This blog post was originally posted on November 20th, 2015 and was updated on December 13, 2017
As much as we hate to admit it, winter is almost here. And with it come the snow boots, bundling up in scarves, sweaters, coats and wooly caps.
While there are parts of the colder months that we all enjoy: hot chocolate by the fire, afternoons spent indoors reading a great book, weekends away to perfect our skiing and a chance to ice skate outdoors, there is a little part of us that wonders if it wouldn’t be nicer in the dead of winter, to escape to the sun. From Malaga, we’d like to whisper this in your ear: “Get out of the cold!” Why should you take your winter sun break here? 10 reasons to visit Malaga in winter.
1. The weather is fantastic
When you go searching the internet for “winter sun break” one of the top destinations to pop up is Malaga. It is the capital of the Costa del Sol after all! Malaga city also enjoys even more sunny days since it is protected from the north by the mountains and to the south by the sea.
This creates a microclimate with mild temperatures, even in winter. The average for the winter months hovers around 15º, but in the sun you’ll soon be shedding that winter jacket! That alone sounds like a good enough reason to visit Malaga in winter!
2. The white villages are just waiting to be explored
Since you won’t be jumping in the Mediterranean (for however warm it might get, this is clearly not the season for a swim), why not check out one of the beautiful white villages (pueblos blancos) in Malaga? On your winter sun break you can explore the twisting narrow streets of Mijas, Comares, or Frigiliana. We love it because there are fewer people and you’re more likely to have an authentic experience.
3. There are world-renowned ski slopes just a short 100 km drive away
Malaga is a great home base for a winter sun break thanks to its proximity to the sea, but also the mountains. You can easily spend a day in the Sierra Nevada mountains (just 100 km from Malaga City). It’s a great option if you are looking for a vacation that combines the best of both worlds: great weather and winter sports.
4. You can eat lunch at the beach
While it might not be warm enough to go for a swim, one thing we can do in Malaga in winter is have lunch in the sun at one of the beachside restaurants called “chiringuitos”. There is something so wonderful about enjoying a meal in February with the sun shining and the waves crashing in the distance. It’s as wonderful as a winter sun break can be.
5. Malaga was voted one of the best places to spend the holidays in Spain
Christmas is a beautiful time to visit Malaga. The light display on Calle Larios is always quite impressive, and the festive atmosphere is contagious. You can enjoy the Christmas markets, and ring in the New Year with a toast of sweet wine.
Of course, you can’t miss the huge nativity scene at the Town Hall, or the parade for Three Kings Day complete with floats and candy for the children. It’s a magical time of year!
6. It really is the only time of year to fully enjoy a “plato de los montes”!
Have you ever seen a photo of the platos de los Montes de Malaga? These are plates piled high with every kind of meat imaginable, oh, and also fried potatoes and a fried green pepper…and maybe a fried egg.
We can’t imagine eating this dish in the summer, but there’s something about a cool winter Sunday that invites you to drive up to the mountains of Malaga and stop at a “venta” (one of the roadside restaurants) to indulge in the chorizo, morcilla, pork loin, fried potatoes, fried egg…and maybe a fried green pepper (because you need some veggies, after all!)
Luckily you won’t need to put on the bikini for another couple of months, so it’s the perfect plan for winter in Malaga.
7. Some of the best golf courses in Spain are found on the Costa del Sol
Another popular reason many people choose to book a vacation in winter in Malaga are the world class golf courses available along the Costa del Sol. Enjoy a drive from Malaga city along the highway that borders the sea and try to beat your game.
8. Tapas are delicious year round
There is nothing quite like a tapas bar packed with locals, coats thrown over bar stools, catching up with friends and enjoying tapas and rounds of beer or wine. We love going for tapas all year round, but there is something especially cozy about it in the winter when the terrace at night is just a bit too chilly.
We also love the variety of tapas in winter. The bars tend to serve heartier things: paella, bacon wrapped dates, and fried bacalao top our list of typical tapas to be found in Malaga in winter.
9. A chance to truly appreciate sweet wine
Okay, we admit it, the hot summer months are not ideal for sweet wine. We prefer a cold caña (beer) or a tinto de verano (wine mixed with lemon soda), but the winter is perfect to indulge in this tasty tipple, as winter in Malaga gives you a chance to sit in one of the classic wine bars of the city and try the various local wines.
Local Tip: We suggest you start with the Pajarete, but then again, ask the bartender, you’ll be surprised at how many different wines there are from the region.
10. The museums are better without the crowds
Since winter in Malaga is the low tourist season, you’ll be able to enjoy the museums with a little bit more breathing room. There is nothing worse than going to an art gallery and feeling like everyone is on top of one another, so by visiting Malaga in winter, you’ll be able to truly enjoy the art.
There’s one last great reason to visit Malaga in winter– the food is fabulous all year round! Join us on one of our Devour Malaga food tours and learn about all the secrets behind our wonderful local cuisine.
Abby has lived in cities all over Spain including Madrid, Málaga, Fuengirola, Sevilla and Barcelona and she loves traveling and tasting all this diverse country has to offer. Along with her husband, who is originally from Málaga, she writes the bilingual travel blog El Boquerón Viajero. Abby is also currently partner & director of communications for a Spanish travel agency called Auténtico Nueva York. She has recently become a mum & is looking forward to sharing all Spain’s bites with the next generation of foodies! Favorite Devour Tour? Catalan calçotada!