Although patios in Malaga don’t rank in quite the same league as those in Cordoba or Seville, the city still has some amazing patios well worth visiting. Every year in early June, those in La Trinidad and El Perchel districts open their doors for a week-long patio festival.
The 2019 Malaga Patio Festival runs from Friday 31 May to Saturday 8 June.
Off the beaten track in Malaga
Unlike Cordoba where the world-famous patios are centrally based, those in Malaga are right off the beaten track. In fact, most people on holiday in Malaga wouldn’t even find La Trinidad and El Perchel, let alone know about their patios.
As those of you who follow Guide to Malaga will know, we’re very keen on discovering the Malaga beyond the tourist trail. We like to explore corners away from the typical attractions and reveal unusual things to see in Malaga. And the patios in these districts are certainly unusual.
The characteristics of patios in Malaga
Patios tend to be a surprise – even the most famous are easy to miss until you make a point of going inside the doorway to look. The patios in Malaga are no exception and if you wander round La Trinidad or El Perchel outside the festival you’d never guess what lies behind the closed doors.
Traditional Andalusian patios tend to be in the largest and finest buildings, usually belonging to nobility. In Malaga, however, patios are quite the opposite. Known as ‘corralones’, they form the interior of cheap housing build in the 19th century for workers in the city.
So, don’t expect fine marble columns or richly carved ceilings, but do be prepared to see an explosion of plants, ceramics, fans and memorabilia. All with their own rich (and often very personal) history as well as lots of proud patio owners, all keen to show off their work and tell you about it.
The Corralones Festival
Around 30 patios take part in the annual festival, although only 4 (see below) are participating in the prize for best patio in Malaga. A map (get yours from the tourist office or download a pdf copy here) shows the route round all of the participating patios.
You’ll see a mixture of traditional and modern, kitsch and classy – expect to see antique mantillas next to garden gnomes, for example. But all the patios share several common elements:
- Flowering plants – geraniums and petunias mostly
- Lots of greenery – some of the patios include trees
- Ceramics – some of which is handmade by the neighbours. We love the hand-painted tiles.
- Personal objects and memorabilia – fans and mantillas feature heavily
The 4 patios taking part in the official contest for best patio are located at Calle Agustín Parejo 14, Calle Jara 6/8 and 18, and Calle Martinete 2. Note that these are the only patios open during the morning (11am to 1.30pm) during the festival.
Cultural activites during the Corralones Festival
Cultural activites are another essential part of this week-long festival of patios in Malaga. Flamenco takes centre stage – the largest corralón, el Corralón de Santa Sofía (Calle Montes de Oca 6) is the main venue for concerts. Flamenco concerts take place celebrating Malaga’s flamenco roots. Flamenco singing and guitar takes place on Friday 31 May, Saturday 1 June and Sunday 2 June in the evening. Read more about flamenco in Malaga.
Gastronomy also plays a part during the week when typical Malaga recipes are served in the main patio (Corralón de Santa Sofía in Calle Montes de Oca). Expect sardines, traditional stews, paella and migas (fried bread crumbs). The patio is open for food from Saturday 1 June and Friday 7 June between 11am and 1.30pm and 5 to 9pm. You can listen to live guitar and flamenco singing while you enjoy the food on Saturday 1 June and Sunday 2 June between 1.30 and 3.30pm.
Getting to La Trinidad & El Perchel
Both districts lie west of the river, La Trinidad is located to the north of El Corte Inglés department store and El Perchel to the south. They’re both within easy walking distance of the city centre – it takes about 10 minutes to get there from Plaza de la Marina.
Top tip – get a map of the Trinidad and Perchel patios in Malaga from the tourist office.
Dates & Times
Saturday 1 June to Saturday 8 June. Patios are open 11.30am to 1.30pm and 5 to 9pm. Guided tours (in Spanish only) are available.
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