Málaga’s province stands out for its rich culture and beautiful corners, many near the capital, but also unknown. For this reason, once you’ve already visited Costa del Sol’s capital city, it would be a good idea to go around some of the most picturesque towns.

This Andalusian province has a lot to offer, beyond typical tourism of sun & sand (that you already know about). A route around this Málaga charming towns will lead you to discover five places with a different colour (in some of them, literally) that with no doubt require a visit.

This Málaga towns that we’re going to go all over will not leave you indifferent since they surprise tourists for their big special features. We will visit a few well-known ones (but still beautiful) and other places not as famous but still deserves a visit.

TOWNS NEAR MÁLAGA TO DISCOVER

This car route around the five most charming towns in Málaga that you should visit has been thought to do all together (if you have the time) or for you to choose your favorite ones and take a one-day trip since you don’t have more than an hour and a half by car from Málaga capital.

So, we start this plan from Málaga airport, where we can rent our car to start our journey to the most charming towns of the province. Nature, calm and the most traditional dishes from Málaga’s cuisine are guaranteed. Shall we begin?

Nerja

Nerja is one of the most known towns near Málaga and its popularity makes it be filled with tourists on peak season. Here is where the popular Spanish TV-show “Verano Azul” was recorded and the famous Chanquete’s boat has a replica at the park that is named after the TV-show. One essential thing you must see is the Balcón de Europa, with an amazing view of the beach and the cliffs that shape this piece of Costa del Sol. We also reccomend you rent a kayak at Playa de los Lances so you can discover the Maro cliffs, where you can only go like this.

Last but not least you can’t leave if you haven’t seen its cave (open to the public since 1960), astonishing galleries of more than 40mts tall and great acoustics (usually in July they celebrate inside their Festival Internacional de Música y Danza). The tour takes about 45minutes and it has two different parts, the Tall Galleries and the New Galleries (where most of the prehistoric rock art is), that are not open to the general public but can be visited in small groups.

Frigiliana

Frigiliana is without doubt one of the most beautiful towns of Andalucía. It’s located about 58km far from Málaga and in the region of Axarquía, an old andalusian region where green and nature contrast with the white houses. Nature and rural world at its finest. This little town, even though its interior, it’s not far from the sea and right at the center of the white houses you can see the Mediterranean sea right at the horizon.

Frigiliana is known as the “three-culture town” (christian, jew and muslim) and there really isn’t a route to follow if you want to visit. The best idea is to start your path at Calle Real, main artery of the old town, and get lost around its alleys. One of its main features is that it has adapted to tourism very well and it is kept clean and very, very genuine.

This town’s essence is actually its most defining feature, since the contrast between the white houses and plant-filled balconies with decorated ceramic plates is preserved and you don’t feel like you are in a tourist area. If there is something in Frigiliana that truly stands out, it is the viewpoint, where you can enjoy a great view and where the sunsets are spectacular.

El Acebuchal

El Acebuchal is a small village really close to Frigiliana, that was cleared in 1948 for being a refuge to the Maquis (Spanish guerrilla that fought against the Francoist regime). For this reason it was abandoned for years, but thanks to many families’ determination it was restored and resurrected, and now is a beautiful white village as they are typically at Andalucía.

This Málaga village has a special charm and, being located at Sierra de Almijara, it has many paths to walk by or hiking trails. But, be aware that there is only one restaurant-bar for the whole village, although they have a neat handcrafted local beer called Axarquía that we truly reccomend you. At this village they made a strong bet on rural tourism.

Comares

Following our car route through the 5 most charming towns in Málaga, we stay at Axarquía and take our fourth stop in a town called Comares, a magical place where you can see the whole region, known as “Axarquía’s Balcony”.

At Comares you can take the old Moorish route “Hins Comarix” (this means “Castle in the height”), that shows how important this town was during the Muslim era as a fortress, since it’s located on a strategic settlement between Vélez and Málaga. In addition to visiting around town, there are a lot of hiking trails you can take, very well signaled, where you can’t get lost.

Júzcar

Also known as the Smurf Village, Júzcar is a little town located at Serranía de Ronda that used to be totally anonymous until Sony Pictures decided to promote their Smurf movie right there. That year every house was painted with the Smurf’s specific blue and even some characters were drawn around. Having said that, it’s true that its main charm is the color of the houses and there aren’t many more remarkable things in town. It’s a great outing to do with kids, who will enjoy the shows they make for them. You can also enjoy the Pitu-tapa, a tapas route where you can taste the areas native food.

We generally recommend to visit this town the same day you visit Ronda, one of the most beautiful towns in this province, that with Antequera and Málaga make a unique culture and landscape triad that we invite you to visit with this roadtrip.

What do you think of this route through the five most charming towns of Málaga? Which one would you add to the list?