Activities & Attractions
Find the holiday you’re looking for in Fuengirola
If you’re just thinking of enjoying the beach during holidays in Fuengirola, you won’t be disappointed. There’s over 8km of Blue Flag beaches in the resort, with main beaches such as Los Boliches being incredibly long stretches of dusky golden sand. They’re very flat and open too, adding to the overall feeling of spaciousness during your sunbathing.
But to only enjoy the beaches you’d be missing out on much of what holidays in Fuengirola have to offer. There’s a vibrant weekly market held in the centre of town, and it’s the largest in the whole of the Costa del Sol. With hundreds of stalls offering handmade souvenirs and delicacies like local honey and wine, you’ll certainly find something to bring back home with you. Although perhaps what you’ll treasure the most is your photographs, especially if you take a trip to the old town of Mijas.
Just 5 miles inland, the pretty mountaintop village of Mijas is encircled by greenery on all sides. The views are breathtaking – stop by at a traditional tapas restaurant and gaze into endless valleys of lemon and pine trees, their sweet smell lingering in the air. Back on lower land in Fuengirola, you can be enjoying a full cooked English breakfast at a friendly British bar less than thirty minutes later. A perfect example of how Fuengirola makes fusing old charm with new convenience seem easy.
Plenty of activities and ancient history
Holidays in Fuengirola manage to be fascinating for both visitors young and old thanks to the great variety of the activities and attractions in the area. Fuengirola has a long and distinguished past, particularly highlighted by its ancient Roman ruins and medieval castle. But as a holiday resort, it also has plenty of modern activities that are sure to delight families.
Perhaps the best activity for all ages is the Bioparc Fuengirola. This outstanding zoo is considered to be one of Europe’s finest. Undergoing extensive renovation in recent years, uniquely the Bioparc encloses the animals behind thick glass instead of the usual metal bars and cages. This means you can actually interact with all kinds of exotic species – imagine looking directly into the face of a white tiger, a leopard or a mountain gorilla. All of this is possible here, and the animals can see you clearly too, making for an incredibly exciting experience. There’s a wide range of species on show too, from huge crocodiles to little lemurs. The Bioparc enclosures aim to recreate the animals natural habitat as closely as possible, and the zoo is actively involved in conservation projects too. You’ll also be surprised to find that it is based right in the centre of Fuengirola, close to the town hall.
Another fun family activity that’s all about interaction is the Fuengirola Adventure Golf course. In a similar way to the modernity of the Bioparc, this mini-golf course has recently been updated and is kept scrupulously clean. You’ll enjoy putting on trim greens surrounded by features like fountains, small lakes and mini-bunkers. Try your luck at the famous final 19th hole, where you’ll win a prize for a hole in one!
The weather can be beautifully bright and warm during your holidays in Fuengirola, so why not cool off at the Mijas Aquapark. Just a few miles inland at the pretty village of Mijas, this waterpark has lots of super-fast slides as well as a wave pool and a children’s play area. And here’s another activity especially for the kids – the Parquelandia just by the marina. This colourful fun park has many different attractions, including trampolines, mini-golf, bumper cars and a bouncy castle. It’s the perfect way to keep the kids occupied before you all go to enjoy the beach.
But for all the family-focused activities, there’s a rich history within the resort too. The Sohail Castle dates back as far as 956 yet its cobbled walls and turrets are impressively still standing. Built during the Moorish occupation of Spain in medieval times, the large castle is set atop one of the highest hills on the coast of Fuengirola. Climb to the top and you’ll see old cannons looking out on the endless blue of the Mediterranean Sea. The courtyard is so large, in the summer it’s actually used as the setting for live concerts by international singers.
Fuengirola’s history dates even further back than medieval times, all the way back to the Romans in fact. You can still see evidence of their settlement here at the Roman Bath House in Torreblanca, which is now just a series of cobbled circular holes dug into the ground. You’ll see better preserved ancient exhibits at the Fuengirola History Museum, which features sections focused on the Moors and Visigoths, as well as the elegant Roman statue of the Venus of Fuengirola.
Finally, those of a sporting persuasion will find lots to love at the Mijas Golf Club. There are two courses here, Los Olivos and Los Lagos, both of which have wide fairways and huge lakes to make a great game of golf.
Fresh seafood and classic British dishes
The cuisine in Fuengirola is incredibly varied to represent the varied tourists that come to its shores. Thanks to the plentiful expats living in the area, you’ll find it incredibly easy to pick out some friendly bars and restaurants serving classic British food. And even the British eateries make the most of the fresh local produce – shepherd’s pie tastes even better thanks to the flavourful ingredients! Steaks are also a popular choice, and the Latin connection of Spain has seen authentic Argentinean steakhouses open in Fuengirola.
With Fuengirola being a coastal town, it also has something of a speciality in seafood. In keeping with classic Andalusian cuisine, fresh fish such as squid and prawns are deep-fried in a light olive oil batter. So it should come as no surprise that Fuengirola actually has a food-quarter called Fish Alley. However, the street has actually expanded to include all kinds of restaurants, so you’re just as likely to find an all-you-can-eat Chinese buffet as a sumptuous seafood restaurant.
For the most authentic Spanish food, however, you’d be best off heading inland to Mijas Pueblo. This whitewashed mountaintop village is just five miles inland, yet it has a completely different atmosphere to coastal Fuengirola. Think of narrow streets chequered red and white, and ornate balconies with overflowing flower baskets. Luckily, alongside these picturesque scenes, there are some excellent tapas restaurants serving classic dishes like chorizo in red wine, and aubergine in a rich tomato sauce.
There’s always the option to go all inclusive in Fuengirola too. The Hi! Hotel Gardenia Park available with Jet2holidays is just seconds from a golden beach and offers all inclusive food and drink for all guests. On the other hand, stay at the half-board Hotel IPV Beatriz Palaca & Spa and you won’t have to worry about hunting down good restaurants for your evening meals.
A beach for every district
The most central, and therefore most convenient beach in Fuengirola is called Las Gaviotas. Its dark golden sand stretches in a straight, flat line for around 1.2km and it’s 40m wide too. That means you should have plenty of space for sunbathing, even during the busier summer season. Bars, restaurants and high-rise hotels dominate the beachfront at Las Gaviotas, meaning you’re never too far away from the conveniences of modern life. Look a little further though, and you should be able to spot the white sugar cube houses of Mijas in the distance.
Adjoing Los Gaviotas to north-east is the most popular beach in Fuengirola, Los Boliches. This wide, sandy stretch is very similar to Los Gaviotas and it’s also very well supported by facilities such as showers, toilets and coastal guards. Los Boliches is favoured by many because it’s also very close to the beachfront hotels in the resort, plus the gently shelving sand and calm waters make the beach very safe for children too.
The furthest south of Fuengirola’s four main beaches is Santa Amalia. Stretching for 1.4km, it’s one of the longest beaches in Fuengirola and it has the same wide open spacious feel this part of the coastline enjoys. Watersports are also well represented at this beach, and you can have fun out to sea with everything from pedaloes to jet-skis.
As a change of scene, perhaps the most notably different section of the coastline is simply named Fuengirola Beach. It’s only 350m long, but in contrast to the straight flat strips of sand at the other beaches, this one curves into an arc that leads towards the Fuengirola Marina. Sunbathing at this beach is also convenient if you want to enjoy the top seafood restaurants nearby.
Lively nights or traditional evenings out
Fuengirola is famed for its lively nightlife, and the bars around the beachfront certainly don’t disappoint. The great characteristic of Fuengirola is that it’s compact enough to easily wander from bar to bar, so even if you only drink within the marina area, you’ll have a range of nightspots to choose from. Starting with the marina, a wide, clean palm-tree lined promenade follows it along this section this coastline, making bar-hopping easy and stress free. Some of the best bars we’d recommend in the area include Beetle Bar (where the DJ booth is actually housed in a replica Beetle car) and London Pub, which is kitted out in the cosy style of British pubs back home. Living up to its reputation as party central, some of the clubs in Fuengirola don’t get started until midnight, and they’re well worth a visit to experience the lively atmosphere. Further inland from the marina, the Oasis club should be first on your party list, as its state-of-the-art sound and lightning system led to it being chosen for a Basshunter video.
But it doesn’t have to be all about partying in Fuengirola. There are some far more relaxed family-friendly bars with a real focus on entertainment. Along the beachfront and in some of the quieter parts of the marina you’ll come across bars with live singing, karaoke and Sky TV. Some of the bars have even updated to feature Wii and Xbox set-ups so you can play with your family and friends on huge widescreen projectors!
For a more authentic evening out, head to the hilltop town of Mijas, nestled just behind the beachfront. It’s just a short five mile journey inland to this idyllic Spanish village that sits almost 500m above sea level. If you plan to go there in the evening, try to arrive before sunset, so you can see the amber sun fade amongst the lemon trees and pine-covered mountains. With such a scene it’s not surprising many artists and writers choose to settle here to aid their creative inspiration. Stroll around the village at night and stop by to drink at the terrace of one of the tiny bars here. The Boveda del Flamenco is an interesting bar to choose, as you may not realise it from its welcoming atmosphere and ornate iron chairs and tables, but it used to be the village’s jail!