Rugged and Beautiful
Legend says the Greek God Hercules separated Europe from Africa at the Strait of Gibraltar creating the Mediterranean Sea. Hercules, son of Zeus, became a special symbol and his image can be seen today on the coat of arms of the green and white Andalusian flag, along with the two legendary columns.
Malaga is the second largest city in Andalusia and has one of the largest Moorish fortress in the area, the Alcazaba built between 8th and 11th centuries. The palace currently houses the archaeological museum and exhibits remains from the Phoenician and Roman periods.
A circuit of walls connects the fortress with the Gibralfaro castle affording an excellent view of the city. A partially excavated Roman amphitheater is found at the entrance to the fortress.
A short distance away is the bullring, popularly known as La Malagueta, and only a short stroll from the Paseo Maritimo.
Nearby is the cathedral which only has one finished tower and another half finished and has been called La Manquita, (the one-armed lady). This religious temple is a splendid example of the Spanish renaissance style and the interior houses a rich array of chapels.
To one side of the Plaza de la Merced you will find the birthplace of Pablo Picasso, the painter, and now the site of the Picasso Foundation. There are also a number of museums in the city, all worth visiting.
The most tranquil part of the city can be found along the promenade, La Farola, next to the port. In contrast a vibrant Malaga can be found along Calle Larios.
The Costa del Sol is the most well known stretch of Andalusian shore and a world famous holiday destination. The reason is the mild climate with calm, temperate waters and thousands of hours of sunshine a year.
The Costa del Sol extends like an arch between the provinces of Cadiz and Granada, from the cliffs of Tarifa to the beaches of Nerja.
The Mediterranean coast of Tarifa is studded with rugged cliffs bordering on the region of the Campo de Gibraltar.
The capital of the bay is Algecrias, one of the busiest ports in Europe, from where there is a regular ferry service to North Africa.
Marbella, the capital of the Costa del Sol, has a charming old quarter where there are white churches and ancestral homes with spacious courtyards. Not far from this tranquil spot is the famous Milla de Oro, (Golden Mille), home to some of Europe's wealthiest people.
The Costa del Sol boasts some fine beaches and the lively resort of Torremolinos was the pioneer of fun in the sun. The Carihuela district has beaches of fine white sand and typical seaside chiringuitos that serve sardines, paellas and a medley of fried fish called pescaito frito.
In the northwestern part of the province are the famous white villages such as Ojen, Gaucin and Casares, these picturesque villages are often Arab in origin and many are perched on high hills.
The Serrania de Ronda is rich in fauna and flora with stunning scenery and the Sierra de las Nieves is a biosphere with the undisputed king the wild goat. Mongoose, wild boar and wild cats are also found, and otters inhabit the rivers in this magnificent region.
The Spanish fir, the Pinsapo, is found here and you must visit the pretty villages of Alozaina, Casarabonela and El Burgo to name a few, and sample the local hospitality.
In the northern part of the province is the monumental town of Antequera in a flat agricultural area and stands in the shade of a Moorish church, the Nuestra Senora del Carmen, with its fine Baroque altar piece.
Antequera is full of beautiful monuments, excellent shops, and the bullring is a stunning masterpiece incorporating a superb restaurant.
The complex of prehistoric dolmen in Menga Viera and El Romeral are on the edge of the town and a short drive from the town takes you to the geological formation of El Torcal.
The region known as La Axarquia has been mute witness to the comings and goings of many civilizations, for ever since prehistoric times this area has been coveted by man.
Proof of this are in the Caves of Nerja and El Higueron, and the remains of Phoenicians, Greeks, Romans and Arabs, which await us even in the humblest Axarquian village.
The Axarquia is threaded between two mountain ranges and there is much to discover in the quaint villages, where you will find friendly people, white washed houses and still retaining the simple life.