My Travel Diary: Madrid to Malaga

Gorgeous Malaga

Gorgeous Malaga

I had a long weekend and the weather reports looked fantastic. I decided to get off the couch where I’d been watching cheesy Spanish series and playing free online games for hours. I knew I had to take advantage of the forecast, but it was so last minute that I had no idea where to go. I checked out weather.com to find out where the warmest spots in Spain were, and after checking out a few pictures of Malaga’s amazing beaches I was sold– Madrid to Malaga it was.

Bus tickets were super cheap- around 26€ each way. Unfortunately the bus ride was 6 hours long, but on a student budget it is impossible to pass up an amazing deal like that! That being said, a friend who joined me paid about 100€ to take the train and said it was totally worth it– maybe next time!

The midnight bus seemed like the best option for me, as I could sleep through the bus ride, hopefully making it a little more bearable. I arrived at 6:00 a.m., which was silly on my part because I could have taken the 1:00 a.m. bus and arrived at 7:00 a.m., which is when things seemed to start opening. Malaga was an absolute ghost town at 6:00 a.m.! I also should have taken a taxi to my hostel, instead of wandering around in my zombie-like state in those wee hours of the morning, but I suppose it’s only in hindsight that everything is 20/20!

The sleep on the bus wasn’t all I was hoping for so I had to have a little morning siesta before I got my day going, but once I did I had no regrets. Even the walk to the beach was gorgeous. The center of Malaga is a shopper and snacker’s dream. The streets are bright white marble and lined with stores and eateries, ranging from Zara to an artisanal ice cream shop. I tried to resist all the food (knowing I would soon be sporting a bathing suit) but you’d better believe I went back for a post beach snack!

Typical Malaga bar.

Typical Malaga bar.

On your way to the sea, you first pass a beautiful harbor filled with sailboats of all sizes. The water is crisp Mediterranean blue and in contrast against the white sails and green mountains I really was not sure if I would ever get to the beach. When that sand came into view though, it was all I could do to keep from sprinting away from the group.

It was absolutely breathtaking.

The green mountains that I had seen in the distance were now right here, next to the sand, all in one! A chiringuito (seafood shack) was located directly on the sand, manned by a large bald man who seemed to be in the utmost state of relaxation grilling sardines to Bob Marley. By the end of the weekend all I wanted was to feel as relaxed as he looked.

Malaga port.

Malaga port.

I truly believe that I accomplished that goal. I spent three days plopped on that sand, soaking in the water and chowing down on grilled sardines…and maybe a couple of mojitos were involved.

The ability to relax there is not why I would recommend visiting Malaga however. While any beach town makes for a fun vacation, Malaga has much more to offer. There is nothing quite as magical as having mountains in your peripheral vision as you stare out into the Mediterranean Sea, smelling fresh seafood while listening to the waves crash and rubbing sand between your toes. It is truly a place to be enjoyed by all the senses!

Madrid to Malaga is an easy weekend escape– where would you go if you only had 48 hours?

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