Located on a hill that looms protectively over the city of Malaga, Castillo de Gibralfaro is a must-see attraction. It was originally built as a lighthouse and military barracks in the 10th century by Abd-al-Rahman III, Caliph of Cordoba.
These days, just the craggy ruins of the fortress remain, but its pedestrian-friendly stone ramparts high above the city offer the best panoramic views of Malaga below.
The main reason to visit this structure is to walk through the nooks and crannies of its stone walls. Not much remains of the castle’s interior, but there is a lovely cafe where you can order una caña (a beer) and breathe in the salty Mediterranean air.
There’s also a small military museum within the site, which features a brief history of the castle throughout the centuries.
There are numerous walking routes leading up to the castle, giving you different perspectives of the city and sea.
The main way to get there is via the Paseo Don Juan de Tempoury, a somewhat steep and lushly gardened pathway paved with stone that’s built into the hill’s sea-facing side. You can access this route next to the entrance to Alcazaba. pause at designated vista points to catch your breath and snap photos of the port below.
For a little-known shaded trail that takes slightly longer, start at the entrance on Calle Mundo Nuevo, just off of Calle Victoria. This winding uphill path takes you through a forest of pine trees and eucalyptus, circling around the hill until you reach the top. You can also go off-piste for more of a hiking experience.
Taxis and buses are also an option if you don’t feel like walking. Alternatively, why not choose an offbeat method of exploration: the segway. Private and group guided tours leave from the port daily (call the tourist office for bookings).
Travel tip: Like many places in Malaga, the castle is free to visit on Sundays after 2pm.
January 1st to May 31st
June 1st to September 30th
October 1st to December 31st
Entry to Gibralfaro Castle