It is the birthplace of Picasso and Antonio Banderas, it holds some of the most spectacular Semana Santa (Easter) parades, has amazing beachside restaurants serving seafood cooked in the local manner and an ever–growing number of fine museums and art galleries, including a Pompidou Centre, yet for many years it has been ignored in favour of Granada, Sevilla and Córdoba. The city is Málaga, and it is the gateway to the Costa del Sol.
Malaga, the Gateway to the Costa del Sol
In some ways the Costa del Sol has been the thorn in Málaga’s side: flights arrive at the expanded and modernised international airport that is only a matter of minutes from the city centre, and once out of departures the crowds head to the beach resorts arranged along the famous southern coast, with Marbella in its centre drawing the tourists like bees to honey.
Now that is thankfully changing as an increasing number of visitors realise that this charming, lively and friendly city is just fabulous for a weekend getaway with sun. With so many direct flights from all over Europe, travellers can arrive her within a matter of a few hours and be sitting on a beach within minutes.
Costa del Sol residents are also realising that they have a gem on their doorstep and that a 45-minute drive, or less depending on where you live on the coast, brings them to a superb array of shopping opportunities, plus theatre, art and of course Málaga’s wonderful restaurants and tapas bars, such as the landmark El Pimpi, Los Gatos and the Michelin-starred José Carlos Garcia (JCG) on the harbour’s Muelle Uno.
Málaga is remarkably easy to get around: taxis are inexpensive and there is a new metro, as well as ample buses. Plus, its centre is easily walkable and a pleasure to stroll around. You can spend hours discovering what is hidden off the main thoroughfares like Calle Larios, a spacious shopping street with echoes of Barcelona’s Las Ramblas.
Accommodation is plentiful and ranges from five-star hotels to wonderfully stylish apartments in the centre that cost around €60-70 per night. There are few cities in Europe where you will find similar for that price. Its hostels are also typically a cut above others, and would be consider three-star hotels at least elsewhere.
If you’re buying a property on the Costa del Sol, don’t miss out on Málaga while you’re searching – you’ll discover another reason to live in Andalucia.