Birthplace of the painter Pablo Picasso, home to monuments such the Alcazaba fortress-citadel, the Gibralfaro Castle and the Roman Theatre, Malaga is a vibrant city and one of Spain’s hottest cultural, gastronomic and leisure destinations. For the best views of Malaga and the coastline, visit the magnificent Alcazaba: perched high above the city, there are Alhambra-style patios and fountains and a small archaeological museum. For 21st century delights, check out the designer boutiques in swanky Puerto Banús or those lining Malaga's marble-clad Marqués de Larios.
Malaga is the gateway to the Costa del Sol, over 300 kilometres of fantastic beaches, great and small bays, leisure marinas and golf clubs, extending from Gibraltar to Nerja. Popular tourist towns include Marbella, Fuengirola, Torremolinos, Benalmadena, and Estepona. For gorgeous white sands, head to Tarifa on the Costa de la Luz, only an hour away on the toll road from Marbella. Follow a kitesurfing or windsurfing course, or simply work on your tan. If you have time, visit Gibraltar. At first sight, it looks like England in the 1960s (with a suntan). Delve deeper however, and you'll discover that Gibraltar is a fascinating cocktail of Jewish, North African, Portuguese, Spanish and British cultures. There are plenty of fascinating sights: historic tunnels, a nature reserve and the local resident monkey population. You can also go dolphin-spotting or wreck-diving.
If you tire of being a beach bum, the vast El Chorro reservoir, 50 kilometres northwest of Malaga is surrounded by some of the most dramatic mountainous scenery in the province - perfect for camping, renting a boat, or carp fishing. And if you want to get really high, there are lots of climbing centres as well. Alternatively, you can discover the famous “pueblos blancos” (white villages), like Ronda or Vejer de la Frontera - picturesque mountain villages located in enchanting settings.