Spring is finally here. Can we get a ‘hallelujah’? We may have moved on from dark mornings, short days and snow-related delays, but no sooner than you utter “isn’t it a lovely day today?” to that colleague you don’t really know in the kitchen, then it’s back to wind, rain and clouds. Not ideal. It’s no wonder we are all feeling a bit ‘meh’.
Wouldn’t it be nice to have a bit of a break from the daily humdrum and escape to somewhere, ideally with a beach? And we’re not talking about a day trip to Skegness. We’re thinking more along the lines of glorious sunshine, served with a side of good food and a dose of culture. And where better (and easier to get to), than Malaga? The Costa del Sol capital tends to get bypassed by holidaymakers who are staying further along the coast, but Malaga is an ideal place for a weekend trip. Here are several reasons why…
Let’s start with the obvious. It’s hard to find a flight in under three hours that more or less guarantees good weather at this time of year. For a weekend, the Canaries or Greece is just a tad too far. Malaga, on the other hand, enjoys the year-round good weather and in late April and May, the temperature tends to remain in the early twenties, ideal for both sight-seeing and perhaps, more importantly, getting a tan.
Which brings us on to our second point. The sea. La Malagueta Beach is a beut. And still relatively quiet at this time of year. Malaga’s main stretch of sand is a short walk along the modern (and very Instagrammable) harbour from Calle Larios (Malaga’s main shopping street). You’ll find plenty of beachside bars and restaurants nearby, but we recommend a trip to a chiringuito (a beachside fish restaurant) for some fresh sardinas – which is just so much more appealing that greasy fish and chips in the car, in the rain… in Margate.
But if sand and snacks don’t mix, then you’ll be spoiled for choice when it comes to bars, cafes and restaurants in and around the city centre. Malaga is littered with great places to fill up on delicious Spanish scran. Start the day off with breakfast amongst the locals at Casa Aranda. This famous chuchería takes up almost an entire street and is buzzing with busy waiters and people tucking into churros con chocolate. At lunch, walk through the bustling Mercado Central Atarazanas and stock up on cheese, meats and fresh fruit or take your pick from the many tapas bars hidden amongst Malaga’s winding streets. Finish off the day at El Pimpi; this popular hotspot is a favourite with locals and tourists alike and has walls filled with pictures of its famous guests (we’re looking at you, Banderas). It serves (arguably) the best cocktails in Malaga along with a sizeable food menu – it’s a great spot for people watching and drinking al fresco.
Malaga is small enough that the major attractions can be covered in a quick-fire day, or over two slow-paced days with plenty of tapas breaks. History and architecture abound in Malaga’s city centre, with Gibralfaro Castle, the Alcazaba and the Roman Theatre being must-visit spots. When the midday sun gets too much, arty folks can learn more about Malaga-born Pablo Picasso at the Picasso Museum and then explore 19th-century Spanish art at Thyssen Museum. The Museo de Arte Flamenco is also worth a look, especially if you plan to catch a show in the evening.
Like the rest of Spain, Malaga knows how to party…. Is there really anywhere better to escape and let your hair down? Several fiestas take place in the spring and summer months, including Noche De San Juan (San Juan Night) where locals gather on the beach and light bonfires. It’s not uncommon to see people jumping over the flames, as legend has it, that jumping over them three times purifies the soul. In August, you should visit during the Feria de Agosto to see Spaniards in traditional dress partying in the streets.
Dreaming of escaping to Malaga… or anywhere else for that matter? We’ve got the perfect solution for you. Introducing EscEscape – a free Chrome extension that lets you search for flights using your keyboard Esc key. Add the extension to your Chrome browser, double tap Esc and Cheapflights will find you the cheapest weekend flights in the next two months. Perfect for those get-me-out-of-here moments.Find out more about EscEscape