Botanical gardens around the world are often well worth a visit while travelling, and Málaga’s La Concepción Gardens are no exception. Just to the north of the city, the stunning Jardín Botánico-Historico La Conceptión has justifiably attracted a reputation for being amongst the best in Europe.
The gardens were founded in 1850 by Amalia Heredia Livermore and her husband Jorge, the Marquis of Casa Loring, who travelled the world in search of tropical plants for their garden, in the centre of which they built an Andalucían mansion, complete with indoor courtyard.
During the Loring´s occupation of the property, Finca La Concepción was well known for the dinner parties which took place in the Wisteria Dining Arbour, often followed by short walking tours of the gardens. At the time of our visit, the Arbour was being prepared for a wedding, which must be a particularly spectacular setting in April each year, when the wisteria is in bloom.
Jardín Botánico-Historico La Conceptión was declared a historical and artistic garden in 1943, but fell into decline over the years until the garden estate, comprising 49 hectares of established gardens and surrounding forests, were acquired by Málaga City Council in 1990. Following an extensive programme of renovation, the gardens were opened to the public in 1994.
As well as many thousands of plant and tree specimens, architecturally the gardens also contain a few memorable buildings such as the finca, a Doric-columned Museum of ancient Roman sculpture, a number of small bridges crossing waterways, and an Alhambra-inspired pool with pagoda, offering great views over Málaga city.
Even on a hot summer´s day, it´s a pleasure to enjoy the cool green shade and occasional sprinklers which may catch you by surprise as they irrigate the surrounding plants. I was delighted to even capture a rainbow dancing in the water droplets.
The romantic, landscaped design transports you to a tropical paradise filled with waterfalls, streams, carved benches, lily ponds and thousands of plant specimens from all over the world. Add to that the beautiful sound of birdsong, turtles, frogs and the occasional squirrel looking for something to eat, and you have found yourself a very pleasant way to spend a sunny morning.
We took about three hours to wander around the gardens, which includes the impressive “Around the World in 80 Trees” exhibit, showcasing trees from every continent.
To find the Botanical Gardens (driving from the Axarquía, east of Málaga) take the Autovía towards Málaga, turning onto the A45 before the city, towards Granada, Córdoba and Seville. After only a kilometre or so, you will see signs for the Jardín Botánico-Historico La Conceptión. Exit the A45 at km 140 and follow local signs to the Gardens. For further details of opening times and entrance prices, visit their website.
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