I highly recommend travelling with Equestrian Escapes who provide luxury horse riding package holidays. We had a stunning trip, the perfect blend of a sunny holiday, exquisite accommodation and brilliant horse trekking.
If you are in the traditional "white villages" of southern Spain during the Christmas holidays, you can experience many traditions based on religious beliefs. There are "belens" (nativity scenes) set up all over the villages - spot the "caganer" figure with his trousers down squatting in the traditional scene! In the bars, you may see a travelling group of shepherd musicians playing and dancing. On Christmas Eve, families have meals including special treats like turron, and little oil lamps sparkle in the windows of the houses. There are processions through the villages, most noteably on Three Kings day on 6th January when children leave out their shoes for the kings to fill with presents - as they pass by, the kings give out sweets and gifts. Best of all, the weather is warm and pleasant and if you're lucky, you could spend the 25th of December on a sandy beach ...
Google map: bit.ly/uAx09a
Excellent location when you arrive from the airport in Malaga. A 15 minute train journey takes you from the airport to hotel as the hotel is just outside the train station.
Nice new hotel with an eye catching slide from the 2nd floor to the lobby ... which I tried!
City centre is a 10 min walk from hotel.
Big rambling bar housed within a 200 year old (former) convent.
Great when its busy. Walls lined with pictures of celebs. Also there are a number of wine casks signed by famous folk such as Tony Blair!
Seemingly a place where Antonio Banderas drinks when he returns to his home town.
People pass through Malaga, but do they know that it has two fabulous museums, an impressive cathedral, an Arab fortress and palace as good as any outside Granada, clear blue seas and miles of sandy beaches lined with chiringuitos serving fresh sardines. And in this top spot the top street is Calle Granada, running crookedly from the Plaza del Independencia to the Plaza de la Merced. It is where the Malaguenos go, especially at night, to visit their favourite tapas bars. There are many, but chief among them are La Campana - tiny, crowded and noisy - which serves superb fresh fish at knock-down prices; Piyayo, across the road, more up-market with seats outside; and the renowned El Pimpi, a vast rambling place full of different sized rooms, full of Spanish character and Spanish people. Try them all.
Calle Granada nº35, 29015 Malaga, Spain
+34 952 219 202
Google map: bit.ly/l47dDm
Calle Granada 36, Malaga, Spain
+34 952 220 096
Google map: bit.ly/kz1yug
Calle Granada, 62, 29015 Malaga, Spain
+34 952 228 990
Google map: bit.ly/lMOrco
Boutique B&B: 30 minutes drive into the hills from Malaga airport. It was the perfect place to decompress before embarking on our tour of Andalucia. Lots of private perches to take in the panoramic views, stylish decor and luxury where it counts - beds and showers. Stunning food too and gay friendly hosts with joie de vivre.
Montes De Malaga, Colmenar, Solano
+34 622 51 50 88
I went on a four-day break to Andalucia in February and spent a few hours in Nerja. There's a lovely beach there (Almijari II) and every Sunday, the main event in Nerja is the flea market which is five minutes from the beach. It is truly international with stall holders from practically every European country. There are also lots of bargains to be had.
Google map: bit.ly/lbj6hO
After several months in Spain, any vegetarian restaurant is a marvellous find. This charming restaurant in a rustic alley, conveniently placed for a break from sightseeing in the Alcazabar and the Teatro Romano serves vegan and vegetarian meals. We had the vegan plate: an appetizing and generous selection of vegan finger food and salads. The restaurant decor is cheerful and quirky, with comments and quotes from previous customers written on the walls and mobiles of tin jugs and colourful mirrors. We were there in December and sat snuggly inside, in summer you may want to use the shady terrace.
Calle Pozo del Rey 5, Malaga
Google map: bit.ly/eXr7Nc
The hammam in Malaga is the antithesis of the Costa del Sol. Calm, dimly lit, it is as authentic as I have found outside of Turkey. You can have a steam - no time limit - or book a massage as part of a package. The massage takes place either in the hammam itself on a marble slab, or (for more privacy) in a separate room. Afterward you can rest on the outside terrace with herbal tea. One of the most memorable moments in Malaga for me, apart from the Picasso Museum which is close by.
Malaga, like most airport cities, is often overlooked but as we found last year, it makes a great and accessible winter city break, especially if you time it for the first weekend of December when some of the best and most tasteful Christmas lights you could hope to see are switched on. Don’t miss the huge nativity scene at the meeting point of Alameda and c/Larios, then explore the marbled pedestrianised streets festooned with red green and gold lights. The atmosphere in the city centre is truly festive, with street entertainers to keep the kids happy and a free rock concert in the Plaza Constitucion. There are many cosy authentic tapas bars where you can drink Malaga wine and eat delicious tapas, such as Malaga Cod (a sort of potato salad with cod and oranges). Drink with the locals at the Casa Guardia, which Picasso frequented. During the day you can visit the Picasso Museum, the Moorish fort and the Alcazaba palace and then return to soak up the carnival atmosphere in the evening.
Malaga centre is pedestrianised and easy to find. Access from the airport is easy - from the central staion it is a 15 minute walk to the centre
The small flamenco museum is situated close to the more famous Picasso Museum, within the Flamenco Club. Don't be put off - when you enter the ground floor you might think that you have intruded into a private club (well you have) - but you will quickly be welcomed and shown around three floors of fascinating exhibits of memorabilia from the past century of Malaga flamenco
The new bus station in Malaga offers comfort for departing and transit passenger. Serving the whole of Andalucia as well as routes to most major Spanish cities the bus station includes retail outlets nad refreshment aress.
My family and I recently visited a brand new apartment complex on the Costa Del Sol, near Malaga, called Terrazas Costa Del Sol Holiday Village. It only opened this year, so there are some really good deals on one-bedroom apartments – ours slept four people and was about £300 for the week. We have young children, so the kids’ clubs were great. It also has a gorgeous infinity pool that has views of the Rock of Gibraltar. The kitchen in our room also meant that we were able to cook food cheaply and make meals that we knew the kids would like. We will definitely be back!
A Moorish festival held over the first two weekends of September in Guaro in Malaga province. The streetlights are turned off and the beautiful village is lit by 20,000 candles. It's incredible. The streets are lined with North African inspired stalls selling everything from incense to spices to trinkets. Lots of street-side bars and food stalls stay open until the early hours and there's music as well as other performances.
It's really popular with the Spanish who come from far and wide, but not many tourists seem to know about it. I'd recommend staying in the village to avoid the transport chaos! There are a few English speakers with houses/apartments to rent in the village of Guaro.
I found Malaga airport a bit of a difficult place to come to. Buses weren't signposted, taxis seemed expensive and no one spoke English.
There was also a train but with the works going on you had to walk about half a mile to get to the station.
I recommend hiring a car to see Malaga and the surrounding area, there is so much to see and public transport leaves a lot to be desired.
Having left behind the red hills and olive groves of rural Andalucia where the only sound was the deep dong of sheep bells across the valley, the prospect of an eight hour wait for my plane in Malaga was not appealing. I thought "concrete, high rise, tourist capital of the Costa del Sol." So imagine the delight of finding the old town centre – a maze of narrow streets with traditional tall houses covered in roses and wisteria reaching to the sky. After a delightful few hours in the Picasso Museum, it was time for a drink and some tapas. Wandering around the alleyways I was intrigued to find an entrance to a Tapas Bar up a steep flight of steps. At the top of the steps huge wrought iron gates opened on to a white painted courtyard where hundreds of blue flower pots strewn with ferns and creeping plants hung on the walls. A sculptural antique sink provided a focus. The tapas menu was typical – I had ‘Tostas Pimpi’ – a satisfying array of salt cod, jamon, egg, olives, salmon and anchovies on little pieces of toast. I ate and drank watching the (mostly Spanish) people from my spot in front of a pile of huge wine barrels. Well satisfied, spiritually as well as having a full tummy, I walked about 10 minutes through the passages out on to the busy main street to my bus which took me to the airport.
62 y Jardines de Alcazabilla
With the Picasso Museum on your right, walk to the next alleyway and turn right - the bar is on the right.
Send your feedback or queries to firstname.lastname@example.org