Europe / Spain

Málaga

Birthplace of Picasso, the attractive, cosmopolitan city of Malaga lies on a beautiful sweep of bay in Andalucia. Blessed with sunshine and a spectacular quality of light, Malaga is a city of wide boulevards, swaying palm trees, lively nightlife, good museums and excellent seafood restaurants.

Málaga is a city and a municipality in the Autonomous Community of Andalusia, Spain. With a population of 568,507 in 2010, it is the second most populous city of Andalusia and the sixth largest in Spain. This is the southernmost large city in Europe. It lies on the Costa del Sol (Coast of the Sun) of the Mediterranean Sea, about 100 km (62.14 mi) east of the Strait of Gibraltar and about 130 km (80.78 mi) north of Africa.

Málaga enjoys a subtropical-mediterranean climate. It has one of the warmest winters in Europe, with average temperatures of 17 °C (62.6 °F) during the day and 7–8 °C (45–46 °F) at night in the period from December through February. The summer season lasts about eight months, from April through November, although in the remaining four months temperatures sometimes reach around 20 °C (68.0 °F).

Málaga's history spans about 2,800 years, making it one of the oldest cities in the world. It was founded by the Phoenicians as Malaka about 770 BC, and from the 6th century BC was under the hegemony of Ancient Carthage. Then from 218 BC it was ruled by the Roman Republic and later the Roman Empire as Malaca (Latin). After the fall of the empire it was under Islamic Arab domination as Malaqah (?????) for 800 years, but in 1487 it came under the dominion of the Spaniards in the Reconquista. The archaeological remains and monuments from the Phoenician, Roman, Arabic and Christian eras make the historic center of the city an "open museum", displaying its rich history of more than 3,000 years.

This important cultural infrastructure and the rich artistic heritage have culminated in the nomination of Málaga as a candidate for the 2016 European Capital of Culture.

The internationally acclaimed painter and sculptor Pablo Picasso and actor Antonio Banderas were born in Málaga. The magnum opus of Cuban composer Ernesto Lecuona, "Malagueña", is named for the music of this region of Spain.

The most important business sectors in Málaga are tourism, construction and technology services, but other sectors such as transportation and logistics are beginning to expand. The Andalusia Technology Park (PTA), located in Málaga, has enjoyed significant growth since its inauguration in 1992. As of 2009, this high-tech, science and industrial park is home to 509 companies and employs over 13,600 people.

The climate is Subtropical–Mediterranean (Köppen climate classification: Csa) with very mild winters and warm to hot summers. Málaga enjoys plenty of sunshine throughout the year, with an average of about 300 days of sunshine and only about 50 days with precipitation annually. Its coastal location with winds blowing from the Mediterranean Sea make the heat manageable during the summer.

Málaga experiences the warmest winters of any European city with a population over 500,000 and over 100,000 jointly with two other cities in Spain: Almería and Alicante. The average temperature during the day in the period December through February is 17–18 °C (63–64 °F). During the winter, the Málaga Mountains (Montes de Málaga) block out the cold weather from the north. Generally, the summer season lasts about eight months, from April to November, although in the remaining four months temperatures sometimes reach around 20 °C (68 °F). Its average annual temperature is 23 °C (73 °F) during the day (one of the highest in Europe) and 13 °C (55 °F) at night. In the coldest month, January, the temperature ranges from 12 to 20 °C (54 to 68 °F) during the day, 4 to 13 °C (39 to 55 °F) at night and the average sea temperature is 15–16 °C (59–61 °F). In the warmest month, August, the temperature ranges from 26 to 32 °C (79 to 90 °F) during the day (it can rarely be higher), above 20 °C (68 °F) at night and the average sea temperature is 23 °C (73 °F).

Large fluctuations in temperature are rare. The highest temperature ever recorded during the day in the city centre is 43.3 °C (109.9 °F) on the 13th of August 1881. In the month of August 1881, the average reported daytime maximum temperature was a record 34.8 °C (94.6 °F). The coldest temperature ever recorded was -0.9 °C (30.4 °F) on the night (the same as tropical Miami) of 19 January 1891. The highest wind speed ever recorded was on the 16th of July 1980, measuring 119 km/h (73.94 mph). Málaga city has never recorded any snow.

Annual average relative humidity is 66%, ranging from 59% in June to 73% in December. Yearly sunshine hours is between 2,800 and 3,000 per year, from 5–6 hours of sunshine / day in December to average 11 hours of sunshine / day in July. This is one of the highest results in Europe and almost double more that of cities in the northern half of Europe (for comparison: London – 1,461, Warsaw – 1,571, Paris – 1,630). According to the Instituto Nacional de Estadística, 2007 saw 3,059 hours of sunshine. Rain occurs mainly in winter, with summer being generally dry. Málaga is one of the few cities in Europe which are "green" all year round.

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