Andalusia is a charming historical region that has absorbed the best of Spain. Its thousand-year-old cities constantly host fairs and carnivals with bullfighting and flamenco. At the same time, the ancient coastal villages and beaches washed by the Mediterranean Sea amaze with their authenticity.
Beautiful mountain scenery and diverse wildlife around is another highlight of the region. By the way, enjoying nature escapes is one of the main reasons travelers prefer Andalusia.
Are you among them? So, head to Malaga, which is full of wonderful parks, gardens, and green spaces in and out of the city!
We have prepared for you a list of the most worthwhile and eye-catching natural sights located within a short drive away.
Laguna de la Barrera
If you head to the northwestern edge of the city, you will come to the wonderful Parc Laguna de la Barrera. Located in the Teatinos-Universidad area, it covers an area of almost 52,000 square metres and hosts various representatives of the animal and plant worlds.
Among the main highlights of the park is a large artificial lagoon, formed in the 70s – 80s of the XX century during the extraction of clay. The lagoon has a maximum width of about 250 metres and reaches a depth of 3 metres, so you can even swim there in hot weather.
Its shores are home to over 100 plant species, while the plankton-rich water provides excellent conditions for fish and reptiles. Also, sea and migratory birds often appear in the lagoon. As for local leisure options, you will find 2 playgrounds and a picnic area on site.
El Morlaco Park
Covered with dense forest, El Morlaco occupies an area of 170,000 square metres in the eastern part of Malaga. This is a perfect place for a family day off. Moreover, it has a rich history in addition to incredible landscapes.
So, in the XVIII century, the natives mined gypsum in this place, but two underground lakes subsequently flooded the territory. At the end of the twentieth century, these lakes were closed to the public. Then, the city authorities took up landscaping and planted many trees there.
Now, you can enjoy a leisurely walk among the pines, eucalyptus and cypresses, which have become home to squirrels, various birds, chameleons, and hedgehogs. The park gives a sense of calm and tranquillity and allows you to forget that you are actually on the Mediterranean coast.
Montes de Málaga Natural Park
Looking for scenic day trips for relaxation? Head to the Montes de Málaga located north of the city. However, you will need to collect a car hire first as the park is an hour’s drive away. You can hire your best car at the nearby airport and head out to explore Malaga’s surrounding beauty as soon as you arrive. Alternatively, book a car hire at Malaga Train Station in advance.
Montes de Málaga invites you to enjoy the silence, the scent of pine trees and a completely unique atmosphere. Located in the vicinity of a mountain range, it occupies about 5,000 hectares. First, take a stroll along its trails surrounded by oaks, strawberry trees, pines, and chestnuts. Then, go to the waterfall and feel how the drops of water refresh your face.
While in the park, you may encounter ferrets, deer, foxes, martens, and badgers. Nevertheless, squirrels are the most popular inhabitants of the forest. So, grab some nuts to feed them right out of your hand!
Parque de Malaga
Also known as Parque de Alameda, this wonderful park sits between the port and Avenida de Cervantes. With a length of 700 metres and a width of 100 metres, it offers a Mediterranean concept full of exotic plants.
People come there to walk among the fountains, various trees, and flowers, and find charming nooks and crannies. Sculptures are also popular local points of attraction. Among them are sculptures of Fiestero, the Bronze Donkey, as well as monuments to the artist Bernardo Ferrandiz, commander Julio Benítez, composer Eduardo Ocón Rivas, Marquis Guadiaro, and poet Rubén Darío.
In addition, the park features the Eduardo Ocón open-air theatre, which hosts various performances from time to time. If you come by car, you can leave it in the free on-site parking area.
Monte La Virreina
La Virreina is a natural area situated in the Palma Palmilla area of Malaga. Its area is 57 hectares where you can go hiking and breathe in the fresh forest air. In addition to the green recreation zone, the park offers more than 8 miradouros (viewpoints) overlooking the city and the Mediterranean coast.
This territory received the status of a municipal park in 2003, having been the private property of the Viceroy of Mexico until that time. By the way, the word vice-queen in Spanish sounds like Virriena, from which the facility got its name.
Monte La Virreina also has an extensive picnic area, so bring your own food to eat in a relaxed and scenic atmosphere!
Summing it up, exploring Malaga’s parks and natural areas is one more reason to choose this city for your next trip. In addition to wide sandy beaches, you will find hundreds of hectares of wildlife with lakes, forests, and cute animals. Thus, save our nature-friendly guide and get ready for an unforgettable outdoor adventure in the heart of Andalusia!