generous table space and lots of crisp white linen. Some of the popular items on the menu include the Pulpo a la Gallega, Iberico Pork Ribs, Timbal de foie y queso, Steak Tartare, Roasted Goat, Beef Tenderloin, Duck in Red Currant Sauce and Suckling Pig and Baby Lamb.
- El Montañes Restaurant (Finca El Montañes, Carretera A-404, Km 17.2, Tel. +34-952-410-481) – Run by a Spanish couple, this lovely restaurant offers a unique dining experience from a sheltered terrace where guests can enjoy delicious home cooked dishes while they marvel at the wonderful mountain views. A must try is their “menu del dia” that has excellent food choices at reasonable prices.
Are there any nightclubs?
For a unique “Andalusian” evening getaway, why not try the town’s local clubs which are known for their inexpensive treats in a friendly and rather loud setting. During weekends, customers can even stay until 6 a.m. while enjoying a night out with friends and family members (the adult ones, of course!).
Some of the nightclubs in Alhaurin de la Torre that are all worth a visit include Moobi Café, Disco Pub Enjoy and Distribuciones El Cholo.
The flamenco shows at the Jose Luis El Segoviano are also some of the best in Alhaurin de la Torre. A typical evening watching a traditional flamenco should cost around €25 and for more information on the flamenco festivals you can look at http://www.alhaurin.com/penaflamenca/.
Most people tend to head to nearby Malaga and Torremolinos to enjoy the nightlife which is also some of the best on the Costa del Sol.
Major Shopping Centres
The following list contains some of the highly recommended shopping centers in Costa del Sol:
- La Trocha Centro Comercial (Carretera Coin-Cartama, Km 1, 29100 Coin, Malaga, Tel. +34-952-452-350) – This modern shopping center is found on the outskirts of Coin and boasts a number of shops, restaurants, cafes and bars. On Sundays, the covered carpark area is transformed into a La Trocha indoor market where customers can find fruits, vegetables, plants, clothes and more.
- La Cañada Shopping & Cinema Center (Carretera Ojen, Corner of A7 Motorway, Centro Comercial La Canada, 29600, Marbella, Tel. +34-952-860-142) – Approximately 34 minutes away by car through the A-355 route, La Cañada is the largest shopping center on the Costa del Sol. Its 2 floors house more than a huge variety of 150 stores which include fashion and clothing stores and food, fitness & leisure.
- Miramar Shopping & Cinema Center (Avda. de la Encarnacion, s/n, 29640, Fuengirola, Tel. +34-952-198-195) – Only 10 minutes away from Alhaurin el Grande, this shopping center has three levels and started its operations in 2004. You can find a huge selection of international clothes shops on the ground floor while the upper floor is used as a food hall. Some of the popular restaurants you can find include Dunkin Donuts, Subway, KFC, Burger King and other American style diners as well as a selection of Spanish-serving outlets.
Here is a must-see video on Alhaurin de la Torre.
Alhaurin de la Torre being located on the Costa del Sol where there is an abundance of golf courses is also blessed with a golf course nearby. The nearest golf course to the town lies to the west which is the Lauro Golf Course which is located on the Calle Los Caracolillos and to book a day at the twenty-seven hole golf course you can telephone them on 952 412 767 or look at their website on http://www.laurogolf.com/.
Lauro Golf Resort has much to offer than just golf, there are hotel rooms you can book as well as enjoy a good meal at their restaurants and bars or play lawn bowls, paddle tennis, hiking, mountain biking and horse riding. Children are also welcome at the Lauro Golf Resort with a special golf clinic which takes place every Saturday or the ever popular summer camps where you definitely need to book ahead to reserve a place.
Are there any beaches nearby?
Getting to the coast is easy – then you can go to either Fuengirola where you can find a good choice of beaches or head straight away to the beaches in Benalmadena or Torremolinos. On the way to Fuengirola, you can take the La Cala exit where you can find a very nice family oriented beach. One of the popular beaches is the Cabopino Beach which also boasts a number of lovely restaurants and bars.
For emergencies head for the Hospital Virgen de la Victoria (“El Clínico”) in Málaga.
Alhaurin de la Torre had seen an influx of visitors from the neighboring countries since the ancient times which had most likely influenced the town’s current name, population and physical layout. Believed to be invaded by the Phoenicians between 1000 and 700 A.C., the town was also visited by the Turdetani, the ancient pre-Roman people from the Iberian peninsula, who came by in search for lead and silver.
During the Roman times, the town was called “Lauro Vetus” and may have been regarded as an important settlement location. It was believed to be the place where the battle of Munda occurred which was highlighted by Julius Caesar’s killing of Pompey.
The name was then changed into “Alhaurein” or “Albarracin” when the Arabs came. Finally, the name “Alhaurin” was given to the village after the 1485 Christian Reqonquista and it was added later with “de la Torre” in order to distinguish it from its neighbor Alhaurin el Grande.
In the second half of the 20th century, Alhaurin de la Torre saw a rapid urban growth particularly from 1990. Many families had chosen the town as their choice location for either permanent or summer residence. All of these can be attributed to the town’s favorable location in Guadalhorce Valley which makes it relatively near Malaga City and Torremolinos as well as its easy access to the coast through an efficient transportation system.
What type of climate does it have?
Alhaurin de la Torre enjoys a subtropical-Mediterranean climate where the summers are warmer (around 30 degrees Celsius on average highs) and the winters are milder (around 7 degrees Celsius on average lows). While it has an average of 2,815 hours of sunshine every year, the town also sees rainfall between October and April.
Moving to Alhaurin de la Torre
If you are thinking of moving to Alhaurin de la Torre, then you must read our expat interview with John O’Reilly of Property Directors below:
John, what would you say would be the advantages to living in Alhaurin de la Torre compared to other Costa del Sol towns?
Alhaurín de la Torre has grown from being a mainly quiet village (pueblo) with around 15,000 Spanish inhabitants back in 2002 to being a vibrant modern town which now has a population of some 36,000 including many expats from almost all North European countries. In addition the town’s proactive administration has modernised every aspect of urban living with over 150 redevelopment projects completed in each of its terms of office, such as new sports centres, pavements, roads, parks, cycle paths, and improvements to the infrastructure. There are also around the same number of new projects in the pipeline or planned.
Today, Alhaurín de la Torre ranks 4th on the list of towns in the Malaga Province with the highest average income (Marbella is in 6th place out of 74 towns in the Malaga Province of Andalucia). It’s also one of the most convenient towns to live, being only 10 minutes to Málaga Airport, and a new Northern access is being built to link the town with the airport although due to the fact that the town is located south of the airport there is absolutely no noise from aircraft operations.
The centre of Málaga can be reached in just 15 minutes as well as the local beaches. The main large Shopping Mall centres are also nearby, including, Málaga Nostrum, Bahía Azul, Plaza Mayor, Carrefour and IKEA. It’s also only less than 30 minutes to the Technology Park of Andalucía (PTA); connected by the super new AP46 motorway and Malaga bypass, where multinational high tech companies have their Spanish-based offices.
Would the area not suit certain types of people, i.e. are there any possible downsides?
Given its location and popularity it can be busy at times and the area is probably not suited for anyone looking to own a holiday home in say the ritzy areas of Marbella or close to the beach at the quieter end of the Costa del Sol, in Sotogrande for example.
What proportion of the local population are Spanish?
The large majority as this is primarily a Spanish Residential area.
What are your favourite things to do in the area?
Hit the beach on Sundays, walking with the dog in and around the many trails, and parks and walking with friends in the late evening for about 6kms before ending up on a Friday evening in one of the many gastro bars for a V&T (and they don’t stop pouring until you say when!), eating out here is also about half the cost you would have to pay anywhere along the coastal strip.
Can you give us some insider tips to the best bars or restaurants?
There are so many but to highlight my top three I would say; Cien Fuegos, El Toro and Viñolo, all located in the town centre. There are also a few great outside diners (Chiringuitos) where you can eat good food cheaply, without the whole dining experience. Music is played almost everywhere.
Are there many facilities such as doctors and dentists, shops etc?
There are so many amenities here that you are totally spoilt for choice, supermarkets, mini markets, retail shops, hairdressers, plus more than a dozen dental practices, laser clinics and beauty centres. The modern central National Health clinic (Centro de Salud) is where the GP’s are all based and it is equipped with every facility including the ambulance service.
Are there smaller villages nearby that you might also recommend?
The nearest villages of special interest would be Alhaurín el Grande, Cártama and Mijas pueblo which is world famous for being one of the prettiest white washed mountain villages in Spain.
What are the nearest international schools and how good are they?
Alhaurin de la Torre has its own private International School called El Pinar. When we came to live here in Spain 14 years ago my daughter was 6 at the time and she started there, now coming up to 21 she is in teacher training and has a job there working at the same school. Other international schools of high standing nearby are in Málaga, Cártama Estación, Benalmádena and Torremolinos.
Is crime an issue for expats?
We have been living here for 14 years and never experienced any problem whatsoever. It is perhaps more of an issue to be aware of in areas of the coast where there are many unoccupied holiday homes but Alhaurín de la Torre is an affluent residential town where even teenagers go out day or night with their friends to have a good time. Of course it’s always prudent to safeguard your property and belongings wherever you are.
Coming onto buying property, what is the market like now in terms of prices going up, or down or staying the same?
The market across the Costa del Sol is experiencing a mini boom at the moment and at this stage of the market recovery properties are selling faster than at any time in the past 7 or 8 years. With property sales transactions returning to near pre crisis levels according to government statistics, clients now coming with a sense of urgency about decision making. Property prices have also started to edge up with the property price index for the area up by around 4%.
Is this a good time to buy and are there any repossessions or very cheap properties still available to buy?
Spanish homes still offer the best value in Europe. Whether considering a purchase for Lifestyle or Investment, in our opinion there has never been a better time to buy a property in Spain. With prices still around 40-50% below peak and with super low mortgage interest rates (one Spanish bank we deal with on its repossessions is offering up to 100% finance to non-residents with interest rates around Euribor plus 0.9% and with a term up to 30 years).
What urbanisations are there and can you describe each one and how they might differ from each other?
The town is made up of a central old quarter full of character with the main church, a more modern outer ring and around a dozen or so urbanisations plus some outer country zones called Barriadas. The urbanisations are either mountainside or town side and are residential areas of Townhouses, semi-detached Villas and detached Villas. They all differ slightly with El Lagar, Cortijo del Sol, Manantiales and Pinos de Alhaurín having the best valley view’s but there are more green zones, parks etc, in lower down urbanisations closer to the town centre such as La Capellanía and Retamar.
How much are the typical property prices in Alhaurín de la Torre for apartments, villas etc?
New 1 bedroom Apartments are starting around €80,000, with Terraced Townhouses at around €200,000, Semi Detached Villas from €250,000 and larger detached villas with own plots and pool anything upwards from €350K. Purchase costs average around 13-14% on a new property. There is also a good choice of urban land plots where you can build your dream home, many plots are being sold turn-key with an existing project and licence from around €450,000.
Any tips and advice to people looking to buy in Alhaurín de la Torre or surrounding area?
Always the best way is to contact and work with a good local agent and to plan a viewing trip to see a small number of shortlisted properties first hand and the surrounding areas. If finance is required your agent should be able to assist you with local bank or broker contacts for pre approval of finance before starting to view properties and to offer advice and guidance on all matters relating to the buying process and being able to recommend lawyers, and currency specialists if required.
John, thank you so much for taking the time to help our readers with your experiences in Spain. If you want to contact him, you can find his details below.
How safe is it?
While it is true that the town has more urbanizations and is in close proximity to the airport, it has become the preferred location for most families with young kids because of the area’s better climate, outside space and a sense of freedom. Apart from a few recorded incidents of robbery by the gypsies, Alhaurin de la Torre is, on the whole, relatively quiet and bears no “villagey” feel.
People who have moved here
Alicia Shelley, writer/blogger at Andalucia Inland, has moved to Alhaurin de la Torre after living in Andalusia for more than 9 years. She had also witnessed the town’s growing residential areas.
“Alhaurin de la Torre’s a well-cared-for town, close to the coast, flanked by a protective range of mountains, and surrounded by unspoilt countryside. The town has spread a lot in recent years, with many new residential areas being built on the outskirts, but the town center remains authentically Spanish and very down to earth,” says Shelley in Spain Buddy.
Are there any jobs for expats available in Alhaurin de la Torre?
Since the town has been considered as a satellite town for Malaga, it has quite a number of Spanish professionals and families who commute into the city. In other words, most of its residents have found places to stay in the area while their places of work are in the larger cities.
Some families would need an au pair or a babysitter to work full time including living in although there is an option to work part time and to live out. Contracts can last from 1 month to several months.
Likewise, Alhaurin de la Torre has a school system that is the envy of several other parts of Andalucia. English teachers who are looking to find work may also send applications to the various schools, academies and colleges located in the area. These include Colegio el Pinar, Academia de ingles, Alhaurin English Academy and Idiomalaga.
These are some of the schools you can find in Alhaurin de la Torre.
Colegio Isaac Peral, Colegio Los Manantiales, Colegio Maruja Mallo, Colegio San Juan, Colegio San Sebastián, Colegio Zambrana, IES Capellanía, IES Galileo, IES Gerald Brenan, IES Huerta Alta.
Is there a local market?
Each town and village in Andalusia have markets where people can buy lots of good finds such as fresh produce and household items. Some towns have markets that are open only on one or two days a week while other markets, such as the daily fruit and vegetable markets, are open six days, from Monday to Saturday.
Municipal markets such as the one in Alhaurin de la Torre are controlled by the local government and usually operate from 9 a.m. up to 1 p.m. However, markets in the cities and in some towns would open again occasionally after Friday’s siesta time.
Market day in Alhaurin de la Torre is every Wednesday.
In September, around the first or second weekend of the month, you can also go to the town’s medieval market where you can find a number of things to buy such as food, jewelry, leather and more. Sellers in the market are usually seen dressed up like how people used to dress up a long time ago.
Medieval markets are being organized by Andalucia Medieval throughout the province. It’s a fun way to mark the end of summer time.
Are there any real estate companies in town?
Alhaurin de la Torre has a wide array of homes styles that can truly match every potential homeowner’s unique preference in buying a home. If you’re thinking of buying your dream abode but don’t know where to start, you can always seek the services of the real estate companies available in the area.
The following are some of the real estate companies in Alhaurin de la Torre.
1. Property Directors – Urb. La Capellania, Alhaurin de la Torre 29130, Tel. +34 952 963 937
2. WVS Real Estate Spain – Avd Cristobal Colon No 2 Alhaurin de la Torre, Tel. +34-628-522-843
3. Mileno Inmobiliaria – Calle de Andrés Segovia 29130 Alhaurin de la Torre, Tel. +34-952-963-500
What is the cost or price range for long term rentals in Alhaurin de la Torre?
If you’re looking for good rental properties in town where you can rent for the long term, Alhaurin de la Torre also has a number of properties that are available for renting. Houses for long term renting usually cost between 495 and 1,200 euros. You can also find long term rentals on apartments (between 330 and 800 euros a month), chalets (between 600 and 1,000 euros a month) and villas (between 600 and 4,500 euros a month).
Thinking about buying? For only 149,000 euros, you can already buy a townhouse that has 2 bedrooms, 1 bathroom and parking facilities.
Where is the nearest medical center or pharmacy?
The nearest medical center is Centro de Salud Don José Molina Diaz. You can find it at Calle Pepe Tobalo, 1, Alhaurin de la Torre or you can call at +34-951-770-136.
The nearest pharmacy is Farmacia El Alamillo – Calle Sauce, Urbanizacion El Alamillo 1, Alhaurin de la Torre, Tel. +34-952-417-019. It is open from 9:30 a.m. to 10 p.m., Mondays to Saturdays and closed on Sundays.
Every year, on Jan. 5, the town celebrates the “Procession of the Three Kings” (“Cabalgata de los Reyes Magos” in Spanish). On the streets, the crowd would gather around to witness several floats and try their luck to catch boiled sweets and toys that are thrown in generous amounts. At the end of the procession, children excitedly gather to meet the 3 kings and get some presents.
On Jan. 20, the town celebrates a festival in honor of San Sebastian which lasts for three days.
In February, feasts such as the “Purificacion of Our Lady of La Candelaria” and “Carnival” are also celebrated every year.
Other major events are the “Festival of Corpus Christi” (May and June); “Fiestas Mayores de San Juan Bautista”(end of June); and the “Torre del Cante,” one of the most prestigious flamenco festivals throughout Andalusia that is also held in June.
Is there a tourist office?
Alhaurin de la Torre Tourist Office
Address: Avenida de España 7, 29130, Alhaurin de la Torre (Malaga)
Telephone Number: +34 952 413 529
Email Address: firstname.lastname@example.org
Its official website is Ayuntamiento de Alhaurin de la Torre.
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