Day Trips to the Surrounding Cities & Sights
Gonzalo can offer historical tours of these cities and sights.
1 hr drive away
The architecture of the ancient town of Antequera, began 5,000 years ago, including through the Phoenician and Roman epochs, Islamic influences, and a wealth of Renaissance and Baroque buildings.
Just outside the town of Antequera are three 5000-year-old dolmens. These prehistoric burial chambers represent some of the largest and most complete megalithic structures in Europe, and are a UNESCO world heritage site.
The Menga Dolmen is famous for its significant geographical location - on the summer solstice, 21 June, the morning sun shines over the peak of the mountain and straight along the dolmen's entrance corridor. This very exact positioning would have held mystical importance for the prehistoric tribes who built the dolmen thousands of years ago.
You can arrange for Gonzalo to give you a tour, as he will be able to explain the significance of these sights.
1.5 hour drive away
A must-see! The Alhambra is the most magnificent of Moorish castles, and is UNESCO World Heritage site. Book tickets in advance as entrance to the palace is strictly limited.
The Alhambra is an ancient palace, fortress and citadel located in Granada, Spain. The eighth-century-old site was named for the reddish walls and towers that surrounded the citadel. It’s the only surviving palatine city of the Islamic Golden Age.
The Albaicín (or Albayzín)
The old Moorish quarter of Granada, the most Moorish of Spanish cities, sits in the shadow of the Alhambra. Here the magical maze of narrow, hilly streets are a step back in time and at points reveal some of the most spectacular views of the Alhambra palace complex from across the river valley. It retains its Arabic character still today with various shops, tea houses, markets and historic architecture.
Work on the cathedral began soon after the Christian “Reconquest” with the foundation laid in 1518, at a time when Gothic designs were being replaced by renaissance. The result is an intriguing mix and it took more than 180 years to complete. The area surrounding the cathedral is also very lively with daily market stalls, tapas bars and shops.
1 hour drive away - the closest city to the villa
Pablo Picasso Museum - Picasso was born in Malaga
Palacio de los Condes de Buenavista, Calle San Agustin, Malaga
Mondays-Saturdays from 9.00h to 21.00h
Sundays from 9.00h to 14.00h
Pablo Riz Picasso Foundation - birthplace of Pablo Picasso
Plaza de Merced 15, Malaga
Mondays-Saturdays from 11.00h to 14.00h, and from 17.00h to 20.00h, Sundays from 11.00h to 14.00h
Museum of Fine Arts - Extensive collections of paintings, furniture and sculptures from the 13th century onwards. Includes a large collection of work by malagueños (artists from Malaga), plus works by Ribera, Zurbanarán, Cano and Murillo.
Palace de la Aduana, Malaga , Tel: (+34) 952 218 382
Tuesdays from 15.00h to 21.00h, Wednesdays-Fridays from 9.00h to 21.00h, Saturdays-Mondays from 9.00h to 14.00h
Carmen Thyssen Museum - mostly 19th century Spanish Paintings
Calle Compañia 10, 29008 Malaga, Tel: (+34) 902 303 131
Tues – Sun: 10am – 8pm, Mon: closed (except holidays)
Contemporary Art Centre
Calle Alemania, S/N, Malaga, Tel: (+34) 952 120 055
Summer (Tues – Sun): 10am – 2pm and 5pm – 9pm, Closed Mondays
Centre Pompidou Malaga - Satellite museum with pieces on loan from the Pompidou contemporary art museum in Paris
Pasaje Docor Carrillo Casaux, s/n, Muelle Uno, Malaga, Tel: (+34) 951 926 200; tix: (+34) 902 646 289
Summer hours: Wed-Mon: 11am – 10pm, Closed Tuesdays, Christmas and New Year’s Day
Archaeological Museum – Exhibits artefacts from digs in the Alcazaba, from the old Loringiano Museum and from other towns in the Malaga Province. These are from prehistoric, Phoenician, Roman and Muslim times and include some excellent Muslim ceramics. Entrance is free.
La Alcazaba, Calle Alcazaba, Malaga , Tel: (+34) 952 216 005
Mondays-Saturdays from 9.30h to 19.00h
Malaga Areas to Explore
Calle Larios and the old centre – The entire old centre of Malaga is a lively pedestrianised zone full of bars, cafes, tapas bars, museums, shopping and historic architecture. It’s terrific for a simple wander around. Calle Larios is the main central shopping street leading into the old town, on and around which you will find numerous clothing, shoe and jewellery shops.
Muelle Uno – The port development is lined with shops and restaurants on one side and flashy yachts on the other. Always lively all year round with nice views toward the city. Here you will find Restaurant JCG (one Michelin star) and the new Pompidou museum.
Alcazaba and Gibralfaro – The old Moorish fortress is reminiscent of the Alhambra palace in Granada and accessible right from the edge of the old centre of town. The Gibralfaro, with its look out towers and fortified walls, connects to the Alcazaba and sits even higher above the city for some amazing views along with it’s fascinating history.
Atarazanas Covered Food Market – This historic market has been a centre of trade for some 400 years and before that was the site of a shipyard. It is a massive and bustling market alive with the sounds of vendors and buyers, a dizzying mix of scents and smells, and colourful displays of every imaginable type of produce, meat and fish. The building itself is a sight to see, with a huge stained glass mural and a mix of stone Moorish and iron Victorian features.
1 hour drive away, on the coast
Nerja is a resort town along southern Spain's Costa del Sol. Its seafront promenade, Balcón de Europa, tops a promontory with views of the Mediterranean and surrounding mountains. Below it lie sandy beaches and cliffside coves.
Caves of Nerja
A series of caverns close to the town, stretching for almost 5 km (3.1 miles), are one of Spain's major tourist attractions. Summertime concerts are regularly held in one of the chambers, which forms a natural amphitheatre with with unusual stalactites and stalagmites. It's also known for its paleolithic paintings, viewable by guided tour. Neanderthal cave paintings dated in 42,000 years have been discovered in the Caves of Nerja.
Open daily 09:30 – 18:00 (Closes at 18:30) with entry every 30 minutes.
Las Calas del Pino - just east of Nerja
The secluded beach at Las Calas del Pino is little known outside of local circles, perhaps partly due to the difficulty in seeing or accessing it from the road above. More than 350m long, framed in by rocky outcroppings, and best of all - a lack of crowds. A great beach for snorkelling and exploring some of the adjacent caves and coves.
More recommended beaches from Alan:
2 hour drive away
La Mezquita – Along with the Alhambra in Granada, the Mezquita was the other Andalucían capital of Moorish culture and learning, housing the biggest library in the world at the time. The Mezquita “Mosque-Cathedral” is also a UNESCO World Heritage site owing to its important history. Originally a Roman temple, the Christian Visigoths built a church on its remains; in 711 the conquering Moors split it into Muslim and Christian halves until in 784 the ruling caliph demolished the building and rebuilt a grand Mosque on the site. More than 700 years later, the Catholic Kings converted the structure once again into a church. The result today is an idiosyncratic mix of Christian and Muslim elements, with the Catholic cathedral seemingly plopped into the centre of a decidedly Arabic, Muslim structure with its internal forest of pillars and arches.
More ideas of things to do
“5 new reasons to visit Malaga”, A Luxury Travel Blog, Apr 2015
“Malaga city in 5 grand gardens”, A Luxury Travel Blog, Mar 2015
“Get lost! 5 Andalucían pueblos to lose yourself in”, A Luxury Travel Blog, Feb 2015
“Top 5 draws for art aficionados in Malaga”, A Luxury Travel Blog, Oct 2014
“5 of the best beaches in Andalucia”, A Luxury Travel Blog, Feb 2014
“The best culinary destination you’ve never heard of, La Axarquia”, Jan 2014
“Velez-Malaga: Ancient capital, undiscovered treasures”, Carligto Blog, Nov 2013
“The top 3.5 wineries of La Axarquia”, A Luxury Travel Blog, Jun 2013