Castillo Gibralfaro stands on Mount Gibralfaro on the southern coast of Spain, overlooking the city of Malaga, the Alcazaba, and the Mediterranean Sea. The views are amazing! You’ll be taking loads of photos!
Its origins date back to the Phoenicians when a lighthouse was on the site. The current name is derived from Gebel-faro, Arabic and Greek, meaning rock of the lighthouse. The Arabs built the fortifications you see now in the fourteenth century. It was built as a base for the troops and to protect the Alcazaba. A wall extending down the hillside links the two.
The surrounding hills are a forest of pines and eucalyptus trees. These are relatively recent, planted in 2005. The ramparts of the Castillo rise majestically above the pines.
Near the entrance of the Gibralfaro castle complex, is a small museum with a model of Malaga, including the Alcazaba and Castillo Gibralfaro, and an exhibition of weapons and military uniforms dating back to the sixteenth century.
Castillo Gibralfaro has eight towers, and the largest is 17 meters high and is known as the Torre Mayor. Inside the fortress itself, there are remnants of buildings and courtyards, reminiscent of those in the Alhambra.
However, the main attraction for me was the walk around the perimeter of the site and the views. The ramparts are well restored and you can walk most of the way around the site on them (a short section was closed for maintenance when I visited).
You can see more photographs of Castillo Gibralfaro by visiting my photo album.
How to get to Castillo Gibralfaro
There is a cobbled path which zig-zags past the Alcazaba and continues to the Gibralfaro castle at the top of the hill. Walking makes the most of the fantastic views, but be warned, the path is very steep in places. Take water with you as there isn’t a shop till you get to the top; although, there is usually an enterprising person or two selling water along the path.
Near the top, you pass a viewing platform, Mirador de Gibralfaro with great views of Málaga and out to sea. The views are no better than from the path, but it’s an excellent excuse to stop for a short rest and take some photos.
If you think the walk up might be too much, take a taxi or the tourist bus (I think it’s number 35) from the city centre. You can always walk down! You can’t get to the castle by car.
The standard ticket price when I visited was 2.20 euros.
Here’s a tip to save queuing and also a few cents. If you plan to visit the Alcazaba and Castillo Gibralfaro (I recommend you visit both), there is a joint ticket for 5.50 euro, which you can buy at either location. When I visited, the queue at the Castillo was non-existent. Buy your joint ticket there and then walk straight past the long queue at the Alcazaba!