Malaga, Spain: The Birthplace Of Picasso, The Sun And The Sea

Malaga is your gateway into the magnificent Costa del Sol, the Spanish for “Coast of the Sun”, with endless sandy beaches, sun, resorts, fantastic Mediterranean food, art and history. It’s the birthplace of Picasso, one of the most famous artists ever, and Antonio Banderas, the international film star… there is something peculiar in the Malagan air, wouldn’t you agree…?

It is the capital city of Andalusia, the region in the south of Spain, and is the sixth largest city in the country. It has a large port, welcoming huge number of cruise and cargo ships throughout the year.

It is located roughly 134 km/83 miles east from the Gibraltar strait and is conveniently en route of many itineraries.

The city of some 450,000 people is surrounded by mountains, a river on each side, and the Mediterranean sea to the south.

Malaga Skyline with its Famous Bullring - Malaga is a city in Andalucia on the Spain’s Costa del Sol of the Mediterranean. It is the birthplace of Picasso and has many cultural and historical sites. One of the main attraction is Malaga bullring (La Malagueta).Malaga skyline with its famous bullring

It’s believed to be almost 2,800 years old, founded by Phoenicians who had a word for salt – Malaka – and used it to salt the fish.

Just like the other interesting cities of this area it has survived Phoenicians, then the Roman Empire, and then the Moorish kingdom.

All these empires left a mark on this fascinating place, visible in its architecture, food, art and music.

Nerja Beach near Malaga, Spain - Nerja is a tourist destination on the Costa del Sol. The town is built on a hillside and boasts wonderful beaches where you can enjoy water sports, taste delicious food or just relax in the sun.Nerja beach near Malaga

This colorful history is in somewhat stark contrast to the hyper-development seen along Costa del Sol, which stretches for some 250 km/ 155.3 miles along the southern Spain.

The city’s airport is the main airport to Costa del Sol, which is welcoming millions of tourists every year.

One of the most famous places on the Coast is Marbella, where the rich, famous and sometimes the not-so-transparent show off their yachts and luxury. 🙂

Costa del Sol has also been known as Costa del Crime (what a hilarious name!) in the UK as many British gangstas lived their over-the-top lifestyles here, enjoying the friction between UK and Spain over Gibraltar, hence no fear of extradition back to UK.

However, all this allowed this area to rise prominently into one of the most visited locations in the Mediterranean, and this port is the entry point to all that fun.

But when year of 1881 came, nothing was ever the same in the capital of Andalusia.

Pablo Ruiz Picasso was born in this sunny paradise, and he would go on to take the art world by storm, inventing the whole new style, the “genre” known as Cubism, and seducing loads of women along the way.

Picasso lived in this city most of his life, and left a strong mark, evident in the Picasso Museum, the house where he was born, and the ludicrous amounts of money people pay for his work.

But also some small legends are retold quietly, such as the one where a woman with a young son saw Picasso on the beach (where else? 🙂 ) and asked him to draw something for her.

Cathedral of Malaga, Spain - This is a church in the city center built on the remains of a mosque. Its architecture and gardens are impressive and the attraction itself is well worth your visit.Cathedral of Malaga

Picasso took out a pen and drew a masterpiece of the Cubism movement – on her son’s back.

We can marvel at that now, but it is also said that the son, the anti-hero of the story, hadn’t got a decent shower in years. 🙂

In any case, this place is awesome. It has got historic architecture from the Moorish period, but also the Malagueta bull ring for bull fights, the long, sandy beaches, fantastic Mediterranean cuisine with olive oil, sweet wines and almonds, and crazy nightlife (karaoke rules…).

It’s also the hub for train and air transport everywhere, especially to Costa del Sol, but also to other Spanish cities.

Its airport receives thousands of charter flights, bringing largely Scandinavian, German and British tourists.

You should definitely not miss Malaga on your itinerary.

You’ve got a fascinating blend of Picasso in the morning, fine Mediterranean cuisine for lunch, and pure laziness on its sandy beaches in the afternoon. Enjoy!

Where is Malaga?


  • 132.3 miles/ 212 km from Seville, Spain
  • 157.8 miles/ 254 km from Cadiz, Spain
  • 57.7 miles/ 97 km from Motril, Spain
  • 83.2 miles/ 134 km from Gibraltar, UK
  • 258.4 miles/ 416 km from Faro, Portugal
  • 6.8 miles/ 11 km from Malaga Airport, Spain
  • 82.6 miles/ 133 km from Gibraltar International Airport, UK
  • 259.7 miles/ 418 km from Faro Airport, Portugal

Things to See

  • Museo Picasso
  • Casa Natal de Picasso
  • Malaga Cathedral
  • Alcazaba
  • Castillo de Gibralfaro
  • Malagueta
  • La Concepcion
  • Quarters to walk around – Alameda Principal, La Farola promenade, El Perchel, La Trinidad – walk around and enjoy!


  • Playa de la Malagueta
  • Playa de Pedregalejo and Playa del Palo


  • Golfing
  • Marbella

Cruise And Stay Holidays in Malaga

If you’re cruising the Med by ship, there are quite a number of cruise trips that depart from Malaga. As such, it is an interesting place to plan your cruise and stay holiday.

Wherever you are coming from, you will probably end up landing in Malaga airport, so the “fly in and fly out” part is easy.

Book a hotel in Malaga for a couple of days before or after your cruise.

You’ll have plenty of things to do. From enjoying the architecture, to seeing all things Picasso-related, to enjoying the beaches, the sun and the sea.

Save on your hotel, spend on yourself.

You are also very well located for visits to Seville, Cordoba or Granada, which are gems in their own right.

Enjoy this great area, and try to make the most of it while you are there.

We wish you a fantastic Mediterranean cruise!