About an hour and fifteen minutes by car from Cortijo las Rosas, Malaga is the capital of the of the Costa del Sol. The Picasso Museum opened in 2003 and tourists have been flocking to this and the now beautifully refurbished birthplace of the great artist, all in the heart of the historic centre of the city.
As well as homage to the great Picasso, other historic monuments include the imposing Baroque Cathedral, popularly known as ‘La Manquita’ (One Armed Woman), referring to its rather lopsided appearance due to the missing east bell tower. High on the hill above the city is the Parador (state run hotel) of great historic importance. It was once a Moorish castle and is a wonderful place to either stay the night or have a long lunch enjoying these privileged surroundings with panoramic views over Malaga city and out across the port to sea.
Although there was much destruction in Malaga, especially during the time of the Spanish Civil War, there is still plenty of proof of the Moorish occupation. Today you can visit the Moorish Alcazaba fortress, dating back to 1065, which also now features a very interesting archaeological museum.
There are also many churches in and around the centre, of great architectural and historic interest well worth visiting.
Calle Marques de Larios which is part of Malaga centre was pedestrianised in 2002 resulting in a busy chic area with many boutiques, designer shops and classy cafes, all surrounded by beautifully restored buildings. Off Calle Larios, in the melee of tiny streets and interesting tapas bars, restaurants and even teterías (Moorish tearooms) you will find other interesting shops and also the bustling main fresh food market, Mercado Central de Atarazanas. There are also several indoor commercial shopping malls, one just behind the landmark building of the huge quality department store, El Corte Ingles.
In Malaga there is no shortage of places to eat and drink. From Michelin rated restaurants to the most humble tapas bar, there is everything in between. If you find yourself in a Malaga chiringuito (beach bar) then the traditional ‘espeto’ sardines cooked outside on a skewer is not only delicious, but also an integral part of the healthy Mediterranean diet. There are many other delicious fresh fish dishes to choose from on most menus and generally at a very reasonable price.