These exotic gardens were conceived in the mid-19th century by the Loring-Heredia clan, a noble family of railway builders and bankers who bequeathed the city its weighty archaeological collection (now on display in the Museo de Málaga). Laid out in 1855, the hillside grounds were updated by different owners in 1911. The state took over management of the gardens in 1990, and in 1994 they were opened to the public.
Though still a little off the radar for most tourists, La Concepción nonetheless contains the largest collection of subtropical plants in Europe. Worth relishing are the fountains and waterfalls, the huge diversity of palm trees, and a Doric temple hidden amid the foliage that once housed the Loring-Heredias’ archaeological collection.
The gardens are 5km north of Málaga. Bus 2 will get you close, or you can take the five-times-a-day City Tour bus (€1.30) from the train station that’ll drop you at the entrance.