The limestone rocks, largely unseen, but underlying present-day Torremolinos, still hold a wealth of unexplored information on the history of the area. It is known, from the discovery of fossils and artefacts, that there was human occupation in neolithic times. The numerous caves, now filled in or covered up, provided shelter for the inhabitants, although there is evidence that they were generally used as necropolises rather than as dwelling sites. Fresh-water springs emerged from the limestone cliffs, and the precious drinking water, in this often parched land, was a further obvious reason for the establishment of a village.All along this part of the Mediterranean coast there has been trade involving the Phoenicians, the Greeks, and other major and minor civilisations that held influence far from their seats of government. Excavations have uncovered several Roman buildings, and there are remnants of the Moorish occupation that lasted from the early 8th century until the end of 15th century. In the relatively peaceful, and culturally progessive period for ‘Al Andalus’ under the Caliphate of Cordoba (929-1031), the village that would beccome Torremolinos began to prosper . After this Caliphate dissolved, instability followed. The battle of Rio Salado (Tarifa) in 1340, effectively cut off the remaining European Moors from their power base in North Africa and the Middle East, although the grandest , and final, Caliphate, that of Granada, remained loosely in control of the area for another 150 years.
Raids from pirates, and the general increase in lawlessness in the 13th and 14th centuries, necessitated the building of defensive towers, one of which survives to this day at the coastal end of the popular pedestrian thoroughfare ‘Calle San Miguel’ . This tower, 12 metres (37 feet) high, with excellent views along the coast, was called ‘Torre de los Molinos’ (tower of the mills), a reference to the many mills that had emerged in the town and had become established around the springs and freshwater streams. After the last of the Moorish fighters in southern Spain were defeated, the tower was re-named ‘Torre de Pimentel’ in honour of Rodrigo Pimantel, Count of Benavente, who supplied men and horses in considerable numbers to help in the overthrow of the last Moorish stronghold in Granada.
The mills, generally thought to number between 14 and 17, were mostly used for flour production, but they also produced paper. They flourished for many centuries but the source of underground water began to dry up early in the 20th century and the industry declined with the mills falling into disrepair. The facade of several of them, though, still survive in various new guises around the town, but for a while Torremolinos became just another poverty-stricken fishing village.
It was an Englishman, Sir George Langworthy, who was partly responsible for the rise of Torremolinos from the depths of despond. In the early 1900s he purchased the old fort, built in the mid 18th century, and transformed it into a large residence and had the grounds landscaped. He was a rich man, but unlike the majority of wealthy landowners of the time, he was very generous towards the poor in the community he dwelt in. He became known as ‘el ingles de la peseta’ due to his daily practice of giving one silver peseta to persons in need which, in those days, was enough to keep a family fed for a day. He eventually died in poverty himself in 1945 but not before he had given a significant boost to the fortunes of the town.
In 1924, Torremolinos reached rock bottom and was declared bankrupt with debts of over 250,000 pesetas. It was then annexed to Malaga with the position of mayor disappearing. The town struggled on, but in 1930 Langworthy opened his residence, Santa Clara, to foreigners, in 1932 a meeting took place in Torremolinos to promote tourism, in 1940 the first scheduled flights arrived at Malaga Airport with tourists aboard, and in 1942 the first brochure advertised hotel, Hotel La Roca opened with full board at 32 pesetas per day. The fortunes of Torremolinos had turned.
Malaga Airport opened in 1919 and remains the only major airport in Spain that has not re-positioned its runways despite extensive upgrades to terminal buildings. That aside, the first celebrity tourists arrived in the early 1950s with Ava Gardner and Grace Kelly amongst the well-known faces to be seen on the parasol-adorned beach. In the mid 1950s a steady stream of tourists flew in on chartered flights from northern Europe. Ancient orchards were burnt, old fisherman’s houses were bulldozed and Toremolinos became a giant building site. The clientele during the late 1950s and early 1960s remained fairly elite, but the relatively cheap cost of the package holiday increasingly attracted a more fun-loving, some would say rowdier, holidaymaker.
In 1965, the jet-set moved on to Marbella and left Torremolinos to a mass of new holidaymakers who were forsaking their cold, rain-drenched summer beaches for the reliable warmth and sunshine of these southern climes. In 1968 a new terminal building opened at Malaga Airport allowing the transit of over 100,000 people a year. In the late ’60s and early ’70s swarms of youngsters, mainly British, who drank, from dusk to dawn, ridiculously cheap Cuba Libres with triple, sometimes quadruple, measures of bacardi were attracted to the burgeoning resort. During the day, suntanning took on a manic intensity as shining white-skinned young ladies, fresh from the neon lit typing pools of London, flirted with tattoo-covered hod carriers while searching for space on the sand to throw a towel. The Monty Python ‘Travel Agent’ sketch of 1970 http://orangecow.org/pythonet/sketches/package.htm epitomized the feelings about Torremolinos during this period, but for the resort it meant prosperity.
As the tourists continued to arrive in their thousands, so the fortunes of Torremolinos changed for the better. By the late 1970s a campaign was evolving to restore independence from Malaga, and on 27th September 1988 this was achieved and a mayor was re-instated. In recent years, the bad publicity gained by the resort in the late 60s has slowly been discarded, and although there are still signs of decay in some parts, great efforts have been made to improve the image with a new promenade, a less tacky appearance to the shops selling souvenirs, and a selection of restaurants offering menus as good as any food outlets in Spain. Torremolinos has matured.
General Climate and Weather in Torremolinos
The eastern edge of the Sierra de Mijas.rise to over 600 metres to the northwest of Torremolinos, offering shelter from the weather systems that occasionally spread southeast across Spain during the late autumn, winter and early spring. Rainfall is mostly absentfrom the Costa del Sol during the summer months, and with a regular afternoon sea breeze, the intense heat of inland Spain is a very rare visitor. This has, for decades, made Torremolinos one of the favourites amongst tourists from many european countries who seek arguably the best all-the-year-round weather on the continent..
Weather in Torremolinos in January
|Average Maximum 16C/61F||Average Minimum 8C/46F||Days with rain falling 7|
There is usually plenty of sunshine during January and the rain, when it arrives, normally lasts, on and off, for 2 or 3 days before the sun returns for a week or more. Temperatures, although not especially high, do feel pleasant enough in the afternoon sunshine, On 2 or 3 days in the month, the temperature approaches, or exceeds 20 Celsius (68F), but on the cloudy and wet days maxima may be no higher than 10 Celsius (50F). The evenings will almost always feel chilly, and on rare occasions, the larger gardens on the outskirts of the town may have a frost on the grass for an hour or two around dawn.
Weather in Torremolinos in February
|Average Maximum 17C/63F||Average Minimum 8C/46F||Days with rain falling 6|
This month can be described as early Spring, with flowers blooming and, by the middle of February, the famous Andalusian almond blossom begins to appear. Temperature levels are not dissimilar to January, and the evenings and nights remain cool. However, as the heat from the sun increases, the afternoon stroll down the Calle San Miguel becomes more comfortably warm. Rain, as in January, usually comes in a spell that lasts for 2 or 3 days at a time before clear blue skies follow. It may turn windy for a while after a wet spell, but strong winds seldom last for more than 36 hours.
Weather in Torremolinos in March
|Average Maximum 19C/66F||Average Minimum 10C/50F||Days with rain falling 5|
Some delightful days occur in March but the early risers usually enjoy the best of the weather. A typical March day will start cool and sunny with a gentle wind blowing down from the mountains. Temperatures will rise rapidly and by midday values will be around 19 Celsius. A few puffs of cloud may form, then quite suddenly the wind will shift right round and blow in from the sea. The sea is as cold as at any time of year in March, so once the sea breeze has become established during the afternoon the promenade is best avoided. As for rain falling, perhaps a short-lived inconvenience once or twice a week.
Weather in Torremolinos in April
|Average Maximum 21C/70F||Average Minimum 12C/54F||Days with rain falling 5|
Only the foolhardy or truly seasoned bather would venture into the sea off Torremolinos during April. A morning of unbroken sunshine and temperatures nudging 21 Celsius tempt many people to the beach, but around midday the inevitable sea breeze arrives and temperatures fall to a less than comfortable 17 Celsius. In most Aprils there are 2 or 3 days when the land breeze is quite strong and in the absence of the sea breeze the temperature can rise to 25 Celsius, or more. Once or twice during the month a short unsettled spell will probably occur, and heavy, thundery rain may spoil the occasional day.
Weather in Torremolinos in May
|Average Maximum 23C/73F||Average Minimum 14C/57F||Days with rain falling 3|
This is arguably one of the best months to visit Torremolinos if bathing in the hotel swimming pool is preferred to a dip in the sea. The mornings are usually sunny and warm. Around midday, just as it begins to become uncomfortably warm, the sea breeze sets in and the afternoons are normally sunny and pleasantly warm. Of course, it is very easy to get sunburnt during May, especially as it is not generally too hot to avoid the sunshine. On 2 or 3 occasions during the month, the temperature can exceed 30 Celsius (86F), and in most Mays there are 1 or 2 short-lived unsettled spells.
Weather in Torremolinos in June
|Average Maximum 27C/81F||Average Minimum 17C/63F||Days with rain falling 1|
The sun beats down relentlessly from a clear blue sky. Not completely true, but certainly a close approximation to the weather in June. The sun appears hazier as the air trapped under the sea-breeze inversion becomes more polluted, but clouds are rare. Occasionally, say once or twice a month, a band of cloud may spoil the sunshine and this could produce an hour or two of rain. High-level thunderstorms, moving north from Morocco, may produce a few spots of dust-laden rain, otherwise sunshine, and just the odd unpleasant day when the temperature exceeds 38 Celsius (100F).
Weather in Torremolinos in July
|Average Maximum 29C/84F||Average Minimum 20C/68F||Days with rain falling <1|
Rain is so rare in July it is not worth a mention. Bands of high cloud occasionally prevent a day of full sunshine but the normal July pattern of weather is this. After a warm and fairly humid night, there is a dip in temperature to 19 or 20 Celsius around dawn. The morning then warms up rapidly, reaching around 29 Celsius between midday and 1 pm. The light wind on the beach then quite quickly becomes a steady breeze off the sea. With sea temperatures generally around 23 Celsius in July, the afternoon breeze is very refreshing. Occasionally the sea breeze fails and it becomes very hot.
Weather in Torremolinos in August
|Average Maximum 29C/84F||Average Minimum 21C/70F||Days with rain falling <1|
During this month it becomes increasingly unpleasant for those without air-conditioning. Although temperature levels are similar to those of July, the humidity is higher, the pollution levels are greater and the sea breeze is usually lighter and less refreshing. Nevertheless, the sea is pleasantly warm, and the weather is normally reliably sunny. On rare occasions, most likely late in the month, a thunderstorm may occur, and on 2 or 3 days the failure of the sea breeze may result in temperatures over 38 Celsius (100F) by day, and not falling below 30 Celsius (86F) by late evening.
Weather in Torremolinos in September
|Average Maximum 28C/82F||Average Minimum 19C/66F||Days with rain falling 2|
September in Torremolinos is a summer month. The first week or two can be very hot and humid, and nights with temperatures remaining above 23 Celsius (73F) is not uncommon. Pollution levels often appear high, and the chance of relief from refreshing rain is almost nil. Occasionally, an upwelling of cold water can occur with cold sea fog lapping the beaches. This can happen at any time during the summer months but thankfully it is rare and only lasts a day or two. The phenomenon is poorly understood at present, and unlike the slightly more common Spring sea mist, is unpredictable.
Weather in Torremolinos in October
|Average Maximum 23C/73F||Average Minimum 15C/59F||Days with rain falling 4|
October weather in Torremolinos is something of a lottery. The statistics say that it is the wettest month of the year with over 100 mm (4 inches) of rain, but they don’t say that the rain falls in crashing thunderstorms with walls of water that often last for less than 2 hours. The sea remains very warm, partly the reason for the severe storms, but the adjacent land also stays pleasantly warm and without the intense heat from the sun. On balance, this month is probably the 2nd best, behind May, to visit this part of Spain, and by the end of the month nights are becoming comfortably cool again.
Weather in Torremolinos in November
|Average Maximum 19C/66F||Average Minimum 11C/52F||Days with rain falling 6|
The nights are long in Torremolinos at this time of year, but not as long as they are in northern Europe. Of all the months, November probably offers the best contrast between the grey and cold of northern latitudes and the sun, and relative warmth, of the Costa del Sol. Early in the month, temperatures regularly reach 20 Celsius, or more, and to have 2 consecutive cloudy days is rare. The weather is thundery at times, and rain can sometimes be very heavy, but pollution levels are low and, early in the month, and in some years late in the month, the sea is warm enough to bathe in .
Weather in Torremolinos in December
|Average Maximum 17C/63F||Average Minimum 8C/46F||Days with rain falling 6|
There can be some dire days in December anywhere in Europe, and even Torremolinos has 3 or 4 days of windy, wet and relatively cold weather with temperatures struggling to reach 12 Celsius. However, this is the exception and, although not warm, there is sufficient sunshine to cheer a visitor from the north. The evenings and nights are normally quite cold, and in sunnier Decembers a frost may occur on the grass in larger gardens away from the coast. Occasionally the temperature may reach 20 Celsius (68F), but higher temperatures are often accompanied by a brisk wind from the hills.