The vibrant tapas bars, thriving art scene and amazing views in Malaga are just a few things to love about the Costa del Sol capital. What makes a trip to the city complete, though, is a journey to the iconic white villages and small cities in the surrounding area. Stunning coastline, rugged landscape, and even some monkeys—these places have it all! Start planning one of these day trips from Malaga and add an extra something special to your visit.
The Best Village Day Trips from Malaga
While Ronda may not be the easiest place to get to, it’s more than worth the effort if interesting landscape and incredible views are your thing. Head to the bridge over the Tajo gorge for an amazing countryside view and, if you’re feeling adventurous, climb down to get a full-length blockbuster view of the gorge from below. On top of that, it boasts the oldest bullring in Spain, a vibrant art scene and a whole host of amazing tapas bars—definitely a day trip worth taking.
With its narrow streets and whitewashed buildings, Mijas is the ultimate white village in Malaga. Located in the mountains overlooking the sea, there’s no better place to catch a spectacular Mediterranean sunset. You can’t beat the spectacular location, and the small-town charm is evident around every picturesque corner.
Antequera is much more than just another cute pueblo blanco. Iconic monuments include the alcazaba, an old Moorish fortress, and the Museo Municipal, home to some extraordinary Roman artifacts, in addition to dozens of impressive churches. The romantic air of Antequera itself leads on to El Torcal, a nature reserve just outside the city with some rather unique rock formations—definitely one of the most fascinating day trips from Malaga.
At just an hour’s drive from Malaga, the beautiful town of Frigiliana is an Andalusian gem. It’s regularly referred to as the most beautiful village in Spain, and it’s not hard to see why. Apart from maze-like cobblestone streets, there are also plenty of vantage points to catch an amazing view, making it a great romantic getaway destination. That being said, you don’t need to have a significant other in tow to soak up the unique atmosphere at one of the restaurants with outdoor terraces.
Stepping onto the famous Rock of Gibraltar is like being transported to another world. While the town of Gibraltar itself contains some impressive manmade monuments such as the cathedral, what sets it apart is the amazing natural landscapes surrounding the area. With amazing views across the Bay of Gibraltar, you can even see right over to Morocco on a clear day. And you can’t talk about Gibraltar without mentioning the famous monkeys that inhabit the area. Sure, they’re cute and furry, but don’t let them get away with your handbag—or your lunch!
You can’t talk about the white towns of Malaga without mentioning the most iconic beach town in the region. Nerja boasts a network of 5 kilometers of caves along the Costa del Sol, and at just an hour away from Malaga by bus, it shouldn’t be missed. After your day exploring the caves or relaxing by the beach, make sure and head to the Balcón de Europa to catch the kind of Mediterranean view only Nerja can provide.
Given its location further inland, Velez-Malaga avoids the influx of tourists during the region’s hot summers. For that reason alone, it’s one of the best day trips from Malaga. This market town is the supply center for farmers in the region, so good food is guaranteed, and with impressive buildings standing atop some of the hills surrounding the town, a stroll through the main streets is unforgettable.
Get more travel inspo: The breathtaking white villages in Malaga you have to see to believe
Photo Credit: Oliver Clarke