The Best Spain Road Trip Itinerary

A Day in Malaga

After we whipped up a quick egg and croissant breakfast at the Soho Boutique Hotel kitchenette, we made our way to the beach.

But first, we stopped at Castillo Gibralfaro. Getting to the castle was no easy feat. As castles go, they are usually up on giant hills. Guess what? We were at the bottom of the hill and the castle was 132 meters above sea level. So, up and up we went. We started from the bottom, now we here!

La Malagueta Bullring in Malaga, Spain
La Malagueta Bullring – Malaga, Spain

Instagram: @Navigator.Nick

I’m not complaining of the view, it was breathtaking, but it was already so hot that I needed a change of clothes by the time we made it to the top. I noticed others hiking up the hill that I didn’t think were going to make it. Mothers pushing their children in strollers, elderly people with canes… I just felt bad for these people and want to tell them to not bother and turn around. Ha! Get a cab or something.

Gibralfaro Castle in Malaga, Spain
Gibralfaro Castle – Malaga, Spain

Gibralfaro Castle was built in the 14th century to house troops and protect the Alcazaba, making it the most impregnable fortress in all of Al-Andalus. It was a mere 3.50€ per person to enter and we were glad to pay such a low charge.

The castle has a strategic position, where it can overlook the entire city and bay. It is necessary to think about the imposing image that these fortifications offered in their time, at which time the mountain was completely devoid of vegetation to facilitate defense and avoid ambushes. 

Instagram: @Navigator.Nick

Its only access was through a monumental door, which was accessed from La Coracha and communicated with the barbican that surrounds the entire outer perimeter. It has the typical “corner” door arrangement, open in a large tower that is protected by a double door that cuts through the barbican, and which forms a small courtyard with an area for the guard corps. 

How to Get Around Malaga

After touring the castle and trekking back down the fortress hill, we figured out that the best way to get around was using an electric scooter. It was a bit difficult for both of us to be able to stand on one scooter, but we managed, and got some pretty funny videos from it in the mean time. I had noticed locals doing it throughout the city streets and thought to myself, sure, I can do that too!

I downloaded the “Lime” scooter app and found the closest area that had scooters. Basically, the scooters are clustered on a sidewalk, you pick one out and use the app to “check out” the scooter for a specific time period.

The trick for both of us to ride the one scooter was to push-start the scooter so it would start rolling and both hop on, while applying the throttle ever so slightly.

It took us a few tries to get the scooter working, but once we got it, it was so much fun. We decided to blast down the boardwalk to see what we could find and explore more of Malaga. The boardwalk took us a few miles down the Costa del Sol beach.

Our self-guided scooter tour of Malaga ended at the seaside eatery Chiringuito El Cachalote. The food here was frozen, not fresh, and very salty. I highly recommend a cheap pitcher of Sangria on the beach, but that’s it. Great view, awful food.

You know what I love? Naps on a holiday. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, there is nothing better than waking up refreshed from a nap. Tired from all the walking so far and our fast food coma, we decided to nap on the beach. Using our backpacks as pillows, while also keeping them from getting stolen, we got some needed shuteye from all the walking.

Traveler Alert: Theft is a problem throughout Spain. Barcelona is really bad and so is Malaga. Keep your belongings in front of you and in your sight at all times. Always be aware of your surroundings.

Feeling refreshed and ready to go, we headed back into town to do some shopping. But, not before coming across this strange but very cool structure! If you know what this is, please leave a comment down below and let us know!

malaga spain
Malaga, Spain

As Amanda shopped around, I got myself some gelato from Gelateria Carte d’Or. Malaga can be hit or miss with shopping. Stay away from the gimmicky souvenir shop items and look for local designer clothing shops and niknaks in the mom and pop type stores.

Low and behold, it was not too much later that our stomachs were telling us to feed them. We stopped at a local pub to try the Paella. Spoiler alert, it was great, but not amazing. Nothing will beat the Paella in Seville.

We took one last walk down a few blocks to really soak in the city that gave us Picasso. Overall, Malaga, has been reborn in recent years. It could still use some cleaning up by revitalizing sidewalks, renovating rundown buildings and beautifying the area near Costa del Sol. The surfer town is fun, with enough pubs to satisfy anybody who wants to have a San Miguel cerveza at any hour of the day. It’s history dates back to 770BC, when the Phoenician’s, not Spaniards, founded the land.

SOHO Boutique Hotel Malaga Spain
View from top floor studio of SOHO Boutique Hotel – Malaga, Spain

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9 Responses to “The Best Spain Road Trip Itinerary

  • This visit looks like a gem! I would love to go – the pictures are gorgeous (even the ice cream cone was tempting ;-))

  • Lovely pictures Nick! Spain looks great and would love to visit next year when this craziness is over.
    Thanks for sharing!

    MagicandBliss | |

    • It’s an amazing country and in so many different ways. I’m not much of a writer, but I tried to put in as much detail as I could without boring you!

  • Thanks for sharing, I loved Barcelona when I visited sounds like you had a lovely trip 🙂

    Nic | Nic’s Adventures & Bakes

    • What was your favorite thing about Barcelona? I actually preferred to be outside of the chaos of the city and enjoy the views and things to do from afar

  • Awesome guide! I lived in Spain for more than 15 years and was actually going to visit Córdoba, Granada and Seville in September but had to postpone it due to Covid. Your tips will definitely come in handy when we finally visit!

    • Excellent choice. I would spend the most time in Seville. Let me know what tips you found most helpful as I will be adding to the guide for years to come. Have you rescheduled your trip?

  • Your pictures are great and for me that lives now in Madrid, I had to have a hard debate to live in Barcelona or Madrid. At the end, Madrid won but Barcelona is such a gem and you portrayed it very well. Thank you for sharing

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