Sun, sangria and sand: the three key things that are waiting for you on your trip to Malaga. You can already picture it now; sitting by the beach with a book in hand, absolutely relaxed and soaking up the rays. Who doesn’t love an amazing holiday on the Mediterranean where it always feels like summer? But why not venture away from the beach and see the other sights that this amazing southern region of Spain and the northern region of Africa has to offer? Here are 8 of the best day trips from Malaga, Spain, that you should take to explore this fascinating area.
Nobody can fully describe how but this charming city steals the hearts of everyone. Granada is first and foremost known for the Alhambra, a complex of fortified Moorish housing palaces and gardens. Locally, Granada is adored for is countless lookout points (or “mirador” in Spanish), its brilliant creative scene which ranges from street art to musicians, but most of all- for its tapas. You cannot miss going for a “ruta de tapas” (a tapas route) while visiting. Much like a pub crawl except far more amazing, you can take your friends and family members and hop from bar to bar. While this can be easily done everywhere in Spain, in Granada, there is a glorious system where you simply order a beverage of your choice and you will get your tapa (a portion of food) absolutely free.
Full Day to Alhambra Palace and Generalife Gardens Direct from Malaga
Duration: 11 hours
Venture to this headland on the Mediterranean, the British territory of Gibraltar. Indulge in tax-free shopping and get a little taste of Britain in Spain. You can grab a pub lunch and then take a walk to the Rock of Gibraltar; a limestone ridge that stands a little less than 500m (approx 1640 ft) tall. Visit Saint Michael’s Cave; an impressive sight that is often used for events or concerts, made from limestone and decorated with lights. Don’t forget to snap a photo with the iconic monkeys of Gibraltar, but be careful not to take any food with you, they might just fight you for it!
Gibraltar Full-Day Sightseeing Tour from Malaga
Duration: 11 hours
The Caminito del Rey (translated to; the King’s Little Pathway) has grown to become a popular day trip for both foreign tourists and Spaniards alike. This guided hike will take you across a footbridge and cliffside pathway which are suspended above the river. Take in the amazing views and walk at your own pace. Don’t worry, you will get a helmet and a harness to help you across; although be aware the drop is 100 meters (approx 328 ft) so it may not be for the faint-hearted.
Caminito del Rey Tour Direct From Malaga
Duration: 10 hours
Just under two hours away from Malaga is Cordoba, a UNESCO Heritage-listed city and one of the eight capital cities of the Andalusian Community, and the former capital of Moorish Spain. Filled with Moorish-Roman influences, this city has its place on the map because of the legendary Great Mosque-Cathedral right on the banks of the Guadalquivir river, opposite the Roman bridge. Pass through the Jewish quarter and visit one of Europe’s oldest synagogue. To see Cordoba at its best and in full bloom, visit in May for the famous Los Patios (where people open their beautiful patios to the public) or in October for the International Flower Festival.
Cordoba Full-Day Tour with Great Mosque Entry from Malaga
Duration: 12 hours
Cross the water to the other side and visit Tangier, a port city on the Maghreb coast in the northwest of Morocco. Many are surprised to find that Morocco is incredibly close to the south of Spain and that there are frequent ferry services available. Known as the gateway to Africa and Europe, Tangier is the perfect destination if you want to experience something culturally different. Breathe in the wonderful smells of spices in the medina/bazaar, and marvel at the almost never-ending array of colors when choosing souvenirs. Don’t forget to try some of the amazing food Morocco has to offer; my personal favorite is maakouda (“معقودة” in Darija/ Moroccan Arabic), a popular street food of a potato cake which can be eaten as a sandwich with a tonne of other tasty condiments and ingredients.
Full-Day Tangier Tour by Ferry
Duration: 12 hour
Can’t decide on the mountains or the beach? But why not both? Frigiliana and Nerja are the perfect places to visit for those who are torn or who want to see a bit of both. Less than a 20-minute drive from each other, Frigiliana and Nerja are two great spots in the region, wedged between Malaga and Granada. While Frigiliana is very well known for its Moorish winding roads, picturesque views and being a “pueblo blanco” (a white town; towns where all or most of the buildings have their exterior wall painted all white); Nerja is famous for its incredible beaches, the fascinating cave, Cueva de Nerja, and the Balcón de Europa which is a lookout point out into the Mediterranean.
Frigiliana and Nerja Tour with Prehistoric Caves from Malaga
Duration: 9 hours
In Spain, it is said that Seville has a special color, famously sung by Los Del Rio who is perhaps more known for the macarena elsewhere in the world. Los Del Rio hit the nail on the head because there is definitely something special about the Andalusian capital. Whenever you picture beautiful men and women dressed in traditional Spanish clothing dancing, riding horses and drinking, you will most definitely picture Seville. Visit during the Holy Week/Easter to witness the incredible processions, or wait two weeks for my personal favorite; the fair. Seville’s fair is not just about rides and having fun, its also about looking your best and getting quite drunk. If that isn’t for you, head into the city to see the amazing sights like Alcázar (a royal Moorish palace with gardens) or Giralda (an architecturally intriguing bell tower in the Cathedral of Sevilla). My favorite thing to do in Seville is to visit the Santa Cruz neighborhood and enjoy a beer and a pringá sandwich (made from leftover soup ingredients) and take a nice stroll along the Guadalquivir river while the sun sets.
Seville Day Trip With Cathedral Entrance Direct from Malaga
Duration: 12 hours
One of the most visited cities in Spain, Ronda is a lovely town about an hour and a half’s drive away from Malaga city. This town may be small but you can definitely spend a good day here or even more if you choose to go on a hike on one of the nearby trails. Puente Nuevo is an 18th-century bridge, and it is arguably the most notable landmark. It is built over a 120m (approx 393 ft) gorge known as El Tajo, and it has many viewpoints from which you can enjoy the mountainous views. Another popular tourist destination to visit is the Real Maestranza Bullring, now functioning as a museum that showcases the history around Spanish traditions as well as costumes and regalia. There is some debate as to whether or not it is the oldest Bullring in Spain, but it does have the largest grounds.
Ronda Private Day Trip from Malaga
Duration: 7 to 8 hours
Visit gorgeous southern Spain
It’s time to take a trip to gorgeous southern Spain and northern Africa and see the delights it has to offer. An amazing part of the world filled to the brim with culture, tradition and food. Enjoy Malaga and if you have enough time, I would definitely recommend visiting each and every one of these fabulous day trip destinations.
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