After spending several days in Malaga, it was time to explore more of the southern region of Andalusia and Costa del Sol. Here you will find beautiful weather all year round, tons of history to take you 5000 years back in time, gorgeous natural landscape, as well as delicious dishes to sample and wine to drink.
To stop and take pictures whenever we wanted or explore cities, we rented a car, but you can hire a car driver (like uber) or take a guided tour.
The drive from Malaga to Nerja is about 50 minutes long (57km). This beautiful coastal town has some of the most picturesque beaches, such as the Burriana and El Playazo, hidden cove-like beaches. Some added features are the Moorish architecture buildings and the Balcony of Europe’s top attraction, which provides a stunning view of the Mediterranean Sea. Here you will find the Church of El Salvador as well as several restaurants and ice cream shops. Walk to the Plaza de la Ermita, and you will discover a tiny church called La Ermita de Nuestra Senora de Las Angustias. Catty-corner is Sala Mercado, which is an exhibit hall that hosts various art shows. Nerja is also known for its caverns that stretch for about 3 miles with the world’s oldest stalagmite.
About 15 minutes north of Nerja is Frigiliana, a whitewashed village with red-tile roofs and decorative ceramic pots hanging from the walls. With steep, narrow twisted lanes, be prepared to walk up and down cobblestone streets to visit shops and restaurants. You can take a taxi from Nerja, but it is a bit expensive. In addition to the beautiful mountainside view, make sure to see the Fuenta Vieja (old fountain), The Church of San Antonio, Santo Cristo de la Cana chapel, and the Renaissance Palace of the Counts of Frigiliana. You will find beautiful, designed pottery within the local shops, so make sure you pick up a piece while visiting.
Nestled in Sierra Nevada’s foothills and the valley full of agriculture is Granada, approximately 2.5 hours away from Malaga. Granada has been inhabited by the Moors, the Greeks, the Romans, and many more for over 2,500 years. Today, most visitors admire the Alhambra, a massive castle consisting of gardens, fortifications, and sumptuous palaces. This city has so much to offer, and I recommend at least a one-night stay.
One of the most unique and exotic buildings in southern Spain is the Colomares Castle, the largest Buddhist Stupa in Europe. This once sleepy little village has become a popular destination due to the tranquil beaches and the El Parue de la Paloma, an extensive park in Benalmadena Coast. If you want entertainment for the kids, visit the Selwo Marina. I highly recommend you book a guided tour to explain the history and architect of the castle.
South Spain’s glamorous and most sophisticated city sits about an hour away from Malaga. Spend an afternoon exploring the Moorish Old Town, visit some of the high-end shops, and enjoy the outdoor patio restaurants.
These charming cities offer gorgeous natural landscapes, historical sightseeing, and so much more. Make sure to add a few to your list of activities while in Malaga.