After New Year festivities are well and truly over it’s time to start looking for that late winter/early spring break to get away from the worst of the UK weather. With winter temperatures that rarely fall below 60F, 300 sunshine days a year and just 2 hours 45 minutes flying time from the UK, Malaga ticks all the boxes.
Malaga – 3000 years of history
Although it’s just 80 miles from Africa and part of the Costa-del-Sol, you don’t have to be a sun worshipper to enjoy everything this much-changed city has to offer. The 3,000 years of architectural heritage waiting to be explored around the old city is just the start. Stroll through the winding lanes of the city centre towards the waterfront. Visit the Pablo Picasso Museum. He was born in Malaga, and his museum has over 250 original pieces of art donated by his family. Enjoy a lunchtime snack of fried seafood or tapas at one of the waterfront bars, or impress the natives and sample Malaga’s own Ajo Blanco. It’s a version of Gazpacho, a favourite Andalusian cold soup, and contains a creamy blend of olive oil, garlic and crushed almonds.
Spend time visiting the Kings Palace. This Alcazaba Fortress dates from the 11th century, while the nearby Castillo de Gibralfaro has its roots in the Phoenician period. The Museum of Arts is next to the port, while the Museum of Popular Art and Customs and The Diocesan Museum are close by. Art galleries seem to be springing up everywhere. For the artistically inclined, a stroll through Malaga’s increasingly arty area of Soho, to view the increasing amount of street art springing up, should be on the itinerary.
Tour the coast and countryside
For those who wish to explore the surrounding areas, a range of well organised excursions are available from Malaga. These range from a few hour’s guided tour around the city hotspots, to full day excursions along the coast or countryside or a couple of nights spent away. Leaving your hotel for a set period and returning to enjoy the rest of your break in the city. You can take advantage of a private chauffeur experience with HolidayTaxis. Head off down the west coast if you want to spend a few hours at the famous touristy beach resorts of Torremolinos, Benalmadena, Fuengirola, Marbella and Puerto Banus.
On the other hand, if your preferences are visiting more traditionally Spanish areas, then head inland toward the mountains. On the west coast head towards Fuengirola, before turning onto the A-387 towards the beautiful village of Mijas. The whitewashed walls and terracotta tiles of the village cottages are typical of other Spanish villages in the area such as Ojen and Casares.
Blending the old with the new
If you’ve never visited Malaga, or it’s some years since you did, it’s time for a second visit. For the last 10 years Malaga has worked towards embracing its thousands of annual visitors with impressive new art galleries and attractions. A pleasant promenade now spans the waterfront where you can enjoy a little retail therapy in the many new stores. Or chill and relax in the chic, trendy cafes and sample the local cuisine in its traditional bars.
As a year-round tourist destination, Malaga and its beaches fill with families and the young and trendy during the summer months. From autumn through spring the age group rises and Malaga life slows, becoming more relaxed and laid back and turning the city into the ideal destination for that late winter break.