Málaga’s surrounding area
If you’re planning on a trip to discover the province of Málaga, you’re going to have to make some tough decisions. The region bordered by the Mediterranean Sea boasts countless attractions, whether along its 160 kilometres of coastline known as the Costa del Sol or in its white villages and mountain ranges in the interior. Prehistoric caves, trails along the edges of precipices, small villages of Moorish origin, beautiful beaches, glamorous ports and much more await on this short journey through the highlights of the province of Málaga.
And so we begin at the most-visited attraction in the area surrounding Málaga, the Caminito del Rey, situated some 60 kilometres to the northwest of the city. Prepare to be bowled over by the narrow path—a former maintenance track for a hydroelectric power station—comprised of hanging walkways suspended above the Desfiladero de los Gaitanes gorge over 100 metres above the Guadalhorce river. Since it opened in 2015, the trail has amassed countless tourism awards.
At the easternmost point in the region, another must-visit are the Nerja Caves and the white village of Frigiliana. The former, discovered in the fifties and classified as an Asset of Cultural Interest, is one of the most spectacular prehistoric caves in Spain, with cave paintings that include one of seals, which could well be humanity’s oldest. The nearby village of Frigiliana often appears on lists of the most beautiful villages in Spain thanks to its pretty whitewashed streets and its old town dating from Moorish times, one of the best preserved in the province.
West of the city of Málaga, don’t miss popular tourist resorts such as Torremolinos, a classic holiday destination, and Marbella, particularly well-known for the luxury and glamour of Puerto Banús, which is worth a visit to stroll amid the yachts, expensive cars and eccentric millionaires. Inland, just 30 kilometres away from Málaga, is Mijas, one of the most authentic and picturesque white villages in the region. Comprised of a narrow labyrinth of small streets paved with stone and lined with whitewashed houses, it can also be explored on the back of a donkey known as a donkey-taxi, a classic feature of the village. Another must is climbing up to the Hermitage of Virgen de la Peña, which was built into the rock in the seventeenth century, and the Mirador del Compás viewpoint.
Some 40 kilometres to the north of Málaga, the surreal natural landscape of Torcal de Antequera, declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site, occupies the length and breadth of 1,100 hectares like nature’s very own work of art. Its multiple trails allow you to discover an impressive karst landscape, where erosion has been ‘sculpting’ fascinating forms out of the limestone rocks for thousands of years.
The furthest, yet without a doubt one of the region’s most important, destinations is situated at the most westerly point of the province, 100 kilometres from Málaga. Ronda, the ‘city of dreams’, which the poet Rainer Maria Rilke fell in love with in 1912, is a must-visit. Perched on the edge of a rocky outcrop above the Tajo de Ronda—the name of the gorge through which the Guadalevín river flows—this old city is famous for its elegant bullring—the oldest in Spain—vestiges from Moorish times in its old town and, above all, the vertiginous Puente Nuevo, a bridge that goes over the gorge and is the symbol of Ronda. One interesting option in the surrounding area is discovering the hiking trails of the region of Serranía de Ronda, which boasts beautiful natural parks such as Los Alcornocales, the Sierra de Grazalema and the Sierra de las Nieves.
Fairy-tale towns, paradise beaches and lunar landscapes are just some of the attractions that Málaga province offers tourists.
Estepona, located between the Sierra Bermeja mountain range and the Mediterranean Sea, is one of the towns in Málaga that is most committed to quality tourism.
Benalmádena invites visitors to come and enjoy its beaches, marina, monuments and old town.