Málaga is a world apart from the adjoining Costa del Sol; a briskly modern yet historic city, it still has the atmosphere and swagger of a Mediterranean port. Admittedly, initial impressions can be discouraging as, like most Spanish cities, the shell is drab and industrial. But the kernel, the historic city centre, is charming with its majestic, if peculiar, unfinished Gothic cathedral, surrounded by traditional balconied buildings, narrow pedestrian streets and some of the best tapas bars in the province. In recent years, the city has heavily invested in its culture and heritage with new museums, extensive restoration and a brand-new port development.
Málaga is a joy to stroll around, with a skyline that reflects the city’s eclectic character; church spires jostle for space with russet-red tiled roofs and lofty apartment buildings while, like a grand old dame, the 11th-century Gibralfaro castle sits grandly and provides the best view of all.