We have been enjoying walks in Malaga City almost every February/March since 2016 and have explored many routes around the city and along the approximately 10km of promenade that extends along the coast both east and west of the city centre.

This walk in Malaga City is a short circular walk of approximately 5km that will give you a taste of what this fantastic city has to offer. It is perfect if you are visiting for the day from elsewhere in the Costa del Sol or as an introduction to the city if you have just arrived.

Malaga has it all: history, parks, beach, a port, vibrant shops and some amazing places to eat and drink. When we visit in late February and early March you can expect the weather to be mostly dry with an average temperature of 20°C, perfect for walking and certainly warmer than the UK. We have had some years with rain and this year there has been a northerly wind blowing all week, making it quite chilly, so don’t forget your coat.

Start the walk in Malaga City

This walk in Malaga City starts at one of the must-see places, the Atarazanas Central Market. The range of fish, meat and nuts is quite amazing and we usually buy some nuts to nibble as we walk around. If you arrive at the right time (10:00 to 14:00) I would recommend have a brunch or mid morning snack of churros with chocolate and/or coffee at Casa Aranda. It is close to the market and, if it is open, you will find it by the general “buzz” in the street – it is a very popular spot.

Appetite satisfied, start the walk with your back towards the south side of the market (the side with the bars) and cross over the road taking the street opposite and on to the Alameda Principal, the one where most of the buses go. Turn left and follow this wide street along to where the main shopping street, Calle Marques dos Larios, goes off to your left. You need to cross the Alameda Principal here, taking you into Plaza de la Marina where there is a fountain and a tourist office. Turn immediately left when you cross the road and in about 50 metres cross another road at the pedestrian crossing into the Parque de Malaga, keeping on the main path ahead of you. This is a lovely park planted up in the early twentieth century – it has a good collection of trees from around the world and is criss-crossed with lots of little paths. It is not only attractive to tourists, both monk and ringed parakeets have made themselves very much at home in the palm trees, you won’t be able to miss these very endearing birds.

Outdoor Living

Malaga is designed around outdoor living, so there are plenty of benches along both sides of this wide boulevard as well as deeper into the shade, where you will find little playparks and ornamental areas.

At the end of the park use the pedestrian crossing to turn left again across the main road and into the Jardines de Pedro Luis Alonso. This is an ornamental formal garden with rose beds and fountains providing an oasis from the heat. Go across this park and you will see the castle walls ahead of you. Cross the side road and then zig zag up the steps and paths through the gardens at the base of the wall, keeping generally left and upwards at each junction. Eventually you should come to a tunnel and just near it a sign (upwards again) to Castillo de Gibralfaro. Follow this footpath (and the crowds) uphill. It is quite a steep hill, but there is a low wall all the way up that you can sit on to enjoy a breather and take in the stunning views across the bullring and port.

Castillo de Gibralfaro

Stopping at the view point is a must and then carry on to the castle at the top of the hill, which is open to the public if you are so inclined. Spend a few minutes in this area and you may be lucky enough to see the red squirrels which are quite tame.

A road comes up to the castle here and to continue the walk you need to take the pavement at the side of the road down the hill and to another lovely viewing area (mirador). Just after this platform a footpath on your right takes you down through the Parque Forestal Gibralfaro. Follow the path as it meanders through the trees and at a junction take the left turn. The path meets the road at the English Church – in March the bougainvillea cloaks the wall in bright pink. At the main road, cross straight over and head for the sea.

Promenade by the sea

Once you get to the beautiful promenade turn right either keeping to the hard surface or drop on to the beach and paddle. Have a drink or seafood dish in one of the chiringuitos that are all along this bit of sea front. This year there was a huge flock of gulls on the water. Most of them are yellow-legged gulls, which look very like herring gulls but with yellow legs. if you have a bird list this is a good tick, because they are rare in the UK.

Now you just follow the coast around until you come to the lighthouse, where you turn right along the marina. There are plenty of restaurants and shops here too, although they are mainly chains. As in the rest of Malaga it is the perfect place just to wander and relax, admiring the very pleasant environment which is now a very modern and clean leisure space. You can’t miss the colourful cube of the Pompidou Museum and should then follow the curve of the port through the “Palm Garden of Surprises” which eventually takes you back to the Plaza de Marina where the walk finishes.

Although this is a relatively short walk, leave plenty of time to enjoy the history, views, landscape, sea, bars and other sights. The pull up to the Gibralfaro is quite steep and some of the path down through the woods is rocky, so I rate this a medium difficulty walking route as you will need sensible shoes and a certain level of fitness. Don’t forget to take some water with you on a hot day.

Churros and Chocolate
Breakfast at Casa Aranda
monk parakeets - Malaga
Ubiquitous parakeets
Jardines de Pedro Luis Alfonso - Malaga
Jardines de Pedro Luis Alfonso - Malaga
View to Malaga Marina
View of Malaga Marina
Parque Forestal Gibralfaro, Malaga
Parque Forestal Gibralfaro,
Bougainvillea next to the English church, Malaga
Bougainvillea next to the English church.
Malaga Marina
The Marina





Distance: 5.9 km

Terrain: Mostly hard footpath

Difficulty: Moderate

Date Walked: 2nd March






Red Squirrels


Yellow-legged gulls

Peregrine Falcon