If you missed our posts on Marbella, there are plenty more reasons to visit the Costa del Sol for some winter sun.
Ok, so we love the warm weather, bargain flights and buckets of sangria, but it’s unique destinations like Malaga that really make for a unique beach break. Known for its laid-back lifestyle and sandy beaches, Malaga has one of the warmest winters of any European city, and has a rich cultural and historical heritage up its sleeve.
So we asked the guys over at Malaga Holidays to give us a few ideas for things to do once you’ve topped up your tan. Experts when it come to all things Andalusia, they came up with this monster list!
1. Go on a Walking Tour
Malaga Town Hall has designed several routes and walking tours around the city divided into different themes. Take the scenic ‘Botanical Route’ past gardens, green spaces, fountains and statues, tour the historic buildings of the city, or take the ‘Route of Pablo Ruiz Picasso’ to learn about the life, work and legacy of this great artist.
2. Enjoy a ‘Sundowner’
Malaga’s warm evening were made for ‘sundowners’ – a drink to be enjoyed at sunset on a terrace, maybe accompanied by some of Malaga’s famous cakes. Terrace bars and cake shops can be found in the city centre around the areas of Calle Larios, Plaza de la Merced, Calle Alcazabillas, Calle San Agustín or Plaza de la Constitucion. Or you can head to the beach for a drink in one of the Chiringuitos (Beach bars).
3. Party the Night Away
Malaga has great nightlife, from wild nights out dancing to more relaxing evenings where you can talk, enjoy a drink and some good music. In the historic centre of Malaga, the streets and squares along Granada, Alcazabilla, Plaza de Uncibay and Luis de Velázquez buzz with authentic bars. Pedregalejo, La Malagueta, Paseo de Sancha and Limonar are where you’ll find outdoor terraces and good live music.
Just a few kilometres from the city and close to Malaga Airport, we recommend the Plaza Mayor Leisure Centre for its selection of cinemas, discos, bowling allies and bars, and lively atmosphere at the weekends.
4. Eat Tapas, Fried Fish and ‘Postre’
“Tapeo”, Malaga’s version of Tapas, is commonplace across the city. In most bars if you buy a drink (normally, beer, wine or grape juice) you’ll get a little plate filled with the most delicious snacks. Look out for local wines that belong to the ‘Denomination of origin Malaga’, which is one of the oldest wine producers in Spain.
Traditional Malagan cuisine is dominated by fish dishes, local meats and vegetables. The little fried fish (Pescaito Frito) that you can smell everywhere is very popular, along with the typical Malagan barbecued sardines on a wooden stick (Espetos).
Finish your meal with a delicious “Postre” (dessert), as Malaga is famous for its master confectioners, creating scrumptious cakes, pastries and extra creamy ice creams.
5. Take Road Trips
Hire a car, and it’s easy to take a day trip from the Malaga hotels in the city center.
Serranía de Ronda takes you on a tour past traditional white villages and the well known town of Ronda, with its 100 meter deep gorge and impressive bridge.
Before reaching the sea at Malaga, the river Guadalhorce flows through the Valley of the Guadalhorce, a fertile landscape of fields, fruit trees, and charming traditional villages surrounded by green valleys. Check out Cartama, Pizarra, Alora, and Alhaurin de la Torre.
West of Malaga, you’ll find some of the most popular tourist resorts of the Costa del Sol, such as Torremolinos, Benalmádena, Fuengirola,and Sotogrande. The whole area is full of water parks, casinos, golf courses and prestigious marinas, but a couple of beautifully preserved white villages (Casares, Ojen and Mijasalso), lie sheltered beneath the mountains of Sierra Bermeja, Sierra Blanca and Sierra Mijas.
6. Shop at Street Markets
Malaga holds several street markets across the city – pop by to pick up some regional art or crafts or just enjoy the colorful hustle and bustle of Andalusian life. There are normally several bars surrounding each marketplace to watch the shoppers haggle. Top Markets include the Mercadillo de Bailén Miraflores (Calle Marqués de Ovieco, Fridays 9-3pm), Mercadillo Carlos Haya (Saturdays 9-3pm), and the Rastro de Martiricos (Paseo de los Martiricos, Sundays).
7. Go Golfing
In the Province of Malaga there are more than 20 international top range Golf Courses, and you can reach them in less than an hour by booking your cheap car hire Malaga airport and taking the A-7 Highway or the N-340 national road.
8. Talk to the Animals
Malaga is close to many animal parks and zoos, perfect for keeping the little ones entertained. We recommend Lobo Park, the wolf park close to Antequera, the Crocodile Park in Torremolinos, the interactive Sealife Park in Benalmádena, and the Selwo Adventure Park in Estepona.
9. Find a Festival
Malaga hosts an astonishing number of festivals and cultural events throughout the year – here are a couple worth checking out:
September: Biennale Malaga Flamenco (Flamenco Festival)
October: Picasso October
November: International Jazz Festival, Fantasy Cinema and Science Fiction Week
December: Classical Christmas Concerts
January: International Theatre Festival, International Festival of Contemporary Music
February: Malaga Carnival
April: Festival of Classical Music, The Festival of Malaga, Festival of Spanish Cinema
June: Festival of Antique Music
July: Festival Terral (Music and Theatre Street Festival)
August: Malaga Fair (Feria de Malaga)
Want to know where to stay in the region? Check out our guide to a cheap winter sun break in Marbella.