Unique Places in Málaga

  • Hotel Larios, Constitution Square.
    Hotel Larios, Constitution Square.
    by Bennytheball
  • A beached fishing boat
    A beached fishing boat
    by Bennytheball
  • The distinctive tall chimneys
    The distinctive tall chimneys
    by Bennytheball

Most Viewed Off The Beaten Path in Málaga

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    Nuestra Senora del Carmen

    by leics Written Mar 2, 2014

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    I came across this church on my first visit to Malaga, when I was walking from the bus station into the historical heart of the city. I saw its twin bell-towers above the rooftops and decided to track it down.

    It's an old church, dating back to 1534 and originally the monastery church for an order of Carmelite monks. But that first building was almost totally destroyed by the 1680 earthquake, so the building you see now is the rebuilding, dating from the late 1600s/early 1700s.

    Like most churches, this one has undergone various changes over the centuries, including being damaged by a fire in 1931 and being used as a warehouse in the Spanish Civil War. In common with all the Spanish churches I've visited so far it has several statues dressed in beautifully-decorated and embellished 'real' clothes. Andlike all the Malasga churches I saw, it has a rather lovely piece of tilework on its frontage showing the name of the church and the relevant saint (in this case, the Virgin Mary).

    Worth having a look if you are in the area and the church is open. You'll find it on Pasaje la Serna, which runs off Calle Heroe de Sosta (a main road from the Renfe and bus station into the historical centre).

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    Iglesia Los Santos Martires

    by leics Written Mar 2, 2014

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    This is another church with very ancient roots one of the first four built in Malaga in 1487 after the Christians took control of this part of Spain.

    As with the others, what you see now dates from later renovations, changes and restorations. Times and architectural fashions change, and earthquakes don't help with preservation!

    It's a rather nice building though, with its red-and-white brickwork making a pleasing contrast with the surrounding narrow streets. It's set in a tiny 'square' (which isn't square at all) and it took me two visits to get inside, regardless of the opening hours given on the signs outside.

    'Los Martires' are the two patron saints of Malaga: Ciriraco and Paula, Christians in Malaga in the 4th century AD who were tortured and put to death by the Romans for their faith.

    It's certainly worth trying to visit the interior of this church. It is hugely embellished with guilt and twiddles, of course, but its side-chapels really do have some fascinating sculptures and ornamentation. I was particularly taken by a figure of Christ in one side-chapel near the entrance ('Jesus of the Column' alongside 'Our Lady of the Gypsies'). It pleases me to see any representation of Jesus with the correct skin and hair tones.

    The church is supposed to be open on weekdays from 0930 until 1330 and from 1800 to 2030, on Sundays and holidays from 1100 to 1400. But don't expect it to be open exactly on time.

    You'll find the church on Plaza Los Martires, to the north of the old town. You can find the plaza by taking Calle Martires from Calle Compagna.

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    Iglesia del Sagrado Corazon

    by leics Written Mar 2, 2014

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    This church was open when I visited, although Mass was about to start and I could only spend a couple of minutes inside.

    It's a modern church, commissioned by the Jesuits and constructed in 1920 in the neo-Gothic style. The local architect Guerreo Strachan designed it.

    I didn't walk around inside for obvious reasons, but I did manage one interior shot before Mass began.

    I particularly liked the creamy stone of its exterior, the twiddliness and the 'gargoyles'. I love Gothic/Medieval architecture and even neo-Gothic can give me pleasure! :-)

    Worth a look if it's open when you pass by. You'll find the church on Plaza de San Ignacio, very near to the Thyssen Museum and just off Calle Compana.

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    Iglesia de San Juan Bautista

    by leics Written Mar 2, 2014

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    I never managed to get inside this particular church.....many I saw in Malaga seemed to only open for services, which is fair enough.

    But it is definitely worth seeking out San Juan simply because of its exterior decoration, which as been re-discovered, restored and (I assume) properly preserved. It shows you what many (or most) Malaga churches of a similar age once looked like...really rather beautiful. The tilework effect of the external paintwork must one have been very striking indeed. Unusually, it is possible to accurately date the paintwork...there's a sign near the roof of the church which states that it was completed in 1732.

    San Juan is a very old church, dating back originally to 1487 shortly after the Christians gained control of this part of Spain. Its present form is not that ancient one, of course. In 1554 the original nave was demolished, rebuilt and greatly extended. Similar changes followed in 1620. an earthquake in 1680 destroyed the original tower, and that was rebuilt in the 1700s. What is visible now pretty much all dates back to the mid-1700s.

    You'll find Iglesias San Juan Bautista in Malaga's old town streets, to the north of Avenida Principal. It lies on Calle San Juan, in the west of the old town.

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    Fascinating bit of architecture....

    by leics Written Mar 2, 2014

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    I spotted this wonderfully ornate building on my first visit to Malaga's Atarazanas market but didn't spot the almost-hidden information plaque about it until a day or so later.

    I was intrigued not only by the way it fitted so beautifully into its narrow, oddly-shaped plot but also by the beautiful decorative features on its exterior. It has the classic 'lookout' on top, a feature of many Malaga buildings of the 19th and early 20th century.

    The information plaque told me that it has been attributed to local architect Guerrero Strachan (interesting surname) and was built in 1925 by one Daniel Rublo.

    You'll find the building at the junction of Calle Sagasta and Calle Herreria Del Rey, to the rear and easy of the Atranazanas market building.

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    Lovely tiles in Paseo del Parque

    by leics Written Mar 2, 2014

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    Paseo del Parque is a very pleasant green area which runs east-west, and more or less parallel with the coastline from the Plaza de la Marina to Plaza del General Torrijos. I'll write a more detailed tip in the 'things to do' section but this is focused on just one element...a small, circular seating area in the centre section of the park.

    It's easily missed, I suspect, but has some lovely tiles to enjoy, depicting Spanish men and ladies in traditional costumes, slightly-odd animals leaping about and sundry buildings (which I assume were well-known at the time. It dates from 1922, which is when the park was (I think) finally completed.

    For some peculiar reason I didn't take a photo of the whole area, but you can see some details of the tiles here. Worth seeking it out...it's probably about halfway down the park.

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    Walk the old town

    by leics Written Mar 1, 2014

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    It seemed to me that most visitors to Malaga do not stray far from its main sites and its main drag (Avenida Principal). This is a great pity, for there is far more of Malaga's old town left to explore than I had imagined.

    Earthquakes in the 1600s destroyed or severely damaged many older buildings but their replacements still seem to have been built following the Medieval street pattern of ancient Malaga. So you'll find narrow alleyways and streets, some barely wide enough for one vehicle, opening up into tiny squares and little courtyards. There are churches and balconies and pot plants, people going about their everyday lives and a real sense of a community pretty-much untouched by Malaga's tourist trade.

    Some parts of the old town are dilapidated and it is clear that there is a great deal of rebuilding, restoration and renovation going on. I hope all this building does not entirely change the character of the streets...I was pleased to see that at least two huge 'mansions' from the 1700s (I think) were retaining their frontages even whilst the rest of the structure was deroyed in order to build something new.

    It's definitely worth taking a wander to the north of Avenida Principal, away from the swish shopping area and into the old streets. Explore as you wish and see what you can see.....

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    A little bit of ancient Arab wall....

    by leics Written Mar 1, 2014

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    Malaga is an extremely ancient city, dating back to a time long before Roman rule. For 8 centuries, from the early 700s, much (all?) of what is now called Spain was under Arabic rule. As was normal for important settlements at the time, Arabic Malaga was enclosed by a long city wall, with five gates.

    What remains of Arabic Malaga is most clearly seen in the lovely Alzacaba in the city centre. A little of the Arabic walls still remain in other parts of the city, some visible as excavations under the glass floor of the Wall Bar of the 5* Vincci Hotel Posada del Patio on Pasillo Santa Isabel. I didn't go there...I don't do bars in 5* hotels...but whilst wandering Malaga's old town I did come across a small exposed section of wall, along with what I suspect is a recreated full-size section.

    Unfortunately the signage is only in Spanish but, even so, the site gives you a good idea of how impressive the walls once must have been...and how effective as a defence.

    You'll find this section along Calle Carreteria, to the north of Malaga's old town area.

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    Malaga Ciudad.

    by Bennytheball Written Jan 9, 2014

    A walk around the old city reveals the interesting ancient architecture around Constitution Square and the Cathedral, there are many souvenir shops in this locality but this year the flea market along nearby Paseo del Parque was unfortunately no longer in existence, it used to be a good shopping venue.

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    Misericordia beach

    by Bennytheball Updated Sep 10, 2013

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    Malaga's beach on the south side of the city is a perfect place to pass the time on a hot day, swimming, relaxing and people watching is the main activity, the esplanade is well-designed and tarmac-surfaced to accommodate pedestrians, and cyclists have their own dedicated cycle lanes. There are several beach tavernas specialising in freshly-caught fish by long rods and hooks fixed in the sand. Barbecued fish can be ordered and cooked on outdoor grilles, some of which are sheltered in old boats.

    Along the esplanade there is plenty of seating for visitors, with shelter from the hot sun, I also observed that topless female sunbathing was very popular, as was the voyeur activity, nobody seemed shocked or sensibilities offended, it was all very relaxed. There are also cold fresh water shower stations sited on the beach for swimmers to wash off the sea salt, after a dip.

    There are, however, other beach restrictions, notably no camping, dog fouling etc.....

    The perfect venue for a relaxing afternoon.

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    Malaga's street gymnasium

    by Bennytheball Written Sep 9, 2013

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    On a hot Spring day in Malaga, the place to be is Misericordia beach, where cool breezes and the prospect of a plunge into the blue Mediterranean waters attract numbers of local people and tourists alike. The beach extends several kilometres along the coast road Calle Pacifico, where at its junction with Avenida Juan XX11 an outdoor gymnasium is built on the pavement for the use of anyone feeling energetic enough to climb on to the various pieces of body-twisting apparatus. The attraction is popular with all age groups, elderly citizens out walking their dogs sometimes pause to complete a few twists and turns.

    The fixed equipment is well-maintained and free to use, but having observed others over-exerting themselves and limping away, I decided that my usual regime of a brisk five kilometre walk was preferable.......

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    Fab French Patisserie - close to the centre

    by PrincessMonja Updated Apr 16, 2011

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    In the centre of Málaga there is a small pedestrianised street behind the Alameda (called Calle Trinidad Grund) In this street there is a lovely new French Patisserie called 'French touch' - it has lovely cakes and savoury goodies (see the photos), there is an outside seating area and it's in a quiet location, so is a sanctuary from the busy tourist spots...

    (It's opposite the Hotel Sur)

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    Donkeys and Flamingos in Fuente de Piedra

    by Senoritasmile Updated Apr 4, 2011

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    If you're out travelling Malaga Province by car, stop by Fuente de Piedra, a small town in the north that is famous for having one of the largest natural lakes, with over 170 different bird species. It is spectacular to visit when flamingos migrate here in their 1000's.

    The same town has a small donkey sanctuary, run by volunteers where there are over 120 donkeys of all shapes, sizes and ages that have been rescued from dire circumstances and are now well-cared for. They love visitors. Sanctuary is close to the Hotel Conde de la Laguna. Follow navy blue sign posts for 'Refugio de Burritos'. Say hello to white Farruquito - we adopted him :-)

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    Nice time in the mountains not leaving the city

    by piosku67 Updated Feb 20, 2010

    Before visiting Malaga I had heard about the Montes de Malaga, but thought it's 30- 50 km away from the city. As I haven't got a driving license nor enough money for additional trips I gave up the idea of hiking in the mountains. But on one, rainy, February day I set off from my hotel near the railway station up the city, along the river (it's the easiest way to find your way north) to visit Le Conception Botanical Garden. The Garden is really amazing. I was charged 4,20 euro and I really enjoyed the stay there discovering beautiful hills around the city. What's more coming back from the Garden to the bus stop bus number 2 , I discovered that just at the edge of city there are noisy highways, the garden of course and ... to my surprise a hiking path. The next day I decided to follow the path. Again I went there praying for a free way from dogs which I am scared of much. Leaving the city and going along the local road, passing by the Garden on the left and San Juan de Dios hacienda on the right I turned at the first crossing right seeing the first sign :"Picaderos-Boticario"and then I had to cross the little village through a narrow road to get to the gate of the reservoir. I was so happy. Beautiful, scenery place not very steep, I hiked up to the end of marked path at the top of nearby hill / mountain. I wish I could refresh in a hotel, which was closed. I had breath-taking views over the city and the sea. I really recommend. I came back quickly to the centre and could do other activities enjoying the fact of visiting the beaches, city and mountains at the same time for a penny. In fact the ticket in a bus one way cost 1,10 euro.

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    Parque Natural de los Montes

    by Martin_S. Written Aug 11, 2008

    The access to Parque Natural de los Montes (or the Montes de Malaga) is actually through the town of Malaga and almost impossible to find. We tried to follow the directions given, but were unable to find the turnoff, so we took the easy way by driving north toward Antequera and then doubling back into the park...Our first day in Spain and we found a beautiful spot to stop and enjoy a picnic lunch of fresh bread, cheese and Hamon (the specially prepared pork of Spain).

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