Multifaceted Málaga

The sun’s rays reflected on the Mediterranean like a million glittering diamonds. Squinting out to sea, after four flights and 34 hours in the artificial light of airplanes and airports, we have arrived in Málaga, Spain.

Bougainvillea Alcazaba

Alcazaba, Fortified Moorish Palace, Málaga

During our first week here, the city and province of Málaga has been introducing us to its many different faces. So far, we have become acquainted with its ancient and modern sides, vast tourist areas, and authentic Andalucian atmosphere.

Roman Theater

Roman Theater (1st century BC) and Moorish Walls (10th century AD), Málaga

Malaga is an old city. Due its coastal location and natural harbor, seafaring Phoenicians first set up camp here in 770 BC. For the next 28 centuries, Greeks, Carthaginians, Romans, Visigoths, Moors, and finally Christians have continuously resided here.

Port Pergola

Palmeral de las Sorpresas, Port of Málaga

Amidst the relics of old Málaga, we have also found the polish and designs of a modern city. Málaga is the southernmost large city in Europe (population greater than 500,000). Because of its ideal size and wide variety of natural and historical interests it is a prime tourist and cruise ship destination.

Costa sunbathers

Northern European Sunbathers, Torremolinos, Costa del Sol, Málaga

Most of the tourists migrate here from northern Europe for the soothing sunshine and miles of uninterrupted beaches. Málaga enjoys the warmest winters of any large city in continental Europe, and is aptly known as the “Capital of the Costa del Sol”.

Canillas

Moorish Village of Canillas de Albaida, La Axarquía, Málaga Province

If the Costa del Sol is the over-played hit single, Málaga’s provincial La Axarquía region is its unforgettable B-side. This atmospheric area of green terraced valleys is blanketed in fruit orchards and dotted with pretty white villages from the Moorish era.

Olive Vendor

Almond and Olive Vendor at Atarazanas Market, Málaga

The fertile La Axarquía countryside is famous for its olives, almonds, and sweet raisin wine. Happily, after a week, our sampling of these delicacies has only just begun.

Wine Bar Barrels

Sweet Málaga Raisin Wine at Antigua Casa de Guardia wine bar

As we carry on through the month of February, we will be looking to find more attributes of this sunny and interesting area. Like those shimmering diamonds on the Mediterranean Sea, the combination of ancient, modern, touristy, and authentic create a brilliant reflection in multifaceted Málaga.

Es with Picasso

Esther with Pablo (Picasso was born in Málaga in 1881)

Feature Image: Fountain of the Three Graces, Málaga

15 thoughts on “Multifaceted Málaga

  1. Joe, I hope you and Esther are well recovered now from your 34 hrs travelling…gruelling. The history and old side of this city is fascinating. I have visited it twice, but both times just very briefly, so a return visit is on the cards. Olives, almonds and wine…what is not to like? I love the picture of Esther with Pablo😄

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    • Hola Gilda, It was a long and exhausting trip, but well worth it! We are really enjoying the sunshine, sights, and snacks of Málaga. We have seen quite a few motorhome parks outside the city center here. It would be a nice place to camp by the beach, and maybe use a bike to get into town.

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  2. So beautiful! And definitely worth the hours on the plane and in the airports. I didn’t know it was the southern-most city in Europe, but I can certainly see why so many people flock there in the winter months! I think I’m going to put that on my bucket list myself!

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    • Hi Ann, Málaga is not too far from Almería, where your friend lives. If you plan a visit, please avoid the summer months. It is too hot and the beaches are packed. We are happy we chose to visit in February. It is not too busy, the weather is fabulous, and we got away from the snow back home.

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  3. This is such a fabulous tease! My wife and I plan to return to Spain (and to see Portugal for the first time) next winter. It’s heartening to see pictures with sunshine in February (we’re in Northern California, shovelling snow and watching the flood watch at the moment!).

    I love your analogy of regions being the A-side and the B-side. Your description of La Axarquia makes it sound like my kind of place. Those A-side spots bring to mind images from the tv show, Benidorm. Run away!!

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    • Hi Leah, Being from Norcal myself, I know what a mess the winter can be. I hope you don’t get any flooding at your place. You and your wife must be very excited for some nice weather on the Iberian Peninsula. The La Axarquía is really idyllic southern Spain, and a very nice retreat from Málaga city life and the Costa del Sol tourist scene.

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  4. My wife and I were quite close to Malaga at one point. We had a tour stop at Torremolinos. We still remember having a beach restaurant nearly to ourselves, where we enjoyed the best paella we’ve ever had along with a bottle of Rioja. I’m sure I’ve got some pictures (probably prints) lying around somewhere. I expect you’ll have equally memorable occasions before you move on.

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    • That is close, Dave. Torremolinos is only about 20 minutes by train from Málaga centro. I have made the trip a couple of times already, and have enjoyed walking the beachside promenade and rubbing elbows with the northern European tourists. It sounds like your visit was a while ago (pre-digital cameras). I don’t think it has changed much. Besides the pictures, I am happy that you found such a good paella and bottle of wine to remember your visit.

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    • Thanks, Marty! It has been sunny with temps in the mid to upper 60s. Not quite as warm as St. Augustine though. It was a tiring trip over here, and we were whooped once we arrived. We might be hearty, but we are mostly cheap. The lower fares tend to be on multi-stop flights, with excessive layover times. We are starting to wonder if it is worth it.

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