Shopping Malls in the alternative Costa del Sol

Love them or hate them shopping malls seem to have reached every corner of the world these days and the Axarquia is no exception! While they are a relatively recent addition to the commerce of this region there is no doubt that they have brought us a wider choice of some of the larger and more internationally recognised stores and brands and with their extended opening hours - siesta doesn't exist here - they are a boon to the shopaholic during the afternoons.

The region now has 2 malls - El Ingenio, Vélez-Málaga which opened 4 years ago and the Centro Comercial Rincon de la Victoria which has been open for just over two years - between them offering more than 100 shops along with restaurants, bars and cinemas but if you want more then take a trip into Málaga citycentre where you will find an even bigger choice.

El Ingenio Shopping Mall

Location: Avda. Juan Carlos 1, 29740 Vélez-Málaga. Tel: 952 547267

The centre is situated right by exit 272 on the N340 between Vélez-Málaga and Torre del Mar.

Opening hours: Monday to Saturday 10am to 10pm

No. of shops: 69

The biggest store in the mall is Eroski, a hypermarket offering a large food section which includes a fabulous fresh fish counter, along with extensive homeware and clothing ranges.

Dunnes Stores has a large branch here, it is a bit like an Irish Marks and Spencer with clothing for adults and kids alongside homeware and a small selection of "back home" style food products.

Fashion lovers are sure to recognise Zara and Mango which both have enormous branches here. Being on home soil in Spain they each offer fantastic value in comparison to British prices.

There are too many shops to describe each in detail but some of our favourites include Fosco (shoes), Casa (home) and Roberto Martin (sunglasses) along with Springfield (men's fashion).

Restaurants and bars: 20

The majority are situated in the upper floor food court, with a few coffee bars on the ground floor amongst the shops, meaning that it's always possible to take a break from the retail therapy when needed.

The mall also houses a 12 screen cinema which shows one English language (OV or original version) film each week.

Centro Comercial Rincon de la Victoria

Location: Carretera de Totalán,s/n, 29720 La Cala del Moral.
Tel: 952 978610

The centre is situated at exit 251 on the N340 signposted to Totalán.

Opening hours: Monday to Saturday 10am to 10pm

No. of shops: 51

The biggest store here is Carrefour, a hypermarket similar to Eroski (above) with the same blend of foods, homeware and clothing.

Zara also have an even bigger branch here with a better choice for men than at El Ingenio.

Miró with white goods, computers and other electrical goods along with Benaventi for bargain shoes also warrant a mention.

Restaurants and bars: 13 in total.

There is also a 16 screen cinema here although they only play movies dubbed into Spanish.