5 Great Day Trips From Malaga

Some people flock to Malaga as it was the birthplace of famed artist Pablo Picasso, others for the beaches and sun! Whatever reason you come to Malaga for, you are assured of a high quality holiday destination. If you feel that spending all day on the magnificent beaches of Malaga is not your thing, we have identified 5 fantastic Day Trips from Malaga that you should consider taking as part of your holiday…

1. Day Trip to Granada
No visit to Malaga should be complete without taking a day trip to Granada – one of the gems of Andalusia. The city of Granada is home to the stunning Muslim historical site called Alhambra. The site is composed of Moorish Palaces and wonderfully kept gardens, which lie at the foot of the impressive Sierra Nevada mountain range.  Alhambra was a palace and citadel and the home of the Nasrid Sultans from the 13th to the 15th Century AD. You could spend days wandering around the majestic palaces and gardens. It is actually amazing that all this Moorish architecture remained virtually intact after the Christian armies reconquered Spain. Nasrid Palace is probably the highlight of Alhambra – make sure you try and get to see it!

The Alhambra derived its name from the red walls, which translates as “Red Castle” in Arabic. Also check out the Albaicín, which is the old Arabic quarter located on the hill opposite the Alhambra. It is characterised by cobble-stoned streets with white washed coloured houses. The hills on the other side offer sparkling views of the historic landmark, and the Sierra Nevada behind it. Granada itself is a bustling city with a wide range of shops, tapas bars and restaurants and plenty of other attractions.

To get to Granada from Malaga, take the A92 to the northeast for around 134km, it will take you over 90 minutes to get there.

Find out more about Granada City.

2. Day Trip to Ronda
Experience the mountainous Ronda region and explore the village and enjoy the majestic scenery. At Ronda, you will see the popular sights of the town itself – the Plaza de Toros Maestranza, the Church of the Holy Spirit, the charming Town Square and the museum that is dedicated to the sport of bullfights. The bullring at Ronda is called Plaza de Toros and it is actually the oldest bullring in Spain! The museum is home to some wonderful bullfighting paraphernalia and has some wonderful old photos showing esteemed American author Ernest Hemingway enjoying the bullfighting.

Ronda is close to El Tajo, the river gorge of which the immaculate 18th century bridge Puente Nuevo traverses. To get to Ronda from Malaga, take the A397 route northwards from Malaga. The journey will take you approximately 1 hour 40 minutes.

Find out more about Ronda.

3. Day Trip to Benalmadena
If you want to experience some wonderful views of the Andalusian countryside then take a road trip to Benalmadena. The town is located around 20km from Malaga along the A7 route. At Benalmadena you can catch a cable car, which rises for 700 metres into the hills and mountains, and affording majestic views. You will see the rocky outcrops of the eastern coast and the unmistakable Rock of Gibraltar to the right. One thing you will instantly become aware of are the buildings, which are typically Andalusian in that they are white washed and nestled amongst the pine forests.

Near the cable car station you will come across Tivoli World which is an amusement park with plenty of rides and activities which the younger members of the family will enjoy. If you are not up to adventure rides then you can take a walk around the nearby gardens and water fountains.

Interested in marine life? Then visit Selwo Marina which is the home place of wonderful sea creatures from oceans all over the world from dolphins to penguins.

4. Day Trip to Fuengirola and Torremolinos
Other resort towns you could visit on a day trip include the coastal resort towns of Fuengirola and Torremolinos. Fuengirola is the place where you can experience wonderful Andalusian street markets. Saturday is the day of the large street market, and Tuesday is another Market Day. While here enjoy a trip to Fuengirola Zoo and discover the amazing array of animals!

Torremolinos has long been transformed since it was just a small fishing village. It is one of the most visited areas of the Costa Del Sol Region. There are plenty of attractions to be enjoyed, for all members of the family. The Crocodile Park Torremolinos is an approximately 20 minute drive south on the A7 from Malaga, and Aqualand Torremolinos will guarantee a great day out for all of the family!

5. Day Trip to Marbella and Tarifa
For this exciting day trip, the main route that you will take is the A7 southwards from Malaga, and you will be passing Fuengirola and Torremolinos, and then on to Marbella. The city of Marbella is a busy place, and has an atmosphere of culture and character. Home to fashionable bistros, art galleries and historic buildings, Marbella is a must visit destination on a day trip from Malaga. Try and fit in a performance at the amphitheatre and see culture at its very best. Enjoy views of wonderful coastline and the perfect promenade.

Tarifa has long been regarded as being one of the surfing Mecca’s of Spain. It is quite a drive from Malaga, about 160km from Malaga but the drive is well worth it. A trip to Tarifa is well worth it for its windsurfing potential, its wonderfully rugged scenery along the coastline and its abundance of flora and fauna. You can select plenty of beach activities that suit you here, from horse riding on the beach, hand gliding, rock climbing and kite flying.

After you have spent time on the beach take a stroll around the enchanting town and enjoy its majestic buildings, which date from the 8th century, and wind your way through the narrow cobble stone streets. One of the most exciting sights from Tarifa is the sight of the Rif Mountains, just across the sea in another continent, North Africa.

Find out more about Tourism in Tarifa.

Hope you enjoyed our guide to the 5 best day trips from Malaga. Find out more about Malaga.
To avail of the freedom and flexibility that a hired car offers, please check out our Car Hire Malaga page.

Have you been to Malaga and the Costa del Sol Region? What did you think of it? Have you taken in a driving tour of the area? Please feel free to add your scenic drive to this list if you feel there is anything that we left out – as always we welcome your comments!