From Nerja to Manilva, this Spanish province is distinguished by its wonderful climate and first class facilities, making it an attraction for tourists from all over the world.
Thanks to its gentle climate, with 320 days of sun a year, this stretch of the Mediterranean coast in southern Andalusia has for years been an ideal holiday spot. Apart from its broad beaches, there are magnificent tourist facilities, hotels and restaurants, sporting installations and entertainment hot spots. The capital, Malaga, was first a Phoenician colony and later came under the control of the Greeks, Carthaginians, Visigoths, Arabs and Christians.
Today it is a maritime city rich in culture and history. The friendly people and wonderful climate do much to encourage a stroll through the old walls and remains of the Muslim palaces of the Alcazaba fortress; through its gardens, which sit next to the sea and are adorned with palm and orange trees and jacaranda - and on to discover the house where Picasso was born, right there on the wide and lively Plaza de la Merced. Or you can choose to take in the view of the city from the top of the Gibralfaro Castle.
Places of interest in Malaga
Of course the great beaches of the Costa del Sol are what have made Malaga one of the most visited regions of Spain. But this town has more to offer than just seaside and sunshine!
Malaga's-old-town is charming, with narrow streets that still have a Moorish air, Baroque facades and little squares and little hidden corners that preserve a nineteenth century air and charm. There is plenty to see in both the old part of the city and in its more populated neighborhoods, next to the port or the beach at El Palo.
Malaga was founded already by Phoenicians and was of great importance in the Moorish epoch. Highly interesting historical remains can be found in the town itself as in all of the provinces.
The Kings' palace, Alcazaba, which was built starting in the 11th century, is Malaga's most important building of the Moorish epoch. In its interior it is well worth visiting the very interesting Archaeological Museum.
Also worth a visit are the beautiful gardens with numerous fountains and the remains of a Roman theater.
Close by there is the Castillo de Gibralfaro. Originally a palace built probably by Phoenicians, but in 14th century Moorish Caliph Yasuf I had built over it the fortress which is conserved until today. Two of its towers are connected by ducts with the Alcazaba.
After conquering Malaga from the Moors, the Catholic Kings ordered in 1528 to build a cathedral over the original mosque. Construction was not finished until 1728, and the façade is mainly of this later period. Among the highlights are the chapels, Capilla Mayor and Capilla del Sagrado Corazon, and the beautiful choir-stalls.
Palacio de Buena Vista, Calle San Agustin. New museum with works from all periods in its permanent collection. This museum is very close to the house were Picasso was born, in Plaza de la Merced. For more information on the museum visit http://www.museopicassomalaga.org/
Museum of Popular Art and Customs
Pasillo de Santa Isabel, 10
Plaza del Obispo, 1
Important collection of religious arts, including works of Nino de Guevara and Pietro Vannuci.
Santuario de la Virgen de la Victoria
Andalusian baroque-style with Mudejar-style influences. Especially worth a vist are the crypt and tombs of the Counts of Buena Vista
La Iglesia del Sagrario
Gothic church with interesting reliefs and sculptures. Built in 1488 over an Arabian mosque
- Casa del Consulado, Palacio de la Aduana and Casa Palacio del Marques de Valdeflores are interesting examples of of 18th century architecture
And if you just want to relax, you can take a walk through one of the beautiful Mediterranean parks of Malaga: Puerta Oscura, de Picasso, de Pedro Luis Alonso, Parque de Malaga, de la Consula, El Retiro and la Concepcion
More than any other Spanish seaside city, this place represents the tourist boom along Malaga's coast. Its name comes from a series of windmills, several of which are still standing though now are closed in by new buildings and apartment blocks.
From the mouth of the Guadalhorce river until the city line with Benalmadena, there are more than eight kilometers of beaches with fine sand, all facing southeast and protected from northern winds - which blow cold in winter and hot in summer - by the Sierra de Mijas. This means that the water is some 22c in summer and doesn't drop below 16c, even in the middle of winter.
The beaches of Bajondillo and El Lido are wide with designated areas for windsurfing and water skiing and filled with beach bars and restaurants. La Carihuela beach is considered the most typical in the Torremolinos area. A narrow path runs along it, linking a string of beach bars, each with its own restaurants and showers. Old fishing boats have been dragged up on the sand alongside these restaurants where fresh seafood is prepared that can be eaten on the spot in comfortable terraces facing the sea.
From Torremolinos to Estepona, some 70 kilometres, the road runs parallel to the sea. It's Europe's longest avenue. All along the coast and on the land moving up the hills toward the mountains there are luxury villas and shopping centers.
There are still many remains of the past which fascinated travelers from the Romantic period: just cross the Paseo Maritimo and the first line of apartment blocks in Benalmadena, Fuengirola, Marbella or Estepona and you're in an old Andalucian village complete with winding streets, whitewashed houses, barred windows and balconies overflowing with geraniums.
Besides having one of the best yacht basins on the coast and a wide Paseo Maritimo, Benalmadena Costa rivals Torremolinos for beaches, tourist facilities and areas of relaxation and entertainment.
Hanging like a balcony from the mountain range of the same name, Mijas is one of the best examples of this tourist development.
Just a few years ago it was a farming village but today is one of Spain's richest towns with nearly 75,000 residents. It's old town (the pueblo), has become a showcase and one of the most popular spots for tourists along this part of the Costa del Sol.
Mijas knows how to be picturesque - and also how to preserve that charm and charachter. When burros (donkeys) were no longer needed to bring marble and lime down from the quarries to the coast, they were not put out to pasture but converted into 'taxis' for tourists.
When, a few years ago, a bullring was built, it was much more original than the usual circular ones: this one was square.
Also located in Mijas is Byblos Andaluz, a hotel-spa notable for its architecture and decor and a welcome resting place where one can enjoy therapeutic sea bathing and some truly excellent sporting facilities, including an 18 hole golf course designed by Robert Trent Jones.
Fuengirola can be found on the road to Marbella, with an abundance of beaches measuring more than six kilometres. It also has its very own yacht basin and a host of bars and restaurants. Fuengirola is a popular place for many nationalities including the Brits.
Lovely Marbella has been, and continues to be, one of the most prestigious spots on the Costa del Sol since half a century ago. Max Hohenlohe, who was married to a woman from a wealthy Malaga family, invited his European friends to his seaside house, which was later transformed by his son Alfonso into the select Marbella Club. Marbella boasts luxury estates, yacht basins, stately residences and villas the size of palaces.
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