Malaga… 300 sunny days per year, hot summers, warm winters, beautiful beaches, scenic landscapes, delicious food… and so many amazing places to visit nearby. Thanks to its great location Malaga isn’t only a great holiday destination, but it also makes a perfect place to stay for a longer period of time and slowly discover towns, villages, and natural sites in the area. Stay with us and discover many beautiful places near Malaga for one-day trips.
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 places near Malaga for which we unfortunately had no more time. Each place is no further than a 1.5h drive from Malaga by car, which makes them just a perfect idea for a one day trip from the city. Vamos!
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Places Near Malaga For One Day Trips – Towns
Frigiliana is located about 60km from Malaga. This charming little white village is located at 320 m a.s.l, 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. Truly amazing place near Malaga for a one day trip!
Benalmadena Pueblo is located only about 30km from Malaga. 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 C. Columbus and his discovery of America. The most fascinating fact is that it was built by only… 3 people! Believe us, you don’t want to miss this charming place near Malaga!
Learn more: 7 Best Things To Do In Benalmadena Pueblo, Spain
Ronda is located about 100km from Malaga. This town is 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, and declared a city in the 1st century AD by Julius Caesar. Ronda is located on higher terrain, at 739 m a.s.l., and offers spectacular views of the nearby areas. Currently, it’s one of the most visited towns in Andalusia.
Learn more: What To See In Ronda In One Day? Complete Guide
Another great place near Malaga for a one day trip is Estepona, located about 90km from the city. 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, the old town kept its charm, and strolling along it feels like stepping back several dozens of years back.
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 village located at the altitude of 430 m a.s.l., at the foot of Sierra de Mijas. The village is 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 stunning 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 Andalucía (The Heart of Andalusia). The town is also known as the City of the Churches, as its 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.
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 places near Malaga for one day trips. 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, delicious food, as well as golf courses, and luxury shopping.
Learn more: 10 Best Things To Do And See In Marbella, Spain
Nerja is located about 60km from Malaga. Once it was a small fishing village, now it’s a popular holiday resort, 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 Cuevas de Nerja (eng. Nerja Caves), where you can admire the world’s largest stalactite.
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. It’s a great place near Malaga for a one-day trip.
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.
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 full of narrow streets and whitewashed houses decorated with flowers.
Places Near Malaga For One Day Trips – Natural sites
Caminito del Rey
Another great place near Malaga for a one 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.
Learn more: Caminito Del Rey – Everything You Need To Know
El Torcal de Antequera
El Torcal de Antequera is located about 50km from Malaga, and only 15km from Antequera. Hidden inland, El Torcal de Antequera 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. Noteworthy is also the fact that El Torcal de Antequera is part of a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2016.
Even more places near Malaga for one-day trips
Do you still want to visit more towns and villages near 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.
Setenil de las Bodegas
Setenil de las Bodegas is located about 95km from Malaga. It’s a super 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.
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.
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 offers visitors a glimpse into a rural way of life. It’s a really great place near Malaga for a one day trip.
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.
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.
Places Near Malaga For One Day Trips – Summing up
Hopefully, you enjoyed the post and discovered new towns and natural places to visit near Malaga. Certainly, we haven’t seen everything that’s in the area so if you know about something equally beautiful and worth exploring – share it in the comments below. Have a great next trip and enjoy Andalusia!
Our opinion & subjective ranking of best places near Malaga
So far we’ve spent almost 4 months in Andalusia, and half of that time we lived near Malaga. It’s our second favorite region in the country, after the North. There are so many things to do and places to see that there’s just no chance to be bored! We really loved our trips during which we explored all mentioned white villages, towns, cities, and natural sites. We stayed there during December & January, so there were no wild crowds and we explored most of the places in peace. To be honest, we can’t really think about the many downsides of this region… Ok, maybe besides horrendous eating hours which resulted in barely eating out!
So what are our favorite places near Malaga? Benalmadena Pueblo is our unquestionable number one. Next ones are Estepona, Antequera + El Torcal, Ronda and Caminito del Rey. We didn’t particularly enjoy Granada and Marbella.
One more tip: traveling by car, without a doubt, is the best and the fastest way of getting to all mentioned places near Malaga. So if you’re not traveling by car, we recommend you rent one.