Malaga is a beautiful, traditional city, built around a winding hilltop palace and surrounded by incredible mountains and tranquil countryside. Home to Malaguena, a local form of music and song with Fandango roots, the city is rich in culture, history and tradition as well being a bustling centre for modern art and nightlife. Head to Malaga to experience for yourself the traditional ‘Verdial’ culture and welcome.
Visit the imposing 16th century Malaga cathedral, erected on the spot where the city's main mosque had stood during eight centuries of Muslim rule. See the sculptures and its impressive old organs; with over 400 pipes they’re still in full working order. Make sure you also visit the cathedral museum for a deeper insight into the building’s past and significance.
With over twenty museums, culture seekers won’t be disappointed. Historians will love the Malaga Museum and the Municipal museum for their excellent collections. The Museo del Vino is also worth a peek and for art lovers, the Picasso Museum displays a vast array of original works by Pablo Picasso. Alternatively, try the Contemporary Art Centre, the Museo de Arte Flamenco or the Picasso birthplace museum.
Wander the beautiful streets and squares of the old town for a feel of everyday Andalucian life, stopping for sherry and tapas in some of the small taverns. For a relaxing stroll, make your way to the Pedro Luís Alonso Gardens. A gorgeous, city-centre haven, take time to relax under the shade of orange trees or cypress hedges and cool off near the water features. The Plaza de la Constitucion holds a beautiful fountain and the Episcopal Palace, fish market and various boutiques are also worth seeing. At night, search out some flamenco or Malaguena, and test out the local wines and cuisine in an open-air restaurant.
El Chorro is another peaceful haven, complete with mountain bike trails, fresh water lakes and an impressive gorge – there’s even a hair-raising wooden walkway along the gorge edge that you can take with a guide. But be warned; it’s only for the very brave.
Visit Antequera for a walk up the famous La Pena hill, a hike around the el Torcal nature reserve, and an evening barbecue at the wolf park where you can learn more about these fascinating creatures in their natural habitat. Head also to Gibraltar for the day to see the barbary apes on the Rock of Gibraltar and purchase some duty-free alcohol and perfumes.