We visited the Alcazaba of Malaga in the perfect weather conditions, blue skies and bright sunshine yet not too hot. So what should you expect from a visit to the Alcazaba of Malaga?
Entrance to the Alcazaba
There are two ways of getting in to the Alcazaba. You can walk up the hill to the top entrance or you can take the lift from behind the town hall, which is located just below the Alcazaba. It’s not difficult to guess which option is the better one! You’re going to get enough walking anyway, without adding an unnecessary climb up to the starting point!
Once you locate the lift, you’ll find a ticket booth at the entrance and a machine with loads of different options of types of tickets. The man on duty when we visited was friendly and helpful so I didn’t have to read through all the various options; he just told me to press number 1 and number 2 to buy 3 tickets to the Alcazaba.
You can include the Gibralfaro in your ticket or buy it at the top if/when you get there. The entrance to the Alcazaba was 3.50€ per person and the entrance to the Gibralfaro bought separately was the same, but it’s cheaper to include them both in your first ticket. At the time of writing, the Alcazaba + Gibralfaro bought separately cost 3.50€ each and bought together, 5.50€ in total.
Inside the Alcazaba
If you’re wondering what to expect inside the Alcazaba, I’d describe it as very pleasant. It’s somewhere you can spend a good hour or more wandering around admiring the history and the views. The Alcazaba itself has a lovely feel to it, all the stone cobbling and little water channels running through the patios and gardens.
The alcazaba isn’t extravagant or wildly impressive, it’s more of a gentle beauty – but to me that doesn’t make it any less worth a visit.
The lift will take you straight into the heart of the Alcazaba, just off one of the inner courtyards with water features. From there you can explore a few rooms, lookouts and gardens, all with spectacular views over Malaga. From here you can see the whole of the city of Málaga, the port with the huge cruise ships and the sea, stretching away to the horizon.
The Gibralfaro of Malaga
If you’re planning to continue walking up to the Gibralfaro of Málaga, you’ll have to leave the Alcazaba – i.e. walk downwards before you can start the climb upwards to the Gibralfaro. There’s no doubt about it, the climb is steep up to the Gibralfaro so if in doubt, you can also get there by car or bus.
For the fun lovers among you, you can hire an electric scooter and the bottom of the hill, which will take you up most, but not all, of the way. Another point to be aware of is that the top part of the path is paved with flat stone paving which is very slippery, so I would hate to be walking up there in anything other than trainers which at least have some grip. Normal shoes would be a nightmare.
The views all the way, from the first moment in the Alcazaba to the stunning climax at the top of the hill, are amazing and you will feast your eyes every moment.
Parador de Gibralfaro
A really nice thing to do after the climb up to the top of the Gibralfaro is to walk a little bit further to the Parador de Gibralfaro where you can sit at a table overlooking the whole panoramic view of Malaga below you. The view is stunning and on a sunny day you can spend a good while enjoying your accomplishment over a chilled drink.
The Parador has two eating options: the cafeteria or the restaurant. We had planned to eat lunch there but changed our minds on reading the menu. Both options have pretty limited menus, which is fine if you like what is on them but not so easy for someone like myself who is vegan and intolerant gluten.
Even for more normal eaters, the food on the menu isn’t particularly enticing or special in comparison with the price. The day that we visited they did serve gluten free beer but according to the staff it is not always available.
The Walk Down
Be careful on the walk down from the Gibralfaro that you don’t slip! Other than that it’s a pleasure to see that steep hill you’ve just recently climbed up vanishing away so easily behind you! When you reach the bottom you can pop into the remains of the roman amphitheatre.
At the end of your visit it’s time to head off for a bite to eat in the neighbouring Plaza de la Merced. Enjoy!
At Explore Andalusia we will create a holiday just for you, and we’ll show you off-the-beaten-track gems – just like having friends abroad.