Less than fifty years ago, the Costa del Sol had been known for its tiny fishing villages, while today it is known for its white sandy beaches.
However, the very first boats in and out of the ancient Phoenician port of Malaga took place around 1000 BC. The original name of this port town was ‘Malaka’ which translates to ‘salt’ in the Phoenician language. Its name is derived from the seafaring men salting their catch when returning to the simple single waterfront pier parallel to the shoreline.
The region is not called ‘coast of the sun’ without good reason. Malaga is the southernmost city in Europe and thus basks in a sub-tropical climate, sheltered by a mountain backdrop filled with ancient sites.
Discover a region rich in Phoenician history that has been further shaped by the Roman and Moors over the centuries. This is indicated all throughout the city by its architecture.
Towering above the eastern side of the city is Gibralfaro which dominates the skyline and a strong contender of Malaga’s fascinating past. This is never more evident than with the ruins of the Castillo de Gibralfaro and the Moorish fortress of Alcazaba. The remains include a Christian church that was built over the pre-dating mosque. An exhibit illustrating the entire history of the castle is also on-site.
The Alcazaba came into merit once the Moors arrived and built up the strategic part of the city’s hill with fortifications. As it was expanded, it also served as the palace residence of the Moorish ruler. The structure is impressive and is one of the best preserved Moorish structures in Southern Spain.
The remains of a Roman amphitheatre are being compassionately restored to their former glory. They can be found directly beneath the castle at Gibralfaro.
The views over the city and port are well worth the climb and it is wise to remember that the best photos are usually taken from the highest vantage point.
Artist Pablo Picasso was born in Malaga and his home of birth displays some of his earliest works. To further honour the ‘father of cubism’, the Museo Picasso Málaga opened in 2003 located within the Buenavista Palace. Over 300 pieces are on display with donations from family members and friends.
Other must-visits include the magnificent Renaissance Cathedral of Málaga that dominates the city centre.
Malaga has a selection of fine beaches with tree-lined promenades and plenty of cafes. Every visitor on shore can find flourishing gardens, open spaces and still have time to shop at their leisure in pleasant traffic-free zones.
Discover so much when visiting Malaga on your cruise holiday.