- Playa Miguel Beach Club
- C/ Mar num.3, 29620 - Torremolinos
- Málaga - Spain
- 952 37 45 81
Located in Eastern Andalusia, the territory of Málaga is divided into two clearly differentiated landscapes: the marine littoral, the Costa del Sol, washed by the warm waters of the Mediterranean Sea; and the mountains, the southern part of the Penibética Mountain Range, made up by a succession of valleys and mountains.
Although the mountains are not very high (the Sierra de Tolox has the highest peaks, just under 2.000 m), the steep mountain ranges of Málaga make up a very attractive natural landscape which includes the Serranía de Ronda to the West, reaching the Gibraltar Rock; the Torcal de Antequera, a unique natural area, in the centre; and the Tejeda and Almijara Mountain Ranges to the East, acting as a natural boundary between the provinces of Málaga and Granada, and including the beautiful Sierra de Alcaucín.
Afterwards the province withered into a long period of decline which did not begin to subside until the 1960s, when the tourist industry began to develop strongly, to the point where it is currently the province's major source of income.
Regarding air transportation, Málaga international airport services the entire Costa del Sol - there are Iberia information offices in all of the main tourist information centres.
Málaga has a RENFE train station, connecting the city to the national train network, as well as a coastal track from Málaga to Fuengirola that stops at Torremolinos, Benalmádena and the airport.
Inhabited for over three millennia, different peoples and cultures have left traces of a rich past in Málaga. The Phoenician Málaga was granted by the Romans the Lex Flavia Malacitana, a set of privileges for the city cast in bronze; the ruins of a theatre, are the sole remains of its Roman past. After occupation by the Arabs, Málaga became one of the most important cities in the Iberian Peninsula; this illustrious past has left its imprint on the old city nucleus, which spreads around La Alcazaba, a fortress erected in 1065 by the Zirite king Badis, enlarged in the 14th by the Nazarite kings and thoroughly reformed in the 16th and 17th centuries. It is a double walled enclosure reinforced by square towers (among which is the Torre del Homenaje), pretty yards with gardens, reservoirs and irrigation channels. This beautiful setting of the palace of La Alcazaba, one of the province’s most interesting Muslim constructions, is where the Museo Arqueológico Provincial (Provincial Archaeological Museum) is located, offering a rich collection of prehistoric pieces, Phoenician, Greek and Roman pottery, as well as a splendid collection of Spanish Muslim pottery from the 9th to 15th centuries. The Alcazaba is connected to the Castillo de Gibralfaro, a castle founded by the Phoenicians and rebuilt by the Arabs in the 14th century, through a passage that breaks through the walls. Today it houses the Parador de Turismo Castillo de Gibralfaro (a state hotel).
The old mediaeval and renaissance city is made up of a labyrinth of narrow and winding streets, crowned by the Catedral (Cathedral) which was built over the ancient mosque. Its construction was ordered by the Catholic kings and was begun in 1528 according to a project by Diego de Siloé. It was not completed until the 18th century, the period when its beautiful baroque façade and towers (one of them unfinished) were made.
Within its three naves interior it has a remarkable set of choir stalls, carved almost entirely by Pedro de Mena in the 17th century.
Other examples of religious architecture worthy of a visit are the Iglesia del Sagrario (a church next to the cathedral), with an Isabellan Gothic portico and a Castillian plateresque altarpiece; the Virgen de la Victoria sanctuary, dedicated to the patroness of Málaga and featuring a brass dressing-room (1693) and multicoloured baroque decoration; the Iglesia de San Felipe Neri (1778), with a double rotunda layout by José Martín de Aldehuela following a design by Ventura Rodríguez. Among the civil architecture there is the 18th century Palacio Episcopal (Episcopal Palace) with a beautiful baroque façade, the Aduana (Customs) building, a classical work by Manuel Martín Rodríguez erected between 1787 and 1829; the Palacio de Buenavista, nowadays serving as the Museo Provincial de Bellas Artes (Provincial Museum of Fine Arts), with 18th and 19th century paintings and sculptures and a room dedicated to Pablo Ruiz Picasso, the painter born in Málaga.
Besides its artistic richness Málaga well merits a walk through its streets and squares, its beautiful gardens which seem to reflect all the wisdom behind Arab gardening and featuring a park next to the port, created at the end of the 19th century, which contains exotic botanical species. In the heart of the city the Pasaje de Chinitas is especially attractive, where 'cante grande' (flamenco) was once practised in the Café de Chinitas before it closed down. Also the Plaza de la Merced, where Picasso was born. El Palo is a typical neighbourhood, an old fisherman's village where one can enjoy the traditional 'fritura de pescado' (assortment of fried fish). But Málaga is above all a modem city, split in two by the 19th century Marqués de Larios Street, the administrative and trade centre. The eastern part of the city, between the Alcazaba and the old El Palo neighbourhood, is where the prettier residential areas -La Caleta, El Limonar, Miramar- are located.
Starting from La Hoya de Málaga eastwards, between sea and mountain is the district of la Axarquía, the most perfect remembrance of the province's Muslim past.
Near Málaga, Torre del Mar offers its large beach with the most varied tourist facilities. Five km inland is Vélez-Málaga, capital of la Axarquia, a town with whitewashed houses and tiled roofs conserving remains of an interesting historic past: Phoenician deposits, the Muslim Alcazaba, the Gothic church of San Juan, with several figures carved by Pedro de Mena, the Mudéjar church of Santa María la Mayor, and the baroque sanctuary of the Virgen de los Remedios (Our Lady of the Remedies).
The coastal road leads to Nerja, atop a steep coastline projecting a formidable mirador out to sea known as the Balcón de Europa (Balcony of Europe), which once housed an Arab castle: by the palm trees of the Paseo Marítimo (Seaside Walk) rises the 17th century church of El Salvador. One can visit the Cueva de Nerja, an underground cave of extraordinary beauty, with three areas open to the public, one of them serving as an auditorium. Inhabited during the Upper Palaeolithic and Neolithic periods, the cave conserves rupestrian paintings and other remains. A little ways inland is Torrox, a village with narrow streets and white houses rising up the hillside.
From Málaga to the point where the province of Cádiz begins there is a large area of sandy beaches. Around charming old fisherman's villages have risen hotels, urbanisations, casinos, golf courses, and pleasure harbours, all contributing to a wide entertainment offer.
The tourist centres are lined back to back: Torremolinos, nucleus of the Costa del Sol in the 1950s, an old fisherman's village which has replaced the majority of its old windmills for modem luxury facilities, sports and leisure areas; Benalmádena, right next to Torremolinos along the coastline and with an interesting historic centre, is a town with white houses and a rich Phoenician and Roman past of which there are remains in its Museo Arqueológico (Archaeological Museum); Fuengirola, with a large beach and a Paseo Marítimo, a pleasure harbour and a zoo - from its Arabic past it conserves the ruins of the Castle of Sohail, built under Abderrahman III; Marbella, located on the ancient Roman Via Augusta, is the most cosmopolitan places on the Costa del Sol, with a historic centre conserving its Arabic streets, little white houses built around quiet squares, a mediaeval castle and important renaissance and baroque buildings; San Pedro de Alcántara and Estepona are similar to the above Costa del Sol tourist cities, with charming old quarters and plentiful hotel and sports facilities along the coast.
There are many inland villages worth visiting, most of which bring together beautiful surroundings and a primitive nucleus containing a noteworthy cultural past. Such is the case of Mijas, an Arabic town amidst pine forests with charming white houses covered by bougainvillea and jasmine, streets dedicated to making esparto handicrafts and linen, a parish church which was formerly a mosque, and its magnificent view which sometimes reaches the distant mountains of Africa; Alhaurín, a genuine fruit grove in the Valley of Guadalhorce; Coin, located in a beautiful and fertile valley; 0jén, a picturesque mountain village very near Marbella and the starting point of excursions to Sierra Blanca, where there are specimens of capra hispánica (wild Spanish goat); and finally Casares, a captivating town with white houses and red rooftops, located on a hill just under a castle in ruins, from where one can enjoy a magnificent landscape.
In the surroundings of the Valley of Guadalhorce and reaching the Serranía de Ronda is one of the most genuine districts in Málaga and Andalusia, with fertile green valleys of orchards, orange and lemon gloves, dotted with whitewashed villages, which give way to the steep mountain landscape of holm oaks, pine trees and Spanish firs, where the legendary bandoliers José Maria el Tempranillo and Pies Largos once roamed.
Ronda, of which Rainer Maria Rilke once said: 'Everywhere I sought the dreamt of city and at last I have found it', rises upon a rocky promontory on the edge of an impressive a gorge falling down 150 m. The Puente Nuevo (New Bridge), built in the 18th century, joins both sides of the town separated by the gorge. Its rich Arab and Christian past filled the town with monuments, the most famous ones being the Casa del Rey Moro (House of the Moorish king), with beautiful gardens of Arab inspiration and an old road carved in the rock which goes down to the torrent bed; the palace of Mondragón, with a renaissance portico, where the Catholic Kings once stayed; the palace of the Marqués of Salvatierra, with a splendid renaissance façade and Ronda style wrought iron balconies; the Casa de la calle del Gigante, typically Arabic in design; the Posada de las Animas where Cervantes once stayed; the church of Santa María la Mayor, one of the most interesting buildings in the city, constructed over a mosque of which the tower still stands, and the church of the Espíritu Santo, built by order of the Catholic Kings in commemoration of the conquest of the city. By the river are the Arab baths, of which three rooms have been conserved. In its renowned Plaza de Toros (bullring), built in 1785, every year a 'corrida goyesca' is celebrated (the matadors wear special outfits from the days of the painter Francisco de Goya).
Near the town of Benaoján one call visit the most famous prehistoric cave in the province, La Pileta, which has interesting palaeolithic rupestrian paintings in a naturalistic style.
Ronda is the ideal starting point for many excursions. Just over ten miles north are the ruins of the old Roman city of Acinipo (today it is called Ronda la Vieja) which has the remains of a theatre and an ancient road connecting Acinipo to Málaga.
Ardales rises next to the Chorro dams in a landscape with breathtaking cliffs and the remains of two Arab castles and springs of Sulphurous waters; nearby is the Cueva de Doña Trinidad, another cave with rupestrian paintings. Near Ardales, on the top of a steep rock known as Mesas de Villaverde, stand the ruins of a Mozarabic basilica carved in the rock, next to what are considered to be the ruins of the celebrated castle of Bobastro.
Another appealing route leads from Ronda to the famous white villages that sprout up on the mountainsides, undeniable traces of the Arabic past: Benadalid, with its cemetery in the remains of an Arab castle; Algotacín, in the midst of a beautiful landscape., the very attractive town of Gaucín, with its Arab and Christian past reflected upon the ruins of the 'Castillo del Aguila' (Castle of the Eagle) and the 'Convento de las Carmelitas Descalzas' (Convent of the Barefooted Carmelites).
The town of Antequera and its surroundings, due to the rich historical past reflected in the monuments, and El Torcal de Antequera, with its beautiful landscapes, make this region an especially appealing place.
Located in a fertile valley and on a crossroads Antequera is a town with a rich and ancient past. Inhabited since the Bronze Age, as shown by its interesting megalithic monuments, it was a Roman colony (Antikaria) and was afterwards conquered by the Arabs: after being reconquered in 1410 by Fernando de Antequera, the city developed a rich renaissance and baroque culture, magnificent examples of which remain. From its Arabic past there are some walls and castle towers, as well as the Puerta de Málaga, which became the Ermita de la Esperanza (Hermitage of Hope) once it was reconquered by the Christians. The Royal Collegiate Church of Santa María la Mayor, which stands next to the Arabic Alcazaba on a hilltop with generous views, is a beautiful renaissance temple with a magnificent plateresque façade; equally remarkable are the Iglesia del Carmen, a church with an imposing Mudejar structure and construction, the Gothic Iglesia de San Zoilo, the renaissance lglesia de San Pedro, the Palacio de las Escolanías, a mannerist construction from the early 17th century, and the mid- 19th century Plaza de Toros (bullring). The Museo Municipal (City Museum) is located within the 18th century 'Palacio de Nájera' (Palace of Nájera), and it houses pieces from Roman days.
In the surroundings of Antequera there is a collection of dolmens, commonly known as caves - cueva del Romeral, cueva de Menga, cueva de Veira-, megalithic burial grounds from the third millenium B.C., which are among the most important prehistoric megalithic monuments.
At a distance of 13 km from Antequera, following the road that goes to Málaga, is El Torcal, one of the most captivating landscapes in Málaga. The varied and whimsical shapes adopted by its karstic rocks create a strange and suggestive landscape.
Nearby there are other natural areas well worth a visit, such as the Desfiladero de los Gaitanes, where the Guadalhorce River flows between rocky walls which sometimes rise up 40 m; a service path known as 'caminito del rey' which is a splendid mirador from which to admire the landscape, or the Laguna de Fuente de Piedra, the largest lagoon in Andalusia and one of the few European havens where pink flamingoes can breed.
Málaga has numerous and modern sports facilities for the practice of water sports, golf, horseback riding, tennis or squash. There are equestrian clubs in most of the coastal towns (Estepona, Marbella, Fuengirola, Torremolinos); squash and tennis courts can be found along ill the Costa del Sol. The well-equipped pleasure harbours range from the 81 moorings in the port of Manilva to the 961 moorings in the port of Benalmádena. Golf is without a doubt a privileged sport on the Costa del Sol, thanks to the general good weather. Most of the courses have 18 holes, and there are international tournaments year round.
Málaga's cuisine includes a great variety of fish, the best expression of which is the famous 'pescadito frito', an assortment of fried fish including 'chanquetes and chopitos', small sardines, and red mullet; but there are also sardines on the spit, marinated fish, anglers, tuna, hake and seafood. The renowned Andalusian gazpacho has a Málaga variety called 'ajoblanco', made with almonds and moscatel grapes. Málaga's cuisine is made up of plenty of local dishes: 'habas a la rondeńa' (broad beans Ronda style), ‘patatas en ajopelo’ (a potato dish), ‘pimientos a la malagueńa’ (peppers Málaga style), 'porra antequerana', 'embutidos de la sierra' (mountain sausages) or the ‘sopa campera' (potato based soup) which people drink in Estepona during the 'Feria Agrícola y Ganadera' (Farm and Livestock Fair, 11 - 15 May). Among the sweets one can try the 'pan de higos' (fig bread), 'roscos de aguardiente', and the traditional delicious 'pasas' (raisins). When it comes to wines, Málaga is famous for its sweet varieties, made from the grapes of Antequera, La Axarquía, in the mountains of Málaga; the ‘aguardiente de Ojén' is an especially renowned liquor.
Málaga and Antequera celebrate their Real Feria de Agosto, with bullfights and other shows. During the first fortnight in September they celebrate the traditional 'goyesca' bullfight in Ronda, in honour of the great 18th century matador Pedro Romero, along with cavalcades and parades. On the 28th of December (the equivalent of April Fool's Day) they celebrate the Festival de los Verdiales in Málaga groups of buddies ('pandas') from nearby mountain towns meet in the Venta del Túnel to have fun in a spontaneous festival.
Although one can find typical handicrafts from the province in any of the important coastal towns, it is in the inland towns where one can find the most genuine crafts and even see how they are made: esparto and palm crafts (in Ronda, Antequera, Vélez-Málaga, Ojén), iron works in Ronda, tin lamps and embroidery in Antequera, glazed pottery in Níjar, Coín, Málaga and Fuengirola; and of course all types of leatherworks, wood carvings and embossed copper, all in the most genuine Málaga fashion.