There is a wealth of history on display on the Costa del Sol, with many very important archaeological sites and ancient treasures which are very seldom visited, so you can almost have it to yourselves. On this page we’ve highlighted five of our favourite historical sites to visit to help you choose where to go and what to do on your next visit, but there’s a lot more than this. When you get to your vacation rental, head to your nearest tourist office and you’re sure to be able to find much more!
The Antequera Dolmen Site
Antequera is a pretty town to the north of Malaga, just over an hour’s drive from Marbella. Outside the town is an extraordinary historical site with three prehistoric burial chambers dating back 5,000 years. These are a UNESCO World Heritage Site because they are one of the most remarkable architectural works of European prehistory and one of the most important examples of European Megalithism. The site is so exciting due to its scale and how it offers insight into the life of people in the Neolithic period and Bronze Age. There is a visitor centre where you can find out more about how these were made and there is a leaflet which guides you around the site and explains more. It is free of charge to visit and a visit there should take you about an hour. If you’re feeling active, you can walk from Antequera in about 20 minutes and enjoy the beautiful countryside, although there is plenty of parking.
Explore Historic Ronda
Ronda is an excellent day trip from Marbella , with an incredible gorge, impressive bridge and beautiful views. It is also a great place to enjoy the history and visit interesting sites which date back to the times of the Roman Empire. There are many interesting historical sites in the Old Town, including sections of the original walls, churches and shrines.
To get a little off the beaten track try the excellent walk along the Tajo River. This route takes you away from the crowds and around some fascinating historical sites including the three famous bridges, an old Minaret from the Moorish period, a stunning 18th century palace, remains of Arab Baths from the Nazarí period and the old city walls. This walk takes around 45 minutes and is highly recommended to see another side of Ronda. Check out the route
There are two other great historic sights a little outside Ronda which are worth a visit. The first is the ruins of Acinipo, a Roman city which has left behind an extraordinary theatre, with seating, stage and backdrop and some Roman baths. To go even further back in time, visit the Cueva de la Pileta to the south of Ronda where you can see wonderful Palaeolithic paintings and carvings made 20,000 years ago.
Baelo Claudia Tarifa
A visit to Baelo Claudia is a great way to see how it would have been to live in a Roman settlement. The site is so well preserved that you can see all the important elements of this prosperous city from the 2nd Century BC which was inhabited until the 7th Century AD. What makes it so unique is that you can see all the important features of a Roman city, the forum, temples, basilica, administrative buildings, market, theatre, baths, aqueducts and city walls. It is very close to one of Tarifa’s most popular beaches Playa de Bolonia and so it’s a great activity if you’re on a day trip to Tarifa. There is an excellent visitor centre and every Wednesday at 12.00 there is a guided tour of this important site, where you can understand better how the Romans lived and learn more about the area. Find out more
Malaga’s Alcazaba and Roman Theatre
The Alcazaba is a fortress and palace, described by some to be like a mini Alhambra. It’s a great site to visit as it’s right in the middle of Malaga, opposite the famous El Pimpi tapas bar, has a well preserved Roman Amphitheatre right below it and a stunning piece of Renaissance architecture right opposite. Dating back from 1063, visitors to the Alcazaba get to explore the palace rooms, beautiful patios and gardens and impressive military defences. The views are wonderful and the entrance fee is only 2.50€, so it’s a great value visit. While you’re there, check out the Roman theatre which dates back to the 1st Century AD and visit the visitor centre to learn more about Malaga’s history. Rest your feet at the end with a drink and a tapa at El Pimpi and check out all the famous faces who have visited over the years. A look at all the photos on the wall tells a lot about Malaga’s more recent history! Find out more
Enjoy your historical holiday to the Costa del Sol, we have a great selection of vacation rentals which can be your perfect home from home.