Malaga Province, has one of the major cities in Andalucia and certainly the most important coastal one. With the cooling winds from the Mediterranean Sea and the shelter of the Malaga mountains, the city has a relatively mild temperature all year round and this makes it a popular place with both locals and tourists. Whether basking on the beaches or meandering through the narrow streets, soaking in all the magnificent Arab influenced Andalucian architecture or enjoying the city after dark there is no doubt that Malaga is a dynamic and appealing city.
If you climb to the top of Mount Gibralfaro there are fantastic views of the old town with its large palate of colours and rooftops at every level. Situated on the hill is La Alcazaba, a fortress which dates back to 1065 and which is now a museum. The castle of Gibralfaro, with its beautiful gardens to wander around, is a must to visit.
Malaga was the birthplace of both Pablo Picasso and more recently Antonio Banderas. The former was born in Plaza Merced and the house where he was born is now a museum telling the story of his life and works and is well worth visiting. Malaguenos love their food and in the bars and restaurants the choice is endless. A popular a popular local dish however, is pescaito frito which is an assortment of fish, including red mullet, sardines and calamari.
The Malaga mountains have an area of 4762 hectares. The waters that run from the mountains feed the Guadalmedina river (or “river of the city”) which is 47 kilometres long. Another river that has strong historic connections with Malaga is the River Guadalhorce and the “Guadalhorce Mudflats” which were formed from the river sediments.
If you head inland towards Antequera in north Malaga Province, there are the massive Jardines de la Concepcion. Carrying on towards Antequera with its historic charm you pass some amazing limestone rock formations, rugged hills and grove upon grove of olive trees and if you deviate slightly you can sightsee in some picturesque villages; Villanueva de Trabuco and Archidona, or slightly further to the delightful Fuente de Piedra where the famous lagoon is home to thousands of pink flamingos; Mollina which is famous for its wines, Campillos, Teba with a deep gorge, Villanueva de Algaidas and Alameda.
The inland Axarquia area is breathtakingly beautiful. The main attractions are the area’s dramatic hill and mountain scenery, its unspoilt, white washed villages and the strong sweet wine that is made from sun dried grapes. Because of the region’s sub-tropical climate, this is also a region where some of the more tropical fruits, such as mango and kiwi are grown.
Axarquia is excellent for hiking and horse trekking which is also very popular here. The landscape is riven by deep valleys lined with terraces and irrigation channels that date back to Muslim times. Comares in one of the highest villages in Andalucia. It can be spied for miles around, rising high above the surrounding countryside. Frigiliana is said by many to be one of the prettiest in Andalucia.
The drive inland from Malaga city, in the Antequera/Granada direction, takes you on a journey to the real Andalucia. Colmenar is one of the most important villages in this area, being the Capital of the Malaga Mountain villages. It is just 35 kilometers inland from Malaga, on the “Carretera de Colmenar”, a road that cuts and winds up through the Malaga Mountains, until you reach the village at 696 meters above sea level.