Planning to visit Malaga and discover the best places to see and things to do in Malaga Province? This is your guide! Malaga will appeal to beach, hustle and bustle lovers but also those who want to disconnect and relax overlooking a mountainous and completely empty landscape.
In the province of Malaga you will find great hotels, first-class restaurants, and traditional food houses; small white villages and the most vibrant capital in the south of the country. Here are the 20 best places to visit and things to do near Malaga for you to enjoy without missing a thing:
- Serranía de Ronda
- Malaga City
- Padre Beach
- El Acebuchal
- El Chorro
- Caminito del Rey – The King’s Path
- El Torcal de Antequera
- Sierra de las Nieves National Park
- Fuente de Piedra Lagoon
- Places to visit in Malaga: Route A366
- La Axarquía
- Last thing to see & do: La Gran Senda de Málaga
Serranía de Ronda
The first of our 20 places to visit in Malaga province is “a world of broken rocks and deep gorges, rough waters and fertile cracks …”, as Blas Infante, its most distinguished inhabitant, sang to Casares, one of the most beautiful white towns in the Serrania de Ronda mountains.
Perhaps it was precisely its narrow and intricate streets, the archetype of the Andalusian white towns, which inspired Blas Infante, known as the father of the Andalusian homeland to speak to the entire community, creating the Andalusian flag and anthem.
If you are looking for a nice place to eat when travelling around the Ronda mountains, try Sarmiento or Brasa Andaluza restaurants. A good place to rest in Casares is Finca Cortesín, with its Andalusian concept and sophistication without fanfare and an amazing spa.
A diving day on the protected seabed of Maro, is definitely one of the best things to do ner Malaga city. The loggerhead turtle is just one of the species that inhabit the privileged Natural Area of the Maro-Cerro Gordo Cliffs. We will also find the orange coral (vulnerable to extinction), the Posidonia meadows, the colorful maiden fish or the striking sunfish.
Maro is not only impressive because of its sea life, but also for the underwater caves and craggy bottoms in which to feel like an explorer. Once you emerge from the bottom, you can relax in some of the best semi-virgin Hawaiian beaches in the entire province of Malaga.
If you are looking for off the beaten path things to do in Malaga and you are an adrenaline seeker, Comares is your place to go. Comares is a town of Arab origin that was born around a fortress. Its privileged location as a former lookout spot offers breathtaking views over the roofs, white house walls and the fertile lands surrounding the town, that ensure an excellent harvest of oils and sweet wines.
In this privileged position, we will find one of the most impressive zip lines in Spain, measuring 436 meters long and more than 15 meters high. In addition, the natural landscape of vertical wells in the area is another attraction for heights’ lovers: three via ferratas!
Apart from amazing nature and views, Comares also has its own style of verdiales, a colorful popular dance from Malaga that constitutes one of the few samples of living folklore that still exist in Spain.
Eating fish in Pedregalejo and El Palo, the most maritime neighborhoods in Malaga, is a must when visiting the capital of Costa del Sol. It is worth strolling along its promenade to taste the traditional espetos (sardine skewers) and observe the jábegas, the traditional fishing boats still in use.
If you are looking for an even more picturesque experience, it is advisable to cross the threshold of El Tintero picnic area: its fish and shellfish “auctions” are one of the soundtracks of the Malaga summer. The system is simple: a parade of waiters passes by dozens of tables while offering – ‘singing’ – the different dishes they carry. Clients, with a gesture or out loud, ask for the dish the waiter is carrying when they like it: squids, little rags, skewers, salads, prawns or aubergines with honey are the most popular products.
Among our 20 Best Places to Go & Things to Do in Malaga Province, we cannot miss a visit to Malaga city. It has become the hottest cultural center in southern Spain, with more than thirty museums, including the famous Centre Pompidou, Picasso, La Térmica and the Museum of Russian Art.
Malaga city also has restaurants with local and international flavors; galleries, high-flying urban art (a walk through Soho or Lagunillas neighborhoods is essential); shops of all kinds and a very powerful nucleus of artists and entrepreneurs giving new life to every corner of the capital.
In Malaga, beach bars are like religion. There are no holidays in Malaga province that do not include a visit to any of them and, incidentally, to its formidable beaches.
There is a “Chiringuito” or beach bar for everyone: exclusive beach clubs, such as Playa Padre; traditional paella temples, such as Ayo, located in Burriana beach; lounges with parties and concerts, such as Sonora Beach or traditional fried fish houses, like the Antonio Martín Merendero.
One of the 20 best things to see and do in Malaga Province is visiting Frigiliana. At the foot of a Natural Park and a few kilometers from the Mediterranean sea, Frigiliana is the only town in the province of Malaga included among the most beautiful in Spain (Pueblos más Bonitos de España association).
Despite preserving its millenary white architecture combined with blued doors and windows in perfect condition, Frigiliana continues evolving and vibrating, becoming one of the most lively nuclei of the Axarquía region, with avant-garde businesses of international origin and even a local currency, the Axarcos.
Don’t leave without trying the craft beer made in town, called La Axarca; taking any handmade piece of esparto; having dinner by the light of the moon in the patio of La Bodeguilla, and, above all, without buying -at least- a bottle of sugar cane honey, because here is the only factory of this delicious product in all of Europe.
Discover the amazing history of the Andalusian village of El Acebuchal, one of the most unknown and secret places to see near Malaga, Spain. El Acebuchal appears in a limpid white color cut out in the middle of the Natural Park of the Sierras de Tejeda, Almijara and Alhama pine forest
It is not easy to find its hiding place, and perhaps that is why it remained abandoned for more than 50 years, visited only by the old neighbors, who looted their own homes to build others in the vicinity.
Living here was forbidden since the Spanish Civil War times, as its 200 inhabitants were discovered to be helping the maquis rebels during the war.
In 1949, the last neighbor left the place forever. Half a century later, a couple of descendants of those first settlers started rebuilding El Acebuchal. Little by little, they bought 14 plots, then in ruins, and raised the old houses together with other ancient inhabitants. Today, the village is a true rural paradise and has become an attractive thing to see off the beaten track in Malaga Province.
Disconnect and have a carnivorous feast in El Chorro. El Chorro reservoir is not only a fantastic place to disconnect (with its huge banks, it is easy to find a lonely place in the middle of nature) but also to practice all kinds of water sports, with specialized companies renting the material there same.
In addition, the green reservoir has interesting monuments, such as the House of the Engineer, an almost fantasy house inside the lake, and, if you are not afraid of heights, you can also visit its old hydroelectric plant, the nearby route of flying walkways, the Caminito del Rey.
After so much walking, you will have the opportunity to discover the overwhelming gastronomy of the surroundings at the two famous picnic areas there: don’t miss the chance to visit El Mirador and El Kiosko restaurants. Their specialties? Wild boar in red wine, pork cheeks, lamb chops, suckling goat, and the complete Juan de la Montaña dish (with crumbs, meat, potatoes, peppers, and eggs), typical of the area.
Caminito del Rey – The King’s Path
One of the best places to visit from Malaga if you love nature and strong emotions is the Caminito del Rey, a historic pass built into the walls of the high and rugged Desfiladero de Los Gaitanes.
It began as a service road for one of the first hydroelectric plants in the country, it went on to serve the families of the area to make daily trips between towns and it ended up being the grave of some curious people and climbers from all over the world until its remodeling in 2015.
Now, this canyon with almost vertical walls, dug by the passage of the Guadalhorce River, is barely ten meters wide in its narrowest sections and reaches more than 400 in height. With a total route of 7.7 kilometers, of which 2.9 km are vertiginous walkways, the Caminito has become an international reference for active tourism.
Feel like the ‘jet set’ in Marbella: excess, Bollinger bottles, oysters and caviar of Beluga without looking at the bill. The Iron Throne of the most visceral and carefree hedonism in Costa del Sol is, without a doubt, Marbella.
If you can afford it, check out these mandatory stops: the mythical Nikki Beach -the closest thing to Miami on the Costa del Sol-; the tropical and high-end gastronomic atmosphere of Trocadero Arena; the oldest nightclub Olivia Valere and hotels like Puente Romano or Marbella Club, where it all began.
El Torcal de Antequera
If you love history and lunar landscapes, you need to visit El Torcal de Antequera from Malaga. The capricious shapes of the rocks of Torcal de Antequera, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, make up one of the most picturesque landscapes in the world. These limestone rocks have their origin in the deposit of skeletons and shells of marine animals posing, in horizontal layers, on the bottom of a prehistoric sea.
There are different routes, of increasing difficulty, that will take you through this landscape full of magnetism and energy during the day, but also at night, a great opportunity to join some of the popular astronomical meetings held there.
Still wondering what to see and do near Malaga? Without any doubt, getting lost in the streets of Nerja has always been a must when visiting Malaga province. Nerja is the place to escape if you like beaches, white villages and stunning sea views. Although completely dedicated to tourism, the town has not lost its charm, preserved in its narrow streets and the amazing sunset to enjoy from the Balcony of Europe lookout.
Sierra de las Nieves National Park
Is there something more paradisiacal than a beach in a mountain range? Something like this is the Concepción Nature Reserve, located in the beautiful Sierra de las Nieves National Park, a perfect space not only to rest but also to fish and sail in kayaks or canoes, which you can rent right there.
In addition, if you like river trails, you can make the Río Verde (Green River) walking route, which is about eight kilometers round trip. There, you will find abundant waterfalls and pools to cool off. Our tip is to make a stop in the beautiful town of Istán to buy water and eat something before starting the route. This 8 km route might seem short but it takes several hours if you want to stop to sit or have a bath in the river!
Fuente de Piedra Lagoon
One of the best things to do in Malaga, Spain, is to explore the largest flamingo colony on the Iberian Peninsula and second most important in Europe! Flamingos have chosen this wetland as their habitat, as well as an endless number of species that have made this salty lagoon a permanent home or a stop on their migratory flights.
Discover a tiny town with hundreds of contemporary works of art since 1994 Genalguacil has been in the Serranía de Ronda, combining art and nature in an unparalleled meeting that brings together creators from all over the world.
The dynamics are simple. The Town Council selects some art projects and pays the artists’ accommodation and expenses. In exchange, the creators leave their works as a legacy in the territory where they were made.
Today, a walk through the municipality will make you come across around 200 works located outdoors or in the Museum of Contemporary Art that the neighbors have created. By the way, since you are here, don’t forget to visit the Genal River, which awaits you with some of the most beautiful trails in the Malaga province.
Places to visit in Malaga: Route A366
When looking for Malaga things to do and see, you won’t probably think of just driving around. However, in the province of Malaga, you will find one of the most beautiful roads in Spain: Route A366. We propose a spectacular road trip through the route along the A366, which crosses Sierra de Las Nieves mountain from Coín to Ronda. You will cross fertile Northern-like forests and snow-capped peaks which will alternate poetically with those Southern white villages.
On the way, you can stop at waterfalls, natural viewpoints and cobblestone streets while filling your stomach with the ecological delicacies of the place.
Ronda is one of the best places to visit in Malaga province and its Tajo at sunset, one of the most famous Spanish pictures of all time. The picturesque town, which embodies the dream of the romantic traveler like no other, still preserves the exoticism and soul of the old bullfight that the first globetrotters fell in love with.
It is perfect to stroll through its streets, to taste the local flavors in restaurants like Bardal, or to sleep in some of its many and charming accommodations.
Frigiliana and Nerja are in La Axarquía, but this landscape of sea and mountains holds even more wonders in the form of towns not yet unhinged by tourism. The most coveted mangoes and avocados in the country, as well as excellent grapes and raisins, come from here.
The delicacies of La Axarquía are born in an environment that slides from the green of the tropical plantations to the almond and olive lands, passing through the white of the snow-capped peaks of its highest villages. Definitely, a good off the beaten path thing to do near Malaga worth a day trip from the capital.
Last thing to see & do: La Gran Senda de Málaga
Do you like trekking? Then, this is THE thing to do in Malaga for you. It is possible to cover the entire province of Malaga following the Great Malaga Path or Gran Senda de Malaga, a 650 kilometers long path divided into 35 stages. A good way to get to know the different Malaga regions and visit many of the wonders that we have mentioned in this guide.
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