Approximately 80 miles north of the coast of Africa is Malaga, one of the oldest cities in the world. Founded by the Phoenicians around 770 BC, it is also influenced by its subsequent Roman, Arabic and Christian rulers.
Todays Malaga is a resort destination as well as the main economic and financial center of southern Spain. With a mild Mediterranean climate from the sea and the Malaga Mountains behind the city blocking cold winds from the north, it is one of the warmest cities in Europe during the winter.
Malaga’s historic center contains the oldest architectural remains including some of the walls of the Phoenician town, which have been incorporated in walls of later buildings and the Roman Theater from the first century BC. There are several Moorish reminders from the 11th century AD, including the Castle of Gibralfaro and the royal residence, the Alcazaba. From the Reconquista period (711 AD – 1492AD) is the Church of Santiago, Iglesia del Sagrario, the Cathedral of Malaga and the Episcopal Palace. Other popular sites to visit include the La Concepcion garden, San Felipe Neri Church, the Anglican Cemetery, Pedregalejo, the old fishing village, La Malagueta bullring and the Atarazanas Market, an iron-clad building from the late 1800s that still houses the local market today. It is highlighted by a Moorish port gate and a stained glass window.
There are several museums for the art lover including the Museo Carmen Thyssen, set in a 1500s palace, it showcases the art of Spain. The Museum of Glass and Crystal, also set in a palace, displays objects dating from Egyptian times to the present. Perhaps the best-known museum is that of local born Pablo Picasso. The museum has over 200 of his pieces covering every period of his career.
Although there is plenty to do in Malaga, it is what lies further afield that attracts people to this port. The north coast of Africa (Morocco) is a day trip away. Inland, you have the town of Cordoba less than two hours drive with its Great Mosque, Roman Bridge, Jewish Quarter and Synagogue. A little further away is Seville, home to the UNESCO World Heritage cathedral, Alcazar fort, Plaza de Espana, Barrio Santa Cruz and La Giralda. Other day trips include the Spanish villages of Frigiliana and Nerja or the Andalusian horse show and countryside of Jerez.
The most popular day trip from Malaga is the trip to Granada to visit the 9th Century UNESCO World Heritage Alhambra Palace and beautiful Generalife Gardens. Here you can marvel at the Islamic architecture of the three Nasrid Palaces as well as the contrasting Renaissance architecture of the Palace of Charles V. Shore Excursioneer has unique and selected Cruise Excursions in Malaga to help you see and sample all of the highlights during your day on the Costa del Sol!