Reason enough to go for a visit, don’t you think?
However, there’s much more to the region than that. Once the city, with the Gibralfaro castle, the Muslim Alcazaba and the Roman Theatre, the harbour and the many bars, has been explored, there’s plenty more to discover nearby. Whether it’s culture, nature, adventure or just another, a smaller town that you’re after: Malaga can offer it to you.
Here are 10 suggestions, as suggested by a local – all of them just a day-trip away.
1. Chillar River
Frigiliana is a typical ‘white town’ – called like this, literally, because all its buildings are white, which is meant to repeal some of the heat in the summertime. Beautifully sitting in between the hills in the east of Malaga, a short hike up the hill will allow a breathtaking view of the town from above, with the Mediterranean behind it.
4. Nerja Caves
The town of Nerja, close to the aforementioned Chillar river and the town of Frigiliana, seems more an English town than a Spanish one (for you’ll hear mostly English on the streets). However, even if you prefer going where the locals go, the Nerja caves, home to the largest stalagmite in the world, are pretty impressive. There’s even the possibility of taking on guided tours – some of which can take you into other caverns that include prehistoric cave paintings.
6. Marbella and Puerto Banús
8. Calahonda Beach
You prefer to relax when on vacation, instead of going on exhausting hikes and visiting towns that you won’t even remember later on? The beach of Calahonda, east from Malaga city, is one of the most beautiful in the region. You can daydream in the sun, go for a swim in the sea and eat fried fish at one of the chiringuitos for lunch. A little secret? Malagueños don’t actually drink sangria that often – order a tinto de verano instead (red wine with lemonade, served cold). It’s wonderfully refreshing without leaving you drunk for the rest of the day. Trust me on this.
9. Montes de Málaga Natural Park
Pine trees. This is what you’ll find in the hills of Malaga. As Malaga (and Andalucía in general) has a very warm climate without much rain, it offers a somewhat different kind of forest. These pine trees protect the floor, avoiding serious damage during rainfall, such as flooding, and make for somewhat of a green space in the middle of towns and a more bare landscape.
10. The Dolmens of Antequera
Interested in ancient history? Then this is a must-see for you. The dolmens of Antequera (situated, as the name suggests, near the said city), are one of the most ancient megalithic structures in the world, dating from the third millennium BCE. In fact, it is an ancient burial ground – when archaeologists first found the site they found several hundreds of skeletons inside. They are also inscribed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
As you read, Malaga has much more to offer than just the city centre (although that’s worth a visit too), so if you have one or more spare days in the beautiful province of the south of Spain, now you only need to decide what you want to do.