Why? It’s connected by every (budget) airline going, yet – importantly – perfectly Spanish, and prices aren’t extortionate either: wine and beer can be as cheap as €2 a glass, with tapas starting at around the same. The dozens of free galleries and museums are a bonus, too. And you’re sure to enjoy some winter sun.Tourist sites are numerous: as well as the cathedral, dominating the narrow pedestrianised streets, the Alcazaba, a magnificent Moorish fortress, is an essential climb; and, further up the steep, bougainvillea-clad hillside, the Gibralfaro Castle. Within the ramparts you can sink a beer at its shady cafe after gulping down views of a city sprawl dominated by the cathedral on one side, turquoise sea on the other. Better still, both are free on Sundays after 2pm. Modern art galleries are dotted around, too: best of all is the Centre of Contemporary Art (free), an enormous converted wholesalers’ market with (currently) works by Tovar, Olafur Elassen, Basquiat, Warhol and Anish Kapoor. In particular we loved Galician sculptor Leiro whose wooden figures are dark and mesmerising.
For years Malaga was overlooked by many on the march to the sybaritic paradises of the Costa del Sol. But, having visited a dozen times in the last ten years, I reckon it really should now rate higher in travellers’ minds: as one of Europe’s top weekend destinations, in fact.