As well as its famous beaches and great sports facilities, the Costa del Sol boasts great art galleries, classical concerts and a chance to experience the spectacle and passion of flamenco.
Here is our guide to some of the best art galleries on the Costa del Sol which are worth a visit on your next cultural vacation.
In nearby Gibraltar you will find the Cavilla Fine Art Gallery, the Gibraltar Art Gallery and the Gustavo Bacarisas Gallery, as well as regular exhibitions in the John Mackintosh Hall. If literature is your thing, visit during the Gibraltar Literary Festival in November. During this week long event, authors come and give fascinating talks and workshops and it is a great cultural treat.
Move along the coast to Marbella and you can admire the best collection of Latin American art in Europe at the Ralli Museum. The Art Wanson Gallery in the Marbella Club is another cool space to admire the modern art and tucked away in Marbella’s Old Town is the small but perfectly formed “Museo del Grabado Español Contemporáneo”. Housed in a stunning old building it features engravings, sketches and paintings from a wide range of Spanish artists including Picasso and Miró. While you’re in Marbella, why not take in an authentic flamenco show in the Tablao Flamenco Ana Maria. This powerful one and a half hour show takes place in Marbella Old Town and is a great experience to round off any visit to Marbella to enjoy the culture.
The white village of Benahavis is well known for its artistic population and there are many shops and small galleries selling the works of local artists and artisans. The active Arts Society Benahavis runs regular art exhibitions, talks and events as well.
Mijas Pueblo is another artistic hot spot, which has local artists exhibiting their works. It is home to the CAC Mijas, a contemporary art museum that has an incredible permanent collection, including works by Picasso and Dalí, and runs regular exhibitions and events.
Last but definitely not least is Malaga. No cultural tour of the Costa del Sol would be complete without a visit to Pablo Picasso’s birthplace and its many incredible art galleries. Over the last decade it has become a hub for art and culture and you really are spoilt for choice.
We’d recommend a visit to the CAC Malaga, a funky modern art gallery with some really interesting exhibitions, which is free to visit. The Carmen Thyssen Museum has an incredible collection of 19th Century Spanish paintings and the Malaga Pompidou Centre brings wonderful 20th and 21st Century pieces from the Pompidou collection in France over to Spain. Finally, we’d definitely recommend a visit to the Picasso Museum, tucked away in a pretty street within Malaga’s Old Town. It has a fantastic selection of his work throughout his lifetime, donated by members of his family, and as it is his birthplace it definitely needs to be ticked off the list.
Malaga also holds an annual Jazz festival in November, with a fantastic programme of concerts and related events in venues, bars, restaurants and in many public places. The dates tie in well if you want to enjoy the jazz in Malaga, the literary festival in Gibraltar and visit some of these great art galleries in between.
If you’re willing to travel a little further afield you can experience sherry making in Jerez, flamenco in Seville and Moorish culture in Granada. All of these are an easy day trip from Sotogrande.
As you can see there is lots of great modern art to see on the Costa del Sol. Combine this with experiences which offer a window into Spain’s rich history and culture and you are sure to enjoy an unforgettable visit.