Situated along the resplendent Costa del Sol in the Spanish Mediterranean, Malaga has become one of Europe’s most underrated travel destinations. Along with the relaxed atmosphere and beautiful scenery, the culinary scene and incredible local wine varieties of Malaga stand out as major draws for travelers. Surrounded by hills and mountains with the ideal climate and elevation for growing grapes, Malaga’s wine-making tradition dates back thousands of years to Phoenician times. Wine culture has always been a massive part of the lives of Malaga’s local population, and wine tourism has become one of the city’s best features.
There are dozens of world-renowned wineries and vineyards dotting the hills surrounding Malaga. There are also numerous wine bars and bodegas lining the streets and squares, where locals gather to sample their favorite local wine, relax with some tapas plates, and socialize. Being a smaller city, without the “clubbing til 5 AM” culture of Barcelona or Seville, wine tasting is a huge part of Malaga’s nightlife.
With all the wine tasting you're bound to be doing on your trip to Malaga, make things easy on yourself and head to a Bounce luggage storage location in the city. That way, you can sample your wine without a care in the world!
Whether you’re a true aficionado or just an enthusiastic traveler who wants to get a sense of this vibrant culture, there is so much to learn and explore. Here are the best tapas bars, restaurants, guided tours, and vineyards to visit in Malaga for an epic wine-tasting experience:
Bodega Doña Felisa
Andalusia is one of the most fertile corners of Europe for growing grapes, so it makes sense that it’s one of the best day trip destinations for wine tastings. For one, the elevation and soil are both perfect for wine production. It’s no mistake that there are other wineries neighboring Doña Felisa (it’s located near Setenil de las Bodegas); even the Romans regarded this area as one of the greatest wine regions in their domain. Researchers have found coins minted with grape clusters displaying the famous de Ronda grapes.
Bodega Doña Felisa is one of the premier wineries in the countryside located in the hills surrounding the Costa Del Sol. There is an elegance to not only the lovely buildings, cellar, and tasting rooms, but the atmosphere cultivated by the family that operates the winery is relaxed and inviting.
It’s located 90 minutes from Malaga City Center and produces some of the best examples of distinctive local wines, like Vina De Ronda. The walking tour of the vineyard is a delightful experience and very popular. A reservation for a group tour is recommended; just make it well in advance. Luckily, there is free cancellation. If you’re going to take a day trip from Malaga out to these storied hills, Doña Felisa should be on your list of stops. If you are interested in the outdoors, you can stop by a number of Natural Parks, including the Montes de Malaga or the Caminito del Rey, for hiking and kayaking.
Cordel del Puerto al Quejigal, s/n, 29400 Ronda, Málaga, Spain
Manzana De Oro
Great wine tastings are not exclusive to vineyards or bars. Spain has a fantastic tradition of corner wine shops called bodegas. These charming little stores sell everything from rare vintages to deli products like olive oil, cheese, and cured meats. Basically, all of them sell locally produced cheeses to pair with the wine. Manzana De Oro is no different; in fact, it’s one of the best places to taste wine in Malaga. It’s a comfortable place to hang out and shop, and their wine selection is one of the best in Malaga.
Their friendly and knowledgeable staff will guide you through their well-curated wine offerings. They sell everything from rare vintages to less expensive bottles. Their main focus is on local wine, but you’ll find some excellent imports as well. There is a small tasting area for sampling where you can discuss the products with the staff or even some locals. This is the perfect place to stop if you’re putting together a picnic or looking to bring a local wine (you can’t get anywhere else) back home.
Reding, 16, 29016 Málaga, Spain
Bodega Bar El Pimpi
Bar el Pimpi is a favorite for local wine enthusiasts, as well as every famous visitor who comes to Malaga. This iconic haunt, known for its decorative stacks of wine barrels, is a great place to taste wine from a variety of local and regional producers. Their staff are basically walking encyclopedias (with varying degrees of English fluency) that can help you navigate the staggering selection. The wine list is impressive, but the atmosphere is what sets Bar el Pimpi apart. The relaxed vibe and group of regulars make it a great hangout. You can stand at the bar and rub elbows with locals or grab a cozy table.
The wide variety of wines may leave some customers perplexed about where to start. If you’ve never traveled through the area, it’s best to try something local like the Malaga Virgen. This sweet wine is produced just outside the city, and because it’s made in small batches, is hard to find anywhere else. It will pair beautifully with a plate of cheese and cured meats.
Calle Granada, 62, 29015 Málaga, Spain
Casa de Vinos La Odisea
Only the most well-informed travelers tend to land at this charming city center wine bar. It’s located near the gorgeous Malaga park, but it’s tucked away, making it one of the best hidden gems in the city. With an amazing rotating tasting menu, customers are treated to Spanish wines from a boutique winery, which pair perfectly with their elevated bar food menu. They have an extended list of bottles as well, so hanging out here can be like visiting a wine museum. They have some tasty Sangre de Ronda, and you can easily grab a snack to pair with it.
Subida Coracha, 1, 29016 Málaga
Bodega La Capuchina
Located north of Malaga in the gorgeous Andalusian hills, Bodega La Cappuccina is one of the most prodigious wineries in the region. The expansive estate originally housed a monastery, and most of the structure is intact, it’s just now used to produce some of the best wine in Southern Spain. The Garcia Segura family owns and operates the winery, tending not only to the grapes but also courtyards and sprawling gardens.
While grapes indigenous to the region still grow in Bodega La Capuchina’s soil, the expert vintners have imported a number of varieties that benefit from the winery’s superb climate and soil. Their original white grape varieties include Doradillo, Pedro Ximénez, and Moscatel de Alejandría, but Merlot and Cabernet Franc are now grown as well. Upon visiting, a member of the family (or one of their longtime employees) will guide you through the grounds. Every walking tour concludes with a tasting of their phenomenal wines.
Finca Capuchina, Mollina, 29532 Málaga
El Templo De Vino
It might not take a fluent Spanish speaker to conclude that El Templo De Vino means “The Wine Temple.” Especially not after visiting this fantastic wine shop. If you want to find the absolute best Sangre de Ronda, this is your place. The wine menu has one of the best selections of this local delicacy in Malaga, and the staff is so familiar with this style that they can tell you everything about each bottle, from the grapes to the producers themselves.
They not only serve the best Spanish wines but there is an impeccably-curated list of imports that the staff feels Malaga wine enthusiasts (and visitors) need to try. There are a small number of selections you can try by the glass, but the primary function of the shop is for customers to find that perfect bottle, which, luckily, the staff is well-suited for. El Templo De Vino is centrally located near Malaga city center, so you can stop in for a glass before a flamenco show or dinner or just grab a bottle (or three) for a picnic.
Calle Sebastián Souvirón, 8, 29005 Málaga, Spain
Los Patios De Beatas
This delightful little wine bar and bistro employs expert sommeliers to curate one of the best wine lists in Malaga. With over 500 wines to choose from, you’ll need their friendly staff, which is mostly fluent in English, to navigate their expansive menu. The bar itself has limited seating, but a small group can usually find a table on most nights. The food is phenomenal, especially their jamón Ibérico, which pairs nicely with a local sweet wine or light red. Los Patios De Beatas also programs one of the premier wine clubs in Malaga, making it especially popular with local wine enthusiasts.
Calle Beatas, 43, 29006 Málaga, Spain
Wine Museum of Málaga (Museo del Vino-Málaga)
If you want to learn everything there is to know about the Malaga region’s wine history in one place, this is the place. The Wine Museum of Malaga has put together the most exhaustive collection of artifacts and educational features that tell the story of Malaga’s winemaking industry and history. The museum goes through the story of the evolution of Moscatel, the sweet wine variety Malaga is famous for. From Phoenician and Roman times to the modern era, this museum will illustrate how this wonderful product has been made through the centuries and how it arrived at its current state.
Like all the best walking tours, this one ends with a wine tasting. Because who can learn THAT much about wine without getting a little thirsty? All of the vintages on offer are from local producers and curated by the museum’s sommeliers. The Wine Museum rarely gets overcrowded, but you can always book ahead with free cancellation.
Plaza de los Viñeros 1 (off Calle Carreteria), 29008 Malaga
This comfortable bistro is ideal for group wine tastings with friends, as the tables are large and can fit a number of people, and the atmosphere is cordial. The wine list is over 200 long, but OCHO really focuses on curation and discovery. The list is rotating, so outside of a few of the owner’s favorites, you never know what you'll get to taste when you walk through their doors.
While they serve a wide variety of wines, OCHO has a special selection of delicate wines like the local favorite Serrania de Ronda, which pairs well with the bar’s unbelievable menu of authentic Argentinian food. Expect selections from smaller wineries and plenty of organic options and natural wines. It should be no surprise that OCHO is the go-to spot for local wine nerds!
Calle Pedro de Toledo, 2, 29015 Málaga, Spain
Wine Tourism Spain
The Private Wine Tour, hosted by Wine Tourism Spain, is your best bet for discovering and exploring the region’s wine culture. Your tour group will be guided through the Malaga Mountains to the wineries and vineyards surrounding the city. Each group will learn how this amazing product is grown, produced, and packaged, but the best part has to be the depth of information about the industry's history.
The tour guide will also host a gourmet tapas tasting, with wine pairing, of course. In Spain, tapas and wine are a way of life, and pairing the two is considered an art form. The tasting will also recommend the best spots for tapas and wine in Malaga.
Every tour guide that Wine Tourism Spain employs is a trained professional. All of them are not only passionate about Malaga’s fantastic wine and culinary culture, but they are trained to provide the most comprehensive and enjoyable experience possible.
Pickup in central Malaga.
Most travelers are aware of Spain’s fantastic culinary culture, which draws millions of visitors to the country every year. Malaga is no different; if anything, it is one of the hot spots for wine culture that rivals even the most prodigious wine-making regions of Italy and France. The Spanish wine tourism industry is one of the most illustrious in the world.
Whether it’s the walking tours guided by the winemakers themselves, or a charming corner bodega serving the best Spanish wines (with snacks, of course), there are incredible wine-tasting experiences to be had in a city like Malaga. If you’re spending 3 days in Malaga or just have an extended layover, it’s worth exploring this city’s historic wine scene.