Fuengirola is one of the top family friendly destinations on the Costa del Sol
Fuengirola is a popular beach resort nestled between the towns of Benalmadena and Marbella on the Costa del Sol in Southern Spain, it is just 15 minutes west of Malaga airport and has easy access by either motorway, coastal roads and by a regular train service which runs between Malaga and Fuengirola.
The town enjoys a privileged position protected by the mountain ranges of Mijas, Malaga and Ronda providing one of the best microclimates on the Costa del sol.
The newly renovated promenade is flanked by restaurants, cafes, bars and clubs which sit alongside it's popular beaches of Carvajal, Las Gaviotas, Los Boliches, San Francisco and Santa which are all holders of prestigious blue flags. On all the beaches you will find all types of water sports are well catered for including, sailing, windsurfing, pedalos, diving and fishing trips.
The municipal area of Fuengirola is only 10 square meters in size yet boasts an impressive 8 kilometer long beach.
Fuengirola and the areas closely adjoining the town such as Mijas Costa and Benalmadena really do provide every amenity for family holidays with a large selection of attractions and interesting venues to suit everyone.
Local visits should include trips to the Arab castle of Sohail situated on the sea front to the west of the town. The castle is the towns landmark building, originally dated back to when the Arabs ruled the area in the 8th It has suffered frequent attacks over the years from pirates and the building there today contains little of the original structure.
Another good historical place of interest is the Roman Archaeological site located by the train station in Los Boliches. Discovered in the 1970's the site has been restored and visitors can see the remains of a salting factory, pottery and thermal baths.
The Bioparc Fuengirola is a flagship of its kind in Europe as it takes saving endangered species to another level. Think of a marriage between the Eden Project and London Zoo to get an idea of what to expect here.
There is a large Aquapark situated on the outskirts of Fuengirola open from April to September, a great place to cool down and have fun during the hot summer months.
Fuengirola Zoo is situated some 10 minutes walk from the towns centre and is one of the most important in Spain being completely refurbished in 2001.
Ideal golf holiday destination
There are some 30 championship golf courses within a 25 kilometer radius of Fuengirola making the town a perfect golf holiday destination. Some of the excellent courses close by include the Mijas Golf Resort, Torrequebrada Golf and the stunning Santana Golf Club.
Nearby towns worth visiting
A 20 minute bus ride will take you to the picturesque village of Mijas which is nestled in the Sierra de Mijas hills , enjoy a walk around this old and charming village and enjoy spectacular views over Fuengirola and the Mediterranean Coastline. The small town, which takes over where the back of Fuengirola leaves off is a sharp contrast to its touristy neighbour and is a very nice place to spend the day. Mijas is your typically picturesque white village and is around 430m above sea level so you will need that hire car to get up there and take in the views and simply enjoy the attractiveness of the town.
Another attractive town on the coast which boasts the typical stretch of golden sands, attractive promenade and copious amounts of bars and restaurants. There is one thing Benalmadena has that the others don’t however and that’s the stunning 33m monument that is the Buddhist Benalmadena Stupa.
The combination of the glorious Costa del Sol weather and the glitz and glamour make Marbella a real holiday hot spot. There is nothing not to like about this beautiful area of southern Spain and there is loads to see if you get bored with star spotting and turn a little bit greener with each luxury yacht that pulls into the marina.
Fuengirola’s annual fiesta is held in October of each year and where colourful spectacles, flamenco and dry sherry ( Fino ) are in abundance and carries on for 24 hours a day for so pacing yourself is a must !
The other Feria is the feast of the Virgen del Carmen held in July and is held in the Los Boliches ( a subdivision of Fuengirola ) area of the town.
Shopping in Fuengirola
There is a large selection of quality shops and shopping centre’s now open in the Area. El Corte Ingles is the most famous shopping chain in Spain and has just opened a store in Fuengirola. The store is about a 15 minute walk from the Towns center or you can take the free courtesy bus which leaves from the town centre on a regular basis.
The new Myramar centre is a large shopping maul and cinema complex situated at the Castle end and offers everything from Pets to Food and Jewelry to Boutiques. There is also a good smattering of shops and up market boutiques situated around the town centre.
The Fuengirola indoor municipal market is well worth a visit, get there early to pick up the freshest produce Spain has to offer specially the fish and seafood on offer in the market situated on the first floor.
There are two main outdoor markets , the main one is held on Tuesdays and is the largest and liveliest open market on the coast and is situated in the mid section of Fuengirola in the area where the annual Festival is held each year in October.
There is a car boot sale held at the same venue on Saturdays and is great for picking up the odd bargain or two.
Eating out in Fuengirola
Dining out in Fuengirola is always a real treat as you are spoilt for choice, every type of food is readily available from authentic tapas bars, to Asian and more up market fine dining, Fuengirola really does offer the lot.
A good place to start is by walking around the old part of town from the Old Church Square ( Plaza de la Constitucion ) and branch out around the many narrow roads and lanes, try out some of the tapas bars and local restaurants offering local and international fare at very reasonable prices.
A few minutes walk from the church square down toward the sea front you will find what is locally known as Fish Alley, a bustling area of two or three streets full of restaurants of every kind, type and price. And although as the name suggests you will find quality sea food on offer these days fish alley caters for all tastes, there are a at least a dozen restaurants offering great value 3 course menus for around 12 Euros.
Boat rides are available from the harbour area, trips to Benalmadena providing a good opportunity to look back along the Fuengirola coastline. Normal sailing days out are popular where you can spend a lazy day out under the sun, swimming and enjoying the on-board catering washed down with liberal quantities of the local brew which is usually included in the price.
Recommended traditional restaurants in Fuengirola
Fuengirola really is blessed with a large selection of tapas bars and restaurants serving traditional food at very reasonable prices. Here is a pick of our favourite eateries.
Restaurant Los Marinos Jose
Los Marinos Jose is one of the best fish and seafood restaurants in the area. Known as the temple of seafood it is located at the eastern end of the seafront in Carvajal. Serving only the freshest catches of the day you can enjoy sea bass, king prawns, lobster, black grouper, scampi and oysters. Although slightly on the pricey side for Fuengirola the outstanding quality of the seafood is well worth the extra cost.
Located on Calle Palangreros, 22 in central Fuengirola this is a very nice eatery serving traditional Spanish and international cuisine at very reasonable prices. Starters include scrambled eggs with black pudding from Burgos and baby broad beans with Serrano ham. Some tasty mains include Iberian tenderloin cordon blue and hake with lobster sauce. The average price is around €12 per person.
Meson La Salina
Located on Calle Salina num 28 in Los Boliches. Another popular eatery serving wholesome quality local dishes. Run by the Lopez family since 1995 the meson is situated in an old salt producing house. Highly recommended dished here include the black foot cured ham, “papas a la rico” “boquerones Salineros”, stewed oxtail and beef cheeks, suckling pig and the rack of lamb. As well as great food you can expect a warm and friendly welcome from Antonio Lopez and his family.
This fine Spanish restaurant is located on Calle Larga, 14 in Fuengirola. Opened in 1994 by Florentino Morillo here you you will find a fusion of Basque and Andalucian dishes. The prices are very reasonable for the quality of food served, you can eat very well here for around €25 per person. Some of Florentinos specialities include goose and duck mouse, beef ear with fried peppers and the Iberian cold meat platter. The omelette and crepe dishes are excellent specially the spider crab crepe and the black pudding and caramelised onion omelette.
Restaurante Los Enebros
Located on Avenida Nuestro Padre Jesús Cautivo, 19 the Restaurante Los Enebros serves a nice selection of quality Spanish dishes. Chef Rondan relies heavily on seasonal produce so the menu will change to suit the time of year. Signature dishes include the braised oxtail, fresh cod in garlic, lobster soup and the suckling pig. There is a good fixed menu which is available Tuesday to Friday for €20.50.
Recommended hotels in Fuengirola
For luxury accommodation right in the heart of Fuengirola try the popular Hotel Casa Consistorial built within what was the town hall, the hotel is modern with spacious rooms and perfectly located close to all local attractions. Reviewer Rating: 9.0
The 4 star Double Tree Hilton Hotel is located on a hillside overlooking Fuengirola around a 10 minuted drive from the town centre and beaches. First class facilities include spa and wellness centre, rooftop pool, jacuzzi, gymnasium, tennis courts and in infinity pool. Reviewer Rating: 8.1
For a budget stay in Fuengirola try the 3* Hotel Itaca in Fuengirola. The rooms at around £35 in the low season. Located the the western end of Fuengirola just a three minute walk to the beach. Plenty of shops, bars and restaurants close by. This hotel is also very secure, situated right next to the main national guard police station! Reviewer Rating: 7.1