Daily Archives: May 9, 2016

Cycling Spain – Days 6 and 7 – Having Fun in Malaga

We arrived mid-day to Malaga after a short   1 1/2 hour bus ride from Granada.

Cycle paths like these made the decision easy to rent a bicycle.
Cycle paths like these made the decision easy to rent a bicycle.

Our original intent was to rent a moped for the day but, after seeing the great bicycle paths and lanes into town and finding several good bicycle shops in the city center, we once again chose our favorite mode of transportation…bikes.

There were at least three bicycle shops like these near the tourist information center in the city center.
Bike 2 Malaga was one of three bicycle shops  near the tourist information center in the city center.

What a great decision!

After cycling the steep hills of Andalusia, cycling in Malaga was a “walk on the beach.” Seriously! There are beautiful, flat cycle paths heading east and west from the city center.

The Malaga seaside.
The Malaga seaside.

Sandy beaches with volleyball courts, sand soccer pitches, outdoor fitness centers, and playgrounds, make this fun for all ages. Museums, outdoor art exhibits, lush green parks, a fort, a castle,a cathedral and a yacht-filled marina make Malaga an interesting destination.

The outdoor art exhibit is near the marina.
The outdoor art exhibit is near the marina.
Interesting architecture along the seawall near the cruise ship port.
Interesting architecture along the seawall near the cruise ship port.

On our first afternoon we cycled east past the lighthouse  and along the seashore for about 10 miles.

The light house makes a good reference point for finding the beaches and cycle path.
The light house makes a good reference point for finding the beaches and cycle path.

We found many seafood restaurants with empty row boats set on stilts and filled with simmering coals where fresh seafood is cooked. We made a note to come back the next day to  enjoy a long, leisurely, mid-day meal.

Many seafood restaurants have these row boats filled with simmering coals.
Many seafood restaurants have these row boats filled with simmering coals.

After returning to the city center on the same path we bounced along the cobblestone paths of the old city center. There was a two-block long red carpet filled with pedestrians dressed to the nines for the Malaga Film Festival. Street performers were entertaining guests at the square near the cathedral.

Red carpet for the Malaga Film Festival.
Red carpet for the Malaga Film Festival.

After returning our bikes before the shop’s 8:00 pm closing time, we set off to find a good seafood paella.

After a good night’s sleep, we rented bikes again. Our first stop was the train station to buy tickets for the next day on the fast train to Malaga. After seeing the crowds in town for the film festival and knowing this was a holiday weekend (Labor Day) in Spain we wanted to make sure we got Eric back to Madrid the following day for his flight to Egypt.

Castillo de Gibralfaro
Looking from the Castillo de Gibralfaro to the Malaga city center.

We then cycled the long, curvy road up the west side of the hill to the Castillo de Gibralfaro, a military garrison and coastal lookout form 1487 – 1925.  There we found great views.

Cycling down the east side of the garrison and joining the cycle path along the seashore, we returned to the area of seafood restaurants we’d discovered yesterday. Most of the restaurants were filled with diners and it took several stops to find an unreserved open table with a view of the water.

Our cuttllefish cooking on the hot coals.
Our cuttlefish cooking on the hot coals.

As usual, we ordered too much food: fried calamari, cuttle-fish and sea-bass grilled on the coals. We ate, talked and enjoyed the Mediterranean view for several hours leaving only a few bones and random pieces on our plates.

Cuttlefish
Cuttlefish
Sea bass.
Sea bass.

To burn off the calories, we headed west on the cycle path past the city center and continued another 10 miles in the opposite direction. The west side of town appears to have the newer beach-front apartment blocks with many  playgrounds and outdoor fitness centers. Exiting the paved path to a gravel mountain biking area, we found the surf casters  standing on a break wall, fishing, chatting and enjoying the warm breeze, calm waters and golden sunset.

We did exit the paved path onto a gravel road. The bike-store supplied patch kid did not have glue so Eric had to replace the tube.
The gravel path did give Eric a flat tire. Glad he was the one to get his hands dirty while I could take photos and watch the birds.
Each beach was identified by signs like this.
Each beach was identified by signs like this.

I highly recommend visiting Malaga by bicycle!