Having flown into Malaga many times and having to stay for some hours because of difficult flight times the glimpses we had, prompted a longer stay of three days to see more of the city. We struck lucky with a ‘booking.com’ hostel reservation which turned out to be on the eastern side of the town, near the sea but with direct bus routes into the city centre or as we found an easy flat long walk along the coast.
The first day we walked into the centre arriving around the bullring and from there continued along the central gardens and rose gardens to the steps up to the castlllo. The paths are all marble slabs and quite steep but the views going up are spectacular and you can see for miles when you get to the top and overlook the gardens and the harbour and bullring. Much easier walking down but a bit slippery in places if you don’t have good grippy shoes. There were people waiting for buses at the top so if you can’t walk it would be worth the trip from town.
At the bottom of the castillo is the roman theatre and a large square which usually has some activities going on. Previously I have seen a competition for brickwork and musical attractions and this time a guy amusing children with creating huge bubbles and it was fun to watch them chasing around.
From the square we retraced our steps across the central park where there was a yoga class and a Spanish dancing class having their outdoor instruction.
The waterfront should not be missed – beautiful upmarket shops and restaurants, an aquarium (not visited yet) and the usual offers of boat trips out to the bay – highly recommended especially on a very hot day. Walk right around to the lighthouse and on the other side is one of Malaga long sandy beaches.
Day 2. Taxi from the hotel to the National Botanical Gardens which is on the outskirts of the city. The gardens were created in 1855, extended in 1911 and were taken over by Malaga City Council in 1990 and opened to the public in 1994. A lovely place to spend a few hours with four different zones. a) an easy walk, b) easy with wheelchairs, c) forest walk medium and d) rest area. There are lots of water features and lakes, a palm avenue, and historical gazebos. We spent the whole day there and had lunch in the rest area in a superb cafe that served wonderful food. There are also exhibition areas and plenty of toilets. Incidentally we discovered that there is a special bus directly to the gardens (we caught that back to Zambrano bus station) and only cost 1.30 euros each way.
Day 3. Took the bus into the cathedral area and the old town where we searched out the Picasso gallery and spent a couple of hours enjoying his paintings with the aid of the multi language audio help. We came away inspired to daub a few colours on to a canvas in the hope we may be discovered and revered. Decided to go turkish and enjoyed a mint tea to help us on our way. Then slowly walked back to the waterfront for dinner overlooking the harbour.
Malaga is certainly much more than just an airport and beach destination – try it next time you are going that way.