After decades of being pointedly ignored, particularly by tourists to the coastal resorts, revitalised Málaga is now the Andalucian city everyone is talking about. Its 30-odd museums and edgy urban art scene are well matched by contemporary-chic dining choices, a stash of new boutique hotels and a shopping street voted one of the most stylish in Spain. Málaga is at its most vibrant during the annual feria, when the party atmosphere is infused with flamenco, fino (dry, straw-coloured sherry) and carafe-loads of fiesta spirit.
Each region of the province has equally fascinating diversity, from the mythical mountains of La Axarquía to the tourist-driven razzle-dazzle of the Costa del Sol. Inland are the pueblos blancos (white towns), crowned by spectacularly situated Ronda. There's also the under-appreciated, elegant old town of Antequera, with its nearby archaeological site and fabulous porra antequera (thick local soup).