My wife and I will be traveling to Spain in September. We will be taking a tour starting in Madrid and ending in Barcelona with stops in Cordoba, Seville, Granada & Valencia. We are going a week early to explore more of south Spain and the beaches. We are thinking of headquartering out of Malaga so we can visit Gibraltar and various other places not on our tour. Any recommendations? I have also heard good things about the Paradores. Are these good places to stay? How about Parador Malaga? Thanks, Dave
Well I wouldn't stay in Malaga or anywhere else on the Costa del Sol unless you paid me a fairly substantial amount of money. (Don't you think it's really dumb when people say, 'I wouldn't stay there if you paid me'. Of course they would if you paid them enough. )
But then I know my own taste in places to visit and that Malaga is just not it. However, I have nothing on which to make any judgement as to whether it would be a good base for you or not. If all you are looking at is location wise relative to Gibraltar, I suppose it isn't that bad.
If I wanted a week in the south of Spain I would go to the Costa de la Luz. It runs west and north from Gibraltar. But it all depends on what YOU like, not what I like.
Malaga is a fine city with plenty to interest and not remotely the Costa del Sol. It is also your transport hub, if using public transport.
Gibraltar is an a hour and a half each way by car and four hours away one way by bus and a walk across the border.
Without knowing what might interest you, Antequera is an hour bus ride from the city.
[ Edit: Edited on 31-May-2016, at 00:01 by WomBatt ]
I was very pleasantly surprised by Malaga. I am not at all into resorts etc, which was how I had pictured it to be, but if you keep to the town, it is actually very nice, with some nice old and modern elements an interesting glass museum and the fantastic Taberna Antigua Casa de Guardia.
Gibraltar is interesting to visit. In terms of other places, depending on how far you want to go and what your interests are: Antequera is a nice little town, with enough for a day trip - but lots does close up for siesta; there are the stone stacks at Torcal de Antequera; Ronda has a good bull ring museum and of course the famous bridge; Cadiz is a good 'normal' town; and Jerez is both lovely and has the lure (for us) of all that fabulous sherry. Hope something there catches your interest.
Thank you all for the interesting feedback. This will help shape our trip. Any comments on staying at a Parador?
I've only visited Malaga during the off-season, and was similarly pleasantly surprised; can imagine it being quite horrible in summer, though, and I fear September would still fall under that. Still, the Alcazaba is quite lovely (if not a patch on Sevilla's Alcazar or Granada's Alhambra), as is the harbor area. Malaga also has some amazing restaurants. I echo the recommendations for Cadiz and Ronda, though Cadiz at least would imho be too far away to do as a daytrip, and would deserve an overnight stay. Another recommendation in that region would be Arcos de la Frontera, which I found a very charming town to explore for a day.
Also, if you like hiking, the Sierra de Grazalema is worth pointing out. Some really good trails out there, with various lovely pueblos blancos scattered about as well.
[ Edit: Edited on 31-May-2016, at 10:21 by Sander ]