Art and culture on the Costa del Sol

When looking for a cultural holiday, not many people think about the Costa del Sol, but in fact, there are some great museums and galleries in the area, including a world-class selection in Malaga

A great way to experience culture, as well as enjoy the charm, gastronomy and beaches is to try a two centre holiday, with a three night city break in Malaga and a four day stay in the charming town of Estepona.

Fly into Malaga and head to the city for a short city break, soaking up the galleries, amazing food, shopping and nightlife. As the birthplace of Pablo Picasso, Malaga has always had a strong connection with the arts, and has spent 100 million Euros over the last decade on developing a fantastic range of galleries and museums. There is now a “mile of art” in the city, with more than 30 museums and the only foreign outposts of two high profile museums, the Centre Pompidou Malaga and the St Petersburg State Russian Museum.

Other highlights include –
  • The Picasso Museum in a beautiful house in Malaga’s Old Town, with a great selection of Picasso’s works in a stunning setting,
  • The Museo Carmen Thyssen, a gallery focusing on Andalucian Art with over 200 works predominantly by 19th Century Spanish artists and concentrating on the topic of Andalucia.
  • CAC Contemporary Art Museum, a fantastic contemporary art museum located in a vast old warehouse that focusses on art from 1950s to the present, taking visitors on a journey through different artistic movements and trends.

After visiting these wonderful galleries, hire a car and head down the coast to the beautiful town of Estepona, for art in the open air and a change of pace.

Estepona is committed to culture and exhibits art in its streets to allow everyone to experience it.

They have many sculptures by renowned artists in public places around the town and great quality, original artworks painted on the side of buildings. These enormous murals range in topic from huge fish, to plants, trees and scenes of nature and people. This is a new way of enjoying art! There is a walking tour around the 27 stunning artworks, which allows visitors to get to know the town, while taking in some wonderful works of art. Pick up the map at the tourist office in Plaza de Las Flores, wear comfortable shoes and go explore Estepona through art.

Before you visit, check the constantly updated cultural calendar for any concerts or performances taking place at the Felipe VI Auditorium, the largest performance space on the Costa del Sol. There are also regular flamenco festivals and performances, particularly in the summer and during Estepona’s feria in July including the “Cultural Summer” programme of dance performances in the streets.

A great base for arts lovers is the Kempinski Hotel Bahía in Estepona, a 5* hotel with a love for the fine arts. A huge sculpture of Olly the bull dominates the lobby, which was made especially for the Kempinski in 2014 by Malaga born artist Pedrín (Pedro Rodriguez). Various works of art by this local artist offer guests the chance to experience art in every corner of the hotel, as well as in his on site gallery. You can enjoy works from Spanish painter Juanjo San Pedro and be inspired by the light, space and tranquillity of the beachside location and lush gardens.

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