The Alcazaba is a palatial Moorish fortress that looms over Malaga’s historical centre, with meandering gardens and views onto the sea.
If you have a spare afternoon in Malaga, there’s no better way to spend it than wandering through the Alcazaba, arguably the city’s most important landmark. Entry is super cheap, (even free on Sunday afternoons) and the views are superb!
The Alcazaba, meaning “citadel” in Arabic, was constructed at the foot of Monte Gibralfaro by the Moors in the early 11th century. It was built upon the ruins of a Roman fortification, with the purpose of defending the city from pirates. These days, it houses a small, slightly disorderly archaeological museum featuring Roman relics and Moorish ceramics - but it’s the peaceful atmosphere rather than the historical artifacts that give this fortress its charm.
With its rectangular patios, bubbling fountains and rows of orange trees, Alcazaba is similar to the world-famous Alhambra in Granada. However, it’s smaller and less-known, with far fewer tourists - so a wonderful alternative sight to see if you’re on a road trip through Mediterranean spain.
One of the many attractions of the Alcazaba fortress is its abundance of vibrant flowers, fragrant jasmine bushes and rows of colourful orange trees. Why not bring a book and some snacks and park up on a bench with a view for an hour or two.
One of the most magical aspects of Malaga is just how visible its history is - and there’s no better place to see this than from the Roman amphitheatre. From here, you can look up at the 11th century Alhambra, which itself was built with stones taken from the theatre.
Just above Alcazaba is the Castillo Gibralfaro (Gibralfaro Castle), the remains of a fortress which built by Abd-al-Rahman III, Caliph of Cordoba, in the 10th century. And just opposite the Roman theatre is a rather mysterious glass pyramid without any signage or explanation. Ask a guide though, and they’ll tell you that the vats within the pyramid were once used for preserving garum fish sauce, a delicacy in Roman times.
January 2nd to March 31st
April 1st to October 31st
Entry to Alcazaba
Sunday afternoon after 2pm