Málaga, Spain, is a popular cruise destination on the Costa del Sol in the Mediterranean, and is located east of Gibraltar on the Alborin Sea. This port is a remarkable blend of the historic and the modern with a near perfect climate.
The city of Málaga has been inhabited since prehistoric times, evidenced by the cave paintings of the Cueva de la Pileta (Cave of the Pool) and was originally established as a city by the Phoenicians some 3,000 years ago. The Phoenicians settlement at Málaga was called MALACA using the natural harbor as an important centre for salting fish. Málaga has seen a number of major transitions, being occupied and settled by the Romans and later became a major Muslim city in Spain. The Muslims were expelled after the area was conquered in 1487 by the Christian kings of Europe. Today it is a thriving modern city sitting along beautiful beaches in the heart of the Spanish Costa del Sol.
Where Your Ship Docks
Cruise ships dock at a terminal at Paseo de la Farola marina. The pier is right downtown and has a number of shops and cafes right on the marina and includes free public facilities. Getting into the main shopping district is less than five or ten blocks and the old city is just a little farther.
While the city has good public transportation, within the city centre you can see practically all the main sights on foot, as most major attractions are found in the nearby historic district. Within the major urban area and in the nearby suburbs, Malaga’s city buses, commuter trains along with a city-bicycle hire service will take you anywhere you want to go. Malaga planning to open its new Metro lines in Spring 2022.
Malaga’s city buses are operated by EMT with about 50 lines that run all across Malaga. The central city bus routes operate every few minutes, from early morning until about midnight. A single bus ticket within the Malaga urban area costs 1.30€. You can also buy a 10 trip card for 8.30€.
The local currency is the Euro but most credit cards are welcome everywhere. There are also ATM machines available operated by a number of major banks and networks. To use cash you need to convert some money to Euros.
Málaga is very proud of their favorite son, Pablo Picasso and the city is home to a wonderful museum and gallery dedicated to his works (Websites HERE and HERE).
The Alcazaba Fortress of Málaga, Spain. This fortress palace, whose name in Arabic means citadel, is one of the city’s principle historic sites and is not only beautiful but holds commanding views of the city and harbor. Built by the Muslim Hammudid dynasty in the early 11th century, it is the best-preserved alcazaba (citadel) in Europe.
The city also has a number of additional archaeological sites of interest including Roman amphitheater ruins in the old town and standing above the city on the Mount Gibralfaro summit is the Castillo de Gibralfaro another medieval Moorish fortress.
The Cathedral of Málaga is a Roman Catholic church constructed between 1528 and 1782 in the Renaissance architectural tradition. It only has one tower of the intended two completed. Located in the old town within an area defined by now missing portions of the medieval Moorish walls. The remains of Moorish walls still surround nearby Alcazaba and the Castle of Gibralfaro.
There is a local story that the second tower of the cathedral was never finished because the Málaga citizens sent the money intended for construction to America to support the American revolution. Not sure if this story is true but it is a popular local legend.
There are a number of spectacular caves outside Málaga but on a day in port you will need to make arrangements for a tour in advance. Many are poorly developed and would require you to be in good condition to visit. Perhaps the most famous is the Cueva de la Pileta (Cave of the Pool) located about 50 miles outside of Málaga. The cave features Paleolithic paintings which many believed to be over 20,000 years old along with the underground pool and cavern formations.
The Málaga Old City is a great location for cafes, restaurants and shops. Be sure and make time to stroll its narrow streets, have lunch at an outdoor cafe and browse its many galleries and shops.