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Málaga area guide: the capital of the Costa de Sol

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Not a lot is known about the city of Málaga among British and Irish holidaymakers and homebuyers. Even expats who have lived in the Province of Málaga for many years tend to ignore the city, preferring instead to get their Andalusian cultural kicks in the farther-flung cities of Seville and Granada. What Málaga gains through its ever-busy airport it loses thanks to its shockingly-bad self-promotion. The classic tourist trail of holidaying Brits heading 'to Málaga' sees them land at the airport on the city's outskirts, board a coach or cab, then immediately head to the south and west, to the never ending coastal strip of resorts that forms the neon-lit backbone of the Costa del Sol.

Málaga City - Costa del Sol

All the while, Málaga remains – in their minds at least – an airport; a stopover destination; a dusty and crowded corner of the Costa del Sol that must be endured rather than enjoyed. Even the city's swift highway system – designed to prevent traffic build up in the centre – does Málaga a disservice, diverting motorists past the wonders that lie within the city and on to Seville, Granada or Almeria.

Málaga City - Costa del Sol

Yet the local Spaniards do not seem to mind. Their city has remained unspoilt, largely untouched by mass tourism despite its bustling airport and rarely explored by sun-seeking visitors despite the city itself boasting vast stretches of sandy beaches.

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