Exploring Malaga by Car – Places to Visit

Malaga is one of Spain’s most popular destinations and there are good reasons why – it’s stunningly beautiful and it has a rich cultural heritage. You can see everything in and around Malaga by taxi, bus or tour, but hiring a car in Malaga gives you freedom and control over your itinerary. Plus, with so many companies offering car hire in the area, prices are competitive.

Malaga, Spain, at night

The Beauty of Andalucía

There are 16 wonderful beaches that stretch along the picturesque coastline of Costa del Sol and you can take your time seeing them all by car. At nearly all of them you’ll find charming small towns with restaurants, accommodations, bars and other things to do. Small fishing villages like Algarroba Costa, which is just an hour east of Malaga, are wonderful places to enjoy the sea without the crowds.

The coastline is what brings visitors to the area but there’s also the nearby Andalucían countryside. It has mountains and forests, and there are National parks like Axarquia between Malaga and Granada that you can explore.

Plaza Constitución in Málaga

Malaga’s Cultural Attractions

Inside the city of Malaga itself are a number of cultural attractions that are much easier to see with a hired car. One of the most visited is the Quecha Theater, the oldest remaining part of the town which dates back to the 1st century. You can also experience old town Malaga with its Moorish feel.

There are many remnants of the past in Malaga, but two of the most impressive are the fortresses of Gibralfaro and Alcazabar. Gibralfaro is a well preserved castle that’s just outside of town. There are bus tours that take you there, but seeing it by car allows you to take your time. Alcazabar is an old Moorish fort that was built in the 11th century. It’s the most impressive and historically significant architectural remnant from the Arabic era.

Alcazaba, Málaga

Day Trips from Malaga

Hiring a car allows you to explore the nearby villages and enjoy the many ferias held there. Ferias are fairs where there is singing, flamenco dancing, rides, attractions, entertainment and food. Like cultural festivals everywhere in the world, they give you a chance to experience the authentic culture.

Granada is a nearby day trip. It has a number of historic attractions such as the fortress of Alhambra, its old Muslim quarter, and a number of monasteries and cathedrals. Granada is also known for its cuisine, which has a distinctly Arab influence.

Malaga isn’t far from Gibraltar, another excellent day trip. It’s most famous for the Rock and its incredible views of the Mediterranean. In the Bay of Gibraltar you can see whales, dolphins and many other sea animals that are unique to the area. Gibraltar has shopping, casinos, botanical gardens and the city’s old fortifications. If you visit by car, you can avoid getting swindled by any of the taxi ‘tours.’

If you’re up for a real day trip, you can go to Morocco. There’s a ferry that takes you across and you can reach Tunisia. It’s quite a stretch for a day trip but you can easily turn it into a few nights.

Hiring a Car in Malaga

Malaga is a popular destination and most of the major airlines go there, along with quite a few budget airlines from European cities. There are many car rental agencies at the airport but you’ll find better deals by hiring your car online before you go. Seeing Malaga and the surrounding area by car is a good way to make the most of your trip, but make sure you’re acquainted with local driving laws and speed limits.


Author Chris James can also be found writing at blog.iflightsearch.co.uk about almost anything travel related.

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