We arrived in Malaga around midday, craving the sandy beaches and cool water. It had been a hot journey so far, but at least we now had the Mediterranean Sea. This city was a true holiday destination, with crowded beaches and endless tourists. But it was also super relaxed and nobody was in a hurry to go anywhere at all. Palm trees line wide streets, high rise buildings towered over the harbour and the Alcazaba stood proudly on the hill. It was a strange blend of ultra-modern and historic architecture, but I liked it. Here are some ideas to get you started:
Eat churros with the locals
Start your day like the locals do by dropping into La Malagueña for churros. If you want to order chocolate sauce, you’ll have to ask for it separately. The locals sit here, dipping it into a milky coffee, while waiters hurry all over the shop attending to the many customers.
Explore the Alcazaba
This Moorish fortress sits high up on the hill, overlooking the city of Malaga. Wander through the pretty gardens, past fountains and through carved, wooden archways. Whilst it does not have the overwhelming grandeur of the Alhambra in Granada, it’s modesty holds a different kind of charm. And, if you get there early enough, you will have the place completely to yourselves.
Climb the hill to the Castillo de Gibralfaro
This steep climb is best done in the cooler temperatures of the morning, but I suspect the sunset up here is amazing, so you just need to take a hat and plenty of water. Salted almonds are sold at the top, which will give you enough energy to explore inside the castle, which is located well above the Alcazaba. You can walk all around the castle walls, with wide-spread ocean and city views.
Visit the Central Market
Brimming with fresh produce and delicious snacks, we stocked up on olives, cheese, fresh fruits, salted ham and bread and made our way to the beach for a picnic. You can also sit down within the market for tapas, or stock up on groceries. Just be sure to ask the cost before you buy, or you might be given the tourist price!
Wander the Historic Centre
Admire the pretty buildings with their iron lacework, balconies and white shutters, as you wander in and out of these narrow streets. Don’t miss the impressive cathedral too!
Go shopping at La Calle Larios
This shopping strip is located in the old city centre. The wide marble-paved street is lined with historic buildings and full of clothing stores. It can be a great way to spend time in the heat of the day, or simply a nice place to stroll through with an ice-cream in hand.
Lounge under the palm trees at the beach
Hire a shady beach hut, or set down a rug under the shade of a big palm tree on the grass and settle in for an afternoon of relaxation! Take a book, dip in and out of the water, wriggle your toes in the sand and snack on olives and cheese. There is plenty of interesting people-watching to be had too!
Enjoy a drink by the Puerto de Malaga
This international sea port is lined with many restaurants, ready for the cruise ships as they come in and out. Enjoy a sangria or a sparkling red wine as the sun sets over the sea.
Try seafood at a beach restaurant
By the beach, you will see that many of the restaurants have row boats beside them, full to the brim with hot coals. This is where a lot of the fish is grilled, such as sardine skewers, a local delicacy. Whatever you decide to try, nothing beats eating sea food with views of the Mediterranean Sea!
Have you been to Malaga? What else would you add to the list?