Development around the Costa del Sol is increasing at a steady rate showing that interest in the area is well-founded. Developers McArthurGlen are starting construction of a huge designer outlet mall which will be located adjacent to Plaza Mayor Shopping centre, the city’s most visited shopping centre.
Plaza Mayor receives over 10 million national and international shoppers each year and the addition of this new shopping outlet is expected to attract even more crowds to enjoy the bargains.
Once completed the outlet is expected to be home to over 170 brands including some luxury and designer brands alongside local and international brands offering discounts between 30-70%.
The outlet mall is expected to generate employment for over 1000 workers in the region and the 30,000 sq metre of retail space is expected to cost around €115 million. McArthurGlen Designer Outlet Malaga is situated in a prime location with around 3 million consumers living within a 90-minute drive and over 10 million visitors coming to the Costa del Sol region every year. The new centre will be located just 3 minutes by train from Málaga International Airport, through which over 14 million passengers pass every year.
To reflect local Andalusian architecture the outlet mall will be open air village style and will have landscaped walkways, dancing fountains, a central luxury plaza, children’s playground facilities and 4,350 parking spaces.
McArthurGlen have shopping outlet villages across the world and this one in Malaga is in a prime position for people all over Andalucia to enjoy whether it is a day trip or popping in after collecting or dropping guests at the airport.
With the potential further development of the port area to make room for mega-yachts, Malaga is firmly positioning itself as a force to be reckoned with over and above being a city of art and culture.
Malaga is an ever-developing city with millions spent by the council over the last ten years to enhance the cultural aspects of the city, it now rivals Barcelona and Madrid in terms of arty experience. The city boasts over thirty museums and has a multitude of galleries and exhibitions, ideal for a rainy day or just for something a little different.
Any trip to Malaga is best done when the streets are calmer so September and October are perfect for exploring. Here we look at five of our favourite cultural delights.
- The Picasso Museum – Spread over twelve halls, the permanent exhibition includes numerous classic and famed paintings and is a lovely collection for novices, while aficionados will find enough to keep them engaged long after the visit. Beyond the artist’s more recognisable paintings, and pieces from his various stylistic periods, the permanent collection houses sketches, sculptures and ceramics. Three more temporary exhibit rooms round out the experience.
- The Malaga Museum – Housing some 15,000 archaeological artefacts and more than 2,000 fine arts pieces, this comprehensive museum charts the city’s history from Prehistoric times up to modern day. There’s a rich collection of 19th century Spanish art, including all of the most important painters of the local Malaga school.
- The Carmen Thyssen Museum – Comprising hundreds of works from the personal collection of Carmen Thyssen-Bornemisza, highlighting the various genres of 19th century Spanish art, from Francisco de Goya to Pablo Picasso. Included is a cannon of the most famous of Andalusian artists, such as Malaga’s own Felix Revello de Toro The Thyssen museum has been a must-see destination for lovers of Andalusian art since its opening in 2011.
- The Flamenco Art Museum – Flamenco art runs deep in Andalusian veins and Malaga itself has an important historical relationship with the art form, in fact, the museum is one of the most important of its kind in all of Spain. The Flamenco Museum of Malaga houses a gathering of more than 5000 pieces, half of those comprising a historical collection of recordings dating to the 19th century, along with centuries old guitars, traditional garb representing the various Flamenco forms and Flamenco inspired art and photography.
- The Contemporary Art Museum – 400 or so permanent works prominently feature some of the most memorable artists of the late 20th century with a focus on North American artists such as Lichtenstein and Stella. Expect quirky works here, and once you’ve had your fill, head into Malaga’s up and coming, artsy SOHO district characterised by its lively café culture.
According to the World Economic Forum, Spain has held on to its crown for the second year running as most competitive tourism sector. Spain has long been the go to place for everything from package holidays from the high street through to attracting the rich and famous.
The group’s Travel & Tourism Competitiveness Report 2017: Paving the Way for a More Sustainable & Inclusive Future, which covers 136 economies, grants Spain a top score of 5.4 on 7 on its Competitiveness Index, ranking higher than France and Germany who fell second and third respectively.
The report is published every two years and looks at infrastructure, security, and rich cultural resources. Spain has been climbing up the ladder to take the title pretty quickly as in 2011 it ranked 8th and 2013 it ranked 4th. In 2015 Spain took the crown and has now reclaimed it for a second year.
The report analyses 14 key areas and whist Spain didn’t top the charts in each of those areas, its overall high score in all of the categories made it the winner. Two of the lowest scoring areas in the report where price competitiveness and business environment.
Not being the cheapest destination is not really a worrying factor as there is something in Spain for every budget and being too cheap would perhaps no longer attract the rich and famous and those wealthy individuals that push lots of money into the tourism spend whilst they are here.
Another category analysed was Spain’s air infrastructure. In this category Spain is amongst the top 9 countries, although the ground transportation infrastructure is only in the top 15 which suggests a little modernisation is required.
Spain holds this crown quite simply because as a tourist destination it delivers. Much of this has to do with climate and things to do as well as being an easy commute for Europeans, but one thing the report implies is that Spain cannot sit on its laurels if it wants to keep the top spot.
Andalucía offers a virtually endless scenic route for cultural and historical explorations and picture postcard white villages are an integral part of that. It’s no wonder that many of these pueblos have maze-like clusters of narrow, irregular streets, given that they were founded thousands of years ago and it is these characteristics that make for some splendid exploring routes where the fun lies in getting lost and finding your way back again. Perfect for a balmy autumn afternoon.
just 15 km from the coast sits the picture perfect little village of Casares. With a historic church and Medieval Arab castle rising from a craggy hilltop, the village itself seems to cling to the slopes, rising to meet these monuments at the top. The traditional white-washed buildings are stacked higher and higher on top of one another like some impressionist painting. For a village of only about 3,000 inhabitants it has an incredible wealth of historical sites, all easily discovered whilst meandering through the streets en-route to the castle above.
The Axarquian village of Frigliana is a real maze of narrow pedestrian streets that can open unexpectedly onto a plaza suddenly teaming with life, or lead you into an apparent dead end only to reveal a cluster of shops and tapas bars. With a strong Moorish influence marvel at the intricately designed stone pavements and the plethora of floral colour hanging from proudly adorned balconies, window ledges and doorways. Exploring this pueblo can take a whole day, but rest assured there are plenty of restaurants and bars to stop and enjoy a little tapa.
Less than 25km from the coast, perfectly perched atop a hilltop at almost 740 metres high, Comares boasts amazing views to the Mediterranean sea and the surrounding mountains. It is easy to get lost in this labyrinthine village so ceramic footprints have been placed along the narrow-cobbled streets to help visitors find their way. A wander around will reveal various plaques graphically explaining Comares’ rich history, dating to at least the 3rd century B.C. and including the handover of the village from the Moors to the Catholic Kings in 1487.
One of the most well-known and local pueblos you will find Mijas at the end of long and meandering road perched up in the mountains. A labyrinth of cobbled streets are perfect for losing yourself on an autumn afternoon. Stop for tapas or an ice cream and enjoy some fabulous sea views. There are plenty of historic buildings including the bullring and lift allows those that are less mobile access to the higher village area. With its own Made in Mijas brand you can find locally made goods including chocolate.