By Regina Winkle-Bryan
We went to Malaga in the springtime when it was still too cold to swim along Andalucia’s long stretches of golden beaches, but warm enough to sit poolside in a swimsuit for a couple of hours each day. Very different from Barcelona and the north of Spain, Andalucia is famous for hot weather, long siestas, nice people and good food, which works out to be a winning combination.
Malaga is located within the region of Andalucia and along with Marbella, is one of the posher cities in the south of Spain. It has a large ex-pat community which mostly consists of foreigners from the north who have moved to Malaga for the sunshine and easy pace. Over the last few years as people relocated to Malaga, construction and development really took off along the area’s coastline and water and resources became a concern as golf courses and pools were put into what is really a very sparse and dry environment.
Despite issues around Malaga’s development which put me off a bit (sometimes these slap-dash developments are not so tasteful and sometimes they break building codes…), there are pretty beaches around Malaga and the city can make for a good base to explore the Andalusian countryside. To the north of Malaga is Ronda, which is a small and charming cliff-side village reached by driving through numerous groves of orange trees (more on Ronda in a following post).
Of course, Marbella is also just down the beach from Malaga and those who love ritz and bling will adore this wealth-centered area. Famous for yachts, celebrities and politicians, Marbella’s Puerto Banús caters to those who want and can afford the finer things in life.
All in all, Malaga is not my favorite city in Spain to spend a vacation. However, its old city center is quite nice with typical shops and traditional restaurants. Malaga is a good option for visitors who just want to hang by the pool at a resort or who want to use the city as a base and then rent a car and take off on day trips. What Malaga does have that other parts of Spain do not is sunny warm weather almost every day of the year.
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