5 Best places for running in Malaga
Running in Malaga doesn’t come much better – mostly flat terrain, almost always sunny weather and by the sea. These make near perfect conditions for whatever your running level – gentle jogs, keep-fit runs or marathon-training sessions. Here’s our guide to 5 of the best places to go running in Malaga.
Running in Malaga Route 1: Park and Port
A short run that takes in one of the best parks in Malaga, the pergola and some lovely views of the city from the port.
Start at Plaza de General Torrijos and run the length of the Paseo del Parque. Then cross over to Malaga Port at Plaza de la Marina and run along Muelle Dos and Muelle Uno, past the lighthouse and round to the cruise terminal at the end. Vary the way back by running along the Paseo de la Farola.
Top tip: try this run at sunset for some lovely views of the city at twilight.
Distance: Approx 5km
Water: several water fountains are located in Paseo del Parque.
Running in Malaga Route 2: Seafront Promenade – East
A good route for a 10k, this run takes in the seafront promenade to the east of the city into the Pedregalejo district, turning round at Los Baños del Carmen.
Start at Plaza de la Marina and cross to Muelle Dos. Run under the pergola and then round into Muelle Uno as far as the lighthouse where you cross the road and join the seafront promenade. Run along here until you reach los Baños del Carmen where you turn round for the return trip.
Want extra? Carry on along seafront in El Palo (busy at weekends so not a lot of space for runners).
Top tip: the No 3 bus handily runs along this route so if you find you’re a bit tired or have gone too far for comfort, just hop on for a ride back into town.
Distance: Approx 10km
Water: Water fountains are few and far between here so best to take your own supplies.
Running in Malaga Route 3: Seafront Promenade – West
Discover the other side of Malaga with this run along the western seafront that takes in 3 industrial chimneys on the way.
Start at Plaza de la Marina and cross into the port. Take a left and then follow the road round over the river to the port exit opposite the mainline train station. Go left onto the pavement and run as far as the seafront promenade takes you before turning round for the way back.
Top tip: add that bit further to this run and continue to the river (see Route 4 below).
Distance: approx 8.5km
Water: There are several water fountains several along the seafront promenade (middle section).
Running in Malaga Route 4: River Running in Malaga
Scenic running along the Guadalhorce River and round the Nature Reserve. Take in the birdlife as you go and if it’s warm enough, take a dip in the sea.
Get to and from this run on the No 5 bus. Get off at Calle Wilkinson in Guadalmar and make your way east to the river. Run down to the seafront, then back as far as the river bridge. Cross and then take the first right to the beach. Turn back and then take a right to circle the reserve and return via the river bridge.
Take the No 40 bus to the final stop (Sacaba Beach) and run/walk along the beach for about 300m until you see a path going north on your right. Run up here until you reach the wooden bridge over the river. Turn left into the nature reserve after the bridge and follow the paths.
If you’re looking for a longer distance, follow the track on the west side of the river past the airport.
Top tip: the Nature Reserve is home to many species of birds – run as quietly as you can and stay on the paths always.
Distance: from Guadalmar, about 6km. From Sacaba Beach, about 7km.
Water: None available so take your own supplies.
Running in Malaga Route 5: Only for the very fit
Practically the only hill in Malaga city centre makes for a really challenging run up to the Gibralfaro Fortress and down again. It’s super steep up and down but the rewards are great views of the city and of course, feeling you’re really achieved something.
Start a Calle Alcazabilla and run round the Fortress to Paseo de Don Juan Temboury where you take the (very steep) pedestrian path to the Gibralfaro. At the castle, start Calle Mundo Nuevo down again. Or do it the other way round. If you enjoy this one, why not sign up for the Malaga MLK Trail (see below)?
Top tip: avoid this one in the middle of the day when lots of tourists use it – it’s even more difficult if you’re trying to keep out of people’s way as well!
Distance: 2.5km (but it feels like much further!)
Water: Apart from a kiosk outside the Gibralfaro Castle where you can buy water, none available so take your own.
Running Events in Malaga
If you’re looking for an extra challenge while you’re on holiday in Malaga why not sign up for one of the city’s annual running events? Here’s our list of the main ones:
The 32nd edition takes place on November 2023. The 21.4k run starts and finishes at the Paseo del Parque in Malaga city centre and goes out to the west to the sports stadium, through the old quarter and back. Expect around 7,000 other runners.
Price: €18 (plus €2 optional charity donation)
Sign-up: Malaga Half Marathon
Held on a Sunday in December (10 December in 2023), the 42k takes you around the main sights in the city and gives you a good overview of attractions in Malaga. The marathon starts and finishes in the Paseo del Parque. This running event in Malaga is increasingly popular and the 2019 edition saw a record number of participants. A half-marathon also takes place on the same day.
Price: €25 -60 (depending on how early you sign up.
Sign-up: usually from May onwards via the Malaga Marathon site.
You can also sign up for a half-marathon (€23) or for the breakfast run, a positively gentle jog (free). All information on the website.
Malaga Solidarity Run
One of the biggest attended running events in Malaga is the 10k organised by El Corte Inglés department store, entering its 41st year in 2020. Held on a Sunday in mid-October (date yet to be confirmed for 2021/2) and with at least 17,000 participants, the run starts outside the store and goes round the back of Malaga city into the old quarter before finishing on the Paseo del Parque.
Price: free – El Corte Inglés donates an amount per runner to a designated charity.
Malaga MLK Trail
The third edition of this challenging 7k takes place on 18 September 2021 10pm. Running through the streets in the old quarter and then up to the Gibralfaro Castle and back down again (twice), the routes climbs and descends 288m on the way. And at night.
Running tours in Malaga
If you’d like someone to guide you round a run in Malaga, take a look at Malaga Tour Running. This company in Malaga offers great insight into the city as you run around the streets, along the seafront and up to the Gibralfaro. The pace is as fast or as tame as you like and yes, there’s plenty of time to take photos along the way. Distances are typically 8.5km and prices start at €40 for 1 person. As they say, “the one who walks sees, but the one who runs sees more!”. More information on the Malaga Tour Running website.