Málaga is with its 560,631 inhabitants (2006) the second largest city in Andalucia after Sevilla and capital of the province Málaga. In addition Málaga is the sixth-largest city of Spain. The city possesses one of the largest Spanish airports, which is now being extended, and is considered as the gate to the Costa del Sol. Málaga is a modern city with an important commercial port, airport and a university. It is the capital of the Costa del Sol, which represents one of the most important vacation destinations of the iberian peninsula with its good climate all year round. The city is in culinary regard known for raisins and wine (muscatel).
Today the main focus is particularly on the tourism, which gives rapid growth to the city. Already since the 19th century English and Spanish upper layer families settled here in order to spend the winter in the mild coastal climate. Opposite the bullring there is even an English cemetery and a residential area with modernistic mansions. From here a large palm tree park, in which also horse coachmen offer its service, leads to the city centre and to the port. The park surrounds the castle mountain, on which the Alcazaba is situated. This Arab king palace was built between that 8th and 11th century and is situated in the midst of maintained, expanded gardens. Today it houses the archaeological museum. Connected by two towers with a bridge above is the “Gibralfaro”, the moorish castle Malagas, within whose walls is the lighthouse and a mosque. Beside it is a beautiful hotel, the Parador de Gibralfaro, from whose pool in clear weather the view is good enough to see Gibraltar.
In the city centre in the place of a moorish mosque now is the cathedral. By different destruction and rebuildings the interesting “cathedral” today is a mixture of most diverse styles with its gothical hall and the baroque holy figures. South of the cathedral you will arrive to the port, an approach place for large cruise ships. A promenade leads from the port up to the quarter El Palo, which admits for its numerous fish restaurants. A walk by the bent lanes of the old part of town leads to the central market, whose main gate once decorated the dock of an Arab threw. The birth house of the most famous son of the city, Pablo Picasso, is at the Plaza de la Merced.
The above posting gives a very good introduction to the under-appreciated city of Malaga. It makes a perfect place for a winter break weekend. Anyone wanting more information about exploring the city might like to know of my recently published guide: Footsteps through the City of Malaga. See at http://www.footstepsguides.co.uk Brian
It is interesting that despite some of the negative press about Spain, it is still the most searched for (search engine searches from the UK) location for a holiday home or second home.