Think you know the Costa del Sol? Then think again. Bypassing the large resorts of Torremolinos and Fuengirola, the Costa del Sol has some impressive and rather surprising gems to be found. Starting off past Marbella (the glitzy costal resort) I began my first taste of the costa near Estapona at Kempinski Hotel Bahia. Situated right on the sea with commanding views of the coast, it’s a smart five star property with restaurants, bars, art, a spa (of course) and a touch of class.
Next stop is the all-too-often, overlooked city of Malaga. Neglected in that most tourists get off the plane at Malaga airport and head to the big seaside resorts. Malaga is a working port town with a big heart. The old town is delightful to stroll around, day or night. Tapas bars abound and the residents love to promenade in the early evening as the sun goes down. Birthplace of Picasso, there’s plenty for the art buff to enjoy (art museum and childhood home) and historically the Alcabazar, Cathedral and Castilo de Gibralfaro provide a glimpse back in time and are well worth a flying visit. And then there’s the beach. Malagueta is the city beach and just a 10-15 minute walk from the old town. A relaxed, casual place to hang out with a few chiringuitos (beach shack restaurants) serving barbequed sardines and beer.
Malaga is the perfect weekend city break, and could be used as a base to explore the interior too. It’s a delightfuly city and one I am sure to return to.