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MALAGA

The Capital of the Costa Del Sol

Of course the great beaches of nearby Costa del Sol are what have made Malaga one of the most visited regions of Spain. But this town has more to offer than just seaside and sunshine

A LITTLE BACKGROUND

 

It is easy to understand why Malaga City is dubbed the Capital of the Costa del Sol. Once considered the poor cousin of Andalusia’s Capital city, Seville, it now competes successfully for attention, thanks to its profusion of quirky museums, innovative restaurants and trendy high streets. The opening of the Picasso Museum in 2003 triggered the city's cultural rebirth, and visitors are now flocking to this port city which boasts excellent transport, top-class cuisine and fascinating monuments, from Moorish and Roman times through to modern day - while retaining its authentic Andalucian feel.

Malaga has more museums than any other city in Andalucia - and there are new ones opening al the time. Learn more about Malaga through its wine, at the Wine Museum; its social history and customs, from the collection of 19th-century paintings at the new Carmen Thyssen museum; and its famous local personalities, such as the painter Felix Revello del Toro. For more art and design delights, you can visit museums of contemporary art, archaeology or glass; while fashion is covered, together with cars (yes, seriously - it's a clever gender-balancing combination) at one of the city's latest openings

 

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HISTORY AND MONUMENTS

 

As well as homage to the great Picasso, other great historic monuments include the imposing Baroque Cathedral, popularly known as 'La Manquita' (One Armed Woman), and the newly restored Roman theatre. High on the hill above the city is the Parador (state-run hotel), which is situated in the Gibralfaro, a Moorish castle of great historical importance. The Parador a wonderful place to either stay the night or have a long lunch in these fascinating surroundings with panoramic views over Malaga city and out across the port to sea. Although there has been a certain amount of destruction in Malaga over the centuries, especially during the Spanish Civil War, there is still plenty of proof of the Moorish occupation. Today you can visit the Moorish Alcazaba fortress, dating back to 1065, which also now features a very interesting archaeological museum. There are also many churches of great architectural and historic interest in and around the centre, which are well worth visiting.

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Birthplace of Picasso

AIRPORT

 

Along with Granada, Pablo Ruiz Picasso Málaga International Airport is our nearest airport and one of the busiest airports in Spain, with up to a staggering 16 million passengers annually. It serves much of Andalusia and especially the ever popular area all along the Costa del Sol.

 

SIGHTSEEING

 

A great way to get a good overall impression of Malaga is to hop on the  Official Malaga Tour Bus. The whole tour takes under one and a half hours and is well worth it at around 15 euros per adult. The Tour Bus ticket not only allows the enjoyment of taking in all the sights of the city, but it also offers a free voucher for bust transport to the beautiful botanical gardens on the outskirts of Malaga, Jardines de la Concepcion, on the main road to Antequera. There are many beautifully kept gardens in Malaga also worth seeing. For more suggestions see our excursions page.

 

CUISINE

 

In Malaga there is no shortage of places to eat and drink. From top notch, Michelin rated  restaurants to the most humble tapas bar, there is everything in between. If you find yourself in a Malaga chiringuito (beach bar) then the traditional ‘espeto’ sardines cooked outside on a skewer is not only delicious, but also an integral part of the healthy Mediterranean diet. There are many other delicious fresh fish dishes to choose from on most menus and generally at a very reasonable price.

SHOPPING

Malaga is not only the perfect place to explore the many historical monuments, atmospheric little streets and squares with delightful café culture, but it is also an excellent shopping centre. The main street to head for runs perpendicular to the stunning tree lined avenue, the Alameda, and starts at the Plaza Marina, near the port. Calle Marqués de Larios(often simply referred to as 'Larios') was pedestrianised in 2002 as part of improvements to Malaga city centre. The result is a bustling, chic area with many boutiques, designer shops and classy cafes, all surrounded by beautifully restored buildings.

 

Off Calle Larios, in the melee of tiny streets and interesting tapa bars, restaurants and even teterías (Moorish tearooms) you will find other interesting shops and also the bustling main fresh food market, Mercado Central de Atarazanas.

 

There are also several indoor commercial shopping malls, one just behind the landmark building of the huge quality department store, El Corte Ingles. Whereas previously, Malaga centre used to live up to the southern tradition of keeping the siesta time sacred, more and more shops are now open all day. Some of the smaller, family run businesses may still lock up for a long lunch. But the commercial shopping centres, El Corte Ingles and many of the shops in Calle Larios stay open all day, to meet the demand of the resident or tourist who enjoys the freedom of longer shopping hours. 

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Picasso Museum

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RECOMMENDATIONS

 

At the top of Larios is the main square, Plaza de la Constitución, which is centre of attention when cultural, traditional and religious events are celebrated. It is especially pretty in December, when a huge Christmas tree and decorations become the focal point.

 

During Semana Santa (Easter Holy Week), Malaga is taken over by extraordinary religious processions and the square is decked out with tiers of seats for spectators. Notably during this very important week of religious celebration, Antonio Banderas often returns to his home town to take part, as he has done since he was a young boy. Near the main square at the north end of Larios is the Larios Hotel, where Banderas and his wife Melanie Griffiths often stay.

TOP MALAGA ATTRACTIONS

 

La Alcazaba
The Alcazaba is a former 11th-century Arab fortress situated on a hill top, with fantastic views over the bay of Malaga and the old town. The Arabs built the fortress to protect the commercial port; the Citadel is one of the best preserved Arab structures in Andalucia, with more than 100 towers, 3 palaces and several gardens.

 

Gibralfaro
Gibralfaro Castle, built in the 14th century, belongs along with the Alcazaba to the well preserved Arab constructions of the Middle Ages. The two sites are connected by conduits between two of its towers. The original settlement of Gibralfaro castle dates from the time of the ancient Phoenicians, where once was situated a lighthouse.

 

Roman Theater
Malaga's Roman Theatre is located within the old inner city within walking distance of other important historical monuments, the Moorish Citadel and Gibralfaro castle. Constructed under the administration of the Roman Emperor Caesar Augustus and used until mid-third century, the Roman theatre was hidden from the eyes of the world for many centuries until it was found by chance in the middle of last century.

 

Picasso Home - Museum (Fundacion Picasso)
Malaga is intimately linked to the painter Pablo Picasso, as is the city where he was born in 1881. Picasso's birthplace, declared a historic-artistic monument, is located in the Plaza de la Merced in the historic centre and nowadays is a museum and headquarters of the Picasso Foundation.

 

Tivoli World
Tivoli World is one of the oldest amusement parks in the Costa del Sol situated next to the cable car in Benalmadena, 15 kilometres from Malaga. The park offers fun for the whole family with a large number of rides and shows, as well as gardens and restaurants, to spend a fun day.

 

The Cathedral
Malaga's cathedral is built on the former Great Mosque, after the reconquest in 1528. An architectural peculiarity of the cathedral is that it combines styles as diverse as a Gothic foundation, Renaissance facades and a baroque tower, as the construction lasted for several centuries due to lack of funding.

 

Sagrario Church
The Sagrario church is located next to the cathedral, and likewise it was built in the late 15th century on the ruins of the Great Mosque; the church situated in the historic centre in Santa Maria street features an Elizabethan Gothic style gate and an impressive altar.

 

Santiago Church
The Church of Santiago is the oldest church in Malaga, dating back to 1490. This church located in Calle Granada combines Moorish and Gothic styles; the beautiful tower is Mudejar style. In this church was baptized Picasso in 1881.

 

Palace Marqués de Valdeflores
The Palace Marques de Valdeflores is an 18th century residential building, situated in calle Carreterría. This building gives us an impression of the life of the aristocracy of the late 18th century in Malaga. The three floors building has a typical central courtyard surrounded by a gallery whose walls are decorated with Arab mosaics. Inside the palace are outstanding the main staircase and its balustrade, both in marble.

 

Bishop's Palace (Palacio Episcopal)
The Episcopal Palace is located very close to the Cathedral of Malaga; it is a complex of buildings of different styles. The main palace has its origins in the construction of 1762. The main facade has a high quality front entrance built with marbles of different colors; in its interior is outstanding the private garden of the bishop with tiles from the 18th century. Along with the Cathedral and the Plaza del Obispo, it is one of the most beautiful parts of Malaga.

 

Customs Palace (Palacio de la Aduana)
The Customs Palace was built in 1788 to administer the traffic of the port. This neoclassical building in the style of the Italian palaces of the 17th century is located near Malaga Park in the historic city centre.

 

The Town Hall (Ayuntamiento)
The town hall of Malaga is a beautiful neo-baroque style building with Art Nouveau details of the early 20th century. This remarkable building situated on the park promenade, between the port and old town, surrounded by gardens and other landmark buildings, is home to the Malaga city council.

 

The House of the Consulate
The Casa del Consulado is a 18th century building located in the Plaza de la Constitución in the Old Town. This building declared a historic monument is situated very close to Villalon Palace, home of the Thyssen Museum in Malaga.

 

Malaga Bullfighting Ring
The Malaga Bullfighting Ring is located in La Malagueta, near the Malaga Park, the Old Town and in the shadow of the castle Gibralfaro. This Mudejar-style bullfighting ring dates from 1876 and has capacity for 14,000 people. At the Plaza de Toros are held each August bullfights with the best toreros. These dates coincide with the popular Malaga Fair, creating great excitement among fans of bullfighting.

 

As you see there are many attractions in Malaga, any many more we did not write here. Malaga car hire is a great choice if we like driving and discovering the city.

COMMON SIGHTS OF MALAGA

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Opening out onto our colourful Mediterranean gardens, La Hacienda is a beautifully decorated traditional Andalucian cottage with all the comfort of a modern home. Look out for it's original Andalucian features including a high vaulted ceiling, wide windows to take in the view and gorgeous marble staircase. La Hacienda has stunning views and caters for up to 4 people. please click to find out more.

 

 

La Finca is Cortijo Las Olivas' largest cottage and caters for up to 5 people. Opening out onto our colourful Mediterranean courtyard, La Finca boasts a balcony with panoramic views of the mountains, pool and gardens, beautiful marble staircase and fully equipped kitchen, please click to find out more.

Opening out onto our large 'Mountain Spring water pool', La Casita is a quaint little cottage which caters for 2 people. La Casita is open plan and consists of a fully equipped marble topped kitchen, double bed and bright airy shower room.  Perfect for romantic getaways. please click to find out more