5 Day Getaway to Sunny Malaga, Spain
Lara Kudryk Traska
Sunny skies, palm fringed beaches, plus loads of culture and incredible food make Malaga on the Costa del Sol in Spain a happy discovery for a romantic couple’s weekend, girlfriend getaway or adventure filled vacation with teens.
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Where to stay
An Andalusian 18th-century palace serves as the setting for this ultra-stylish boutique hotel, located in Málaga's dynamic Jewish quarter, a multicultural and dynamic neighborhood steeped in history.
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Gran Hotel Miramar
This family favorite has gorgeous views across the Bay of Malaga.
Iberostar Málaga Playa
A luxurious beachfront resort located in the heart of the Costa del Sol in Spain. This elegantly designed hotel features sprawling pools, lush gardens, and stunning Mediterranean architecture, offering guests a blend of comfort and style. With its breathtaking ocean views and array of amenities, it's a perfect destination for travelers seeking relaxation and a touch of Spanish charm.
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We stumbled upon Malaga in the South of Spain looking for a warm place to head for a quick family spring break from rainy London, but quickly learned that this charming town has so much more to offer than just beaches and palm trees.
Landing in Malaga after a short direct flight, we decided to pick up a rental car to allow us to explore the surrounding area, but the town itself has so much to offer that we could have easily spent our five-day Malaga getaway there without ever needing it. We parked in one of the lots on the perimeter (much cheaper and easier than in town, with it’s narrow cobblestone streets), then walked the few blocks to the town center. After checking in to the lovely Palacio Solecio Hotel, we found ourselves at the Los Gatos, a tapas restaurant where the friendly owner sat us at a prime table on the patio, then got us started with a delicious plate of local charcuterie, draft beer and the best two dollar glass of red wine I have ever had!
The afternoon was spent strolling through the quaint old town, marveling at the glossy marble tiled pedestrian street, climbing up to the Alcazaba ancient fortress, walking along the oceanfront promenade and ending up at Meson Iberico for a seat at the bar to sample a few more plates of Iberian ham, local cheeses and some freshly caught anchovies (so good!). Get there right when it opens at 8:30pm, or you’ll have to wait in line!
To really kick off the vacation vibe, that evening we paid a visit to Hammam al Andalus, a Moroccan style bathhouse with intricately tiled walls and gold and blue mosaic ceilings, floating in the warm and hot pools, then plunging into the cold bath for a bracing jolt. The hamamm is by appointment, so it’s never crowded, they provide towels and robes, and you wear your swimsuit (whew!). Quick 15 back massages can be booked ahead of time, and are given in a beautifully tiled alcove on warm stone benches within the hammam.
Completely relaxed by our visit to the baths, we lazily made our way back to the hotel around 11:00pm, noting that the restaurants were still completely full and the bars not even open yet for the evening!
The following days were spent exploring the rest of the town (Cathedral, Picasso museum, Roman ruins…), at the beach in Nerja, a nearby coastal village where we lounged on reserved chaises, sipping sangria and enjoying the most amazing paella, and touring the spectacular Alhambra in the nearby town of Grenada.
As our five-day Malaga visit came to a close, we ended the trip with dinner at Asador Inaki, a Spanish steakhouse with the most incredible cuts of Basque beef, grilled octopus and lobster, plus more amazing (and cheap!) red wine. We’re already planning our next trip here, this time including the neighboring town of Marbella, with its chic shops and beachfront resorts. If sunshine and great dining, mixed with a bit of history and culture, are your idea of a perfect getaway, I’d love to help you plan your trip to this lovely corner of Spain.
Need to Know
Malaga and the Costa del Sol averages 325 sunny days a year, but the best months to visit are in the fall, spring and early summer. Winters can be a bit rainy and July/August scorching hot (temperatures and prices!)
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