A Tranquil Stroll Through La Concepción Botanical Gardens in Malaga, Spain

Written by Rachel Webb
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 “Tranquility in La Concepción Botanical Gardens in Malaga, Spain”

Malaga’s La Concepcion Botanical Gardens bloom with beauty and are one of only a few gardens left in Europe with subtropical climate plants. The next time you’re in Malaga, take a stroll through the serene space of more than 23 hectares of visitable gardens for a dose of tranquility in the city.

 History

The gardens and house were built in 1855 when two wealthy Spanish families united through the marriage of Amalia de Heredia Livermore and Jorge Enrique Loring Oyarzabal, turning several small estates into one larger one.  They created wonderful gardens around their house, which they named after their daughter, and procured plants and trees from around the world.

Unbeknownst to them at the time, their passion for gardening was the bud for Malaga´s La Concepción Botanical Gardens as we know and love them today. Another wealthy family took over the gardens in 1911 and enlarged them, adding the fabulous architectural mirador at the southern end of the gardens. This bandstand-like structure has become one of the enduring symbols of Malaga, and the view from here looks out toward the Mediterranean Sea.

Málaga´s La Concepción Botanical Gardens were declared a National Treasure in 1943 but a slow decline took place after the death of the family and the gardens fell into disrepair.  Fortunately,  Málaga’s city council bought the estate in 1990 and, after a lot of restoration,  re-opened it to the public in 1994.

Garden Party

La Concepción Botanical Gardens have clearly defined areas to stroll about, so make sure to pick up a map with your ticket.  Once inside, you can follow the Forest Pathway through pine woods, to the Mirador with its plane tree-lined approach, and admire the Around the World in 80 Trees section with its vast array of palm trees. There’s also the the Black Bamboo Forest, the biggest in Spain.

At its heart is the 3.5 hectare Historical Garden with plants, waterfalls, streams, fountains, greenhouses and historical buildings. It’s the oldest part of the gardens, created  more than 150 years ago.

The entire gardens are home to more than fifty thousand plants and one hundred different species of palms, bamboos, aquatic plants, making La Concepción Botanical Gardens not only unique in Malaga and Spain but also in Europe.

The Botanical Conception Gardens Map

But the real star of the gardens and of Instagram, and what the La Concepción Botanical Gardens are famous for, is the Wisteria Arbour whose fragrant purple flowers bloomed annually since they were planted by Loring-Heredia family in 1857. Flowering in late March and early April, they blooms form a colorful tunnel over the arbour, and emitting a sweet and sensual aroma you won’t soon forget.

La Concepción Botanical Gardens aren’t enormous but it’s still an easy place to lose yourself in this special setting where you can spend the better part of  a morning or afternoon drifting from sun to shade, day dream to day dream. If possible, choose an afternoon visit, late enough to catch the setting sun over the Mediterranean Sea from the mirador.

For birdwatchers, the gardens house numerous species in the park, some  habitual while others only fly over.

La Concepción Botanical Gardens offers guided tours, educational programs, has a cafe, and night visits during the summer, as well as on certain dates throughout the rest of the year, such as Valentine’s Day and the first day of Spring.

The Takeaway

What’s not to love about an oasis of tropical plants from around the world so close to the city? Full of winding paths, ponds, waterfalls and streams, the gardens are a highlight of a vacation in Malaga, and a place to sit, contemplate, and appreciate the simple beauty all around you.

If you happen to be in Malaga during the holidays, bring your family to see the botanical gardens illuminated with millions of lights,  adding extra enchantment to an already captivating place.

***

BeSeeingYou In: Malaga

Good to know: The gardens are closed on Mondays

WOW! Factor: The wisteria that climb the gardens’ famous arbour reach heights of almost 20 metres,

Tip: Follow their Instagram feed for colourful instpiration

 

Author bio:  Rachel Webb

Rachel Webb
Rachel Webb has lived in Jaén province since moving from England in 1996. She’s an estate agent and writer often found visiting boutique hotels for her portfolio of Only Spain Boutique Hotels. She blogs at Andalucia Explorer and Luxury Spain Travel, and has written the Cordoba and Jaen chapter for Lonely Planet´s Andalucia Guide. She enjoys sampling Spanish red wine and tapas while exploring Spain.

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