An Overview of Fuengirola
Located on the Costa del Sol, Fuengirola is a city with a rich Andalusian flavour which offers an extensive stretch of coastline covered with magnificent beaches. Possessing a long tourist tradition, this town in the province of Málaga has a wide range of services and infrastructure, which includes golf courses, riding centres, leisure parks, hotel complexes and restaurants, not forgetting a significant calendar of cultural events.
Along with tourism and residential development, Fuengirola has managed to preserve a great many remains left behind by the peoples who inhabited the city in ancient times, such as the Roman baths and villa or the Arab castle of Sohail.
The racetrack and other riding schools from neighbouring Mijas provide excellent facilities for taking up or perfecting the equestrian arts. It is also possible to play tennis in any of the area’s clubs.
Water sports are especially important in Fuengirola. The coastline has beautiful sea depths which make scuba diving, a sport which can be learned in any of the town’s diving schools, particularly attractive.
The marina, located next to the fishing port, provides modern facilities for navigation, as well as other water sports, such as sailingor scuba diving.
Previously, a tiny fishing village, Fuengirola has become a vibrant metropolis with character. The advent of many up-market tapa bars, good cafes and restaurants, interspersed with chic boutiques and other shops of interest, as well as fabulous beaches makes it the perfect holiday destination. The main square, Plaza de la Constitución, has been re-designed but still retains its unique enchantment. It looks pretty especially at Christmas, when it is decorated with very attractive lights and ornaments. It is also attractive during the Fuengirola summer feria, when the whole town takes part in the annual street celebrations. A walk down the narrow, pedestrian streets leading off the main square is a voyage of discovery for the many visitors, who come across some of the hidden secrets and delightful corners of this friendly, Andalucian town.
Beaches in Fuengirola
One of the Fuengirola’s main attractions is, of course, its wonderful seven kilometres (five miles) of sandy beaches, stretching from the Sohail Castle to the west and Torreblanca to the east.
Fuengirola sits on a narrow strip of coastline covering 8 kilometres which has a succession of some of the best beaches on the Costa del Sol. Los Boliches, Fuengirola, La Campana, Torreblanca, Las Gaviotas…well-cared for stretches of sand backed by a long and busy promenade where you’ll find residential complexes, hotels, restaurants and other services so you can enjoy the sun and sea in comfort. Sports fans have a wide range of possibilities in Fuengirola. Those who prefer golf will find the town and the surrounding area has some twenty magnificent 18-hole courses which allow the golfer to play year-round.
Any one of its many restaurants and pavement cafés provides the opportunity to sample the local cuisine, whose star product is fish.
Also, outdoor pursuits in the province have the perfect setting inland, where there are a great many routes suitable for hiking, as well as routes on horseback or by bicycle.
But Fuengirola provides many other leisure possibilities for all ages. You can visit the Zoo, enjoy an unforgettable day at the water park or tour Sohail Fluvial Park, an extensive and modern recreational area crossed by a navigable canal measuring 800 metres in length. Or if you prefer, you can attend one of the cultural events which are staged in the Municipal Arts Centre or the modern Peace Centre.
Fuengirola has all the amenities and comforts you need but in a beautiful Mediterranean setting. Whether you love shopping, or looking for a good gym or municipal sports centres.
The Myramar indoor shopping centre has hundreds of high street brands to choose from, including Primark and H&M whilst the Commercial Park has the stores you need as a resident or longer term tourist, from Iceland Frozen Foods to AKI, the B&Q of Spain.
Water sports are strongly featured in this coastal resort. Where better to get to grips with speed boats, jet skis, parasailing than at the cool Marina.
Getting around Fuengirola
If perhaps you need a more personal hand finding things then you may want to try a Viator guided tour on our excursions page, which always prove to be enjoyable. Buses in Fuengirola run quite regularly to places along the coast such as Torremolinos and Marbella all the way to Estepona and Algeciras, even Gibraltar (La Linea).
The town centre
Fuengirola preserves witin its streets corners full of local colour and charm. Dominating the centre of town is Constitution Square (19th century), where the Church of Nuestra Señora del Rosario stands.
On top of a nearby hill, located next to the mouth of the river Fuengirola, stands the Castle of Sohail, ordered to be built by Abd-al-Rahman III in the 10th century and which still preserves some paintings of its walls. Next to this parade ground, the remains of the old Phoenician settlement have been found, which was the origin of the town (6th-3rd centuries BC). Testimony of the city’s importance in the past is the Roman city of Suel, located on the hillside of the castle.
Other Roman remains appear in the archaelogical sites of Finca del Secretario and Torreblanca, where there is a Roman baths and a Visigoth necropolis.
Fuengirola also has neighbourhoods full of local colour, such as Santa Fe de los Boliches, deeply-rooted to the sea, or Pueblo López, which has streets crammed with beautiful examples of Andalusian popular architecture.
Gastronomy, festivals and surrounding area
As occurs in other towns on the Costa del Sol, the gastronomy of Fuengirola is characterized by the central role given to fish, cooked on the grill or salted, not forgetting the emblematic fried fish and sardines on the spit (grilled). Also traditional are “ajoblanco con uvas” (a cold soup with almonds, oil, garlic and grapes) and “gazpacho” (made from tomatoes, pepper, bread, oil and garlic). The entire province is well-known for its excellent wines labelled under the Designation of Origin Málaga standard, among which the sweet wines are most prominent.
Among the most anticipated events of the year in Fuengirola is its festival in honour of Nuestra Señora del Rosario, patron of the town, which has as its main stage at the festival ground and which is held from 6 to 12 October.
In July, the festival of the Virgen del Carmen takes place in the district of Los Boliches, and the Festival of the Castle is held, declared to be of tourist interest.
From Fuengirola it is possible to visit other towns on the Costa del Sol. A few kilometres inland are mountain towns such as Mijas, with its typically Andalusian houses, and Alhaurín el Grande, where the church of la Encarnación and the palace of Montellano are outstanding. In the coastal area are Marbella, Torremolinos and Benalmádena, towns with a deep-rooted tourist tradition which provide outstanding infrastructure.
Those who prefer to enjoy nature will find the Sierra de las Nieves Nature Reserve to be one of the best-protected spaces in the whole province.
Since the 1960’s, foreigners have been discovering the joys of living in Fuengirola. At the beginning of the 1960’s, there were around 8,500 people living in this small village. By 1980 there were some 30,000 and now there are over 63,000 official residents. In the summer season, this number swells enormously with tourists. read about the history of Fuengirola.
The next places along the Costa del Sol to the East are Mijas and Benalmadena and to the West are Mijas Costa, Calahonda, Cabopino and Marbella.