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Malaga, Spain (4/20/2018)

Malaga, the city, is the capital of the Province of Malaga (compare this to a county in the U.S.) It is in the Autonomous Community of Andalusia, Spain (similar powers as one of our states.) With a population of 568,479 in 2013, it is the second most populous city of Andalusia and the sixth largest in Spain. As the southernmost large city in Europe, it lies on the Costa del Sol (Coast of the Sun) of the Mediterranean, about 62 miles east of the Strait of Gibraltar and about 81 miles north of Africa.

We visited Malaga in Nov., 2012, on the Carnival Breeze TA. We took a ship's tour to Granada to visit the Alhambra. Even in the rain, it was a magical place, er, palace. The picture below is a portion of the palace. The exterior is impressive, but it is the interior designs that will blow you away. If you haven't been I'd suggest you look into visiting this UNESCO World Heritage Site. I am not going to lay out the reasons to visit the Alhambra, instead I invite you to view one of the videos linked below.

If you stay in Malaga, you will find plenty to see. Like our last two ports Malaga is very old and like them was first inhabited by the Phoenicians. Of course that applies to recorded history where it was learned that the city was founded in 770 BC. From 218 BC, it was ruled by the Roman Republic and later the Roman Empire. After the fall of the empire and the Visigoths rule, it was under Islamic rule as Mālaqah for 800 years, but in 1487, the Crown of Castille regained control after the Reconquista. The archaeological remains and monuments from the Phoenician, Roman, Arabic and Christian eras make the historic center of the city an "open museum", displaying its history of more than 3,000 years.

According to TripAdvisor, there are 33 museums in Malaga of many different types. The highest rated museum AND attraction is the Automobile and Fashion Museum. According to reviews is is not to be missed. If you are a fan of modern art and/or Pablo Picasso, then will enjoy Museo Picasso Malaga. The museum was opened in 2003, and was inaugurated by his relatives as he was born in Malaga in Oct. 1881. If you are a fan of of cathedrals, then you must visit Malaga Cathedral. This Renaissance church was constructed between 1528 and 1782. The exterior, or facade, was built in the Baroque style, while the interior is all Renaissance. I attribute this to the church being built over the period of 250 yeas. I found the style much more ornate than earlier Gothic cathedrals. Whatever you decide to do on this port stop, you will be kept busy and interested.

Malaga pic

Large cruise ships dock at Pier 1 (eastern dock) where a modern cruise terminal welcomes you. The walk into the historical city center takes at least 15 minutes. Thankfully the Port Authority offers a shuttle to the center of the city, but it costs 5 euros.

EXPLORE THE PORT:

Here is a list of sites that could help you plan your day in port. Be sure to explore the links on each page for a wealth of information.

Cruise Critic does not have a Cruise Port Page for Malaga

Malaga Attraction & Activities - Tripadvisor's Things to do in Malaga, with a ranked list of attractions & activities.

WhatsInPort - Great info about the port including a webcam (some ports), printable map and ships in port: Nothing listed for 2018.

Frommer's Malaga - a well respected travel guide, has their take on Malaga, with lots of links to explore like a walking tour.

Lonely Planet's Malaga - Lonely Planet's list of things to do in Malaga.

Tours by Locals Malaga - Discover fascinating Malaga with a friendly local guide. Experience Malaga through the eyes of a local private guide! Browse our tour 'suggestions' - each can be customized just for you.

Viator's Malaga Tour Offerings - Viator is a consolidator, meaning that they source tour companies and resell them. What is nice is that you can pay in USD with your credit card before you leave home. I've used them in a few places and was very pleased. If you can find the company they are using to book directly, you can save a bit.

Malaga Tourismo - The official website for Malaga Tourism.

Malaga Travel Guide - A 3-min, hi-def video of Must-see Attractions that is narrated with music.

Rick Steves' Andalucia: The Best of Southern Spain - A 55-min, hi-def video by one of the best tour guides and writers around. This video is about Andalucia and covers Malaga and Grenada as well as other cities in this region.

Granada, Spain: The Exquisite Alhambra - A 4-min, hi-def video by Rick Steves. It is an excellent overview from the longer video above.

The Alhambra: From the Sultan Palace, to the legend. (Granada - Spain) - A 1 hour, 17 minute, med-def (360P) documentary. It is very detailed and well done with a lot of history. By Oculus Film, a Berlin-based production company specializing in documentations, image films and documentaries. I suspect it was copied from a DVD sold in the gift shop.

More to come...

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