Things to do in Granada

All you need to plan a perfect trip from Granada to Malaga

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Granada is the heart of Andalusia and has enough to keep travelers occupied for a long time! But, beyond Granada lie wonderful destinations like Cordoba, Alpujarras and Malaga that offer unique experiences that cannot be missed. Malaga, a picturesque port city on the Costa del Sol, is just 125 KM away from Granada and offers everything from Roman historic monuments to Moorish architecture. The icing on the cake is the ‘Caminito del Rey’, a unique pathway that winds its way around steep gorges created by the Guadalhorce River in the Malaga Mountain Range. Once upon a time known as the world’s most dangerous walkway, it is today an exciting nature and adventure destination that will leave you awestruck with it otherworldly landscapes!

Why take a day trip from Granada to Malaga?

Granada to Caminito del Rey

For over 2,800 years the city of Malaga drew visitors from far and wide and became a destination where everyone from Romans and Phoenicians to Arabs and Christians ruled. The remnants of these conquests and civilisations can be seen across the city and have become an intrinsic part of the culture.

A short distance of 125 KM from Granada, Malaga is a great destination for a day trip. You can explore Roman history at its Roman Theatre, admire the Moorish architecture at the Alcazaba, marvel at wood carvings at the Malaga Cathedral and learn more about Malaga’s most famous son ‘Picasso’ at the Museo Picasso.

While the city is captivating and will excite you no bounds, the real excitement in Malaga remains a short drive away from the city in Caminito del Rey. Once heralded as the world’s most dangerous pathway, this incredible hike is today one of the best attractions in Spain and one of the most scenic walks in the world. Take a day trip from Granada to Malaga for a rendezvous with nature and Spanish history!

Caminito del Rey – The Reason You Should Visit Malaga

Hug the sheer towering cliffs and peer into the aquamarine river about 300ft below you, as you walk on what was touted as one of the world’s dangerous walkways. But, worry not! This walkway known as the Caminito del Rey has become one of the most beautiful and safe hikes after the building of the reinforced pathway in 2015.

Caminito del Rey or the ‘King’s Little Pathway’ was named after King Alphonso XIII who used it to inaugurate a dam, back in 1921. Historically, the pathway was used by construction workers to travel between the hydroelectric stations of El Chorro and Gaitanejo. After having falling to ruins in the later part of the 21st century, the new pathway today includes almost 8KM of trails and boardwalks secured with railings and safety nets.

The highlight of the route is the 2.9 KM wooden boardwalk and glass-bottomed section that traverses the narrow gorge. You will walk on boardwalks that cling to steep cliffs, hike through the pine forest, and walk across drawbridges.

The Caminito del Rey offers breathtaking scenery of the gorges and the river below. You will feel the adrenaline coursing through you as you grapple vertigo at the steep heights, while admiring the panorama of the forest and its native wildlife in front of you!

Other Things to Do in Malaga

granada to malaga - day trip itinerary
The Alcazaba of Malaga

The Alcazaba of Malaga is one of the best preserved Moorish fortresses in Spain and dates back to the 11th century when it was built by the Hammudid dynasty. The striking brown fortress stands tall atop a hill overlooking the city of Malaga and the port. The Alcazaba has pretty gardens, porticos and buildings that are reminiscent of Nasrid and traditional Moorish architecture.

granada to malaga - day trip itinerary
Gibralfaro Castle

The Gibralfaro Castle is iconic to Malaga as its image is imprinted both on the Malaga province’s flag and seal. The castle is located on the namesake Gibralfaro hill, a part of the Montes de Malaga mountain range and is surrounded by thick forest of Eucalyptus and Pine. A climb up to the castle offers panoramic views of the Malaga city and the port.

granada to malaga - day trip itinerary
Malaga Roman Theatre

At the foot of the Alcazaba is Malaga’s oldest monument – the Roman Theatre. Dating back to the 1st century BC it was built under the Emperor Augustus and was used until 3rd Century AD. The Roman theatre is well-preserved and has three sections in a semi-circle, the spectator’s circle, VIP circle and the stage. A visit to the interpretation centre will take you through the site’s history and artefacts.

granada to malaga - day trip itinerary
The Malaga Cathedral

The Malaga Cathedral was built between 1528 and 1782 and referred to as ‘La Manquita’ that translates to ‘One armed woman’ because it only has one tower. The real charm of the cathedral is in the interiors which are Renaissance and Baroque, and in its 40 wooden statues carved by the famous Pedro De Mena. Climb up 200 stairs to catch spectacular views from the rooftop!

granada to malaga - day trip itinerary
Malagueta Beach

La Malagueta Beach is where the people of Malaga go to relax. The man-made beach with dark sand is reclaimed from the coast and turns into a family-friendly attraction during the summers. Located near the Playa de la Caleta it is a part of the Malagueta neighborhood that was known for its industrial buildings, but has since been transformed into a happening beach destination.

granada to malaga - day trip itinerary
Ataranzas Market

Markets are incredible spaces to immerse in a culture and the Ataranzas Market is where one can watch the history and culture of Malaga in action. The building itself is an amalgamation of 14th century Moorish architecture and 19th century industrial design. The market has restaurants, fresh produce stalls and souvenirs stalls where you can shop, eat and people-watch!

granada to malaga - day trip itinerary
Malaga Natural Park

The Montes de Malaga Natural Park protects the mountain ranges of Montes de Malagas and protects its native wildlife and vegetation. The incredible pine forest covers the basin of the River Guadalmedina and is an excellent destination for hiking. Within the park is an eco-museum and trails suitable for hiking and mountain biking.

Going from Granada to Malaga - Your Transportation Options

The distance from Granada to Malaga is about 125 KM away and you can find multiple transport options to travel the distance.

Granada to Malaga by Bus

The buses from Granada to Malaga start from the Estación de Autobuses de Granada bus station. The bus frequency is good and starts from around 6 AM, and the ticket cost starts from € 5.45. It would take about 1 hour and 45 minutes to complete the journey from Granada to Malaga by bus.

Granada to Malaga by Train

There is no direct train from Granada to Malaga, you will have to take a train from Granada to Antequera Santa Ana and then on to Malaga. The entire journey would take around 4 hours with a transfer and cost upwards of € 45.

Granada to Malaga by Car

Car is the fastest way to get from Granada to Malaga as it takes only about 1 hour and 30 minutes. The route goes along the A-92 highway and then takes the A-45.

Granada to Malaga on a guided tour

A guided tour to Malaga from Granada is a convenient option as it takes the road route in an AC vehicle, which is the fastest way to get there. Plus, your transport to Caminito del Rey (60 KM from Malaga) is included in the tour. You get the services of an expert guide and your itinerary highlighting the best of Malaga is included in the tour.

Know Before Taking a Trip from Granada to Malaga

Guided vs Self-Guided Tour

The province of Malaga with its rich cultural and historic attractions is a great destination to explore on your own. But, it takes time and a bit of effort in translation to figure out your way and transport around the region. For those who want to make the most of their time in Spain, a guided tour is the best option to explore Malaga.

A day tour from Granada to Malaga will include transport from Granada in an air-conditioned coach and stops at incredible attractions like Caminito del Rey and the city of Andalusia. You will also get the services of an expert English and Spanish speaking guide, making your trip to Malaga stress-free and enjoyable!

Distance & Duration

Malaga is just about 125 KM from Granada and takes about 1 hour 45 minutes to travel by road. You can easily cover the region and its attractions in a day. It is possible to even travel further 60 KM to Caminito del Rey and spend 3-4 hours walking the trail on your trip. If you take the guided tour you don’t have to worry about catching the last bus back to Granada.

Best Time to Visit Malaga

March to May is the best time to Malaga, it is the spring season and the weather is pleasant and mild that is perfect for sightseeing. It is also a great time to walk the Caminito del Rey as the sun is not harsh! It is also the low season and you don’t have to deal with throngs of summer tourists. September and October are also good months to indulge in outdoor activities and enjoy the treasures of Malaga.

Granada to Caminito del Rey

Handy Tips

  • Choose to get there early in the day as the Mediterranean sun can be overbearing in the afternoons. Carry a scarf and sunglasses to stay in the shade; you will be given a hard hat for safety reasons at the Caminito del Rey walk.
  • The main boardwalk of Caminito del Rey is about 3 KM but the entire length including the access roads and forest trails adds up to 8 KM, making it a lengthy walk. The walk is done downhill and at a leisurely pace it should take about 4-5 hours to complete it fully. Be sure to wear comfortable shoes for the walk.
  • It is best to carry snacks and water on the Caminito del Rey trail as you will not find any kiosks to refuel along the way.
  • Many of the major attractions in Malaga, including the Caminito del Rey, are closed on Mondays, so it’s ideal to plan your trip around it.
  • Caminito del Rey is not wheel-chair accessible and travelers with any known medical issues like vertigo, fear of heights etc. should get their doctor’s advice on walking the path. The general direction of the path is downhill but you will be required to climb up and down in places, thus requiring a basic level of fitness.

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