Malaga: think fiesta, flamenco and fiery summers. The city has plenty of attractions in itself, but it is also a major hub for Andalusia, connecting you to all the different flavours of the South of Spain – and beyond. Indeed, one of the things that makes this city so popular with travellers is its airport.
Those travelling from the UK can easily find cheap flights to Malaga. A range of airlines operate routes between the two, including Monarch. Once you’ve got to Malaga, there are a bus and train connections that will take you to all kinds of destinations…
Although Granada has its own small airport, most international flights go to Malaga. You can drive to Granada from here in an hour and a half, and the bus takes 2 hours and 20 minutes. A city that needs no introduction, once you get here you can explore the tiny old streets of the Albaicin, visit the Moorish Alhambra palace, or take in an authentic flamenco show. And remember: if you plan to go for drinks one evening, don’t bother with dinner, as each beer you order will come with a free tapas.
On the other side of Malaga and with a very different vibe, Marbella is the seaside resort of the rich and, well, the rich. The bus from the airport is a mere 40 minutes. And even if you don’t have cash to burn, it’s worth wandering the beach promenade to see how the other half live. Take a midnight stroll through Puerto Banus for yacht-spotting and, if all this gets a bit too much, head to the old town for quaint streets and a more laid-back atmosphere.
The bus between Malaga and Cádiz takes about four hours, but if you’re a surfing enthusiast, it’s definitely worth it. Having said that, there’s loads more to the city than big waves. The skyline offers a range of different architectural styles and the walled old town is the definition of charm. Make sure you try the Spanish version of fish n’ chips here: pescaito frito.
The bus from Malaga to Ronda takes 1.5 – 2 hours. Perched on El Tajo canyon, this little city offers history dating back to the Neolithic Age. Due to its mountainous location, you can glimpse stunning views of the surrounding area. And whether you love it or hate it, Ronda is home to the oldest bullfighting ring in Spain.
That’s right, as in Tangier, Morocco. A bus and a boat ride may not be as simple as getting flights from North Africa to the UK, but it’s a lot of fun to cross the border like this. The bus directly from Malaga to Algeciras takes three hours, but you’ll probably want to stop at some of the above destinations on the way. Once you get to Algeciras, simply hop on the ferry to be transported to the buzz and hubbub of Tangier. Drink mint tea, wander the Medina, or hop on a night train to Marrakech…
And let’s not forget Malaga itself. You might fancy hanging around, and if you do, there’s plenty to do:
5 Things Not to Miss in Malaga:
- Hit the beautiful beach at La Malagueta
- Sample the Malaga that Picasso grew up in via the museums and tours on offer
- Have a proper tapas session at the many great bars on offer, swilled down with some good Spanish ale
- Venture up to the Castillo de Gibralfaro to get great views over the city
- Explore the unique and beautiful Renaissance cathedral
Why not share your favourite tips of places to go backpacking on the Top Backpacking Destinations Facebook page!
This is a sponsored post