The city of Malaga is the capital of the Costa del Sol, but is in many respects a world apart from the thriving tourist resorts on the rest of the coast. Malaga has few foreign residents, although this may change in the near future as the centre of the city is now proving popular with foreign buyers looking for an authentic Spanish environment with services and amenities on their doorstep. The Guadalhorce Valley, north of the city is already a popular destination for foreign buyers, mainly residents, attracted to the area’s impressive natural beauty and relative tranquillity. This part of the Costa del Sol remains very Spanish and there isn’t a large expatriate environment.
The city has a rich and colourful history, yet remains largely untouched by mass tourism and is a genuine Andalusia city. Its Phoenician and Roman ancestors left their mark all over the centre – the Roman amphitheatre has just been restored to its former glory- and Malaga’s Moorish past can be clearly seen in the Alcazaba fortress and Gibralfaro castle. Pablo Picasso was born here and in 2003 a magnificent museum housing a selection of his works was opened. In conjunction with the new museum, the old quarters of the city are currently being restored and many parts pedestrianised.