Sitting between Malaga and the ever popular Marbella, Fuengirola is one of the lesser known resort towns of Spain’s sunshine-y Costa del Sol, and all the better for it! With six kilometres of sandy beaches, a well-connected location and fascinating medieval Moorish history exemplified by the intriguing Sohail Castle, Fuengirola is perfect for travellers, especially solo ones, who like to veer away from the well-worn tourist trail. If you’re looking for a destination with the perfect balance of resort comfort and unexpected adventure, Fuengirola is for you!
Daytrip to Malaga
For a dose of culture on your seaside holiday, a daytrip to Andalucia’s second most popular municipality is a must. Although smaller and less talked about than Seville, its coastal location means that Malaga offers the pulse of a big city with all the charms of the Mediterranean lifestyle. Full of fantastic food and attractions, it’s a great option for a day away. Head off in the morning and immerse yourself in the works born of Pablo Picasso’s creative mind at the Museo Picasso Malaga — amateur art buffs will find it irresistible. After a tour of the city, take yourself to Playa de la Malagueta for a lazy afternoon on the extensive stretch of sandy coastline.
At the forefront of European zoos is the award winning Bioparc Fuengirola, a unique experience whether you’re a nature-lover or not. The architectural design alone is sure to ‘wow’, as visitors are immersed in the expertly created habitat which has been designed so that species live as they would in the wild. A day out will quickly turn into an expedition through the lands of Africa and Asia, beautifully recreated by designers. You must check out the 25-metre-high artificial baobab tree, which has become something of a landmark.
Let’s not forget the stars of the show: the wildlife! Visitors have the chance to see species such as the Sumatran tiger and a breeding group of gorillas, as well as a spectacle of exotic birds.
Top Tip: During July and August the zoo remains open until midnight, offering tourists a magical moonlight experience of the jungle by night. It’s an unmissable event if you’re visiting during the summer months.
Travellers who like to get under the skin of a place when travelling will find the history surrounding Sohail Castle fascinating. Towering over the mouth of the river, the impressive stone battlement has an imposing presence over the western side of the city. It’s this advantageous location that has made the site a popular point for control among the Phoenicians, Romans and Moors; history buffs will enjoy the Roman ruins on display at the base of the hill.
Dating back to Moorish invasion of Spain, the current structure was built after the original building was almost entirely destroyed in a fierce battle. Although offering a great vantage point, the seaside location meant the castle was more vulnerable to invaders.
Today, Sohail remains a symbol of the city it defended and it lives on as a venue for concerts and cultural events — check one out if you’re visiting during summer. Popular events include the Medieval Fair and the International Beer Festival, which attracts thousands of visitors every year!
If you’re looking for the adventures to continue into the night, Fuengirola won’t leave you disappointed. A dance mecca for partygoers of all ages, you’ll have an array of clubs, bars and pubs to choose from – there is something for everyone, and everyone is so friendly that even if you’re travelling alone you’re likely to make a friend or two. What makes the city’s nightlife even more appealing is its location: everything is near the centre meaning that bar hopping is effortless.
Here are a few of my favourite watering holes:
- Lumiere Lounge – Popular with the local Spanish crowd, this place offers live music, a DJ and Latin American dance classes.
- Old Town Cafe & Bar – Featuring fantastic cocktails, a terrace and a dance floor perfect for boogying the night away.
- The London Pub – The best known English pub in the area is popular for its outdoor terrace and laidback vibe. Open until 4am, it’s the place to go if you’re looking to make the night last a little bit longer.
And here are my top spots to bust a move:
- Heaven’s Gate –The choice of the trendy tourists! You’ll hear modern tracks and dance to the rhythms of a fantastic light and sound system. It’s one of the most popular clubs in town.
- Discoteca Superstar – A late-night club that plays all sorts of music and often hosts themed nights with guest DJs.
Where to Stay
Casa Maria – Situated in the centre of town, this modern and fully-equipped accommodation choice is perfect for adventurous visitors. Complete with free WiFi, a fridge and a microwave; some units include a balcony or small lounge.
How to Get There
I’d recommend flying from the UK to Malaga Airport as there are always a range of flights available. While tickets are fairly affordable in June, the prices soar in August so have a look before you book.
Once you’ve arrived, take an airport transfer with Shuttle Direct to Fuengirola, which is a short 25-minute journey.
- UK to AGP Flight Time: 2 hours 45 minutes
- AGP to Fuengirola Distance: 25 kilometres
- Shuttle Direct Transfer Time: 25 minutes
About Shuttle Direct
At Shuttle Direct we provide our clients with a top quality transfer service, ensuring that customers get from A to B as smoothly and safely as possible. Operating throughout Europe and North Africa, we are one of the leading airport transfer providers.