Now that you’ve immersed yourself in countless Malaga historic wonders, relaxed on stunning sun-soaked beaches, and tried city’s culinary delights, it’s time to extend your curiosity and exploration beyond its borders. Thanks to Malagas’ location, it isn’t only a great city break or holiday destination. It’s also a great starting point for discovering Andalucia! Surrealistic landscapes, charming white villages, historic towns, vibrant cities, outdoor adventures, tasty food, unique festivals… You’ll find that all, and many more near Malaga. Ready to explore? Vamos, let us show you the best day trips from Malaga, Spain.
To keep things organized we divided this post into three parts: towns and natural places that we explored, and a short list of even more ideas for day trips from Malaga for which we unfortunately had no more time yet.
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Transport on day trips from Malaga
In our opinion, the best and fastest way of getting to the soon-mentioned places is by car. If you don’t travel in yours, you can easily rent the best one for your needs through the Rental Cars website.
Many of the places are also accessible by public transport, by trains or buses. You can search for the connections that might interest you on the rome2rio or Omio website. For the best train ticket deals visit Trainline.
If you don’t want to put too much effort into planning, you can take advantage of the guided tours from Malaga and let someone else take care of all the details. For a wide selection and well-reviewed tour options be sure to visit GetYourGuide or Viator.
Note. Each place from this post is no further than a 1.5h drive from Malaga by car. Keep in mind that using other means of transport may take longer.
Day Trips From Malaga – Towns
Benalmadena Pueblo is located about 30km from Malaga. Thankfully, despite the passage of time, the town retained the authenticity of a typical Andalusian village to this day. It’s full of narrow cobbled streets, and whitewashed houses generously decorated with colorful flowers. However, Benalmadena Pueblo is most famous for Castillo de Colomares. It’s a building that even though looks like a fairy-tale castle, in reality, is a monument dedicated to Christopher Columbus and his discovery of America. The most fascinating fact is that it was built by only… 3 people! Visiting Benalmadena Pueblo is without a doubt one of the best day trips from Malaga. Believe us, this village can easily steal your heart!
Learn more: 7 Best Things To Do In Benalmádena Pueblo, Spain
Ronda is located about 100km from Malaga. It’s one of the oldest towns in Spain – it was first inhabited by the Celts in the 6th century BC, and later by the Romans and Moors. Later, it was declared a city in the 1st century AD by Julius Caesar himself. Ronda’s most famous landmark is the spectacular Puente Nuevo bridge which has a height of an impressive 98 metres and connects the old town with its modern part. The city is also famous for its charming old town, spectacular views over the surroundings, and… being the birthplace of bullfighting! Currently, Ronda is one of the most visited towns in Andalusia.
Learn more: 15+ Things To Do In Ronda, Spain On A Day Trip
Marbella is located about 60km from Malaga. It’s one of the most popular holiday destinations on Costa del Sol and one of the most popular day trips from Malaga. Marbella is most famous for its vivid nightlife scene with many nightclubs and bars, beautiful sandy beaches, an enchanting old town with a typical Andalusian vibe, as well as golf courses, and luxury shopping. There you’ll also find some unique sculptures designed by Salvador Dali!
Learn more: 10+ Best Things to do in Marbella, Spain
Mijas Pueblo is located about 35km from Malaga. Without a doubt, it’s one of the most beautiful white villages Costa del Sol can offer. Mijas Pueblo is a typical charming Andalusian white village located at the altitude of 430 m a.s.l., at the foot of Sierra de Mijas. It’s packed with a maze of narrow cobbled streets, many charming corners, and whitewashed houses decorated with colorful flower pots. From the Mijas Pueblo, you can also admire magnificent views over the Costa del Sol.
Learn more: 10 Best Things To Do In Mijas Pueblo, Spain
Antequera is located about 50km from Malaga. The town is situated at an altitude of 575m and is surrounded by a beautiful mountainous landscape. Thanks to its central location among the four big cities (Malaga, Seville, Granada, Cordoba) Antequera is known as El Corazon de Andalucia – the Heart of Andalusia. The town is also known as the City of the Churches, as it’s home to 33 of them – more per inhabitant than anywhere else in Spain! What makes Antequera even more interesting is that three UNESCO World Heritage sites can be found there. But despite all of this, the town yet isn’t a well-known tourist destination and can be named a hidden gem in Andalusia. You can combine a visit to Antequera City with hiking in El Torcal, located only 15km away.
Frigiliana is located about 60km from Malaga. This charming little white village is located at 320 m a.s.l and squeezed between the Mediterranean Sea and Parque Natural de Sierras de Tejeda, Almijara y Alhama. Frigiliana is one of the best-preserved villages in the whole Province of Malaga and has a typical Mediterranean vibe. Spanish Tourism Board named it the most beautiful village in Andalusia. It’s a truly amazing place near Malaga for a day trip! You can easily combine a visit to Frigiliana with Nerja, as these two villages are located only 10km away from each other.
Learn more: 10 Things To Do In Frigiliana, Spain In One Day
Nerja is located about 60km from Malaga. Once it was a small fishing village, now it’s a popular holiday resort on Costa del Sol, which kept its traditional Andalusian charm with an old town full of old whitewashed houses and cobbled streets. Nerja is surrounded by mountains and sandy beaches that invite you to spend a day on them. The town is famous for Nerja Caves, where you can admire the world’s largest stalactite! You can easily combine a visit to Nerja with Frigiliana, as these two villages are located only 10km away from each other.
Learn more: 10+ Best Things To Do In Nerja, Spain In One Day
Estepona is located about 90km from Malaga. This charming town is a hidden gem in Andalusia, yet not as popular and crowded as other places on the Costa del Sol. In the 60s, so not that long ago, it was a little fishing village and since then it developed into one of the biggest cities in the area. Nonetheless, Estepona’s old town kept its charm, and strolling along it feels like stepping back several dozens of years back. What’s more, the newest part of the city is filled with dozens of murals created by local artists.
Torrox is located about 50km from Malaga. It’s a small town located on Costa del Sol, on the shores of the Mediterranean Sea and at the foot of the Parque Natural de Sierras de Tejeda, Almijara y Alhama. Torrox has the best climate in Europe, with an average annual temperature of 18°C. The town is divided into two parts: Torrox Costa and Torrox Pueblo. Torrox Costa is full of beautiful beaches, and Torrox Pueblo is a white village full of narrow streets and whitewashed houses decorated with flowers. You can easily combine a visit to Torrox with Frigiliana or Nerja.
Granada is located about 130km from Malaga. It’s one of the most visited cities in Spain, where history comes to life at its best. Impressive Islamic fortress, Arab quarters, mesmerizing flamenco shows, stunning views at every step, traditional Arab baths, and a mix of cultures that intertwine perfectly with each other… Granada has it all and even more. Without a doubt, Granada is a great idea for a day trip from Malaga.
Learn more: 10+ Things To Do In Granada, Spain In One Day
Ojen is located 70km from Malaga. It’s another beautiful Andalusian white village, which retained all the traditional charm. Ojen is a town of Moorish origin with a population of only about 3000 people. It’s located between the sea and the Parque Nacional Sierra de las Nieves, less than 10km from Marbella. Its name is derived from an Arabic word, hoxán, meaning “rough place”, which is quite interesting as Ojen is a very tranquil place.
Day Trips From Malaga – Natural sites
El Torcal de Antequera
El Torcal de Antequera is located about 50km from Malaga. Hidden inland, El Torcal offers one of the most spectacular karst landscapes in Spain, and in the whole of Europe. This is a place where you’ll feel that you moved to another planet, and plenty of surrealistic rock formations will leave you speechless. What’s interesting, El Torcal de Antequera has been part of a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2016. You can combine hiking in El Torcal with a visit to Antequera City, located only 15km away.
Caminito del Rey
Another great place near Malaga for a day trip is Caminito del Rey, located only about 60km from the city. It’s a 7.7km long, one-way picturesque trail that runs through cliffs, canyons, and a large valley. Without a doubt, it’s one of the most spectacular natural sites in Andalusia. Caminito del Rey offers quite a unique experience of strolling along walkways hanging over 100 meters up on a sheer cliff face. Once it was one of the most dangerous trails in the world due to its poorly maintained footbridges. But don’t worry it’s perfectly safe now!
Even more ideas for day trips From Malaga
Do you still need more ideas for day trips from Malaga? Here are a few more ideas, which we had on our bucket list but during our last stay we just didn’t have more time for them. But we definitely will visit them next time while in Malaga!
Casares is located about 100km from Malaga, and only 15km from Estepona so you can easily combine trips to these two places. It’s another picturesque Andalusian white village, tucked up into a rocky mountainside offering great views of the surroundings. Casares is full of narrow steep streets with traditional white houses. Thanks to the fact that many of its houses appear to hang precariously over the edge, the place has earned a “hanging village” nickname.
Setenil de las Bodegas
Setenil de las Bodegas is located about 95km from Malaga. It’s a charming white village best known for whitewashed houses built into the surrounding cliffs of a narrow gorge. Walking among a maze of streets that wind through the rocky landscape for sure is a really unique experience! In Setenil de las Bodegas you can also enjoy a hilltop castle offering great views of the surroundings.
Iznajar is located 85km from Malaga. This picturesque white town is overlooking the biggest Andalusian lake, Iznajar Lake. The old town is a maze of narrow streets and alleys that wind up to the town’s imposing castle and church, offering stunning views of the surrounding countryside.
Comares is located 35km from Malaga, at an altitude of 703m a.s.l. It’s a charming hilltop village full of history and spectacular views of the surrounding areas. As you might expect, Comares old town is a maze of narrow, winding streets, lined with traditional whitewashed houses with strong Arab influences.
Villanueva de la Concepcion
Villanueva de la Concepcion is located 45km from Malaga, only 20km from Antequera, and 10km from stunning limestone formations – El Torcal de Antequera. It’s a small Andalusian town full of charming winding streets and traditional whitewashed houses that offer visitors a glimpse into a rural way of life. It’s a really great place for a day trip from Malaga.
Best Day Trips From Malaga, Spain – Summing up
As you can see now, there are so many amazing towns and natural places perfect for a day trip from Malaga. Andalusian white villages, historic towns, peaceful natural sites, vibrant cities… If you’re staying longer in the city you definitely won’t be bored and you’ll find the perfect places to visit for yourself. We hope our post was helpful, and now you’re one step closer to choosing your best day trips from Malaga, Spain. Enjoy the time exploring and later share your experiences in the comments. We’re curious about the places you chose!
Our opinion & subjective ranking of best day trips from Malaga
So far we’ve spent almost 4 months in Andalusia and it quickly became our second favorite region in the country, after the Asturias in the North. We stayed near Malaga between November and January so there were no wild crowds and we explored most of the places in peace. We really enjoyed our trips! To be honest, we can’t think about the many downsides of this region… Ok, maybe besides horrendous eating hours which resulted in barely eating out around 1 PM.
So what are our favorite day trips from Malaga? Benalmadena Pueblo with Castillo de Colomares is our unquestionable number one. Next ones are Estepona, Antequera + El Torcal, Caminito del Rey, Frigiliana, and Ronda. We didn’t particularly enjoy Granada.