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Day Trips From Malaga
27 Day Trips From Malaga

27 Day Trips From Malaga:
Coastal getaways, historic cities, mountain villages & more!

Day Trips From Malaga

Ah, Malaga, the sun-drenched jewel of the Costa del Sol! This vibrant Andalucian city is not only a popular holiday destination, but also the perfect starting point for some truly wonderful day trips.

Having lived and traveled in Malaga for the past 20 years, I have discovered some pretty amazing places to visit. The city of Malaga itself is spectacular and one of my favorite cities in Europe, but there is so much more for you to see!

The province of Málaga and the neighboring province of Granada are lucky enough to be located right in the middle of Andalucia (the most popular and visited region in Spain). As such, there is really no end to the number of truly amazing places to visit and all within easy reach... from quaint coastal villages to mountain retreats and spectacular natural wonders. We detail them all here!

If you are planning to visit Malaga, be sure to read "27 truly unforgettable day trips from Malaga"... before you go.

We've been to them all and have included only those places that are absolutely worth your time.


First up... Historic Cities & Towns

As mentioned above, we consider Malaga to be one of the most beautiful and fascinating cities in continental Europe. But one of the things that makes Malaga even more impressive is it's proximity to so many other world famous and historic cities like Cordoba, Seville, Cadiz... and many others.

These spectacular cities are all within one to two hours drive from the city of Malaga. You could easily create a Spain itinerary just by visiting Andalucia's most famous cities... or you could visit one or two of the cities below and combine that with some of the smaller coastal villages and natural monuments on our list.


1

Ronda

Ronda is not a large city, but it is one of the most popular and visited towns in Málaga. Located just 100 kilometers northwest of the city, this charming hilltop town is known for its dramatic cliffs, delicious wines, and scenic countryside. It is also known as the birthplace of modern bullfighting!

While there, be sure to walk across the Puente Nuevo, the stone bridge that spans the El Tajo gorge and one of Ronda's most famous landmarks. The views of the valley are stunning, and there's also a wonderful path down to the bottom if you're feeling adventurous.

Day Trips From Malaga - Ronda

Top Sights:

  • Puente Nuevo: The awe-inspiring 18th century bridge that connects Ronda's old and new towns, overlooking the El Tajo ravine. Trust me, it's a sight you'll never forget!

  • Plaza de Toros: One of the oldest and most picturesque bullfighting arenas in Spain. Don't miss the bullfighting museum inside.

  • Old Town (Casco Antiguo): The magic of Ronda lies in its historic quarter. Wander through its narrow, cobbled streets and you will discover centuries-old palaces, churches and quaint plazas.

Travel Time: A day trip to Ronda is easy...it is only 1 hour and 20 minutes by car from Malaga. This trip can also be combined with a visit to the other "Pueblos Blancos", like Grazalema, Setenil de las Bodegas, and / or Olvera.



2

Granada

We live about 50 minutes south of the city of Granada, so we visit often...and love it! It's an incredible city nestled at the foot of the snow-capped Sierra Nevada mountains (another area we recommend).

Granada is best known for its famous Alhambra Palace, flamenco dancing, and the charm of its historic Moorish quarter (the Albayzin). If you're visiting Spain, Granada is a must! You can come for a day or easily spend an entire weekend exploring this amazing city.

Day Trips From Malaga - Granada

Top Sights:

  • Alhambra: A world-famous palace and fortress complex that is a reminder of Granada's Moorish heritage. It has intricate Arabic details, lush gardens and stunning views of the Sierra Nevada mountains. The Alhambra is a World Heritage Site and a bucket list destination! Skip the Lines Ticket!

  • Albayzin: Granada's old Moorish quarter is a maze of narrow streets, lively plazas, boutiques, teahouses, and views of the Alhambra Palace.

  • The Generalife: Beautifully landscaped gardens and residence that once served as the summer palace of the Nasrid kings. It's the perfect place to relax and soak up the magical atmosphere of Granada.

Travel Time: This beautiful city is only 1 hour and 30 minutes from Malaga by car. There is also a train connection that takes about the same amount of time. Another option is to take an organized day trip from Malaga to Granada.



3

Cordoba

Although I've only been to Cordoba twice, I can promise you that it's a city not to be missed. It is considered one of the most spectacular and historic cities in Spain.

Three cultures have intermingled in Cordoba for centuries (the Christians, Muslims, and Jews), each leaving its own unique mark...which you will be able to experience firsthand by visiting one of its FOUR (4) UNESCO World Heritage Sites: the Mezquita-Cathedral, Medina Azahara, the magnificent Alcazar de los Reyes Cristianos (Alcazar of the Christian Kings), and the Fiesta de los Patios (Festival of the Patios).

FACT: Cordoba is the city with the MOST UNESCO World Heritage Sites in the world!

During the Fiesta de los Patios, held in early May, locals decorate their patios with literally thousands of overflowing flowerpots for the public to admire. Visitors can vote for their favorite patio to win the title of "Most Beautiful Patio in Cordoba".

Day Trips From Malaga - Cordoba

Top Sights:

  • Mezquita-Cathedral: An architectural marvel and breathtaking blend of Islamic and Christian elements, with its distinctive red and white arches and a tranquil courtyard full of orange blossoms. Priority Access Ticket - No Lines!

  • Alcazar de los Reyes Cristianos: Home to former Christian royalty, this magnificent fortress and palace has beautifully landscaped gardens from which to enjoy breathtaking views of the city. Guided Tour - No Lines!

  • Roman Bridge: A nice thing to do in the evening is to take a walk across the city's ancient Roman bridge. It holds countless stories from the days when Cordoba was a thriving Roman city.

Travel Time: With a travel time of just 1 hour and 50 minutes by car, Cordoba is a must do day trip from Malaga (cheap car rentals).



4

Seville

Seville is the furthest day trip from Malaga on our list (2 hours and 25 minutes), but it's definitely one worth making. This city is the pure essence of Andalucia, where vibrant colors, intoxicating scents, and the sounds of flamenco fill the air.

As the capital of Andalucia, Seville will impress you with its grand Alcazar Palace, the soaring La Giralda Tower, and the picturesque Plaza de España. You'll soon understand why this city has long been considered the beating heart ❤️ of southern Spain.

Wondering what to do in Seville? Book a flamenco or tapas tour! This beautiful city is best known for its flamenco tablaos (venues for flamenco performances), and experiencing flamenco here is often considered more authentic due to the city's deep historical ties to the art form.

You can also visit some of Andalucia's best tapas bars, where you can sample a variety of local dishes and drinks.

These tours are a fantastic way to experience two of the most iconic aspects of Sevillian culture. They are popular with tourists, so be sure to book in advance as they can fill up quickly, especially during peak tourist seasons.

Day Trips From Malaga - Seville

Top Sights:

  • Alcazar: This is Seville's "top sight"! A royal palace that some say is an architectural masterpiece that combines Moorish, Gothic and Renaissance influences. It is truly stunning! Guided Tour - No Lines!

  • La Giralda: This magnificent tower was once a minaret and is now the bell tower of the Seville Cathedral. Climb to the top for a breathtaking panoramic view of the city. Cathedral and Giralda: Skip-the-Line Ticket

  • Plaza de España: This elegant square with its beautiful ceramic tiles, bridges and fountains is located in the heart of the city. It's the perfect place to relax, people-watch, and soak up Seville's magical atmosphere.

Travel Time: Seville is 2 hours and 25 minutes by car from Malaga (cheap car rentals). You can also take a 1 hour and 55 minute train, but it will cost you 47.00 euros (each way). The fastest bus is 2 hours and 45 minutes (20.00 euros each way). (book trains) (book buses)



5

Cadiz

Another vibrant, old-world Andalucian city you have to add to your list is Cadiz. It's one of the greats of Spain and is included in most Andalucian itineraries.

Cadiz is located on the "Gulf of Cadiz", a wide bay along the Atlantic coast in the southwesternmost part of the Iberian Peninsula. The bay stretches about 200 miles (320 km) from Portugal to Gibraltar and is best known for its wide sandy beaches.

Cadiz is also famous for being the city where Christopher Columbus set sail to discover the New World. He actually left from a small village next to Cadiz called Santa Maria, which was the name of one of his boats. Remember the Pinta, Nina & Santa Maria?

You can take a ferry over to Santa Maria while you're here, it's another beautiful area to explore.

Day Trips From Malaga - Cadiz

Top Sights:

  • Cádiz Cathedral: A magnificent baroque-neoclassical cathedral, also known as the Cathedral of Santa Cruz, located in the heart of the old quarter. It was built over a period of 116 years and is particularly famous for its golden dome that sparkles in the afternoon sun.

  • La Caleta Beach: Located between two castles, San Sebastián and Santa Catalina, La Caleta Beach is a beautiful and very popular beach in Cádiz. It's close to the old town and is included in the city's Hop-On Hop-Off bus tour.

  • Torre Tavira: An 18th century watchtower located at the highest point in Cadiz. You will find a camera obscura inside that projects panoramic views of the city onto a large screen.

Travel Time: Cadiz is 2 hours and 33 minutes by car from Malaga (cheap car rentals). You can get there by train but the journey is not direct and will take you much longer, like 4.5 hours.

If you visit Seville first, and then take the train from there to Cadiz, the trip will take you 1 hour and 45 minutes. (book trains)



Day Trips from Malaga ➜ Coastal Getaways

The Costa del Sol is known all over the world, and the city of Malaga sits right in the heart of it, making each of these next towns an easy choice for a day trip from Malaga. While here, make sure you take the time to stroll along its many wide sandy beaches and enjoy a dip in the crystal clear waters of the Mediterranean.

We live on the eastern end of the Costa del Sol in a sunny area called the Costa Tropical (another beautiful destination you must visit!), so we have visited all of these next amazing destinations many times... they are in our opinion the most beautiful villages on the Costa del Sol.


6

Nerja

The first town on our list of coastal villages is Nerja. We will start at the eastern end of the Costa del Sol and work our way towards the west.

Nerja is a picturesque seaside town that will steal your heart! It is nestled at the farthest point on the eastern coast of the province of Malaga. Nerja's pretty beaches, lively plazas and charming old town create a haven of relaxation and charm that you simply have to experience.

From the world famous Nerja Caves to its vibrant local markets and cafes, Nerja is a picture-perfect place to stop and relax on your next Spanish holiday.

Day Trips From Malaga - Nerja

Top Sights:

  • Balcon de Europa: Take in the breathtaking views from this iconic promenade, perched atop a cliff overlooking the Mediterranean. It's the perfect spot to soak in the beauty of Nerja and its stunning coastline.

  • The Nerja Caves: Journey into the depths of these spectacular caves, a subterranean wonderland filled with awe-inspiring stalactites and stalagmites. They are so amazing they make the Guinness Book of World Records! Skip the Lines Ticket!

  • Burriana Beach: Enjoy the crystal clear waters of this popular beach where you can relax on its warm golden sands or take a kayaking tour along Nerja's stunning coastal nature reserve.

Travel Time: You're in luck! This coastal getaway is only 55 minutes from Malaga (cheap car rentals). You can also get a bus for 5.00 euros that takes 1 hour and 30-minutes. (book buses)

Also read: Getting from Malaga to Nerja: The Ultimate Stress Free Guide.



7

Frigiliana

From Nerja, head north into the hills and you will find the charming mountain village of Frigiliana. It's a quick 10 minute drive from the coast, with whitewashed houses adorned with vibrant flowers, charming plazas and winding cobblestone streets.

Frigiliana is known as one of Spain's "Most Beautiful Villages" and is just oozing with quaint Andalucian charm. Frigiliana Old Town Photos

Day Trips From Malaga - Frigiliana

Top Sights:

  • Old Town: The timeless beauty of Frigiliana's old town, with its maze of narrow streets, hidden courtyards and ancient churches, is one of its most outstanding features.

  • Church of San Antonio de Padua: A beautiful 16th century church with a serene atmosphere and beautiful architecture.

  • Museo Arqueológico de Frigiliana: Learn about the history of Frigiliana in this small but fascinating museum filled with impressive archaeological finds.

Travel Time: Frigiliana is just a 1-hour drive from Malaga, and also a 15 minute drive from Nerja. Combine the two!



8

The Costa Tropical

The last coastal destination to the east of Malaga, and one definitely worth mentioning because it's one of our favorites (which is why we live here), is the Costa Tropical. You will find it on the southern coast of Spain in the province of Granada.

This pretty (and less touristy) area is quiet compared to its more famous neighbor, the Costa del Sol, and is known for its unique microclimate. It is shielded by the Sierra Nevada mountains, creating a subtropical paradise where you can find exotic fruits like mangoes and avocados that are not typically found in other parts of Spain.

The Costa Tropical is also known for its charming beaches, quaint coastal towns like Almuñécar, La Herradura and Salobreña, and historical sites such as its ancient Moorish castle and Roman aqueducts. This area, with its less commercialized and quieter atmosphere, is perfect for those looking to experience the authentic Andalucian lifestyle.

Day Trips From Malaga - Costa Tropical

Travel Time: This authentic Andalucian destination is only 50 minutes by car from Malaga. Its most well-known area is about 45 kilometers (or 27 miles) long and stretches from the town of Nerja in the west to Motril in the east. It is notable for its rugged coastline where the Sierra Nevada mountains meet the Mediterranean Sea and kayaking and scuba diving are the most popular activities here.



9

Mijas Pueblo

Nestled in the hills above the shimmering waters of the Mediterranean Sea, Mijas Pueblo is an idyllic destination for a day trip, especially if you're staying in or near Málaga.

Just a 30-minute drive from the city going west, Mijas Pueblo is known for its whitewashed buildings adorned with vibrant flower pots that exudes a peaceful old-world charm.

Stroll through the village's colorful streets, explore quaint shops selling local crafts and artisan products, enjoy traditional Spanish tapas at one of the many outdoor cafes or go on a Quad Tour Adventure through the Sierra de Mijas.

You can also stop and say hello to one of Mijas' famous donkeys (we recommend you don't ride them, but give them a cuddle). They will be waiting for you next to the tourist office.

Day Trips From Malaga - Mijas Pueblo

Top Sights:

  • Mirador de la Muralla: Take in the breathtaking views of the Mediterranean Sea and the surrounding landscape from this scenic lookout.

  • Chapel of the Virgen of the Rock: A chapel, carved directly into the rock, and honoring the patron saint of Mijas is one of its most distinctive and symbolic monuments.

  • Plaza de Toros: Explore Mijas's historic bullring, an impressive structure that has stood witness to the passions and traditions of the village for over a century.

Travel Time: Mijas Pueblo is a 30-minute drive from Malaga, making it one of the easiest day trips from Malaga on our list.



10

Marbella

Our next destination on the TOP Day Trips from Malaga is Marbella, the most glamorous of all the Andalucian cities, known for its high-end resorts, luxury cars and yachts, and top fashion brands. If you enjoy the glitz and glamour of luxury living, Marbella is a must-see destination!

But, Marbella is not all glitz and glamour, it has still retained its old Spanish charm with a lovely old quarter full of quaint squares and trendy boutiques. While you're in town, explore the historic center of Marbella, the Puerto Banus Marina, and take a sailing trip with dolphin watching. We take our kids every year to see the "fast" cars and opulent yachts...and then quickly head out of town back to our more rustic and relaxed corner of paradise (La Herradura).

If you are into parties, great food, clubs and a taste of the "high" life...you should at least spend a little time in Marbella.

Day Trips From Malaga - Marbella

Top Sights:

  • Old Town (Casco Antiguo): Soak up the charm of Marbella's historic quarter as you stroll through narrow, flower-lined streets, discovering quaint plazas and well-preserved remnants of the city's ancient wall.

  • Puerto Banús Marina: Stroll along the waterfront and admire the opulent yachts, upscale boutiques and lively atmosphere of this world-famous Costa del Sol marina.

  • Playa de la Fontanilla: Unwind on Marbella's most popular beach, where the gentle Mediterranean waves invite you to relax and let the cares of the world drift away.

Travel Time: This coastal getaway is only a 45 minute drive from Malaga, making it a great day trip that will add a touch of glamour to your Andalucian adventure. There is also a bus available from Malaga to Marbella. (book buses)



11

Estepona

Estepona is a lovely seaside village that offers a more relaxed atmosphere than its glamorous neighbor (Marbella). With its picturesque old town, beautiful beaches and inviting marina, Estepona is a charming destination that will leave a lasting impression. The old town is best known for its Orchid House, the massive murals painted on the buildings around town, the seaside promenade, and the charming flower-filled plazas and alleyways that can be explored.

You could easily make a wonderful weekend excursion by visiting both Marbella and Estepona, they are only 10 minutes apart. You will love the coastal path that runs from one end of Marbella to the western end of Estepona! Most hotels along this part of the Costa del Sol rent bicycles, so a fun day out would be to ride up and down this promenade, relax on Estepona's beaches, visit the marinas (both towns have one) and enjoy a leisurely meal along the sea front.

The most popular activities are dolphin watching and visiting the Selwo Aventura Park to see the animals.

Day Trips From Malaga - Estepona

Top Sights:

  • Old Town (Casco Antiguo): Stroll through the beautiful streets of Estepona's historic center, where you'll discover charming plazas with gurgling fountains and traditional whitewashed buildings, like in the Plaza de las Flores above.

  • Estepona Marina: Enjoy a leisurely walk along the waterfront near Estepona's cozy marina, where you can admire the boats, indulge in some delicious local cuisine, and savor the town's relaxed atmosphere.

  • Playa de la Rada: Estepona's longest beach, which runs the entire length of the town, has a long winding promenade, wonderful seafood restaurants and is the perfect place to spend the day.

Travel Time: Estepona is just 1 hour by car from Malaga, making it a lovely and easy day trip. Combine Marbella and make it a weekend adventure!



12

Casares

Perched on a lush hilltop with spectacular views, an ancient castle and a warm, welcoming atmosphere, Casares is another highlight of the Costa del Sol.

As you approach Casares, you'll be greeted by the striking image of white houses clinging to a hillside crowned by an ancient Moorish castle. Strolling through its narrow, winding streets, you will notice a mix of Moorish and traditional Andalusian styles, with charming plazas and small cafes where you can enjoy some typical Spanish dishes.

The village's main attractions are the ruins of the medieval castle, with panoramic views of the surrounding countryside, and the home of Blas Infante, considered the father of Andalusian nationalism.

Day Trips From Malaga - Casares

Top Sights:

  • Casares Castle: Explore the ruins of this ancient fortress, where the centuries-old walls offer sweeping views of the village and the surrounding countryside.

  • Plaza de España: Soak up the warmth of the Andalucian sun in this lively village square.

  • Iglesia de la Encarnación: A 16th-century church with an intricate Baroque altar.

Travel Time: This captivating village is just a 1.5-hour drive, making it a perfect day trip from Malaga. It is just a 25-minute drive from Estepona.


13

Gibraltar

Gibraltar stands at the crossroads of two continents, where the majesty of Europe meets the mystery of Africa, all in the shadow of a mighty rock (426 meters high) that has fascinated travelers for centuries.

This day trip from Malaga will take you to the United Kingdom! But while it's officially a British Overseas Territory, Gibraltar is actually located at the southern tip of the Iberian Peninsula. It serves as the gateway to the Mediterranean Sea and as such has been fought over for centuries. The Strait of Gibraltar is one of the busiest shipping lanes in the world!

The island of Gibraltar is small and can easily be seen in a day, but despite its size it has a diverse culture that blends British, Spanish and other Mediterranean influences. The official language is English, but many residents are bilingual and also speak Spanish and Llanito, a unique local dialect that combines elements of Andalucian Spanish and British English.

Day Trips From Malaga - Gibraltar

Top Sights:

  • The Rock of Gibraltar: Take a cable car to the top of this legendary limestone monument, and you'll be rewarded with breathtaking views of the Mediterranean Sea, the Atlantic Ocean, and the coastlines of Europe and Africa. You will meet the famous Gibraltar monkeys... and maybe see a dolphin or two!

  • St. Michael's Cave: A fascinating underground chamber filled with stalactite and stalagmite formations where you can admire the breathtaking beauty of Gibraltar's natural wonders.

  • Main Street: Gibraltar's lively shopping area where you can shop, dine and enjoy the unique blend of British and Mediterranean flavors.

Gibraltar Monkey, UK Rock of Gibraltar, UK

Travel Time: This interesting destination is only 1 hour and 50 minutes by car from Malaga. Remember! Gibraltar is a territory of the United Kingdom, to enter you will have to go through customs and show a valid passport.



14

Tarifa

Heading west (and the furthest coastal town on our list) is the village of Tarifa. We love this place because it is located right on the coast where the winds of the Mediterranean and the Atlantic meet, creating the perfect conditions for both kitesurfing and windsurfing.

Tarifa is a vibrant town on the southernmost tip of Spain, in the province of Cadiz, with stunning beaches, huge white sand dunes, the historic old town, and magnificent natural surroundings. A visit to Tarifa promises a day full of excitement and adventure.

You could combine this trip with a visit to Gibraltar (53 minutes away) and make it a weekend getaway! Or, if you're feeling adventurous, you can take a ferry to the Moroccan city of Tangier (1 hour).

Day Trips From Malaga - Tarifa

Top Sights:

  • Playa de Bolonia: Unwind on this pristine beach, where the clear blue waters of the Atlantic invite you to take a refreshing dip or try your hand at kitesurfing and windsurfing.

  • Old Town (Casco Antiguo): Explore the charming streets of Tarifa's historic center, where you'll discover a labyrinth of narrow alleys, quaint plazas, and historic sites.

  • Punta Paloma: Immerse yourself in the beauty of Tarifa's natural surroundings as you venture to this stunning coastal area, offering breathtaking views of the ocean and the nearby sand dunes.

Day Trips From Malaga - Tarifa Sand Dunes

Travel Time: This coastal paradise is just 1 hour and 45 minutes by car from Malaga, making it an adventurous day trip that will add some excitement to your Andalucian adventure. Combine this day trip with Gibraltar (45 minutes from Tarifa to the border) and make a weekend of it!



Day Trips from Malaga ➜ Natural Wonders

Now let's venture into the heart of Andalucia's spectacular landscapes, where the forces of nature have created breathtaking natural wonders that will leave you speechless.

From the exhilarating heights of the Caminito del Rey to the serene beauty of the Sierra de las Nieves, these stunning monuments invite you to step outside the city limits and explore Malaga's wild side. With each of these next day trips from Malaga, you'll soon discover a new and unexpected part of southern Spain.


15

The Caminito del Rey

Once known as the most dangerous trail in the world, the Caminito del Rey has been transformed into one of Spain's most popular tourist attractions, while remaining safe for all ages!

I have personally walked the Camino five times and highly recommend it. The hike takes about 3.5 hours and is of medium to low difficulty as most of it is downhill. I always pack a picnic and stop about halfway to rest and enjoy the beautiful views of the canyon and surrounding pine forest.

So exactly what is the Caminito del Rey? It is a series of trails and boardwalks high above the Chorro Gorge. It winds along the rugged cliffs with panoramic views of the canyon and river below. Those with a fear of heights, beware!

As the Caminito del Rey is one of the most visited sites in Spain, this adventure must be booked well in advance!

Day Trips From Malaga - Caminito del Rey

Top Sights:

  • Suspended Walkways: Experience the adrenaline rush of walking along the Caminito del Rey's dizzying walkways, as you take in the majestic beauty of the El Chorro Gorge from a vantage point like no other.

  • El Chorro Gorge: Marvel at the stunning natural beauty of this vast canyon, where the turquoise waters of the Guadalhorce River carve their way through the dramatic limestone cliffs.

  • Álora, Ardales & Bobastro: After completing the Caminito del Rey, consider a visit to the nearby towns of Álora and Ardales, where you can relax and unwind amidst their charming streets and whitewashed houses. The ruins of Bobastro are also a short 5 minute drive from the Caminito.

Travel Time: Ready to take on the challenge of the Caminito del Rey? This popular adventure is just 1 hour by car from Malaga.



16

El Torcal de Antequera

Another of our favorite hikes is in El Torcal de Antequera, a surreal world of ancient stone where the forces of nature have shaped a landscape that defies the imagination.

This UNESCO World Heritage Site is a breathtaking karstic creation that will make you appreciate the incredible power and beauty of the earth.

Take some time to wander through its maze of towering limestone columns, whimsical shapes and hidden pathways, and see if you can spot one of the shy Iberian ibex watching you curiously from above.

There are three hikes to choose from and they are all relatively easy. It's more about seeing this fantastical place than undertaking a challenging hike.

Day Trips From Malaga - El Torcal de Antequera

Top Sights:

  • Limestone Formations: Towering limestone columns and unusual shapes invite you to explore and discover the hidden secrets of this magical place.

  • Visitor Center: An informative visitor center where you can learn about the geology, flora and fauna of this unique natural park.

  • Walking Trails: For a fascinating glimpse into the formation of a karstic landscape, follow its three well-marked trails that wind through the park.

Travel Time: El Torcal de Antequera is just 1 hour by car, making it a wonderful day trip from Malaga that will transport you to another world.



17

Antequera Dolmens

The Antequera Dolmens site is another UNESCO World Heritage Site, it's just 27 minutes away from El Torcal de Antequera and together they are known as the "Antequera Dolmens Ensemble". We recommend staying in Antequera, it's a wonderful city to explore.

The "Antequera Dolmens Site" consists of three main structures: the Menga Dolmen, the Viera Dolmen, and the Tholos of El Romeral. They are megalithic tombs from the Neolithic and Copper Age (4000 and 3000 B.C.) and are among the most remarkable and well-preserved examples in Europe.

These dolmens are not only architectural marvels, but also hold significant astronomical alignments. The Menga Dolmen is aligned with the summer solstice, suggesting that the builders had a sophisticated knowledge of astronomy. Plus, the sites are located near two other natural rock formations, Peña de los Enamorados (Lovers' Rock) and El Torcal, which gives you a number of interesting sights to see in the area on this day trip from Malaga.

Day Trips From Malaga - Antequera Dolmens

Top Sights:

  • Menga Dolmen: One of the largest and most impressive megalithic tombs in Europe.

  • Viera Dolmen: A dolmen with a long corridor and perfectly aligned stones that show the sophisticated knowledge and skill of the ancient people who built it.

  • Tholos de El Romeral: A remarkably well-preserved burial chamber with a false dome.

Travel Time: Eager to unlock the secrets of the Antequera Dolmens? This fascinating day trip from Malaga is just 45-minutes by car.



18

The Sierra de las Nieves National Park

Located in the heart of the Serranía de Ronda in Málaga, the Sierra de las Nieves National Park is known for its exceptional biodiversity and unique geological features. The park is a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve and is known for its pristine forests, tranquil lakes and magnificent wildlife. It also features deep ravines, steep cliffs and dramatic limestone formations, including Torrecilla Peak, the highest point in the range at 1,919 meters.

Nearby villages to explore include Ronda, known for its stunning bridge (Puente Nuevo), Yunquera, El Burgo and Tolox, all nestled in the mountains with access to wonderful hiking trails, fresh mountain air and breathtaking views.

Day Trips From Malaga - Sierra de las Nieves

Top Sights:

  • Hiking Trails: Explore the numerous hiking trails that crisscross the park, leading you through enchanting forests, alongside sparkling lakes, and to the summit of the park's majestic peaks.

  • La Cañada de las Animas: Discover the beauty of this green valley, where the crystal-clear waters of a mountain stream flow through a landscape filled with flora and fauna unique to the park.

  • Torrecilla Peak: Conquer the highest point in the Sierra de las Nieves National Park, where the panoramic views from the summit will take your breath away.

Travel Time: Located just 1 hour and 30 minutes by car from Malaga, this stunning natural park is the perfect day trip to immerse yourself in the untamed beauty of the Andalucian wilderness.



19

The Nerja Caves

Day Trips From Malaga - Nerja Caves

These next few locations are all in or near the village of Nerja. So if you're interested in any of these amazing destinations, we recommend staying in Nerja for a long weekend or even longer. There is so much to see in the area!

The Nerja Caves are one of the MOST visited sites in Málaga. They are so unique that they are listed in the Guinness Book of World Records and are truly impressive.

A tour of the caves will take you about 2 hours unless you get a private tour and is something we do every year with our kids. They love it and it is a great way to escape the summer heat!

Travel Time: This fun day trip from Malaga is just 50-minutes by car.


20

Maro-Cerro Gordo Cliffs

Day Trips From Malaga - Maro-Cerro Gordo Cliffs

Another place to get away from the hustle and bustle of Malaga is to visit the Maro-Cerro Gordo Cliffs Nature Reserve, located along the picturesque coastline of Nerja and Maro. These cliffs are famous for their stunning natural beauty and wonderful marine life. The area is a paradise for nature lovers and for those who enjoy kayaking and paddle boarding... offering up close views of the cliffs, secluded coves, beaches and hidden waterfalls.

Snorkeling and scuba diving are also popular here, as the nearby village of La Herradura is a 4-star dive resort! The nature reserve extends beneath the surface of the Mediterranean Sea and is full of rich marine life.

The Maro cliffs are also a great place for hiking, with trails offering panoramic views of the sea and surrounding mountains. Guided boat tours are also available to explore the coastline and its caves, some of which are only accessible by sea.

Travel Time: This day trip from Malaga is just 55-minutes by car.


21

Rio Chillar Walk

Day Trips From Malaga - Rio Chillar

As someone who has lived in the area for years, I've had the pleasure of taking my family on the Rio Chillar walk several times. I highly recommend it as an excellent day trip from Malaga.

The route follows the Chillar River through a series of narrow canyons and clear natural pools. What makes it so enjoyable is the unique experience of walking through the water while surrounded by the towering canyon walls.

It's a fun adventure and a fantastic way to beat the summer heat. It's also a perfect outing for families or anyone looking to escape the city and immerse themselves in nature.

The trail is linear, meaning you return the same way you came, so you can hike as long as you want. Typically, the trail takes about 3 hours to complete.

Travel Time: This day trip from Malaga is also located in Nerja and is just 50-minutes by car.


22

Laguna de Fuente de Piedra

Day Trips From Malaga - Laguna de Fuente de Piedra

Laguna de Fuente de Piedra is about an hour's drive from the city of Málaga, making it an ideal day trip destination.

The lagoon itself is one of the largest natural salt water lakes in Spain and is most famous for its flamingo population. It's a breathtaking sight, especially during the breeding season when thousands of bright pink flamingos gather here. The best time to visit is between April and May when the flamingos are most likely to be nesting.

There are also several trails around the lagoon that make it easier to view the flamingos.

Combine this trip with a visit to Antequera, just 25 minutes away! You can explore the old streets of the city and visit the Alcazaba. The Torcal Natural Park is also a short distance away.

Travel Time: This magical day trip from Malaga is just 56-minutes by car.


23

Sierra de Grazalema Natural Park

Day Trips From Malaga - Sierra de Grazalema Natural Park

As someone who appreciates the beauty of nature and outdoor adventures, I highly recommend a visit to the Sierra de Grazalema Natural Park. Located in the provinces of Cádiz and Málaga, it's not very far from the city of Málaga, about a one-hour and 30-minute drive, which makes it feasible for a day trip, although spending a couple of days there would allow you to fully appreciate the area.

The Sierra de Grazalema is a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve and is known for its stunning limestone landscapes, deep canyons and lush greenery, thanks to being one of the rainiest places in Spain.

One of the main reasons to visit the area is the many hiking trails. The Garganta Verde gorge and the trail to Pico del Torreón (the highest peak in the park) are amazing. The park also has great rock climbing, caving, and bird watching.

Besides its natural beauty, the park is dotted with charming white villages like Ronda, Grazalema and Zahara de la Sierra. I will get into these in more detail below...

Travel Time: This stunning natural park is just 1 hr 29 min by car from Malaga.


Famous Pueblos Blancos

Heading north from Malaga (in the province of Cadiz) you will find a series of charming villages known as the Pueblos Blancos. These villages are the perfect retreat from the bustling Costa del Sol. Setenil de las Bodegas, Zahara de la Sierra and Grazalema are ideally located for a day trip from Malaga or you could stay for the weekend and explore them all!

We have spent numerous weekends exploring this area and I even love driving between the villages as the scenery is absolutely stunning... dotted with sparkling turquoise lakes and rolling farmland.


24

Setenil de las Bodegas

Setenil de las Bodegas is a fascinating destination for a day trip from Málaga. Located about 1.5 hours from Málaga, this village is characterized by houses and shops built directly into the overhanging cliffs.

The village's main attraction is its architecture, where houses, shops and restaurants are carved into the rock, creating an unusual and unique setting. The streets and alleys of Setenil de las Bodegas wind around and under these rock formations, with the Guadalporcún River running through the village. Roman bridges connect the two sides of the village, adding even more to its ancient charm.

Evidence of human settlement in Setenil dates back to Roman times. Its strategic location, carved into the rock, provided a natural defense against invaders.

Day Trips From Malaga - Setenil de las Bodegas

Top Sights:

  • Cave Houses: Ingenious cave dwellings that have been carved into the rock, offering a fascinating glimpse into the village's unique way of life.

  • Iglesia de la Encarnación:An unfinished 16th-century church with simple yet elegant architecture.

  • Mirador del Carmen: Take in the spectacular views of the village and the surrounding countryside from this scenic viewpoint.

Travel Time: This intriguing village is just a 1.5-hour drive from Malaga. Combine your visit with these other pueblos blancos (Zahara de la Sierra, Olvera and Grazalema) to create a wonderful weekend getaway.



25

Zahara de la Sierra

About 2 hours drive from Málaga, Zahara de la Sierra is an excellent choice for a day trip from Málaga. Zahara is characterized by its whitewashed buildings and its strategic location on a hill with commanding views of the surrounding Sierra de Grazalema Natural Park.

The village is dominated by a well-preserved Moorish castle surrounded by steep cobbled streets. It played an important role during the Muslim era and the Reconquista.

Zahara is also a popular destination for outdoor lovers. Nestled in a natural park, it's a perfect starting point for hiking, with trails that offer both challenge and stunning natural beauty. The nearby Zahara-El Gastor reservoir also adds a splash of water-based fun, where you can kayak or simply enjoy the peaceful scenery.

Day Trips From Malaga - Zahara de la Sierra

Top Sights:

  • Castle of Zahara de la Sierra: An ancient fortress with panoramic views of the surrounding countryside.

  • Church of Santa María de la Mesa: A lovely 18th-century church.

  • Mirador del Reloj: Enjoy breathtaking views of the surrounding hills, valleys and lakes from this stunning viewpoint.

Travel Time: This enchanting village is just a 2-hour drive from Malaga, combine it with the other inland pueblos blancos to create a wonderful weekend getaway.


  • Stay Longer and Explore the Area: 😻
    (We recommend staying in Ronda or Grazalema to explore Zahara de la Sierra)

26

Grazalema

Grazalema, located in the heart of the Sierra de Grazalema Natural Park and about 2 hours drive from Málaga, is a wonderful blend of beauty and culture. With its whitewashed houses and red-tiled roofs, Grazalema is one of Andalucía's famous Pueblos Blancos and a gateway to countless other adventures.

For those who love the outdoors, the surrounding Nature Reserve (a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve) is a paradise for hikers, birdwatchers and photographers. Its many trails range from leisurely strolls to challenging treks, each taking in breathtaking scenery, from rugged cliffs to lush valleys.

Grazalema itself has a rich history of wool production, and you can explore local shops selling beautifully crafted woollen blankets and clothing. The local cuisine is also a highlight, with cozy restaurants and tapas bars serving dishes that showcase the region's culinary traditions, like payoyo cheese and hearty stews.

This village has also been voted as one of Spain's "Most Beautiful Villages" and is definitely worth a visit!

Day Trips From Malaga - Grazalema

Top Sights:

  • Sierra de Grazalema Natural Park: A protected natural park with diverse landscapes, hiking trails and wildlife.

  • La Plaza de España: Grazalema's lively village square declared a "Site of Historical Importance".

  • Church of San José: A beautiful 18th century church that was once a convent and now has a beautiful garden with fountains along one side.

Travel Time: Grazalema is just a 2-hour drive from Malaga, making it a delightful day trip that will whisk you away to a world of natural beauty, warmth, and tradition.



27

Olvera

Olvera, a striking town in the province of Cadiz, is an excellent choice for those who enjoy combining exploration with outdoor activities. Located about a 1 hour 32 minutes from Málaga, Olvera is another one of Andalucia's quintessential "Pueblos Blancos" (White Villages), known for its dramatic hilltop castle and a sea of white houses that cascade down the hillside.

One of the highlights of a visit to Olvera is the Via Verde de la Sierra, a famous cycling route that is an excellent way to experience the beauty of the Andalucian countryside.

This greenway, a converted railway line, is 36 kilometers long and passes through stunning landscapes, including valleys, mountains and olive groves. It's suitable for all levels of cyclists and is also a great route for walking or horseback riding.

Bicycles can be rented at the beginning of the trail. There is also a nice hotel made out of old railroad cars.

Day Trips From Malaga - Grazalema

Travel Time: Olvera is a short 1 hr 32 minute drive from Malaga, making it a wonderful day trip that can be combined with a cycling adventure!


DayTrips From Malaga ➜ Let Your Spirit Guide You!

As you embark on your Andalucian odyssey, consider enhancing your experience by booking one of the many guided tours available... 😎 specially designed to showcase the very best that each location has to offer. With knowledgeable guides and carefully curated itineraries, you'll be able to delve deeper into the history, culture and natural beauty of each enchanting destination.

Or, if you prefer to explore at your own pace, be sure to visit each unique destination page, where you'll find in-depth information, travel tips, hotel recommendations, and inspiration to help you get the most out of your adventure.

From ancient cities and towns to idyllic coastal retreats, there is a world of wonder and magic just waiting to be discovered...

And with that, we bid you... Buen viaje! 👋

photo of Darsey and Izzy

Who are we? An American expat with over 20 years of experience living and traveling in Spain, specifically in Malaga and Granada. Darsey is a seasoned explorer of Andalucia. Drawing from decades of immersive experience, she offers deep insights into this enchanting region of Spain, including off-the-beaten path destinations, the best places to stay, and the top bucket list activities to try! More...

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