I’d never entertained the idea of going to the Costa del Sol in the past, too many images of packaged Brits behaving badly for my liking, but having spent the best part of 12 months traveling in a Spanish speaking world, I was keen to get back. So, despite my preconceptions and encouraged by the prospect of warm winter sunshine, Málaga loomed into my consciousness and was delivered as promised after a short flight from the winter chills of London.
And what a revelation. In recent years, Málaga has managed to shake off a somewhat dodgy reputation as being merely the airport gateway to the Costa del Sol (Torremolinos, ‘nuff said), to becoming a vibrant and culturally rich Mediterranean wonder.
For starters, Málaga is one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the whole of Europe, some 2,800 years of history from early Phoenician settlement to Roman colonisation to Moorish invasion through to the Castile crowns of Ferdinand and Isabella.
It has one of the best-preserved palatial fortifications in all of Spain, the 11th Century Alcazaba that’s tied together with the even older Moorish Gibralfaro fortress that roams over the distant hills.
Málaga Loves Art – it’s proclaimed all over the city. The birthplace of Picasso, home to the Picasso Museum, the Museo Carmen Thyssen and its stunning collection of 19th Century Andalusian paintings and the gleaming multi-coloured glass cube of the Pompidou Málaga, the first outside of Paris.