This culturally rich city has stepped out from behind the shadow of the classic favourites of Granada, Cordoba and Seville and has rapidly emerged as a city of culture and history with many attractions available for all age groups.
The inner city of Malaga is just behind the harbour. The quarters of El Perchel, La Trinidad and Lagunillas surround this centre. The city has much revenue from the agricultural sector and from tourism.
Local Map: Málaga
The most expensive resort in Spain, Marbella promotes a particular brand of luxury tourism conceived largely by the town's larger than life former mayor Jesús Gil y Giland the man also responsible for all the marble! From the fine restaurants and glitzy hotels of the Golden Mile to the luxury yachts and exclusive nightclubs of nearby Puerto Banus (the Saudi King has a palace here), Marbella is a playground for royalty, celebrities and mafiosi, in a magnificient setting. Despite a self-perpetuating reputation to the contrary, it is still easy to have fun in Marbella without being a millionaire. Marbella is also steeped in history and was home to the Phoenicians, Visigoths and Romans.
Local Map: Marbella
Fuengirola has a very diverse infrastructure including golf courses, riding centers, leisure parks, hotel complexes, markets, restaurants, bars and a varied cultural calendar of events. Fuengirola has managed to preserve a great many remains left behind by the people that once inhabited the city in ancient times, such as the Roman baths or the Arab castle of Sohail where many events are held and it has just recently had a face lift and hosts many exciting events.
Local Map: Fuengirola
Calahonda has grown so much over the years that it could qualify as a town. Residents have been attempting for many years to separate Calahonda from Mijas, but to no avail. 600,000 square metres is devoted to villas, townhouses and space for ten golf courses (one with a 10KM radius), selected areas have been dedicated to providing residents with every amenity imaginable.
There are three main commercial centres with shops, 45 restaurants, bars, 7 banks and three 24 hour medical centres, amongst a wide variety of other businesses including: hardware, furniture, garden supply, travel agencies, car hire, car repair, property management and much more, there are tennis courts, a fitness centre, a marina (Cabopino) and a range of water sports.
Local Map: Calahonda
If you want to step away from the norm of the Costa del Sol then Benahavis would be one of your places to visit, cobbled streets wend their way through this village the backdrop of mountains behind and the Rio Guadalmina gorge which is very popular with tourists and residents alike.
Standing 500 metres above sea level and a mere seven kilometres from the Guadalmina golf course, Benahavis emphasises its existence by the ruined 11th Century castle of Montemayor.
Local Map: Benahavis
Mijas is a charming village which is actually two areas, the old village which is located a few hundred metres above sea level and offering spectacular views to the coast below and just a short drive to the beach.
You also have Mijas Costa, which is located at the bottom of Mijas village between Fuengirola and Marbella, it can be rather confusing at times, so if you are planning on buying a property in Mijas make sure if you want to be in the village or on the coast.
Local Map: Mijas
Most of the population of Benalmadena live in Arroyo de la Miel. On the beach front we have Benalmádena Costa, which has many great hotels and golf courses, a casino and the beautiful marina that has many restaurants, bars and tourist attractions such as boat trips and jet ski hire, an international amusement park (Tivoli World), an Arabian beach front Castle, built in a curious situation on the beach front, which is used for many events and weddings. Also of interest are the Muro gardens that is an ideal place to take children to feed the birds, the park is a blend of plants and water designed by César Manrique.
Local Map: Benalmadena
Malaga Centro Guide
Malaga is rich in history, great shopping, museums of cars and art, varied and lively bars and lovely streets to walk around.
With its vibrant old town, spit-and-sawdust tapas bars, pint sized plazas, the Jewish quarter and last but not least the sunny beachside promenades. Malaga has held onto its own identity and not become part of the Costa del Sol's resort frenzy.
Local Map: Malaga Centro
One of the busiest times to visit is during the first few weeks of July for the town's Fiesta y Feria, this flamenco style event transforms the town into a criot of colour! Calle Teraza bisects the centre around and this is where most of the eating and drinking options are situated, especially along the pedestriansed c/Real. The Puerto Deportivo, to the west of town beyond the lighthouse and near the bullring, is a daintier version of Marbella's nightlife hotspot, with the few bars and clubs becoming animated only at weekends.
Local Map: Estepona
Off the beaten track, Casares is a hidden gem but well located to services, beaches and the countryside.
Casares is very close to Manilva and this village perched high up on the mountain top offers spectacular views and winding narrow streets.
Casares is one of the last Muslim strongholds during the occupation of the Moors, giving the village a lot of history, attracting many day trippers.
Local Map: Casares
Alhaurin el Grande Guide
It covers an area of 73.1 km2 extending from the northern slope of the Sierra de Mijas and the plain of the Guadalhorce river, where alternate crops of citrus and other fruit trees orchards are found. The population reaches 23,675 inhabitants, according to 2010 data.
The origin of the name was given by the Arabs, who called it "Alhaurin", where the Catholic Monarchs added "el Grande" to distinguish it from the neighboring town of Alhaurín de la Torre after the conquest of both sites in 1485.
It is situated between the river Fahala and the stream of Blas González. The coast is close by and there is a network of roads to get there. There is a road to Malaga Airport and Torremolinos, which takes about 30 minutes by car. A new road was built in 2010 connecting the town with Fuengirola and the beach which is only 20 minutes drive. There is also another new road to Marbella, to the southwest with Mijas just along a winding road round the mountain. From Alhaurín there is a view over the "Hoya de Málaga", Málaga's vale, full of lemon trees and other fruit trees.
Local Map: Alhaurin el Grande
La Cala de Mijas Guide
This charming village boasts a restored Moorish tower, a gorgeous paseo and winding cobbled streets which has a friendly village atmosphere, plenty of shops, bars and restaurants.
Situated between Fuengirola and Marbella and a short drive away from Calahonda, this popular village offers a great selection of shops, supermarkets and a chemist. Malaga airport is a twenty minute drive.
Local Map: La Cala de Mijas
Torremolinos is a veritable spa town, revered for the quality of its underground springs, which filled the baths and spas of various nearby Roman settlements. This fuelled construction of many water towers and mills that are dotted along this coastline in the 15th Century and in turn gave Torremolinos its name; Torre (tower) Molinos (mill).
The first tourist development on the Costa was the work of the philanthropist Englishman George Langworthy, who discovered Torrie in the 1930's. Torremolinos' first pleasure hotel "Pez Espada" was built in the 1950's and although a little faded around the edges, this hotel still stands today!
Full to hursting with shops, cafes, British pubs, greasy cafes serving egg and chips, nevertheless, Torrie still sees fans who return year upon year to enjoy its endless madness. Torremolinos is also a fun destination for the gay community due to the number of nightclubs and beach bars who make it all happen.
Local Map: Torremolinos
Manilva has a diverse coastline and stunning landscapes boasting natural beaches, cliffs, esturaries, bays and dunes.
Surrounded by golf and residential areas, Manilva is refreshing in that it has a Spanish charm from back in the day, lacking sky scrapers, this prime location on the coast offers a true Spanish feel.
There are several communities along this stretch, Manilva white washed village which is a few kilometres inland, along this coastline you will find San Luis de Sabinillas, Puerto Duquesa which also features a golf course and a little castle.
Manilva homes around 14,000 residents who either reside temporarily or are permanent.
Towering above Marbella are the hills of the Sierra Blanca, offering a much needed escape route when you have had enough of the hustle and bustle.
A 15 minute drive will take you to the National Park (Spain's 16th and Malaga's first) of the Sierra de las Nieves and Refugio de Juanar, at 760 metres (2,500 feet) above sea level where you will find great hiking, wildlife and a lovely hotel for a rest and a bite to eat or even a romantic getaway. The town of Monda which is famous for "tortilla" and a celebration of soup, one of the world's biggest made, containing peppers, bread, tomatoes, garlic, live oil and bread!
Standing high above the village is "Castillo de Monda", the epitome of Moorish splendour and delight. The Andalusian castle with its surprising decor and modern facilities is an unforgettable setting for a relaxing stay. Personal attention, the relaxed atmosphere and fine cuisine will make you feel welcome immediately.
Local Map: Monda
Ojen clings to a valley wall at the base of the Sierra Blanca, the village's main attraction is the Museo del Vino Malaga, which offers wine tastings and sells a large selection of Malaga province's most refvere bottles, including the Viejo Abuelo (140 years old).
Local Map: Ojen
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