Malaga offers you beach and mountain. Can’t decide between sea and nature? In Malaga you will have both. Malaga has urban and nearby beaches. You can relax, sunbathe, do water sports or eat sardine skewers. But it also has natural parks and mountains. You can breathe fresh air, go hiking, visit caves or see fauna and flora. In addition, Malaga has a lot of history and culture. You can learn about the legacy of Phoenicians, Romans, Arabs and Christians. And the art of Picasso, its most illustrious son.
In this article we are going to recommend some places to stay or visit in Malaga, depending on whether you prefer the beach or the countryside. With a rental car, you can easily and comfortably move around the city and its surroundings. Malaga has a very varied hotel offer, from luxury hotels to budget hostels, as well as tourist apartments and rural houses. It all depends on your budget, your preferences and the type of experience you are looking for.
Visit the Beach in Malaga
If you want to discover some of the most beautiful corners of the Andalusian coast, we suggest some car routes that will surprise you with their beauty and variety.
- Route to Tarifa: This route takes you from Malaga to Europe’s southernmost point, where the Mediterranean and Atlantic meet. Admire stunning views of the Strait of Gibraltar, white sandy beaches, and Tarifa’s surfer atmosphere. Additionally, visit the natural park of the Strait to spot dolphins and whales or Guzmán el Bueno castle, a medieval fortress with rich history. The distance between Malaga and Tarifa is about 160 kilometres, taking about two hours on the AP-7 motorway and N-340 road. You can check the car route here: https://goo.gl/maps/eYZznbnzp7GmkSiq6
- Route to Maro beaches in Nerja: this route will take you to one of the most picturesque towns on the Costa del Sol, Nerja. There you can enjoy its famous caves, where prehistoric remains and cave paintings have been found, or its balcony of Europe, a viewpoint with spectacular views of the sea. But the best thing about Nerja is its beaches, especially those of Maro, a group of virgin coves surrounded by cliffs and vegetation. You can access them by trails or by sea, by kayak or boat. The distance between Malaga and Nerja is about 50 kilometres and it takes about 45 minutes on the A-7 motorway. Check out the car route here: https://goo.gl/maps/Wc1Xtg38Qt252GxR7
- Route to Almería coves: this route will take you from Malaga to the neighbouring province of Almería, where you can discover some of the wildest and most spectacular coves in the Mediterranean. You can explore the natural park of Cabo de Gata-Níjar, where you will find coves such as Los Muertos, El Plomo or San Pedro, all with crystal clear waters and seabeds full of life. You can also visit the lighthouse at Cabo de Gata, the fishing village of San José or San Felipe castle. The distance between Malaga and Almería is about 200 kilometres and it takes about two and a half hours on the A-7 motorway. You can check out the car route to Almería here: https://goo.gl/maps/Prdf5W2gqiqQC6AX9
These are just some of the car routes you can take from Malaga to go to the beach, but there are many more.
If you prefer the beach
You can stay in the centre of Malaga, where you will have nearby beaches such as La Malagueta, La Caleta or Pedregalejo. You can also visit the historic centre, where you will find the cathedral, the Roman theatre, the Alcazaba or the Picasso museum. Another option is to stay in one of the coastal towns near Malaga, such as Torremolinos, Benalmádena, Fuengirola or Marbella. There you can enjoy wider and quieter beaches, as well as a great offer of leisure and gastronomy. You can also visit places such as Benalmádena marina, Sohail castle or Marbella old town.
If you are looking for a quiet place near the beach, you can consider Mijas Costa, Casares or Manilva among other destinations.
Visit the Countryside in Malaga
- Route to Cabo de Gata: this route will take you to discover the first maritime-terrestrial park in Spain, located in the province of Almería. There you can see its impressive volcanic cliffs, its virgin beaches, its salt flats, its reefs and its seabeds. You can also visit the lighthouse at Cabo de Gata, the fishing village of San José or San Felipe castle. It is an ideal route for those who want to combine sea and mountain, and for those who like active and ecological tourism. You can check out the route by visiting the previous link, where we talk in depth about Cabo de Gata.
- Route to the natural park of the Sierras de Tejeda, Almijara and Alhama: This route takes you to explore one of Andalusia’s largest and most beautiful natural parks, extending through Malaga and Granada. Enjoy pine, oak, and chestnut forests, rivers, waterfalls, caves, chasms, and snow-capped peaks in winter. Visit beautiful towns like Frigiliana, Nerja, Cómpeta, or Alhama de Granada. It’s perfect for those seeking fresh air and mountain landscapes.
- Route to the Serranía de Ronda: this route will take you to discover one of the most emblematic and picturesque regions of the province of Malaga, the Serranía de Ronda. There you can contemplate its mountain landscapes, its valleys and gorges, its white villages and its historical and cultural heritage. In addition, you can visit the city of Ronda, one of the oldest and most beautiful in Spain, famous for its bridge over the Tajo river, its bullring or its old town. It is an ideal route for those who want to discover the essence and charm of Andalusia.
There are many other car routes you can take from Malaga to go to the countryside and mountain area, these are just some of the most recommended. We encourage you to discover them for yourself and to enjoy the nature and culture of Andalusia.
If you prefer the countryside and nature
You can stay in one of the white villages of the sierra, such as Ronda, Antequera, Frigiliana or Cómpeta. There you can enjoy the rural charm, traditional architecture and local cuisine. You can also visit places such as the new bridge of Ronda, the Torcal de Antequera, the caves of Nerja or the natural park of the Sierras de Tejeda, Almijara and Alhama.
Another option is to stay in the natural park of Cabo de Gata-Níjar, in the neighbouring province of Almería. There you can see its impressive volcanic cliffs, its virgin beaches, its salt flats, its reefs and its seabeds.
Beach or countryside: Pros and Cons
Many people hesitate between going to the beach or to the mountain or countryside when planning their holidays. What factors influence this decision? What are the benefits of each option?
- The choice between beach or countryside depends on several factors. For example: climate, budget, time, preferences, activities, company, health, etc. If it’s hot, you might prefer the beach; if you like nature, you might choose the countryisde. If you want to do water sports, you might go to the beach. If you’re going with children, you might decide based on what they prefer. If you have a health problem, you might go to either the beach or the countryside depending on what suits you best.
- Each option has its benefits and drawbacks. The beach offers the possibility to relax, sunbathe, swim, do water sports, meet new people, enjoy marine cuisine, etc. But it also has its disadvantages such as excessive heat and risk of sunburns. The countryside offers the possibility to breathe fresh air, go hiking, visit caves, admire fauna and flora, taste typical food etc. But it also has its drawbacks such as insects, allergies or the need for an efficient means of transport.
- The important thing is that each person chooses what they like and what suits them best according to their circumstances and expectations. There is no single or correct answer to this question. What may be paradise for some may be hell for others. What counts is that you enjoy your holidays to the fullest and come back with good memories and renewed energy.
Choose Malaga and enjoy beach and countryside
In Malaga you can enjoy both. If you stay in this city and decide to rent a car at Malaga airport, you will have access to the best beaches and the most impressive natural parks. In addition, you can visit the typical white villages of Andalusia, full of charm, gastronomy and tradition. Don’t miss the opportunity to experience an unforgettable holiday with us. We are waiting for you!