Manilva’s 7.8 km of beaches run in a NE-SW direction and range from low cliffs and rocky coves at Punta Chullera to the 6.9 km of wide sandy beaches broken only by the village of Castillo and the marina at Puerto de la Duquesa.
Like so many things in this part of the world there is disagreement and confusion as regards the names of the different beaches depending on which map you look at. Where this occurs we will give you the name according to the Instituto Geografico Nacional followed by the local tourist map names in brackets.
Starting at Punta Chullera in the Southwest here are descriptions of each of Manilva’s beaches:
This is a small rocky cape at the extreme western end of the municipality and the small cove at the mouth of the arroyo*. Calataraje is the boundary with the municipality of San Roque in the province of Cadiz. This rocky shore has shallow waters which are clear and clean and are home to an abundace of sea life including octopus and sea urchins (bathers beware). Adjacent to Punta Chullera, and extending into the municipality of San Roque, is the popular Playa de la Chullera.
*An arroyo is a river which only runs during rainy periods.
Playa de los Toros
This small cove is a lovely quiet spot, bordered by rocky outcrops either side and is about 100m wide and consists of a fine shingle (shell).
The beach can be reached, from the Malaga bound carriageway of the coast road, by taking the sliproad immediately before the pedestrian bridge at Punta Chullera and following the road to the end. You will also find the Sal y Sol chiringuito on this beach.
Playa del Gobernador (Las Arenas – The Sands)
This beach is 850 metres in length and 30 metres wide and can be accessed from the Playa Paraiso Urbanisation or from the Venta de Asfalto just before the Paraiso roundabout from the Malaga bound carriageway.
Cala de la Sardina
Sardine Cove is a small beach of 150m in length nestled between two groups of rocks and runs adjacent to the ‘Playa Paraiso’ urbanisation between Playa del Gobernador and Playa de Tubalitas.
Playa de Tubalitas (El Negro)
This beach, whose 650m run from the Cala de la Sardina to the Arroyo Negro, is bordered by the smooth hills typical of this end of the municipality, and is well known as a passage for tuna fish and used to be the location for networks of ‘tunny nets’ used to catch these fish.
El Negro (Los Toros)
Named locally after the bulls which exited the adjacent Canada Real (Royal gorge) en route to Estepona from Los Barrios. It is the longest beach in Manilva and for more than half of it has no buildings by it. The beach runs from the Arroyo Negro up to the Arroyo del Indiano just to the west of Castillo.
La Duquesa (Playas Castillo and Duquesa)
Extending from the arroyo del Indiano to the the arroyo de la Penuela, the 1150m beach includes the village of Castillo and the Blue Flag marina of Puerto de la Duquesa and ranges from rocky outcrops at the Castillo end to wide sandy bays either side of the Marina. This beach was awarded a blue flag in 2005 and it is a popular bathing spot and has three chiringuitos (beach bar/restaurants) and in the summer various water sports and activities are available on the Sabinillas side of the Marina.
Running between the Port of Duquesa and the Rio Manilva this 1650m Blue Flag beach runs in front of the entire town of Sabinillas and the Unicaja Summer School (Colonia Infantil). The beach is a popular recreation area and is also still used by local fisherman who operate their boats from the beach using capstan winches to pull them back out of the water at the end of each voyage.