If you’ve been dreaming of a European cruise vacation, chances are you’ve envisioned sunlit seaports all along the Mediterranean coast. Set sail aboard a Carnival® cruise ship, and take a cruise to Màlaga, a bucket-list destination situated in the Andalusian region of Spain along the Costa del Sol.
During your visit to Màlaga, make sure to pick up some mementos while you’re seeing the sights and exploring this beautiful city. Here’s our list of 15 things to buy in Màlaga, Spain.
1. Olive Oil
Home to many olive groves, Màlaga is a great place to get extra-virgin olive oil. Find olive oil in grocery stores, or shop one of the bustling markets packed with vendor booths and stalls. For a chance to taste olive oil before you purchase it, take a tour of a local olive mill.
When you buy olive oil to bring back home, make sure the oil — and any other food items purchased — remain unopened and sealed until you reach your home port.
2. Andalusian Ceramics
Spain’s Andalusian region is famous for handicrafts, especially colorful pottery. At shops and markets across Màlaga, you can find ceramic wares for the kitchen like plates, mugs and bowls. Wall art, such as religious crosses and hand-painted clay tiles, are also available. Any of these artistic pieces will make charming additions to your home.
3. Picasso Souvenirs
Because Màlaga was the birthplace of renowned artist Pablo Picasso, it’s not surprising that you can find Picasso souvenirs all over the city. For an enjoyable shore excursion and a great memento, visit the Picasso Museum and then stop by the onsite gift shop for a book, a poster or a colorful tote bag.
If you’re a wine lover, you’ll appreciate the affordable selection of reds and whites that Màlaga offers. Look for a local sweet dessert wine, or choose a bottle of cava, Spain’s version of champagne.
When shopping for wine, remember that cruise passengers are entitled to one, duty-free bottle of alcohol per adult, which is stored with Carnival staff until the completion of the voyage.’
5. Muscatel Raisins
After you’ve tried muscatel raisins from southern Spain, you won’t want to go back to the store-bought kind. Handpicked and then sundried, these large, meaty raisins offer a sweet bite that you’ll want to take home and share with loved ones.
6. Tapas Bowls
When you travel to Spain you must try tapas, small plates of food served in bars and cafés. Whether you enjoy Spanish meatballs, shrimp and garlic or potatoes in spicy sauce, you’ll want to try making tapas at home. To bring a truly authentic experience back home, purchase a few traditional terracotta tapas bowls.
7. Paella Pan
Make your authentic Spanish meal at home extra special with another beloved local dish: paella. Made with meat, vegetables and short-grain rice, this dish is the ultimate comfort food. As Spanish chefs know, the secret to good paella is a good paella pan, so pick one up in Màlaga for when you want to try tackling this delicious entrée.
If you’re buying a paella pan, don’t forget some saffron, which is grown in central Spain. This flavorful spice is derived from a type of crocus flower and is essential for making paella and many other flavorful, Spanish dishes. Although saffron is expensive, it is much cheaper to buy in Spain, and you’ll likely get a higher-quality product.
9. Spanish Bull Products
Bullfighting was born in Andalusia, and along the Costa del Sol is where you’ll find the majority of Spain’s bullrings. Throughout the central business district in Màlaga, you can find souvenir shops selling bullfighting posters and all kinds of Spanish bull products like stuffed bull toys, T-shirts, caps and mugs.
10. Flamenco Music
A trip to Spain isn’t complete without seeing a flamenco show. This expressive and dramatic blend of music and dancing dates back to the 15th century and is thought to have originated with Andalusian gypsies. You can relive your flamenco experience by purchasing a CD featuring this soulful and passionate music to listen to once you return home from your cruise.
11. Flamenco Dress
The flamenco dress is a truly important element of the Andalusian culture. This flamboyant frock hugs the body to just above the knee and flows outward, cascading to the floor in a flurry of ruffles. If you can’t live without your own flamenco dress, you’re in luck. A number of shops in Màlaga specialize in flamenco products.
12. Flamenco Castanets
If you love flamenco but don’t have any room in your luggage, consider shopping for castanets. These small pieces of wood are held by flamenco singers and dancers and clicked together to the rhythm of the music. You can find castanets at gift shops and specialty stores throughout Màlaga.
13. Mantilla (Spanish Veil)
Another fashion accessory worn for flamenco dancing, weddings, and other social occasions is the mantilla (Spanish veil). Traditionally, these beautiful lace veils were worn with high combs for a sophisticated and elegant look. If you’d like to purchase your own mantilla, you can find them in triangular or rectangular patterns.
14. Spanish Fan
When the weather is warm in Màlaga, you’ll see many women cooling off with colorful fans. Made from wooden sticks and hand-painted fabric or paper, Spanish fans feature vibrant designs such as flowers, birds or polka dots. You can find Spanish fans at shops throughout Màlaga, and if yours is too pretty to use, you can make it part of your wall decor.
In the summertime in Màlaga, street vendors sell floral arrangements call biznagas made from dried thistle and fresh-picked jasmine. Although you can’t take these fragrant flowers aboard your cruise ship, you can find beautiful porcelain versions of biznagas in Màlaga shops.
As you cruise around Europe on a Carnival ship, you’ll want to preserve happy memories with a few souvenirs. If you’re wondering what to buy in Màlaga, pick up any of these 15 items for a little slice of this beautiful Spanish city.