We came to Malaga expecting it to be an overcrowded, busy, commercialized, hot, typical urban Spanish city. But it turns out the smaller cities like Cordoba and Granada in the Andalusia region were instead. Of course, Cordoba and Granada have their charms, but I'll get into that in another post.

Malaga reminded me so much of the West Coast, especially LA with its relaxed vibes and palm trees.  Even the desert atmosphere is super Cal. Now,  I'm writing from the grayest country on Earth, the Netherlands. And I know I've said this before on my blog, but just want you to know so you don't think I officially escaped to Spain. At least not yet ;-)

First, I think the pictures do enough justice so bring on the good stuff!

We fell in love with Malaga.  Unfortunately, we had a bad start though.

proud Marcio finally united with our lugguage

proud Marcio finally united with our lugguage

Every traveler has lost their luggage at some point. Or rather I should say, some idiot airline or airport cargo employee has lost your luggage at some point. 

Basically, the Amsterdam airport never placed our bags on our flight to Malaga. They almost denied Marcio from boarding because they didn't look up his full name properly in the database.

Aside from the Amsterdam drama, we arrived in Malaga with big smiles stretched across our faces. For the first time, I rented a car in my name and used air miles points. I feel like a true adult traveler now, 27 and handing over my 2-years expired license from the States. Hey, it's Spain, remember?

Marcio drove though, so don't sweat it. You won't run into a crazy, 'automatic' American driver like me on the road.

Day 2: Estepona

Due to the fact that we had to recover for a full day on Saturday, we didn't kick off the vacation until the next day. After a few book marked googles, I decided to plot out a road trip to a city 90 kms West of Malaga. What a beauty this little seaside town is...

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Estepona

Everywhere you look, you'll see flowers and lush gardens along the boardwalk and nautical blue and white styled homes. 

According to our airbnb hosts, it's considered an affluent town filled with resorts and expensive yachts. We didn't come to buy one of course, but rather swim in the sea, eat and well, max out our well-deserved siestas.

We went to a nude beach outside the city. Consequently, I can't post pictures of the beach, but I can tell you the majority of the beach-go'ers were a 60+ crowd. I find it funny that the older generations don't care as much as the apparent 'carefree' youth to bare nude. 

Day 3: Castillo Gibralfaro (Castle Gibralfaro)

Located in the Montes de Malaga mountain range Northeast of Malaga, this is a perfect day trip by car to explore. Regretfully, we arrived in the mid-afternoon at the peak of the heat. The castle was built in 929AD by Abd-al-Rahman III on a former Phoenician lighthouse, hence the name gebel-faro (Arabic and Greek, meaning rock of the lighthouse).

We liked the Castle for its bird's eye views of the city. Nonetheless, there's a museum inside dedicated to the local history of Malaga and the Spanish empire. 

Wrapping up, Malaga has other sites to see such as the Alcazaba, Picasso museum, Roman Theater and more. Most importantly, Malaga was a place to rest and enjoy the siestas, tapas, gelato, walks and swimming by the seaside. We don't regret killing time with the art of doing nothing. Cause that's also what vacations are for, right? 

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