The nearest 'largish' town is Periana which is just over ten minutes drive away. In Periana you will find bars and restaurants, supermarkets, bakery, butcher's shops, fruit and vegetable shops, delicatessens and it also has a pharmacy. There is an open-air market every Wednesday. The post office which sells stamps is open from 9.00 till 11.00 a.m. Stamps can also be bought from the post office or Tabacs (tobacconists). Post boxes are yellow! They are mainly positioned by post offices.
Slightly less far away is Ventas de Zafarraya. Fewer shops but probably the nearest for bread in the morning. We are told that there is a good restaurant just past the filling station on the right as you enter. Bread has to be bought every day, it does not stay fresh for long and most bakeries produce bread throughout the day so a good rule is to buy close to when you will eat it. There is a bakers van which comes to El Toril every day (except Sunday) at around 11.00hrs.
Puente Don Manuel, the small cluster of shops on both sides of the road down the hill to Velez Malaga also has shops, an English type butcher - Embu Axarquia - , a small, but well stocked little Spanish supermarket and a bakers shop. They are all open daily and on Sundays till 2.00 pm (approx) excluding 'vacaciones' and fiestas. Furthermore there is an English shop called Arkwrights which opens on Sunday and British Sunday newspapers may be ordered there.
On the way to Torre del Mar and the coast, do not ignore the old town of Velez-Malaga. Here is the best town for churros and chocolate. Churros are sort of straight do-nuts and the chocolate drink is thick, boy is it thick! There is also a daily fresh produce market which is excellent for fresh vegetables and fruit (fruit and veg in locals stores can be a bit basic!). In Velez Malaga and Torre del Mar there is a profusion of supermarkets which provide a good variety of foodstuffs.
For serious shopping, go to El Ingenio on the outskirts of Torre del Mar (between Velez Malaga and Torre del Mar - it is well signposted). This is a shopping mall where you will find most of what you want under one roof. High street names shops and the Eroski hypermercat (hyper-market).
There is a large weekly street market in Torre del Mar each Thursday morning. Here you can buy really fresh vegetables, leather goods, dried herbs and spices, well priced clothing, whatever takes your fancy.
There are few shops open on Sundays. The normal opening hours Monday to Saturdays for shops are 9.00 or 10.00 a.m. 'till around 2.00 p.m. when they close for siesta and then reopen around 5.00p.m. closing at 8.00 or 8.30 p.m. Many shops also close on Saturday afternoons.