The gateway to the Costa del Sol, for sure, but Malaga also has much to offer in its own right.

The gateway to the Costa del Sol, for sure, but Málaga also has much to offer in its own right.

Spain’s most famous and most popular cities are, at an educated guess, Barcelona, Madrid, Seville and Valencia, in that order.

Those who know and love a little more about the country will also argue that Granada, Cádiz, Palma de Mallorca, Bilbao and Segovia should be added to that list, whereas people who have enjoyed summer holidays in Spain will know the names of Almería, Murcia and Málaga…

However, while Almeríua and Murcia are likely to remain little more than coastal gateways for most holidaymakers, Málaga has for several years now been undergoing a reinvention of its image, so much so that the Daily Telegraph newspaper in the UK has this week published an article all about Málaga titled: Is this Spain’s most underrated city break?

It’s a good question, and the answer is: it depends who you ask. As Málaga has steadily grown its tourism numbers in the past few years, those who have newly discovered the city will tell you that yes, it IS underrated – it is an astonishingly beautiful city lined with a stunning beach, crammed with artistic and cultural highlights, jam-packed with excellent tapas bars and stylish eateries and touched by a rich history that takes in the Moors and Pablo Picasso.

But Málaga has also long been known as a city of substance and interest. From its spectacular Alcazaba to its sleek new Pompidou Centre and its busy port, the city has all bases covered. Locals enjoy the excellent shopping, bars and transport links on offer; sun-seekers can spend a day at the beach or in the many parks, while cultural tourists are spoilt for choice by Málaga’s many museums, galleries and architectural attractions.

And the city’s reputation is growing, that is certainly true. No more is Málaga just a name given to a busy airport next to Torremolinos, but a bonafide destination for travellers the world over.

So it’s not that Málaga is underrated; rather, it’s relatively undiscovered – which makes it an ideal choice for a weekend break… or maybe a rather more permanent relationship!