Malaga is a spectacular jumping off point in Spain, but it is also the perfect southern city to jump right into Spanish culture. The summer is a great time to get a feel for what the city is all about, breathe in the sweet smell of subtropical plants growing in the heat, feel the sea breeze and listen to the rhythm of the Spanish language all around you. The small Mediterranean city will give you a feel for what historic Spain looked like, you will be able to indulge in traditional Spanish culture at some great tapas bars and chiringuitos (ready for a fish fry on the beach anyone?), be blown away by the bright colors of the beautiful nature that surrounds you or the incredible Spanish art and architecture found throughout the city. Escape into the many small towns in the mountains to get a taste of country life in Andalusia (think olive groves in the hills and stout old ladies hanging clean white sheets on their terraces) or experience everything the city’s Old Town has to offer. Malaga is full of treasures in the summer; take a look at some of our favorites to get you started.
To Market to Market:
Malaga’s Old Town has plenty of nooks and crannies to discover as you wander about. But one of our favorites (well not so much of a hidden gem as one of the city’s landmark treasures), combining Spanish history, architecture, tradition and food is the Atarazanas Market. This is the perfect place to gaze up at 14th century Moorish architecture mixed with 19th century Spanish ironwork while you are grabbed by the senses and led from one stall to the next. Fresh fish catches are the sparkling, although slightly smelly, stunners, with shrimp, clams, mussels, sardines, calamari, octopus, huge monkfish with mouths wide open… that have all practically jumped out of the sea and into the fishmongers’ market stalls (it is all veryfresh). Summer is the perfect time of year to get all of the freshest foods offered at the market: fruit and vegetables plucked from nearby fields, regional cheeses, meats, olives and nuts along with all sorts of other lovely culinary delights. Listen to the market buyers and sellers chat about things going on around town between orders then jump right in there, try out your Spanish and try some of the market’s Spanish delicacies.
More Old Town Treasures:
Of course a lot of the Old Town’s charm comes from its beautiful architecture. The Alcazaba, Gibralfaro Castle, the Roman Theater, and Malaga’s Cathedral are just a few of the incredible monuments that you should definitely include on your list. And the Alcazaba and the Castle are the true treasures. Try a walk in the evening from the gardens of the Alcazaba up to Gibralfaro Castle to see the sunset and have an amazing view of the city below; it will not only be cooler at this time of day, if you decide to take the stroll on a Sunday evening these monuments will also be free to visit. Then check out the Roman Theater, the oldest monument in Malaga and one of the only Roman ruins that can still be seen in Andalusia. It is a lovely place to be taken back in history and in the summer it’s a great place to see open-air performances.
Take a Day Trip:
There are tons of incredible places to explore on the Costa del Sol. Malaga is exciting all on its own, but it is also surrounded by beautiful small towns and incredible nature. If natural parks with interesting ancient landforms sound good to you, take a trip to Antequera to see El Torcal de Antequera. The nature reserve in the Sierra del Torcal is filled with 150 million year old limestone that has been eroded, shaken and broken into a karst landscape of curious shapes for a day of exploration. If a great meal on the beach is more your style, head for El Palo and try to find a spot at the famousEl Tintero, a restaurant/chiringuito that pulls out all the stops. Of course there are plenty of places to get fried fish on the beach in Malaga, but El Tintero offers a truly Spanish experience along with fresh fish and seafood fried up hot. Instead of choosing from a menu, you get to watch as waiters come around carrying plates of food (and shouting out the names of each one) that are all up for grabs; just choose the ones that look the best to you, grab them as they go flying by and dig in.
Malaga is subtropical, which means there are plants sprouting and flowers blooming everywhere you look. And outside of the city there are plenty of beautiful beaches and the gorgeous countryside to explore. If you’re looking for a green place to escape to while staying right in the city center, the Parque de Malaga is a lovely place to take a stroll or sit on a bench among big green leaves and people watch. The city’s botanical garden, La Concepcion Jardin Botanico, is another great option. While it is a few kilometers outside of the city center it is well worth a short bus ride to experience the smells and sights of the bright plants, flowers and trees you can find there. And if what you’re looking for is a hidden oasis, an out of the way less crowded place to enjoy the soft sound of the Mediterranean, sun and sand, try these slightly less touristy beaches in small towns outside the city: Bajamar Almayate Playa in Almayate Bajo, El Playazo or Playa de Maro; or get even more adventurous and make your way to some of the nude beaches around Malaga for an even more off the beaten trail beach adventure.
Malaga in the summer is a must see. The city and its surroundings come to life when the weather gets hot. There are too many beaches to count; the city is filled with tradition, history and beauty; the mountains are filled with olive trees and avocados; there are quaint villages where you can get a taste for the slower side of Spain and what country life looks like… Malaga in the summer is the perfect place to jump into the Mediterranean while you jump into the Spanish language with Enforex.