I’ve never been a city girl– I’ve lived in the suburbs my whole life and never even considered living in the city. Well, little did I know I would be living in the heart of Málaga city during my study abroad program in Spain. At the end of my street is the Plaza de la Constitución which is where many of the largest celebrations in Málaga take place from the Three Kings Parade to Carnival. That being said, I’m constantly around people and sometimes I just need an escape from the busyness of it all.
When I feel the need to unwind, I usually turn to one of my favorite quiet spots hidden in the commotion of Malaga: the Port of Málaga.
Playa de la Malagueta
Thankfully, a short 15 to 20-minute walk from my residencia brings me through the Port of Málaga. There, you can find a lovely beach covered in sparkling sands with an abundance of seashells and skipping stones. Most people choose to walk all the way to the Malagueta sign, but I prefer to stay close, right across from the port where there is a large wall lined with boulders. The street there is hardly busy since the only traffic consists of tour buses, and this makes a nice peaceful spot to escape.
My Hiding Spot
Once you arrive at the port, you must walk all the way down it to a small street that leads to the beach. After you cross that street, walk onto the sand, and go to where the sand meets the sea and the boulders are on your right, you have now found my happy place. Congrats! The boulders are a perfect spot to sit and stare at the sea, capture its beauty, or even cuddle up with a book or a journal. However, if you sit there long enough you may just encounter a beach cat. I have been told they’re not very nice yet still hope to befriend one by the time I leave Málaga.
If you continue your walk down the beach for about 30 minutes you will encounter your first beach gym. These little gyms are free to use and are simply areas with workout equipment and a water fountain. Typically, they are setting up towards the sidewalk and when you look out at the sea there are long skinny peninsulas of boulders. I must say, climbing on those boulders can be a little scary since I’m taller than most Spaniards and the wind tries to push me some, but it sure is a good addition to my workout.
From that gym beach, there is another small one about another 15-minute walk away and the largest one is 15 past the second small one. If I need somewhere to go and feel the need for a workout, the beach gym is my go-to. I know, this sounds like a lot of time walking. No worries, if you’re in a time crunch you can also take a bus that lets off about a 3-5 minute walk from the large beach gym.
Since I am in the advanced Spanish classes here, I do not have class on Fridays. That being said, if I am not heading straight to school, I am sometimes blessed enough to catch part of the sunrise over the Mediterranean Sea. If you ever get the chance, I highly recommend just watching the rays of light as the sun continues to rise. It is one of the most breathtaking views and also is a fabulous photo opportunity.
However, if you can’t make it out of bed before sunrise, don’t worry, sunset is equally as breathtaking (whether it be over the sea or over the town). At this time of year, the sunset here is between 6:30 and 7 in the evening. At that time the sky will begin to start changing from bright blue to hues of navy blue, red, purple, orange, yellow, and even shades of pink. Whether you’re on the beach itself or on the port, the sunset is sure to bring inner peace and contentment.
Although the city can be chaotic and there seem to be people everywhere, it is possible to find sanctuaries of peace away from it all. When life gets to be too much, school is stressing me out, or I just miss home, I know I can go to the beach and just let it all melt away.
Gretchen Perlinger is a student at University of Central Missouri and an ISA Featured Blogger. She is studying with ISA in Malaga, Spain.