When people think of traveling to Spain, Malaga is not the first place that comes to mind. Malaga however, has a bit of everything. Malaga will not only satisfy the most discerning traveller but leave them wishing they could stay longer. From the museums, to a taste of Spanish culture, to the many beaches, shopping, great food, easy access to the Costa del Sol as well as historic, picturesque towns like Granada; Malaga will not disappoint.
There are beaches just a 10 minute walk from the historic centre of Malaga. Beautiful sand and since Malaga is a harbour the sandy beaches are sheltered from the waves. The one surprise for us was the water at all the beaches along the Costa del Sol was colder than we expected. The beaches are different from what we have experienced in the South Pacific, Caribbean, Hawaii or Australia. What you do get however, is the unique European beach life. From Beach Restaurants, to long, sheltered pathways providing the beachgoers, cyclists or joggers a scenic journey along the Mediterranean. It is a memorable experience that will awaken all your senses. The sights, sounds and smells bring the beach to life.
The Museo Picasso in Malaga is just one of the numerous and enchanting museums. One could spend their entire holiday exploring the Art and culture found in the birthplace of Picasso. However, with so much else to do it becomes a nice way to get out of the summer sun. The Contemporary Art Museum has a vast collect of modern art and is free. As you walk and explore you will find what seems to be a museum on every corner. If you want to get a look at how people in Malaga used to live I would recommend the Museo de Artes y Costumbres Populares which for a couple of euros per person you can spend an enjoyable two hours getting a taste of history. Many of these cultural attractions are found in or around the historical centre. Meaning you can walk everywhere and if you get tired or need a break you can stop and have a coffee and a pastry at one of the many patios that will awaken your palate.
A trip to Mercado Central de Atarazanas gives one a great opportunity to see the diverse food choices found in Spain. It is divided into sections where you will find the diverse selection of fruits and vegetables found in the region to the abundance of fresh fish and seafood of the Mediterranean. It is not just the wide selection of foods that make this a great experience but it is the people. From the buyers to the sellers there is an energy found in this market that just can’t be experienced by your visit to Costco. The freshness of all the products could not be beat. With the opportunity to have a sample as each vendor had a little something different to offer.
It is still the Patios that perhaps make Malaga a great place to have a taste of the European life style and array of foods. We did our best to try as much as we could. Tapas are a great way to have a chance to sample the different bites that a restaurant may offer. The patios were busy but there were no worries as there was always a place to eat.
We never ate indoors. To sit on the patio, people watch and just enjoy the relaxing experience of enjoying food, wine, beer and sangria made each savoury bite more enjoyable. We experienced Espeto de Sardinas on the beach. A Malaga must if you are there in a month that doesn’t have a ‘R’. Not sure why but the locals say it is when the Sardines taste the best.
We also tried the French Fries with egg and fresh chunks of garlic (Huevos Rotos con Patata). There is pizza everywhere that no matter which patio you stop at you will not be disappointed. Perhaps the only thing better than food is the prices. We went for Tapas and drinks on the beach and for six of us we only spent seventy-five Canadian dollars. I am not sure my wife and I ever spent more than 20 euros on any dinner which included sangria, beer or wine.
Then of course no blog about Malaga would be complete without talking about the fresh bread, pastries and gelato. Walking to the local bakery or café to enjoy a pastry, buy a loaf of fresh bread is a great way to start your day. Gelato of all flavours are found on every street. Dining is never just stopping at one place.
It is enjoying a variety of foods and beverages on the historic streets and buildings.
Spain has certainly captured our hearts. So we say good-bye to Malaga for now, but I am sure we will see each other again.