It has been quite a long time since we’ve posted about Malaga and although I personally hadn’t visited this historic city before, I thought I knew all there was to know since it is one of our most popular locations – and home to one of the very best Spanish schools in Spain! I certainly didn’t realise how fascinating the city itself was, or how special it is for the visitor that wants it all – great food, historic landmarks, large city nightlife and vast stretches of beach.
As a city that is keen to separate itself from the nearby resort towns, you should go to Malaga without any preconceived ideas of what to expect to get the very most from your experience. My host during my week in Malaga was actually Dutch, but had chosen to live in this fascinating city over 20 years ago, after going to university there and falling in love with the place himself.
With a very quick transfer from the nearby Malaga airport, my first stop was at the on-site residence at our school. I was fortunate enough to stay in the executive style room but did not have my own private terrace – which is actually reserved for students who are there to study Spanish! However, the view from my room was incredible, as you can see from the picture. We had a refreshing beer (from the school’s onsite restaurant) in the Spanish sunshine before heading downstairs, close to the school, to a new Basque restaurant for (honestly) one of the best meals I can remember! Olives, Salmon toasts and oxtail stuffed peppers were followed by a typical ‘Chuleta‘ (incredible beef Ribeye steak) to share, perfect chips, more peppers, lots of sea salt and a red wine which was smoother than any Rioja I know. Great start!
The following day it was time to venture in to the city on a whistle stop tapas tour of some of the most popular sights. Malaga is an historic, Mediterranean city with a Roman amphitheatre, hugely impressive Cathedral, an Arabic Palace and the castle of Gibralfaro which overlooks the city, dating back to the 10th Century. Malaga was especially impressive during my tour since the red carpet was rolled out for the film festival, which is now always held in April. We had some delicious tapas at several places – with the best having to be the Bodega bar El-Pimpi, which is very close to the Cathedral and Amphitheatre and just next to the Picasso Museum.
Walking north from the Picasso Museum takes you to the newly pedestrianised Plaza Merced, the birth place of Pablo Picasso and the current headquarters of the Picasso Foundation. Finding our way back through the historic centre, stopping for more tapas we finally came to the Calle Marqués de Larios – where you go to be seen and spend money in the exclusive designer shops. Such a fascinating visit already and I hadn’t even seen the beach yet!
Just a stroll downhill from our school and across the road that takes you straight in to the city centre (the number 11 bus) you will find the pedregalejo beach – 3Km of warm sand, gentle surf and tasty fish restaurants. We turned up for a late lunch hoping for the famous paella at Restaurante Mar de Pedregalejo – but instead had barbequed sardines, garlic and butter coated sea food, fresh tuna salad, delicious Spanish herrings and ice cream for dessert from the restaurant next door. We enjoyed the food, atmosphere and beach view so much that we stayed (with a few speciality drinks in hand) until they served us paella for dinner – well worth the wait!
During my short stay in Malaga I experienced aspects of several perfect holidays from just one city. I could also write more about Malaga’s excellent nightlife, but I will save that for another time and hopefully another return visit soon!