Beach bars - Home

Playa Bermeja, Estepona © Michelle Chaplow

Playa Bermeja, Estepona



A beach bar or chiriniguito is typically a wooden shack on the beach with an relaxed alternative atmosphere serving simple inexpensive food and drinks. Almost all of these establishments have sun beds for hire. Many also offer music and create their own, unique ambience and will be more informal than a Beach Club. or a Restaurant.

Enjoy your Mediterranean cuisine, right on the beach © Michelle Chaplow
Enjoy your Mediterranean cuisine, right on the beach

The food in these beach bars is similar in many of the restaurants, featuring plenty of Mediterranean specialities to tempt the palate. Fresh fish and paellas are highly recommended dishes.

Locals in search of the ultimate beach holiday generally arrive early to get a good sunbed and then alternate between fun on the beach and snacks or drinks at the "chiringuito". Many enjoy a long, relaxed lunch at the beach bar as well before spending the rest of the afternoon enjoying more fun in the sun and relaxing on comfortable sun beds by the Mediterranean.

Families and groups of friends generally rent several sun beds and set up camp to enjoy a virtual home away from home from early morning until sunset or even later.

Legal position

Andalucia is very proud of its chiringuitos or beach bars. When the national  government agency 'Demarcacion de las Costas' revised the Ley de Costa in 2013 (Royal Decree 876/2014) it transpired that many chiringuitos were illegal, and should be demolished. There was an uproar in Andalucia. Environmental issues (think waste water) were not considered in the 1960's when a shacks on the beach was set up so serve cheap drinks and snacks to tourists. In 1982 all Spanish beaches were made public and the concept of 'ownerniship' was replaced with a concession to run an establishment. Many beach bars had grandfather rights rather than legal deeds and the town halls had acepted their taxes for years. The stand off was resolved when the national government passed  the 'compentencia'  (power) to the Junta de Andalucia to sort it all out.  Slowly new consessions are being issued. There are 742 chiringuitos in Andalucia (300 in Malaga, 42 in Granada and 114 in Cadiz) and by summer 2016 most had new consessions. However a supreme court ruling in August 2016 added complication by declaring that all new consesions should be tendered for equally and preference to existing holders was not legal. Aditionally the welcome discision by the Junta de Andalcuia to allow chiringuitos to stay open all year could not be retrospectively applied to existing consesion holders who had not tendered on this basis.     

Definition of a Chiringuito

A chiriniguito is dificult to define; typically a wooden shack on the beach with an relaxed alternative atmosphere serving simple inexpensive food and drinks. Some are made of more permanent materials and some are more formal and not inexpensive any more. The official definition of a chiringuite is a cafe bar that is located on the dominio publico maritimo - terestre (public domain beach) and is not a permanent structure that is capable of being dismantled. 

In the tables below we try to use chiringuito in this case and restaurant if the establishment is located on the seafront promenade.   Here is the most comprehensive guide to the beach bars (chiringuitos) and beachside restaurants along the Costa del Sol from La Cala de Mijas (East) to Casares (West).

Mijas Costa

Chiringuitos and Beach side restaurants in Mijas Costa More >


Chiringuitos and Beach side restaurants in Marbella More >


Chiringuitos and Beach side restaurants in Estepona More >