I’m dreaming of a winter getaway. My grandfather was born and raised in Spain, so the country has always been on my bucket list. I recently learned of a charming city there called Malaga—it’s the sixth largest city in the country, which lies on Spain’s Mediterranean “Coast of the Sun.”
The enchanting city of Malaga
Spain’s Costa del Sol has worked hard to shake off its reputation as a tourist-heavy resort hotspot, and visitors have been surprised by the beauty and charm of this region. Malaga is not all about crowded beaches and hotel complexes, and this picturesque port city is full of Spanish atmosphere.
If you’re looking for a mix of a historic old town full of traditional and cosmopolitan little restaurants and—yes—beautiful beaches, then Malaga may just be the ideal Spanish destination.
A stunning setting
Malaga’s bay is nothing if not picturesque, and it’s along this sweeping stretch of coastline that you’ll find immense golden beaches such as La Malagueta, La Caleta and Banos del Carmen. The numerous beaches are located along the Promenade of Pablo Ruiz Picasso providing you with easy access to a mix of bars and restaurants. The great thing about these sands is that there are so many of them you can easily find your own secluded stretch or join in the fun at the livelier spots. Malaga is known for its pristine sands, and most of its beaches have been awarded the Blue Flag status for cleanliness, facilities and water purity.
Historic city center
Wander about this city’s narrow little streets and you’ll find something new around every corner. The Renaissance style cathedral with its impressive interior dates back to 1528, and the magnificent Gibralfaro Castle with its hill-top setting will provide you with panoramic views over the Mediterranean Sea. The town center with its colorful, balconied buildings provides an atmospheric setting, and there are many tapas bars for a quick snack while enjoying a day’s shopping in the upmarket boutiques. The outdoor seating areas of the restaurants are the best place to sip a coffee or cool drink in the sunshine while watching daily life unfold in front of you.
Malaga is known as the gateway to the Costa del Sol and you have a number of nearby attractions to explore. You’re just over an hour’s drive from Granada, known as Andalucía’s most youthful, cosmopolitan and vibrant city. Don’t miss the chance to explore the beautiful old town of Nerja with its spectacular cliff-side setting and its famous magical caves. Take a donkey-ride around the traditional city of Mijas and spend some time in the waters here by enjoying some jet-skiing and even scuba diving.
The Spanish people are famous for their welcoming attitude, and you’ll be assured of a great evening in the cities many restaurants, bars and nightclubs. The restaurants down by the waterfront are the place to dine on the freshest seafood dishes while enjoying a few glasses of the locally produced sweet wines. Many of the city’s eateries are housed in majestic old buildings with their own gardens and this makes dining out an extra-special experience. The city is also home to some of the most stylish music venues including funky little nightclubs and atmospheric flamenco clubs where you can dance and drink until six in the morning.
There’s no doubt that Malaga packs a big punch as a vacation destination and one visit may be all it takes to fall in love with this city’s many charms.