“The winter winds will be much colder now – now you’re not here” sang the Moody Blues in their classic “Forever Autumn” from the 1970s. Winter in southern Spain is what we in Britain would consider to be well rather a “damp squib”. With average winter daytime temperatures peaking at around 15-18 degrees centigrade, winter in the southern city of Malaga is reminiscent of late springtime or early autumn in the UK, except generally the days are much sunnier in Malaga.
The south of Spain offers a climate which is beneficial to the health, the large amounts of sunlight are good for skin, and the warmer climate reduces the threat of winter viruses. With only a 2 and a half hour flight time from the UK, Malaga makes a perfect destination for a winter break.
Arriving by plane in Malaga in the heart of Andalucia in winter, the first thing that surprised me when I left the plane was the bright light intensity. It was a sunny January day, and there was quite a strong wind blowing, but having travelled around 1000 miles south the light and the temperature (16 degrees) were a pleasant surprise to the senses. It didn’t take long to acclimatise though.
Malaga has a lot to offer all year round, but in winter, the sub-tropical climate means that visitors can spend time outdoors. Many cafes have outdoor seating where visitors can sit and enjoy a shot of winter sun. Malaga city itself has plenty to offer. The historical old town is a maze of streets, leading towards Gibralfaro Castle which sits on a hill overlooking the old town and port area. The castle is accessible via bus or it is possible to walk from the old town in around 20 minutes.
Malaga also has a beautiful cathedral – Malaga Cathedral (which is located in the heart of Malaga old town), the Picasso Museum (Malaga is the birthplace of Picasso), a culture theatre (Teatro Cervantes) where many theatrical and musical events take place, and a large number of restaurants, tapas bars, cafes and shops. El Pimpi’s bar in the old town is a must for wine and port lovers. Garden lovers will enjoy visiting the botanical gardens Finca La Concepcion which is located just to the north of the city.
The nightlife in the Malaga old town district is very lively, particularly on Fridays and Saturdays, but can be quiet in the week and especially on Sunday. There are a huge number of bars and clubs in the old town, with latino clubs, tapas bars, and traditional flamenco performers at some bars.
Malaga Airport is located around 8km from the centre of Malaga, and there is a regular train and bus service to the town from the airport. The major resorts of the Costa del Sol such as Marbella, Fuengirola and Torremolinos are all within 1 hours drive of Malaga city.
Most of the major airlines operate flights to Malaga, with low cost airlines operating year round due to the popularity of the region.