Thursday, December 29, 2011

Malaga and Costa del Sol

The province of Malaga and its villages encloses a host of different landscapes. There are places to dream of, like the traditional "pueblos blancos" or white towns of Axarquía's hinterland, the monumental cities of Ronda or Antequera, and the touristy beach area of Costa del Sol, nature parks and reserves, and the cosmopolitan urban environment of the capital of the province, Malaga City.

Travel around Spain - Malaga and Costa del Sol


Malaga city

Plaza de la Marina: the main façade facing to the port is formed by monumental buildings made ​​between 1948 and 1960.

Monument to the Marquis de Larios: just to the left, a nobleman of the city and developer of the main street of historical Malaga. The monument was made ​​by Mariano Benlliure.

Alameda Principal: left again, a space adorned with a green roof of ficus and oriental plane trees, and stately facades of the houses of the oligarchy of the nineteenth century. Among them the Municipal Archives building, built in 1792, and the mansion where today stands the Delegation of Government of Andalusia. In the middle, La Casa del Guardia, the oldest tavern in the city, remains intact its nineteenth-century taste and purity of the genuine sweet wines of Malaga.

Atarazanas Market: historic and actively market where the front door was rescued from Arab shipyards. Mon-Sat 08:00-15:00.

Larios Street: the heart of the city, one of the emblematic signs of nineteenth-century Malaga along with the latest European proposals of the time. Larios Street ends at the Plaza de la Constitution. Its present appearance is due to the renovations of 2002. The most important piece is the Fountain of Genoa, from the XVI century. Two stops worth a visit in the Plaza: the building of the Economic Society of Friends of the Country, typical of eighteenth century domestic architecture and the Church of Santo Cristo de la Salud, an excellent example of Baroque architecture.

Plaza de la Merced: in the centre of the square are the remains of General Torrijos and his followers, liberals, shot for defending the civilian freedoms during the nineteenth century. An obelisk made in 1842 marks the cenotaph. In the northern front of the square the buildings called Casas de Campos, from 1868-1874, is where Picasso was born. Today the site houses the Picasso Foundation. Hours: Mon-Sun 09:30-20:00. To the west, is the Municipal Theatre Miguel de Cervantes, from 1870.

Basilica of Santa Maria de la Victoria: from the Plaza de la Merced northbound along Calle de la Victoria, you arrive to the Basilica of Santa Maria de la Victoria, patron of the city. The image is from the fifteenth century. In the lower area is the Pantheon of the Counts of Buenavista. Hours: Tue-Sat 10:00-13:00.

Roman Theatre, Gibralfaro Castle and Alcazaba: the roman theatre was recently restored, back southbound through Alcazabilla Street. The Gibralfaro Castle and Alcazaba are the most important remains from the Islamic period. From 11th-15th centuries, the Alcazaba was the palace-fortress of the city's governing Muslims. To get up to the Castle of Gibralfaro take bus number 35 in the Paseo del Parque. Just the views worth the visit. November to March: 8:30-19:00; April to October: 09'30-20'00. Closed on Mondays.

Museum Picasso Malaga: in San Agustin Street, one of the most charming areas of the city. The museum is housed in the Palacio de Buenavista, XVI century renaissance building. More than 230 works by Picasso including paintings, drawings, sculptures, ceramics and carvings. Hours: 10:00-20:00 (Fri and Sat until 21.00) Closed: Mondays. In July and August, Mondays open 10.00-20.00.

Malaga’s Cathedral: built from 1528 on. Many artworks in: the Altarpiece of Santa Barbara, the Altarpiece of Santa Clara, the Chapel of the Virgin de los Reyes, image donated by Queen Isabel II to the city, the painting of Our Lady of the Rosary by Alonso Cano, and especially the choir, magnificent precious wood chairs, made ​​by Pedro de Mena. Sightseeing Hours: 10:00 to 18.00 h. Sat: 10:00 to 17.00. Closed Sun.

Paseo del Parque: designed as a botanical garden, with plants brought from all over the world. It was located on land reclaimed from the sea from 1897 on. On its north side are located several buildings: the former Gardener's Cottage, the central post office, being now the seat of the Rector of the University of Malaga, and the main building of City Hall.

Bullring: housing the Bullfighting Museum, and the Paseo de Reding sumptuous historical buildings. Hours: Mon-Fri 10:00-13:00.

El Cenachero: Malaga’s symbol, this bronze sculpture, represents a typical figure of the street fish vendor who holds in perfect balance the two baskets he carries, one on each arm. This work of art pays tribute to a popular figure, now no longer seen, who walked the streets selling his fish and making his baskets "dance" as they hung from his arms.

Carmen Thyssen Museum: housed in the Palacio de Villalon, a palace of the XVI century, located on the Compañía Street near the Plaza of the Constitution. XIX century Spanish art, particularly Andalusian paintings. Tue-Thu 10:00-20.00. Fri-Sat 10:00-21.00. Sun 10.00-20.00. In June: Sun 10:00-14:00. In July and August: Mon 10:00-20:00 and closed on Sundays.

Revello de Toro Museum (Afligidos Street): paintings by famed portraitist Felix Revello de Toro, including oil paintings, sketches and drawings. Summer: Mon-Sat 10.00-14.00 and 17.00-20.00. Sun 10.00-14.00. Winter: Mon-Sat 10.00-14.00 and 16.00-19.00. Sun 10.00-14.00.

Museum of Flamenco (Ramón Franquelo Street, 4): a collection of over 2,500 records with some copies of the nineteenth century, 40 guitars, some with more than two centuries, and important bibliographical about flamenco. Hours: Tue-Sun 10:00-14:00.

Museum of Malaga’s Wines (located in the Palace of Viedma, Plaza de Viñeros 1): history, culture, art and education about the wines of the province of Malaga. Tasting Room, Training Room and Shop. Mon-Fri 12:00-14:30 and 16:30-19:30.

Museum of Malaga Football Club: The Museum & Tour MCF is in the facilities of the Stadium's La Rosaleda. Mon-Thu 10:00-19:00, Thu-Sat 15:00-19:00 (winter) 10:00-14:00 (summer).

Finca de la Concepción: a tropical garden 5km away from the town centre, with magnificent 150 old trees, exuberant vegetation, streams with cascades, and some architectural elements. It can be accessed from the motorway from Madrid to Malaga. Hours: Oct-Mar 09:30-17:30; May-Sept 9:30-20:30.

Malaga Province

Ronda is one of the oldest cities of Spain. The town sits on a plateau cut by a deep dug by the river Guadalevín, which overlook the buildings of the historic centre, giving the city a picturesque panoramic, together with a variety of monuments, and the natural environment.

Bullring: one of the oldest and most monumental bullrings, from 1785. Bullfighting Museum inside. Mon-Sun 10:00-18:00.
New Bridge: from 18th century, it’s the symbol of the town.
Alameda Park: excellent tree-lined avenue of the 19th century with great views.
Mondragon Palace: mudejar style building from 16th century. Mon-Fri 10:00-18:00; Sat-Sun 10:00-15:00.
Saint Mary's Church: old mosque converted into church in 15th century by king Fernando the Catholic. Mon-Sat 10:00-18:00; Sun 10:00-12:30 & 14:00-18:00.
Arch of Felipe V: old access to Ronda (XVIII century).
Arab Baths: thermal facilities from Moslem era (13-14th century). Mon-Fri 10:00-18:00; Sat-Sun 10:00-15:00.

Our recommendation: after a day walking around the city, chill out yourself while enjoying a coffee in Parador de Ronda, with great views of the landscape. Check the opening ours in advance, as they change randomly (

Mijas town lying eight kilometres from the coast, despite being a major tourist centre, preserves all its Andalusian village charm with small squares and streets with whitewashed houses lodging small craft shops like Moorish souk. It also has one of the most original tourist attractions: the famous donkey-taxis hired to go through the most picturesque Mijas nooks.

Tourist office:;

Located between the Sierra Almijara and the coast, it has marvellous beaches but also cliffs and coves, making it an extraordinarily beautiful place. All this, without losing that mellow Andalusian village air with white houses and balcony plants. The streets run down to a large promenade surrounded by tall palm trees looking to the sea: the famous Balcony of Europe.

Nerja Cave, located 4 km from Nerja, there is an extensive variety of deposits (stalactites, stalagmites, columns, etc). It’s 45 minutes long. Summer 10:00-19:30; winter 10:00-14:00 & 16:00-18:30.; You can see a map of the cave with pictures here:

Nerja has also some of the best beaches in Malaga province, as the Burriana beach or any of the virgin beaches near Maro, like the Alberquillas or El Cañuelo beaches, accesses from the N-340, but vehicles are not allowed to reach the beach themselves.

A small village, just six kilometres from Nerja, in the foothills of the Sierra Almijara, Frigiliana, with narrow, sloping and whitewashed streets. It has won of several prizes, such as most beautiful village in Andalusia. Main visit is the mudejar old town, one of the purest Arabic ones in Malaga province.

Located at the main crossroads of Andalusia and therefore known as the "heart" of the autonomous region, it has been and it’s a must for travellers. Its magnificent monument is the result of its historical past, and is translated into more than fifty buildings of religious and civil architecture, dating from the Bronze Age and the eighteenth century.

Collegiate of Santa Maria la Mayor: in renaissance and mudejar styles, it was the first monument in Renaissance style in Andalusia. Mon-Sun 10:30-17:30.
Alcazaba (Arab Fortress): walled area of the Islamic Medina occupying the hill. Hours: Mon-Sun 10:30-17:30.
Puerta de Granada: arch built in 1748.
Los Gigantes Arch: built in 1585.
Bullring: it was inaugurated in 1848; the high lines of seats are made of wood. Tue-Fri 10:00-14:00 & 16:00-18:00, Sat 10:00-14:00, Sun 11:00-14:00.
Mirador Almenillas: one of the most breathtaking panoramas of the city.
Coso Viejo Square: equestrian statue of Infante Don Fernando and a beautiful fountain. In the square there are two important buildings: the Palace of Nájera and the Convent of Santa Catalina de Siena.
Dolmens of Menga and El Romeral: in magnificent conditions. The dolmen of Menga was built about six thousand years ago. It's a huge corridor bounded by ten huge slabs, five on each side and covered with five slabs; last cover weights more than 180 tons. Tue-Sat 9:00-18:00, Sun 9:30-14:30.


Malaga City:
Near Ronda:


The pescaito frito (small fried fish) is one of the most delicious dishes of the Andalusian cuisine. In fishing suburbs like El Palo and Pedregalejo (take bus number 11 from town centre) you can dine right on the beach.
  • Pescado en adobo (fish in a marinade)
  • Buñuelos de bacalao (cod fritters)
  • Boquerones vitorianos: small fresh anchovies, delicious accompanied by a salad of roast peppers.
  • Espetos de sardinas (sardines on skewers): prepared by skewering them on canes that are stuck upright in the sand next to a fire, but without letting either the smoke or flame touch the fish.
  • Andalusian gazpacho: prepared cold using a base of garlic, crumbled bread, olive oil, water, vinegar, tomato and salt and with or without pepper and cucumber.
  • Ajoblanco: a type of gazpacho without tomatoes but containing ground almonds that is usually served with peeled grapes or raisins.
  • Gazpachuelo: a soup made from water, bread and egg white to which is added mayonnaise that has been diluted in a little of the same soup.
  • Migas (a dish made from fried bread crumbs): based on bread and water, to which are added grapes, cantaloupe, watermelon, oranges, olives or herring.

Other dishes typical of the coastal region and are, naturally, based on fish: “sopa de rape” (monkfish soup), “rape con patatas” (monkfish with potatoes”), “arroz a la marinera” (rice with seafood) and “calderetas de pescado” (fish soups).


Malaga City

  • Rincón del Trillo. Espartero, 8. Rustic corner with bar and dining areas.
  • Mesón La Aldea. Esparteros, 5. One of the most traditional tapas bar in Malaga.
  • Café Central. Santa María, 2. Opened at the dawn of the 20th century, it's the oldest coffee shop in Malaga and well-known for its lengthy bar always full of customers and for its outdoor tables.
  • Bar Orellana. Moreno Monroy, 5. Established in 1937. This small place is one of the most traditional tapas sites.
  • El Trillo. Don Juan Díaz, 4. A cosy place opened in 1998.
  • El Jardín. Cañón, 1. Established in 1886, this bar is ideally situated in a privileged place in town, at the Patio de los Naranjos, just beside the Cathedral.

Malaga Province

Most recommended places for eating typical food in inland Malaga are old “ventas” or country inns, now converted into restaurants and small hotels. In these old ventas the genuine gastronomy has been best preserved and prices are usually affordable.

Alfarnate (located next to the old road from Malaga to Granada)
Old Venta de Alfarnate: (  of the 17th century.affordablethe building preserves the structure and layout with which it was constructed at the end of the 17th century.

Restaurante Reina (formerly known as Restaurante la Espuela).
El Angelote (in the Coso Viejo Square): restaurant located in a 17th century building.
Caserío San Benito (near to the Malaga-Córdoba road in the village of Alameda near Antequera): restaurant set in wonderfully preserved rural Andalusian scenery.

Comares (east side of province)
Molino de los Abuelos (in the main square): building dating to the end of the 19th century.

Mesón la Molienda (in Benalauría village near de Ronda): once an old olive oil mill with almost two hundred years of history.

Casarabonela (in Guadalhore river valley)
Antigua Venta San Antonio (at kilometre 32.5 on the A-357 road from Malaga to Campillos): 18th century building that still preserves all the characteristic features of an Andalusian cortijo (country farmhouse).


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