When we spontaneously decided to go on vacation in the beginning of April, we were concerned about the weather in Europe. We wanted sun, for our muscles to warm up and our skin to get a bit of a nice tan. After a few days of researching we ended up booking 6 days in Andalusia.
So all packed and ready for vacation we checked the forecast for the weather in Analusia, and it looked perfect!!!
Arriving at the airport around midnight, we could not take any public transportation, and therefore had to take a taxi to our place in the city center of Malaga.
We decided on staying in Malaga and doing day trips to different cities and places.
All my favorite places, restaurants, views, and must dos, I decided to share with the world.
The Caves of Nerja
Nerja has a long history, evidenced by the primitive paintings found in its famous Nerja caves discovered in 1959. These caves are one of the most extensive unexplored systems in Europe. Visitors to the caves will be able to view the remains of one of the ancient inhabitants of Nerja.
Those Caves of Nerja are definitely worth a visit! If you are thinking, I know caves nothing that could amaze me… you are wrong! I thought the same and I had seen many caves before but the caves of Nerja are basically huge and extremely impressive. Make sure you understand some Spanish in case your audioguide does not work and the people who are there to help you do not speak a single word of English or any of the other 3 languages I speak.
Very close to the caves is a short path which leads to the top of the mountain. It is worth the hike, especially for the beautiful view while enjoying your sandwiches.
Another must do is walking through the municipality and enjoying the beaches of Nerja.
Something you should not miss out is the view you will have from the balcony of europe. This point in Nerja is called the Balcony of Europe for a good reason.
It is located about 100 km west of the city of Málaga. Its population is about 35,000 inhabitants.
Ronda is especially known for Puente Nuevo bridge, which spans the canyon. You can have a walk from the top to the lowest point on both sides of the bridge. This will give you a great opportunity to take some pictures.
Another lovely spot to take some pictures are the Jardines de Cuenca (Cuenca Gardens). The terraces have been dedicated to Ronda’s sister city of Cuenca.
When finished and hungry do not miss out this tiny place called Santa Maria. They serve some great tapas there. I would definitely recommend the torilla and the tuna with avocado.
For those who are interested an support bullfights, Plaza de Toros – The Bullring is being recommended very often as Ronda has some famous bullfighting traditions.
This city left some great and bad memories. As our trip was pretty last minute we were not prepared for the ticket buying marathon in order to visit the Alhambra. The Alhambra is a palace and fortress complex.
As Wikipedia describes it : “It was originally constructed as a small fortress in AD 889 on the remains of Roman fortifications, and then largely ignored until its ruins were renovated and rebuilt in the mid-13th century by the Moorish emir Mohammed ben Al-Ahmar of the Emirate of Granada, who built its current palace and walls. It was converted into a royal palace in 1333 by Yusuf I, Sultan of Granada. After the conclusion of the Christian Reconquista in 1492, the site became the Royal Court of Ferdinand and Isabella (where Christopher Columbus received royal endorsement for his expedition), and the palaces were partially altered to Renaissance tastes. In 1526 Charles I & V commissioned a new Renaissance palace better befitting the Holy Roman Emperor in the revolutionary Mannerist style influenced by Humanist philosophy in direct juxtaposition with the Nasrid Andalusian architecture, but which was ultimately never completed due to Morisco rebellions in Granada.”
Nevertheless, we tried to walk up to the Alhambra and at least see those sports which were allowed to enter for free. Even though it is stated in the lonely planet that those areas and views are also worth seeing, I have to admit that it was definitely nothing special.
Totally disappointed, we returned to the city center.
Somehow by accident we ended on the Plaza Mirador de San Nicolas. This place is a real must see! Even more than the Alhambra! Not only the view you have on the Alhambra and Granada, but also the tiny and very idyllic narrow roads through this cute area of the city are basically something you have to see once in your life.
From the Plaza you can look down on a restaurant which has an amazing view as well. Order some drinks/cocktails/ or food and enjoy the sparkling sun and your skin.
Tip1: Do not trust busses, bus stops or bus drivers in Granada!!! Double and tripple check before stepping into a bus, otherwise you might end up in a totally different village outside the city somewhere betweeen some mountains.
Tip2: Take care of your belongings!
My personal favorite city of Andalusia. Why is that? It is simple. It has it all. It is a big city offering all the energy and business a big city can offer. At the same time people are extremely laid back and friendly. You can enjoy some great food or just relax on one of the many beaches which can be reached withing a few minute to up to an hour.
Especially for people who are all into food this place is the place to be. I put together some recommendations of all restaurants and cafes I would definitely go back to.
What would be a vacation in Spain without eating some amazing churros with chocolate. Even though you might also see some other churros restaurants such as Tejeringos, which are very crowded with long waiting, please do not be distracted with them. Casa Aranda is the place to be for churros! The service might not be very friendly or welcoming but the food is great!!!!! For those who do not feel like churros they also have bread with ham and cheese, spanish ham etc. even though it is not on the menu. Oh wait, they do not even have a menu because they know all items by heart!
Want to have breakfast in Malaga, and want to try something else than bread with ham? Check this place out! At first sight, you would not think that there is a restaurant inside of this antique shop. But once you walk in and smell food and see the crowd, you will be convinced. The offer you homemade pastes and jam for only a few euros per person. Do not expect mind blowing tastes, but the food is just perfectly fine!!
The market hall
To be honest, the market hall in Barcelona is bigger and has more things to offer than the one in Malaga, but despite of that it is a nice place to buy some fruit, olives, meat and so on.
La Taberna del Pescaito
Visiting the seaside and not eating some fish or seafood? Nope that was not an option! I actually liked this streetfood-ish place a lot! The boquerones are delicious such as clams. This restaurant is located very close to the market hall.
The best place to have dinner in the whole city is the restaurants Taberna Cervantes. You will be surprised about the tastes and friendly staff! I never felt this comfortable at a restaurant before! The food was extremely delicious and fresh!
Antigua Casa de Guardia
Sweet wine anyone? This is the place to be for a real spanish wine tasting experience! Antigua Casa de Guardia has a very interesting system with very friendly and helpfull staff!
Coming back from such a beautiful and sunny country into a cold and not so exciting country …causes a post-vacation dip/depression!! Be prepared!