Málaga’s later importance as a port for the emirate of Granada led to re-construction in the fourteenth century, when its main purpose was as a military barracks and lighthouse. Today the interior offers nothing much from that era, but a military museum displays a model of the complex. If you don’t want to walk the walls, enjoy the panorama from the alfresco café instead.
Reach it after a pleasant but steep walk upwards through cultivated terraces, where stops for stunning views will allow you ample excuses to rest. Or make a detour to the lower residence, the eleventh-century Alcazaba, a fortress and palace where water features, courtyards, horse-shoe arches and lush vegetation are reminiscent of Granada’s Alhambra. What was once the servants’ quarters now houses an archaeological museum of Moorish pottery. While you’re there, call in at the adjacent Roman amphitheatre which dates back to Augustus in the 1st century AD, but was only re-discovered in 1951. An evening visit is a thrill – sit on the surviving tiered seats that overlook the stage area, with the Alcazaba illuminated behind it.
Calle Victoria at the base of the castle has two examples of typically Malagueña houses and one of the city’s few street chapels, which contains two religious effigies. Near this you’ll come across the Basilica Santa Maria de la Victoria with its ornate interior, on the spot from where the Catholic monarchs started their battle to regain the city in 1487.