Malaga is situated on the coast in-between Torremolinos and Nerja, directly on the N-340 and the main airport serving Malaga 'Aeropuerto de Malaga'. The nearest golf course is 'Parador Malaga del Golf' others close by include: El Canada, Guadalhorce, Anoreta Golf and Baviera Golf which is located in Velez-Malaga.
Andalucía is divided into seven different provinces, namely Málaga, Córdoba, Sevilla, Granada, Cádiz, Almería and Jaén, with Málaga being the area into which the Costa del Sol falls. The largest city on the Coast, it is also the provincial capital.
The name of Málaga has evolved from the Arabic word 'malaca' which means salt. As the origins of its name suggest it has enjoyed a long and tumultuous history. An important occupied city of the Roman Empire, it fell under Moorish control nearly fifteen centuries later and was eventually recaptured by the Catholic monarchs Isabella and Ferdinand.
Málaga's Aero Puerto Pablo Picasso will probably be your first point of contact with the Costa del Sol and is one of the busiest in Europe, welcoming hundreds of thousands of tourists every week during the summer months.
The city of Málaga is typically Andalusian and is the bureaucratic heart of the Costa del Sol. Visitors always comment on its urban decay and eccentric road system, which inevitably creates more than its fair share of road rage during even the quietest time of day.
A major industrial centre, most of Málaga's 'poligonos' (industrial parks) are located away from the town centre, although its busy port is a more obvious presence as you drive along the waterfront and into the city. Fortunately the tourist doesn't have too far to travel to the sandy beaches, located on either side of the port.
First appearances can be daunting, but don't be taken in because within this jungle of ugly concrete apartment blocks thrives the heart and soul of the region. With only a little exploration you can find yourself overwhelmed by Málaga's beauty and culture. The city contains dozens of historical monuments, but without a doubt the most prominent is the cathedral La Manquita that means 'the one-armed woman'. This huge building features an array of architectural styles and obtains its name from the fact that it sports only one of two towers originally planned for construction. A small square near the cathedral makes an ideal venue to have a drink and consider how many years it must have taken to build the structure opposite.
Close to the Cathedral you will find the Museo de Bellas Artes, an art museum that specialises in the works of Pablo Picasso. Málaga takes great pride in its native son and his work is on display in several places in the city. The house in which he was born still stands and today is the headquarters of the Pablo Picasso Foundation.
Away from the city centre and in the general direction of Nerja, is Málaga's Alcazaba, a castle that has remained in superb condition over the centuries and is one of the city's most notable landmarks after the cathedral.
Once you have experienced the history of the city why not continue with lunch or dinner at one of Málaga's restaurants or tapas bars? There are dozens of these and they serve literally hundreds of different foods for you to try from local specialities, such as squid to many types of meat and game. Andalucía takes great pride in its use of fresh ingredients, but has one of the most basic diets in Europe (fish, meat, patatas fritas and salad) so this is a rare opportunity to take advantage of the situation and taste the best of the region. Although tapas is a popular choice along the length of the Coast, you will find that the varieties to be found in Málaga are quite unique to the city and considerably more creative than the staples to be sampled further along the Coast.
The town centre is a great place to go shopping provided you find parking (underground car parks are recommended as the most efficient was of banishing stress). Near the town centre you will find the popular department store El Corte Inglés as well as other large commercial centres.
If you are staying in Málaga then the night time can be even more interesting, For Spanish speakers there is the excellent Cervantes Theatre which, if you happen to be in the area at an appropriate time, also features classical music concerts as well as popular performers such as Paul Weller and Youssou N'Dour. The night scene is very lively, although locals are most definitely best placed to offer advice as to the best places to visit. Fortunately, as in other parts of Spain, it's not difficult to make friends who will be happy to offer opinions as to the best bars, restaurants and clubs.
Although it lacks the serenity of Seville, the classical charm of Córdoba and the grandeur of Granada, Málaga has its own beauty and spirit and, in the opinion of this writer at least, can compete favourably with Europe's larger and more celebrated cities.