Malaga Walking Tours – Pedregalejo and El Palo
Here we check out some dockyards, discover some interesting architecture and taste some of the best food in Malaga – sardine espetos and fried fish. You can find a map of this Malaga walking tour below.
Malaga walking tour in Pedregalejo
Just east of los Baños del Carmen is the district of Pedregalejo. The origins of its name are unclear – they could come from the San Telmo stone quarry (pedregal in Spanish means ‘stony area’). However, the name Pedregalejo appears on maps well before the quarry opened.
Whatever the origin of its name, this is one of the oldest traditional fishing districts in Malaga. The low-rise buildings that back the seafront and line the narrow streets behind it are a refreshing change from the taller buildings in Malaga city centre.
The first stage of this Malaga walking tour starts at los Baños del Carmen and continues along the seafront to the blue suspension bridge crossing the Arroyo de Jaboneros stream.
Highlights on the way include:
Los Baños del Carmen – built in the 1920s as a bathing station and sports complex for people on holiday in Malaga, this used to be one of the spots to see (and be seen in) in Malaga. Today it’s mostly in a ruined state while officials argue over who’s going to restore it and how. Meanwhile, the restaurant and bar make a great place for a drink and/or meal plus there’s regular live entertainment.
Top tip: see some of the loveliest sunsets in Malaga from here. Time your walk back and enjoy a cocktail while you watch the sky.
Astilleros Nereo – 1 of the oldest working shipyards in Spain where you can see modern boats being repaired and traditional boats being reconstructed. A must for anyone with a marine interest.
Open Monday to Saturday 10am-2pm & 5-8pm; last Sunday of the month 10am-2pm
Where to eat on this Malaga walking tour
There are several great places to eat in Pedregalejo. If you’re after fried fish (pescaíto) you can’t go wrong at most of the seafront bars. For a more upmarket meal, we like Misuto in Calle Varadero, just opposite the shipyards.
Top tip: these beaches in Malaga offer safe bathing because the water shelves gently. But watch out for underwater rocks near the breakwaters.
Malaga walking tour in El Palo
The next stage of this walking tour takes us to El Palo. Once you cross the suspension bridge over Arroyo de Jaboneros stream (often dry), you cross into El Palo. Like Pedregalejo, this is one of Malaga’s fishing districts and although the fleet is much smaller nowadays, fishing is still important.
El Palo is also one of Malaga’s up-and-coming areas. New restaurants and tapas bars open almost daily and the area has a great local vibe. You’ll come across fewer tourists too. This makes a change from the busy city centre, but expect plenty of people on Saturdays and Sundays when locals flock to El Palo for Sunday lunch.
Make your way along the seafront promenade towards El Candado Port at the eastern end.
Top tip: if you’re there on Saturday morning, visit El Palo market with stalls selling clothes, household goods, flowers and plants, and fruit and vegetables. Find it next to the bridge.
Highlights on the way include:
Jábega boats – as you walk along these beaches in Malaga look out for the traditional jabega boats, once used for fishing and now rowed in the annual rowing championships. Read more about the jabega boat trail – one of more unusual things to do in Malaga.
Monuments – there are several monuments along the seafront. Look out for:
Anchor – a fitting monument to the area’s fishing history, this giant anchor takes up most of the square.
A drop of light – this silver half-sphere pays homage to one of the Spain’s greatest philosophers and authors, Ortega y Gasset. The sentence written around the base reflects into the silver sphere so you can read it.
Poet and jabega – the profile of local poet Emilio Prados sits next to a jabega boat looking out to sea at the eastern end of El Palo seafront.
Bite to eat
You’re spoilt for choice when it comes to restaurants in El Palo. Most offer grilled sardine espetos (and don’t expect to pay more than €1.50 for 1), rice dishes and plates of typical fried fish.
El Tintero – offers an unusual experience because there’s no menu and you just grab a plate of what you fancy as the waiters walk round. It’s one of the biggest tourist attractions in Malaga so expect it to be busy. Calle Salvador Allende 340
Casa Manuel de La Lonja – one of the oldest seafront restaurants in the area and still in the hands of the same family. As well as juicy sardines and tender grilled squid and octopus, this restaurant does a delicious line in rice dishes and stews of the day. Try their garbanzos con choco (chickpea stew with cuttlefish) or the fabes con almejas (bean stew with clams). Calle Banda del Mar 19
Canta El Gallo – great for rice dishes (paella, rice with lobster). Best to book at weekends. Calle Banda del Mar 77
Helados Cremades – homemade ice cream and some seriously huge sundaes. Playa del Chanquete 23
Majao Tapas – walk 2 blocks back from the seafront to another restaurant in Malaga that serves seriously fine cuisine. Majao is run by Emilio López who cut his culinary teeth at El Lago restaurant in Marbella. This fusion venue serves scallop cerviche, oxtail dim sum and truly decadent desserts. Avda Pío Barroja 8
OHANA Poké & More – get even more in tune with the surfing vibe and try some dishes from Hawaii at this new venue just a short walk from the seafront. Food is organic, seasonal and delicious. You can eat it or take away and they do home delivery – perfect if you’re at a holiday let in Malaga. OHANA food comes with plastic pots and cutlery but the flavours more than make up for this. Avda. Salvador Allende 21
La Revuelta – walk 2 blocks back from the seafront to 1 of El Palo’s finest restaurants. Run by Arnaut Scheidhauer who was born in France but has lived in lots of different places around the world including El Palo, La Revuelta offers international cuisine with a unique twist. Try the grouper fish burger or or lemon fish skewers. All delicious. Avda Pío Barroja 20
Did you know? These beaches in Malaga saw the first surfers on the Mediterranean in Spain. It’s difficult to believe now because the sea is usually calm, but back before the breakwaters were built, Pedregalejo had some amazing waves. The long one that used to form off shore near the Arroyo de Jaboneros stream was legendary (you can read about it here) Pedregalejo locals first started surfing in Malaga in 1970 and their beach soon became a stop-off for Europeans on their way to and from the surfing meccas in Morocco. The Baños del Carmen soon became a second-hand market for surf stuff and by 1974 the Malaga Surfing Club was formed (the first in Spain).
Malaga Walking Tours Practicalities
Time taken – allow 3-4 hours for this tour (longer if you’re heading for the beach)
Best time of day – this walk is lovely at any time of day. Lunchtimes and weekends are the busiest so if you want to avoid the crowds do this walking tour in the morning or evening.
Public transport – it isn’t far to walk to Pedregalejo from Malaga city centre and it takes about 25 minutes. But if you’d rather start this Malaga walking tour in Pedregalejo itself, buses 3 and 11 run between the Alameda Principal and El Palo. Get off at los Baños del Carmen stop (No 1111).
By bike – it’s an easy ride from Malaga city centre to los Baños del Carmen along the Malagueta seafront. Once you’re on the seafront promenade in Pedregalejo and El Palo, it isn’t so easy because the promenade is not very wide and you must give way to pedestrians. For a more freewheeling ride, cycle there during the week.
This walking tour is of course just 1 of the great things to do in Malaga. Discover a very long list of the rest!