Do you want to get out of the soggy British summer, where it's perennially umbrella and welly season? Why not take a trip to Malaga this summer, where wading in the Spanish sunshine is about as depressing as it will get. There's plenty of summertime activities in Malaga to gladden the heart, and literally melt the stress off your bones.
Pound the Pavement
Get out and hit the streets in Malaga after you arrive. There's a lot to see on foot, such as the Roman amphitheatre on Calle Alcazabilla, and an 11th century fortress. With plenty of steamy and aromatic gardens to treat the senses, a myriad of lane ways snake past quaint shops, elegant bars and old churches. Wandering around aimlessly can hardly get any better.
Swanky, fancy clothes are easy to find in this stylish city. Why not do as the locals do, and get into some stylish and practical espadrilles? There's enough shoe shops around here to keep even the most rampant shoe enthusiast on their toes. Stylish young things should check out the Novak Line Room, while those tempted by complete cultural immersion, should buy a flamenco gown from Viva La Feria.
People Watch like Picasso
Pablo Picasso was born in Malaga in 1881. He was the definitive people watcher, and liked to sit in cafés and observe people in all of their strangeness. Then he translated this into abstract paintings. Do as Picasso did and eat some churros, long doughnut fritters covered in luxurious chocolate and coffee. A great place that produces this naughty calorific goodness is Café Aranda - go there for a post shopping fix or breakfast.
After this, visit the Picasso Museum on the historic Calle San Agustin. This is in the same neighbourhood where the man himself was born, and is home to some trendy shops, cafés and restaurants. Enough to keep loafing, idle creative types occupied for many days.
A great way to get some peace in the balmy and busy summer, is to head to the Jardín Botánico Histórico La Concepción. Opened in 1855 by a Malaga aristocrat and his English wife, the garden is located about 5 kilometres outside of Malaga. It's a splendid combination of subtropical forest and romantic garden, far from the maddening crowds.
Into the Wild
Travellers desiring the rugged wild depths of Andalucía should check out Ardales Lakes, about 40 minutes from Malaga. This is a quiet and cool sanctuary frequented by locals; formed at the junction of three rivers, the Teba, Guadalhorce and Turron. There are great eateries and accommodation options around there, with water sports such as canoeing, sailing, hiking, cycling and quad bikes popular during the summer.
For the best of both the city and the wilderness, modernity and the sights that time forgot, Malaga is the perfect stepping stone into amazement.
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