Holidays in Malaga

Everything you need to plan the perfect holiday in Malaga: how to get there, the best places to stay, the best times of year to go, and an unbeatable selection of hand-picked holiday villas and cottages.

Find your Holiday home in Malaga

The relatively small province of Malaga is located to the south of the Mediterranean coast, between the provinces of Granada and Cadiz, and bordering the north with those of Cordoba and Seville. Its capital carries the same name, Malaga, and is located right on the coast. Each year millions of citizens from all over the world choose this paradisiacal land to rest on its sunny beaches, discover its rich monumental heritage or venture into the wild beauty of its mountain range.

History runs between the sea and the mountains in this peculiar province, whose capital witnessed the economic and cultural takeoff of the western Mediterranean. The Phoenician Malaka became a thriving commercial centre. After the Muslim invasion of the 8th century, its territory became Arabized, later it became part of the Nasrid kingdom of Granada. In the nineteenth century, the steel mills, the powerful textile industry of the Larios and the marketing of their wines, provides an important economic development to the province.

The capital of Malaga is a friendly, cosmopolitan city. Invaluable historical structures and monuments attract travellers from all over the world (including an old fortress called La Alcazaba located on the top of one of the high hills, and religious monuments such as its Cathedral). It also has over 20 museums, 15 of which are grouped together in the same vicinity (hence its nickname “The City of Museums”). Beaches are also popular, with more than ten beaches that all offer beach rental facilities, sports equipments, playgrounds for children and attractive cosy cafes. Entertainment is also abundant, including restaurants and a lively night life.  

The province of Malaga itself has as more than 160 kilometres of coastal strip and the Mediterranean Sea directly bathes a total of 14 municipalities. Although both the eastern part of the province and the western part have attractive beaches that have made the Costa del Sol a world-class destination, it is also possible to take pleasure in visiting hidden secret enclaves where the purest nature surrounds the environment.

The interior landscape may easily exceed new visitor´s expectations, with more than 15 protected natural reserves, places of interest or natural monuments. It is also the second most mountainous province in Andalucia (the first being Granada), with a breathtaking variety of scenery. Remarkable spots can be found during your travel from the coast to the high peaks, including magical rivers, prehistoric caves, salt water lagoons, acres of olive and citrus tree groves and forested valleys where it is still possible to find foxes, golden eagles or mountain goats.

Malaga is well-known for having some of the prettiest pueblos blancos (white villages) that lie on mountain tops. These typical Andalucian white-washed houses are thought out to maintain cool during the usually warm summer season. Towns like Grazalema, Gaucin, Jimena de la Frontera and Frigiliana are only a few on a long list of charming white villages well-worth a visit.

Locals are typically Andalucian laid-back people, although their friendly, warm nature makes them unique. Malagueños, as the locals are called, have an enviable capacity to live life as if every day were a holiday –they know well how not to take themselves too seriously (and neither should you!).

Gastronomy in Malaga is healthy, light and Mediterranean like the rest. It shines especially in its fresh and high-quality fish and seafood along with the most original vegetarian recipes. Naturally, the cuisine of the mountains contributes to the contrast with delicious dishes of game meat and charcuterie of great quality. Typical dishes include “pescaito frito” (literally, fried little fish), the symbol of a cuisine of simple exquisite palate elaboration. At the beach, no one forgets the Espetos de Sardinas (or Sardine skewers), a cuisine classic of the region with prices that are also part of its charm.  The gazpacho is prepared in Malaga in many ways: ajoblanco, porra antequerana, gazpachuelo. And of course, Malaga is well known for its internationally recognized sweet wines made predominantly from Moscatel and Pedro Ximenez grapes.

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Summary

The relatively small province of Malaga is located to the south of the Mediterranean coast, between the provinces of Granada and Cadiz, and bordering the north with those of Cordoba and Seville. Its capital carries the same name, Malaga, and is located right on the coast. Each year millions of citizens from all over the world choose this paradisiacal land to rest on its sunny beaches, discover its rich monumental heritage or venture into the wild beauty of its mountain range.

History runs between the sea and the mountains in this peculiar province, whose capital witnessed the economic and cultural takeoff of the western Mediterranean. The Phoenician Malaka became a thriving commercial centre. After the Muslim invasion of the 8th century, its territory became Arabized, later it became part of the Nasrid kingdom of Granada. In the nineteenth century, the steel mills, the powerful textile industry of the Larios and the marketing of their wines, provides an important economic development to the province.

The capital of Malaga is a friendly, cosmopolitan city. Invaluable historical structures and monuments attract travellers from all over the world (including an old fortress called La Alcazaba located on the top of one of the high hills, and religious monuments such as its Cathedral). It also has over 20 museums, 15 of which are grouped together in the same vicinity (hence its nickname “The City of Museums”). Beaches are also popular, with more than ten beaches that all offer beach rental facilities, sports equipments, playgrounds for children and attractive cosy cafes. Entertainment is also abundant, including restaurants and a lively night life.  

The province of Malaga itself has as more than 160 kilometres of coastal strip and the Mediterranean Sea directly bathes a total of 14 municipalities. Although both the eastern part of the province and the western part have attractive beaches that have made the Costa del Sol a world-class destination, it is also possible to take pleasure in visiting hidden secret enclaves where the purest nature surrounds the environment.

The interior landscape may easily exceed new visitor´s expectations, with more than 15 protected natural reserves, places of interest or natural monuments. It is also the second most mountainous province in Andalucia (the first being Granada), with a breathtaking variety of scenery. Remarkable spots can be found during your travel from the coast to the high peaks, including magical rivers, prehistoric caves, salt water lagoons, acres of olive and citrus tree groves and forested valleys where it is still possible to find foxes, golden eagles or mountain goats.

Malaga is well-known for having some of the prettiest pueblos blancos (white villages) that lie on mountain tops. These typical Andalucian white-washed houses are thought out to maintain cool during the usually warm summer season. Towns like Grazalema, Gaucin, Jimena de la Frontera and Frigiliana are only a few on a long list of charming white villages well-worth a visit.

Locals are typically Andalucian laid-back people, although their friendly, warm nature makes them unique. Malagueños, as the locals are called, have an enviable capacity to live life as if every day were a holiday –they know well how not to take themselves too seriously (and neither should you!).

Gastronomy in Malaga is healthy, light and Mediterranean like the rest. It shines especially in its fresh and high-quality fish and seafood along with the most original vegetarian recipes. Naturally, the cuisine of the mountains contributes to the contrast with delicious dishes of game meat and charcuterie of great quality. Typical dishes include “pescaito frito” (literally, fried little fish), the symbol of a cuisine of simple exquisite palate elaboration. At the beach, no one forgets the Espetos de Sardinas (or Sardine skewers), a cuisine classic of the region with prices that are also part of its charm.  The gazpacho is prepared in Malaga in many ways: ajoblanco, porra antequerana, gazpachuelo. And of course, Malaga is well known for its internationally recognized sweet wines made predominantly from Moscatel and Pedro Ximenez grapes.

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Overview

AXARQUIA

A region of rich contrasts that spreads inland from the southern Mediterranean coast, between Malaga town in the West and Nerja in the East. La Axarquia boasts the best climate in Europe with 320 days of good weather a year, so if sun is what you crave, this might just be the place.

Enclosing it on either side are two mountainous Natural Parks: the Montes de Malaga and the Sierras de Tejeda, Amijara y Alhama. Hiking in this area is highly recommended with plenty of marked trails for all difficulties. As for the coastal area, you cannot miss the opportunity to taste “pescaito frito” in Torre del Mar as well as enjoy the beaches of Nerja or Torrox. Of its inland villages we will highlight Cómpeta and Frigiliana, both of singular beauty that highlight the rich contrast of this region.

As a plus, and hand in hand with these natural surroundings, you will encounter a deep tradition that has endowed the region with an excellent popular culture and an especially rich heritage.

 

ANTEQUERA

If we could trace the geographical center of Andalucia, the point would be on Antequera, a knot that links both by road and by train to main cultural attractions in Malaga, Seville, Granada, Cordoba and Ronda.

The Heart of Andalucia shares Axarquía´s good weather, and boasts its own natural beauty. A popular destination for climbers and nature lovers is El Torcal, an exceptional limestone massif and now a protected Natural Park. Also, one of the most stunning places around Antequera is the salt water lagoon of Fuente de Piedra, which is home to one of the few nesting sites for pink flamingos in Europe. While another obligated visit is to the ancient Dolmens UNESCO Heritage Site.

For a true sense of adventure, don’t miss El Caminito del Rey, an impressive walkway pinned along the steep walls of a narrow gorge in El Chorro, near Álora. Once one of the most dangerous mountain trails in the world, it has now been through extensive repairs and renovations with safe pathways that make it a very popular attraction.

 

RONDA

An example of the purest essences of Andalucia: an intense green colouring its fertile valleys and orchards, orange groves and lemon trees that mix with white-washed villages that climb up from the valley towards the mountains and peaks (pueblos blancos).

Ronda has plenty to offer; its mountains harbour natural splendour, great walking opportunities coupled with a largely sunny climate and a history that can be appreciated in Stone-Age paintings in caves, ancient dolmens, architectural remnants from Roman & Moorish times, museums and churches.

Popular white villages include: Gaucin and Jimena de la Frontera with their castles and easy access to the sea; Grazalema in a fabulous limestone Natural Park; art-loving Genalguacil; and Montecorto with El Gastor by Zahara Lake.

 

Jimena

From very remote origins and located very close to the bay of Algeciras, Jimena is an exceptional meeting point between the Ronda Mountains and the Strait of Gibraltar. In its old town, declared a place of cultural interest, you will find a climb up to the Moorish Castle with beautiful views over the countryside and the famous Queens Bath at the back. Other very attractive elements are the churches of Misericordia and Victoria, the sanctuary of Los Angeles, the building of the Royal Artillery Factories, the Stone-Age cave paintings of nearby Laja Alta Cave or the splendid natural area of the Natural Park of the Alcornocales, in whose heart it is located, perfect for hiking amateurs.

 

Gaucin

Located  on the edge of a deep gorge, between the rivers Guadiro and Genal, Gaucin one of the most popular pueblos blancos (white villages) of Andalucia, and the perfect place for those who crave both mountain hikes and beaches but without the hustle and bustle of Costa del Sol.

You ´ll have the Mediterranean just half an hour away as well as great rural walks that will suit varying levels of fitness. Besides, the town preserves a Romanesque parish church, the Arab Eagle Castle, and nearby is the Organ cave, so called because of the sounds that are obtained by lightly hitting the stalactites.

 

Grazalema

Grazalema is an immaculately kept village with great charm- its steep streets made from cobblestones are lined by impeccably-maintained white painted houses, with windows covered by traditional iron bars and plant pots spilling over colourful Bougainvillea flowers.

The focal point of the village is its central square, Plaza de España, with plenty of restaurants, café-bars, shops and banks, even spa baths.

It is part of the Sierra de Grazalema Natural Park, a large protected area where rugged limestone predominates surrounded by vibrant green vegetation, caves and spectacular views – hikes you simply cannot miss!

And if you are more into fiestas, from May to September, there is an endless list of celebrations.

 

COSTA DEL SOL

The Costa del Sol, an almost uninterrupted coastal avenue of more than 90km, lined with hotels, urbanizations, fishing villages, beaches and quiet coves, golf courses ... it caters for all tastes. And although it is well known for its attractive beaches, the quality of rural tourism has held up and provides delightful surprises: the amazing caves at Nerja, the warm, relaxed character of Malaga town and some astoundingly pleasant villages such as Frigiliana, or unspoilt rural locations like Casares.

 

Casares

A green and white enclave that meets the most classic idea of a white village perched on the mountain. As a testimony of its agitated history, it provides numerous monumental remains that deserve by themselves a visit to the old quarter declared a historical-artistic site.

 The views of the Acedia Valley, of its rolling hills are absolutely breathtaking. On clear days, the sea can be seen tinkling on the horizon and even the African silhouette spotted at a distance. On the outskirts you will find La Hedionda, known for their therapeutic sulfur waters. With so many things on the table, Casares, without a doubt, is a must for tourists and those who seek a quiet life rich in simple and unforgettable pleasures not too far from the beaches of Costa del Sol.

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Photos

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Climate

Malaga is great area to visit at almost any time of the year as they have hot, sunny summers, mild winters, and long spring and autumn seasons, offering visitors extended sunbathing periods.

There are many villas with pools in Malaga where swimming pools can be used from early April to late October.

The climate is typically warm Mediterranean with close to 300 days of sunshine per year!

Springtime brings an increase in daily sunshine hours and a gradually warming weather. Although cold winds, showers and fog can sometimes spoil the day, overall the weather tends to be very pleasant and warm, sometimes allowing for sunbathing and swims near Easter time.  

Summer offers high temperatures and hot, dry, sunny weather, but there may be days of changeable humidity and winds. Rain is extremely rare in July and August, except maybe for an occasional August thunderstorm that is over almost as soon as it starts.

The climate during autumn in Malaga is very changeable, with September usually still very hot and sunny with cooler nights, while October and November brings some rain (welcomed by inhabitants) and gradually cooler days and sea temperatures.

Winters can be wet but, if we compare it to Central and Northern Europe, they are very mild.

 

CLIMATE IN THE DIFFERENT REGIONS OF MALAGA

Ronda

Most of the Ronda area of Malaga inland from the Costa del Sol has a very long warm and sunny year and is relatively mild even in winter. It’s a very summery holiday destination throughout with one exception. Grazalema is the odd one out here, being one of the wettest places in Spain. The heavy winter rains are responsible for making it into such an excitingly profuse natural area with gorges and caves. Yet despite having more rainfall than London, it’s 125% sunnier: this is still Andalucia.

 

Axarquia and Antequera

Simply the sunniest place in Spain with 320 days of sunshine per year, La Axarquia has a semi-tropical climate. Kiwi and mango grow here and we have even seen coffee trees. Summers are hot in rural Axarquia, but not as sweltering as in cities such as Seville and Granada. Winter temperatures can average 10⁰C. Antequera has similarly reliable dry, sunny weather most of the year.

 

Costa del Sol

The Costa del Sol acquired its moniker for good reason, as it averages just 50 rainy days per annum. The climate is sub-tropical Mediterranean, with a measure of influence from the nearby Atlantic Ocean. It is relatively gentle without important fluctuations in temperatures, tending to be hot in summer and very mild in winter, with rainfall generally restricted to winter months.

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Maps

Getting there

AIRPORTS IN MALAGA

Malaga Airport is by far the largest airport in Andalucia with incoming flights from all over the world. Malaga´s relatively central location within Andalucia and good flight availability make it the major airport for holidaymakers. But there are other options.

Simply pick the airport that’s most conveniently situated (or best-priced) for your holiday location. Driving times from airports are shown on the individual page for your holiday property. Car hire is available with online booking at all these airports.

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Ronda Holidays:

Malaga (AGP) | Jerez (XRY)   | Sevilla (SVQ) | Gibraltar (GIB)

 

Costa del Sol Holidays:

Gibraltar (GIB) | Malaga (AGP) | Jerez (XRY)

 

Axarquia and Antequera Holidays:

Malaga (AGP) | Granada (GRX)*

 *Note: there are almost no direct international flights to Granada

 

 

CAR HIRE

If your villa is up a track, be sure to rent a vehicle with good clearance. This means most normal cars: simply don't be tempted by a low-slung sporty model. If the track is steep, opt for a car with decent uphill power (not the smallest budget option).

If your holiday home is a mountain village (i.e Grazalema) with narrow streets a small / medium car will probably suit you best.

Most rural areas in Andalucia have a relatively poor public transport service so you would normally need to hire a car.

It often works out cheaper than taking a taxi from the airport and is then invaluable for shopping, eating out, visiting places of interest, days out at the beach, and making an easy return trip at the end of your stay.

Driving times from airports your holiday property are shown on the villa's property page. You will receive a map with detailed directions to your villa as one of your holiday documents from Rustical Travel.

Rustical Travel doesn't have a professional arrangement with any particular car hire company and we suggest you shop around for car hire using a broker such as rentalcars.com or similar.

It's easy to compare prices of rentals with companies that operate at the airport you fly into, and all the reputable agencies have online payment for advance booking these days. You don't have to use the broker. If you prefer, you can check the car hire companies own websites, compare prices, and book direct.

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