By Karen Hockney
8 May 2023
Málaga is a city that often flies under the radar, which is remarkable when you consider all that’s on offer, not to mention one of the best year-round climates in the whole of Europe.
Still less known than Marbella and Puerto Banus, this star in southern Spain’s crown punches well above its weight, and whether you’re here to prepare for the season, or you’re cruising with guests along the Costa del Sol, IGY Málaga Marina is a dedicated superyacht marina that has everything you could possibly need and more.
Getting ready for the season
“Málaga has a little bit of everything,” explains Head of Customer Service Alejandra Cruces. “We had two superyachts here recently which needed to engage in light in-water works. They were looking for a marina in a great location with the best weather in the Med.
“After making their crossing, they decided to come to Málaga for polishing, varnishing and teak treatment as they needed warm weather so that everything could dry.
“They were so surprised and happy to discover they could do all the maintenance work afloat, using our recommended contractors as well as their own experts. It’s a story we have heard many times before.”
In addition to surface works, all kinds of technical works can be conducted before, during or after the season, and the sourcing of cranes, cherry pickers and divers is par for the course. MTU and Caterpillar, among others, have their official technical services established in Málaga.
The weather in Málaga is another huge plus in terms of predictability. The coldest months of December and January still enjoy temperatures approaching 20 degrees centigrade and winter precipitation rarely exceeds 20%. Last year, Málaga enjoyed an incredible 321 days of sunshine, making it easy for captains and crew to plan ahead and keep things on track.
Of course great weather also means great local produce. “We have everything here and we can contact different suppliers on the yacht’s behalf,” says Alejandra. “Málaga largely lives off tourism, and our stores here are regular suppliers to every kind of restaurant, not only in Málaga but in Marbella and Puerto Banus too, so we have everything a boat might need.
“Our huge network of contacts can supply pretty much everything and deliver.”
Eco credentials leading the way
Sustainability is another priority at IGY Málaga Marina and last spring, an innovative new pier was installed using blocks of ECOncrete – a patented solution that encourages marine life, reduces CO2 in the atmosphere and improves water quality, at the same time creating a protective layer that increases the longevity of the structure itself.Recent checks at the beginning of 2023 revealed that biodiversity is already developing rapidly, with the presence of fan worms, calcareous sponges, snakelocks anemone and brown algae.
“The last checks were carried out by a submarine robot but very soon, we have divers coming to confirm how the biodiversity is continuing to develop and what’s growing,” adds Alejandra.
“The divers will be able to go even deeper and gather more information. We are very happy and proud of what’s already been achieved here.”
Celebrating the life of Picasso
If Málaga has remained a somewhat secret destination until now, this is all about to change. Recently listed in Vogue’s ‘12 Best Places to Travel in 2023’ round up, it also topped Forbes’ roll call of ‘The World’s Best Alternative Capital Cities’ and the ante is set to be upped even further in the coming months as the city marks the 50th anniversary of the death of its most famous son, Pablo Picasso, with a glittering roster of events celebrating his life.
Highlights include Picasso: Body and Matter and The Echo of Picasso exhibitions at The Picasso Museum while local restaurants will serve Picasso-inspired menus. Málaga will also achieve a world first in creating an immersive virtual space inspired by the legendary Spanish artist, hosting conferences, contests and concerts available to everyone.
For those in search of more sybaritic delights, the high end designer shopping, restaurants, clubs and buzzing nightlife of Marbella are just 30 minutes away. Marbella also hosts the popular annual boutique music festival Starlite featuring artists like Elton John, Christina Aguilera, Lenny Kravitz, Diana Ross and Sting.
Málaga’s rich history and culture
here’s also plenty for lovers of history and culture to explore, including the ancient ruins of the Phoenician colony of Malaka established circa 770 BC, and a Roman theatre at the foot of the Alcazaba hill, built during the reign of Augustus.
“We are in the centre of Andalucia; Granada and the Alhambra – one of the seven wonders of the Muslim world – are 90 minutes’ drive from here,” adds Alejandra. “We also have the wonderfully special cities of Córdoba and Seville within easy reach so you can explore very easily.”
Highlights for crew in Málaga
For yacht crew, IGY Málaga Marina’s city centre location only adds to the appeal, delivering on quality of life as well as affordability.
“Yachts arrive and their captains and crew are so happy to discover they are in the heart of the city, with the cathedral just a stone’s throw away,” says Alejandra. “The food here is very high quality and they love that they can eat really well at a very affordable price compared to Palma and Barcelona.
“The captains who stay here in the winter are sometimes doubtful when they first arrive but within a few days, they are smitten. I know of one who even wants to buy a family house here!
“Many of them really don’t know anything about the marina, yet every boat that comes here is keen to return the following season. They are so surprised at what they find in terms of culture, food, as well as historical sites to discover.
“The eternally sunny weather, beach sports, hiking, soccer and paddle tennis, to name a few, are very popular activities with crew, and everything is well-priced and within easy access of the boat.”
New direct flights from the US
Thanks to a new thrice-weekly flight route between Newark and Málaga from May to September, access for Transatlantic owners and guests will soon be even easier.
Málaga airport is the third largest in Spain, located just a 15 minute drive from the city centre and with customs and immigration situated in the port, clearing arrivals and departures is typically fast and stress free.
“Many of our yachts are American-owned and obviously, owners don’t do the crossing, so the new direct flights with United will give them the opportunity to join the boat much more comfortably,” adds Alejandra.
“Once people experience our city, the marina, the friendly, open people and discover how secure and safe it is, they are amazed that they never knew about it before!”
For further information about IGY Málaga Marina or to book a berth, please visit the website here.