Before settling in to our life among the locals in Porto, we spent ten glorious and utterly lazy relaxing days in Malaga, Spain.  It was the perfect respite for two old hobos who needed to unpack and soothe their weary bones after three months of fast-paced travel through nine incredible European countries. Funny thing is, we never intended to land in Malaga.  Had it not been for a reunion with vacationing friends, we might never have known the beautiful wonders the city offered.

The wonders of beautiful Malaga.  A walk to the lighthouse on the point was one of our favorite strolls.

Truthfully, we made zero plans for our respite in Malaga other than to rent an AirBnB apartment.  We knew nothing about the city, nor did we have any expectations for how we would while away our days. And, as it turned out, when our friends from the US arrived, in much need of some down time, it was eagerly and mutually agreed upon that our days, in the city by the sea, would be as peacefully calm as the waves gently breaking against the shore.

The waves of the Mediterranean Sea gently breaking against the shores of Malaga.
Tapas & Sangria

Time was well-spent in Malaga.  Our mornings were filled with freshly fried churros sprinkled with cinnamon sugar, thick rich and creamy hot chocolate for me and freshly brewed coffee for Abi.  The heavenly flavors of a late breakfast were followed by hours of meandering the historic streets of the city.  And, tapas and sangria were a highlight of every evening. Because, after all, we were in Spain.  And, what’s better than tapas and sangria?

Tapas can easily be defined as small plates of food.  Even though they are in fact small plates, I’m pretty sure we ate our weight in tapas, almost to the point that by the time we left the city, bound for Porto, we couldn’t eat another bite.  Notice I said, almost.

Roasted artichoke hearts with bits of crispy ham. This may have taken the prize for my favorite plate.

Although we enjoyed the culinary genius of tapas as our dinner, it is traditional to stop in the early evening at a tapas bar, order a plate or two or three to enjoy with a beer or glass of wine.  Then, somewhere around 10:00 p.m. it’s dinner time.  That late night dinner hour is an acquired habit, something that doesn’t work well for us, so we were more than happy to call tapas hour… dinner hour.  Honestly, we are convinced it’s the best way to eat.

Ferdinand & Isabella

Okay, now that I’ve set the scene of tranquil days, I should tell you that we did feel inspired to visit a few sites such as Alcazaba.  Built in the 11th century, the historic site is the best preserved palatial fortress in Spain.  In fair warning though, the climb up the path and stairs is not for the faint of heart and requires a few – catch my breath – moments but the views are spectacular and well-worth the upward trek.  Ferdinand and Isabella chose a stunning setting to build their palace.  Of course they did!

A Guitar, A Voice & A Dancer

Although it was mutually agreed that our days would be peacefully calm, it was also equally agreed upon that there would be one exception; a night out on the town. Although I have to say we were probably all in bed by 11:00 p.m.,  our evening of tapas, sangria and flamenco made for the perfect night out.

We watched mesmerized for nearly two hours as the small group of three performed.  With just a guitar, a voice and a dancer, in an intimate setting, Centro de Arte Flamenco Kelipe took the four of us to another place in time with their incredible talent.  It was, without a doubt, exactly what we were hoping to experience, an authentic night of flamenco.  It was all kinds of fabulous!

The Beaches of Malaga

As we always do in every city we visit, each morning we’d head out the door and just start walking.  In Malaga, more times than not, those walks would lead us to the beach.  In the back of our minds we knew Malaga was on the shores of the Mediterranean Sea but we hadn’t focused on the aspect of being at the beach.  And, oh boy, the beaches.  The white sand, the warm water, the beach cafes with outdoor fish bar-b-ques, the palm trees and the never-ending views of the horizon.  It all made for spectacularly long walks either at the water’s edge or along the paved promenade.  What’s not to love?

When in Malaga!

With all of that being said, have I convinced you Malaga is the place to go when you’re looking for the ultimate rest and relaxation destination?  I know I’ve convinced myself because after writing this post and revisiting our lazy days in Malaga, I’m ready to get on the next plane bound for Spain.  And, hey, K&J, this one’s for you.  Cheers!

If You Go:
  • We highly recommend staying with Juan Manual at his AirBnB Malaga Downtown Almona Apartment.  Absolutely no compensation for this shout out.  We just really enjoyed the apartment, the location and the host was the best.
  • Two restaurants we highly recommend for tapas are  Casa Lola and Nacalu.
  • The best churros, chocolate and coffee can be found at Tejeringos Coffee.
  • Gelateria in the city center is a must stop.  Pick your favorite frozen popsicle and then choose which flavor of chocolate you want it dipped in.  OMG!  Sorry, I can’t find a link but there’s only 1 shop, look for it!
  • Climb the trail to Alcazaba and Castillo de Gibralfaro – the views are spectacular.  There is a city bus that will drop you at the top if you don’t want to take on the hike.
  • Take a walk out to the lighthouse along the waterfront promenade known as Pier 1.
  • Enjoy the Flamenco show with Kelipe Centro de Arte Flamenco.
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