Guest blog by Hans Reischecknl
The other side of Málaga: the most beautiful nature and nicest places in the area
Málaga is often associated with its sun-drenched beaches and vibrant city life, but this region is also home to a wealth of natural splendor and picturesque villages just waiting to be explored. Think of the breathtaking Sierra de Grazalema or the unique rock formations of Torcal de Antequera. But there is more: charming coastal and mountain villages such as Fuengirola, Frigiliana, Benalmádena, the 'Smurf village' Júzcar, lively Torremolinos, and peaceful Torrox. In this blog we take you on a journey through these hidden gems, focusing on both the unspoilt nature and the most enchanting villages in the area. Also view our blog with day trips from our Bed and Breakfast in Andalusia Spain.
The most beautiful nature around Malaga
Discover Sierra de Grazalema
Hidden between Cádiz and Málaga lies Sierra de Grazalema, a spectacular natural park that has been recognized by UNESCO as a biosphere reserve since 1977. Known as one of the wetter regions of Spain, this park offers unforgettable hiking experiences. Expect rugged mountain peaks with breathtaking panoramas and a landscape rich in caves, cliffs, and lush forests. The Sierra de Grazalema is home to rare flora such as the Spanish spruce and extensive chestnut forests, surrounded by the picturesque rivers Ubrique, Tavizna, Guadalete and Guadiaro. A must-visit for nature lovers!
El Torcal de Antequera
South of Antequera you will find the phenomenal nature reserve El Torcal de Antequera, famous for its unique karst landscapes, one of Europe's most impressive. With rock formations formed millions of years ago under the Thethys Sea, this area offers an otherworldly walking experience. The natural works of art made of limestone, shaped by rain and wind, make this park a fascinating object of study and a photographer's dream. Don't forget to bring sturdy walking shoes, plenty of water and sun protection. Start your adventure at the visitor center for helpful information and get ready for an unforgettable experience.
The Rock of Gibraltar
Just a two-hour drive from Málaga, the legendary Rock of Gibraltar awaits you, a perfect day trip destination. This rock, known for its rich history and the infamous Barbary macaques, offers an adventurous climb via the Mediterranean steps. From the Jewish Gate you reach O'Hara's Battery, the highest point with impressive cannons. For those who skip the steps, there is a cable car to the top. The Windsor Suspension Bridge and the Skywalk await you there. The Upper Rock Nature Reserve is known for its free-roaming monkeys, so watch out for your snacks! Your admission ticket also gets you access to other attractions such as St. Michael's Cave and the Great Siege Tunnels. Don't forget to book in advance if you want to explore the historic tunnels!
The nicest towns around Malaga
Fuengirola, a bustling coastal town on the Costa del Sol , is a paradise for sun, sea and beach lovers. With an impressive eight kilometer coastline, beaches such as 'Boliches', 'Gaviotas' and 'Torreblanca' provide the perfect backdrop for a relaxing day at the seaside. The Passeo Maritimo boulevard, which winds along these beaches, invites you for long walks and cozy terraces. Don't miss the weekly outdoor market, the largest of its kind in the region, where you'll find everything from local delicacies to artisanal souvenirs. Cultural highlights include the Castillo Sohail, the Plaza de Toros, the local zoo, and historic Roman remains that bear witness to a rich past.
Frigiliana, one of the most picturesque white villages in the Málaga region, offers an authentic Spanish experience. Perched on a hill overlooking the Mediterranean Sea, this village is a real treat for gastronomy and photography enthusiasts alike. With its narrow, steep streets, traditional white houses and colorful flowers, it is a photographer's dream. Local and international dishes form the core of the culinary offering here. A visit to the Torreon should not be missed, a place that perfectly reflects the beauty of Frigiliana. This village is the ideal destination for a day trip from FInca Gordo, especially if you are looking for one of the top gastronomic experiences in the area.
Benalmádena, located in close proximity to Finca Gordo, is a versatile coastal town that offers much more than just beautiful beaches. For the adventurous there is the stylish Casino Torrequebrada and the challenging Golf Torrequebrada. Nature and animal lovers will also get their money's worth with attractions such as the Sea Life marine park, Selwo Marina Park, and the Jardin de Las Aguillas with its majestic birds of prey. Don't forget the cultural gem of the city, the Puerto Marina marina, which is definitely worth a visit. Benalmádena is easily accessible from the center of Málaga with a train ride of just 25 minutes, for just €2. An ideal destination for a versatile day trip!
Júzcar, a unique blue village in the Málaga area, is an absolute must-see, especially if you are traveling with children along the Costa del Sol . Since the release of a Smurfs movie in 2011, this village has been nicknamed 'Smurf Village'. Stroll through the lively streets, surrounded by steep stairs and blue-painted houses, enriched with colorful flowers and plants. Meet life-size figures of Papa Smurf and Smurfinette, and admire the Smurf-like architecture spread throughout the village. Júzcar is an ideal location for a half day of fun and photography, easily combined with other nearby tourist villages.
A timeless favorite on the Costa del Sol, Torremolinos has a rich history dating back to the 60s and 70s, when it was a favorite destination for celebrities such as Brigitte Bardot and Frank Sinatra. Although modern and touristy, Torremolinos retains its charm in areas such as Carihuela, where you can still taste the authentic atmosphere. Explore historic sites such as the Torre Pimentel, admire the beautiful Casa Navajas, and relax in the green Parque de la Batería. End your day at popular beaches such as Carihuela and Bajoncillo, or put on your walking boots for an adventure on La Senda Litoral, an impressive coastal walk.
Located in the charming Axarquía region, Torrox is a picturesque Spanish village loved by locals and tourists alike for its mild climate. Torrox Costa, known for its attractive sandy beaches and lively promenade, attracts the most visitors. But it is Torrox Pueblo, the old town, that offers an unforgettable experience with its historical monuments and breathtaking 'white' views from the hills. Although still relatively undiscovered by mass tourism, Torrox Pueblo is slowly gaining popularity as a peaceful escape from the crowds.
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