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a walking tour in El Palo

Malaga Walking Tours – Pedregalejo and El Palo


The next in our series of Malaga walking tours takes us east of the city to some of the best beaches in Malaga and two places with a real history to them – 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.

Los Baños del Carmen in the 1920s
Los Baños del Carmen in the 1920s

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 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 town on this Malaga walking tour. Time your walk back and enjoy a cocktail at los Baños del Carmen while you watch the sky.

Malaga sunsets
Sunset from los Baños del Carmen

Astilleros Nereo

One of the oldest working shipyards in Spain where you can see modern boats being repaired and traditional boats being reconstructed. They’re also building a replica of a Phoenician jábega boat using only the methods used 3,000 years ago. A must for anyone with a marine interest. 

Open Monday to Saturday 10am-2pm & 5-8pm; last Sunday of the month 10am-2pm

Unusual things to do in Malaga
Shipyards

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

beaches in malaga
El Palo beach

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.

beaches in Malaga
Fishing boats on El Palo beach in the 1920s

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.
things to see in Malaga

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 €2 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 venue just a short walk from the seafront. Avda. Salvador Allende 21

stand up paddle in Malaga

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.

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 became a second-hand market for surf equipment 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 in spring, autumn and winter. In the summer, it’s best first or last thing.

Lunchtimes and weekends are the busy, 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).

Find out more about taking the bus in Malaga

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 one of the great things to do in Malaga. And if you’re interested in discovering other parts of the city, check out our other Malaga walking tours.


And here’s the map for this Malaga walking tour

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