Planning the best day trip from Málaga may be harder than it seems. For starters, there are a ton of different options to choose from. And secondly, there are some tourist traps masquerading as exciting day trips that you should avoid.
Málaga is spectacular, sunny, and brimming with history and culture. It is an excellent spot from which to base your vacation. The city of Málaga is close to several different interesting cities and towns of Andalucía and houses enough fun and cool stuff that no one can get bored.
Our expert local guides have put together the definitive list of the top day trips you can take from Málaga, so let’s get into it. In our view Málaga is one of the cities in Spain that offers a wider range of day excursions in Spain; it is not a bad idea to enjoy one of them!
The Nerja caves are just 50 minutes from Málaga. you cant exactly call them a hidden gem, it is an internationally famous historical site, but it is not the first place that might come to mind when planning a day trip.
The Nerja Caves, simply put, are breathtaking. They were discovered by accident by a group of 5 friends on January 12th, 1959.
The cave is divided into two main sections: known as Nerja I and Nerja II. The cave is enormous and spectacularly beautiful, featuring impressive mineral formations and crystals.
In February 2012 it was announced that possibly Neanderthal cave paintings dated in 42,000 years have been discovered in the Caves of Nerja. Organic remains associated with several paintings of seals have been dated in 42,000 years. These might well be the first known works of art in the history of humanity.
Near the Nerja caves, you can also check out the picturesque, white washed village of Frigiliana.
After you explore the amazing caves head on over to Frigiliana and get lost down the towns winding cobbled stone streets and enjoy a bite to eat or a relaxing cup of coffee.
If you want to soak up some history, then head over to the ancient fortress and then spend the afternoon exploring the Mudéjar historic quarter.
Marbella is the Costa del Sol’s most popular destination and for good reason. Marbella is gorgeous, filled with amazing beaches, excellent restaurants, and vibrant nightlife.
Marbella’s old quarter is chock full of little bars, quaint restaurant, and all the mom and pop shops you can handle.
Once you are done exploring the historical city center, you can head on over to any of Marbella’s amazing beaches. Soak up some sun and enjoy a beachside drink before the sun goes down because your day is just starting
Marbella is well known for its bubbling nightlife and nearby Puerto Banus is a required stop if you want to partake in Marbella’s night-time culture.
Gibraltar has to be on this list. This small rock in the middle of the Mediterranean, sea connected to Spain is actually a British territory. It is, at the very least, interesting to experience the culture shock that it is to go from the very authentically Spanish city of Málaga to the 100% British town of Gibraltar.
Gibraltar is also home to the Cuevas de San Miguel are a must-see on your visit and Calle Real is also a popular spot for people looking to do a bit of high-end shopping.
Antequera is located north of Málaga, just 47 minutes away by car. It is a wonderful little slice of authentic, old-school andalucía.
The small town is located in the middle of a rural plain, perched on a hill. The city is home to several stunning Moorish and Spanish buildings including a pristine castle. But the town’s main attraction is even more ancient still.
The Dolmens of Antequera is a prehistoric site is also known as the Sistine Chapel of Antiquity. The dolmens are a spectacular archaeological site that has been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
There is a very special sliver of the southern coast of Spain, known as the Costa Tropical. In this small area, a combination of factors work together to create a unique climate.
The land between Motril and Almeria actually enjoys tropical weather patterns, which make it an excellent destination if you are looking to soak up some rays and enjoy the warm Mediterranean waters. Here you will find some of the best beaches in Southern Spain like La Playa de Los Muertos and La Playa de Los Genoveses.
Here you will find a diverse range of beaches, fishing villages and rocky cliffs, the 60km. Some of the most popular sites include the quaint fishing village of La Herradura and the picturesque whitewashed town of Salobreña.
Ronda is a little more out of the way, but definitely worth the trip. Ronda is one of the most sticking and stunningly beautiful towns in all of Andalucía.
Perched high upon a cliff, the town of Ronda is held together by a series of bridges that unite the different sections of the town. The most beautiful of these bridges is the storied Puente Nuevo.
Ronda is also home to Spain’s one of the oldest bullfighting ring, where the modern art of bullfighting was developed. Hemingway and Orson Wells were both famously enamored with the city and the passionate culture.
Málaga is relatively close to several other important Andalusian cities, but they will demand an important time investment. Córdoba, Granada, Seville, and Cádiz are all within driving distance and are all places you should visit once in a lifetime. All of these options will take over 2 hours worth of driving.
Cordoba is without question one of the most beautiful and most interesting cities in Spain. The cities Jewish Quarter, with its reputation as one of the largest World Heritage Sites on Earth, and the Great Mosque of Cordoba is, simply put, one of the most beautiful sites on earth.
Seville boasts the largest Gothic Cathedral in the world, the Jewish Quarter of Santa Cruz, the Plaza de España, and much more. Seville is vibrant and sensual and filled with amazing bars and restaurants. It is also the birthplace of Flamenco, so you can only imagine what the local culture is like.
Granada is magical. It is easily one of the most romantic and enchanting cities in Spain. Backdropped by the imposing Sierra Nevada mountain range, Granada is most famously home to the Alhambra Palace.
The Alhambra palatial complex (which includes the UNESCO-listed Generalife Gardens) is one of those places that you have to visit before you die, but it isn’t the only trick up Granada’s sleeve. The Arabic quarter, the lively district of Sacromonte, the Albaicín, are all worth visiting as well.