Luxury holidays in Málaga

Cultural clout, ancient castles and a carnival all about burying a giant sardine – the beach-beeliners who breeze through Málaga en route to the Costa del Sol are missing out. Following in the footsteps of its most famous son, the city has risen as an art-world star: among its bounty of museums and galleries is the first non-Parisian Pompidou pop-up, as well as plenty on Picasso. In the old town, Málaga’s Moorish heritage is as detectable in its candlelit hammams and cafés serving sweet mint tea as it is in its 11th-century citadels. Snap your way through street-art-clad Soho, bound beachwards to tuck into espeto de sardinas by the sea, then make like a Malagueño and toast two millennia of history at a raucous rooftop bar.

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When to go

Beach-bound crowds opt for the balminess of summer, but we prefer spring and autumn for a quieter break, and even winter is far from frosty (with temperatures hovering around 17°C). Go just before Lent to catch the carnival, at Easter to join the Holy Week crowds, or in mid-August to jump into the fiesta at the week-long Málaga Fair. In October, the city is scattered with exhibitions and events celebrating Picasso’s birthday.

Getting there

  • Planes

    Málaga Airport is a handy eight kilometres from the city centre, with frequent buses running between the two. Touch down there direct from most major European cities.
  • Trains

    Direct rail services run to Málaga María Zambrano station from Madrid, Seville and Córdoba.
  • Automobiles

    Driving in Málaga is a more relaxed affair than in many Spanish cities. The city’s main sights are mostly strollable, but with a rental car you’re set for both a city tour and a Costa del Sol road trip.