Malaga, a sunny city at the southern tip of Spain in the Andalusia region, has a terrific mix of cathedrals, beaches, shopping, and tapas restaurants. There's also a museum dedicated to the works of its most famous son: Pablo Picasso. Malaga is a fairly compact city, and pretty much everything you'd want to see is just a short stroll from your cruise ship.
What We Love
Beach and Boardwalk: The pier is about a 10-minute walk to a fabulous beach complex that curves for a mile along the coast and provides dozens of restaurants, bars, and shops to investigate. Set up in the sun for a relaxing day playing in the water.
Gibralfaro Castle: This fortress dates to the 14th century and is an iconic landmark for Malaga. Head on up to explore the castle's courtyards and ramparts, which sit high on a hill and overlook the Mediterranean Sea.
Best Known For
Alcazaba: The 11th-century citadel structure was built during an era in Malaga that marked the Moorish rule of the region. It is regarded as one of the city's most important historic sites.
Mercado Central Atarazanas: The bustling city market is housed in a refurbished shipyard building that features an impressive original, centuries-old marble archway entrance and gorgeous stained-glass windows. You can shop for fresh fruits, vegetables, and seafood, or just stop by for lunch.
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Who It's Best For
Sunseekers: The beach scene is top-notch, with 15 stretches located in the immediate area in and around Malaga. They're a hot spot for fitness fanatics, too, with jogging and biking paths and workout stations installed along the way.
Don't Say We Didn't Warn You
It's at the Heart of a Sporting Controversy: At the center of the city, the large bullring, Plaza de Toros de la Malagueta, is designated as a cultural asset of Spain. Some people object to the sport, but bullfighting season at the 14,000-seat stadium is from April to September.
John Roberts is a New Jersey-based writer for ShermansCruise who worked at The Virginian-Pilot.