Loads to do in beautiful Málaga
If you live on the Costa del Sol or are visiting with your partner this week, my recommendation is to spend this Valentine’s Day in Málaga; a city recently voted the sixth best European travel destination in 2019.
In this blog, I’ve suggested some ideas for how to spend “Lovers Day” …but these plans are by no means exhaustive! After all, one of the most sought-after tourist destinations according to more than half a million travellers must have loads to do and see, right? Correct!
The results of the tenth edition of the “European Best Destinations 2019”1 competition – considered the benchmark for European travel surveys and with a sample size of over 500,000 – were published last week and Málaga ranked sixth with 36,485 votes.
The Costa del Sol’s capital was shortlisted alongside 20 other European cities and votes were cast in the three-week period between 15th January and 5th February.
Each city’s position on the list was based on its potential for a city break, romantic escape, beach or family holiday and cultural or gastronomical trip, as well as its suitability for single travellers (like backpackers) and group holidaymakers.
The top 5 were Budapest (Hungary), Braga (Portugal), Monte Isola (Italy), Metz (France) and Poznan (Poland). For the full list, follow the link at the bottom of this article.
Not everyone's cup of tea
In this blog, I’m kind of assuming that Valentine’s Day is of interest to most readers, based on the fact that most of western Europe and North America observe the day, albeit with slightly varying customs from country to country.
In the UK, for example, just under half the population spend money on their “Valentines” and the market is estimated to be worth 1.3 billion pounds sterling (and rising) every year.
A lot of people, however, cite this exact reason for not marking the occasion. “It’s just a commercialistic trap for big businesses to make money out of you”, I hear quite a lot. Or, alternatively, “If you love someone, every day should be a Valentine’s Day”. Bah humbug!
Valentine’s Day in Málaga
Even if your stance is anti-Valentine’s Day, the city of Málaga is so beautiful and romantic that it genuinely is quite difficult not to get carried away by its mystique and historic charm.
The winding, cobbled streets of the old town transport you to a vibrant cultural and gastronomical centre, whose numerous tapas bars and restaurants beckon you inside with the intoxicating aroma of their dishes and soft lighting, ideal for couples dining out.
While not all eateries ordinarily require a reservation, do phone ahead to book a table because Valentine’s Day is popular amongst Spaniards and expats alike.
Overlooking the hustle and bustle of Málaga’s epicentre you can find the Alcazaba and Gibralfaro Castle – the city’s Moorish palace and fourteenth century citadel – from which you have the most stunning 360-degree views of the city’s metropolitan area, port, suburban sprawl and Mediterranean coastline stretching as far as the eye can see.
I can think of no better place to be than at the Gibralfaro viewpoint at sunset tomorrow evening (which, by the way, will be at 6.56pm); watching the sun go down behind the headland and embracing a loved one.
Other plans for Valentine’s Day in Málaga include grabbing a cocktail or glass of champagne at one of its growing number of trendy rooftop bars – either in the historic centre or down at the chic “Muelle Uno” port area –, indulging yourself with a spa circuit, hammam or massage, going on an unforgettable sailing trip from the marina, or simply taking a long stroll along the famous “Malagueta” beach for a more relaxed ambience.
How and where will you be celebrating Valentine’s Day? Do you have any original plans lined up? Or do you agree with the people who say it’s overrated and meaningless?