The second in our Malaga walking tours series takes us to the area north of Plaza de la Merced. Join us as we discover Calle Victoria and surroundings.
This tour takes you off the beaten track in Malaga, but includes 1 of the best churches in Malaga and takes in some very colourful street art. You can also enjoy some delicious tapas while you’re exploring. A map of this Malaga walking tour can be seen below.
Off the beaten track in Malaga
Calle Victoria runs north from Plaza de la Merced to Plaza de la Victoria along the base of the Gibralfaro Castle hill. At first glance, it’s a street that doesn’t look worth the walk – heavy traffic trundles up and down, many façades are crumbling and some of the side streets look less than promising. But, dig deeper and you’ll discover some hidden treasures.
Start in Plaza de la Merced and make your way up Calle Victoria. Admire the magnificent façades at number 13 and 38, both fine examples of Malaga city architecture.
Further up the street on the right is one of the few street chapels in Malaga. Known as the Calle Agua chapel or the Faro de la Victoria chapel (lighthouse of victory), this lovely chapel, built in 1800, houses 2 revered religious effigies – the Christ figure of Jesús del Rescate and the virgin María Santísima de Gracia. The chapel is usually open on weekday mornings.
When you reach Plaza de la Victoria, look out for the lovely sculptures of children by Marino Amaya. This square is also known as the ‘Jardín de los Monos’ (the Monkey Garden) as it was once home to several cages of monkeys.
Bite to eat
Breakfast – pop into Byoko (Plaza de la Merced) for delicious coffee and an organic breakfast.
Lunchtime – grab a craft beer at La Botica de la Cerveza (Calle Victoria 13).
Heaven above and hell below
Continue along Compás de la Victoria until you reach the large square at the top, home to one of the best churches in Malaga – the Basílica Santa María de la Victoria or Sanctuario de la Victoria.
Built on the site from where the Catholic Kings Isabel and Ferdinand led their conquest of Malaga in 1487, this church is appropriately called the Basilica of Victory. Little remains of the original chapel and the current church was finished in 1700. The exterior though impressive in size is austere in decoration. Step inside, however, and austerity gives way to opulence.
The interior includes stunning stained glass windows, a sinister crypt in black and white marble and a magnificent chapel housing the statue of St Mary of the Victory in gold. Ask one of the attendants in the church to give you access to the stairway (€1).
Open Tuesday to Saturday 10.30am-1pm. Free entrance, €1 to see crypt and chapel.
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Bite to eat
Lunchtime – make your way to Bar Nerva on nearby Calle Cristo de la Epidemia for a great value lunchtime menu of the day or a tapa or 2.
Street art on Malaga walking tours
Back on the street, retrace your steps to Plaza de la Victoria and make your way down Calle Lagunillas looking out for some very colourful street art as you go.
This area of Malaga, known as Lagunillas, is currently receiving a much-needed facelift and like the Soho district, this is partly happening through street art. There are over 20 large murals in this part of Malaga, painted by some of Spain’s best including Dadi Dreucol whose works can also be seen in Soho.
- A reproduction of Picasso’s Guernica and 3 other of his most famous paintings.
- ‘El Cantinero’ mural depicting the Cuba singer by Jose Luis BorgArt.
- ‘Los Pájaros de Lagunillas’ (birds) by Elalfil.
- ‘Orgullo Campero’ (sándwich) by jbogart
Bite to eat
Lunchtime or evening tapas – in Plaza de la Merced, there are lots of bars, cafés and restaurants for a quick bite or full meal.
Malaga Walking Tours Practicalities
Time taken – allow 2-3 hours for this tour
Best time of day – if you want to include the Basilica, do this walking tour in the morning.
Public transport – buses 37 and C2 run between Plaza de la Merced and the Basilica.
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And here’s the map for this walking tour around Malaga