I don’t know why, but when I go to Spain on holidays I don’t take many photos… Probably I’m just too busy having a good time with my family. However, I always carry my travel camera backpack with my camera, lenses, my laptop… it’s always a heavy backpack!!! But then, during the time I’m in Spain, the camera just ends up staying in the bag, waiting to be used… I don’t know how many trips I’ve done like this, and I’m not proud of it!! I remember that when I started my website last year I asked my friends what they thought about it. Some of them asked me the same question: “Why do you have a gallery for so many countries except Spain???”

Well, this summer has been different. We changed a bit our routine summer trip to Spain. Instead of going directly to La Antilla, in Huelva (Andalusia), we first visited my sister in law, who lives in Málaga. For a few days, we explored a bit the Costa del Sol and some small towns in the province of Málaga. And I loved it!!

The first day we went to two little towns in Costa del Sol. The first one was Frigiliana, a beautiful white village perched on the west side of the Sierras of Tejada, Almijara and Almaha Natural Park in La Axarquía region. Frigiliana, named “the most beautiful and well-preserved village” in Spain several times, is famous for its old quarter, made up of steep cobbled streets and alleys and beautiful white buildings in Mudéjar style (the architectural style used by Arab craftsmen on Christian territory after the Reconquista). We went just in time to see the city decorated with colorful garlands, as the village was celebrating the Three Cultures festival, the festival that celebrates the confluence of Christian, Jewish and Muslim cultures in the region.

After exploring the village during the scorching afternoon (and before it got crowded with all the evening visitors and tourists), we headed to Nerja, a coastal town 6 km south from Frigiliana. As any coastal town in Costa del Sol, we found flocks of tourists filling every street and square in the town. I found it a bit overwhelming, specially with the hot temperatures!! I didn’t take many photos in Nerja, except at the golden hour. We went to the Balcón de Europa, a viewpoint with beautiful views of the coast around Nerja, were I could find a place for my tripod and take a few shots of the last light of the day.

Here are some photos I took during that day. As always, I’ll be happy to read what do you think about them!

This post is dedicated to Marta. Thanks for the amazing days we spent in Málaga and for showing us all the beauty of your new home. Love you!!!


  1. I have always thought of Spain as being a destination that was too hot for me, coming from Australia. I have enough of the heat already, living in the subtropical. However your Spanish village had me intrigued. The whitewashed walls – is there a reason for that? I wonder why it was quiet. Siesta time?

    • mercedescatalan

      Well, temperatures are not as high in Costa del Sol as in Madrid, for example. When I went it was 30ºC. But it is humid there, so the feeling can be a bit hot and sticky…. But I think I’m already used to the summers in the north! A few summers in Sweden, Ireland and Switzerland and I can’t bear heat anymore, hehehe I used to be a “beach person” but now I prefer the mountain 🙂
      The white villages are something very typical from Cadiz and Malaga! I think the whitewashed walls and the narrow streets come from the Mudejar style. The white color reflects the light and the narrow streets create shadow, so the houses and the village are cooler during summer.
      And even if Frigiliana looks quiet in the photos, it wasn’t!!! I think we arrived at 5pm and the medieval market was opening and people was already arriving for the festival (we had a hard time finding parking!), even if it was still very hot. But I managed to find some quiet streets in the higher part of the village. But yes, probably it was still siesta time in that August day, or people were just enjoying their last holiday days at the beach, hehehe. But at 7, when we headed to Nerja, there was an infinite queue of cars in Frigiliana direction, and police was already telling them to turn around, as the village was already full!! I’m not sure if we miss a great night at the festival in Frigiliana, but we saw a beautiful sunset in Nerja instead! 🙂

      • Wow. They turned people away!! It must have been so crowded. It makes sense with the narrow streets now.
        So August is very hot in Malaga? So I will remember to visit in winter perhaps?? How warm is it then?

        • mercedescatalan

          Actually, that’s something that I don’t quite like about Costa del Sol: there’s so so many people at the beach and the villages during summer… Even if Frigiliana isn’t at the coast, but a few kilometres inside, the festival is very famous and it attracts a lot of visitors, specially in the evening when it’s not that hot… But Nerja’s oldtown was also crowded!! And I remember from some years ago, that other towns like Marbella has kilometres of cars trying to get in the town in the evening… Even if I like the towns and villages, I don’t like that kind of summer tourism… I feel really overwhelmed in such crowded places!!
          But I think other seasons are calmer… Maybe winter is a bit cold… well, not cold, just humid! And autumn is too rainy!! For me, the best time to visit the south coast or Baleares islands is late spring: you have some heat, but not too much, and tourists haven’t arrived yet, so you have the beach almost for yourself… it’s the perfect time! 🙂

          • I will keep that in mind. I don’t think of winter in Spain as being cold but maybe?

          • Well, it depends on where you’re going!! We have a lot of different climas in Spain! South is always warmer… the centre, the plateau (Madrid), is continental weather: hot summers and cold winters… Mediterranean coast has milder temperatures, but can be hot in summer too. And the North is always cooler and humid, hehehe. Canary islands is different, as they have tropical weather, is always warm but not too hot. So it really depends on the area you’re visiting and the season!

          • I am not sure. I am planning for a trip in a couple of years time. Thinking Portugal somewhere and a side trip to Spain – and that is why your post intrigued me. I will have to research much more. Thanks for the info. Spain sounds like quite a diverse country!

          • Same trip as the one to Switzerland? Well, two years is time enough to research and plan! I hope I can give you a few more ideas! I’m going to Seville soon, the capital of Andalusia, so you’ll see a few more photos from South Spain in my blog too, hehehe.
            (I’ve been just a few times in Portugal… but I know I want to visit Lisboa and Porto again some day! And Algarve, the south coast of Portugal, is very beautiful!!)

          • Algarve – do you follow Restless Jo? She posts a lot about Algarve.
            Yes it will be the same trip as Zermatt and Switzerland. So it might have to be end of winter in Zermatt and early Spring in Spain/Portugal.

          • I didn’t follow her… But I think I will!! I always spend a few days in Huelva in summer, very close to the border with Portugal… I wouldn’t mind to have a few ideas of places to visit while I’m there (I get bored very easily at the beach….)
            Well, winter can be pretty long in Zermatt!!! In the mountains in general… This year, there was still a lot of snow in June in Zermatt, and all summer hiking trails were still closed… But, of course, Zermatt is so pretty during winter!! Hike might not be an option, but you can always do some ski, snowboarding or snowshoeing, at that is as fun as hiking! 🙂 You’ll need winter and summer clothes for that trip, hehehe

          • Yes that is the pain with packing suitcases – both sets of clothes and winter clothes are often heavy. I love the idea of skiing- it is such fun but perhaps my days of skiing are over? Whereas snowshoeing around Zermatt sounds perfect!! Though it does make me think whether summer in Zermatt could have advantages. I shall have to have a good think about that. We have so much summer here, I still like the idea of time in a wintry climate. Lots more pondering needed.

          • The worst thing that could happen is that you’re wearing too warm clothes in the mountain and too light at the sea… hahaha. That happened to me when I went to California 2 years ago! I was prepared for beach weather and mountain cold… and I found the opposite!! 😛
            Oh, actually I’ve only been in Zermatt in July! The weather was amazing, except one summer storm in the coldest place I could find in the valley, in Gornergrat… But the landscape is so amazing!! Full of alpine flowers, lakes with amazing reflections, marmots everywhere… hehehe. I found Zermatt a bit crowded, specially the city and Gornergrat (a viewpoint at more than 3000m above the se, where you can see the Gorner glacier). But I guess Zermatt is always the same, hehehe.

  2. 😘😘❤❤

  3. Thank you so much for taking and showing us those pictures. They were beautiful. The city or village is just amazing. I was impressed at how clean the streets are and the cobblestone designs. Take more pictures when you visit your family!

    • mercedescatalan

      Thanks a mil, Anne! I definitely try to take more photos when I’m home!!! I don’t know why I don’t take the camera out of my backpack more often when I’m in Spain!! Well, yes, I know… family, friends, shopping, dinning… it’s like there’s no time to explore anymore!! hehehe
      Ah, these little white villages in the South can be so so charming! There are a lot scattered along the Costa del Sol, but I really wanted to visit this one, Frigiliana… I read so many times that it’s one (or the one!) of the most beautiful villages in Spain… I was really intrigued! And the trip was totally worth it, even if it was super hot that day, hehehe
      I have a trip to Seville in a few days (where I used to live when I was very little), so I hope I can come back with more photos from Spain to show you! 🙂
      Have a great week, dear Anne!

  4. Aaaah Spain! It touches my Mediterranean chord deeply than Switzerland!
    The two last photos (evening ones) are fantastic.
    The daytime photos are gorgeous too. And I’m surprised by the way you treated the light which is almost softened. Is it just me? I would have been tempted to make the contrasts pop up between the blue of the sky, the white of the walls, the flowers, the flags. Very classic indeed! You chose differently. Very interesting.

    • mercedescatalan

      Thanks a mil, Véro! So happy you liked the photos! 🙂
      The last two photos… I missed so much taking this kind of long expositions!!! Since I got the new (bigger) camera, I didn’t have filters for this kind of photos… So I knew I had to buy one before this trip! And I’m glad I did, even if I only had one occasion during the whole trip for this kind of photos, hehehe
      About the warm tones and soft light… I guess I wanted the photos to show the heat of a summer afternoon in that part of Spain, hehehe. Giving them the warm tones of old analogical films… I guess I’ve seen so many photos of these villages and the Greek ones with so much blue-white contrast that I wanted this photos to be a bit different.

  5. Now I want to go visit Spain again!

    • mercedescatalan

      Thanks a mil, Peter!!! I can’t think on a better compliment for my photos, hehehe
      And yes, visit Spain again!! I don’t post often about it and I know I should, because there’s so much to see there! 🙂

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