Photos from our travels around the Andalucía region of southern Spain, visiting the towns and cities of Córdoba, Sevilla, Ronda, Granada and Málaga. Our fifth and final stop, the City of Málaga on the Costa del Sol.

We checked out of the hotel after breakfast, and took a taxi the two miles back to Granada bus station. Once again we used ALSA coaches, although this time it was a standard service without seat-back TV screens, which stopped at a handful of towns along the route. Our journey time was 1hr45mins to Málaga bus station, arriving around lunchtime.

ALSA coach at Granada bus station
ALSA coach at Granada bus station

Our hotel for the next two nights, the Tryp Málaga Alameda, is in a brilliant location maybe five minutes walk away from the train and bus stations. As soon as we were checked in and settled, we headed out to explore the old city centre across the river. From the hotel to the furthest point on our list at the Parador viewpoint near the Castillo de Gibralfaro is perhaps a little under two miles, but it made for an interesting afternoon walk as a large part of it is along the Parque de Málaga, an urban park parallel to the harbour front and showcasing a botanical collection of trees and shrubs. We also noticed a large number of Monk Parakeets flying freely amongst the trees.

A small corner of the Parque, looking up towards the Parador viewpoint
A small corner of the Parque, looking up towards the Parador viewpoint

Our plan was to head for the furthest point on our list from the hotel, the Parador viewpoint, to get an overview of the Centro area with all of its attractions, and then gradually work our way backwards through the city. It’s a much longer and more tiring climb than the belltowers we’ve been visiting so far, but a plus point is the nice little pub at the bottom of the stairs afterwards!

Bullring and Harbour from the Parador
Bullring and Harbour from the Parador

Not far from the bottom of the hill are the partially restored remains of a Roman Amphitheatre below the Alcazaba.

Roman Amphitheatre with the Alcazaba behind
Roman Amphitheatre with the Alcazaba behind

The visitor centre is free, with a few choice exhibits in their ‘Interpretation Centre’ and also allowing limited access to explore the ruins.

Looking down into the Amphitheatre
Looking down into the Amphitheatre

We could feel another siesta coming on, so we returned to the hotel. A little later in the evening, we took a taxi back to this far end of town, in search of something to eat. We asked to be dropped off at the Plaza de la Merced, a large square with a central fountain and restaurants around the edges, which by now was looking rather pretty under the street lighting. It also has one of the city’s many connections to Picasso, his birthplace house museum, and a statue of the artist in the plaza.

Picasso in the Plaza de la Merced
Picasso in the Plaza de la Merced

Not far away from the Plaza is another Picasso attraction which we intended to visit the next day, the Museo Picasso Málaga. Lots of shops and restaurants in this part of the centre, and we eventually decided upon the nearby Bodega El Patio. We had a lovely selection of tapas dishes, and managed to squeeze in some desserts!

Desserts in El Patio!
Desserts in El Patio!

Two hotel nights again, giving us a full day to explore Málaga. A big item on our list was the Museo Picasso Málaga, in Centro. There were no photos allowed in the Picasso Museum, unfortunately, but maybe that’s just as well – I have to admit to being a bit of a Philistine when it comes to art, and I found myself staring at some of the exhibits and thinking “what on earth?…”

We were keen to dip our toes in the sea at least once on our holiday, so we continued to the far end of Centro near to the harbour. From here it’s easy to access the main beach, Playa la Malagueta, for some time in the sunshine and then a pleasant stroll back round towards the harbour.

Playa la Malagueta
Playa la Malagueta

The harbour is frequented by big cruise ships and luxury motor yachts, and the prices in the nearby shops and restaurants reflect this. Nevertheless, we stopped for a very welcome drink at one of the establishments on the waterfront.

Málaga Harbour
Málaga Harbour

From the harbour, we headed back into Centro past the Pompidou El Cubo. Our earlier experience of modern art had left us rather nonplussed, so we contented ourselves with a few photos outside the cube instead of visiting. I gather it showcases a selection of pieces on temporary loan from the main Pompidou Centre in Paris.

Pompidou El Cubo
Pompidou El Cubo

On our walk back to the hotel, we stopped off at the Atarazanas market hall. It’s a true local food market rather than something for tourists, and is divided up into major sections such as fruit & veg, butchery, fishmongers, bakeries and delicatessens. Outside, there are lots of tables served by the stalls, where the locals were busy socialising over their food. We picked up a selection of meats, cheeses, bread and olives for a quiet night in back at the hotel.

Fruit Stall inside the Atarazanas Market Hall
Fruit Stall inside the Atarazanas Market Hall

The next morning, we were approaching the end of our holiday. We needed to check out and head back to the airport for a mid-morning check-in, ready for our lunchtime flight back to the UK. At María Zambrano station we bought our tickets for the Cercanías line back to the Aeropuerto station.

Our Cercanías Line train for the airport
Our Cercanías Line train for the airport

We’ve thoroughly enjoyed our time in Andalucía, visiting all the different sites and enjoying local food & drink. It’s also been quite a busy holiday, never spending more than two nights in a location, and sacrificing some of our ten days holiday time to the essential travel between cities. I wonder if our next holiday will be quite so energetic?