My Spanish Challenge + Eco Tips
Part 1

Hello and welcome to my Spanish challenge story!

A very very long time, I was thinking to go to Spain and finally I decided to challenge myself and do it alone without any Spanish (I did some Dualingo previously, but definitely wasn’t enough) So, I bought a ticket Sofia – Malaga totally impulsively around 1 month earlier.

What was my purpose of the trip? My purpose was to meet locals and travelers, go to a party, make connections and enjoy the nature in and around cities.  So, I skip some of the touristic places. Some I skip unintentionally, but for that later.

So, I had my mindset and I pack myself very light for my 2 weeks adventure. My 30l backpack was enough. Also a bottle with a filter (around 15euro – Bobble ) is an excellent choice for a travel. Saving the planet from the unnecessary plastic and saving your wallet from buying water on airports, and in the cities. For two weeks a regular person would spend at least 50 euro per water and at least 50 plastic bottles.

Fun story: these red bags on the side are my sneakers. Somehow I lost one of them and I should be with my hiking shoes for a while in Malaga in ~35°C. Tip: Tide your things better 🙂

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My adventure began with a long waiting for my rental car. (Rental Comapny)Anyway everything was good with that company. Tip: when you have debit card you would pay a bit more for the insurance, but the car was 3 euro per day + 10 euro insurance. Which is still very cheap! I wanted a small economic car, but they gave me 7 seats Dacia Lodgy. That was not that bad after all. It was very economic and in addition I could take up to 6 more people with me on my travels. Blabla  is an amazing option for that. Earn money and don’t drive alone. I was looking for hitchhikers but surprisingly I couldn’t see in all Andalucia.

So, my first city was Malaga. I was there 3 days. My plan was to make a Circle around Andalucia. Start from Malaga and finish in Malaga. So, keep reading to check out the amazing places I’ve been!

What would I recommend visiting in Malaga? I will present you shortly my top picks.

I haven’t an exact plan, so first I was walking around the city and feel the atmosphere of the city and then make some plan 🙂

1.Definitely go to Alcazaba de Malaga. It’s a Moorish castle and its for free Sundays after 2pm, otherwise it was around 3-5 euro! It’s worth visiting it J

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2. The Roman Theatre is the olderst monument in Malaga and it is front of Alcazaba de Malaga and is also for free Sundays after 2pm.

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  1. Castillo de Gibralfaro is my top pick. I like it the most from the touristic places. There is an amazing views to the city and to the port. I recommend you take with you a lot of water, as it’s very hot almost all the time.It’s also free Sundays after 2pm. 
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Thats’s on the way to the top of Gibralfaro. It’s a nice view point

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That’s the top of the castle. Cool views and a nice spot for photos!

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4.Malaga park

After the hot walk I needed a rest in some park. I imagined some nice park where I could lay on the grass under the shadow of a tree. The Malaga park is a very nice option, but there was no grass to lay on 🙁 but a decent shadow and a bench is a good option too.

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My next stop is Pompidu museum. This is a museum of a temporary art. It was interesting and cold (at the time was around 35 degrees outside)

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If you are wondering the left one is the original 🙂

Next to the museum there is an interesting place to have a walk and a nice affordable restaurants where you can eat Sardini, 1 stick is 5 euro with 5 fishes. Very fresh from the ocean. Must try 😉

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Tip If you are traveling alone a great way to get social is a Couchsurfing App and use hangouts there. You can meet with locals and travelers and explore the city together. Also, the community in Malaga is great and the meetings are very funny and huge. So, if you have a chance to go to a meeting , do it 🙂

Nice one-day trips around Malaga

Except the beaches in Nerja, there are a few river walks. I did one in El Rio Chillar. The river hike is very close to the city. You leave your car in a parking a little bit before the hike and then you walk on the road for a bit until you find the sign of El Rio Chillar. It’s 7km one way hiking in a rocky river. It was amazing first time experience! The feeling is so fresh in that hot weather to do a hike in a river. After a few hours in the river you may get tired, so there is a few spots on the way where you can have a picnic and relax. Tip: Take comfy shoes, I was with my hiking shoes, as I didn’t have any other and by the way they were very comfy, but a bit heavy.
At the end was a waterfall, which I couldn’t go as I started too late unfortunately, but the whole journey was amazing.

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Another nice one-day trip from Malaga is El Torcal

El Torcal de Antequera is a nature reserve in the Sierra del Torcal mountain range It’s about an hour and a half drive from Malaga. Part of the road has a stunning views. There are two routes on the top – Ruta Amarilla, which is two hours circle and the other Ruta Verde-Sendero  which is 40min circle. I recommend you to take the longer, I took it for around 1h and 15 min. If you don’t have a time, the short one is also an option, but the hike is very easy, beautiful and short.

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These are the photos around the route. The lake is on the way back to Malaga. Tip: On the way back take Route A-7075. It’s a bit longer and with a lot of turns, but is way more beautiful than the motor way.

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The next one is Marbella and Estepona. I did them  on the way to Gibraltar, but you could do it for a day trip. It’s a short distance from Malaga. There are buses, trains, blabla cars all day long and night.

I slept in Estepona in a Couchsurfing host. He was an adrenaline lover – certified sky dive jumper. He showed me his jumps videos and told me some tips about what to do around Estepona. The best was a river walk, this time including cave swimming! Benahavis is the place near to Guadlmina River.

Below on the left is a restaurant called Las Flores in Marbella. It is tasty and not expensive for a beach restaurant. The meal is called Gambas Pil Pil. On the right is a hipster bar on Sonora beach close to Estepona, where I met with my host and had a drink. On sunset is very nice 🙂

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My next Step of my Circle around Andalucia is Ronda! Ronda is a must stop in Andalucia. It is touristy yes, but amazing to spend half day there.

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After Ronda on the way to Gibraltar there is a nice village called Juzcar. It is the first ever ´smurf town´ in the world, since June 2011.

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So, after Ronda and Juzcar my plan was to climb Gibraltar rock in the evening and sleep somewhere around, but I arrived very late and it was already closed 🙁 The working hours are from 9:30 till 18:00. I tried Couchsurfing in Gibraltar and Linea de something, but in the last moment is not likely to get approved, so I slept on Airbnb close to the border. 
On the next day I walked 15 min to the border. It is interesting, how you cross the airport and enter the country.

So cool – Border and airport 🙂  As I am leaving Spain for a moment my first part of my Spanish challenge has finished here. 

Thank you for reading and please leave me some comments! Stay tuned for the second part, where I will write about Gibraltar, Tarifa and a place where you could see very clear and nice Africa!

Cheers!

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