Malaga is the major coastal city of Andalucia and is a genuine and typical Andaluz city with a gritty individualism untouched by tourism and, to a large extent, the passage of time. The Moors occupied the city until the mid-15th century, after which it grew to become one of the foremost merchant centers in the entire Iberian Peninsula. This illustrious past has left its imprint on the historic center, particularly around La Alcazaba, a fortress which dates back to 1065 and is now a fascinating archaeological museum. Also worth a visit is the nearby castle which was rebuilt by the Moors and is today a traditional parador (state hotel) with superb panoramic views.
During the nineteenth century, Malaga was a popular winter resort for the wealthy famed for its elegance and sophistication. The impressive park on Calle Alameda dates back to this era and is recognized as being one of the most celebrated botanical collections in Europe. Pablo Picasso is the city’s famous son, and there are several galleries showing his work, including the 16th century Museum of Fine Arts, adjacent to the Cathedral. His birthplace in Plaza Merced is today an archive of his life and works and open to the public - free of charge. Málaga's main theater is the Theatro Cervantes, where Antonio Banderas still visits.
As well as being a cultural center, Malaga is also a great place to eat out. The Malagueños love their food and the bars and restaurants here are where the real social life takes place. The choice is unlimited and, on the whole, reasonable, with some bars offering a menu of the day with bread and wine for as little as 700 pesetas. Tapas, small portions of many different dishes is an Andalusian tradition and a wonderfully inexpensive way to try a variety of local food. The best known local fare in Malaga is pescaito frito, an assortment of fried fish, including small sardines and red mullet, best washed down with a glass of ice cold fino at one of the many old fashioned bodegas in town. But it is El Palo, to the east of the city which is a typical fisherman’s village and the place to go if you want that veritable ‘catch of the day’ freshness. Try a tapas and a glass of Malaga wine at Malaga's oldest tapas bar called 'Antigua Casa de la Guardia'. Keep to the north side of the Alameda and find no. 16. Malaga is always closed for the siesta period, so this is a perfect time for a long relaxing lunch.
These days, Malaga prides itself on being a modern city with the heart of commerce dominated by Calle Larios which is the local Bond Street equivalent. This is the recommended place to start exploring the city as it is surrounded by attractive small streets and plazas, as well as the magnificent Renaissance cathedral which offers daily guided tours. Garden lovers won't be disappointed in Malaga either. In the center of the city is the beautiful Alameda Gardens, and just outside on the way to Antequera one finds the extensive Jardines de la Concepcion. Málaga airport is one of the major airports in Spain due to the number of tourist arrivals on charter flights from Northern Europe using Malaga airport as a gateway to the Costa del Sol.
Just a hop across the Straits from Spain, Morocco is another world: an Islamic world, intoxicating and intense. In Tangier’s old town, you’ll find a medina (marketplace) filled with carpets, spices, copper, and merchants who expect you to bargain hard. The old world of bazaars is still intact in the form of the Grand Sacco with its makeshift shops, snake charmers, musicians and storytellers. Take time out for a Morrocan specialty, mint tea, in a tea shop along the Petit Soco. Or visit the Kasbah with its palace and mysterious charm.
Tangier was the real model for the famous film 'Casablanca' with Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman. It still retains its faded mongrel charm - not entirely Moroccan, European or African, but a heady mix of all three. Visit the white-walled Kasbah and the Sultan's Garden with its fountain, fragrant herbs & shrubs, and orange & lemon trees. At the end of the day there's always that erotic Moroccan liquid light that French painter Delacroix painted again and again.
Cadiz, called "the cup of silver," takes its name from the silvery harbor and sparkling atmosphere. It is almost African in appearance - its streets are lined with plam trees, its churches topped with domed cuppolas, and its white houses shaded by orange trees.
Cádiz is the most southern province of the Iberian Peninsula. It is extremely rich in natural beauty and some of the most important Natural Parks of Spain and Europe are found here: Sierra de Grazalema and los Alcoronocales. Both are rich in flora and fauna, including species under threat of extinction. Many birds find here their resting and feeding place just after or before making the jump from or to Africa.
Take a tour to Seville, the irresistible capital and cultural center of Andalusia with its colorful and festive lifestyle.
While today, Safi is a modern port, housing fishing and diversified industry, the old town which lies within the city is still very much alive. Here you might be tempted to buy pottery, seeing all shapes and patterns in a lot of shops, but then you are in one of the best places in Morocco for pottery. There are plenty of opportunities to walk around and watch artisans working on their pottery. When you have been in places like Moulay Idriss you will have seen the beautiful covering on the roofs, made out of green tiles. Safi is the place where the tiles are produced.
Arrecife is a city in the Canary Islands (Spain) situated in the east of the island of Lanzarote of which it has been the capital since 1852.
Points of interest include: Arrecife's town beach, Playa Reducto; Castillo Jose, a 17th century fortification which now houses a collection of modern art; Puente de Las Bolas, a bridge leading to the Castillo de San Gabriel; and Charco de San Gines, a man-made lagoon.
Puerto del Rosario, Spain
Puerto del Rosario is a Canarian municipality in the northern portion of the island of Fuerteventura in the Las Palmas province in the Canary Islands.
The summer Trade Winds and winter swells of the Atlantic make this a year-round surfers' paradise. Sailors, scuba divers and big game fishermen are all drawn to these clear blue Atlantic waters where whales, dolphins, marlin and turtles are all common sights.
Much of the interior, with its large plains, lavascapes and volcanic mountains, consists of protected areas which can be best be explored in a 4x4 or (for the more daring) with a cross-country motorbike.
Sand dunes, long beaches, and remote bays make up a large portion of the landscape.
Las Palmas, Gran Canaria (return)
Las Palmas is the capital (jointly with Santa Cruz) and the most populous city in the Autonomous Community of the Canary Islands and the ninth largest city in Spain, with a population of 381,847 in 2009. It is the fifth most populous urban area in Spain with a population of around 700,000
Las Palmas, located on the main shipping routes between Europe and South America, plays host to thousands of ships from industrial freighters to fleets of pleasure yachts. Las Palmas has a metropolitan feel, extending to its various shopping and nightlife venues.
Las Palmas enjoy a subtropical climate, with mild to warm temperatures dominating throughout the year. According to a study carried out by Thomas Whitmore, director of research on climatology at Syracuse University in the United States, Las Palmas enjoys "the best climate in the world".