Among the well-known destinations in Southern Spain, there are plenty of off-the-beaten-track places waiting to be discovered. If you’re flying to Malaga, first explore the city’s flamenco scene with a stop at the Cante Grande de Casabermeja festival held every summer for the past 40 years. From there, head east to the Axarquia country on the Mediterranean Costa del Sol. Most of the area remains relatively untouched and has, for the most part, managed to escape urban development.Although there are a number of large resorts in between the long stretches of sandy beach, there are also still plenty of undiscovered rocky coves and secret places to explore. Start at Caleta de Velez, the area’s main fishing port where you can purchase and indulge in the day’s fresh catch. You’ll find plenty of sunbathing opportunities along the coast but some of the more undiscovered areas include Chilches Beach and Playa de Mezquitilla, both set on small coastal villages, and Cala del Pino, a beach and nature reserve located six kilometres east of Nerja and only accessible by boat or on foot.
If you fancy going west from Malaga instead, you’ll come across a more developed area at first but drive past the hectic resorts of Marbella and Torremolinos, around Spain’s southernmost tip and you’ll find yourself on the Costa de la Luz. Escape the crowds in favour of a more authentic Spain in Tarifa (see top photo), a small town filled with coastal delights.After exploring the area to your heart’s content, hop on one of the Majorca flights with Monarch and make your way to the island. From the island’s capital Palma, make the exciting journey—up steep and spiralling mountain roads alongside mule-drawn carts—to Orient, a lovely village with mountain views surrounding the valley. On your way back to Palma, make a stop at the Palma/Soller road to see the manor house and gardens of Alfabia. Beyond the beaches, the mountain villages of Majorca in the far west of the island are a must-see, and one of the most scenic routes is from Palma to Calvia, west to Capdella, then up to the village of Galilea. Fom Galilea, go north and you’ll come to Puigpunyent, another timeless and charming village.
Close to Felanitx in the southeast of the island, the Sanctuary of San Salvador offers another panoramic view of the area. And while most of the roads to get to the mountainside villages are quite windy and twisty and will make you sweat, if you put in the effort, you will always be rewarded with breathtaking views stretching far off into the distance.