Here you’ll find travel reports about Malaga. Discover travel destinations in Spain of travelers writing a travel blog on FindPenguins.

228 travelers at this place:

  • Day628

    We were so happy we'd chosen to spend the night by ourselves in a country layby instead of at the crowded coastline near Marbella as originally planned. We woke feeling well rested and carried on inland towards Ronda. The hills that surrounded us seemed lush, covered in vibrantly green pines, the reddish tint in their bark matching hues in rocks that showed through the low shrubs. Creases in these red ochre rocks hosted narrow white waterfalls. Remnants of the old road remained and looped off the new road, hopping over the mountain streams with small arched viaducts. We passed sheep grazing free and jangling the bells around their necks, further on was a herd of chestnut and black goats and a couple of brown cows. It's not often we have seen farmed animals in any great numbers in Spain, so we guess this area must be particularly suited to it.

    Ahead of us we could see a stark, light grey hill, its landscape almost lunar. The change to these surroundings was quite sudden, there ceased to be trees and only outcrops of dry shrub grew sparsely . Whether the area had been quarried, damaged by fire, or it was just down to the change in rock type, we don't know. Gradually we began to spot trees here and there but they were pale green Holly Oaks instead of rich pines.

    The town of Ronda lay in the bed of the valley. We drove in planning to stay the night but we could only find on-street parking. Compared to the beautiful wild camping spots we'd seen on the drive, it didn't hold much appeal, so we turned around, headed back the way we'd come and found a lovely large layby, separated from the road by pines. We couldn't see very much beyond the parking area but it felt secluded and wild; just what we'd hoped for! It rained and the sun shone on and off, there was even a spot of hail, but we enjoyed the snuggness inside the van.
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  • Day632

    A day out in Ronda

    March 20 in Spain

    At 32km away, Ronda was the large town closest to the villa. It was another of those days where the weather didn't know what it was doing, let alone the weather forecasters, so we thought a drive and trip to a settlement would be ideal. The sun shone bright on the lush green landscape as Paul maneuvered the car out of El Balcon with Cath, us and Poppy. The grass almost seemed to glow with the recent glut of rain and the hills were bobbled with grids of neatly pruned olive trees.

    Checking the road that led around the north east of the Zahara-El Gastor reserviour was still closed, we took the detour along the south west side, via the little Pueblo Blanco of Zahara, its distinctive castle clinging to a cliff, that raised it head and shoulders above the white houses. After pulling over to admire views over the blue, but mud tinged water, we set of again, only to find the road ahead was also shut. Landslides and subsidence caused by the unusually high rainfall have really taken their toll on the area. The 2nd detour took us in the opposite direction of our destination, to the extent that we turned around and tried to go a different route, only to find our way barred. What started off as a 32km drive turned out to be nearly 70km!

    Paul was great taking this extended journey in his stride and there were some beautiful sights along the way. We'd been watching Griffin Vultures around the house but today we got to see Egyptian Vultures, also known as Pharaoh's Chickens. The landcape was fertile and there was plenty of livestock farming, with sheep, goats chickens and cows as well as horses and donkeys. Interestingly we saw an area growing cork oaks, the bark on their trunks peeled back, a process that is carried out once every 9 or so years.

    Parking in Ronda was a lot more straightforward than in Seville the previous day. We worked our way through the unremarkable streets of the new town towards the original settlement, separated from us by a steep ravine. We found a bar-restaurant for lunch and were shown through to the quaint back room, with red and green painted wooden furniture and matching check pattern tablecloths. The food was good with Vicky enjoying the Andalucian speciality of gazpacho for starters and Will, a succulent leg of kid for mains.

    Warmed up and refuelled we continued down the main street until we reached the large white walls of Ronda's bull ring. None of us approved of the activity so we gave it as little attention as possible and carried on by the few little tourist stalls to the railings, past which the earth fell away precipitously to a flat valley floor 100m below. The Guadalevín river ran close to the foot of the cliff but we could see over the flat plain for tens of kilometres to the low hills that formed the horizon. The sunlight was brilliant but its warmth hadn't impacted much on the air, whose heat was effectively sapped by the icy wind so we didn't hang around too long.

    Working our way round the edge of the cliff we came to the Puente Nuevo; a 98m high stone bridge whose three arches span the El Tajo gorge that separates the Ciudad, or old town, from the new. We were surprised to see Choughs flying about below us, we associated these charismatic crows with mountains in Austria and Germany. Crossing the bridge, we had great fun leaning over the stone walls and black painted iron railings to see what was below.

    The brightly lit whitewashed houses of the original settlement provided an amazing contrast to the intensely dark grey sky brooding above. As we made our way up the winding cobbled streets the clouds broke and by the time we'd re-entered the new town it was hailing on us!

    At the supermarket on the way home we stocked up with wood, looking forward once again to the crackling heat of the villa's open fire.
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  • Day627

    A storm had blown in overnight with high winds and rain battering the van. We were grateful it wasn't too cold but morning brought a freshness with it, in welcome contrast to yesterday's mugginess. Today we had some shopping to do. We were due to meet our friends Cath and Paul on Saturday at a villa they had rented so we wanted to stock up on rations.

    Stopping at a Super Sol we got as much as we could from our list, including a 10kg bag of wood for the fire. However the cheese counter assistant looked awkward when we asked for organic cheese and the in-store butcher just looked amused. Luckily, Lidl sold a better range of meat and we even found a small organic store after that with a good choice of cheeses.

    We had intended to stay west of Marbella on the coast but the morning wore on and the amount of English we heard grew. Many of the Spanish words filling the air were strongly accented with southern English and so much of what we read was in our own language. The Super Sol aisles had been stocked with Pukka Pies, Yorkshire Tea and London Pride Ale. We just didn't feel it was what we had come to Spain to experience. Although we often like to explore and find out as much as we can about a country we just weren't enjoying being in the Little England region of Spain and so made a decision to drive through Marbella then escape to the mountains.

    Like Malága, the Marbella coast road hosted a very familiar mix of retail outlets. Specsavers, Hard Rock Café and Burger King adevertised themselves prominently alongside Sotheby's and El Corte Inglés supermarket. We saw Marbella Golf and numerous exclusive beach clubs, casinos and advertisments for luxury villa developments. Although we are glad to have seen it, we were also glad of the option to make a quick exit and headed for the hills!

    It wasn't long before the high rise blocks turned into tastefull white houses with attractive dashes of colour and soon afterwards the urban area was replaced with pines, rocks and shrubs. We felt ourselves relaxing already! The road had plenty of pulloffs and we found a wide layby all to ourselves. Stepping out into the clean mountain air the scent of pine, wild herbs and flowers was pleasantly intense. The pink flowers of wild roses bloomed along with the yellow of broom and white of tree blossom. Beyond the pines that fringed our home for the night, a steep tree covered gorge fell away to the side, the opposite slope rising up and catching the sun's rays. Later on sunset tinted the few clouds orange and flushed the peaked hill behind us in its amber light. There is so much more beauty in this area of Spain than in the arid desert we passed through on the way south.

    Yesterday evening Vicky had recieved some worrying news about someone in her family. It had been running around in her mind as she tried to digest it. There was no need to go back to the UK, but if it became necessary, it would be quick enough for one of us to hop on a plane, although the sea and country divide somehow mentally increases the distance. Today's activities had helped distract her and the time had helped her to focus on the positives. In some ways vanlife has allowed us a closer relationship with many family and friends than we had before we left. Fewer commitments mean we have the time to call more often. Our plans usually only involve ourselves so we have the flexibility to change them if necessary. During our trip home in November - December we made the effort to spend quality time with as many people as we could and are looking forward to doing the same when we pop back in May.
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  • Day14


    July 11 in Spain

    The town of Ronda is one of the most beautiful places in Spain. It's famous bridge is spectacular, and our hotel is literally on the cliff overlooking the bridge. Construction on the bridge began in 1751 and it boggles the mind how large a task it would have been. It is 120m high above a narrow canyon through which a river runs.

    The whole of Ronda is elevated above the countryside around it. There are many places from where magnificent views can be savoured.

    Orson Welles and Ernest Hemingway both spent many summers in Ronda and wrote about how they loved the town, its beauty, rugged cliffs and its long tradition of bullfighting.

    The narrow streets and the white buildings are so characteristic of this area. It is one of the most beautiful towns in Andalusia, if not Spain itself. We are only spending one night here, which seems hardly enough.
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  • Day14

    Bullring in Ronda

    July 11 in Spain

    The bullring in Ronda is famous in Spain. Hemmingway wrote extensively about bullfighting and spent a lot of time in Ronda. I visited the bullring and toured its facilities, museum, bull handling yeards and the ring itself. For a town on only 30,000 people, it has a significant place in the history of bullfighting. Apparently the style of bullfighting differs in each area of Spain, and the toreadors in Ronda take a slightly different approach to those in Seville, who try to impress with flourishes and graceful turns and dance-like moves. Its a bit more stolid in Ronda, if I understand it correctly.

    The bullring here had more areas open to the public than the bullring in Seville. I could actually stand in one of the eight stalls that hold the bulls, which are released one by one and they run in a straight line from their pen, into the daylight of the ring. They are furious and a bit disoriented when they enter the ring, and are ready to take on whoever is standing in the ring wearing fancy clothes and waving a red cape around.

    The tour of the bullring was very interesting. I would like to see a bullfight but they are not taking place in the heat of summer.
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  • Day625

    Torrox Costa

    March 13 in Spain

    We'd spent a considerable amount of time in the hills and mountians of inland Spain so decided to head to the coast. Our approach was signalled by increasingly tall buildings and we hit a series of seaside strips lined on both sides with high rise hotels and souvenir shops.

    Torrox Costa, one of these sprawling coastal settlements offered a large field in which vans could stay for free. It was overlooked by flats but had grass and a path leading alongside it down to the beach just 250m away from the spot we picked. There were perhaps 40 or 50 other vans parked up but enough room that it didn't feel cramped. Stepping out, the heat and humidity of the coast flooded in. It was pleasant to be able to wear lighter summer clothes and go barefoot. Will chatted away with the Yorkshireman nextdoor while Vicky took Poppy out to explore. The main nationality was German but there were a lot of British vans and some French, Dutch and Spanish registrations.

    We cracked open the windows and vents to air the van, while Vicky lost herself in her knitting and Will took his body board to the beach. It wasn't the easiest place to play around in the water; there being stones and a rocky reef, but he enjoyed himself anyway.

    The following morning was Poppy's 15th birthday! Vicky took her over the path and down to the riverside running parallel with it. She was enjoying herself until we were barked at by a little dog belonging to two rough sleepers under the road bridge. Poppy couldn't make it all the way to the beach and back but while she rested we took a stroll and paddled in the cool waves, watched over by the small lighthouse that marked the end of the beach.
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  • Day17

    Nerja then Granada

    July 14 in Spain

    This morning we got our swimmers on and went straight downstairs to the beach. There was no time to be wasted. Beautiful warm sunshine and the Mediterranean was beckoning. We sat on the beach for about an hour, swam for a while in the clear water and skimmed stones across the sea. It wa a very memorable morning and we wished we were staying longer in the Costa del Sol. We had to check out at 12:00pm so that was the limit of the time we had.

    We then drove about five minutes down the road to the famous viewing terrace called Balcon de Europa. It has a spectacular vista of the magnificent beaches in the area. The view is the most used publicity photo used to promote this region. We spent some time here soaking up the atmosphere. We bought some lunch and had an ice cream from one of the many stores selling a huge variety of flavours.

    We then headed off towards Granada, stopping only to look at the notable landmark which is the aqueduct with four tiers of arches. Another memorable sight in Nerja.

    We reluctantly left Nerja, wishing we had allocated more time to this beautiful coastal region of southern Spain.
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  • Day626

    It was Poppy's 15th birthday today! Of course we gave her lots of fuss and a few extra sweeties. Before we started this tour back in June 2016 there were many points where we doubted she'd get to start it with us, but touring life seems to suit her exceptionally well and in some respects (such as her incontinence) her health has actually improved. She gets the excitement of visiting so many new places just by stepping out of the door and to have long rests with us close by, knowing she only needs to peek out of her Poppy hole (a cupboard we have given over to her bed area) to see what we are up to.

    Close to last night's stopover was a petrol station offering free services if you bought fuel. The water and emptying points were in a van washing bay. This bay had something we'd only seen in Spain; a raised platform on three sides, allowing you to walk around and wash the roof without having to be on the van itself. With the restrictions on washing vehicles in aires, we'd been unable to do it for a long time and the surface was getting slippery when wet, increasing the risk of an accident when Vicky climbed up to strap or unstrap the canoe. We spent a quite a while getting it clean, filling and emptying and by the time we pulled out there was a queue of 3 other vans waiting to use the services.

    Our surroundings as we journeyed along the coast towards Málaga gradually became more built up, the high rise hotels overlooking the sea progressively taller and closer together. There was so much concrete and we were increasingly glad of our decision to just pass through, instead of parking up and looking round. It is strange, you'd think that after spending so much time in rural escapes, we'd have an appetite to delve into the urban jungle, drawn by the bright lights, culture, architechture and choice of eateries, shops and bars. However we found quite the opposite here, we observed with a mild interest but felt no compulsion to go exploring. There was a brief respite at one point where we drove alongside Parque de Málaga with its well watered grass and plethora of green palms and squawking parakeets. Perhaps if we'd given it the chance we would have found more places we liked, but it wasn't on the cards today.

    Málaga blended into Torremolinos, the only major difference being the dual language Spanish /English signs now had English as their primary language. Casinos, more hotels, souvenir shops and advertisements for real estate and golf clubs assailed our eyes with Irish bars, Union Jacks and beauty salons aplenty.

    Before hitting Marbella, we found respite for the night at a crescent shaped car park overlooking and with access to Playa las Doradas, a beach made up of dark sand, stones and inset rocks. It was 25m or so off the highway and separated by a concrete cordon and drop in the land, so it was easy enough to shut the traffic noise out. Poppy loves playing on the beach so we took her down for a quick game and she had some beef gravy over her dried dogfood for tea that night. All in all it was a good day for her. Happy Birthday Poppy!
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  • Day636

    It had been a wonderful week with Cath and Paul but now it was time to travel; the plan being to visit Gibraltar, then make our way up the west side of Spain to the north coast, before driving back through France to the UK at the beginning of May.

    We re-entered the high rise ribbon development near Marbella and drove along close to the shore towards Estepona, pulling into a car park Will had found on Park4Night. We stayed on the concrete area nearest the road because although the sandy area adjacent to the beach looked inviting and would undoubtedly be quieter, we didn't want to risk getting stuck in the large puddles and mud on the slope leading to it. Our patch was overlooked by a makeshift tent a rough sleeper had set up in the woods a few hundred metres away. There was broken glass and a few bits of rubbish strewn about, but it was level, with a strong aroma drifting off the flowering gorse bushes that surrounded it.

    Once we had walked past the smelly sewage station we found ourselves on a sandy shore that curved round to a headland with low rise white and pink villas at one end and a copse at the other end of the bay. Close by was a beach bar with sun loungers, advertisments for sex on the beach (cocktails) and a boat-shaped stainless steel bbq that was smoking half a dozen fish on skewers. On the sea horizon to our right we could make out the hulking great rock of Gibraltar and faintly see the outline of Morocco! We'd seen different countries from across the water before but never a different continent!

    Because Gibraltar was our next stop and the weather was poor the following day we stayed a couple of nights, taking Poppy to investigate the rabbit droppings down by the beach and fixing the waste water hose that had been ripped on one or more of our many forays over bumpy ground.
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  • Day14

    Setenil de las Bodegas

    July 11 in Spain

    Our second stop for the day was in a town set on a gorge with the white houses literally built into the cliffs. The inhabitants are almost troglodytes - living in caves. The houses look like they have been slowly swallowed by the granite cliffs, but they have been built right into the rock. Even the main cafes and restaurants are built in under a huge overhanging ledge of granite.

    We were able to marvel at the town, its white buildings and the people who lived in the rocks.
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You might also know this place by the following names:

Provincia de Málaga, Provincia de Malaga, Málaga, Malaga, Província de Màlaga, マラガ

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