Gibralfaro Castle: everything you need to know to prepare your visit
everything you need to know to prepare your visit
Málaga la Bella, la cantaora, where silver and gold meet in the mountains and in the sea. A visit allows you to get an idea of why it has inspired the verses of Salvador Rueda, Manuel Machado, or Pablo Alborán, more recently. It is worth getting to know it just for lying on its sand, visiting the Picasso Museum or the Thyssen or getting a nice panoramic view of the entire city going up to the Gibralfaro Castle.
The latter is precisely one of the most visited monuments in Malaga, so we tell you everything you need to prepare for the visit.
History of the Gibralfaro Castle
It owes its name to the lighthouse that stood at the top, and the place has its roots in Phoenician and Roman times. Yúsuf ibn Tasufín, Almoravid emir who reigned over Morocco, Mauritania, Senegal, and part of Spain, Portugal, and Algeria, was the one who built the castle and other dependencies in the 14th century. It was his son Muhammad V who improved the fortification to accommodate advances in artillery and military tactics.
It has a privileged strategic position on a hill 132 meters above sea level and surrounded by a wall that measures more than 700 meters. At the time it was considered one of the most impregnable in the Iberian Peninsula, although part of it was blown up by the French in the War of Independence since in their flight from the city they could not move the ammunition.
How to get to the Gibralfaro Castle
Since it is located on a hill, it may be easier for you to get there with a motorized vehicle. If you go to a private car, you can leave it in the parking lot. If not, you can take the urban bus line 35, which connects the fortress with the historic center and has a passing frequency of half an hour.
If you prefer, you can go up to Gibralfaro on foot from Paseo de Don Juan Temboury, an uphill journey that will take you about 20 minutes.
You can visit the Gibralfaro Castle any day of the week. In winter you can do it from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., and in summer it is extended two more hours: from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. The last visits are allowed 45 minutes before the closing time.
It is also worth mentioning that the price is 3.50 euros, but you can get a joint entry at 5.50 euros for the castle and the citadel. There are group discounts and a reduced rate, and on Sundays from 2 pm it is free.
What to see and do in Gibralfaro
The most visited part of Mount Gibralfaro is the castle, which has eight towers, among which the so-called Torre Mayor stands out, 17 meters high. Although few Arab remains are preserved due to the military use of the monument, there is an interpretation center in the old powder keg that will allow you to learn more.
What most motivates a visit, however, is the walk along the wall, which offers panoramic views of the city and part of the Costa del Sol. There are two, an interior and an exterior that descends the hill in zigzag until communicating with the Alcazaba, which he protected.
Since you are in the mountains, you can go to the Mirador de Gibralfaro, which will offer another perspective of the city with the La Malagueta bullring and the Paseo del Parque in the foreground. The Parador Gibralfaro is also located in the enclave, built-in 1948, and with a restaurant that is considered one of the best in the Paradores network. Among its decoration, it also has three works by Picasso.
Practical advice to prepare your visit
Ideally, you should wear comfortable clothes and walk through the mountains along with one of its trails, an option to disconnect among pine trees and enjoy the scenery.
Autumn is a good time of year to go because the climate of the city is mild, but if you do it in summer, try to go first thing in the morning or late afternoon to avoid the suffocating heat. Even so, you should start the visit at 7:00 p.m. to give you time, and you don’t need to book in advance.
All in all, the Gibralfaro Castle is one of the main attractions of Malaga not only for the fortress itself and for the views it offers of the city, but for its privileged location on a hill for which it is worth giving more than a walk.
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Excursions that include the visit to the Gibralfaro Castle
DAYTRIP Malaga in MiniBús (2 tickets included)
DAYTRIP Malaga on MiniBus (4 tickets included)