Malaga offers an intriguing blend of culture, history and beaches -- with a contemporary vibe. The city is one of Andalusia's greatest treasures. Located on a stunning sweep of bay, with palm trees lining the seafront, this is the dynamic, friendly capital of Costa del Sol, Spain's "sunshine coast."
Malaga is a wonderful place to wander and explore, particularly in the winding lanes of the old town, with their traditional taverns, plazas and pretty squares. It also encompasses fine architecture and has enough ancient buildings to keep history hounds happy for hours. Unlike Costa del Sol's party zones, including Puerto Banus, Torremolinos and Benalmadena, all great for clubbers, Malaga, although cosmopolitan, retains a distinctly traditional feel.
Malaga's wines are worth more than a sip, too, and visitors can try them at Antigua Casa de Guardia, one of the city's few remaining wine cellars. Also, you can explore the region's wine history at the Wine Museum in the historic city center. For a sense of traditional Spanish life, visit the districts of Pedregalejo and El Palo, fishing communities with some of Spain's best seafood.
The city is an ideal base for trips outside town, allowing visitors easy access to explore southern Spain's delights. The surrounding area is a glorious patchwork of whitewashed villages, almond groves and mountain ranges -- including the Sierra Nevada where a particular highlight is the massive Nerja Caves with their 20,000-year-old wall paintings.