For the first post in this series I am going to focus on Malaga. This is an area in the South of Spain we visited over October half term and although the main purpose of that holiday was for us to chill out and relax as a family, there is plenty to do if you want to get out and about. There is a good reason why Malaga is known as such a great family-friendly destination and if you want a good mix of sun, sand and sea then you can't go wrong with a trip here.
I'm sure we are not alone however in being the type of family who have to mix up those days lazing by the pool with a good dose of sightseeing. We feel that introducing the kids to different cultures is really important and as I grew up adoring our holidays to Spain, it was only right that we take a look at some of the other things you can get up to in Malaga:-
Alcazaba Fortress and Gibralfaro Castle
If you don't mind a bit of a steep walk then spending a couple of hours exploring the Alcazba Fortress followed by nearby Gibralfaro Castle is the perfect way to explore some of Malaga's history. Located in a part of the city known as 'Old Town', the Alcazaba Fortress is one of the best preserved Moorish fortresses in Spain. You can spot the Moorish influence in a lot of the architecture in this part of the city and the views over the rest of Malaga are stunning once you are standing on the walls of the Alcazaba. It was often attacked by pirates which should intrigue most children and kids can play at defending the walls whilst parents can discover more about the history of Malaga. Win-win.
Selwo Marina Delfinarium
If you are staying in the heart of Malaga then it will take you around 30 minutes by car to reach the Selwo Marina Delfinarium which is situated in Benalmádena. This marine park is the only one of its kind in the area and offers the chance to see a whole host of animals from amphibians to reptiles. There are demonstrations which take place throughout the day such as feeding the penguins and dolphin and sea lion shows and the park is split into five different zones such as Las Antillas, home to the dolphins and Ice Island which is home to the penguins.
This is one of the most famous amusement parks in Spain and is perfect if you fancy an entire day out as a family. Again, it is near to Benalmádena but it is worth the drive with over 300 rides and attractions, tropical gardens, theatres, restaurants and more. We made the decision not to visit Tivoli World when we were in Malaga as the weather was a bit up and down but if we were to go during the summer then this would definitely be at the top of our list.
Churros and Tapas
Although not technically a destination, if you are in Spain and want an injection of Spanish culture then you absolutely have to find time to enjoy some tapas and churros. Tapas wasn't so much of a hit with Meg and Eli as it was with us but they adored the churros; especially the part where they got to dip the choux pastry into the hot chocolate.
Animal lovers will love a trip to Bioparc Fuengirola. This is Fuengirola's version of a zoo but it is a zoo with a difference; this is a zoological park where animals live side-by-side in recreations of their natural habitats. It isn't huge, which makes it perfect for younger children as there isn't far to walk but it is clear from the outset that every effort has been made to ensure the animals are well kept and that they aren't just being kept in captivity for the amusement of tourists.
A Villa and a Pool
Okay, so this is another little cheat but honestly? One of the best parts of our recent holiday was that we chose a villa with a pool. We did this quite deliberately so that if we didn't feel like heading out and exploring then we didn't need to, and there was something to keep the kids occupied and I cannot fault our experience. There are hundreds of villas with swimming pools in this area and some stunning views to be had if, like us, you are willing to go up into the hills. This is the perfect option if you want to unwind and get some serious pool-time in.