Almeria and Malaga

February 20, 2024 9:23 pm

Almeria: February 12 – 14

Almeria has a population of 200,000 and is adjacent to a small desert, which creates an exceptionally dry climate. The coastline borders a Nature Reserve, many long sandy beaches and secluded coves on the warm waters of the Mediterranean. It is so picturesque!

Agriculture is 40% of Almería’s GDP as evidenced in the surrounding area that is filled with greeenhouses. I mean, in every available space, for kilometres! It was astounding to see the white sea of greenhouses as we arrived and left Almeria.

Greenhouses are squeezed in everywhere!

The Alcazaba and Cathedral were 10th century medieval structures that were destroyed by an earthquake in 1522 and rebuilt in the 16th century. The Alcazaba had a massive line of walls, a majestic keep and large gardens. It is the second largest among the Muslim fortresses of Andalusia, after the Alhambra.

The Cathedral has a fortress-like appearance; it was rebuilt in the Renaissance style and maintained some of its defensive features.

Joe was determined to somehow climb up to these structures and he found a very rough route through an active construction site.

It was breathtaking to see the structures at eye level and in all their glory.

Casa de Puga is a tapas institution in Almeria. The bar/restaurant opened in 1870, and remains deeply traditional in both decor and cuisine. Casa Puga is popular with figures from the world of culture, film, television and music, locals and now a couple of Canadian Seniors checking out where the action is.

Here’s a typical cafe breakfast menu. It is customary to smother your selection in olive oil before eating.p

Malaga: February 14 – 18

Malaga’s population is around 600,000. Its history spans about 2,800 years, making it one of the oldest cities in Western Europe.

Málaga enjoys plenty of sunshine throughout the year, with an average 300 days of sunshine and 40–45 with precipitation annually. Málaga experiences the warmest winters of any European city with a population over 500,000.

We spent our first night in Malaga in a Parador. A Parador is a state-owned luxury hotel, in a converted historic building, (monastery or castle), or in a modern building like Malaga had, with a panoramic view of a historic and monumental city. It was an incredible view!

The Alcazaba in Málaga was built 11th century and was modified or rebuilt multiple times up to the 14th century. It is one of the best-preserved alcazabas in Spain. The Alcazaba is also connected by a walled corridor to the higher Castle of Gibralfaro.

We then spent 3 nights in another hotel near the Centro. We loved this hotel and layout of our room – definitely in the top 5 hotels of all time. 4 nights in one city seemed like a week and we were able to regroup, do laundry and switch our winter clothes out for lighter wear for the lovely early spring weather.

Pablo Ruiz Picasso was born in Malaga so we had to take in the museum. Lots of Picasso influences all around the city!

Works influenced by Picasso

The Cathedral of Málaga is a Roman Catholic Church in the Renaissance architectural tradition. It was constructed between 1528 and 1782. This Cathedral was one of the tallest and largest we have seen in Europe – it towered over us and the Centro!

We went on a Wine Tour during our stay in Malaga. One half of the property was covered in lemon trees and a few orange. The lemon trees produce year round and flower at each new moon. Our guide took us into an organic vineyard field and explained how the vines are cared for. They have no irrigation in this arid climate and receive very little rain – yet have learned to survive. Next we drove to the winery and tasted some pretty fine Spanish wines!

Ancient Olive squisher for extracting oil!

The Centro was busy with the early arrival of good weather and the basketball fans were out in full force. You did not have to walk far to see a group of (usually all men) dressed in wild costumes or team colours. They also had their own bands or would just sing and yell out songs in support of their favourite teams. It was wild! Also, we loved the food here!

The province of Málaga has over 160 kilometres of coastline. The beaches are so attractive they have made the ‘Costa del Sol’ one of the top international destinations.

Check out this yacht!

We loved our stay in Malaga!


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