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Málaga is a Spanish city where history, art, urban life and superb sandy beaches collide. Thanks to its warm and dry Mediterranean climate, Málaga is the perfect year-round destination for visitors interested in enjoying a little sun, sand, surf or shopping during their trip to Spain.
Located in the middle of the Spanish southern coast, Malaga lies in close proximity to a myriad of towns and villages, making it a gateway to southern Spain. For those looking to explore Costa del Sol, discover unique experiences, attractions and fantastic day trip opportunities, Malaga is an ideal base. Ranging from one to four hours, here are the top 10 day-trips from Málaga.
205 km / approximately 2.5 hours
Seville is a must-see destination when visiting Andalucía. Explore the charismatic barrio of Santa Cruz and its meandering streets. Considered the most charming part of the city, the Santa Cruz barrio is home to amazing restaurants, exciting flamenco shows and wonderful museums. There’s so much to explore in this quaint neighborhood.
Cathedral of Seville is another big attraction in Seville. Once considered the third largest church in the world, it is today thought to be the largest based on volume. The cathedral attracts not just those on religious pilgrimage, but many history buffs, as it is the final resting place of the remains of explorer Christopher Columbus.
- Good to know: Seville is the sunniest city in Europe. The city averages just 80 days of rain each year, making it the perfect year-round destination.
Learn more about how to get from Malaga to Seville in our travel guide.
127 km / approximately 1.5 hours
Granada is a cultural destination shaped by its complex background. Home to the Moors, the Greeks, the Romans and more, Granada has been continuously inhabited for the last 2,500 years. The city’s main attraction is the exquisite Alhambra. A fortress, palace, and a garden, the Alhambra is one of the world’s finest Moorish monuments. Other must-visit places in Granada include the Arabic quarter of Albaicín, and Sacromonte, a unique gypsy district famous for its peculiar cave dwellings.
You might also want to visit as many bars as you can in Granada to indulge in free tapas.
- Good to know: When booking tours from Málaga, look for options that include admission costs to the top attractions. Not only will you save money, but you’ll also save time by bypassing the line.
Granada makes for a wonderful day trip from Malaga. Here is how to travel from Malaga to Granada.
102 km / approximately 1.5 hours
Ronda is a cliff-side city set in and around a deep gorge. The Guadalevín River divides Ronda into two quarters: La Ciudad, the old Moorish quarter, and the more modern Mercadillo. Connecting the two quarters is the spectacular Puente Nuevo, a 70m long bridge that stands nearly 100m from the ground. The bridge not only connects the town but also offers amazing views of the city, surrounding countryside and beyond.
Spend a day exploring the town, admiring the interesting mix of Moorish architecture, Roman ruins and whitewashed Andalusian houses, and perhaps get your exercise on the town’s steep and winding roads.
- Good to know: Escape the sweltering Spanish summer heat in Ronda, as it enjoys a more temperate climate. The winter months (November to March) can be very wet and cold; expect to see sunshine the remainder of the year.
- Suggested tour: Ronda Tour from Malaga
158 km / approximately 2 hours
Cordoba is a melting pot of Jewish, Christian and Islamic cultures, all combined with Spanish soul. It is also home to one of the world’s most beautiful and important historical mosques, the Mezquita. A massive former mosque-turned cathedral, it is famous for its unique architectural style. The Mezquita also features a soaring bell tower, which offers stunning views of the Judería Quarter. When visiting the Mezquita, give yourself an hour or two to take it all in.
- Good to know: Each year in early-May, the city of Cordoba comes alive. Locals proudly adorn their patios and balconies with flowers and decorations as part of Cordoba’s “most beautiful courtyard” contest.
- Suggested tour: Cordoba Tour from Malaga
60 km / approximately 50 minutes from Malaga by car
Marbella is a city with a reputation for class and sophistication. It is a glamorous destination for travelers looking for stunning beaches, world-class golf, high-end shopping and a vibrant nightlife. But there’s more to Marbella than meets the eye. Spend an afternoon exploring the cobblestone streets of the Moorish Old Town, drinking in the history around every corner.
No trip to Marbella is complete without enjoying a beverage in the orange tree-filled Plaza de los Naranjos. Before heading home, kick back and bask in the smell of fresh orange blossoms as you enjoy the afternoon Spanish sun.
- Good to know: The city averages 320 sunshine days per year and temperatures rarely dip below 15° C, making it the perfect destination any time of the year.
61 km / approximately 1 hour
The Caminito del Rey is not for the faint of heart. First built in 1905, the Caminito was a concrete walkway pinned 100m above the ground along the steep walls of a narrow gorge in El Chorro. After years of decay, the walkway underwent restoration and reopened in 2015.
The new walkway is built directly above the old pathway and is made of one-meter wide wood panels. Several sections feature glass panels allowing visitors to look down the nearly 100m at the canyon and gorge below.
The total distance of the new walk is 7.7km and takes nearly four hours to complete.
- Good to know: Only 1,100 people can walk the Caminito each day and tickets sell out months in advance. To reserve your spot, organize a guided tour from Málaga or visit Caminito del Rey’s official website.
67 km / approximately 1 hour
Long ignored for more popular options, Nerja is a picturesque town featuring cobblestone streets, Moorish architecture, scenic beaches and the Sierra Almijara in the backdrop. One of Nerja’s top attractions is the Balcón de Europa. Originally constructed in 1487, the fort offers stunning views of both the coast and the Mediterranean Sea.
Located just outside of the city are the Caves of Nerja, a series of caverns that stretch for almost five kilometers. Explore the caves and galleries and view the 42,000-year-old Neanderthal cave paintings as well as the world’s oldest stalagmite.
- Good to know: A former fishing village, Nerja is today considered the “Jewel of the Costa del Sol”. It is one of the most popular destinations on Spain’s southern coast.
- Suggested Tour: Nerja and Frigiliana Tour from Malaga
Find out how to travel from Malaga to Nerja in our travel guide.
136 km / approximately 2 hours
One of the most popular Málaga day trips is Gibraltar. Located on the southern tip of Spain, Gibraltar is an overseas territory of the United Kingdom famous for its caves and monkey-studded nature reserve, as well as its shopping and culinary scenes.
Take a stroll along the seafront to Europa Point Lighthouse, from where you can see the point where the Atlantic and the Mediterranean meet, with the coast of Africa peeking over the horizon. To get another impressive view, take the cable car up the Rock. In just six minutes, you’ll be on top of the world enjoying magnificent views and the company of the infamous Barbary Apes.
200 km / approximately 4 hours (including ferry ride)
A trip to Tangier from Malaga is one of those rare short journeys that will take you to another continent. A cosmopolitan port city in northern Morocco, Tangier is the perfect day trip for those wanting to explore a bit of Africa.
Get lost in the winding streets and alleys of Tangier’s old town, its vibrant medina, lively souks, and delicious food. Lined with shops and kiosks, the medina is the perfect place to pick up a souvenir or sample a traditional Moroccan treat. Visit the Sultan’s palace to see a one-of-a-kind collection of ancient. Explore the Kasbah’s garden and make your way to the north side where you can take in the amazing views over the port.
Good to know: The easiest way to visit Tangier is by booking a day trip tour from Málaga. No fuss, no muss, no worries. Simply sit back, relax and enjoy your fabulous day trip to Tangier.
236 km / approximately 3 hours
Home to a delightful old town, stunning beaches, charming alleyways, and a vibrant flamenco and tapas scene, Cádiz is a small town that packs a big punch. The old quarter of Cádiz is famous for its picturesque charm; remnants of the city’s 18th century walls can be found throughout the town adding allure to every corner. Cap off your day trip to Cádiz by viewing the cathedral in the Old Town. Climb to the top of the North Tower and take in the panoramic views of the city below.
- Good to know: Cadiz is home to the third biggest carnival festival in the world. Taking place in the weekend before Ash Wednesday (February), the annual Carnival party is considered the best in Spain.
Thanks to its central location, Málaga is the gateway to southern Spain. It is the perfect city to use as a base to explore more of the Costa del Sol and beyond. From Tangier and Gibraltar to the Caminito del Rey and Ronda, you can explore the best of this coastal region by planning day trips from Málaga.