Málaga: meeting the family, walkways and country houses

Málaga was a pretty important little trip for me. Seeing where my boyfriend had spent his childhood and meeting his family and friends was an absolute delight despite my initial nerves and anxieties about something I’ve never really had the chance to do: be introduced to the most important people in a partner’s life.

Álora is his hometown, which was at first described to me as kinda naff. This it definitely is not. (Fran, wait until you wander the lovely streets of Norbury…) Its beautiful little white houses that sit on the hills of the town are shaded by some of the rocky mountains of Málaga lending picturesque views to any visitor. Walk up the hilly roads to the castle for views of the town and its lush green landscapes.

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Between delicious home-cooked meals with his mum and gran, and drinks with his friends, we wandered the lovely town and made it to El Caminito del Rey, a walkway between the reservoirs of El Chorro. Before it was reopened in 2015 after extensive restoration, it was named “the world’s most dangerous walkway”. Pop a helmet on and stick to the new path and you’ll be fine, and maybe don’t look down when crossing over the bridge…

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Our penultimate night in Málaga was spent in the family’s country house, around a 10-minute drive from the centre of Álora. Surrounded by green fields, with its own outdoor pool, an orchard boasting avocados, lemons and orange, and sitting under a blanket of the brightest and largest stars I’ve ever seen in my life, this place was a lovely little retreat for the two of us. It would’ve been far more idyllic and peaceful if it weren’t for a disgusting cold I’d been blessed with at such an inappropriate time.

The final couple of days in Málaga were spent walking around the centre and up to the castle, Gibralfaro, to gaze down on the bullring, the sea stretching out into the distance, and the city’s beautiful cathedral to the right. Walking by the Alcazaba, which sits in the same area as the castle, took me back to the days in Granada when I fell in love with the Moorish architecture that is so characteristic of Andalucía.

With Fran’s roots back in Málaga, I now have another reason to keep revisiting the sunny south of Spain.

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Lessons learnt: meeting the family and friends isn’t as scary as it may seem, the Andalusian accent is so much harder to understand than the Mexican, Málaga isn’t just a boozy British lads holiday.

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