If you have already planned your holidays to the Costa del Sol and have decided to spend them in Fuengirola, this post is for you. One of the first concerns that will arise is how to get to your destination from the airport. In Malaga Cabbie we offer cheap transfers from Fuengirola to Malaga airport. If you wish, we will also accompany you on your return. A more comfortable option than the commuter train for its customization and without waiting times.
However, in this article what we want is to let you know the city, know what to do in Fuengirola, places to visit, what to eat and the best apartments and hotels to stay. We hope that it will serve as a guide for your trip and enjoy its beaches and the warm sun of the Malaga coast.
Fuengirola is one of the cities that make up the well-known Costa del Sol. Just 30 kilometres from the capital of Malaga, it is an enclave where travellers from all corners of the world meet. If you are looking for sun and beach holidays, Mediterranean food, party atmosphere and disconnect from everyday life, do not doubt that you have arrived at your place. It is a city plagued by life, with sandy beaches and whose inhabitants are accustomed to tourism. You will not feel at home … you will feel much better!
History of the city
Fuengirola was founded by the Phoenicians, although previously there were already settlements in the area, under the name of Syalis. From the 3rd century BC after the Punic wars, this city together with all of southern Hispania became part of the Roman Empire.
During its Roman period the city grew and remains are still preserved, such as baths, villas or fish salting. Romans built a famous castle that is now the symbol of the city and has withstood many battles over the years. Important finds of archaeological value have also been made, such as a statue of the goddess Venus and a funerary altar known as the Romans who changed the name of Suel.
Later it was occupied by tribes of vandals, and during the 5th century it was abandoned due to unknown causes. There are theories that point to a tsunami or the constant attacks of piracy.
After this lapse of time the Arabs conquered the whole area, it was then called Sohail. Legend has it that this name was given because the star Sohail (the brightest in the southern hemisphere) could only be glimpsed from the top of the castle. It was a prosperous time for the area, however after the Christian reconquest the city was burned down and the population migrated to the Mijas mountains.
The story continues…
After the conquest it was tried to repopulate the city but it was not obtained due to the threat of invasions and the lack of nearby areas where to buy and trade.
It was not until the 18th century when Fuengirola resurfaced from its ashes. Safe from invaders, a settlement was created on the other side of the river, closer to the coast. A villa that served as accommodation for merchants and seafarers.
During the War of Spanish Independence, in 1810, the Battle of Fuengirola took place, which confronted the Spanish army against the French who controlled the area at the time. From that moment the city was part of the Spanish kingdom.
Already in the twentieth century is from the 30s when they began to build hotels on the beachfront. They are the beginnings of the tourist avalanche that throughout these years has completely transformed the city, increasing its importance to be one of the main ones in the area.
As in the rest of the cities of the south coast of Spain, the climate is pleasant all year round, and many hours of sun in which you can enjoy your baths. The climate is Mediterranean subtropical, with average temperatures of 18 degrees.
The summers are hot, especially in days of “terral” phenomenon that affects the entire coast of Malaga. However, the influence of the sea softens the days. The winters are mild and pleasant. Fuengirola can also be a good option to spend a winter holiday if you want to escape the cold.
Rainfall is scarce, as a rule it is difficult for the rains to ruin your vacations. Being the rainiest months November and December. While the hottest and driest is August, if you visit the city during these dates we recommend you do not abuse too much of the sun and always with sun protection. You do not want your vacation to be ruined by sunstroke!
It’s time to take action, what to do in Fuengirola?
The Costa del Sol offers a large number of activities focused on all kinds of people. On your own, as a couple or as a family, you will find a wide range of possibilities in an area entirely focused on leisure tourism. In the following sections we will tell you a summary of some of the things you can visit and do in the area. For some of them you will need some mobility so the transfer from Fuengirola to Malaga airport will not be your only concern. Also try to rent a car to enjoy everything we are about to offer you.
Monuments and places of interest
Recall the past at Sohail Castle
As we previously said, this castle is an Arab citadel built on a previous Roman fortress. It is located on the top of a hill at the mouth of the Fuengirola River. Your image is carried on the city’s coat of arms, you will know that you are arriving at your destination when you glimpse it on the horizon, protecting the city from above. A place full of history where you can take a walk and get to know a fragment of the past of the area.
Enjoy the wildlife in the Bioparc Fuengirola
It is an animal theme park located on Avenida Camilo José Cela. It is dedicated entirely to the conservation of tropical species mainly from Asia, Africa and the Pacific Islands. The children will enjoy like crazy to see the great variety of animals that live there. Lemurs, crocodiles of the Nile river, African turtles, pygmy hippopotamuses or tigers of Sri Lankan flares are some of the most amazing animals you will find.
Learn how the ancestors lived in the “Finca del Secretario”
It is an archaeological site from the Roman era that has rest of the I and IV centuries. Mainly you can visit constructions of crafts such as a pottery, a salting factory or Roman baths. We recommend enriching the visit with a guide to know first-hand the information of what was done there and how they did it. Not everything was going to be sun and beach!
Walking relaxed by the promenade
The Promenade runs through the entire coast of the city. Full of life and atmosphere, with plenty of bars and pubs where you can stop for a relaxed drink or party at night.
Spend a day of fun with the children at the Aquamijas water park
It is the perfect place to enjoy with friends or family. There are wave pool, slides, artificial rivers where you can swim. It is located next to the Bioparc, and despite being in the area of Mijas you can reach perfectly on foot or with your rental car.
The beaches of Fuengirola
Playa del Castillo
It is the farthest beach if you come from Malaga and it extends at the foot of the Sohail castle. It is considered one of the best in the city. In it we will find public car parks, hammocks, camping areas, beach bars and pubs.
It is the closest beach to the centre of the city. So if you have opted for a hotel or apartment in the centre is your best option. It is always full of people and the holiday atmosphere is breathed with every step.
Playa San Francisco
It is the next beach, closest to the port. It is full of services and amenities specially designed for tourists. Bars of all nationalities, pubs, supermarkets, souvenir shops, etc. However be careful if you go in the middle of summer because it can be crowded with people.
It is one of the most famous beaches of the whole Costa Azul. On this beach you can find practically everything, hammocks, children’s areas, hydro-pedalos, water skiing, pubs and beach bars. Also if you are tired of so much water you can always play a game of volleyball in one of their free networks.
Playa Las Gaviotas
It is a beach further away than the rest of the city centre, however it is always full of tourists. Despite being isolated from the city is very well equipped with public showers, salvage service, kiosks, bars and restaurants. It is a very suitable option if you want to get rid of the bustle of the city.
Festivities of Fuengirola
At this point we will talk about the traditional festivals of the city. Obviously they are subject to a date, but if your holidays coincide with any of them you can not hesitate to participate in them. We will facilitate your transfer from Fuengirola to Malaga airport, but have fun or it is not in your hands!
As in most of the municipalities of Spain, between the months of March and April, Holy Week is celebrated every year. As a representation of the life of Christ. The inhabitants take pictures in procession to the rhythm of bands of music. It is a festivity full of emotions and sensations that although you are not a believer you will enjoy contemplating.
International Peoples Fair
This party is celebrated at the end of April for more than 20 years. It takes place in the fairgrounds and there are tents that represent many places and countries around the world. The intention is to make known the customs and traditions of each of them, in this multicultural city. There are music and dance activities, traditional dishes of each place, parades, handicraft markets, etc.
Undoubtedly a day to mix with people from all over the world and enjoy the culture that you like the most.
San Juan night
The night of June 23 to 24 is a marked date in most municipalities of the coast of the area. This night the entrance of summer is celebrated and bonfires are made along the whole coast. The beach lights up in colours to the rhythm of the music of the scenarios that are enabled. A day to spend the night on the shore, eating and drinking with friends.
The bonfires obtain a symbolic meaning, since supposedly in it they must be burned metaphorically (although some people throw papers) the bad, and purify the body and the mind to make way only to the good.
Performances at Sohail Castle
Throughout the summer there are performances and concerts in the old Arab castle. In the month of August there is also a medieval market very well decorated, where you can buy handmade products and see how they worked at that time. You will believe you have returned to the past!
Fair of Fuengirola
Also known as Feria del Rosario, it is celebrated at the beginning of October and is the main fair of Fuengirola. The streets of the city are filled with carriages and a festive atmosphere during the day and night. Usually it coincides with the Fiesta de la Hispanidad so thousands of people take advantage of the day without work to get closer to the fair and enjoy the attractions, music and activities organized by the town hall.
Traditional gastronomy, what to eat in Fuengirola?
Most of the traditional dishes of the area are based on fish and seafood recipes due to the influence of the sea and to be an old fishing village. These dishes are often accompanied by spices and culinary techniques of Arab influence. As we have said, the main ingredient is fresh fish, including spiced sardines, famous throughout the world. Eating a spit of sardines in a beachfront bar is priceless.
Malaga is also an orchard land, so the “gazpacho”, “ajoblanco” and delicious cold soups are also very consumed by the locals. These soups are seasoned with vegetables and vegetables typical of the area. Some of the most recommended dishes are rice dishes with seafood or prawns with garlic or “pil-pil”.
In the gastronomy of Fuengirola cannot miss the pastry. The “mantecados”, “polvorones”, yolks and the well-known oil cakes are some of the sweets that you should try if you are sweeter. There are pastry shops where they also make sweets of Arab origin such as chebbakia stuffed with almonds, faqqas or crackers filled with dates.
In spite of everything Fuengirola is a city with a lot of international presence, so many of the restaurants in the city offer special cuisine from different parts of the world. You can not complain, there is something for everyone!
And to rest … where to stay in Fuengirola?
Finally, we want to tell you about the possibilities you have if you go to spend several days in the area. Being a city so focused on tourism, there is a wide range of possibilities for all tastes, and more importantly, for all budgets.
The first option is one of the more than 30 hotels within the city and surroundings. From the most luxurious and all kinds of amenities such as the IPV Palace hotel (one of the best rated in Fuengirola) or the Ilunion, a beautiful hotel on the beach with incredible views. If you prefer something cheaper, there are plenty of cheaper hotels and hostels. But they will make you feel at home and do not miss anything, our recommendations are the Stella Maris and the Myramar hotel.
Another alternative if we go in a large group or large family is to rent an entire apartment. There are whole buildings of apartments for rent with areas of common leisure and catering services. If this is your case try the Apartamentos Fuengirola Playa or Nuriasol, you will not be disappointed. They have their own parking, swimming pool, WiFi, etc.
For the more adventurous Fuengirola also has a campsite, which offers plots for tents or bungalows. It is only 5 minutes from the beach and you can find it at kilometre 207 of the national highway 340. Through our shuttle service from Malaga airport to Fuengirola can drop off at any of these accommodations.
The last option that we want to show part of the collaborative economy. There are dozens of neighbours who offer their apartments and share rooms through platforms such as Airbnb, especially during the summer months.
A little advice…
Of course, this is a great tip: if you are already decided and you are going to spend your holidays in Fuengirola, plan ahead with time and look for accommodation as soon as possible. The closer summer gets, the more complicated it becomes to find an economical stay, so hurry up!
We hope that this post has helped you to live a better experience in Fuengirola. But you know that an experience is not only read, you have to live it. So we hope you spend an incredible vacation and tell us your experience in the comments. Happy traveller day!
Fuengirola illustrious characters
Juan Gómez González, Juanito was born in Fuengirola, Málaga, on 10 November 1954 and died in La Calzada de Oropesa, Toledo on 2 April 1992. He was a famous footballer who stood out in the 80’s.
He made his debut as a professional in Burgos and stood out until he joined Real Madrid. Club in which he played for ten seasons, becoming a myth for his fans.
He played as a striker, making a double with Santillana, another historical player of the club.
In 1987, in a European Cup match, he stepped on the foot of Bayern Munich player Lothar Matthäus. This resulted in a 5-year ban from playing in European competitions, which led to his departure from Real Madrid. As an apology, Juanito later gave him a cape and a bullfighter’s rapier.
He then signed for Club Deportivo Malaga, where he contributed to his promotion to the First Division. Amongst his titles, five league championships and two UEFA Cups stand out for their importance.
He died in a car accident in 1992. Since then the Real Madrid fans always sing “Illa, illa, illa, Juanito maravilla” during the 7th minute of the matches.
Julio Anguita González was a prominent politician who was born in Fuengirola, 21 November 1941 and died in Córdoba, 16 May 2020. He was a teacher and a politician. Moreover, throughout his political career he was:
- Mayor of Cordoba between 1979 and 1986.
- General Secretary of the Spanish Communist Party (PCE).
- General Coordinator of Izquierda Unida (IU).
Under his leadership, the IU coalition achieved its greatest electoral successes. In addition, his period at the head of Izquierda Unida was distinguished by the demand for concrete programmatic agreements and the rejection of corruption. After his departure the IU entered a phase of decline.
Source of the images: www.hotelyaramar.es, www.essentialmagazine.com